The age of new media has taken over every facet of life from one side of the map to the other, and the question remains, "What are traditional media industries doing to stay relevant?" The reality is, many don't realize that they can use the changing times to not only grow and transform, but to thrive within the print and mail industries as well.

The answer to the nagging question about what print and mail providers need to do to grow their business lies within two simple words: provide solutions. That's right! In order to grow your print and mail businesses in the age of digital marketing, you must first focus on the services that you already offer customers. From your original services, revolve marketing your business around the solutions those services provide, and you are then well on your way to becoming a marketing service provider.

How to Grow
Face the facts - if you want to survive and thrive as a print or mail provider, becoming a marketing service provider has proven to be the most effective way over the past decade. Many providers find it effective to focus on the customer end of the services they already provide, and grow from there. Usually these services, such as variable print, wide format, and customized mail services, are ones that already stand out to new and existing customers. They are unique to each print and mail business based off of location, experience, and so on. It is important to focus on advertising and selling the experience these services give not only to your customers, but to their customers as well.

Business Transformation
Print and mail service providers transforming their business is nothing new, yet it can seem like an impossible task if you don't know where to begin. In my book, Business Transformation: A Path to Profitability for the Mailing and Fulfillment Industries, I cover just that:

"Clearly, if you have heavy investments in printing, mailing, and fulfillment systems, you don't want to abandon your heritage in the transition to becoming a marketing services provider. Rather, you want to build on the knowledge and expertise you already have about your customers and their communications needs in order to deliver a broader portfolio of products and services that will make you a trusted partner, and them a loyal customer."

By building on the services you already offer as a print or mail provider - and let me say it again, focusing on the solutions your services provide - you are already much closer than you think to the key behind transforming your business from an average, run-of-the-mill print or mail house, to a full-blown marketing service provider.

Here's a Hint
If you're still stuck on what kind of solutions your customers are looking for, consider multi-channel. Adding multi-channel offerings to the marketing solutions of any service provider is critical in this age of information accessibility. Focus on how your print and mail products can carry, if not support, a variety of messages throughout multiple channels. The traditional industries of communications are changing daily and an endless introduction of new technologies have made the job of marketing more complex than ever.

Keep in Mind
The important thing to keep in mind as a print or mail provider transforming into a service provider, is that many of the tools and offerings you need to make the transformation successful are already in your arsenal. Think of print and mail as your roots - where you came from, and all the ways your traditional materials can tie into other channels, as the future - where your business is going. Change is never easy, but as far as business is concerned, it is necessary. Consider print, mail, and the services you have always provided as the nourishment your business needs to transform successfully in this brand new world of communications.

About John Foley, Jr.
John Foley, Jr. is the CEO of interlinkONE and Grow Socially. John and his team consult with print and mail companies on transforming their businesses, write strategic online marketing plans to get them on a path to success, and John speaks frequently about business transformation throughout the industry. John is the published author of three books available at, including "Business Transformation: A Path to Profitability for the Mailing and Fulfillment Industries." Learn more about John at, and his companies at and