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Tag: print

How to Create a Brand Experience Using Print and Signs

Create a brand experience with print and signs

 

 

 

 

Print and signs are everywhere.  They are a fundamental part of our daily lives, from the products we purchase to the ways we navigate the world.  We interact with printed materials and signs routinely, often without even realizing that we’re doing so.

Print and signs are the primary ways businesses communicate with customers.  These elements define the customer experience by relating information about products and services.  Menus, flyers, point-of-sale counter signs, window graphics, billboards – all are ways business or brand tells part of its story.

When handled poorly, print and signs become part of the background noise.  When used appropriately, these materials create memorable experiences and forge deeper connections that resonate with consumers.

Break through the Noise and Create a Connection

As consumers, we see thousands of marketing messages every day and most barely register in our consciousness.  Breaking through to consumers and prompting them to take a desired action is a challenge every brand faces.  The key to success it to know your audience.

Targeting your message to your ideal customer means understanding what they value and what challenges they face.  Are they short on time and need a solution that is quick and easily accessible?  Do they need actionable information to help them reach a buying decision?  Your print materials and signage should offer a solution to the consumer’s needs quickly, with your value proposition clearly illustrated and easily understood.

Bridge the Gap from Message to Experience

Print material and signs go beyond just relaying the right message.  These also set the tone for an immersive brand experience where every piece of print material and signage reinforces your brand messaging.

In a retail setting, consider all the places consumers look for information: Exterior signs about location and parking, interior signs and product packaging, counter signs, handouts, rewards cards, and more.  Each of these is an opportunity to “sell” your brand to consumers and to create a visual impression of your business.

Immersive experiences aren’t only for brick-and-mortar businesses.  Even companies without a consumer destination (like real estate agents and service companies), any business can create engaging experiences by using vehicle graphics, printed flyers and brochures, promotional products and more.  Even business cards and forms reinforce your brand.

Bring Your Brand to Life in Meaningful Ways

Think about the ways your printed materials and signs can help create unique customer experiences.  Are your messages aligning with your customers’ needs?  Are you making the best use of all your printed materials?  Are you signs communicating effectively?

At AlphaGraphics Franklin, we can help you review your brand messaging to look for opportunities to create a more immerse experience for consumers.  We can guide you through choices for signs and print materials that will connect with customers in new and unexpected ways.

How to Combine Digital and Print for More Effective Marketing Campaigns

Combine digital and print marketingPrint isn’t dead.  While digital marketing may have become the “go to” medium for building brand awareness, print can still play a big role.  In fact, combining print with digital marketing can create more memorable experiences for consumers.

Print can drive traffic to your digital channels, adding more touchpoints to the customer journey.  More touchpoints in varying formats can boost brand awareness and improve engagement.  Using tangible, printed items will reinforce your message and create a greater impact.

Combining Social Media and Print Marketing

Social media is a necessary component of digital marketing.  Through your social channels, you build relationships with customers.  Adding print marketing to the mix will bolster those efforts.  Printed collateral should include information about where customers can find you online and invite their engagement.  Including unique hashtags on printed collateral can further encourage participation.

Print can benefit from social media by providing insight into the type of content customers respond to.  By paying attention to what gets traction online, you can tailor future printed collateral to communicate more effectively.

Combining Websites, Email and Print Marketing

Digital marketing is more than just social media.  It also includes your website and any email marketing you do.  Prospective customers often search out your website to learn more about your products and services.  Email marketing to your current customer base can help keep them informed of new offerings and is a cost-effective way to reach out to those who have opted-in to such communications.

QR code linking to Instagram

Scan to visit us on Instagram

Using print to drive traffic to your website can be as easy as adding a QR code to anything you print.  (Yes, people do still scan QR codes – in fact, with newer smartphones, no app is required).  Once on your website, landing pages can require visitors to enter email information to obtain a free download or discount.  Every email you gather builds your list for future email marketing.

Leveraging Digital and Print Technology

As new technologies develop, it becomes even easier to integrate print and digital marketing.  The interactivity between print and digital marketing allows you to customize marketing efforts.

Personalization using variable data allows you to tailor text, graphics even marketing offers, to specific prospects and customers.  This extends to personalized landing pages, or PURLS, and to custom-printed pieces.

Phone scanning a printed flyer

Click to learn more about AR

Augmented Reality, which blends the physical and digital worlds via a smartphone, can enhance the digital experience on any printed piece.  AR can also reveal hidden text, images, or graphics as well as create a 3-D images from a printed page.

Creating the Most Effective Blended Marketing Campaigns

The basic rules of marketing still apply when combining digital and print marketing.  Your content should be relevant to the audience you’re marketing to.  Even the best campaigns will falter if the message doesn’t hold value to the person who receives it.

All marketing materials – offline and online – need to include a clear call-to-action (CTA).  Ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish with each touchpoint.  Are you trying to create awareness for your business?  Are you building trust?  Are you presenting a specific offer?  Next, determine what a prospect or customer would need to do to accomplish that desired outcome.  That’s your CTA.  Whether you’re asking a prospect for their contact info or urging a customer to redeem a limited time offer, be clear and concise.

Remember the Rule of 7!  Generally, it takes multiple touches to move a customer through the buying process.  Combining digital and print marketing efforts creates those various, diverse touchpoints.

USPS mail scan

Learn more about Informed Delivery

As more consumers opt into Informed Delivery by the USPS, those daily scans of mail can become yet another touchpoint in the customer journey.  This is another reason to include a clear CTA on the scanned side of any direct mail (the side with the mail recipient’s info).

Track, Measure and Analyze

Tracking the success of any marketing campaign is extremely important.  Consider how you will calculate your return on investment (ROI).  QR codes and custom landing pages can help you measure how many consumers made the print-to-digital jump.  Unique discount codes on printed pieces can also help determine the level of response those pieces produced.

Review your responses.  Which online postings generated the most comments, likes and shares?  Which printed pieces generated activity?  Try to identify what caused some efforts to bomb while others created excitement.  This type of analysis should dictate future marketing efforts – both online and in print.

Print and Digital are a Great Team

It takes both online and offline efforts to reach consumers now.  While digital efforts can provide immediate responses and reactions, print can create more memorable experiences.  Print can become a tangible extension of your digital marketing efforts.  By combining your digital campaigns with print in unique and engaging ways, you’ll be able to amplify your marketing efforts to get noticed and get business.

Print is not Dead

IT’S 2019 AND WE’RE STILL PUTTING INK ON PAPER

Newspaper in treesIt’s no secret that the world has become increasingly reliant on technology.  The virtual world finds new ways to impinge on the “real” world every day.  In the print industry, we’ve been hearing the cry, “Print is dead” for years.  We were warned the world would soon be paperless.   Nothing could be further from the truth.

Print is changing, that’s certain.  Gone are the days of long run offset print jobs.   Commercial print companies have found themselves shifting gears to keep up with an increasing demand for quick turn, short run print jobs.  Digital equipment, both toner printers and ink presses, has evolved to do all sorts of tricks.  Commercial printing has adapted and evolved.  And for those companies who could adjust, business is booming.

In spite of the dire predictions, print has continued to be an important and effective marketing tool.  Print has always been a tactile medium.  In these days of “virtual” everything, the physical experience of printed material is a welcome change.  The feel of a slick catalog or textured business card is something that can’t be replaced by a fancy product shot or virtual mockup.  Not yet anyway.

Print is “real” in an age when so many things aren’t.

Printed material seems to stick around giving people the opportunity to return to it again and again.  Print can be customized with variable data and graphics (even maps) that speak specifically to the desired audience.  With the use of things like  QR codes and augmented reality links, print can connect to the virtual world in new and unexpected ways.  Print has held its own in the digital age.

The entire printing industry has become more sustainable.  Tree farms provide much of the paper used in the U.S. and provide not only jobs, but erosion-deterrents and habitat for all sorts of wildlife.  While data centers and “server farms” are tearing up the landscape with asphalt and concrete, paper suppliers are planting more trees and recycling more post consumer material than ever.

The print industry has evolved.  Print is not dead.  It’s been reconfigured and rejuvenated.  Small and mid-sized commercial print companies are thriving.  It’s 2019 and there’s still a market for ink on paper.

© 2019 AlphaGraphics Franklin

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