Tailoring printed marketing to support a budget

September 29, 2013 by  

A business’ marketing budget dictates the amount it can spend on broadening its horizons. The budget – whether merely an acknowledgement that costs need to be low or an extensive plan – requires adherence without causing visibility and sales to decrease. Following a few tried and true strategies will keep a business on the right track to getting its budget in order. Tailoring printed marketing to that budget will get the most out of it.

Evaluating marketing

Before making any major decisions, a business should assess all of its current printed marketing materials. Collect at least one of each type on a table – anything from flyers to business cards – to assess what is needed and what could be expendable. Are all products and services advertised within the materials still relevant? Has the business changed its marketing strategy, rendering some material irrelevant? Cut out anything that is not mandatory, making room for the new, updated, and more versatile.

List making

Make a list of what types of marketing are missing from the current lineup. Informative pieces such as brochures? General advertising like banners or business cards? Something to appeal to a particular audience? Whatever it is, write it down. This list will be useful when reviewing the types of printed marketing offered. Simply look at the potential for each type of printed marketing and decide how many of the listed items it could cover. For example, if cards for business meetings and local advertising are both on the list, business cards can efficiently handle both tasks.

Initial evaluation

Evaluating the available marketing choices versus the niches that require filling will give a clear perspective of what could be possible, and what might be unattainable. This is particularly helpful while a business is examining other strategies to get the most from its printed marketing budget. Look at each option — brochures, flyers, banners, business cards, stationery, product catalogs, postcards, etc. – and assess its ability to fulfill as many of niches required as possible. Once initial evaluation is complete, a business can truly begin tailoring its chosen marketing mediums to work best for its goals.

Make use of QR codes

Printed marketing is often viewed as a classy or traditional marketing strategy, but it can be given a bang up-to-date twist with QR code; a unique code that machines – such as smartphones – read in order to display the intended information. If a business does not have the budget to order all of the marketing materials it would like, QR codes can help. A strategically placed QR code prompts a customer to scan it with his or her cell phone, at which point the website associated with that QR code will open. The potential customer can find all the information he or she requires on a basic website, meaning the printed marketing served its purpose.

Offer incentives

If a marketing budget is tight, increasing sales can add to the budget next time by benefiting the business in the short time. Offering incentives to make purchases is a great way to drive sales up. An informative brochure can easily house a coupon on the back page, for example. If this coupon grants the customer a 15% discount on his or her next purchase, the business is more likely to see turnaround. Discounts and first time buyer incentives can fit on almost any form of marketing, so there’s no reason not to include them.

Multi-task everything

Each printed marketing item needs to multi-task to make the most out of a budget. A postcard, for example, can serve as a miniature banner, an over-sized business card, a thank-you note to customers, or an advertisement for an event. Business cards are equally, if not more, versatile. Brochures, flyers, and larger pieces of marketing have more multi-tasking abilities with their room for coupons, QR codes, sales pitches, and hot products or services.

Develop a theme

A business with a tight marketing budget can make a theme of minimalist advertising, perhaps through focusing on its intentions to reduce waste and clutter in potential customers’ lives. In addition, the business can highlight its “green” nature conservation efforts. Rather than seeming as though it is struggling or underfunded, the business will appear eco-friendly. The theme might be easier to capitalize on when using natural-appearing or recycled paper, natural-toned inks, and a general green overtone. If the theme is merely minimalist, not green, matching the design of the marketing aids in the sell. For example, the minimalist appeal might work better with plain white business cards and black ink than it will on vibrant business cards with high gloss and colored ink.

Putting it all together

Once a business has identified what its marketing is missing, has chosen the most practical options to fill these voids and found ways to increase interest, it’s time to put things together. Working with a single printing service that handles designing as well saves time and money. Save on photography by capturing a few of the business’ key tools or products with a quality camera. Fonts, colors, and general design are simple to piece together when based off the business’ existing website too.

Test and tailor

A business will usually need to order new marketing materials. When the time comes, knowing which printed materials worked and which didn’t is key. A way to test is by adding a line on each piece of marketing encouraging the customer to mention it. If the brochures’ line is mentioned more than the flyers’, a business should examine why. Is it poor design of the flyer? Or is the brochure simply a medium that better speaks to the target audience? Whatever it is, identify it and tailor the next marketing material orders to furthering sales and traffic. In time, the business is likely to increase sales while it eliminates ineffective marketing and finds what speaks to its customers.

Target audience

After the printed marketing is already circulating and ready to generate customers, a business can dial in the sights on its target audience. Sending marketing materials directly to potentially interested customers, instead of blanket marketing to everyone on a general mailing list, cuts back the use of materials, and using fewer materials helps a business stay within its budget.