It is important to promote a business through mixed media platforms with a healthy combination of print and Web. Companies should include Web sites on print campaigns, driving visitors to their sites, Twitter feed, and Facebook page. Likewise, these sites should talk about recent in-store activities to generate foot traffic. This synergy of mixed media is essential to any business.
FedEx Office conducted a survey in Spring 2011, entitled Fourth Annual Signs of the Times Small Business Survey. One of the discoveries was that small business owners plan to reach existing and potential customers online and through social media, but 53 percent plan to turn to traditional channels such as newsletters and direct mail.
35 percent of the respondents say they plan to split the focus evenly between traditional advertising, Web-based marketing, and printed marketing materials. This statistic has risen from 2010, where 31 percent were cited. More small- to medium-sized business (SMB) owners are realizing the power of mixed or integrated marketing efforts.
Benefits to Mixed Media Marketing
Print centers are aware of the benefits of integrated marketing materials. Companies such as FedEx, Sir Speedy, Inc., and Staples, Inc. embrace social media and the Web as complementary to print and encourage customers to do so.
“The real benefit is that integrated marketing helps boost the likelihood that your audience will respond to your advertising and marketing messages. The additive effect of communicating with prospects and customers using several different marketing mediums that carry a consistent look, feel, and message strategy makes for a more impactful and effective marketing campaign,” explains Denise Denton, director of marketing communications, Franchise Services, Inc.
Not only can companies reach a different client base by appealing to all ages and interests, they also communcate with customers at all times by working with both print and Web marketing elements. “By taking a holistic approach to marketing and including print materials, you can be sure you are effectively reaching potential customers wherever they are, whenever they are ready to buy. While some may review marketing vehicles mainly as tools to promote deals and products, it’s really by extending beyond sales driving initiatives and establishing a connection with your audience that you’re likely to develop a loyal customer base,” advises Anabela Perozek, VP of marketing, Staples.com.
Staples encourages customers to include their Web site address, Facebook page, and Twitter handle on printed collateral. It also stores digital assets—from logos to other marketing collateral—for customers so they can print online or in store and post to Web sites or social network pages.
Franchise Services, the parent organization of print and copy centers such a PIP, Inc., Signal Graphics, and Sir Speedy, trains employees to consult with customers and recommend cross media or integrated marketing as the best method for successful results. Tailored campaigns are created to meet each SMB’s business objective.
Tools for Promotion
Traditional marketing tools such as business cards, brochures, flyers, direct mailers, coupons, in-store signs, and vehicle magnets are still popular ways of marketing. The FedEx survey cites the following percentages of interest found in the company’s polled, respectively, 78, 50, 44, 44, 28, 28, and 23 percent.
Staples offers both an online design studio with an ordering system and in-store Certified Print Professionals to offer expertise. In both cases, the small business owner is able to leave the work of creating marketing collateral to experts and focus on customers. Banners and signs are available for a more broad awareness campaign, while conversely those focused on customer and lead generation may decide to order business cards and bound presentations. Other offerings, postcards and invitations, invite potential customers to trial their service. Staples finds that small businesses do use both the ordering online function as well as the hands-on approach of its Certified Print Professionals in store.
“Our print templates online and our Certified Print Professionals in store help small businesses in the decision making process, finding not only the best vehicle to accomplish their goals, but the look and feel for their marketing materials that will accurately represent their brand to customers,” shares Perozek.
Companies under the Franchise Services brand offer a range of printing and marketing services, from direct mail campaigns, email marketing, Web site design and integration, mobile marketing, promotional products, and corporate identity, to signs, posters, banners, mailers, brochures, flyers, newsletters, postcards, and labels. This is all offered via a Web-to-print online ordering system and in store. A self-service design online tool allows customers to select from templates arranged by vertical market segment to edit, personalize, and order marketing collateral 24/7.
“The ability to help our customers understand the return on investment of their marketing efforts is the best tool of all,” adheres Denton. Tracking methods such as personalized URLs and quick response codes are implemented to measure the effectiveness of a campaign.
Social Print Success
Four out of ten, or 42 percent, of small business owners use Web-based and social media marketing tools to supplement their printed marketing materials, according to the Fourth Annual Signs of the Times Small Business Survey. A perfect example of this is Orange Nail Studio of Beverly, MA. Celebrating three years in business, the company offers manicures, pedicures, and more to a loyal clientele.
Utilizing social media, namely Facebook, Orange Nail Studio offers an incentive program to keep customers coming through the door. Every time a service is rendered, clients receive a point on their Orange Club card for each dollar spent. The nail salon also encourages people to “like” its Facebook page to receive ten points on the card. Every time a customer “checks in” at the location, they also receive ten points.
Orange Nail Studio also utilizes Facebook to post important events and promotions including sampling new products while receiving a pedicure or manicure, donations to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and anniversary celebrations. The site serves as a place to showcase their latest work, whether it be beach ball-themed toe nails or pink fingernails with the pink ribbon breast cancer logo.
In addition to the Web, the nail salon utilizes print media such as flyers and brochures to distribute around the office park it is located in to attract new customers.
Old Time Hockey, a sports apparel retailer based out of Salisbury, MA, utilizes its Facebook page to promote the opening of its first retail store and celebrity athlete appearances to excite user interest. It also encourages customers to shop online by linking to their Web site. Users visit the main Web site and sign up for a mailing list that advises on new products and promotions.
Additionally, the Old Time Hockey Facebook page serves as a showcase for customers. They are encouraged to post pictures of themselves wearing Old Time Hockey apparel—from baseball caps, to jerseys, and t-shirts. Customers also utilize the Facebook wall to suggest apparel ideas and ask about recent product releases. The company understands the benefits of social media and has a staff member frequently responding to the many posts on the site.
On the print side, the company’s newest store is stocked with wide format images of legendary hockey stars and important sayings and quotes that support the Old Time Hockey’s brand and message of “all guts and no glory.”