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7-step plan for Sign Marketing

7-step plan for Sign Marketing

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In today’s competitive times, many small businesses are always looking for new ways to reach customers and prospects and maximizing their revenue while being sensitive to their marketing budgets

It’s a fact that, traditional print, radio and TV advertising is simply unaffordable for a small business. Online pay-per-click ads can be cost prohibitive, especially if they don’t work.

One solution, present for every business is to take advantage of marketing space you already have and market with signs. Effective signage continues to work for you instantly and in to the future. The key is reaching those that can buy from you. The best of all? Signs are very cost effective compared to other marketing.

Effective signage is truly the difference between finding new customers, revenue growth and status quo. Many businesses, unfortunately view signs as an after-thought, and don’t think out the best way to implement sign marketing.

Putting forward and executing your “Sign Marketing Plan,” is the answer.

 

Here is your 7-step plan for Sign Marketing:

1.   Identify your target market – Who can buy what you are selling, where do they show up, how would you describe them, what are they interested in, what are there motivations?

2.   Where are there opportunities for signs that your target market will see – point of purchase, vehicles driving buy, windows, on the outside of the building, directional within a place of business, billboards, hand held/carried, trade show booths, other business locations, yards and more.

3.   What message do you want to communicate – calls to action, directions, special offers, benefits, brands, general information, etc.

4.   Where do you place signs – See No. 2 above and identify the specifics for these general places.

5.   Sign design – size, colors, texture, attention grabbers, designs, branding, logo, identity, message and more.

6.   What is the implementation plan – Design, printing, production, site installation (hanging or posting) and most importantly, consulting with a sign expert.

7.   Measuring results – coupon codes, requests for mentions of the sign, asking customers how they found out about you. If they work, repeat it and place the signs in more places. If it kind of works, fix it. If it doesn’t work, get rid of it and try something else. Rinse and repeat.

 


Modern Day Branding and Identity

Modern Day Branding and Identity


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Take just a minute and think, What does your brand communicate to your targeted audiences?

You have the company colors, a logo, maybe a tagline and a certain look and feel and a target market. When thinking of branding and identity you have to think about how all of these work together for your branding promise and your company identity. Printed material, signs, your online appearance, all represent the core of any branding and identity effort. Think about putting your best foot forward when meeting new prospects and reassuring current customers.

Your branding and identity all relate to your positioning, your story, and your promise. It sounds all encompassing because it is.

Stand out from the crowd

A company’s identity makes up the core of any marketing plan.

We have identified five key branding and identity elements that no marketing plan should be without:

  •  Brand position
  •  Brand promise
  •  Brand personality
  •  Brand story
  •  Brand associations

Once you’ve firmly established your brand image, communicate it through web design, email marketing, direct mail, business card packages and much more.

Lets look at a few primary components of branding and identity:

Corporate identity

Corporate identity or company identity typically consists of first impression items. This includes letterhead, business cards, presentation folders, envelopes, packaging, brochures, fact sheets and more. Don’t forget about being consistent on line with identity as well as off line. Corporate identity items reinforce your company message as well as the “look and feel,” of your company. Consistency of “look” is very important throughout all your on and offline communication.

Direct mail marketing

Direct-mail marketing is highly targeted and theoretically should hit your target market right between their eyes. Whether your campaigns consist of postcards, letters or packages, consistent branding and identity will help to keep your company at the “top of mind,” for your customers and prospects. Repetition is key, not only with messages but also with identity, look and feel.

Banners, Signs and Exhibits

Banners and signs get your identity, message and image in front of those that see it. Everyone that sees these represent potential customers. Whether it is a trade show, promotional or celebratory event or in store retail display, banners, signs and exhibits can extend your branding and identity as well as all other printed communication.

Consult with an Expert

Lastly, make sure you work with an expert when developing branding and identity. Not only do you need an expert for the printing of material but many times an expert can save you lots of time in the areas of design, execution and fulfillment that goes hand in hand with all on and offline communication.


Every Door Direct Mail in Carrollton, TX

 

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What is the best way to hit your target market, with impact, without killing your budget? One answer is Every Door Direct Mail.

What Is Every Door Direct Mail?

Every Door Direct Mail service is an easy, cost-effective way to reach potential prospects and customers near your business in a defined targeted area. Just design your mail pieces, have it printed then work with the post office or an expert mailing service provider like your printer to select postal routes. Because of efficiencies that the Post Office can get my targeting their carrier routes, you get reduced postage and economical marketing. Working with an expert makes it a one stop marketing activity to get results.

Every Door Direct Mail is marketing that works without waste. Too many businesses today are wasting money on advertising and marketing that doesn’t produce results. The key is to focus on the target with the right message, frequently enough to create action by a prospect or customer.

There are many benefits of using Every Door Direct Mail. Every Door Direct Mail, or EDDM, helps you market to a target area without having to purchase a mailing list. The USPS offers EDDM options that let you reach out to households within a specific geographical area. Want to reach residents on a certain delivery route? Need to let the neighborhood know you’re opening a new restaurant or store nearby? Full EDDM services are the perfect solution. I’m sure you could benefit from mailing a marketing piece to every single household target on a mail carrier’s route. That’s what EDDM does for you.

Find an expert that can make sure you qualify for the discounted rates, do all the work for you AND deliver a quality designed printed piece that generates new prospects and customers. Save time, save money and get noticed. That’s the job of marketing.


Simple Marketing – Things to Do List

As the year winds down and the New Year is about to start, now is the time to plan your marketing activity for 2016. It doesn’t have to be fancy; it can be simple. Simple is good. Done is better than perfect.

Here is your to-do list to help you out:

  • Thank customers for 2015 business
  • Ask customers about what one thing more they would want in the coming year from you; a wish list
  • Ask customers if they know anyone else that could use your products and services. Be specific in person, via email or on the telephone or all 3.
  • Email customers with a different subject line – can be the same message. Frequency of communication is key.
  • Consider one new marketing tactic – postcards, signs, direct mail, social media, telemarketing, guerrilla marketing. Plan it, consistently use it, get help if you need it from experts.
  • Plan your marketing vehicles and frequency. Write it down. Measure it. If it works continue it; if it doesn’t, get rid of it. If it kind of works, fix it.
  • Revisit your messaging, emphasizing benefits with calls to action, all directed to your target market.
  • Venture into a new social media platform, add connections and have a goal to be consistent in your communication and conversation.  Get help if you need it. Integrate it with all other marketing.
  • For those components where you need to consult an expert, start here:

    http://www.alphagraphics.com/centers/carrollton-texas-us376/marketing_services

  • Happy Marketing from AlphaGraphics, Carrollton, TX.

A Trusted Marketing Source

 

Think about the title of this post for a moment. Many companies do business with us because they trust us and have confidence in our work. In fact, that is the number one reason for doing business with us.

 

That has spread from just being a print service provider to now being a marketing services provider. As long as we have been in business, we have been involved in putting the right message in front of the right person at the right time. Many companies today, still find this difficult and don’t have the right resources, staff, or a large marketing budget. AlphaGraphics, Carrollton, TX to the rescue.

 

We understand or do all that we can to understand the challenges our customers face. We understand, usually what their business goals are and what they are trying to accomplish in business. We stay up to date with marketing technology, the latest trends and applications and what our customer’s customers want. When you visit to talk marketing, we will ask  you a lot of questions; the right questions.

 

Our conversations with you will be more than, “Do you buy print? I sell print!” We bring creativity and insight to you. We are different and can prove it and show it to you. We are truly marketing experts.

 

In the old days, when we just concentrated on fulfilling a print order we would talk with you about something you could touch such as business cards, post cards or newsletters, to fulfill some type of communication need for our marketing.  Often, these marketing materials were intended to deliver a particular message to a particular target market. How did we get to the point of a printed piece in those cases? It started because you, the customer had a marketing need and someone helped to create an idea, a vision, which was then translated into a printed piece.

 

The same visionary conversation takes place today but marketing is more than just a printed piece. With the advances in technology, especially as the relate to delivering the right message to the right customer, our services are rounded out and now can fulfill many purposes especially when it comes to building prospects for our customers. Our customers trust us to do this and have confidence that we will get that job done for them.

Photo courtesy of Forbes


The Direct Mail Marketing Formula

There is no doubt that all marketing competes with all other marketing when it comes to being in front of prospective buyers eyes. That includes online, offline, audio, video, and even marketing that touches the other senses.

 

Direct mail marketing is still one of the more cost effective means of gaining prospects. It is very targeted, can be done on a continuous and frequent basis, can be saved, touched and referred to others; all components of very good marketing.

 

In today’s world of marketing clutter gaining attention is first and foremost assuming you have done your job, targeting your prospective buyer market. Getting attention can take many forms.

 

With all the online barraging going on, personalization is key. The marketing experts will encourage you to talk one on one with your prospect, whether it is with social media, radio or direct mail. Personalization allows this to happen.

 

The marketing experts will also always advise to humanize your brand. What better way to humanize a brand then to have a conversation with a prospect? You can do this with direct mail marketing.

 

You’ve heard us say that you have to get attention, get noticed, get remembered and then get talked about; more holy grails of marketing. Whether it’s a graphic, a quote, a catchy headline and strong call to action, colors or shapes. Put some thought into getting attention right now.

 

Standing out in the direct mail pile may take a different shaped mail piece. Think in terms of what can be produced and mailed that people will remember and what will they talk about with their friend and family. Yes those crazy mail pieces that you have seen, get talked about. It’s like telling stories about direct mail.

 

In addition to getting noticed, the biggest take away we can encourage you to consider is the frequency aspect of direct mail. Its better to mail 1000 targeted prospects a mailing five times as opposed to mailing 5000 targeted prospects one time. Because of the frequency being higher in the first example, the response rate will go up.

 

So it all boils down to doing a good job targeting your direct mail. Any direct mail expert can help you frame the specifications of your target market. Secondly, mailing something that will hit your target market, square between the eyes; get noticed and gain attention, and lastly do it often enough so you will be remembered and talked about. That’s your simple formula to your pathway to gaining new prospects that turn into long-term customers. Happy Marketing !

Photo Attribution:  FreeDigitalPhotos.net


When is the best time to plan your marketing?

The answer is simple; two part but simple. The first answer is the day you start your business. Chances are that if you are reading this, that time has past. If your business hasn’t started up yet and you are getting ready to start, congratulations. Starting a business with a well thought out marketing plan will contribute to your success. Its been proven over and over and is essential to success and growth. Spend the necessary time planning, involve employees, work with experts and lay out your road map. Most business owners know they have to market but they have no idea where to start. Consult an expert and spend your time in what you do best.

 

The second part to the answer to the question of when to plan your marketing is right now. You cant go back in time. There is no time like the present. You’ve heard it before and its true. Work with an expert, think it through and consider some of these factors:

 

  • Why should someone do business with you?
  • Why you and not your competition?
  • What are your true benefits that you offer to your prospects and customers (HINT: The benefit you offer that your competition doesn’t offer constitutes your competitive advantage).
  • How easy are you to do business with?
  • What more can you do for your customers?
  • How often should you communicate with them and in what form?
  • How are you going to let others know about you so they can do business with you (ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION HERE: Does everyone that can buy from you, know about you?).
  • Do you show current customers the same appreciate and incentives that you show prospects?
  • Who do your good customers know (People like to help others and will tell others of good experiences). Capitalize on word of mouth and referrals.
  • Humanize your business; put a face on it; People do business with people, not icons, not logos, not brands but people.

 

These are a few strategic considerations that then go into your marketing plan. Take these considerations and extend them to your message, your target, what you want people to think of when they see your name, logo and brand, how will you get your message to your target market and how often will you do that.

 

To put the finishing touches on this, think about how you respond to marketing; how you want to be treated; what you want most from those that you buy from. Your prospects and customers feel the same way.

Happy Marketing!!


Visual Marketing Gets Remembered – Signs as Part of Your Business Marketing

We have talked about it before but have you really considered the impact signs and banners can have on your business? How can they really be used to your advantage. Let’s take a look.

 

Signs and banners can be one of the most effective means of communicating to your target market and prospects. Signs are part of your identity especially as people pass by or visit repeatedly. Signs can market your products and services. Signs really tell your customers and prospects, who you really are and what your business is all about. Visual marketing gets remembered.

 

A sign or a banner is the most direct form of visual marketing available. Signs market when you cant be there in person and are available to everyone. Put them where your target market frequents and your marketing ROI goes up.

 

When thinking about signs in your marketing plan use them to provide information, direction and calls to action and use them to maintain and enhance your identity. All of this is done with targeted prospects as well as those that might just pass by your place of business.

 

Ask yourself the question, “Does everyone that can buy from you, know about you?” If your business location is drowning in the sea of competitive businesses where you all look alike, signs can be the differentiation that makes you stand out and eventually chosen by those that can buy from you, especially if you are communicating information about your products and services offered.

 

Signs can build the identity for your business and help you relate and associate with the target market segment you are trying to reach.

 

Whether you are targeting millenials, the senior market or your average purchaser, signs can be designed to be attractive to each, introducing your business to them and inviting them to partake.

 

We continue to mention the effectiveness of this marketing vehicle. We say that are effective and efficient. Consider the materials, the shape, the size, the design and the message when creating your signs. Signs can be inexpensive, are easily produced, practical and easy to use, always present and very targeted. Not a lot of marketing can perform in the same way.

 

Consider signs for your marketing and use this summary for a discussion with a sign expert, preferably one that is involved in all facets of marketing and understands extending your reach:

 

  • Signs are targeted to your target market in your trading area.
  • Signs are always present, marketing when you cant be present.
  • Signs get noticed and good signs get remembered.
  • Signs can be changed for special offers or new information.
  • Signs can be inexpensive when compared to other marketing, like advertising.
  • Signs are easy to produce and can be done quickly.
  • Signs can be used by any business. You don’t need a marketing degree or any special talents to implement their use.
  • Put signs in place once and they market over and over and over.

 

Happy Marketing and let us know how we can help with this in your overall marketing.


Who Should We Market To?

The question in this headline is often asked by start up companies, companies in a slump and companies and organizations that want to get to a new level of success.

If you ask yourself, who your target market is and your answer is, “everyone,” you have answered wrong. Companies cant afford or go broke trying to market to “everyone.” Those that target their marketing are most successful, but who is that target market.

Make an attempt at defining what you think your target is. Define who your ideal client would be. If you were starting in business today and you could do business with one perfect client, what would they look like? Describe or define specific, quantifiable facts about the target and about the ideal customer.

Quantifiable facts, if you are marketing business to consumer, might include, income level, educational level, age, geographical location, special interests or characteristics or more. In business to business targeting, specific target market criteria might include the types of business, revenue levels, number of employees, special focuses or other characteristics.

Whatever set of criteria or specifications you come up with for your ideal customer or target market definition, make that set as “tight” as possible. The definition with the most narrow target and tightest criteria will provide the most ideal target market. On top of that, there exists a list of whatever you can put specifications to and that list represents your market.

If you are still challenged by coming up with the set of specifications for your ideal target market, ask yourself, who benefits most from your products or services? Whoever that is, is representative of your target market. That is whom you should market to. That is whom you should sell to.

Still challenged with whom to market to? Take a look at your top customers; top 5, top 10 or some other top ranked list. Now decide what they have in common in terms of target market specifications like we talked about above. Here you will find common denominators that help to shape your ideal target. Go find more people or companies like them. That is whom you should market more to.

Once you have your definitions, your specifications and who you would like to market to, consult a direct mail expert. They can help secure a list of the criteria of companies or people that you come up with. Remember, your list is your market.

 

Once you have your list, start targeting it with your marketing frequently with fresh, relevant and interesting content and you will be on your way to doing more business with those that you want to do business with.


Marketing Frequency – It’s a Process, Not An Event

You’ve heard it here and you’ve experienced it. Marketing is a process not an event. Marketing is made up of many, many, many, many things all working together but how many times does it take for your marketing to hit a prospect before they buy?

 

One of the great considerations in all of your marketing is the frequency aspect of it. It has been said that it takes 6-8 times to “touch” your prospective buyers with your marketing to get them into purchase readiness mode. That means, when and if they need your product or service, they will think of you if they have been exposed to your marketing messages 6-8 times (and maybe choose you for their purchase).

 

Many numbers of frequency are thrown about but the point is whether its 6-8, 21 with two out three messages ignored or another number, frequency of communicating your marketing message is a driver in your marketing and eventually your company’s success.

 

A “touch,” or exposure to marketing messages can be a phone call, a handshake at a networking event, a direct mail postcard received in the mail, a sign or a personal visit.  What sticks in the mind of your prospective buyer is your identity: your look, your feel, your colors, your logo, what you stand for, your positioning, a tag line, a reminder of your product and service offering, people profiles, benefits and more.

 

The ways you touch your target market are only limited by your imagination. A few are mentioned above but it takes consistency. Not only does it take consistency, it takes a plan. We have offered you checklists in this blog. That can be a plan. We have talked about planning a quarter ahead. That can be a plan. A plan can even be a brainstormed list of items to use to communicate to your target market.

 

All of these things add up to the process of marketing. Do not fall into the trap of saying things or experiencing things like, “I tried direct mail postcards once and they didn’t work,” or “I went to a Chamber of Commerce luncheon and didn’t receive any business, so I’m not going back.” These are traps. This is “event,” thinking, not process thinking.

What is your marketing process? What items make up your marketing list? How often are you touching your target market with your marketing messages? Be consistent. Be relentless. Always be communicating. Be successful. Marketing is a process not an event.