As I’ve developed my marketing business over the past two years, I often find myself giving the same advice to my clients. These 12 tips are some of the most common suggestions I share with print company owners, so I decided to compile them here “in brief” to help other print CEOs who might be struggling with their marketing plans.
- Always approach any marketing effort from the perspective of your ideal customer. Get inside their heads. Don’t think like a printer; think like a print customer. What matters to them? What would impress them? What do they need to know about what you offer?
- Remember this: what’s common knowledge to you may well be new and helpful information to your prospects. Basic print industry know-how and technical tips make for great content marketing.
- If you serve particular markets or distinct types of customers (designers and print buyers and brand marketers, for example), develop marketing messages specifically for each type.
- Make your marketing personal. Tailor it to your audience and make it about them. And give your marketing campaigns your personality. Try not to sound like every other printer. Put your own stamp on your web site, your direct mail campaigns, your videos, and so on.
- Keep in mind that marketing your company is not about your equipment. It’s about what you can accomplish with it. What are its special features and capabilities that directly affect customers’ needs and/or solve their problems?
- Keep in touch regularly with your customers and prospects. Use some combination of these channels: direct mail, email, social media, phone calls, events, videos, and blogging.
- Confer with your sales and service reps regularly. What are they hearing from customers? What kudos keep cropping up? What complaints or other issues? This is important information for your marketing.
- Load up your marketing efforts with visual imagery. It’s your business, for Pete’s sake.
- Your sales reps are not in charge of marketing. Somebody else has to be.
- Marketing is not a “one-and-done” situation. It’s a constant. It’s ALWAYS time for marketing.
- Your marketing materials need a consistent look. Make them professional and proofread everything a thousand times. Recently I came across a gorgeous magazine ad for a printer. There was an unfortunate typo in the company’s tagline.
- You don’t have to be everywhere – find the appropriate marketing channels and develop those muscles. Do what comes naturally and get comfortable with that. Maybe it’s videos, or blogging, or an Instagram account. Create a plan you can commit to and live with for at least 12 months, and go from there.
The late, great Michael Jackson sang “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.”* When it comes to marketing your business, just don’t stop. Period.
*Got you up and dancing now, didn’t I?
(c) 2015 Margie Dana.