It's often underestimated, the knowledge that us printers have of marketing. We've been a significant part of the marketing toolbox for many years. Equally, we're not a dead marketing method, like some would proclaim, just a time-served tool in the chest of marketing concepts.
I'm privileged to meet many business people, whether walking in through the door, or at business networking events. One of the things that does stand out, is how much tunnel vision startups are to their marketing strategies. Siting cost as the driver, it seems even the smallest of tangible tools can be overlooked, stating social or digital works due to it being cheap or free. Which makes for an interesting return on investment, as something for nowt doesn't always ring true. All businesses rely on the need for growth, growth isn't an easy win, it takes dedication, inspiration, and investment of all resources.
At the start of my career and even during my vocational education, the basics of marketing were drummed into us. Understanding your customer is key, having a "pen portrait" of who what where is essential, it then drives the following 4 P's
Product – The first of the Four Ps of marketing is "product". A product can be either a tangible product or an intangible service that fulfills a need or want of consumers. Whether you sell coffee or provide beauty treatments, you must have a clear grasp of exactly what your product is and what makes it unique before you can successfully market it. The pitch, tone of voice, visual identity should reflect the ideal customer and make it a potential part of their mix.
Price – Once a solid understanding of the product offering is established, making some pricing decisions is the next critical step. Price determinations will impact profit margins, supply, demand, and marketing strategy. Similar (in concept) products and brands need to be positioned differently based on varying price points, while price elasticity considerations may influence our next two Ps. Geographical implications also play critically on this.
Promotion – We’ve got a product and a price now it’s time to promote it. Promotion looks at the many ways to spread the word on the relevant product information to customers and differentiate your particular product or service. Promotion includes advertising, public relations, events and taster sessions, face to face networking, social media marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing, video marketing and more. Methods of engagement are critical here. If you're looking for a faster conversion, the tools and techniques used will change. The adage people like people, like themselves, always improves the conversion rate, due to if they like or do it, then I should. Face to face engagement should always be supported by relevant collateral to support the engagement. Each touchpoint on a customer journey will build the future potential to buy.
Place – Professional marketers will often say that marketing is about putting the right product, at the right price, at the right place, at the right time. It’s critical then, to evaluate the ideal physical locations are to convert potential clients into actual clients. Today, even in situations where the actual transaction doesn’t happen on the web, the start of a sales journey has many points of contact including web, referrals and many more before potential customers are engaged and converted to a sale.
So how does print engage with this, we are experienced in supporting small businesses, ensure that your products visual identity matches and works with your audience. We've got substantive experience in tailoring promotional materials to fit your budget and ultimately your price point. We have more tools on our promotional print chest than you think. From the obvious to the more subtle for brand awareness. Print is a tool that can drive traffic to your other communication channels to improve the customer journey for your potential customers. Along with solutions to help you sign and brand your "place" to ensure maximum visibility.
Whilst as a printer, we'll happily guide, support and ask questions to ensure your marketing buck, is getting you the best bang, we don't do marketing strategy or other media. We're fortunate to know many professionals who can help you. These professionals are the full source professionals who work across different media to maximise the impact and delivery of your marketing messages.