Digital marketing may get more attention these days, but print marketing is still an important part of promoting businesses of all sizes. More than three quarters — 76% — of small businesses say that ideally, their marketing strategy would incorporate both digital and print communication. Because print marketing has been around for a while, there’s quite a bit of evidence of what works. For example, 84% of Americans will remember a company’s name if they receive a branded promotional gift bearing that company’s logo. There’s also evidence of what doesn’t work for print marketing. If you’re planning a print campaign, keep in mind these five mistakes that can cost your business big time:
Not Defining a Specific Target Market
The biggest mistake people make in marketing, across the board, is failing to define their target market and research that audience. You might hope that everyone will want to buy your product or become a client, but when it comes to getting a return on your advertising dollars, specificity is key. When it comes to types of advertising that are given directly to people, rather than simply displayed (think direct mailers, as opposed to banners or online ads), then brainstorming and researching in advance become even more important cost-wise.
Not Creating a Consistent Campaign
No matter what your goal is with a specific print marketing campaign, each and every aspect of a marketing plan must be consistent with your brand image. People’s eyes like consistency because it then takes less work for their brains to make the connections between what they’re seeing and what they’ve seen in the past; being recognizable is an important part of marketing your company as a whole.
Not Investing in Quality Materials
If your print materials look cheap, your company looks cheap. This is one reason why using a commercial printing company that can offer you high-quality products is so important; commercial printing services can create materials you could never match on your company’s office printer. Also keep in mind that digital commercial printing opens up options for unique applications, including special paper, specialty finishes, alternate printing surfaces or unusual sizing, so you may want to investigate using a digital printing company.
Not Remembering Repeat Customers
Typically, 80% of a company’s business comes from repeat customers. So while a direct mail marketing campaign or outdoor banners designed to bring in new customers are part of a good marketing plan, you shouldn’t forget to build loyalty among your existing customers with custom promotional gifts and similar tactics.
Not Doing Sufficient Editing
There are two elements to the editing that should occur on all print marketing materials. The first has to do with volume; you should scrutinize each individual aspect of promotional materials and decide whether it’s contributing to the overall message. The less prospective customers’ brains need to process, the better. And second, proofreading is an absolutely essential part of creating printed materials. The time to read carefully is before 10,000 copies have been printed.
Have you ever worked on a print marketing campaign? Share what went well and what you wish you could change in the comments.
When companies are looking to refresh their image, they often turn to the Internet first. But the reality is that quality commercial printing is still one of the strongest ways to build brand awareness and draw in new customers. If you feel your business is languishing, consider one of these three strategies — or a combination of all three — to give it a boost:
- Think Bigger
If you want to create a bold new campaign that sets you apart from your competitors, wide format printing (also called large format printing) is one way to make your printed materials stand out. Wide format printing might take the form of advertising banners — vinyl banners are a popular choice because they’re lightweight, durable, and easy to hang and rehang indoors or outdoors — barricade or building wraps, even vehicle wraps.There are a few specific design concerns to keep in mind when you’re anticipating wide format printing of a project (you can look at past entries in this blog for some easy-to-follow tips), but in general the idea is simple: Grab people’s attention and then share a simple impression or message they’ll remember long after they walk or drive past.
- Give ‘Em What They Want
One basic marketing principle that always rings true, even when inelegantly stated, is that people love free stuff. If you’re looking to build brand awareness, then promotional gifts are a solid strategy. Research shows that 84% of Americans who receive a gift bearing a company’s logo are able to recall the company’s name later.Print companies offer a wide variety of materials that can be branded as gifts. Think calendars, bookmarks, water bottles, coffee mugs and other useful items that people will carry with them in their daily lives. Not only might they consider becoming regular customers of your company, they’ll spread your brand as they simply go about their daily routines while using your gift.
- Try Some Classics
Don’t be so focused on keeping up with the times that you eschew older strategies that have been proven to work, such as direct mailers. In contrast to large ads, this is a focused strategy designed to hone in on your target audience and persuade them to give your company a shot.Direct mailers have been around for a long time, but modern printing methods have made them much easier to design and affordable to print. Digital printing companies can offer the most cost-effective ways to customize these marketing materials, since each one will need a unique name, address and code.
Which of these strategies appeals to you the most? Wide format printing projects? More focused efforts such as direct mailers? Share your thoughts in the comments.