In developing a strategic marketing plan for your printing business there are many factors to consider, and the list starts not with advertising considerations but on the operational side. This is because the PressReady Marketing system is based on the idea of building your business as a brand.
Branding is a fashionable term nowadays, but the ideas behind the current jargon are timeless. The principles are the same for a huge business like Nike, and for a small printing business: brand is a perception of distinction in a customer’s mind, based on a promise from the seller, and on the buyer’s confidence that the promise will be fulfilled.
If we look at our PressReady mailers as a branding tool, then they are the means you are using to deliver a promise to your potential customers. You could use other means to deliver that promise, my system happens to offer significant advantages that make my service a good choice. What is critical to your long term success is the fulfilment of your promises to customers. This is why the operational side of your business must be in good shape before you can expect your marketing efforts to really pay off. Look at it another way:
Regular advertising should consistently bring new jobs into your shop, but it is the experience your new customers have when working with you that will determine whether or not they return.
Smart Money versus Big Money
Obviously, the economic factors are rather different for Nike and your printing business. Their business model uses branding to add value to their product. Without the Nike name, a $100 pair of sneakers would not be worth as much. Nike spends perhaps as little as $5 to actually manufacture a pair of shoes, then makes them worth $100 by advertising in every conceivable way that might influence their customers, at staggering cost. Your printing business can use branding to create broad awareness and customer loyalty in your market, but you have to do so with intelligent use of limited resources. Nike delivers on its promise by allowing sneaker wearers to believe they are cool, which will work as long as the advertising is seen as cool. Cheaper sneakers are available, but they just won’t do! You deliver on your promise by providing well printed jobs on time and with a pleasant experience for your customer. When a customer comes to believe that you will deliver every time, and they will have a pleasant experience working with you, price becomes less important as a deciding factor. If you can establish a reputation for excellent value, your customers will be happy to pay a premium for the knowledge that their job will look great and they won’t have headaches getting it produced.