Have you heard yourself say any of these 7 self-limiting phrases? If so, you’re holding your company back from print + digital success!

Do you put up roadblocks to an effective marketing program because you are a printer? Do you avoid using digital options and only use printed communication? Do you underestimate the power of an integrated, multi-channel print + digital marketing program?

Here are common things printers say that undermine their marketing success:

  1. “We’re printers so we should ONLY communicate through print or customers will think we’re hypocrites.” (Do you have a phone? Do you have feet-on-the-street salespeople? Are you mailing your printed pieces? You’re already using multiple methods for reaching customers. Email, social media and promotion through other digital media integrate with print beautifully.)
  2. “Our marketing money goes toward maintaining our website.” (The fees for web hosting, basic security and required web updates are the cost of having a website, like keeping your parking lot paved or your roof leak-free. Marketing money, on the other hand, goes to fresh content, your blog, and social media. Just having a website is not marketing; you need to attract traffic to your site and reward visitors for landing there.)
  3. “We let the intern handle the email marketing, social media and other digital programs.” (Continuity, quality and regularity are crucial to your marketing program. Please bring in a professional or train someone on staff who will make the program a priority.)
  4. “Marketing is not sales.” (No, of course it’s not. But you will accelerate your results if you align your messaging and bring everyone to the table to create initiatives. If your marketing and sales departments don’t get along, bring in a consultant and change your culture.)
  5. “We have an email list.” (If your list is built from people who opted in and want to receive your emails, then that’s fine. What I usually find, though, is that printers want to email to old trade show lists or names found on old business cards. If you want to piss people off and burn the bridge to future interactions, email them without their permission. I recommend you build your list correctly, even if it takes a bit of time.)
  6. “We have artwork.” (Are you using corny canned art on your printed communications, in your emails or on your website? Today’s customers cannot relate to clip art of a t-square or an old fashioned printing press – unless you are a letterpress printer. What do website visitors and email recipients want to see? They want clean, current, high quality photos of real people in your company, your printing plant, your unique features, and examples of real customer jobs.)
  7. “We don’t need a marketing budget.” (Do you want to be in business in 5 years? You need a marketing strategy and ongoing marketing implementation. Even if you rely on word of mouth for your business, customers are busy and sometimes they forget everything we do. We’ve all heard stories about current customers giving another printer’s name as a referral because that’s the name that popped into their head.)

As you can see, printers often limit their marketing success by making false assumptions about digital media and budgets.

If you’ve said any of these self-sabotaging statements, I bet you’re missing out on prospective business. Print plays amazingly well with other delivery options. Bring a broader strategy into your marketing plan, and you’ll be thrilled with the results.

Sandy Hubbard helps growth-minded printers and publishers incorporate multiple methods to reach and win new customers. She assists Deborah Corn during Print Media Centr’s #printchat, the weekly global print discussion on Twitter.

Image by By Jacque Fresco via Wikimedia Commons


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