— Submitted by Susan Weiss, Manager, Worldwide Customer Business Development, Xerox Corporation550x72bannerPODI

A recurring theme at the initial sessions of the Print on Demand Initiative (PODI) AppForum in Las Vegas this week (Jan. 25-27) is that print providers need to have a social media presence.

We’ve heard this before — and we’ll hear it again, because the case grows more and more compelling.

In a session titled Web to Print, a panel of experts gave their views on the future of cross media. The most common answer: more integration with social media.

Additionally, Jeffrey Stewart and Robin Tobin of Trekk Cross Media presented data from a survey of senior marketing executives that showed social media is playing a role in every step of the sales cycle.

  • A whopping 81 percent say it generates awareness for their business.
  • Nearly half (48 percent) said it generated qualified leads.
  • An impressive 35 percent said it helped them close business.

At a social media session for DEX – Digital Exchange members, Kate Dunn of Digital Innovations Group noted that quantifying the ROI for social media activities is something many companies are still working towards. But that’s not a reason to wait. Like in the early days of the Web, print and communications companies that choose to not participate lost some of their shine as forward thinkers as well as an opportunity to build brand awareness.

Like the Web, social media can compete with print and complement print. Print and communications companies can’t afford to wait until the ROI picture is clearer. They need to understand social media as they would any competitor or any business opportunity.

The message from the PODI App Forum is that they need to develop their social media presence, to get smart about the different platforms, and to see where it takes them.

— Susan Weiss Manager, Worldwide Customer Business Development, Xerox Corporation