A few weeks back I went onto Twitter, and simply wanted to put #printmarketing as a hashtag, and see what responses I’d get. You know, like like the old saying “throw it on the wall and see if it sticks” or other phrases meaning to give something a try and see how people react. But when I started to enter “#print” and then continued with “marketing” added, as a single hashtag, it did not exist.
So, as you can see, I just simply asked that question. I got one “favorite”, and two “retweets”, which makes sense. Because it’s my opinion that printers do not know how to market themselves. Oh, sure, we work for marketing companies, and day in and day out have agency work. But do printers really know how to utilize some of the same skills and product that they print to market and promote themselves? I think if more printers (and I have several who follow me on Twitter) believed in the power of marketing themselves, my “favorite” and “retweet” numbers would be much, much higher. And, of course, it could also do with the fact that there WAS no hastang for #printmarketing.
WHY MARKET MY PRINTING COMPANY?
It is my perception (although one taken from a narrow sampling of print companies) that many – if not most – printing companies do not see a need to market themselves. They perceive that their existing client base is sufficient, and that the old tried ‘n’ true methods of lead generation and prospecting clients will continue to work. However, many of the print experts who study print companies advise that the methods of cold calling or just random calling businesses no longer works as efficiently. Printing companies that do not engage in the new methods of generating business – both with new accounts and established accounts – risk losing those accounts or generating new accounts, and may find themselves losing revenue, and eventually, may have to take measures to keep the business viable by means of employee layoffs, merger with another company, or even the most drastic scenario, shutting down the business.
SO, HOT SHOT. WHAT IS PRINT MARKETING?
Quite honestly, print marketing is just as it sounds – marketing your printing company. And as easy as it sounds, it is made up of many facets. For some printers, the only step they take is create a website. That’s fine, but it’s not enough. Here are some quick ideas to market your print company:
- Direct mail
- Structural collateral material
- Branded collateral material and stationary items
- Social Media
- Promotional materials
- Email marketing
- Case studies, educational materials, and/or seminars (i.e., the “lunch ‘n’ learn” format)
- Online storefront
Each and every one of these are vital not only to a printer’s client, but to the printer as well. In the following weeks we’ll review a few of these each week, and explain them in more detail. We’ll look at each of those points and the things you as a printer can do to embrace them, and use them successfully.