Your business card. When you started your own business, it was probably the first thing you had printed. Or when you joined your company, your business cards may have been waiting for you on your first day of employment. You may even have saved a business card from your very first job – that’s how powerful it is to see your name in print.
Amid the ongoing debate about whether direct mail or e-mail or social media is the best method to market to customers and prospects, very little is being said about the one thing that is crucial to the success of each – the message. Unless the message is relevant to the audience and persuasively presented, it doesn’t matter how it is delivered. So while the discussion about the delivery method continues, focus on developing good content and honing your writing skills.
Marketing consists of the strategies and tactics used to identify, create, and maintain satisfying relationships with customers that result in value for both the customer and the marketer. — Dr. Paul Christ
For long term success, every business or organization must attract and retain customers. Most of us understand the term marketing as the discipline associated with such activities.
Marketing encompasses a broad range of activities, from product development and pricing, to promotion and distribution. As your printer, we play a role in helping you to effectively promote your business’s or organization’s products and services.
The term marketing communications describes messages used to communicate with a market. Marketing communications focus on the products or services of a business or organization, rather than on the company or organization itself, and are used to create demand or position a company’s product or service.
The task of generating marketing communications often is the responsibility of the business owner, sales manager, or development professional. Once written, this information can be used to create a variety of sales collateral material – flyers and brochures, direct mail marketing packages, newsletters, press releases – and can also be used on company web pages and emails.
Think of marketing communications as salesmanship in print. And just as you carefully prepare and plan for a sales call, prepare and plan for salesmanship in print.
As you would expect, there are some products we typically print for many of our customers. Letterheads, note pads, thank you notes, newsletters, and brochures are common business printing projects for which we print multiple orders each week.
In this issue we’d like to suggest some options for refreshing the look of these printed materials… with a few simple changes.
In the past, all sales and marketing materials were printed. Later, the Internet added new ways to reach customers and prospects, and later still provided a way to interact with them, sometimes in real time. Over time, Internet-based marketing replaced some printed materials, enhanced others, and also provided new marketing tools.
Despite the popularity and success of these new marketing techniques, there remain some basic printed items that all businesses need:
• The corporate identity package consisting of 1) business cards, 2) letterheads & envelopes, 3) note paper, 4) mailing labels, and
• Sales material consisting of 5) a company brochure, 6) note pads, and 7) a direct mail piece.
“Postcards are the simplest, most cost-effective format available. They’re an excellent choice for making an announcement or driving customers to a store, website, or event.”
United States Postal Service
A postcard is one of the most versatile, inexpensive, and effective tools you can have in your marketing tool kit. Compared to the effort and cost of a brochure or a traditional direct mail package mailed in an envelope, a postcard is quick, easy, and a great way to stretch your marketing budget. In addition, some kinds of postcards will help you keep your mailing list updated.
Suppose that your business or organization has just purchased a new piece of equipment or has just launched a new service, and it’s time to get the word out. A multi-faceted approach usually works best. This might include taking out ads in newspapers or trade journals, sending out a direct-mail package or postcard, or utilizing social media. But one of the most effective methods is sending out a news release. Traditional printed press releases remain one of the best ways to get the news to the right audience, at the right time, very inexpensively.
A brochure is a descriptive piece of literature used for promoting your business or organization. It is one of the most important and fundamental components of marketing literature for businesses and organizations. Typically the first item produced after the letterhead, envelopes, and business cards, its purpose is to put a targeted message in the hands of prospects that is portable, easy to store, and easily passed on to others.
A printed brochure is an integral part of the sales process. It serves as a leave-behind after a sales call or meeting with prospective customers. It is also used as a way to respond to inquiries or to introduce new products or services when cold calling. As part of a direct mail campaign, it can be sent with a sales letter or used as a self-mailer. And finally, a brochure can be a point-of-purchase display to interest customers in additional products or services or to provide information.
Imagine this scenario:
In your business or organization, you are the person responsible for sales and marketing activities. It’s the time of year to formulate next year’s plan and determine how much executing it will cost. Will investing in transactional marketing strategies or building relationships with customers yield the best results?
On the one hand, transactional marketing – which focuses on single point-of-purchase sales transactions – can be maximized for transaction efficiency. This means less overhead costs associated with each sale and therefore a higher potential net profit. Transactional sales are appealing to buyers in today’s busy world because they take less time and can happen 24/7.
In contrast, relationship marketing focuses on generating sales by first developing a relationship with the buyer. This means the business must gather and analyze information about each buyer’s needs and wants in order to offer products and services that are useful and relevant. Such an approach takes business resources (time and money), which compromises efficiency. The tradeoff is that a relationship with the buyer can lead to customer loyalty and long term purchasing habits.