By Joel M. Albrizio, President

Why Hire An Advertising Agency To Handle Your Future?.....So You Have One!

50% Of All Circular Printers Will Fail....It Is Not If, It's When!

So when that printer takes you on a plant tour and you see all of this print iron they are so proud of, think about the debt service attached! Ask why few banks no longer originate loans to circular printers.

This week, Miami Valley Publishing of Indiana was the latest circular printer to close their doors....with little or no notice to the grocery retailer or wholesaler.

As of the publishing time of this article, Miami Valley customers are struggling to find providers to maintain their advertising programs... should that even be possible.

For this reason, most if not all marketing and advertising should be handled by an advertising agency, not a printer. Your printer WILL fail.... if your source is an advertising agency, you need not loose your creative source, all of your history, and future planning.

Agencies will balance the print sources....keep multiple print options available and never miss a beat when the circular printer fails.

Major companies like Ahold, Whole Foods, Publix, and Safeway would never allow their future to be solely in the hands of a circular printer.

Why Will Circular Printers Fail?

One observation is circular printers are in essence analog, and advertising agencies, and the world we all live in, is digital. Advertising agencies handle work, and its resulting billing, as it migrates from print to digital. So as the print portion of any individual customer is reduced, the agency increases its billing from the digital side of the business.

Vertis Communications Closed, Leaving Retailers High & Dry!

Vertis, one of the largest circular printers in the United States, closed a couple of years ago. Long before Vertis closed, Adlife made a presentation to Vertis for them to white label a number of Adlife digital products. While interested in these new releases, final response was....

Vertis Explains...."We Find It Difficult To Swap Analog Dollars (Print) For Digital Dimes."

Less than two years later Vertis closed its doors for the last time. Years of information and marketing plans, developed at great cost by Vertis customers, were lost with it.

As the retailers' advertising budget goes digital, with all of the digital channels like Facebook and Twitter, just to name a few, day by day the circular printers' sales and margins continue to decline.

As if the digital revolution wasn't enough, let's stop and think about all of the consolidation in retail and wholesale food today. Just think of how many retailers we thought of as solid brands no longer exist.

Twenty years ago grocery wholesalers littered the landscape. Today, they are few and far between, leaving most food retailers in the position of ordering instead of buying.

Going Forward The Retail Food World Will Be A Digital.....Period.

Retailers will always need store copies, but the large print runs will become smaller and smaller as the newspapers we were once accustomed to continue to shrink or disband.

How About Valassis.....Can I Still Mail The Circular?

Yes, we will always be able to mail your circular.....although, a question I often ask retailers is, "If your customer reads the news online, why wouldn't the customer read your ad online?" We always preach a blended budget of both print and digital.

Keep In Mind, You Read This Article On A Digital Device!

So all of this being said, how does the retailer manage his or her print budget responsibly? The key word being responsibly.

As a food retailer or wholesaler realizing the retail environment is changing at warp speed, we must change with the times. While seemingly self serving, it is only good business to move the creative aspects of your retail marketing out from under a dying industry....your printer.

An advertising agency, be it Adlife or any number of our qualified competitors, offer marketing and its resulting advertising in each channel, be it digital or print, with greater expertise than the printer, often at a savings.

Agencies manage your print budget and have many sources. When your print provider does scale back or closes, the agency has the appropriate options for you to save your valuable message to your customer.

There is no greater concern when a print provider closes than having all of your retail marketing and advertising strategies lost within a closed building.

So while we all look at the retail stores we are so concerned about, quietly in the background, an entire print industry is disappearing. With the disappearing printer may go the history your company has worked so hard to build as well as much of your future planning.

We Live In An Age Of Specialists! 

Just as we would for our own personal health, it is important for our corporate health to hire well trained and experienced specialists to manage our business health.

Recognizing communication changes while seeking professional agency experience will accelerate your growth, while your competition struggles with all of their files in a locked building.

In closing, many have asked why I choose to write about what I see in the supermarket industry today and my ideas. At Adlife we believe great ideas and its resulting branding will give new life and direction to any company. So for that reason we chose to open the discussion.