Sex, Clients- and Profit

Jan Adeltoft, CEO at WebProof, was asked to write a controversial article in the biggest magazine for the Scandinavian graphic printing industry AGI.

Whether it’s newspapers, magazines, ads, or TV, almost all companies use sex in their branding to get our attention. We consumers are people, both privately and professionally, and when we are bombarded daily by all sorts of impressions, we become almost immune to reasonable arguments. A good example is  our telephone bill, which could be much reduced by switching companies, using IP telephony, or other means; most often, we do nothing- or, even worse, we repeatedly buy new mobile phones.

Why sex in the graphics industry?

Look at the branding advertisements we see from printers. Typically, ads trumpet competencies: “We are ISO certified”, “We provide quality printed matter.” ,”We have the newest and most advanced eight-color offset machine.” ,”We print both offset and the latest digital printing.” How many people get caught by these headlines?

Purchasers are just people; add sex or another eye catcher to your opening message. Once you’ve captured their interest, then you have the chance to tell potential customers how you can make their lives easier, more engaging, and more flexible. In other words, more emotional content, rather than factual content, will get more attention. The facts are the positive experience that the customer subsequently discovers, and then we witness the positive spiral. Now you might say, “Well, it always comes to what it costs. You are quite right here, but engaging the customer’s curiosity is only the first positive step. Then it’s up to you to ensure that you ultimately make a profit.”

Sex, workflow, online proofing, add-on services, and profits?

Consider just the sex header (picture and/or text) as a striking point, a tool to create interest. Now the challenge is how to maintain that interest. Remember that everything, apart from sex, is about profit, and you only  get profit when turnover is greater than costs. Incredibly, many printers have in recent years invested heavily in all kinds of hardware, such as digital printers, offset machine, CTP and other hardware. Hopefully, the hardware reduced fixed costs, but the question is: did they get more customers?

Now we are approaching my message, because there are indeed a large number of services on the internet that do not cost much or are even free, that may provide add-on services and support for your clients. As clients  become accustomed to these services, you can increase billing and reduce your internal costs – which will mean increased profits. The result is that with the client’s daily look, for example, at your lovely proofing workflow, you attract new customers. Those services can become your best add-on selling point.

Want to see my beautiful sexy workflow?

Sex need not be about just girls. Think of a beautiful car; you have often heard someone say, “I love my car.” It’s the feeling of something perfect. Similarly, there are also exciting new intuitive and manageable online workflow systems for  both online proofing and 3D page-flip. Believe it or not, here you have a selling point that makes a difference and requires no investment in  hardware or software. The only requirement is that your customers have access to the internet.

Do something for a very low cost, you can make a difference.