Marketing Printed Collateral

It is not just about what you put online……

Some people get excited about food or fashion, I enjoy a great brochure or printed piece. I like the way really high quality printed material smells and feels.

I do not need cheaply printed magazines or catalogs when I can go online and get the same information, but when I get a beautiful, well printed magazine or catalog in the mail. I savor it, flip though it again and again, and I save it to enjoy later.

In print design, typography is one of the more crucial aspects. Typography is essential the practice of organizing, arranging, and modifying type. In print, typography doesn’t have to be plain and boring. It can be beautiful, creative, and colorful. There are a number of ways to liven up typography, such as creative and original layouts, using color variations, and use of fancy fonts.

Good layouts are easy to follow and provide clear reader cues to help the readers easily find their way through a piece. The layout techniques used in print has a direct impact on how the reader appreciates and experiences the story or product presented. There are four principles of design: balance, emphasis, rhythm, and unity. These principles of design help create a good layout that allows a reader a chance to quickly process the message.

Then there is the paper. Paper quality is important when deciding which type of paper to use for different print pieces. Is your piece for viewing or touching? Think about the effects of the weight, brightness, texture and coatings. From text to artwork, the paper chosen will affect the quality of the printing and the impression it has on the reader.

After Johannes Gutenberg’s dramatic invention of the printing press in 1440, relatively little changed in the print industry. Certainly, the desktop publishing revolution of the 1990’s made quality design and layout more easily and quickly attainable, but the mechanics of creating the printed image changed little. However the past decade has seen the smell of ink virtually disappear as more and more printers have made a total shift to digital, full color print.

The presence of printers ink smell is rare and when I get a piece with the distinct smell, I breathe it in deeply and enjoy it. Apparently there was a survey of women conducted in 2010 that concluded women are highly attracted to the smell of printers ink, paint and leather.  Then again, maybe that is the reason I enjoy opening a catalog or book with the strong smell of ink while sitting on my leather sofa. Who knows?


Enhancing your business online – Step Three, Social

Everyone is talking social media and engaging your customers, creating relationships, and developing brand advocates. What does it really mean? Why is it significant? How do you direct it?

An integrated marketing strategy will include social media, but always remember is in just one part of the larger picture. Social networks are a good way of engaging customers but it may not be necessary for your business.

Create a strategy – Is social media the right fit for your business.  Customers are more inclined to learn through the experiences of other customers in a forum they like. You need to stand out in forums like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to draw more customers to talk about you and your products and services. What forum works best for you?  A few social networking forums to consider include: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, Linkedin, Blogs and websites.

Schedule and Time of Posting – Create a schedule and stick to it.  Regular posting is critical.  Understand what time of day will capture the most engagement. A recent study presented that brands that were posted after “normal” business hours experienced an increase of 20% engagement. You must give your social campaign time, you are building a relationship.

Listen and respond, not just update and promote – Social media is all about making connections and people are drawn to you if you actually listen to what they are saying. Engage your audience, ask questions, share humor, and provide motivation. Encourage comments and discussion. Investigate and respond into negative comments. Do not spend all your time just updating or trying to self promote.

Content is still King – Determine your voice and message and stay consistent.  Create a compelling story and you will generate loyalty from customers.  Be concise and direct, a short and powerful punch can drive strong traffic. Your goal is to make your post stand out. Make your posts relevant and meaningful to your customers.

Be Creative – The way you post it will make you stand out. Mixing posts with images and the use of proper words tend to increase the number of engagement. Psychology studies have proven that visual presentations tend to attract more people. Optimize your posts for mobile devices.

Measure and Track – You must measure the results.  For basic information, set up Google Alerts and Google Analytics for your business.  For more detailed information, there is a wide range of programs available. Measure ROI and determine are you on track.

Do not underestimate the amount of resources needed to create a strong and dependable social network of engagement. Social media can work for you, but not without effort.

Getting listed online, Healthcare Example

The first and most important step of creating a digital presence is to get listed online.  In the past, people used telephone books or other directories to get information and find businesses.  Now, people use the internet and increasing they use their mobile devices. This is even more critical if your business provides a local services and products. An added benefit, you are creating inbound links to your website, which improves your search engine optimization.

Getting listed online can be time consuming, but it is mostly free and requires little in maintenance.  Be sure to put in the correct information the first time, because changing a listing can be challenging. You can pay a monthly or yearly fee to have your business listed with a large variety of online services, which can make this process easier.

For instance, your business provides healthcare services; more specifically you are a dentist.  How do you reach new customers and enhance the online experience of your current customers.

The list is preliminary research into local Portland directories and online services that may be of interest to my dentist.

Broadway Dental Care

Dr. Hoang

2606 NE Broadway St # A
Portland, OR 97232
Phone: (503) 595.5463
Fax: (503) 595.5465

  1. Google Maps/Places- Claim your business and location. List with major online directory services- Google, Bing and Yahoo- Universal Business Listing, Acxiom, InfoUSA, Localeze (Feeds into other directory sites)

    List with industry online directories

    – American Dental Association

    – Multnomah Dental Association

    – Oregon Dental Association

    – Oregon Dental Executives Association

    – Oregon Dental Hygienists’ Association

    – Oregon Dental Assistants Association

    – Oregon Oral Health Coalition

    – Oregon Board of Dentistry

    – The Dental Foundation of Oregon

    List with dental online directories (some of these may not be appropriate, seek guidance from the healthcare provider)

    – Dentist Directory

    – America Smiles Directory

    – DotDentist

    – National Directory of Dentist

    Insurance providers database of Providers (Check listings with insurance companies to ensure you are accurately listed)

    – ODS Oregon Dental Services

    – Regence Insurance

    – Blue Cross Blue Shield

    – Providence Health Pan

    – Kaiser Permanente

    – LifeWise Health Plan

    List with local online directories (Portland, Oregon)

    – CitySearch

    – Business Associations

    – – Portland Business Associations

    – – Metropolitan Business Association

    – – East Portland Chamber of Commerce

    Local publications often have directories

    – Oregon Live (Oregonian)

    – Portland Monthly

    – Portland Tribune

    – Willamette Week

    – Portland Mercury

    – KGW

    – KION

    – KATU

    – KPTV

    List with community resource directories that may be relevant

    – Children/Parent Resources

    – – NW Kids Magazine

    – – Portland at Play

    – – Red Tricycle

    – – Portland Family

    – – Metro Parents

    Set up listings on reputation and review sites

    – Yelp, Foursquare

Now that your business is listed with your local directories, remember to check back and refresh your listings as necessary.  Think about creating online campaigns for special events or promotions. New resources and directories develop and some disappear; set a reminder  to check back at least once a year.

The next step is ensuring your website is optimized for search engines and then setting up social media networks with Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Blogs.  Once all these steps have been accomplished, you will need to create a digital and/or social media marketing campaign to engage your customers.  That will be another post.  Good luck and get listed!

Developing a plan for marketing

As the global world seems to become smaller, your local world becomes more important.

For most businesses connection with you customer is critical.  Businesses that take a global approach may be missing opportunities for engagement with customers.  Today, localization is what matters to your customer. As customers grow increasingly dependent on social networks, customizing or localizing content for specific markets dramatically increases efforts. To win the hearts and minds of customers, localization also helps customers feel better about their clicks and engagement. Over the next few years, going local will only improve engagement and ultimately commerce. To make the most out of the opportunity focus on localized initiatives for content and create an engagement program that connects with customers in a meaningful way.

And how might you do this?

Create a profile of your target audience.

1. Collect data

  • Collect as much information as possible about customers: jobs, where they live, shopping habits, economic data and family information.
  • Interview or survey current customers

2. Create Personas

  • Develop a couple of “characters” that embody the stereo-typical customers.
  • For instance a healthcare persona may be
  1. Joe is a middle aged father and is interested in getting fit and keeping his high blood pressure down.  He is computer savvy and wants his information quick and on the go.
  2. Martha is an elderly woman and is interested in overall health. She enjoys the monthly newsletter she gets from her doctor with tips for keeping healthy.

Look at what your local competitors are doing.

1. Competitive Analyze

  • Note how they present their products, where they advertise and the type of people who purchase their products and services.
  • Review their products and services and identify the things you do better in terms of service, price, features or value.
  • Identify the things that will make your business attractive to customers
  1. What things do you offer that other businesses do not.
  2. What things do you provide that is better.
  3.  What are your main selling points?

Choose the best ways to reach your target audience based on their behaviors and activities.

  1. Evaluate digital marketing strategies such as online advertisements on websites and blogs, pay-per-click, or GoogleAd words.
  2. Ensure your business website is optimized for search engines
  3. Submit your business to online directories (many are free)
  4. Claim your business on mobile and review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Foursquare
  5. Consider online coupon deals such as GroupOn, Living Social, and Portland Perks
  6. Develop social media strategies and campaigns for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube based on where your customers are interacting
  7. Create email marketing campaigns for eblasts, newsletters, deals & offers
  8. Traditional marketing strategies like print ads, postcard mailing campaigns, booths at festivals or fairs, or sponsorship of local events.
  • Investigate costs and requirements for each type of media.
    • Ask about deadlines for print and online ads and get a copy of the editorial calendar.
    • If you will need to submit a digital file, find out what the preferred format.
    • Gather all of the practical information into one place for easy reference when planning a marketing calendar down the road.
    • Tailor your message for each marketing strategy.
      • Write copy for each channel using your selling points.
      • Edit the copy to work with the limitations of each format: short and to the point for radio, segmented for easy scanning for print and online, and distilled to a few words for visual advertisements.

Now that you have a basic plan, next let’s talk about how your business can grow your digital online market.  Creating a strong local online presence will help your business connect with your customer in a meaningful and beneficial way.

Content Strategy and Plan

Your content is your advertising.

Be willing to engage your customers through your words.

  • What: What topics do you want to cover? What format will you use?
  • Why: Why does your customer care? Why does this provide value to your customer?
  • How: How will you deliver the message? What is the tone of the message?
  • Where: Where will you get content?
  • When: When will you publish and how often will it be updated?
  • Who: Who is responsible for the updates or maintenance?

Content strategy is a repeatable system that defines the entire editorial content development process for a website development project.

 Now to begin . . . . .

What are your business objectives?

What do your users want to do?

What does your brand stand for?



  • Who is your customer?
  • What value do you bring to your customer?
  • How do you plan to make money?
  • Content Planning
    • What messages should be communicated?
    • What content features will support those messages?
    • What tone of voice should the site speak in?
    • How will you source or develop the content?
    • Do you have resources to maintain content?


  • What content currently exists?
  • What content can be reused?
  • What content is missing?
  • SPREADSHEET: Content Inventory, Content Audit, Gap Analysis, Sourcing Plan


  • Who will produce content?
  • What are the guidelines?
  • Who is responsible for reviewing, editing, and approving?
  • What quality control measures do we need?
  • Messaging Architecture
    • Call to action: What is next?
    • Primary Message: What, Why?
    • Secondary Message: Who, How, When, How Much?


  • How often should content be updated?
  • How will you know the content is working?
  • What metrics will you use to track performance?
  • Editorial Calendar
    • Content focus for each day, week, month
    • Based on keyword and social media research
    • Analytics
      • Data to evaluate engagement
      • SEO data to increase awareness
  • Review content metrics and determine if your content is working for you and make adjustments accordingly.

Implement the strategy and stay on plan.

Enhancing your business online – Step one, Listed

To ensure your business gets the online traffic and customers coming through your door, it is critical that your business appears prominently on the web.

Start by getting local.

  • 90% of online commercial searches result in offline brick and mortar purchases (comScore)
  • 82% of local searchers follow up offline by an in-store visit or phone call (comScore)

There are many digital marketing strategies to improve your searchability.  One method is to create a strong social media presence on Facebook, Google+, twitter, YouTube, tumblr, blogs and online communities. Another is optimizing inbound links to your website through white papers, articles, reviews and industry and community organizations.  Both these methods require good content and time, which is why it seem intimidating to most small business owners.  You may be asking yourself, “Who has the time?”

The first and most important step of creating a digital presence is to get listed online.  In the past, people used telephone books or other directories to get information and find business.  Now, people use the internet and increasing they use their mobile devices. If your business provides local services or products, this is even more critical.

Getting listed online can be time consuming, but it is mostly free and requires little in maintenance.  Be sure to put in the correct information the first time, because changing a listing can be challenging.

1)      Define your information

  • Business Name
  • Business Address
  • City, State and Zip
  • Phone number
  • Website
  • Email address
  • Short description of your business
  • Primary categories (Come up with 3 or 4 options for your business since most directory servicers have predefined categories and your business might not fit exactly. Example: lawn and garden supplies and farm supplies)

2)      Get on Google Maps and Places

  • Claim your business and location

3)      List with major online directory services

  • Google, Bing and Yahoo
  • Universal Business Listing, Acxiom, InfoUSA, Localeze (Feeds into other directory sites, some have a fee)
  • Yellow pages, Super pages, Merchant Circle

4)      List with local online directories (Portland, Oregon)

  • CitySearch
  • Travel Oregon
  • Travel Portland
  • Local publications business directories (Oregon Live, Portland Monthly, Portland Tribune, Willamette Week, Portland Mercury)
  • Local media business directories (KGW, KION etc)

5)      List with industry online directories

  • Organizations and associations
  • Industry publications often have directories

6)      Set up listings on reputation and review sites

  • Yelp, Foursquare, GoWalla, Urban Spoon, Trip Advisor

7)      Set up your business on social networking sites

  • Facebook Fan Page
  • LinkedIn Business Page (more important is your business provides professional services)

Now that you are listed, monitor your website analytics to determine which of the listing is creating the most online traffic for your business.  You may want to consider online advertising campaign, if you see the traffic from a specific listing is generating more traffic.