Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 8

the marshall plan

DIFFERENCES
MATTER
WHY DISTINGUISHING YOUR SHOP FROM COMPETITION
WILL HELP WITH MARKETING EFFORTS.
By Marshall Atkinson

THERE'S AN ELEPHANT in the room we need to address.
It's amazingly simple to get into the printing business.
Right now, there's someone looking at his kid's shirt from
camp and saying to themself, "Geez. I could do this. How
hard could this be?" In an incredibly short amount of
time, another startup is cranking out orders in their basement, garage, or living room, not to mention, the already
established shops in your area are gunning for the same
customer base.
This is why, in a lot of industries, the saturation of
screen printing companies is fairly dense. There's a lot of
blood in the water, especially when the same companies are
all fighting over the same customers. If you sell to schools
or maybe craft breweries, you know this already. So, how
do you separate yourself from the competition? You need to
differentiate your business and then market it. Remember,
marketing is an action that creates a customer. If we put
some extra zip into the marketing of your shop to differentiate your secret sauce from the rest of the yahoos out there,
you can expect a better stream of customers to be headed
your way.

START WITH THIS QUESTION
On our road to developing a new marketing strategy, complete this statement: "We are the only ones who..."
Oooh. Tough one. How did you do? What is the one thing
that separates you from the herd? Can you define that? To
have an effective marketing strategy, nailing down your
main point of differentiation is critical. However, that can
be difficult to do. I have news for you: it's going to get
harder from here. Take that same phrase, "We are the only
ones who..." and poll your staff. Better yet, ask your customers. Will everyone have the same answer? If so, Bingo!
08

SCREENPRINTING | APRIL + MAY 2020

You win! It's obvious as to why you're successful. If not,
you need to circle the troops and head to the drawing board
for an intense discussion.
What we are searching for is the REASON PEOPLE BUY
FROM YOU. That's bolded and in all caps for a reason. Your
market differentiator is what makes you unique, but it's
also how your customers define you. For example, let's say
you're a contract apparel decorator for the promotional
marketing distributors in your area. In the back of your
mind, you think you're simply selling them the service of
producing decorated apparel to fulfill their orders. But when
you start asking them why they do business with you, most
of their responses come back with versions of "never miss a
deadline" or "always accurate."
You've been marketing your production capabilities, but
your customers value reliability and trust more than anything. Therefore, what do you think should show up in your
marketing strategies from now on? It certainly isn't how
many units per day your crew can crank out.

SELLING VS. BUYING
When developing new customers, you want to attract those
who are a good fit for what you do best. This is why it's
crucial to have feedback from your top customers on why
they consistently do business with your shop.
In your current marketing strategy, you could be
selling one idea, but your clients are buying something
different. What do they value? Can you name the
problems they're trying to solve? What if you don't know?
Saddle up. It's time to get out of your office and go see
some customers. Not just any customers either. Do the
math and uncover your top 20 percent. Make the road
trip. Thank them for their continued business and ask



Screen Printing - April/May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Screen Printing - April/May 2020

Contents
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - Intro
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - Cover1
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - Cover2
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 1
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - Contents
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 3
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 4
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 5
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 6
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 7
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 8
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 9
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 10
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 11
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 12
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 13
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 14
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 15
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 16
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 17
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 18
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 19
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - 20
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - Cover3
Screen Printing - April/May 2020 - Cover4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sp_20170405
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sp_20161011
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sp_20160405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sp_20160203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sp_20161201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sp_20151011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sp_20150809
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/STMG/sp_20130405
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