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At Pryntbase we know a thing or two about marketing, we employ marketers and talk with them every day. And a question that we’ve had from many different people is “How do marketing agencies choose which print company they will work with?”. There are a number of common scenarios when marketing agencies decide on a print company, but there are also some standard things they look for when making a final decision as well.

In this article we’ll look at all of it!

Standard Criteria Marketing Agencies Look for in a Print Company

When marketing agencies decide to work with a print company, they typically consider several factors to ensure they make the right choice. Here are some common considerations:

    1. Quality and Capabilities: The print company’s quality of work and range of capabilities are essential factors. Agencies assess the company’s print samples, portfolio, and reputation in the industry. They may request samples or visit the print shop to see the quality firsthand. The print company should have the necessary equipment, expertise, and experience to handle the agency’s print requirements.
    2. Services Offered: Agencies look for a print company that offers the specific services they need. This can include various printing techniques (offset, digital, screen printing, etc.), finishing options (binding, folding, embossing, etc.), and specialty printing (large format, packaging, promotional items, etc.). It is important that the print company can accommodate the agency’s diverse printing needs.
    3. Cost and Pricing Structure: Pricing is a crucial consideration for marketing agencies. They compare quotes and pricing structures from multiple print companies to ensure they receive competitive rates. However, cost should not be the sole determining factor. Agencies consider the overall value provided by the print company in terms of quality, customer service, and reliability.
    4. Turnaround Time: Time is often a critical factor in marketing campaigns. Agencies assess the print company’s turnaround time to ensure they can meet project deadlines. The print company should have efficient production processes and the capacity to handle the agency’s workload without compromising quality or delivery times.
    5. Customer Service and Communication: Strong customer service and effective communication are vital for a successful partnership. Agencies look for print companies that are responsive, attentive, and collaborative. They prefer companies that have a dedicated account manager or representative who can address their queries, provide updates, and offer assistance throughout the printing process.
    6. Sustainability and Ethical Practices: Increasingly, marketing agencies prioritize sustainability and ethical practices in their partnerships. They may inquire about the print company’s commitment to environmentally friendly printing methods, use of recycled materials, and adherence to ethical labor practices. A print company with certifications or memberships in relevant sustainability organizations may be preferred.
    7. References and Reputation: Agencies often seek recommendations from colleagues, industry contacts, or online reviews to gauge the reputation and reliability of potential print companies. Positive references and a strong track record of delivering high-quality work are important indicators of a print company’s credibility.


Reasons Marketing Agencies Look for a Print Company

So we talked about what marketing agencies look for in a print company, but why would they actually be looking? There are several main reasons that we’ll share here.

    1. They don’t have a “go to” print partner and for every project they look at their options and get quotes every time.
    2. Many agencies already have a print partner, but may have had a poor print experience or the prices have been going up so they will look at other options.
    3. In some cases new print buyers will get hired at an agency and they want to make their mark by choosing their own print service provider instead of using who someone else chose in the past.
    4. If their current print company doesn’t do a specific service or can’t complete a project due to capability or bandwidth.


By considering these factors, marketing agencies can evaluate different print companies and select one that aligns with their specific needs, budget, and quality expectations. And by ensuring you are present when an agency goes looking for a new print company to use, you’ll be there as an option for them to choose from.