road map for success for printers

A clear marketing message is a challenge for most printers. We write and write and write, thinking that print customers care. 

They don’t. 

I’ve talked about brevity and simplicity – and now I want to focus on clarity.

When I perform Marketing Reviews, I see printers struggling to speak to their customers.

Too many complicated words. Not enough visual words. Too many boring words. 

To help my printing friends, I’ve created a 4-part road map you can borrow to create your own clear messaging. 

Here we go! 

Whether you market in print or online, let’s start with the most basic question: 

WHAT DO WE DO, AND WHO DO WE DO IT FOR?

Example: “We do high-quality offset and digital printing for local businesses and individuals in [city/county and state].”

If your town has a common nickname that locals use, include that, too. 

Answer the #1 question people search for when they need your service. 

If your company name has the word “printer” in it, you may think it’s unnecessary to spell it out in your marketing message. 

Remember, the word “printer” means different things to different people. When I tell people I do Marketing Strategy for Printers, they look at me strangely and say, “I want to hurl my printer into a field and stomp on it.” They’re talking about a desktop printer, like in the movie Office Space. You can see why simplicity does not necessarily achieve clarity. 

Next in our messaging, we must extend a handshake to the reader.

HOW CAN PEOPLE DO BUSINESS WITH US? 

Example: “We have a quaint but modern print shop on Main Street where you can get personal attention and look at our idea books. Or, feel free to order online – it’s easy and convenient. We invite you to come in, meet our team, and get inspired by print!”

Can you envision it? I can’t wait to visit that print shop! 

Next, describe what makes you different. 

HOW ARE WE SPECIAL?

Example: “Marcy, our amazing design expert, can answer all your questions. You can schedule a time to sit down, enjoy a latte or iced matcha, and discuss your ideas. We love helping customers add a creative spark to their projects!”

You achieve clarity when you create strong mental pictures for your customers. 

Now sprinkle in your higher purpose or a pinch of “humble brag.”

WHY ARE WE THE BEST CHOICE?

Example: “We are locally owned, so we go the extra mile to support schools and businesses in the greater [city] area. On game days, we give 10% off to anyone wearing orange and green. Go Morlocks! Our goal is to make a difference right here, where we live. Once you work with us, we hope you will become one of our print shop regulars. Everything’s better when friends do business with friends.”

See how easy it is?

You may have noticed I said “local” more than once. It doesn’t matter. It’s not a term paper.

Once you finalize your road map, look at it from your customer’s point of view. 

Check these points: 

Did you write for today’s customers? Did you use terms customers will understand? Did you create a picture of what it’s like to work with you? Did you update your message to be inclusive? Is there a warm invitation to do business with you?

If yes, you’re GOLDEN. 

If not, put my road map on the agenda for Monday’s marketing meeting. 

Getting clarity in your marketing is a great feeling. And it works! 

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Read last month’s post here: https://printmediacentr.com/a-coffee-table-book-for-your-company-do-tell/


Sandy Hubbard is a Marketing Strategist who specializes in the printing industry. She helps printers review their marketing programs, build robust sales and marketing teams, and develop powerful cross-channel campaigns that customers love. Find Sandy Hubbard on LinkedIn, co-hosting #PrintChat with Print Media Centr’s Deborah Corn. Join the group!  

See Sandy’s recent posts here: https://printmediacentr.com/author/sandyhubbard/

 

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