Print marketing …My Views

Your business is now open; you have identified your target market and have just finished your website. Social media is next; You Tube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook all have your information posted. What next?

Let’s look at a few statistics:

  • Between 1995 and today, the number of registered domains has gone from 15,000 to 350,000,000.
  • Every second two new members join LinkedIn.
  • On average there are 12 billion searches per month on the web in the United States

No, I don’t know all the statistics, but I do know that there are thousands and thousands of small businesses trying to get attention on the web. I believe that a presence is necessary both on social media and on a well-designed web site, but relying on this as a major source of new business may be very difficult. I believe that the majority of small business owners that rely solely on their web site and social media for new business are going to be disappointed.

In the case of a small business owner that serves a local market with a product or service and has correctly identified a target market, a print marketing campaign may be a good way to give a business a jump start or a “shot in the arm” for an older business.

Just as with an online marketing campaign, there is only a short window to make an impression. The decision to open or to recycle direct mail occurs within seconds of it being received. Attention-getting formats such as a postcard or an unusual color or a different size marketing piece may cause material to get a stronger review. The strength of the offer also plays an important role in the response rate in direct mail.

Print material is not used only for direct mail. I worked with a new business for which we created an old fashioned “door knocking” campaign combined with a data base blitz. The approach was simple: hand deliver the printed marketing material to a target market with the promise of a follow up call the next day. The goal was to create 100 personal calls a month, five a day. This particular effort was for a B2B client. While not everyone became a customer right away, my client also offered a value based newsletter to everyone and had a positive acceptance of over 64%. In my own research I find that very few small businesses have an opportunity to share their value proposition to 100 possible customers in their first month.

My intent today is to make you aware that printed material should be part of all marketing campaigns.

Learning from your mistakes is an over-rated statement; it’s better to do it right the first time.

C

Nick Petra CFP

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