Interview series: Dexter Harriss, Marketing Manager, HP's B2B Imaging and Printing Group

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Interview series: Dexter Harriss, Marketing Manager, HP's B2B Imaging and Printing Group

Simon Quicke

Presenting a good image is something that every business wants to do regardless of their size and balance sheet. Creating and developing a brand is an ambition that many firms have and work hard to do to establish a strong position in the marketplace.

Apart from a handful of exceptions most company logos are in colour and most of the more memorable marketing campaigns stick in the memory because of the combination of content as well as the vibrancy of the presentation.

But some companies continue to miss out on one of the most powerful ways of enhancing their communications and fail to print presentations, letterheads, brochures and marketing campaigns in colour.

Fears about cost can be challenged and doubts about the look and feel can be put to rest with the range of HP Officejet Pro Printers and All-in-Ones which can produce print shop quality prints.

As previously covered in this campaign there are plenty of small firms using the wrong type of print technology but beyond choosing the right hardware there are also plenty of SMEs that continue to resist using colour.

MicroScope talked to Dexter Harriss, Marketing Manager for Hewlett-Packard's B2B Imaging and Printing Goup, who is in an ideal position to talk about the benefits that SMEs can get access to if they choose to print in colour.

"Colour documents are going to be more striking than just a black and white piece of communication," he says.

"SMEs don't have to sacrifice colour printing and the ability to make the best impression possible" he adds.

With a colour printer sitting in an office the benefits for customers also include flexibility and control, particularly of costs, as well as ensuring no one heads out to a sales meeting presenting their brand in bland black and white.

One of the key benefits is control over the printing process. The usual routes smaller firms take over colour printing is to go to a third party and hand over responsibility for the creation to them.

But often the minimum print run quantities of a print shop can be costly when all the customer has in mind is a small amount of printing.

A limited print run can be judged on a print per page basis and for everyday printing it can be much more affordable when the smaller jobs are handled in-house.

"If you have the right mix of affordable everyday printing then this is the right thing to be doing," adds Harriss.

But as well as saving money and reducing the costs of having hundreds of leaflets and brochures left sitting in corners because they had to be ordered to make up a print run, there are other benefits to having a colour printer.

"Things are constantly changing and you don't want to be committed to large quantities of printed material that may end up in a recycling container" he says.

The word Harriss uses repeatedly is 'flexibility' and he says it allows customers to react rapidly to changing circumstances.

"If you are in a small business you have to be very flexible and quick to respond. You can gain an advantage over the competition by simply tailoring your communications," he says.

Plus with print shops often only able to offer a 24 hour turnaround, it also delivers control over time back into the hands of the customer.

With a printer in the office the opportunity to run-off special promotional materials, update the marketing and even produce specific material for customer meetings becomes so much easier.

The message for the reseller is that as well as advising your customers to think about their choice of printer there also needs to be a consideration given to colour.

With the economics of colour so much more attractive and the results so striking some education needs to be done by channel partners to set out clearly the advantages of HP Officejet Pro Printers and All-in-Ones and the benefits of colour printing.

"Anything you take out to a customer is a representation of your brand and you need to give it the best you can because brands are everything," adds Harriss "Don't sacrifice putting your best foot forward because of a fear of colour printing."

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