Accountability in Marketing: Essential Tips for Printing Companies

The best intentions seem to fall by the wayside without one simple yet hard thing: accountability.

For most of us, these intentions start out with a goal and some sort of declaration.

  • “I’m going to lose 20 pounds! Yeah, but how? I know! I’m going to start going to the gym every day and stop eating sugar completely.”

Or translate this over to the mind of a printer, and it might look something like,

  • “I’m finally going to market my print business! Yeah, but how? I know! I’m going to start sending a direct mail piece every month and regularly send marketing emails.”

While these are both fantastic ideas (and even strategies), they’ll both fall flat without some sort of accountability. As Bob Proctor says,

“Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result.”

-Bob Proctor

How can you move from intentions to results? Here are practical strategies to ensure your marketing efforts are as accountable as they are effective.

6 Strategies to Increase Accountability in Your Printing Company

Set Clear, Measurable Goals

If you and I were to have a conversation and I asked you why you were using a particular marketing approach, you’d likely respond with one general statement: “Because I want to sell more printing!”

The thing is, not all marketing is about (or should be about) a blatant sales call. Depending on the part of the print buyer’s journey you’re focused on, you might actually be aiming to:

  • Increase web traffic
  • Generate more leads
  • Enhance customer engagement
  • Solve customer pain points
  • Share expertise

So, rather than aiming to “increase sales,” set a target to “increase sales of business cards by 20% within the next quarter.” This clarity not only sharpens your focus but also helps to keep you more accountable by setting a specific goal.

Make It Routine

Our late founder, Mike Stevens, was on a mission to help printing companies avoid what he called “The Doom Loop,” a sort of twisted marketing logic that ultimately leads to business failure.

“The marketing doom loop happens when you allow yourself to think that you do not need marketing when business is good and cannot afford marketing when business is bad… If you allow yourself to think like that, either way, you lose.”

What keeps you out of this “Doom Loop?” Accountability through routine.

Just as you can’t get physically healthy by going to the gym one time, your marketing can’t be called healthy after one off-the-cuff campaign. Instead, establish an annual marketing plan that you can keep yourself accountable to, such as:

If you’re not sure where to start, schedule a free marketing audit to explore your options in getting help with this.

Gather Feedback

Feedback is a cornerstone of accountability.

Encourage your print buyers to provide feedback on their experience with your products and services. While you may think this sounds difficult, it doesn’t have to be.

Use survey tools, such as LoyaltyLoop, customer interviews, or simple printed feedback cards. Internally, encourage your team to critique and suggest improvements to your marketing efforts.

This open loop of feedback will help refine your strategies and show your commitment to meeting print buyer needs.

Learn from Your Marketing

Every marketing campaign offers valuable lessons.

Win or lose, take time to analyze the outcomes with questions, including:

  • What worked?
  • What didn’t?
  • Why did certain strategies succeed while others fell flat?
  • If I had to do it again, what would I do differently?

Document these insights and use them to inform your future campaigns. This will improve your marketing approach and solidify your standing as a learning, evolving organization.

Own Your Piece

When marketing efforts aren’t what you expect, it’s important to own your piece of the “blame pie” rather than point the finger at others.

Here are some examples:

  • I haven’t had one order on my website.
    • Consider your piece: Are you marketing your website through your other channels? If your website is the location of your online party, how are you getting the invitations out to your party?
  • I don’t see the point of social media. My audience isn’t there.
    • Consider your piece: Have you explored or asked someone in marketing about the advantages of social media? SEO? Online presence? Marketing other content that directs people to your website? While it might be easy to blow social media off because you don’t spend time on these platforms or don’t like them, it falls to you to understand what the benefits are to your business (and your print buyers).

  • Why do I need to email? I’m a printer.
    • Consider your piece: Email marketing is another invitation opportunity to invite people to your website and to connect with them on a consistent basis. Additionally, your knowledge can’t stop with only print. In reality, you and your team are communication experts, helping other businesses to get their message out, so you need to be well-versed in other channels besides just print.
  • Why do I need to send direct mail? It’s too expensive.
    • Consider your piece: The same idea applies here as to the example above this one, except this one should be even more obvious. If people aren’t ordering from you because they don’t know the quality of the product you produce, your piece is to provide samples of your print quality through the direct mailings you’re sending out. While you might be thinking, “How can they not know we’re fabulous printing?” they won’t know that unless you show them.
  1. Cultivate a Culture of Accountability

While not marketing-related, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the importance of fostering a workplace culture that values and practices accountability.

Encourage your team to own their roles in the marketing process, recognizing both their successes and areas for improvement. Celebrate achievements openly and discuss setbacks as opportunities for growth.

When accountability becomes part of your team’s DNA, it will naturally extend into every marketing initiative you undertake.

Written by

Rachel Nies

Director of Marketing, Marketing Ideas For Printers

Rachel has a passion for helping others succeed. She doesn’t like the limelight but will do everything she can to help you get there. A born implementer with a love for content creation, editing, project management and administration, Rachel uses her unique abilities as the Director of Marketing at Marketing Ideas For Printers, helping printers across the country sell more printing through marketing content and online ordering solutions.