Who Exactly Is The Modern Print Buyer and What Do They Want?

We all agree the digital revolution has reshaped the print industry landscape, causing printers to rethink how they approach the market, keep up with technology and how to sell to millennials. I can’t say printers have it easy.

Technology did not only disrupt the print industry, but also those industries your clients serve. And with that, their needs, demands and expectations.

A new generation of print buyers are here and they expect a lot more than ink a paper. Archive your old playbook, this game calls for new sales methods, product/service offerings and marketing tactics.

So who exactly is the modern print buyer and what do they want? The best way to find out is by listening to your clients, but in case your customers are shy, we wrote this article to update you on what the modern print buyer expects from you. Let’s dig in.

1. “Modern Print buyers are tech savvy marketers and require their printers to be as well.”

Your clients (AKA marketers) are tech junkies, they get high on automation, simplicity and being mobile. Modern marketers wear many hats, multitask, and are always looking for new technologies to simplify their day. Analog processes, cumbersome systems and manual tasks no longer resonate with them. They are taking on more and more responsibilities, have full calendars and still really want to make a happy hour ever now and again.

Web-to-print was the first step towards making things easier for print buyers –searching, personalizing and ordering from the web was a great success. Nevertheless, web to print systems alone no longer meet the needs of the modern print buyer.

Modern marketers want to bridge the gap between digital and physical marketing assets. They want printers to provide marketing solutions that can simplify how they manage and make all their marketing assets accessible to those that need them — intuitively and via the web.

2. “Modern Marketers are looking for comprehensive solutions. Price, quality and turnaround are no longer differentiators.”

Competitive pricing, flawless print and rocket speed turnarounds are no longer differentiators for printers. Marketers are looking for partners that also serve as marketing partners, not just a print vendors.

Marketers like simplicity and getting things done without leaving the office or better yet home. They are looking for savvy printers that can help them streamline manufacturing, fulfillment, mailing and digital marketing services, all via the web and at a reasonable cost.

They are the voice of the brand. They need to reach out to prospects and customers using print assets carrying personalized messages, images, price points and QR codes that direct them to personalized landing pages, social media outlets or nurturing email campaigns.

They are also in charge of making sure corporate marketing assets get into the hands of those who need them. Whether it is print, promo, apparel or digital, marketers want a solution that hosts and handles all these products elegantly. They don’t want to be required to use multiple systems for ordering, managing and tracking their assets. Marketers want a single solution that handles an order of business cards, polo shirts and stress balls as a single order, even if multiple vendors are involved.

Marketing portals are the new form of web-to-print systems offering marketers web-to-print workflows plus the ability to streamline other marketing tasks.

3. “Modern Marketers love simple and intuitive online marketing solutions.”

These tech addicts know how to judge a book by its cover. They use so many pretty systems that they expect all of them to be visually appealing and perform flawlessly.

They want marketing solutions that can simplify a variety of workflows, processes and tasks all while offering a top notch user interface. Heads up — although user experience is paramount for providing a top-tiered solution to your clients, you still need to be sure the platform has the robustness needed to handle the demand.


“Digital is not killing print, it gave birth to tools that boost the value and importance of print in the marketing mix.”

Modern print buyers want their printers to play more online and offer solutions that add value. These marketers want to get more tasks done, online, on a billing model that makes sense.

Marketers like SaaS. They don’t like getting married to a marketing solution that locks them in for a whole year for something that might not work two months in.

Modern print buyers want to manage branding, inventory, and budgets, they want to streamline ordering, production, and fulfillment of their marketing assets as well as deploy integrated marketing campaigns -all from a single, intuitive online system.

Printers that leverage technology to better serve and assist their clients are more likely to build long-term client relationships, remain competitive, and create new revenue opportunities.

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