Up to this point, we’ve covered the following common mistakes:
- Mistake No. 1: Thinking Locally Instead of Globally
- Mistake No. 2: Thinking You’re Just a Printer
- Mistake No. 3: Forgetting the Power of Consistency
- Mistake No. 4: Focusing Too Much on Yourself
- Mistake No. 5: Unintentionally Complicating Things
But, of all those mistakes, this last one is the one you should really be on the lookout for.
The Million Dollar Question
If you want to know how to eliminate all future growth for your print business, you can sum it up with these four words regarding your marketing strategy:
“We don’t need that.”
In truth, when printers say they don’t need marketing, more than likely that statement actually reflects a much deeper question similar to:
If I invest my time and money into marketing my print business,
will it really bring results?
The short answer is: YES!
Any print company willing to put in a reasonable amount of effort will begin to see a return on their investment – an investment in the future of their company.
But to help you, here are a few ways to get started with a marketing plan that works.
Know Your Target
Have you ever met a team without a mission?
If so, you know that teams that have no clear objectives are teams that are wasting time in aimless wandering. What’s worse, that wandering is probably costing them a lot of money and yielding fruitless results.
With any mission, you have to know what you’re aiming for, and marketing is no different.
To narrow in on your target, try these three simple tips:
- Start with what you DO know about your audience. Are they mostly businesses or consumers? What’s the age range of your current customers? Are they mostly male or female?
- Then, work on narrowing in your demographics. Begin to get familiar with tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics, and more.
- Lastly, create a buyer persona and build all of your brand and marketing messaging around that. What are their interests? How do they purchase?
Remember, the more you know, the better you ‘ll be able to hit your target.
Know Your Value and Communicate It
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” – Kathryn Stockett, The Help
One of the greatest tragedies in the printing industry is printers believing that they are no longer valuable and that printing is slowing dying.
If you feel that way, just imagine what your customers are thinking!
The reality is:
- You are valuable.
- The service you provide is valuable.
- The knowledge you have is priceless.
Yes, those are big, bold words because they’re true!
Use that knowledge to help your audience get better results. Create content for the sole purpose of being helpful to your customers. Not only will they love you for it, but they’ll also respond to it.
Work to create content that:
- Focuses on what sets you apart from others in your industry. What is your unique selling proposition (USP)? Is it your customer service? Your mailing services? The combination of services you provide?
- Then, clearly communicate the benefits that your USP brings to your audience. Remember, you might never win the price war. Someone, somewhere will more than likely always beat you on price. So, instead, focus on what makes you different and the unique value you bring.
Begin to Pay Attention
One of the simplest things you can do to create a marketing plan is to start paying attention to what you’re already doing and tracking it.
Do you know what percentage of your customers order by phone? By email? Online? In-person?
More importantly, are they ordering using the channel you want them to order from? For example, if you’re getting emails like crazy, but you have to spend your days re-entering all of those orders into your Print MIS system, you probably want to focus some marketing efforts to show your customers your online ordering capabilities. (And, you probably want to get an MIS system that will eliminate all of that duplicate data entry stuff.)
It’s a good idea to lay out some measurables in your print business, so you can easily see where you need to spend some time with your marketing.
To do that, create something similar to an Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) scorecard and begin to track things like email orders, phone orders, orders per day, average order cost, product type, order entry point, and more.
The information you collect here will bring tremendous clarity to your business and your marketing campaigns.
Share Your Enthusiasm
Marketing is almost always most effective when it does two things:
- It broadcasts your passion.
- It’s presented as a helpful solution to your customers’ pain points.
If anyone should have a passion for printing, it’s you as the printer and your team.
It’s important you share that passion through all avenues of contact with your customers and prospects. Does your passion come through on your website, your social media channels, your emails, and more?
If your customers and prospects can’t see and feel your passion for what you provide, they’ll have a hard time grabbing hold of the printing solutions you’re offering.
And remember, a lack of passion will always eventually show either in your customer service or in the quality of your products, so be sure to share your enthusiasm for what you do and how it’ll help others.
Build a Community
Have you ever purchased something and as soon as the vendor had your money, they had an attitude of “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out?”
Yeah. Not cool.
Once you’ve worked so hard on your marketing efforts to foster a relationship with your customers and prospects, the most important thing you can do is work to build a community of loyal fans. In other words, work to keep those customers you worked so hard to get.
The most helpful piece of advice we can give you when it comes to your marketing and executing a marketing plan is this:
Marketing is never a “one and done.” Marketing is the ongoing building and nurturing of a relationship before, during, and after a print order is placed.
How are you working to create and keep your loyal fans?
When you need to grow your business and sell more printing, we’ve got your back. If you’re ready to take your print business to the next level with marketing solutions that work, schedule a demo with us below and let’s get started.