Last week I spoke to a women’s networking group on the power of print marketing. Since the topic is fresh in my mind, I figured this is a good opportunity to share my thoughts with a broader audience. I always put forth that print materials should be part of your marketing plan because they help to:
- Lend credibility to your business
- Drive traffic to your website
- Build brand awareness
But they do so much more than that.
I always focused on how professional marketing materials will make business owners look, well, more professional. But I met a new friend recently and she gave me a new perspective. Her name is Marsha and she is an executive with American Airlines in Dallas, Texas. We were chatting over the phone, getting to know one another, and I told her I am a graphic designer who specializes in print materials. She was interested because she likes nice, pretty note cards to send to her friends. I explained that I do not really do those; I specialize in marketing materials for small business owners — things like personal brochures, newsletters and the like.
She perked up and went on for about 5 minutes about how, when dealing with business owners, if they hand her a nice, sleek brochure, it makes her feel good because she recognizes the time, effort and money they put into creating that brochure for her.
Basically, she feels that it is a reflection of how they think about her, because they invest enough effort and money into clarifying their message, putting on paper their offerings, along with the details, and then handing out something that is beautiful and of value for her to keep. Yes, keep!
Think about it.
If you’re a small business owner you most likely do a lot of networking. You go to events, give your 30-second commercial and hand out business cards. You connect with a few people. They like you. You like them. But chances are they will go home and get back to business as usual and forget about you. They may connect on social media, but you get lost in the hundreds of their other connections. They throw your business card in a pile. Will yours stand out? Probably not.
BUT, if you hand them a polished-looking brochure, chances are they’ll treat it differently. They won’t want to trash it because it looks and feels like something of value. They’ll put it in a special place, and every once in a while they’ll come across it and be reminded of you and your services. So when the time comes that they need your services, they won’t have to go to the Internet and settle for someone they don’t know. They’ll call you because (1) your brochure will remind them of how much they liked you when you met, and (2) they’ll be convinced that you run a successful, professional business because you put in the time, effort and money to invest in your marketing materials.
As women entrepreneurs, we invest in looking good. We buy the dress, the shoes, the bag — all in the name of making an impression and standing out from the rest. But for the most part, that’s where it ends. If you can justify spending $600 on a pair of shoes and call it “branding,” why wouldn’t you invest that amount in the items that really count toward your brand?
The perception that I get is that printed materials are expensive. They’re really not when you think about the mileage you get from them. If you hand out 1,000 brochures, you’re reaching 1,000 people. If you send out a quarterly newsletter, you’re establishing your authority. If you send out 5,000 postcards in a direct mail campaign, you’re bound to get a few customers that you wouldn’t reach otherwise.
Marketing is connecting.
It’s as simple as that. In public relations, the idea is that it takes seven impressions to get people to act. A brochure is just one more way to make an impression. A newsletter is another. So is a postcard.
Next time you decide to invest in your image, forget about buying another Coach bag or pair of Jimmy Choos. Think about spending that money on a nice printed brochure instead. It might not make you feel as good, but it will make others feel good about how you feel about them. And that’s priceless.
Carol Ann DeSimine would love to help you find ways to impart your love for your clients. Visit mybigeyemedia.com or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.