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19 Jan 2018

Commercial print is where hyperlocal marketing and paper collide

Vaughan Patterson Product Marketing Operations Manager for Production Print
Production Printing Services

Small businesses want to harness paper’s power to arrest customers

Small businesses don’t necessarily want all the benefits of digital marketing in a world gone mad for digital. Sometimes small businesses want the slower to produce but more expensive quality rub of customised paper in a customer’s hands to seal the deal – or grab and hold interest. And they’re simply responding to the digital fatigue so many of their customers are experiencing.

As most commercial printers know, digitalisation has indelibly changed the world of marketing. One of those changes has been to give small businesses as much marketing reach as their larger cousins at affordable prices. It’s no longer a case of a massive budget (beyond the means of the average small business) gets the TV ads and wins the customers. Which is a good thing. Social media and other digital channels democratised marketing in that sense, but that cuts commercial printers out of the loop – bad for commercial printers.

But reaching a swath of relevant customers cost-effectively – simultaneously with even greater power to convert them – may actually require commercial printers. That’s because people don’t like digital marketing because they get too much of the stuff. As many as 75% of people get e-mail they never open and 65% say they get too much anyway, according to an Epsilon survey. Facebook is changing its News Feed algorithm yet again because users prefer to see what their friends have to say and less of what brands have to push on them. It supports the aphorism that quick is cheap and nasty.

That’s not to say that small businesses should dive right back into the traditional fliers and leaflets, posters and business cards, street pole ads and banners they’re accustomed to – although those do play significant roles dependant on the business – but that they have a wealth of new opportunities to explore.

Ironically, digitalisation played a pivotal role in its own demise in the marketing sphere of influence. Digitalisation of production printers has made it quicker and more cost-effective than ever before to produce quality paper-based and other content.

Digital production equipment can even print on wood these days and a wide range of other materials. They can print white too, individualise pieces with customer names and other variable data, and there are even options for foil. Combining those options with creative conceptual work creates content of unparalleled power to get through the hordes of e mails vying for customers’ attention, makes them take notice, and gives businesses an edge.

And all of the physical content can be tied back to digital content through arresting imagery where fresh, added value content can bolster integrated hyperlocal campaigns.

That’s part of the key to unlocking successful hyperlocal campaigns. Quality physical content in customer hands makes them feel special, sought after, and valued, while links to digital content give them opportunity to extend meaningful or enjoyable interaction that is measurable and more instantly customisable and updateable. It also provides access to useful practical information and activities, such as creating route maps to shops at the tap of a button, and more.

Small businesses do want the benefits of digital campaigns but not at the expense of traditional paperncampaigns that now have a renewed lustre to attract and retain customers in a hyperlocal context. Talk to us about how we can help you create solutions for small businesses that meet their local needs.

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