Jim Olsen edited the Fourth Edition of Digital Printing Case Studies for PODi. In the publication, he introduced the term marketing services provider to our industry when his analysis revealed that marketing support services were present in the overwhelming majority of the studies.
Building on the knowledge gained from the PODi project, Jim has presented over sixty Changing Profit Centers seminars throughout North America in partnership with PIA regional affiliates.
The seminar curriculum promoted the use of the term marketing services providers as a way to encourage commercial printers to think of themselves as solution providers having a new business model offering new digitally-based value added services. The key driver in the use of the term was to encourage printers to recognize that these services could return much higher profit margins than print thereby breaking the perennial commodity pricing problem.
The curriculum of Changing Profit Centers was geared towards commercial printers. Jim suggested that attendees consider rebranding themselves by modifying their name and/or tag lines to better describe their expanded business models; to wit: building a market-driven business designed to meet their present and future customers’ needs. He urged them to drop terms such as “graphics”, “litho”, and “printer” in their company names in the hope that their name would not be an impediment when offering their “marketing” services to existing customers and prospects.
The term MSP took hold and gave those who serviced marketers (and vendors) a sense of purpose, self-identification and direction.