We’re a print shop in transition. But we’re not alone. As I mentioned in my last post, now’s the time for businesses—all businesses—to rethink the way they do things. So Oregon, along with every fast-food chain, tech start-up, and insurance company that wants to survive, is working to change the way we relate to our customers.

Why the change? Talking to customers used to be a one-sided conversation. We simply had to come up with a single advertising message, and get it in front of people. It was easier, maybe—but it’s no longer the way we operate.

Mass marketing reigned when Americans had three TV channels to choose from.  Big companies could run a prime-time ad spot and guarantee that a good part of the country would watch. But now, there are thousands of channels out there—not to mention the DVRs people buy for the sole purpose of skipping ads.

The same thing is happening in the printing world. As consumers turn towards digital media and away from print, companies are hard-pressed to reach viewers. And one-size-fits-all direct mail doesn’t work anymore. What printers (and any company that connects with customers through print) have to do is work harder to catch readers’ attention. That might mean personalizing a piece with a recipient’s name. Or tracking preferences before sending a piece tailored to his or her industry or interests.

We’re finding that the magic is no longer in mass-mailing as many people as possible—it’s in offering relevant messages to small, targeted groups. And Oregon is just the printer to fill that need. Our variable data and mailing expertise allows you to send messages as precise as you like. And our small-run capabilities mean your mailing list needn’t be large. And honestly, if there’s another printer or mailer in town that can better meet your needs, we’ll happily refer you.

We believe this approach—applying marketing best practices to the advice we give our customers, while also being honest and straightforward about what we do—will allow us to weather whatever changes come our way. We believe it’s a mentality other businesses should warm up to, too, if they want to thrive in the Relationship Era.

We’re a print shop in transition. And we’re okay with that.