“Our core business is helping small and medium-sized companies to be successful in the digital world,” says Bernhard Lüders, CEO of Sutter Telefonbuchverlag GmbH. This support is expressed in many online marketing services. Website, SEO, SEA or social media. New is their approach to assist customers with print procurement in tailor-made customer portals.

Partner

Sutter Telefonbuchverlag GmbH

Year

2020

Techniques

Brand portal, customer portal
CHILI editor, Quote-to-ReOrder module

From telephone directories to toothbrush effect

Sutter Telefonbuchverlag GmbH is one of the largest publishers of printed and online telephone directories in Germany. “In Germany there is still a lot of demand for printed telephone directories,”  Bernhard explains. “Sutter has been producing the directories since 1923 and has a top position in the German telephone directory market.” This family business has gradually expanded. With new companies and with new services. “The essence is that we help SMEs to find new customers through marketing services. The so-called toothbrush effect.”

Local marketing services for local entrepreneurs

The 350 employees are working from all over Germany. In this way they can best approach and serve the local companies. “Every local entrepreneur benefits from new customers. Whether it’s lawyers or plumbers. For this you can deploy very targeted local marketing campaigns. Online marketing always starts with a good website. You can’t properly target with Google Ads or social media ads when the basics doesn’t meet the standards . Your website must match the user experience, be mobile optimized, score sufficient speed in Google PageSpeed ??and have various, working links. Our media consultants can assist entrepreneurs with a modern website, effective SEO and SEA services and advertising campaigns on social media. We especially do very successful campaigns on Facebook. Facebook has the best options for targeting audiences locally. We manage such an advertising campaign at an extensive administrator level with many possibilities.”

Online customer portals for print services

Bernhard wanted to expand these marketing services with printing services. “The idea was to facilitate an online print platform for every entrepreneur. We started this development with a German software partner, but they were unable to translate this idea well. Eventually I ended up with the Dutch software developer Prindustry. Their experience in the field of web shops and customer portals matched our wishes. Based on this, Prindustry has developed customer accounts in the Sutter print webshop with specific print management modules.”

Dedicated customer service with every customer account

The offer of customer accounts is accompanied by a special customer service. “In normal times without a corona pandemic, our sales managers go to customers to collect their printed matter in a large envelope. We convert this printed matter into designs in the customer’s corporate identity. These designs are free of charge available in an own customer account in the Sutter webshop. A preview of this design can be viewed for every product. This preview is in low resolution and cannot be downloaded in PDF. In that way the customer does not order it elsewhere. The customer can select per product which he does and does not want. A quotation is included with all print products. Within a few mouse clicks, the customer orders the desired products. All product info is saved. The customer can easily view the chosen products and order them again.”

Steps to realize full potential

The online customer portals have a lot of potential, according to Bernhard. There are still a few steps to take to utilize that full potential. “First of all, we have to get past the corona pandemic”, Bernhard says. “Then our people can visit entrepreneurs again. In the meantime, we are working on the final steps in the platform. We outsource our printing assignments to Saxoprint and do not yet reach the entire range automatically. When all of this runs smoothly, we want to connect even more print suppliers, preferably from all over the world. The customer portals in theory have a great chance of success and we have to deliver on that now!”

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Ramon en Marc van Prindustry