Yes, they should. I’ll tell you why (and try and keep it short). There are actually two different ways in which this is important.
1. A printer who’s “with it” keeps current with print technologies and trends. It’s not a matter of having and actually offering the latest and greatest that print has to offer. It’s about knowing what those new technologies are and how they are impacting and
It’s about professional development. This can be achieved by reading, going to educational events, identifying and following key influencers, and networking with peers. A “with it” printer makes it his or her job to keep up with changes and advances in the field, so that customers can be kept up to date as well. Customers want innovation from printers. If a printer has no idea what’s out there, he or she can’t discuss it let alone offer it.
I want to work with printers who are in the know. So should you.
2. A printer who’s “with it” is not afraid of social media and social networking. Last week during my webinar for APAOC, in which I appeared “live” on screen alongside my slides, an audience member made this point. She is a print customer in her 30s. She said she looks to see if a printer’s LinkedIn profile is current and robust. She likes it when printers communicate by text when it’s appropriate. She takes this sort of stuff as a sign that a printer is “with it.
I couldn’t agree more. It’s nice to know your printer’s part of these modern communication outlets, and joining in the social conversations.
Of the two ways a printer keeps current, I put more weight on #1: professional development. So much is changing in this industry, and there are so many new and cool ways for print materials to integrate with other media, that working with a printer who knows what the newest technologies are is important. I would choose a printer who can teach me about the possibilities that are out there – and just around the corner.
(c) 2013 Margie Dana.