By PrintAction Staff
By PrintAction Staff
Renée Walsh is Vice President, Enterprise Sales, at TI Group, where she works with clients to help strengthen their brand identity, grow their business, and gain market share. In this Q&A, Walsh shares her thoughts on opportunities in the industry and how print service providers can stay competitive.
PA: How does TI Group continue to innovate after 40 years of business?
RW: We have to listen to our customers. We have to really and truly understand our client’s business. Understanding their needs drives our innovation areas and where to make investments. To that end, we are very focused on ensuring proper inputs to the print production process. We have custom-built solutions for our clients to organize their data and streamline workflows. Whether the data is a store profile, a print specification or a complex distribution, we have to expertly manage this content. In addition – and most importantly – the talent at TI Group is outstanding, such a great group of hardworking people! It is our team that keeps TI Group successful.
PA: What do brand owners ask for?
RW: Brand owners are constantly looking for ways to lift sales and raise brand awareness. This translates to innovations in retail and unique brand activations/shopper experiences. TI Group is constantly presenting big ideas to our clients. Of course, in addition to exceptional print quality and brand consistency, marketers and visual merchandisers today rely on trusted print service providers for speed to market and full service solutions. This is the value that TI Group delivers, being able to produce across several platforms from ideation through to fulfilment.
PA: In this competitive landscape, how can printing companies win more sales?
RW: I strongly believe that people buy from people and therefore at TI Group, we strive to showcase the best client experience. We pride ourselves in our loyal and long standing relationships. We translate these successes into organic growth and new business partnerships. It is imperative that we understand our client’s needs and objectives so that we can bring more solutions. TI Group has grown through referrals and recommendations. There is no silver bullet for winning new business but it is very important that we do good work and deliver on time, on brand and on budget.
PA: How is the state of the print industry?
RW: Our industry is complex and rapidly changing. As a whole, the industry is regularly introducing new products and setting the bar higher and higher for value-adding services. The challenge for print service providers is to adapt quickly to new market needs. Print used to be strictly a mass-media tactic, yet this has changed with customization capabilities. Although the industry is evolving and refining, print will continue to be relevant and thrive!
PA: What are some of the biggest opportunities you see?
RW: Digital technologies and variable data printing present the opportunity for personalization. This is not new in the direct mail world, but we are seeing this in retail where messaging is localized at the store level — creating intimacy with the butcher or baker with a story about their background and curated recipes, for example. We are also seeing this with short-run digital packaging, which has been a growth area for us at TI Group. Customers are willing to pay more for a personalized product and are more willing to share personal information in exchange for an individualized experience.
PA: How did you get started in the industry? What attracted you to it?
RW: When I was in high school, I worked on the yearbook committee and learned about layout, graphic reproduction and print production. My guidance counsellor introduced me to Ryerson University’s GCM program. Once I got hands on design software and film, I was hooked! As an intern in the program, I worked on both packaging and print advertising projects. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing the results of your work in the marketplace, knowing that you played a significant role in its execution.
PA: Why do you think print continues to be relevant in a digital future?
RW: As exciting as our digital future may be, print will always be relevant! Savvy marketers know how to integrate multiple platforms, media and touchpoints for the best results. There will always be mail, packaging, corporate interiors, wayfinding and other POP-printed signage or displays. Print complements digital in a tactile and memorable way.
PA: What is most exciting about print today?
RW: I get excited about executing outstanding creative and helping clients get a return on investment/experience. We all win when we can help brands with engagement, adoption, retention or sales success.
This article was originally published in the December 2019 issue of PrintAction, now available online.