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The Great Office Supplies Caper

Take Your Blinkers Off! 12 Steps to Digital Business Transformations!

by Ian M. Elliott | 6/1/17 7:41 AM

Here's a shot at a seventy-five word summary of a typical, independent office products resellers current predicament.

Tried e-commerce but no traffic, no orders, so went to Amazon instead. Tried social media but didn't know content was needed to drive audience building and engagement, so gave up. Dabbled in email marketing using Constant Contact (or similar) but, powerless to act post-campaign, because of dis-integrated IT systems and no way to extract business intelligence from data, so ..... gave up.

As a result, many of these businesses are stranded in the analog world with the Amazon marketplace model just driving prices down in a death spiral that no one can make any money on.

One way out of this scenario is to start down the path of a digital business transformation but, unfortunately, this option is full of its own challenges. So, before starting, a plan must be developed, goals established, and financial returns targeted. Most don't have the capability to accomplish this, so, most don't start, or give up soon after starting.

This is what we are trying to change!

Twelve Foundational Steps for a Digital Business Transformation:

Email Marketing

Email marketing is an important component of modern digital marketing. Check out our simulation model to learn how developing web traffic, and converting visitors to leads, becomes a major contributor to your marketing strategy and business development goals.

Reduce Customer Churn

Customer churn is the silent killer that takes down a business over time. It costs more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one and, in a mature, slowly contracting market, it's important to implement strategies to reduce churn.

Manage the Sales Funnel and Conversion Rates

A massive transition from analog to digital is underway. Nothing can stop it and independent office products resellers must join the digital revolution before it's too late. Leveraging technology alongside inbound digital marketing can reduce churn and improve conversion rates.

Maximize Email Marketing ROI

You may have thought email marketing was to prepare an email, assign a contact list, and hit send. That may be the mechanics of the process but not if you expect to make any money doing so!

Social Audience Building & Engagement

Social Media - love it or hate it, it's not going away! Almost every business using digital marketing is also leveraging social media. Although you can't develop an audience overnight, it must be started sooner than later.

Customer Retention and the Internet of Things

How much is it worth to you to know what printers your customers and prospects are using, how much they print, and when the cartridges are going to run out? Make them part of the Internet of Things and start to leverage the intelligence that's collected to improve your value proposition.

Develop Market Share in a Local Market

Your business plan may look great on paper but how do you test it for reasonableness? Use our calculator to determine the market share you need to develop in your local market to achieve your sales goals.

Manage Customer Acquisition Costs and Lifetime Values

What does it cost to acquire a new customer (CAC) and what's the projected lifetime value (LTV) of that customer? Understanding your CAC Vs. the LTV determines whether or not you have a viable business.

Invest Sensibly in Social Advertising

If you're a typical office products reseller you're not using social media to develop your business so, most likely, you'll not know what results may be possible from paid social advertising.

The Value of a Website Visitor

Your website must become your best salesperson, operating 24/7, and able to successfully convert visitors to leads. How do you quantify the value of a website visitor? Use our calculator, with your KPIs, to discover the value of your site visitors.

Implement Digital Incentive Plans

Office products is a mature industry entering a slow decline. How can you digitally motivate your salespeople and avoid losing your best as their commissions decrease in a shrinking market?

Inbound Marketing and the ROI

Inbound Marketing is not a silver-bullet solution and it's certainly not free. Experiment with our calculator to figure out the potential returns on investment from inbound marketing. What's right for you? Agency, or go-it-alone?


There's a saying "there's an app for that", which is what we decided was needed here. By the end of next month (July 2017) we'll have interactive modeling simulators to help "would-be" digital transformers with each of these twelve digital transformation components. Four of these apps are already available with the next scheduled for release June 12th.

The objective here is to provide the tools necessary to help a business understand how these components interact, to enable them to set goals, to measure their future performance versus the goals, as well as monitor returns on the financial investment.

There are no silver bullets and there is no overnight success but, for businesses that go down this path, there's a chance of survival while, for those that don't, it's only a matter of time before the lights go out!

The digital footprint for office products resellers is very weak and there's an urgent need for these businesses to get on their paths to a digital transformation. There's an office products growth opportunity to be gained by leveraging aftermarket office supplies alongside the new behavioral norm of buyers research before any contact with a salesperson takes place. 

See how Digitol can help you start to build a relevant, engaged social audience.

Learn how to develop a social audience and make it an indispensable part of your strategy. Digitol's turn-key solution for office products resellers helps improve the future for office supplies dealerships, providing all the tool needed to help increase market share and reduce customer churn.

Click the button below to learn more about the Digitol Service!

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Topics: Business Transformation, Social Media, Small Business, Web Traffic

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The Office Products Trilogy

Free e-Books

Authored by a 35-year executive veteran of the Office Products and Supplies industry and containing unique perspectives on the industry, the modern digital world, and roadmaps for independent office products resellers to set off down the path toward digital transformations.

Book 1 - The Path to a Business Transformation

Free e-Book DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION Click Here for Access

Book 2 - Mergers & Acquisitions: A $20 Billion Growth Opportunity

Free e-Book MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS Click Here for Access

Book 3 - How the Industry has Failed the Resellers

Free e-Book INDUSTRY FAILS RESELLERS Click Here for Access

Calculating Returns

For your Digital Strategy

The world has transformed from analog to digital. Digital equals data and most business operators don't like messing with data!

Check out our suite of Business Calculators!

  • Break the problem down into manageable segments.

  • Interactive - experiment and watch the results.

  • Develop a better understanding of how to translate effort into results.

Essential business tools to help you manage your digital transformation!

Calculators Click Here

Business Projection Model

Download our FREE proprietary business projection model.

It's been built to demonstrate a path for growth and profit potential that can be achieved in the office products channel on the back of an integrated business platform suitable for the 21st-century digital environment!

Financial Plan Modeling Platform Start Here

IT Scorecard

Download our proprietary Information Technology worksheet. Select answers from pre-populated drop-downs and develop your own task list and priorities for implementing a fully integrated software platform.

Once an integrated technology platform is established, then start to have some fun transforming your business, as you leverage technology alongside your personality in your market.

Access Free IT Scorecard