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master print article The Importance of Conducting a Business Analysis Part I

Category: Business

Many of us in advertising, marketing, sales and communications in general are focused on one Business Analysisgoal: to grow our business. Great news, it is doable. In order for your strategies to be of utmost effectiveness you must conduct a thorough analysis of your company strengths and weaknesses. You will then be prepared to discuss your options with a communications service provider so that you are ready to start reaching your customers more effectively.

Taking stock of your business means clearly identifying the critical components fueling, as well as deterring, your company’s evolution. Your strengths and weaknesses are an internal component to your business operations and completely within your control.

Let’s break down the very basic categories of this analysis so that we are ready to connect them to concrete elements of the business structure. We are going to begin with strengths. Determine what it is that your company does well and how it leverages when set up against your competition. Characterize your strengths and compose a summary of what they are so that you have a reference for your marketing material. Next, where do you recognize problem areas that could use improvement? Your weaknesses will offer you the most potential at where to fill in gaps. Are you meeting all your customers’ needs? Where is their dissatisfaction? Opportunities are the next stop. At this intersection that which you are capable of will meet with your customers unmet needs. This is the place where room for improvement is implemented so that you can stand out from your competition. With these three core analyses set forth we encounter threats. These are external components or even business trends that have a negative impact on your company.

So, now that we are familiar with the main diagram of our analysis, let’s look at the categories of evaluation. You have a set price or a set value for your products or services. What is the pricing of the products and services which you offer and what is the customer perception of that value? Those products and services may be better or worse then competitors, but you must be able to classify their quality so that you may consider any room for improvement. Are your products and services covering a decent range or breadth? Consider what value added services you are capable of offering. Does the technology you are using enable you to deliver the quality of your work or create unique applications? You must determine if investing in the right tools will enable you to reach higher service levels. Employees are the catalysts of the company capabilities. You must be able to upgrade the knowledge base of your team. Whether or not you can invest in courses, training or seminars is up to you, but there are many benefits to holding one hour staff meetings or even providing literature and online resources like webinars.

We will continue to analyze the potential of your business in this week’s posts. In the meantime, the best way to promote new business is to discern what internal operations are hindering the evolution and the profit. Tailor your analysis towards strengthening your company and the services which you provide.

Posted on Mar 23, 2010.

master print article Should I GREEN My Marketing?

Category: Marketing

sustainabilityWhy not? Launching a sustainability program can be as simple as switching paper and ink. The pricing is competitive and can increase the return on your investment.

The daunting world of investing in sustainable printing makes many newcomers to the scene cringe. The decision to invest in a green marketing program design seems costly and inconvenient but the marketing process brings an abundance of opportunity to cut costs and to create more efficient approaches.

In terms of consolidation, there are many ways to design multi functional projects and combine resources. A great starting point  is to use the same recycled paper to print your post cards and your business cards. You may also combine your marketing material creatively into one mailer or cut down on your yearly mailers to replace one with an Eco-friendly campaign.

Don't forget to utilize the services that your print shop offers. Many times the cost of having a middle man takes away efficiency and requires more resources than necessary. Work with your printer on taking your print ready files to proof and to deliver them. It is also in your best interest to save money by establishing good relationships and business with your shop. Many times your decision to contract with the print provider and market the printer on your material can result in cost reduction to your job, thus, offsetting the costs which you may incur by producing an Eco-friendly campaign.

Lastly, internal printing can and should be reduced without any interference to the general work flow. Scan and reconsider that which you need to print, fax using the internet and replace your invoices electronically to make space and reduce waste.

These tips are excellent starting points to establishing your own green print program. Don't forget to measure the footprint of  your print job on the Eco-calculator before you make your final print decision. 

Posted on Mar 18, 2010.

master print article Multi Channel Marketing

Category: Marketing

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Keywords: multi channel marketing, cross media, direct mail, personalization, email, 1:1 marketing

Posted on Mar 17, 2010.

master print article Fear

Category: Marketing

commercial printNo matter what business you are in and what your role is, the likelihood of you having a sales opportunity is high. While print advertising operates in a sales climate of graphics and copy, face to face sales are much more intimidating for some.

Eliminating fear based approaches and constructing a well prepared and researched diagram of the sales scene will enable you to establish profitable gain as well as a trust based relationship with the client. This is important because it has the potential to generate new leads and establish your credibility throughout the industry which you operate in. The primary fears that prevent a successful sale are fear of rejection, fear of not knowing and the fear of failure.

First off, let's understand that doubt and uncertainty are a great starting point for strengthening our weaknesses and understanding the composition of our sales approach. The fear of rejection is the most common one. It is an adapted trait that becomes much more complex when it is defined by actual experiences of rejection. The good news is that the illusion that presents itself is one that shifts the focus from the sales product or service to your self. This is detrimental to the process because it creates a sense of insecurity, thus transcending your doubt out towards the target. Understanding this shift will help you to refocus on the overall quality of your product and service. Keep in the forefront of the approach you have designed what it is you have to offer and why it is worth the discussion in order to dissipate your fear of rejection.

Next, let's look at the possibility of having to face a question, objection or topic that you are not prepared to answer or discuss. A knowledge base of two parties will, by default, be different. A discussion will illustrate the very backbone of the purpose/sale, a foundation which should be established prior to your sales approach. Preparation, research and industry knowledge are the only ways one will overcome this fear. Your ability to be a resource to your prospect is cultivated by an authentic interest in wanting to provide them with an applicable solution. In order for you to do this you absolutely must have some knowledge base of that which you are selling and the market to which you are selling it to. This only requires time and resources, both of which an effective salesperson will ensure they attain before they begin a sale.

The last fear we will look at is the fear of failure. This fear is defined by the possibility of losing something you have not yet attained and is another illusion. If you have not yet gained the business of your prospect then you have nothing to loose. The business relationship does not exist. Instead of wasting valuable time mulling over loosing a potential account, being beat by a competitor or approaching a large and profitable prospect take a step back and understand the larger framework behind the goal. Your purpose is to be a resource and success is only embedded within that framework. This shift in perspective will reinforce to you the formula, the antidote, to your fear.

Posted on Mar 16, 2010.

master print article Inside a Commercial Print Shop

Category: Print


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Keywords: commercial printing, offset printing, lithography, print, print shop

Posted on Mar 12, 2010.

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