A lot of what we hear right now in the business world is the benefit of using social media for marketing. I have nothing against social media, but to rely on one marketing medium is very risky. The 'marketing mix' principle states that all businesses should have a mixture of marketing tactics implemented. This brings stability to your marketing and enables people to see your business via multiple formats. This blog will highlight some key print marketing strategies, which will enable you to stand out from your competition.
The overarching strategy of your business should determine your marketing message. This creates alignment between your flyer designs, your social media posts, the message on your website, and so on. This is a whole book of a subject, not just a short paragraph, however here are a couple of pointers to consider:
- What is going on in the external environment and how is it impacting your business?
- What are the rare or unique things in your business?
- How can you use your strengths (rare and unique attributes) to respond to the external environment, and then communicate an appropriate marketing message from this?
Here is an example: You have a building company where most of your clients are landlords, however, many landlords are now selling up because of all the profit killing regulations (external environment). You're uniquely positioned to have a team of multi-skilled tradesmen who can transform a house in 7 days. You could then focus all your marketing for the next 12 months around adding value and increasing sales speed of landlords properties, hassle-free.
How to implement the strategy
Once you've established what your strategy is, next is implementing it. Firstly establish which marketing channels (social media, PPC ads, flyer distribution, networking, etc) will be most appropriate. Then it's 'simply' a case of laying out a timeline on an Excel spreadsheet (or a Gantt chart) highlighting your plan of what to do each month, who's involved, and the associated costs. This plan will dictate how you will execute your overarching strategy.
For each marketing medium, there are various strategies you can employ to strengthen your brand and most effectively implement your overarching strategy. Here are six of the key print marketing strategies, which can achieve this:
- Brand in your hand. Business cards are your brand in your hand. They are necessary when attending any networking events and when meeting new prospects - they need to represent you well.
- Marketing tools. These don’t have to be bog-standard 130gsm A5 flyers! To stand out, opt for a unique shape; in the example above the shape of a house may be appropriate. Consider also what you’re doing with them - if handing out to prospects, informational and inspirational flyers are effective; if you’re distributing en masse then make sure it’s actionable; if utilising direct mail, then make sure it’s personal and relevant to the receiver.
- Stationery. It's always important to keep brand consistency with everything prospects and customers receive, so make sure your letterheads and compliment slips represent you well. Then make use of them - send thank you letters and/or send a gift with a handwritten compliment slip enclosed. Follow up is key in any business, and your branded stationery plays a key part in this.
- Signage. If you have premises or a company vehicle, then these can create free advertising space. Again, remember the signage you choose represents your business, so go for quality over quantity - one well designed sign will have more impact than an array of poorly thought out signs.
- The exciting stuff! Instead of going to a networking event and presenting with a boring roller banner, stand out with an impressive fabric banner, and even position a branded deck chair next to it. If you want to utilise local trade shows, there are incredibly cool fabric exhibition stands and POS items available to draw prospects in with.
- Products to keep clients. We all know that selling to an existing client is easier than selling to a new prospect, so do all you can to keep in touch with your client base. This can be through sending thank you letters, and doing direct mail campaigns to your client list as we have already mentioned. Then you can use the gift marketing strategy: send branded gifts such as wine or champagne bottles, branded Christmas cards, branded scratch card advent calendars, personal vouchers, and so on.
How to do it all
This is where we can come in. Either you can invest lots of time trying to bring all this together into a coherent plan, which includes all the artwork, ordering the different print items, and then organising the distributions, direct mail, installations and so on. OR you can get in touch with us and let one of our print marketing consultants look after the whole project for you. If you’re interested in utilising all the benefits of print marketing, please do get in touch with us today.