Marketing Strategy + Execution + Continuous Improvement = Long-Term Profit

a chart showing long term profits

Every printing company needs a marketing strategy, but most don’t have one. Strategically and logically combining print-based marketing and digital marketing is critical to achieving efficiency (minimal waste) and effectiveness (maximum ROI).

Whether you believe your primary objective is building brand awareness, generating quality leads, strengthening customer retention, or increasing average order value, your ultimate goal is likely to be to achieve, sustain, and grow your net company’s profits. Trying to achieve that goal without a marketing strategy is equivalent to wishing and hoping.

Here are some of the key components of your print marketing strategy.

Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Marketing your print business starts with building brand awareness and preference. You must reach your target audience with a clear and compelling message about what differentiates your brand, products, and services from your competitors in the mind of your ideal customer.

Your USP is the core of your marketing strategy. It specifies what sets your printing business apart from competitors.  It could be your company’s personalized consultative sales support, a seamless web ordering experience, a proprietary digital embellishment capability, price, or turnaround time. To know what your true USP is, research your competitors to see how you compare in each category of the total customer experience. Be honest with yourself, and know where you shine and where you need to improve. Create a USP statement that makes sense, has value, and that you and your customers can believe.

Your Target Market

Know and understand your ideal customer and create a profile based on industry, market, size, application, buying criteria, and individual buyer personas. Understand how and why they select their vendors, who they are currently buying from, and what pain points your company can resolve for them.  Very likely, your ideal customer is not necessarily your current customer base. It may be that you need to migrate your marketing efforts to reach these new audiences.

Your Website

Your website is the core of your brand identity and probably your customers’ total experience. Ensure that your site is user-friendly, mobile-responsive, and optimized for search engines. Consider writing engaging content that appeals to your target audience, such as blog posts, educational articles, customer case studies, and how-to videos.

Your Social Media Presence

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok can showcase your brand’s personality, your offerings and promotions, and your customer successes. Post photos and videos of your customers’ testimonials or their completed jobs (with their approval).  Share events and new product announcements. Engage with prospects and respond to customer inquiries. Social media is also a great platform for showcasing your customer’s own content, which can further boost your credibility and promote your unique capabilities.

Print Across America Event International Print Day Oct 25 2023

Your Direct Mail and Email Marketing

Maintaining a high-value, educational email marketing program to engage your current and prospective customers is critical. Use your own design capabilities, quality media and printing capabilities, and relevant customer data to customize a powerful and compelling one-two punch: print + email. Imagine the impact on your recipients if they were to receive an email from you on Tuesday, a high-quality direct mail piece from you on Wednesday, another email with a video on Thursday, and a phone call on Friday. With printed direct mail in this campaign strategy, you are 10x more likely to connect with them by phone at the end of the sequence.

Your Local SEO

Make it easy for your local prospective customers to find you. Optimize your online presence for local search results by including location-specific keywords, updating your Google Business Profile, producing relevant educational content, and getting backlinks to your website. Ensure that your company profile, hours of operation, and contact information are consistent across all platforms.

Your Print Advertising

Print ads in local magazines, directories, and out-of-home (OOH) media can be very effective in reaching your target audience with your USP message. Where possible sponsor local community events and leverage the printed program books and large-format signage opportunities associated with them. Support your local print media publications, including newspapers, guides, direct mail services, and coupon books, if appropriate to your target audience.

Your Customer Reviews

Positive online reviews significantly impact your brand’s reputation and your website’s SEO. Encourage your B2B and direct consumers to share their experiences on digital platforms like Yelp and Google. Make it easy to leave feedback, respond to their comments, and thank them for their reviews. Be sure to address negative reviews professionally, demonstrating your commitment to customer satisfaction.

Your Tracking and Measurement

Regularly track the progress of your marketing campaigns using tools like Google Analytics. Regularly review your social media insights to see what works or not. Look into the analytics of your email marketing platform to assess your bounce rates, unsubscribe rates, and open rates. Analyze all these data points to identify areas for improvement, and adjust your campaigns accordingly to optimize performance.

Collaborate to Maximize Your Potential

Working with marketing experts can ensure your strategy is well-executed and delivers the desired results. Enlist the help of print marketing agencies to create a tailored plan that maximizes your return on investment and propels your business forward.

A well-implemented strategy speaks to your audience and relies on expert collaboration. In doing so, your print business will flourish against your competition. A robust marketing plan, encompassing both traditional and digital channels like local SEO, can foster customer loyalty and grow your business. Experiment to find your winning tactics and adjust your strategy as needed.

A versatile marketing strategy is crucial for thriving in the competitive print industry. By highlighting your USP, engaging customers, and partnering with marketing professionals, your print business will be set for long-term success.


Read David’s post from last month:

Read more from David here.

David Murphy Nvent Marketing author at Print Media CentrDavid Murphy is the founder and CEO of Nvent Marketing, a marketing agency specializing in digital marketing for the print industry. David has 30+ years of experience in the graphics and document print production industry. He has served as a board member and advisor to print organizations and associations including Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP), Print Industries of America (PIA), Association for Print Technologies (APTECH), and Electronic Document Scholarship Foundation (EDSF). David was also awarded the Idealliance Soderstrom Society Award for Print Industry Leadership. David can be reached at ​


Project Peacock TV Print Media Centr