Paper is dead, everyone knows that, right?!
If there's one piece in marketing that people think is dead, that piece would be printed flyers. Well…..I think this topic deserves a good ole fashion debate. Just because you spend all day on a smart phone doesn’t mean your customers don’t appreciate a nice printed piece in their hands. Luckily for you, I consider us all friends. I feel comfortable saying that you’re missing a huge opportunity if you give up on this medium completely, without at least reading the rest of this blog.
Are you really, really sure about this? Did you Google it!?
Look, I know it sounds crazy. But, print should still be a part of any good comprehensive marketing strategy. And, for business-to-business it’s really an essential piece. Don’t just follow up your client meeting or trade show with an email. Make sure to leave behind a piece that keeps them engaged long after you left. It’s a personal and super direct approach to delivering a message— without the distraction that typically comes with being online.
In case you missed it, vinyl records just made a come-back. Like any good thing that falls out of style, it eventually makes it way back to the market place. I read a great article recently that hit this topic square on the head.
"Innovation is a two-steps forward and one-step-back dance….you have to consider and value everything against what came before it.”
Print was first. It paved the way for a more scalable digital model we know and love today. However, we can be both digital and traditional at the same time. Just because we have cars, doesn’t mean it’s silly to go for a run. It just means there is more than one tool for the job.
I get it, I really dragged that out. Let’s get to the list of 5!
Low Cost, Value-Added Collateral
Printed flyers can be very cost-effective, especially if you print high quantity. Consider removing prices to expand the lifespan to justify printing a higher quantify. It's a lot easier to up-sell existing clients than it is finding new ones—and a value-add piece does just that.
How often do your customer rely on you for just one vertical or small set of products? Do they realize you have a warehouse full of accompanying products or services? I will answer that for you, they probably don't have a clue. And, that might be your fault. Don’t worry, it happens all the time. We are reactionary, we move quick to solve problems that exist in front of us rather than slowing down to absorb the full picture.
Here is an exercise you can do to see if you fall victim to this issue.
Review your existing customer sales, and then look at all the cross-sell categories that should be selling on a 1:1. If those sales aren't rising together, then its likely your customers are buying from someone else. That, my friend, is opportunity. A linecard or flyer can solve this problem.
The perfect leave-behind piece
There are plenty of opportunities to get a flyer in the hands of your existing customers. I recommend a piece that can illustrate your core line of products—your top brands, your unique services and of course good contact information. This piece can be generic or custom, just depends on who you plan on handing it to!
My personal TOP 3 freebies for getting this piece in the right person's hands are as follows:
- Trade shows – If you have been to more than one show, you know that space is limited for bringing home your favorite freebies. After you get all the koozies, t-shirts, hats, and fidget spinners you can grab— the only space left will be for a small flyer that fits perfectly in your carry-on.
Pro Tip - Put a downloadable offer or deal on the flyer. This will force the end user to keep and review at a later date. It's also a easily trackable. So, you can see what ROI you get on any batch.
- High Value Shipments – Hopefully you’re shipping orders all day, everyday, to both new and existing customers. If you have a good reporting system, have your team narrow down a specific region, product type, or high order value that justifies dropping in a flyer. This can get expensive if your giving everyone a flyer, so I suggest narrowing it down to a qualified set of customers. We can guarantee at some point the customer will dedicate time to opening their package. We can also assume they will take an extra couple minutes to review a very direct message from your company. No smart phone needed here people, good ole fashion direct mail and shipping is free!
- Sales & Prospect Visits – Meeting a new prospects or existing customers in person is still a huge part of business today. As a sales person, meeting a client is my happy place, especially if it’s the first-ever meeting. Something about a firm handshake, eye-to-eye contact, and connecting at a personal level makes me happy. With that said, I wouldn’t show-up to a client meeting without an agenda or a presentation. And, I definitely wouldn’t leave without handing over a flyer or business card. Remember, it will be some time before I can follow-up with an email. Time is our enemy, and by the time I talk to them again the excitement could be gone.
Paper is making a come-back
We already talked about Vinyl records making a come-back. If that isn’t proof enough, well, they just remade the movie Blade Runner! It’s a crazy world we are living in. Expect the un-expected. Print has made a resurgence and I find it exciting. There's something unique and special about picking up a tangible piece of marketing that was carefully designed and just came flying off a hot press. I’m not saying everyone is as excited as I am, but I am positive this medium still has a place. Do me a favor though, make sure you put in the time to produce a nice quality design and print on decent paper. Don’t be cheap!
Flyers have a Personal Touch
There's nothing cooler than walking into a prospect or client meeting and handing over a personalized flyer with their company logo. It's even better if you can find the time to customize the product or service to fit your meeting agenda. Emails are easy to customize. Taking the time to co-brand a piece and hand deliver shows your attention to detail and that you are willing to go the extra mile. Those personal touches go the distance when it comes to lifespan. Most will delete an email without a thought, but throwing away a custom flyer requires more consideration. It's personal, like a baby photo. Even though you don't need it, and are most certainly embarrassed by those fat rosey cheeks of your 8 month old self—you just can't toss it the trash.
Single Focus Marketing
We all love our websites. But, at times they can overwhelm a user with multiple products, services, advertisements, and notifications all on one page. I get it. The pool is much bigger online, so you need to throw all kinds of mud at the wall to see what sticks. When it comes to an existing client meeting, a single focused product or service flyer has zero competition in the moment.
So I made it all this way, now what!?
I hope by now you have all jumped on amazon to purchase a vintage record player, and a couple of your favorite vinyl albums. Next, it's time to binge watch Fuller House on Netflix and get back in the spirit of all thing RETRO!
Most of all, I hope you consider bringing print back into your full marketing strategy. Feel free to schedule a consultation with yours truly so we can chat about all things Marketing and get you ready for a new year and a thriving business.
Before you go... take a look at what some of our customers are doing. A Manufacturer linecard tri-fold is a great piece to showcase your core categories and top brands. These pieces have a quick turnaround, and huge value-add to those customers who are only familiar with a portion of your business.