We recently held a webinar “Achieving hypergrowth with web-to-print”, where our CEO Douglas Gibson gave an in-depth explanation of the hypergrowth framework. To hear what Douglas, and an expert panel of six different Infigo clients from both sides of the Atlantic said, check out the webinar replays here. If you’d prefer a brief written summary, before you view the replays, keep on reading..
A 4-pillar strategy for success
It’s perhaps a common misconception that many web-to-print vendors are happy to maintain. All printers need to do is to invest in a web-to-print platform and then the revenue rolls in.
But as many printers know, it’s not quite as simple as that. For a start, not all web-to-print platforms are created equally. Some are difficult to use, which means that staff and clients never quite get to grips with them. Some just don’t have the flexibility that’s required to create tailored solutions for different clients and different industries. Some just can’t be integrated with other systems, so workflow automation is limited.
However, this still doesn’t explain why some printers have had significantly more success than others in developing B2B and B2C e-commerce propositions. What appears to be the main difference is a lack of strategy.
Those that create a defined roadmap, with milestones for each project, and regularly review based on market and client needs are those that achieve Hypergrowth.
In this blog, we set out a four-pillar strategy that enables you to implement web-to-print, create engagement with staff and customers, successfully onboard existing clients and generate new business and help you generate hypergrowth.
Watch the webinar, on demand
We recently held a webinar “Achieving hypergrowth with web-to-print”, where our CEO Douglas Gibson gave an in-depth explanation of the hypergrowth framework. We also heard from companies just like yours that, in some cases have seen a whopping 500% increase in business generated through web-to-print.
With guest speakers:
Paul Manning, Rapidity
Christian Gurd, Paragon CC
Louise Ray, Plastic Card Services
With guest speakers:
Jesse Brooks, Peczuh Printing
Erwin Driever, Cober Solutions
Sean Owen, Talient Action Group
To hear what Douglas, and an expert panel of six different Infigo customers from both sides of the Atlantic said, check out the webinar replays by completing the form, now.
The hypergrowth framework
As we have mentioned, it wouldn’t be an accurate assessment to say that every adopter of web-to-print has come through the pandemic unscathed. However, what is clear is that the ones that exceeded growth expectations had several things in common.
We have identified these as four pillars that are necessary for achieving and supporting hypergrowth:
• Who in the business owns the business unit?
• Who in the business can sell and demonstrate the proposition?
• Who in the business can set the system up, train and support?
• What is the solution that we are going to offer?
• What is it called?
• What is included?
• How do we market and sell it?
• How do we on-board it?
• How do we change the business culture to allow adoption?
• How do we manage it? (now and in the future)
• How do we scale?
• How is it going?
• Is the solution delivering value?
• Are you meeting the customers goals?
• Is everything set-up to the customers liking?
• Are there any changes required?
• Agree the next review stage with the customer
The first pillar that needs to be in place to generate hypergrowth is the “Who.” Printers that have been most successful with web-to-print are those that have appointed a web-to-print champion; someone who is responsible for running web-to-print as a business unit in itself.
They are responsible for creating a strategy (from integrating web-to-print into your own system to providing training and support to staff, clients and the sales team) and building a team that can deliver the strategy.
The critical questions you need to ask are:
• Who will sell, demonstrate and ultimately price up the solution for the client?
• Who will install and setup the system? This includes the client’s storefront, the products and other key requirements the customer may have. This could also include creating written content as well as designing graphical elements for the storefront.
• Who will be with the customer to guide them through the process when the system is setup? This process needs to be as slick as possible. Key goals and outcomes need to be agreed with the client, as well as establishing the next steps and success criteria for the projects.
The second pillar for achieving web-to-print hypergrowth is getting real clarity on the “what”. For this pillar you need to get clear on exactly what it is you are offering the client, what name and the brand is for this proposition, what types of businesses you are offering it to and what the key goals are for your proposition.
From our experience, merely offering “web-to-print” as a service doesn’t help to differentiate you from the competition. Those that have achieved hypergrowth are generally those that create a niche brand and proposition.
For example, UK-based Plastic Cards Services, create cards ranging from gift cards to loyalty cards to hotel key cards.
PCS realised few card providers were offering an e-commerce solution. Louise Ray, Director of Marketing and Communications for PCS, says: “There wasn’t really anybody doing plastic cards online and so it was quite niche for us.”
However PCS have developed this niche further. As well as offering smaller print runs (starting from runs of 50), for smaller businesses, through their Plastic Card Hub, PCS realised this offering could be developed further.
Louise says: “Where we’ve seen the biggest growth now is from offering a white label store front version of our Plastic Card Hub.
“In the last few years during the pandemic, we’ve seen nearly 500% increase in online orders during that time.”
The target customer
Another defining feature of print companies that have achieved hypergrowth, through web-to-print is a clear idea of the companies they are targeting. Because the more targeted you are, the greater success you’ll have.
For example, rather than stating “We’re targeting financial services clients with revenues between £10-100m” go even more granular. The statement “We’re targeting insurance companies, with an in-house marketing department, with revenues between £10-100m” gives greater clarity on who you are targeting.
The final “What” question that needs to be asked is “What are the key goals?”. Again the more granular you can break this down, the better. Your headline goal might be to deliver £50,000 in revenue per month, through the web-to-print channel.
But you then need to break that down into smaller goals and considerations:
• How many clients do you need to onboard, and in what timeframe, to generate £50,000?
• What makes more commercial sense – onboarding 10 clients that generate £5000 in orders a month or 20 generating £2500 a month?
• What resources and processes are required for each of these scenarios?
• What marketing and sales activity and collateral is required to generate leads from the niche you have identified?
• How many prospects do you need to contact/attract per month (based on current conversion rates) to achieve that figure?
• Once clients are onboarded how do you ensure they are comfortable enough with the platform to design and order with confidence to achieve their individual revenue goals?
The goals and considerations you have identified in the “What” pillar will heavily influence how you approach the “How” pillar. So the first question we need to ask is “How do we sell it?”.
You will have already identified your key markets and your proposition so you now need to build out your sales strategy. How exactly do you connect with the right people in your target markets? Central to this pillar is a customer relationship management platform, such as HubSpot, that allows you to build a database and target at scale.
This database can be created using a range of sources:
• Purchased lists
• Social contacts lists
• Prospects in your targeted sector that you have previously engaged with
Because of the work you have put in at the “What” stage, you will have a clear definition of your target customer. You can then create marketing and sales content, particularly email sales sequences, that clearly addresses why using a web-to-print platform will benefit their business. You then need to establish what the follow up is – such as offering a demo.
How do we manage each account?
To ensure your client is getting maximum use of the platform means you need to book in regular follow ups. You don’t want to get a year down the line and discover that no one has been using the system due to lack of training or a minor technical snag.
Using your CRM you should schedule key follow ups with the client – we suggest monthly contact at first and then quarterly once it’s clear that the client is using the platform and meeting your revenue targets and the milestones agreed for onboarding.
This can be managed with automation – email prompts that are sent out to the client at pre-defined intervals. In short this helps automate aspects of account management so your sales team can focus on landing new clients.
How do we on-board
The next step of the “How” pillar is establishing a process for onboarding clients. This should be established during the sales process, rather than leaving it as an afterthought. You need to establish key milestones, timelines and adoption/revenue targets and present a clear road map of how this will be achieved. For example, if you’ve sold to a multi-site organisation, it might make sense to get one site up and running, getting those users trained and onboarded and slowly building out from there. Snags and bottlenecks can be ironed out on a smaller scale before the platform is rolled out to other sites.
Or you might look to automate one aspect of the work flow before looking at what other areas can be automated.
How do we scale
The final aspect of the “How” pillar is how to build on the web-to-print foundations you’ve established. You’ve successfully landed and onboarded some big accounts and established new revenue streams but how do you scale? Well, the answer to this question falls neatly into the final hypergrowth pillar – Review.
You’re probably thinking “where’s the secret ingredient for achieving hypergrowth?”. Well, that secret ingredient is a very simple one – it’s all about the Review pillar. The questions you need to ask of both the web-to-print business unit and individual clients are:
• Did we achieve the numbers?
• Is the process working?
• Do we need to change anything?
As we have mentioned previously, those that have been onboarded most recently will require the most regular contact. So initially you may be in touch with a client on a monthly basis but as they become more familiar with the platform, and the data shows they are using it on a regular basis, this can drop to quarterly contact.
You just need to make sure that you are reviewing the data and discussing performance with the client on a regular basis and scheduling your next review each time.
It’s worth bearing in mind that, as we have become acutely aware of over the last two years, the needs of your clients change frequently. Anticipating and quickly reacting to these changing needs is integral to achieving hypergrowth with web-to-print.
Christian Gurd, Head of Systems – MIS, W2P & e-commerce at Paragon Customer Communication, says the UK company is constantly reviewing its service as a whole and for each client.
He says significant web-to-print success has been achieved by “reviewing the current service offering, improving upon, the user interface or just generally the user experience and just truly understanding the client’s requirements and delivering the best service that we can.”
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