Create a three-cornered marketing communications powerhouse to open doors, get recognized, and make yourself indispensable.

I am a huge believer in print plus email as a powerhouse marketing combination, and I write about that topic a lot. When you add a third element, you become irresistible.

Adding a third marketing channel to your powerhouse combo is like wearing a cool three-corner hat. People can’t help but pay attention. 

BUT……IS IT TOO MUCH?>>

With three marketing communication channels vibrating at the same time around your prospect, sometimes people worry that they are a pest, showing up here, there and everywhere in their prospect’s sight-lines. But, from a prospect’s perspective, it doesn’t seem that way. To them, you are doing what you are supposed to do, which is be professional, useful, and be present when they need you.

Last month I talked about how I am helping a client with his business for a few months. We are doing a three-pronged powerhouse combo of print + email + walking around. 

Five years ago I would not have recommended that combination. 

The print sales teams that I consulted with back then were too reliant on random visits to see if people had any print jobs they wanted a quote on. To me, it seemed unsystematic, and poor use of time. Also, those salespeople really were not cleverly using any other channels in conjunction with their drop-by approaches. They were merely gathering business cards and leaving a vague message with the receptionist with no compelling reason for that person to pass the message along. At the time, I was more in favor of leveraging the email list, the postal list, and making some really targeted phone calls.

BUT…..AS WE KNOW, THINGS CHANGE.>>

Today, it seems like nobody gets out anymore and meets face to face.

Meanwhile, inboxes are overflowing, and it’s hard to stand out. However, you CAN stand out in an email, in print, and with a personal visit if people know your face and recognize your name. 

How do you get them to recognize you?

No matter how you flow the combination, one of the channels will be your introduction with either a photo or a video so they can really get a sense of you and recognize you. The next channel will help you develop a personal relationship, and you can think about the ways to accomplish that for each media type. It can be done! And the third channel will establish your usefulness and your superior discipline in showing up consistently. Again, showing up can mean that you are visiting when you say you will — or it can be that you are sending a regular newsletter with tips that are helpful — or it can be that monthly phone call where you are a welcome break in their day and a helpful person in their life.

For example, a print-mail campaign with a current full-color photo is a great door opener. 

That way when you drop by, the prospect will recognize you and hopefully take a moment to chat. Then you can promise to follow up with something valuable via email (see my list of ideas below*) thus enhancing that powerful combination.

I know we don’t have unlimited time and resources for visits. And we certainly want to respect the time of the people whom we are visiting. 

There’s definitely a strategy to consolidating your visits, whether it’s to a geographic location or a type of business or even a type of business owner, say a day full of owners who are likely to appreciate email as a way of staying in touch. For those businesses where text or some other mobile form of communication is the preferred medium, you can group those all in one day and have a different line of patter for how you will follow up and what is likely to be valuable to them.

If you are serving an area that is so far-flung that it is hard to stop by or get an appointment, another way to get face-to-face is to have a video meeting. Bringing in a third party who is desirable to that person is a nice way to get them to agree to meet with you. I remember one of my clients brought in one of their very quirky and brilliant vendors to present to their customers via Zoom. It was a very interesting presentation and it made the printer look like a hero to be bringing in such a celebrity of their industry.

I guess what I’m saying is that, in the 2020s, two modes of communication are not going to be sufficient. 

You’re going to have to think bigger and plan how your communication channels will interact and support each other. You’re also going to have to think about your personal appearance and what it’s going to take to spark interest and then keep attention when you walk through the door.

And remember, a key part of this combination is that you keep your word and do what you say you are going to do.

BUT…..ISN’T THAT THE EASY PART?>> 

You may think that is ridiculously easy, but it’s really not. Whether you are publishing a newsletter or making your scheduled phone calls, you have to commit to following up when you say you will, especially when your prospect expects you to. Fulfilling those promises builds trust. 

That’s what makes three-part communication such a killer combination, and I can’t wait to use it!

The 2020s are going to be a decade of stretching boundaries and trying new things. I am thrilled to be helping my client grow his business while I test my theories in the real world.

Let me know in the comments below which three marketing communication channels you are thinking about using, and in what combination. I’d love to know what’s working and what needs tweaking. Here’s to your amazing success in the coming year!

*Here’s a list of content-based items that your prospects might find useful when stopping by or following up:

  • Checklists
  • Fill-in-able calendars
  • Resource lists
  • How-to sheets
  • Video explanations
  • Product diagrams
  • Archive materials 
  • Event photos

See more posts from Sandy


Sandy Hubbard has been author and contributor at Print Media Centr since 2011. She is a Marketing Strategist and Business Consultant who serves high-performing owners of print, publishing and media businesses. Sandy helps clients build their businesses using proven techniques and a systematic approach. 

Connect with Sandy on LinkedIn and on Twitter at @sandyhubbard every Wednesday at 4 pm ET, leading or co-hosting #PrintChat with Deborah Corn of @PrintMediaCentr — Join in the fun at social media’s most popular chat for the global printing industry!

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