How do you create a Marketing Plan for a Printing Company?
That is the question we here from printers and after doing more research found that a lot of print companies are asking about this online as well. So we decided to break this down for you better than anyone else has.
Here are the 5 Steps to creating a Marketing Plan for a Printing Company!
- Define Your Target Customer (who needs / wants your service)
- Determine Your Budget (how much you’ll spend)
- Agree on Channels (where you’ll show up)
- Define a Theme (what you will talk about)
- Build the Assets & Launch! (watch the new business roll in)
Printing Company Marketing Plan Step 1: Define Your Target Customer
This is what everyone says… “Figure out your target customer.”. But how do you actually do that?
Many print companies will tell us, “Everyone who wants to buy print is a prospect”, of course but can you get a little more creative, come on!
Here are a few ways to do define your target customer and then some ideas on who you should / can actually target.
- Is there an industry you sell a lot of print to? If so then make sure to consider them a primary target customer.
- Look at the job titles of the people who buy from you. Are is there a pattern or a lot of the same job title? Consider them a customer.
- Is there a specific product you want to sell? What industry uniquely uses that product? That’s a target customer (if you promote that product)
- In general your safe targeting anyone in a marketing decision making position. Director of Marketing, Marketing Manager, Marketing Coordinator, etc.
- And then you have publishers like Printing impressions that puts out a list of the top 25 Markets for print. Focus on one or more of those! Here is the list if you haven’t seen it: https://www.piworld.com/resource/top-25-hot-markets-for-print-demand-in-2019-20/file/
Once you’ve made a decision here you are ready to move on to the next step.
Printing Company Marketing Plan Step 2: Determine Your Budget
Determining a budget is easy.
Some think it will be a huge effort and tedious, but it doesn’t have to be.
If you have a marketing budget that you’ve created each year, then you’re already done because you already do it. If you don’t then think of any of the marketing activities you’ve done in the past year and estimate how much you spent. If that number is one you feel good about for the next year then use it, if you feel you could invest a little more then add to it. This doesn’t have to be rocket science.
If you are planning on attending events, having a booth, traveling, etc. then you’ll probably want to put a little more thought into it, but in general as long as you have a number you’re good because you’ll just work backwards from the channel efforts into that number.
Got a number? Yes?!
Then it’s time to move on the next step, Channels.
Printing Company Marketing Plan Step 3: Agree on Channels
There are a ton of good places for printing companies to market, but let’s break it down to 3 primary areas.
- Email (Existing Customers)
Your offline efforts can include national or local trade shows, local events, and direct mail.
First off we’ll tell you… Don’t Do Sponsorships that only show your name and logo somewhere. It doesn’t help!
If you are choosing to do trade shows you likely know what you are doing or are getting all the details for it, we won’t go into detail on how to choose and set up for one of those, but they can definitely be effective.
Local events are a very successful place to be. If you’ve chosen a solid target set up at local events where those customers attend and bring printed samples of the things they will need from you relevant to them. For example if they are packaging people bring samples of packaging! Pretty simple.
And Direct Mail is obvious and you’re all over that, no need to elaborate on our end.
For Online Efforts you need to optimize your website to show up in the search engines, post blogs, post to social media, run ads and send email. Period, it’s that simple!
Here’s an article by us on how print companies can create and run successful ad campaigns AND here is a page that talks about how to market your printing company online successfully.
And Email is again straightforward. We do recommend using email as a part of your online efforts, but when we separated it out here we mean that you should be marketing to your existing customers past and present by sending emails to them. Literally the more visible you are to them the more they will buy. The more strategic and creative you are in your email the more they’ll buy.
Here is a page on our site that talks about email marketing for print companies.
On to to your Theme (some call it messaging and positioning)
Printing Company Marketing Plan Step 4: Define a Theme
Defining a theme can be as easy as saying “I am going to market beverage printing to beverage companies” or “I am going to promote 24/7 availability OR Quick turn printing to Marketing Decision Makers”.
Or it can be complicated and focus on “Tell & Show Industry X, companies in Y geography with 100+ employee head count, job titles of Marketing Directors and VPs of Marketing how easy we make their job by doing ABC things”.
Either way you’ll do the same thing. Distribute assets to them saying and showing those things.
But putting it to paper solidifies it and creates a common idea on what your going to say!
Lastly build and launch.
Printing Company Marketing Plan Step 5: Build the Assets & Launch
This says it all.
Now you’ll just build out the assets for each of your decided on channels, targeting the people you chose, saying the the things you defined as a theme within the budget you define.
Then Launch, Go Live, Attend, etc.
This is Guaranteed to get you More New Business. More Leads & More Sales!
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