Friday, December 2, 2011

Getting Business in the Real World #1

“Does a Plumber Need a Web Site?” features “case studies” of hypothetical businesses, but is anyone in the real world pursuing any of the initiatives we write about in the book? Yes.

In the book, one of our case studies is the fictional Jim’s Gym. But there is a fitness center in Saratoga Springs, NY, that is heavily promoting itself via social media. High Rock Sports & Fitness opened in January 2011 (full disclosure: Richard R. has been a member since April; he found it, by the way, via his Yelp! iPhone app) and has been actively involved in social media, in addition to more traditional advertising. The gym heavily uses Facebook to network members and share information. New members are welcomed to the community via Facebook updates, and other related information is shared as well.

The center has also begin availing itself of Foursquare, a location app that lets users find nearby businesses, check in, make recommendations, add comments, etc. (Facebook has similar functionality, as does Yelp!) There is a Merchant Platform whereby businesses can offer specials and other deals via Foursquare. HRSF, for example, offers a free recovery shake after every 10 check-ins.

Foursquare itself sends e-mail notifications when certain check-in milestones have been reached.
Probably not the best recommendation, but there it is.

Location services are evolving quickly and as more and more people are using mobile smartphones to find products, services, and other businesses, they are availing themselves of all these apps. They may not be taking full advantage of all the features available, but basic familiarity is increasing. As a recent eMarketer article pointed out,
While many mobile users have taken advantage of their device’s ability to connect location with useful information, such as maps, directions or recommendations, comparatively few ever caught on to the check-in trend. Pew Internet & American Life Project found in May that while 58% of smartphone users had used some kind of location-based service on their phone, just 12% had checked in somewhere.
As more businesses start offering deals via check-ins, I would expect the number of “checker-ins” to increase. These services will continue to evolve. Stay tuned.

"Does a Plumber Need as Web Site?"

Now available via, the evolution of Getting Business. Retooled and rethought, with three new hypothetical case studies, "Does a Plumber Need a Web Site?": Mad Dentists, Harried Haircutters, and Other Edgy Entrepreneurs Offer Promotion Strategies for Small and Mid-Size Businesses is designed to help businesses of all types brainstorm marketing and promotion ideas using the full gamut of communication channels available--especially new and emerging channels.

The official blurb:

"Does a plumber need a Web site?" was the question someone asked Dr. Joe Webb, and thus launched an unconventional business book, written with "co-conspirator" Richard Romano, about a handful of interesting characters facing small business sales and marketing challenges. None of the case studies are real, but the business situations and challenges they illustrate are faced by entrepreneurs every day. This entertaining walk through business media is designed to stimulate ideas and provoke thoughts about how to engage customers and prospects. Whether you're a plumber, a haircutter, a B2B manufacturer, a restaurant owner, a B2B services provider, a doctor, a health club owner, or any other entrepreneur or provider of marketing services to small business, this book will get you chuckling—and seriously thinking about new ways of promoting a business.
The printed book is is available on Lulu's e-store and, for those who crave instant gratification, a Kindle version is available via Amazon

Monday, November 14, 2011

Getting Business Media Chart

In Getting Business, we discuss the following media chart at length. The matrix lists all the various and sundry push, pull, and participative media channels available for businesses and marketers. We also group them by online and offline—you'll notice that there is some repetition, as some channels can be push, pull, or even participative depending upon the specific application (examples abound in the book).  

We also supply this chart as a way for "marketing services providers" to begin conversations with prospective clients about their marketing needs, and what elements a campaign might require.  

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Foreword is Forewarned...

Roy Grossman, founding partner of MSP Digital Marketing, penned a Foreword for Getting Business, which we reproduce below. It provides an excellent lead-in to the basic thrust of the book.

Foreword: Making the Leap
When we started MSP Digital Marketing in 2007, we realized that a paradigm shift in how marketers are reaching their target audiences was well under way, and we began to build a business that would help them deliver their message in a variety of digital formats.
I’m an industry veteran who has never been afraid to change with the times. I started out in a small family run print shop, and in the 1980s, merged with another printer called Press of Acolish, which eventually became part of Sandy Alexander. I stayed with Sandy Alexander until 2007. At that time, I was keenly aware, as we all were, of what was going on in the industry and of the surge in digital media and the rapid technological advancements in that area. I thought to myself, “Well, I’m in my mid-50s, there’s time to do one more great thing and why not go for it?” And I decided to make an entrepreneurial leap and see what happens.
That entrepreneurial leap led to the formation of MSP Digital Marketing which, as our Web site ( says, “is a privately held organization building a unique national network of world-class marketing solutions providers.” We use a variety of cross-media applications to develop and execute highly targeted marketing communications, content aggregation, and on-demand distribution of customized content for a variety of business segments including the educational, non-profit, healthcare, financial, and retail sectors.
Our first move in this direction was not to build an entirely new company from the ground up, but to strategically acquire a pre-existing company that had some of the skills and technologies we required. A good candidate was Hudson, MA’s TecDoc Digital, which we acquired and which serves as the foundation of MSP’s network. We continue to actively search for other partners to add to the network.
One of our objectives is not to necessarily be in the digital output business, but to be more a digital communications partner with our clients. What we want to do is help them understand what their strategies are, what their communications objectives are, and be a significant part of executing those strategies. Our goal is to have the correct arsenal of output channels so that we can help our clients communicate their message properly.
The concept of migrating from a traditional print “supplier” to an innovative “services partner” is both necessary and achievable. I speak from personal experience, as MSP Digital Marketing is about making that transition. Printers in today’s environment need to recognize that, even if they haven’t actively done anything yet to change their business model, they actually already have the most valuable asset to do so—their relationship with their customer.
As a result, we followed the advice of Dr. Joe and Richard’s previous book Disrupting the Future: go where the customers are. As an example, we did not go Graph Expo 2011 but on those dates we instead exhibited at the Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP) annual conference in New Orleans. They are a university fundraising organization, and we provide a lot of targeted direct response (multichannel) to that segment. So we are going where our customers are. We have actually been doing so all year and the results have been terrific.
In this current book, Dr. Joe and Richard explain how to take the customer relationship and expand it to a new level. Getting Business is a must read for printers that are looking to take their current business and leverage it into a profitable multichannel business model. Following Dr. Joe and Richard’s advice is not only imperative, but vital for future success.
Printers and printing industry professionals can make the leap. It just requires a certain amount of fearlessness and good old-fashioned entrepreneurial spirit.
Roy Grossman, Founding Partner, MSP Digital Marketing

Advance Praise for Getting Business

The industry has spoken! Advance readers of Getting Business shower it with praise. (Well, it’s more of a light misting...) The book itself is now available for public consumption here.

Praise for Getting Business

“Dr. Joe and Richard did it again…This ‘how to’ on business marketing is a fun and easy to read guide that will help even the most marketing phobic understand how they can begin to use the new tools and channels to promote and grow their businesses now and in the future. It is a must read!”
—David Zwang, Zwang & Company

“Push, pull, participate! Recognizing what a commercial printer must do to stay relevant can be found in this engaging look at communications today. Reading the book on my iPad while commuting into New York, I immediately appreciated the easy read and strategy map my business must implement to succeed in this decade.”
—Terry Tevis, President, TATevis & Company

Getting Business will scare some, excite others, and interest all. The most current and thoughtful insight into how printers, marketers, and their customers can succeed that has been written to date. This can make you fall in love with the industry again.”
—Carl Gerhardt, Chairman, Allegra Network

“There are three domains of knowledge: we know what we know; we know what we don’t know; and we don’t know what we don’t know. Not knowing what we don’t know is our blind spot, and that is where we are most vulnerable. Dr. Joe and Richard again provide their hands-on expertise and breakthrough insights that can provide coaching for success.”
—David G. Rosenthal, President, Shepard Communications Group, Inc.

Getting Business, the latest contribution by Dr. Joe Webb and Richard Romano, provides great insights for printing executives challenging themselves to forge a new future in the communications industry. The case studies (with a bit of humor) should certainly get your creative juices flowing with countless ideas on how to play in the ‘media sandbox,’ and the chapter “Pushing and Pulling It All Together” provides great on ways to implement the transition. This is a must read!”
—Jerry Scher, Principal, Peak Focus, LLC

“Dr. Joe and Richard have shown a whole new level of creativity and ideas in this book. Numbers are important, but emotions are everything. Once I got past the laughter of ‘I can’t believe they named a section that,’ I found myself drawn into the possibilities of what the new way of thinking about business opportunities can mean for the companies and people in our industry—and how it can impact the entire world of business beyond. Participation in all communications can lead to more opportunities than just providing one piece of it. The majority of this industry—printer, supplier, consultant, and educator, young and old—could use some influence, creativity, and inspiration.”
—Peter Muir, Entrepreneur and President of Bizucate Inc.

“One of the hardest things to do when making changes to your business is to understand all the things that need to change for your transformation to be successful. For the printers who have read this book one sentence stood out—“It’s not just about your equipment anymore.” Getting Business has great company examples, which demonstrate older marketing practices compared to what is needed today in the new world of communications in order to reach your target audience.  Make sure you’re way ahead of “The Man in the Chair” before you meet him! This book tells you how to Get Business!”
—John Foley, Jr.

“If you don’t have time to read this book word for word, take my advice and head right for the dessert: Read from page 95 to the end, including the Channel Glossary (winning nugget!). This last chapter, “Pushing & Pulling It All Together,” is the basis for achieving comfort as well as business success when integrating print with other media. The authors’ insights about media plans, printers as Marketing Services Providers, and overcoming fear by embracing new gadgets, is worth the price of the book. I think this is where they hit the nerve in the print industry. Read this section early...and often.”
—Margie Dana, Print Buyers International

“Dr. Joe Webb and Richard Romano treat us to another timely resource in Getting Business. Like their previous works, this book is a great resource for all that are looking for the ‘how tos’ in creating more value and deeper relationships with their clients. It can be an intimidating transition to go from ‘printer’ to ‘print and...’ yet that is what we must do to build a business of lasting value and a vibrant workplace for our employees.”
—Kevin Cushing, chief executive officer, AlphaGraphics, Inc., and 2011 WhatTheyThink PrintCEO of the Year

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Authors Are Live at Graph Expo!

But probably not for much longer... Dr. Joe signed a couple hundred books on Monday, and Richard will be in the manroland booth from 11:00-12:30 doing the same. If you're in Chicago, come on by and say hi! Say the secret code "Harry's Hair" and get a surprise!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

See Getting Biz at Graph Expo

Exclusive at Graph Expo Breakfast Event Sponsored by manroland: Getting Business, the New Book by Dr. Joe Webb and Richard Romano

manroland sponsors Dr. Webb’s new book at Graph Expo 2011

September 7, 2011 -- Lexington, Kentucky USA -- WhatTheyThink today announced the special pre-release edition of the new book by Dr. Joe Webb and Richard Romano, Getting Business: Opportunities for Commercial Printers and Their Clients in the New Communications Arena. Copies of the book will be available exclusively in the manroland booth (#1236). Dr. Webb will be signing books on Monday immediately following his breakfast presentation, "Chaos Is Our New Opportunity: New Rules for Offset, Digital Printing and e-Media." This free event will be held Monday, September 12, from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m. in Room S105A, McCormick Place in Chicago. A continental breakfast will be available at 8:00 a.m. The presentation will include a discussion of some of the main points of the book.

Getting Business was informed by a year and a half’s worth of conversations with printers and printing industry groups across the country and around the world, and picks up where Disrupting the Future left off. Getting Business focuses on today’s strategies for marketing for small and mid-size businesses, with concrete examples of how multiple media channels can work together to reinforce brands and enhance the visibility of a business. The book also carefully explains the steps that commercial print businesses of all sizes can take to implement these new “marketing services.” It goes the extra mile to address the concerns of printers who feel uncomfortable talking to customers about new media, marketing strategies, or anything beyond print, and offers alternatives for those who decide that marketing services do not fit their strategic resources.

The centerpiece of the book is seven detailed “case studies,” a cross-section of hypothetical small and mid-size businesses and all the marketing strategies—print, non-print, old and new media—they can employ to build their own businesses. Written from the perspective of 2015 in order to show how today’s “new” media are likely to evolve in the next four years, these “sample businesses” run the gamut from a business-to-business manufacturing company and business-to-business service provider, to a small retail business like a hair salon, to a professional services provider like a plumber, to a medical services provider such as a dentist—even two types of commercial print shops are included. The book looks at how all these companies would have marketed themselves 30 years ago, how they market themselves today, and how they likely will do so in 2015.

“Dr. Webb and Richard Romano look to renew the entrepreneurial spirit of print businesses as they create, adapt, and discover new roles and reasons for print in this dynamic media age,” wrote manroland CEO Vince Lapinski in the book’s Foreword. “This new book embodies the manroland core values of Groundbreaking, Inspirational, Determined, and Reliable. manroland is proud to be a sponsor of this latest volume of Dr. Webb’s and Mr. Romano’s work.”

Both authors will be on hand at the manroland booth at Graph Expo to sign copies of Getting Business:

Dr Joe Webb: Monday, 9/12, 10:30-12:00, 3:00-4:30
Richard Romano, Tuesday, 9/13, 11:00-12:30

You can follow the authors at their Getting Business blog at and @gettingbiz on Twitter.

This is manroland’s ninth year as the sponsor of the popular and important educational event at Graph Expo. Each year, the audience has grown, and the event provides a good opportunity to both catch up on the state of the industry, see old friends and meet new ones, and hear Dr. Joe's unique insights into the years ahead.

Dr. Joe Webb is the director of's Economics and Research Center, where managers, researchers and analysts can find free and premium content about industry trends, including forecasts and more. Dr. Webb is a recognized marketing authority, forecaster and one of the best known speakers in our industry. His “Mondays with Dr. Joe” has been a “must read” column since 2003. Disrupting the Future, written with Richard Romano, has been hailed as “the manifesto of a new generation of printers” and as “required reading for everyone who has ever put ink on paper.”

To register for this event, click here.

about manroland:

manroland, Inc is a division of manroland AG the world's second largest
printing systems manufacturer and the world's market leader in web off-set.
Webfed and sheetfed presses provide solutions for publishing, commercial,
and packaging printing.

Visit the manroland, Inc. website at  <>

About Dr. Joe Webb
Dr. Joe Webb is the director of's Economics and Research Center, where managers, researchers and analysts can find free and premium content about industry trends, including forecasts and more. Dr. Webb is a 32-year graphic arts veteran, a recognized marketing authority, forecaster and one of the best known speakers in our industry. He is a Ph.D. graduate of the NYU Center for Graphic Communications Management and Technology, holds an MBA in Management Information Systems from Iona College, and was a magna cum laude graduate in Managerial Sciences and Marketing from Manhattan CollegeAmong his publications are “Renewing the Printing Industry” (2007), and his most recent book, Disrupting the Future: Uncommon Wisdom for Navigating Print’s Undertain Future, written with Richard Romano.

About Richard Romano
Richard Romano (he as yet has no advanced degrees, but often runs a temperature) has been a professional writer for the graphic communications industry since 1994. From 1999 to 2008, he was a senior analyst for TrendWatch Graphic Arts (later The Industry Measure), and from 1995 to 2001, had been a writer and editor for Micro Publishing News as well as its then-sister publication Digital Imaging. Over the years he has also written for such magazines as Graphic Arts Monthly, GATFWorld, Printing News, HOW, and others. He is the co-author, with Dr. Webb, of Disrupting the Future, and was editorial director of Dr. Joe Webb’s Renewing the Printing Industry: Strategies and Action Items for Success. He currently contributes to as the managing editor of the Going Green blog, and is the author of several reports and other projects for Pira International, Library Journal, and other organizations. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Welcome to Getting Business!

This is the start of the gettingbiz blog, the blogospheric companion to the new book Getting Business by Dr. Joseph Webb and Richard Romano.