Printed materials still have real power, even in the digital age22nd Mar '16
We’ve all seen the TV advert. The florist who uses a well known ‘make and print’ website to create her flyers and now the orders are flooding in.
Then there’s the plumber who prints his own business cards and trade is booming. It always makes us cringe just a little.
Not because there’s anything wrong with that website (as a business concept, it’s genius). Nor is there anything wrong with small businesses using template designs for their marketing materials because the budget is tight.
It makes us cringe because it creates an expectation that you can DIY a flyer and get the same end result as working with professionals who understand your business and what will really work for you.
And by ‘really work’, we’re not just talking about the tangible, material result that looks and feels great.
We’re talking about the actual end result you’re out to achieve – be that awareness, success in a new marketplace or increased sales.
And that’s the crucial bit. Your printed materials aren’t just there to look nice. They’re there to do a job. And if you want that job done properly, you need the right guidance and the right tools.
DIY websites are great, but they are what they are – they offer standard templates and services that anyone can tap into, like the florist next door to yours, or that plumber down the road.
If you want to give your business a competitive edge and stand out from the crowd, you’ve got to think a little differently from the crowd.
And that’s where investing in professional services really pays dividends.
Here at Blue Rock, we’re always asking our clients ‘why?’ – so we can get to the bottom of their business needs and offer the right mix of marketing solutions that deliver real results.
If we don’t think something will work, we won’t recommend it.
However, when it comes to investing in the very best printed materials your budget can afford, we’ll always recommend it as part of the mix.
The power of printed
In the new age of digital marketing, some may question whether printed materials still have a place. I mean, who needs to buy a birthday card when you can send an e-card, right?
Exactly. When was the last time you felt a glow when an e-card appeared in your inbox on your birthday?
In the same way a thoughtful, hand-picked birthday card always makes you feel happy inside, thoughtfully created printed materials will always hold real power for your business.
1. The power of tangible
Printed materials offer you an opportunity to connect with your customers in a physical way.
We humans are tactile beings and we like something to hold. That’s why we want to get that birthday card through the post or take something away from a sales stand. It just cements things.
We also quickly form impressions based on how something looks and feels.
That last point is pivotal when it comes to your printed materials – from how they look (colour, design, images) to how they feel (glossy, matt, recycled paper), these are important elements when it comes to leaving a lasting impression of your brand.
Once your customer has your flyer or brochure, that’s their tangible guide to who you are and what you offer – and you want them to remember you for all the right reasons.
If your materials are memorable, feel good and look good, your customer is more likely to feel good about you, too.
If they’re poor, flimsy or even just unremarkable, it may not end so well.
2. The power of retainable
If your customer keeps your printed materials, it’s a good sign for your future relationship.
To encourage that retention, create something great. Create something you know will work for them, like an arty postcard or a brochure that’s a pleasure to browse.
To maximise the power of retainable, think about what your customer might find useful and actually want to keep.
Printed materials don’t just have to mean brochures or flyers – you can print on anything, from pens to pint glasses.
We’ve had some great stuff in the past from brands we love, from free golf gloves to super-handy sticky notes. We’ve kept them, we’ve used them and we’ve remembered the brand because of them.
3. The power of professional
Whatever your format and whoever your customer, your materials should always, always be professional.
That means well-designed, clear images, clear messages, free from errors and professionally printed.
If your materials don’t look professional, it signals that you’re not a professional outfit. It’s as simple as that.
So step away from the clip art and your home printer, and enlist the help of a professional designer to make sure you get it right.
And don’t forget to include your details or a call to action, even if it’s just your website address, on every single thing you produce.