By Jennifer Dawson, Special to CBJ.
There’s never been a better time to grow your small inland California-based business than now. This is because as of June 2019, a coalition founded by UCR professor Karthhick Rama Krishnan and Ashley Swearengin has been put together to drive business and economic growth in Inland California as opposed to the previously focused-on coastal metropolitan areas. That said, there are many ways to grow a small business, one of the most promising being marketing. And if the data analysis tools currently used to drive sales are anything to go by, then print marketing is still one of if not the most effective marketing technique.
This is because it has the potential to give back a 240% return on investment according to INMA. Furthermore, print marketing is very affordable and considering how tight budgets for small businesses usually are, they present a convenient and cost-effective solution. Having established its value, there are various ways you can use print marketing to grow your business.
Using Business and Loyalty Cards
Business and loyalty cards are often overlooked but they create a lasting impression on potential customers. They are tangible ads of your SME and by carrying them around in their wallets or bags, you automatically make brand ambassadors of anybody with one. Furthermore, when issuing these cards, you will have to physically connect with potential customers, an incidence they will remember better compared to an ad they saw on their phone. Also, very few people throw business cards away. This means they’ll constantly stumble into them when cleaning or arranging and the message stays on longer.
Loyalty card programs might seem like an unnecessary expense. However, 64% of small businesses who have given the program a shot have earned more than the initial costs involved in making them, according to a report by Entrepreneur. This is because such programs act as an incentive to keep your customers coming back and also grow your fan base. Please note both the loyalty and business cards have to have your logo to have a better reach.
This is the equivalent of email marketing only way more effective since 79% of consumers find it more convenient. Also, data shows 79% of consumers not only read but also scan advertising mail. You can print brochures, flyers and postcards with various messages and mail them to your customers. These messages could be offers, sale announcements, thank you or holiday messages, event announcements and so on. Alternatively, you can write a compelling article, much like an elevator pitch to get people interested in your business.
For direct mailing, you will need branded envelopes and letterheads plus postage stamps. Luckily, you no longer have to go to the post office for the latter as you can opt to print postage stamps online, saving you both time and money. Direct mailing might seem like quite the hustle. Nevertheless, it is worth it because it produces 7 times better results than all digital marketing channels combined according to the Direct Marketing Association. Suffice to say direct mailing is far from dead and more and more businesses are committing to increasing its use.
Posters and Banners
Posters and banners offer two benefits to SME owners. First, they easily grab attention and pass whatever information you want out there, be it sale announcements or arrival of new stock. Secondly, they are a cost-effective medium of marketing your small business. You can hang them around town, on notice boards and even on the windows of your store. Make sure to use large graphics and noticeable fonts for best results.
Other forms of print marketing that can fuel the growth of your small business include printed newsletters, bookmarks, stickers, catalogs and calendars. While most people think print is dead, it’s impact in marketing is still huge. Consumers prefer tangible platforms since it appeals better to their senses. Additionally when reading print, people are usually less distracted unlike when seeing an ad on a phone where pop-up messages can easily bring distraction. This means by using print marketing, you enable those it reaches to fully take in your message and thereby better draw attention to your business.