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Balancing Print and Digital: Cost-effective Customer Communication Strategies for Today’s PSP

Often, print service providers (PSPs) find themselves at the intersection of tradition and innovation, grappling with the challenge of integrating traditional print methods with the opportunities presented by digital channels. Customer communication management (CCM) remains a vital aspect of PSP operations, demanding a strategic approach that harmonizes print and digital channels. Let’s explore the intricate realm of CCM in the PSP industry and how PSPs can craft cost-effective communication strategies to navigate the complexities of contemporary markets.


Escalating Production and Operational Costs:

  • Problem: Traditional print methods, along with distribution and storage, are inherently cost-intensive. These costs can quickly escalate due to factors like rising material costs, inefficiencies in production processes, and the physical space required for inventory.
  • Impact: Without proper management, these escalating costs can eat into profit margins and make it difficult for PSPs to price their services competitively.

Adapting to Digital Trends:

  • Problem: The digital landscape is continuously evolving, influencing customer expectations for faster, more personalized communications. PSPs face the challenge of integrating these digital solutions with traditional print in a cost-effective manner.
  • Impact: Failure to effectively integrate can result in reduced customer satisfaction and loyalty, as businesses that cannot offer a seamless digital experience may seem outdated or disconnected from their customers’ needs.

Regulatory and Compliance Costs:

  • Problem: Compliance with industry regulations (such as data protection laws and environmental standards) requires investments in technology, training, and systems to manage compliance.
  • Impact: The costs related to maintaining compliance can be substantial, and the penalties for non-compliance can be severe, including fines and damage to reputation.

Market Competition and Cost Pressures:

  • Problem: The print industry is highly competitive, with numerous players competing on price and service offerings. PSPs must innovate continuously to offer value-added services without inflating costs.
  • Impact: There is constant pressure not only to maintain but also to reduce prices to attract and retain customers, requiring PSPs to find new ways to cut costs without compromising service quality.

Best Practices for Cost Optimization Using CCM

Advanced Analytics for Precision Targeting:

  • Strategy: Utilize advanced data analytics tools to analyze customer data and predict buying patterns, preferences, and behavior.
  • Benefits: This leads to more effective targeting, which can reduce wastage associated with irrelevant communications and improve ROI by focusing on high-value customers and prospects.

Efficient Print Management:

  • Strategy: Implement techniques such as batch processing, which consolidates print jobs to reduce setup times and costs, just-in-time printing to reduce inventory costs, and variable data printing that allows for customization without large stockpiles of pre-printed materials.
  • Benefits: These methods decrease material waste, reduce storage space requirements, and lower the cost per unit, leading to overall cost efficiency in print operations.

Digital Channel Integration:

  • Strategy: Seamlessly integrate digital communications (email, SMS, social media) into the traditional print framework. This hybrid approach meets customers where they are most active and reduces reliance on costlier print formats.
  • Benefits: Digital integration reduces the volume of printed materials, lowering production and distribution costs while increasing reach and engagement through customers’ preferred channels.

Automation of Workflow and Compliance:

  • Strategy: Implement automation technologies for workflows to streamline processes from order intake through delivery. Automate compliance processes to ensure regulations are met without manual oversight.
  • Benefits: Automation significantly cuts down on labor costs and reduces the likelihood of errors, ensuring compliance and operational efficiency without constant human intervention.

For PSPs, adapting to and integrating CCM into their processes not only addresses the challenges of escalating costs and competitive pressures, but also drives significant improvements in operational efficiency and customer engagement. Through strategic investment in analytics, process optimization, digital integration, and automation, PSPs can achieve a delicate balance between cost reduction and quality service delivery, positioning themselves for success in a rapidly changing digital landscape.