Managing a small business is an incredibly challenging exercise at the best of times, which at least partially explains why the failure rate for startups is as high as 90% during the first year of trading.
To minimise this risk, entrepreneurs must try to make a series of informed decisions across a wide range of business disciplines, with the selection of an online printing partner offering a relevant case in point.
After all, there are a number of print marketing materials that are essential to your business, so you must be able to access a high-quality service at a competitive rate. But what exactly are essential print marketing materials, and which ones are central to the success of your firm?
What are Print Marketing Materials?
Before we look at the marketing materials that may be central to your business, it’s important to develop a broader understanding of the most common print materials in use.
In simple terms, they include any items that are designed to communicate your core marketing message to customers, from business cards and personalised stationery to glossy product brochures and even traditional billboards.
These materials are crucial to any integrated marketing campaign in the digital age, as they enable you to leverage offline advertising channels and optimise assisted conversions throughout the typical consumer journey.
The Top 5 Print Marketing Materials
OK, we hear you ask, but what are the top five print marketing materials in the commercial realm? Here’s our selection.
1. Business Cards
It’s all too easy to overlook the importance of business cards in the digital age, especially when we consider the prevalence of online networking and sites such as LinkedIn.
However, business cards remain extremely powerful and affordable networking tools, especially when they’re utilised correctly and as part of a wider business strategy.
The key is to create high-quality cards that benefit from a relatively simplistic design, and one that emphasises your business logo and contact details. It’s also worth ensuring that a small section of your card is left blank, as this can help to highlight key snippets of information and create the ideal medium for writing concise and relevant notes to individual prospects.
Similarly, it’s important that you invest in enough business cards to distribute throughout the company, so that employees are able to easily engage prospects at any time, regardless of their job role.
2. Company Brochures
If you own a sales-oriented business, you can also benefit from the creation of glossy brochures to help showcase your ranges.
These documents should be both well-designed and informative, as you’ll need to present your products in the best possible visual light while providing a detailed insight into individual products and your brand as a whole.
Brochures are also particularly effective when used as location-specific printed collateral, whether you leverage them as park maps, guides to upcoming events or information pamphlets in corporate stores.
What’s more, your print partner will have access to some highly engaging PDF and InDesign templates of various brochure layouts, allowing you to create documents that allow you to achieve specific commercial objectives.
While catalogues provide a similar function to brochures in some instances, they’re also considerably more focused and most likely to provide an offline showcase for your products and ranges.
In simple terms, a catalogue can be printed to highlight and promote your most profitable items, while organising these into specific categories and bringing attention to exclusive or limited-time promotions.
In this respect, catalogues provide an offline alternative to your website, potentially expanding your reach to the surprising majority of customers who don’t shop online.
Not only this, but catalogues are thought to produce higher retention rates than websites, making them potentially key elements of integrated marketing campaigns.
4. Case Studies and Testimonials
While case studies and testimonials are most commonly published online, you can create printed alternatives that provide greater space and the potential to include considerably more detail.
What’s more, the widespread production of corporate case studies and testimonials produces documents that can be included as part of comprehensive sales folders and presentation packs.
These can be distributed to leads and potential clients as a way of effectively promoting your brand, utilising actual data and the first-hand experiences of previous customers.
This type of content can really hit home, especially in a competitive market where customers are searching for brands that they can really trust.
5. Product Data Sheets
Last, but not least, we come to product data sheets, which are technical documents that clearly highlight detailed information about the specifications of selected items (or services in some instances).
Perhaps more importantly, these full-colour sheets and flyers can explain a product’s key features and translate these into consumer-centric benefits, which can be particularly helpful when trying to sell technical or niche items.
This type of data-led material may lack the glitz and sparkle of some marketing channels, but it’s highly effective and helps customers to feel more secure in the purchasing decisions that they make.
Product data sheets are also naturally concise and easy-to-read documents, while they can be left for individual customers to refer to at their leisure in the future.