Archives for September 2012

8 Thoughts On Marketing Print Services

Step up marketing. In looking at cutting expenses, frequently one of the first cuts is in marketing. This can be a critical mistake.

Control the external message. One way to make sure that you are in control of the message is to stay in front of the customer both through marketing avenues and personal one-on-one visits.

While others are cutting back on client visits, communication, advertising, and public relations, you can use communication avenues as a differentiating tool. As one industry leader put it: “…we are taking every opportunity to make sure the company is perceived as progressive, financially stable, and completely reliable.”

Stay in front of your target audience with relevant communications. It’s absolutely critical to build and maintain top-of-mind awareness, as well as position your brand. Look for articles on the Web that have value to your clients and prospects and pass them along. There are also companies such as mine that will create that content for you.

Save production and postage costs by utilizing email to distribute this information. Email is an effective and inexpensive way to communicate. Of course, it you want to add the element (and cost) of print communications, a cross-media effort will be even more effective.

Some companies (hopefully, you’re one of them) will ramp up their sales and marketing activities in response business conditions. Communicate with your audience at least every 60 days (preferably 30 days) to ensure that your message doesn’t get drowned out.

Some companies will begin to cut back on their efforts. Take advantage of this. Overtake these companies in the minds of your target audience. Position your brand as a thought leader.

Be an efficient marketer by utilizing your dollars to reach and effectively communicate with the largest audience possible. Sales is a numbers game. Each of my clients reaches between 300 to 3000 people every month for about the same cost as an expensive client dinner or a round or two of golf.

Take the paddlewheel approach. People need to hear your message repeatedly. Pass on large, one-time expenditures and opt for repetition instead.

How Do You Stack Up?

Here is a partial print marketer’s checklist, which I think bears repeating. How well do your business development efforts stack up?

  • Is your database growing? If you’re prospecting, your database should always be growing. Data is at the heart of all marketing efforts. Maintain it, manage it, grow it.
  • How often do you touch each contact in your database? Aside from establishing relationships, keeping your company top of mind is critical if you want to benefit from the instability that exists in today’s print marketplace.
  • If a prospect or customer were to visit your website, what would their perception of your company be relative to that of your main competitors?
  • If a prospect or customer were to do a search for you online, would your company appear on the first page? SEO is more critical than ever.
  • If a prospect or customer were to search their inbox or collection of marketing collateral, would they easily find materials or communications from your company?
  • With so many people now utilizing social media, would it be easy for a client or prospect to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn? At the least two of the three?
  • With client engagement so critical, does your company produce a branded newsletter that offers a) high value content and b) is a good harbinger of your brand?
  • Is your company being proactive to assure your clients that you are staying abreast of the latest trends and technologies (think QR codes, PURLs)?
  • In terms of promoting your company’s marketing capabilities and services, does your company lead by example?

At the end of the day, most people will give their business to the company that is least likely to screw it up! Positioning your brand as a thought leader and fostering trust and credibility is the key to growth.