This article was originally published on 14/11/2014 on GraphPrint.ie
Trying to stretch an already thin marketing budget to generate sales for your business is always a challenge. Regardless of what business you run, you need to build up a suite of quality marketing items that convey to existing and potential customers that your business is the best at what you do. The trick is not to skimp on quality because if you’re marketing items look cheap and flimsy, your business does too. Read on for the must have print marketing items every small business needs to grow your business effectively and affordable.
1. Business Cards
Make sure that you and your frontline staff have up to date, clean and professional looking business cards at all times. Developing business opportunities can happen anywhere at any time and you don’t want your contact details to be the one that is hand written on the back of someone else’s card that your potential customer had in his wallet.
Even with the rise of electronic business cards, the traditional 85mmx55mm card version is still a must to have in your pocket at all time. Digital printing costs have lower the cost of small print runs so you can be sure that you and your staff have a good supply of these essential marketing items at all times. Whether you chose to use a standard format card or a quirky outside-the-box design for your business card, make sure that it fits a wallet because that is where you want your card to be.
2. Letterheads and business stationery
Even with the arrival of the paperless office, every business still needs to communicate with customers and suppliers by post from time to time. By using well designed and quality printed business stationery that coordinates your business image, you are using the opportunity to make your business stand out in a sea of emails and electronic messaging.
Letterheads with coordinated complimentary slips that reflect your business brand are really worth the investment you make. As with your business card, you’re business stationery should be professionally designed. As you won’t need to change or up-date your brand image for up to six years (or more), the cost of design when spend over of this time makes it a really good investment. And when you have your design on-file with your printer, all you need to do is re-order the quantity you need from your printer, making it really hassle free.
3. Presentation Folders
When you’re sending a business proposal, sales information or a media kit to new or existing customer don’t miss out on the opportunity to present your content in an attractive professional looking presentation folder. They are also a great leave-behind item when presenting a business pitch to a potential customers as they show that you consider the detail to be important.
As well as being a practical method of keeping paper and media items together, they also offer you the opportunity to re-enforce your business brand message to the user. They can be simply designed to fold around your content or with pockets to hold paper or media items.
4. Sales Brochures and catalogues
Well designed and high quality printed brochures and catalogues are a must have for all businesses to have in their marketing arsenal. The use of images with well thought out copy allows you to present a lot of valuable information to customers. The content should encourage potential customers to visit your website for more information where they’ll find even more information about what they’re interested in.
The message across all your marketing material should be consistent which a same branding and message about your business and the website content can complement and supplement the information presented in the brochure. When you are designing your sales brochure, think closely about what lasting impression you want to leave your customers with. If your business sells low cost environmentally friendly heating products, then your brochure should convey all the benefits of using these products, including the type of paper and finish you select. Using a recycled matt finish paper will reinforce your business message, so work with a graphic designer to make sure that you cover all aspects of your sales brochure.
5. Flyers and leaflets
Flyers and leaflets can make great and very cost effective marketing tools that can be used to promote your business in general or to inform customers about specific offers or services you offer. They should be double sided offering you a lot of space to convey your message so make sure you make the most of this to get your message out there. By using bright colours or an unusual size or shape and snappy copy, you can make your message stand out from the crowd.
If you have a ‘brick and mortar’ business you only have to position these items in your own premises to see a return on the cost to produce them. If you want to reach a wider audience you may choose to engage the services of a door-to-door delivery service or a promotional marketing team to get your flyer or leaflet into the hands of potential customers. While there will be an additional cost associated with using these services, it is possible for them to be able to target the specific audience you need to grow your business making them a really good and cost effective marketing item to use.
6. Roll-up Banners
These marketing items are one of the most effective and versatile marketing items you can use to promote a new product or special offer. They are light weight and durable display stands can be easily moved and placed wherever you need them and as they fully retract, they can be easily stored when you’re done.
They are great to use for trade shows, conferences, and in-store, to brand entry ways or where permanent signage can’t be used. Read our blog post for more information about how to effectively use roll-up banners.
So now take the time to look closely at your marketing collateral with an honest and critical eye. If your items look less than professional then remember that your business will to. Professionally designed items with a high quality finish really do stand out and they can elevate your business in the mind of your customers. So make the most of every touch point you have with your customers to reinforce that your business means quality.
What other items would you include on this list?
Hi, I'm Siobhan Fitzharris and I love all things marketing related. This means that I spend a lot of time reading about and doing marketing and I like to share what I think readers and small business owners might like and can use to grow their small business.