Print is not dead. It’s on the rise in a variety ways. Everyone needs a professionally printed and designed business card. From there, your business niche and personal style determines what printed marketing materials are most effective.
People don’t meet in person as much anymore, but sometimes they do. We’re all accustomed to receiving emailed documents or learning more at a website. Perhaps all the conditioning to electronic makes print an even bigger attention getter, when done right.
The beauty of digital is that everything you produce can be made available in print and electronic.
Many people believe that digital content in the form of websites, PDFs, and newsletters is sufficient today. They feel so “old school” handing out a print brochure. Most of us remember the days when you had to print 5,000 to get a price break. The item aged out, but you still had 40 boxes in the storage room.
Digital printing made “on demand” and small print runs the solution for the overstock problem. For a while, it seemed offset printing would die out. We are finding that offset printing is coming back and offering prices and quality that give digital printing a run for the money.
For the hotshot salesman, carrying around a presentation folder or handful of brochures may feel cumbersome and even too “salesy.” But, there’s a time and place for everything.
Keep in mind that all forms of communication about your business, print or digital, should reinforce your brand and facilitate leads and ultimately sales.
Here’s our analysis of several print categories and when to employ them as part of a savvy marketing strategy, and sales too.
Brochures, Promo Cards, and Fact Sheets
- Shows, events, and networking groups
- Front office
- Leave behind after meeting a potential client/customer
- Other businesses that allow display, e.g. the carwash, local restaurant, doctor’s office, etc.
- A pocket folder is good when you leaving behind proposals or multiple documents, e.g. Realtors, bankers, gyms, personal chef
- Letterhead and envelopes are needed if you include a cover letter with a proposal and/or plan to mail anything
- You sell multiple products and parts or rent properties, e.g. custom moulding, beach rentals, furniture, metal components
- People reference your products often (don’t make them get online every time they need to look something up about what you do or sell)
Promotional Products – T-shirts, hats, pens, napkins, jump drives, golf tees, etc.
- Your brand can benefit from promotional products no matter what you do or sell
- When you host an event, napkins and pens with your name printed on them make an impression
- Anytime your name and logo is worn or displayed, it builds brand awareness
- Think carefully about what product fits best with your field. For example, service providers such as carpet cleaning and handymen benefit from magnets while high-end service providers and consultants get more mileage out of nice golf shirts
- Competitive services, such as carpet cleaning and landscaping, get business through direct mail
- The guy who sells pine needles in our neighborhood places his prices and phone number on a small piece of paper. He then puts the piece of paper in a small plastic, zip lock baggie with a few rocks. They toss the bag into the driveway of homes. It works for that product.
Books or Booklets
- If you are attempting to build a name for yourself as an expert in a field, a book is helpful
- Give them away or sell for a nominal fee at speaking engagements
- Research indicates that people are less likely to throw a book away than a brochure or other printed material
Newsletters and Magazines
- If you provide a high value, high trust product or service an email newsletter is spot-on. It will likely get you more ROI than any form of advertising. Consider a “best-of” print version of your newsletter quarterly or annually to share with clients via mail or at shows
- Trade associations are great candidates for printed magazines. If well done, people still like to hold something and read it. Reserve magazines for thought pieces and educational-like research.
Investing in a 3.0 website, Pay Per Click, and a host of other digital marketing components without getting your presentation materials looking good is like putting your high school senior photo on LinkedIn, twenty years after graduation.
Why? You don’t look like that in person anymore. If you present your company online as professional and contemporary, but in-person you look unorganized and “dated,” you’ll lose the prospect’s confidence.
Remember it’s still about building relationship and trust, even in the Digital Age.
We worked with a brilliant, well-established company that had the best value, knowledge, and delivery in their field, but kept missing opportunities with bigger clients.
The company created a concise, professionally designed “who, what, where, why” piece. It was designed for digital use and sharing as an 8.5 x 11 PDF. The front covered the value propositions. The back featured professional photos of the executives and brief bios.
They had this piece printed on high-quality paper, in full color for use in a professionally designed presentation folder. Their letterhead and business cards matched. The folder is left behind at presentations with a proposal, the overview piece, and a brief case study on one of their successes.
Marketing is about tomorrow’s business. A marketing strategy is going to cost something from a time and money standpoint. If you’ve taken the time to get clear on what you need. The investment will pay off.
Step back and evaluate what your business uses to tell your story to customers. Does it speak clearly and professionally?
West 65 Inc. is here to help you build an arsenal of digital and print marketing and branding tools. Contact us at 336-596-7514.