Why Your Business Needs a Dedicated Printing Company

The New World of Printing

As the digital revolution reshapes many industries, the printing industry has undergone major changes. Virtually every aspect of the business now incorporates some form of digital applications. From graphic design, to proofs to the actual printing process, there are many new capabilities and efficiencies made possible by digital technology.

Anyone who used a print shop just a decade ago remembers that having even simple documents could be a time-consuming task. It often involved the cost of typesetting and could entail several trips to drop off copy, review a proof and make changes. Today, you can access the highest quality printing and never leave your home of office. Along with these changes, even the smallest companies can demand beautiful graphics and sophisticated layouts.

As branding becomes more important to all companies, consistency and quality in all printed media is more important than ever.

Moreover, it is something that customers have come to expect.

Maximizing the Efficiencies

With these enhance capabilities, many business owners and print managers are finding that it is most efficient and cost-effective to deal with a dedicated printer. Because everything from logos to forms are now stored and manipulated digitally, your printer can build a portfolio of items needed to produce any type of printed materials.

Instead of attempting to communicate your look to multiple individuals, it is now most productive to find one competent printer with good design staff to establish exactly the image you want to present. All the elements that affect your brand are then ready to be used across whatever printing is needed. This cuts down on costs, makes response times very quick, and ensures a consistency in all printed media. It also makes it easier to hold one source accountable for quality and performance.

The new era of printing provides many advantages to today’s business owner, especially when using a dedicated printer.

Measuring Your Print Campaigns

Despite all the new technology found on the internet, the old fashion methods of reaching new customers are still powerful and effective. Companies literally spend billions of dollars each year on print marketing ads and campaigns.

Managing a successful print campaign is possible when business owners can answer two of the most important questions in marketing. What is your company’s goal, and what are you hoping to accomplish?

Perhaps a new product has great potential and the market is ready for something new and exciting. What better way to introduce the newest product to potential customers, than print ad marketing and campaigning. Completing an analysis of the marketing demand can increase brand awareness, and increase sales and profits.

To measure a successful and profitable print ad campaign, just follow these simple rules:

Have a system for locating and tracking the success of a print ad campaign. Make sure the trail leads back to the company’s marketing department.

  • Perform self initiated analysis and assumption, and plan accordingly. Know how many ads to print, where to distribute them, and which audiences are targeted.
  • How many responses are expected, how much does the project cause and what profit is the business expecting in ROI.
  • Custom print materials can track sales and customers. Using codes and coupon with special numbers imprinted, can track sales and responses.
  • Train personnel and customer service representatives to ask the important questions. “How did you find us?” “What products or services are you interested in?” and “How can I make you happy today?”

Print marketing is concrete. Potential customers see an item that want, that pass the print along to the people in their circle. This form of networking, gets the print moving in new directions, and can actually increase sales in unexpected geographic locations.

Can Your Business Benefit from Using a Packaging Company?

If you manufacture or plan to manufacture a product, one aspect of the distribution cycle you have to think seriously about is the packaging for whatever you manufacture. This is especially important if your distribution cycle is to include brick-and-mortar stores since the packaging also does quite a bit of marketing for you. So, the question will definitely come up, will a dedicated packaging company work better for your business than doing your own?

Control vs. Cost

It doesn’t matter if you’re manufacturing software CDs, homemade cookies or distributing herbs and spices, packaging is going to be a major concern. Not only do you have to decide what the packaging is going to look like, but you have to take into consideration what it takes to package your product. Two main factors will definitely come into play: cost and control.

The first factor, cost, essentially weighs out like this: How much will packaging supplies cost, how much does the equipment cost to package your product and how much will the labor cost to package your product? If you plan to package the product yourself, your company will bear the total cost of all of these aspects. You’ll have to buy whatever equipment it takes, you’ll have to buy all of the supplies and supply all of the labor. Depending on what your product is, the equipment alone can be prohibitively expensive, let alone the labor costs.

However, if you use a dedicated packaging company, they probably already have the equipment on hand to package your product properly. While you still have to purchase the supplies to package your product, since they’re in the packaging business, your cost per package for supplies is probably going to be significantly cheaper since they’ll be getting discounts on bulk purchases. Also, labor costs will be lessened as well since they can split labor costs across multiple jobs. This means you don’t have to purchase equipment and the other costs are essentially discounted to you because of the volume of work the packaging company does.

The second factor, control, can be a challenge either way you go. If you do your own packaging, you keep complete control over the packaging design, graphics, etc. However, most packaging companies are more than willing to work with a company to achieve the packaging design they want. This means that, even though you don’t have total control over the packaging designs, you do have major input. The control the packaging company keeps usually is only affected by the packaging process limitations.

Easy Decision

Unless you own a huge company that manufactures millions of products a year and having your own packaging department only makes fiscal sense, you should seriously consider taking advantage of the benefits a dedicated packaging company can provide. Not only can you save money, but you can save time, hassles and headaches as well.

How Are You Tracking Your Printed Materials?

While it sure can be fun to generate personalized URLs and QR codes and then put them on a piece of printed material (direct mail, flyers, brochures, etc), the real enjoyment can come from the time you spend actually tracking and measuring how things are working.

Here are four metrics that may help you do this effectively:

  1. The number of people that scanned or clicked: Half the battle of launching a successful marketing effort involves simply getting someone’s attention. How can you make your message stand out from the clutter of other messages
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    the recipient may have received? Well, pay attention to the group that at least takes some action on your response mechanisms. Even if they do not actually respond to your questions on the landing page, the act of scanning a QR Code, typing in a URL, or sending a text message involves effort. That bit of effort may indicate a bit of interest in your message; thus, those people should be treated differently than those found a home for your printed materials in their waste basket.

  2. The number of people that responded: Yes, we love these folks. They took the time to visit your response page, enter some contact information, and perhaps answer a few questions. Make sure that you are ready to embrace these leads quickly. Of course, pay attention to the data that they provide to you! If they shared preferences on how they prefer to be contacted or in what they’re interested in, make sure that you respect and honor that.
  3. Where are the responders in the sales pipeline: At some point, leads are handed off between marketing and sales departments. However, marketing’s job is to support sales the entire way through the pipeline. Thus, marketing folks should have the ability (and the desire) to see where the leads they’ve generated have moved down to in the sales funnel.
  4. Actionable intelligence from the responders feedback: We often tend to look at each response and lead as its own entity. This is good and understandable. However, we should also look at the data from a high-level perspective. Take the time to look for trends — when do people click? When do they respond? What answers are being provided/selected by the majority of folks?

Answers to these four metrics should certainly help us to grasp whether our current printed materials are effectively reaching our audience. But more importantly, they should also help

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Keep Print Alive in Today’s World

To truly capitalize on advancements in the worlds of marketing and communications, businesses must find ways to make print work with new channels.

Here are three ways that print can be made interactive:

Use QR Codes to Drive People to Mobile-Optimized Sites

The numbers behind the growth in mobile marketing truly are impressive. More and more of your customers and prospects are visiting websites on their mobile phones. By adding a QR Code to your printed materials, you will be able to reach that mobile audience. QR Codes truly can make print interactive. By driving people a mobile-optimized site where they can watch a video, learn more about a product, or sign up for future alerts, you will further build your database and increase brand awareness.

Promote Social Media Pages for a Company or Product

Companies of all sizes and across all types of verticals are turning to social media to help better serve their customers and interact with prospects. However, they need people to know those pages exist to truly maximize the impact. One way

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to do this is to promote the social media sites on printed materials. Many people use their smartphone to hop onto sites, such as Facebook or Twitter. They may do the same thing after learning that your company has something to offer on those sites.

Use SMS/Text-Messaging as the Call-to-Action

While we may place less phone calls on our cell phones than we did two years ago, SMS/Text-messaging usage seemingly continues to rise. A number of companies have found ways to engage their fans and build their mobile marketing database by inviting people to send a text message to opt-in for a special offer.

There are plenty of tools and channels to choose from when trying to make print interactive, so see what works best for your audience and take it from there!