Online marketing is the hottest thing since sliced bread right now, and rightfully so with millions of people across the globe connected to the Internet for hours on end each day. And when a consumer wants to find a particular product or service, where do they look? The Internet. However, print marketing is still important and a crucial element of a small business marketing campaign.
Finding directions to a business online is so convenient, but how is a customer to find your business if it doesn't have a sign clearly posted? And how would you know what to order at your local restaurant if the special board hadn't been printed out for you on a clear vinyl poster or a nifty menu? And when's the last time you threw away a paper coupon from Kohl's? Print marketing is still a very important element of your business marketing mix.
Top 5 Reasons You Still Need Print
- Direct Mail Promotions
- Reaching Specific Market Segments
- Niche Marketing Reach
BrandingIs your business differentiated from others in your local area? Branding is essential for creating long-term trust and repeat customers in your area. When given a choice between two similar products or services with the same price, 9 times out of 10 buyers will opt for the brand they recognize. To properly brand your business locally, you've got to reach out to your target markets via all outlets including print, Internet, television, and radio.
Direct Mail PromotionsDirect mail promotions are especially effective for local service businesses and restaurants. While many of the offers go straight into the recycling bin, most people hang on to local restaurant coupons and home service offers because they appear to offer a monetary value unworthy of the discard pile. And again, the mere mention of your company name to possible customers reminds them of your brand.
VisibilityYour business needs to be easily recognizable with clear signs that are streamlined with your company's logo, unique mix of colors, and specials. If you've got a crumby sign that's been painted over with corrections or (sigh) misspellings, go buy a new one! Banners with specials clearly posted are also a big for converting browsers into buyers. If you're going to run a special, make a unique sign with a simple catch phrase to lure potential buyers in. Menus, business cards, and brochures should also display your business information utilizing the same brand theme.
Reaching Specific Target MarketsWhen targeting certain demographics, it's important to remember that certain promotional efforts are much more effective than others. Some people still use the big yellow phone book! I know it's surprising, but it's true. Also, specific local market segments are easier to capture through local neighborhood publications, newsletters, and magazines distributed in a local area. Don't miss an opportunity to capture these customers.
Niche Marketing ReachNiche marketing can be tricky, especially if you're not familiar with your competition's strategies. Find out where your competitors are buying print ads and see if you can get one there too. Also, many local news and media publications publish local event sponsor profiles next to event calendars. For example, if you're a local bra boutique and you want to target a niche female market, the logical thing to do is sponsor a local breast cancer fundraiser. Whatever your niche market entails, you can't go wrong with sponsoring local charities and non-profits.
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