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Earn an A+ in Marketing

Posted Thursday, March 28, 2019 by Jules VanSant, Partner - bubble & hatch a marketing, consulting firm. bubblehatch.com.

Time for class! How would you grade your marketing efforts? Let’s evaluate!

Most print companies get a C- when it comes to marketing themselves but shine on behalf of their current customers …why? The easy answer is they’re too busy trying to manufacture stuff. This requires continual attentionto process, details, that human interaction thing and keeping on top of technology and materials. This all takes time, and we only have so much of it. Yet, the age of “build it, and they will come” has long passed. What printers produce is taken for granted by clients and their customers, but it remains a key and disruptive piece of today’s marketing mix.

It is time to bring your A+ game and take a moment to market your company and the community inside your facility by creating your story, then tell it regularly to clients and prospects. Growth comes with innovation and investment but doesn’t create a return if the business doesn’t continue to evolve. Taking some time to add this to your 2019 business planning will not only open up areas of growth but support better investment choices. Let’s break down a team study plan to help raise the grade (many hands make for lighter work)!

Align – Gather as much information as possible on your customers buying habits and document it. Identify the top three customer profiles (non-profits, manufacturers, fortune 500, consumer brands, etc.). List the top 3 – 5 types of products and services they purchase with you. Then get feedback from vendors, your sales reps and a few key customers (7 – 10) as to why they buy from you. Use the information along with some instinct to create targets.

Adapt – Shift your thought process away from putting out fires to creating fireworks and grabbing attention. Write a story that goes after your targets and share it internally and externally. Tell it with signage throughout the shop, email signatures, simple collateral, direct mail and leave behinds that utilize your technology and unique capabilities (enhanced, variable data printing, die-cutting, digital prowess, etc.).

Attain – Create a marketing plan that can be executed within all aspects of your daily business. Repeat often at the press, via customer service reps, on social media channels, a blog on your website. Pick a minimum of 3 – 5 outreach vehicles where you can maintain this storyline throughout the year.

Achieve – Now you’re making the grade! Celebrate the wins with all of those employees and customers who helped you get there. Adjust your story as needed and continue to take a team approach with fresh perspective and buy in. That’s how you earn an A+!

JulesAbout the author: Jules career has spanned the gamut of the communications spectrum, giving her a well-rounded perspective in marketing. She started her career working in traffic, print production and account management positions on the west coast with advertising agencies as well graphic arts firms. Jules took on the role as the Pacific Printing Industries (PPI) Association Executive Director from2006 - 2018. Her high-profile presence on national task forces, committees, and industry networking initiatives, plus her business and marketing acumenpositions Jules as a leader and inspiration catalyst for the print and visual communications industry. She is currently a partner at bubble & hatch bringing ideas that pop and deliver sales and marketing results into small to mid-size companies internationally.