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 (www.mspdigital.com) 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