Is Print Marketing Dead?

Though most of my focus these days is on content marketing and digital media, my background is in print marketing. I still help many of my clients with their print marketing needs, including brochure designs, direct mail campaigns, print advertisements stationery, business cards and whatever other print pieces they require.

Print Marketing is Not Dead

Though it’s definitely now a digital world we live in, print marketing is far from dead. In fact, I know a lot of small businesses that still generate a lot of customers through direct mail campaigns and print advertising in local publications.

The biggest key to effective print marketing for a small business is to have specified target audiences. Just as Facebook allows you to hone in on specific demographics when placing an ad, you have to think the same way when it comes to who sees your print pieces. It cannot be a shotgun approach or you will waste a lot of money.

Direct Mail Strategy

Direct mail is a prime example of this point. It would simply not be cost-effective to send out a weekly mailer piece to everyone within a 100-mile radius. That would be nice, but it would be really expensive and the return on investment just wouldn’t be there to justify the exorbitant costs to run such a massive direct mail campaign.

You can create your mailing lists based on more localized geographic factors (certain neighborhoods or zip codes with residents who represent your desired target audience). Or, you can generate lists based on other factors, such as people who have opted in on your website or purchased lists based on various demographic profiles. However you generate your mailing list, the idea is to be more focused rather than just sending out postcards willy nilly and hoping for good results.

It’s also very important to be consistent. Too many people make the mistake of sending postcards to one list for a month and then moving onto a different list the next month. If you jump around from list to list, you will never establish a strong brand presence. Direct mail often takes time. It’s a cumulative impact of someone seeing your mailers often that generally gets them to eventually take action. Be careful not to panic and keep changing your target because you won’t get anywhere with that strategy.

Print Advertising

The same goes for print advertising. Look for publications (or specific sections in the newspaper) that attract consumers who are more likely to be interested in your products or services. Then, run targeted ads and keep them running consistently to build brand loyalty over time. Again, if you keep jumping around, then you’ll never really establish anything meaningful in their minds.

Though you should always keep an eye on your results and adjust things based on trial and error, you have to have patience. Print marketing is a matter of commitment and consistency. When done right, however, it can still be a very powerful business-building tool. When done in unison with effective content/digital marketing, you might be amazed at the results you can achieve.

If you need help with your marketing—print, digital, content or otherwise—NextGear Marketing is here to serve you. Just let us know how we can be of service with affordable marketing solutions and powerful results. Contact us today!

 

5 Time Management Tips for the Holiday Season

The holidays are a fun, yet often hectic, time of year. This is especially true when it comes to managing your workload. Many of us travel and we all get certain holidays off, which forces us to condense our schedules. That usually means having to get the same amount of work done in a shorter amount of time. And, there’s nothing worse than having unfinished business sitting over your head when you are supposed to be relaxed while enjoying Thanksgiving dinner or the other holidays with your loved ones.

I usually try to stay ahead of schedule when I can, and during these last few months of the year it’s even more important to stay ahead. Unfortunately, the NextGear Marketing Blog has had to take a bit of a backseat as I work on my clients’ projects, but that’s fine. Prioritizing the workload is a key to managing it effectively.

Here are some helpful tips for getting ahead of the game this holiday season:

1. Prioritize

I already mentioned the importance of prioritization, but when you do it right, it will really help you get your work done. When you make sure the most pressing things are done first, it puts a lot less stress on getting the less important things done.

2. Incrementally Add More Work

Staying ahead of schedule during the holidays is largely about condensing more work into fewer days at the office. Start off by adding one or two small extra tasks per day to your to-do list and then incrementally increase that amount as the weeks go on. You’ll find it more manageable this way and you build up to more productive days. If you wait and try to scramble at the last-minute, it will not go well.

3. Proactivity, Not Procrastination

I’ve been known to procrastinate from time to time, but I hate the stress of having to get something done under the gun. The more proactive you can be in your planning and work activity, the less stressed you will be. Also, consider outsourcing certain tasks. Say managing your blog, for instance.

4. Reward Yourself

The ultimate reward when you get ahead of schedule is to not feel as stressed out during your holiday time off. You will have earned a break and you should be able to enjoy it. Still, giving yourself small rewards while working is another good idea. Maybe you get one extra Christmas cookie after you’ve done a certain amount of projects in a day or you buy yourself a holiday gift if you’ve earned an extra monetary bonus because of the work you’ve put in. If you are a manager, find ways to add incentives for people getting more work done this time of year.

5. Don’t Overdo It

This may seem contradictory, but the key to getting more done is not to wear yourself out early on. Take breaks and prepare yourself mentally. Prioritize your to-do lists and incrementally add a little more each day. You’ll be amazed at how much extra you can get done without feeling overwhelmed. By the time the holidays roll around, you will be able to actually relax and enjoy your time off. Doesn’t that sound nice?

These are just a few simple time management tips. The biggest advice I can give is to just be prepared mentally. This can be stressful time of year for many of us, but it doesn’t have to be. If you approach your workload with the right attitude and aim to stay ahead of the game, you’ll be amazed at the results. These are tips that can help you stay organized and prepared throughout the year, but the holiday season is when they may be most helpful.

If you need help with your marketing projects now or in the future, contact NextGear Marketing today. Sometimes, finding the right help will make all the difference in removing stress from your schedule!