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Large Format Printing
April 4, 2024 - By Corey Smith

3 Ways to Maximize Your Digital Reach

More than 25 years ago, I began working in the office equipment space. I started running a print shop for IKON Office Solutions. I then moved into color systems sales and then worked for Canon USA as a color systems specialist.

After nearly a decade selling hardware and software I decided to shift my career to supporting copier companies in marketing with websites and strategic marketing support. In fact, I’ve been a part of building websites and marketing for more than 200 copier companies in Australia, Canada, and right here in my home of the United States for more than 16 years.

There was a day when we thought that the fully paperless office was going to be a reality. You might even remember when Adobe first launched Acrobat they tried to sell everyone on the idea that paper was going away. From eCopy to EFI and everyone in between, paper was going away. I was even certified on Docuware and was taught that paper was a thing of the past.

But, if you know the industry like I do, you know that paper is not going away anytime soon. Like all things, it’s just being repurposed and realigned.

What is changing, however, is how you market your dealership in the ever changing digital landscape. I’ll say that while this is written to the office equipment dealer, it can really be applied to just about every business out there.

Leveraging Social Media

Every dealership I’ve worked with over the years who has only focused on machines-in-field has died a slow death. It’s easy pickings to renew a lease contract early but, even then, you’ll never renew at 100%. Acquiring net new business has become increasingly challenging. To overcome this challenge, copier reps need to focus on building trust and value, which has become are more valuable currency in the industry.

One powerful tool that copier reps can leverage to create major branding and marketing opportunities is social media. By integrating social media into their marketing strategies, copier dealers can build trusted networks and increase their chances of acquiring new customers. In the business community, people are more likely to believe and trust recommendations from their friends and connections rather than listening to a copier sales pitch. Therefore, building a strong brand and network through social media can greatly impact the success of a copier dealership.

It is important for copier sales reps to understand the significance of branding themselves online. With over 1 billion names being Googled every day, it is highly likely that potential clients are searching for information about them online. What people find (or don’t find) about a copier sales rep online can greatly influence their perception of the sales rep’s services. Therefore, managing and optimizing one’s online presence is crucial to building trust and credibility in the digital world.

People buy from people first and your company brand second. In fact, I’ve learned that the copier brand (Canon, Ricoh, Xerox, etc) tends to be third on the list. Your reps need to develop their own brand and you can help them by having a solid dealership brand that supports your company’s goals and supports them.

Email Marketing Strategies

Email marketing has long been recognized as one of the most cost-effective marketing channels available to businesses. It consistently shows the highest ROI, as much as 4,000%, for both business to business and direct to consumer brands. It allows companies to communicate directly with their customers, promote offers, and build brand loyalty. However, simply sending emails to an existing list of subscribers is not enough to maximize sales opportunities.

Inevitably, customers become inactive or may choose to unsubscribe from email lists. It should generally be expected that you will have between 20% and 25% attrition in your email list each year. This natural churn can lead to a decrease in the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns. To combat this, you’ll need to find new ways to grow your email lists and reach a broader audience.

In the office equipment space you have an option that many companies do not have. You have your service base to work with. You might use an ERP like eAutomate to manage your service. Then you might connect to a CRM like HubSpot or SalesChain.

Ask yourself the following questions about your email list:

  • What is your sales team doing to connect with clients when they have had a recent service call?
  • What is your sales team doing to connect with a client when they have had multiple service calls in a short period of time?
  • Do you have a process to follow up on lease end opportunities well before the lease end?
  • What are you doing for new clients to encourage them to understand other offerings like managed print services or document management?

The list could go on but we both know that your sales reps aren’t focused on those things above so it’s incumbent on you to make sure you are seeding those emails for your reps through marketing automation and sales enablement.

It’s easy to understand the importance of growing a list of new prospects but don’t neglect the client lists you already have for future sales and growth opportunities.

Enhancing Brand Reputation

Brand reputation plays a crucial role in the success of your business. With the increasing use of social media and email, companies have the opportunity to connect with customers like never before and build strong brand loyalty.

Social media platforms offer powerful tools for engaging with customers and creating a positive brand image. Yes, even when selling copiers, printers, and document management. By regularly posting relevant and engaging content, you can establish yourself as thought leaders in your industry and foster a sense of community among your followers. The key here is relevant and engagement. If your blog is all about the latest feature on a copier then you are missing the boat. But, if you are solving your clients’ problems, then they have a reason to engage.

Email marketing allows you to set up drip marketing campaigns or automated sales sequences to remind your audience why they need to continue to work with you. Whether it’s sharing news and updates, offering exclusive promotions, or providing valuable content, email marketing allows for direct communication and creates a sense of connection with your customers.

The key to managing social media and email effectively is to develop a comprehensive strategy. This includes creating engaging and shareable content that aligns with your brand’s values and resonates with your target audience. By analyzing data and monitoring customer feedback on social media and through email, you can make informed decisions and continuously improve your brand reputation.

It’s important to note that using social media and email for brand reputation management comes with potential risks and challenges. Negative feedback or viral incidents can spread quickly on social media, potentially damaging your company’s reputation. It’s crucial to have a plan in place for monitoring and responding to customer feedback promptly and effectively.

But, if you are focused on being better and doing better then you can minimize your risk significantly.

To Sum It Up

If you can focus on enhancing your brand via social media and email you’ll find that your sales reps will be afforded more opportunities for connecting with their clients and prospects. That connection will produce more sales opportunities. The best part is that through marketing automation you can streamline your marketing efforts and enhance efficiency.

So, what are you going to do today to focus more on your social and email strategies to enhance your brand reputation and grow your business?