The Road to Marketing: Physical Signage, Printed Materials & More

As a small business owner, you know all too well how valuable marketing is. Yet too often, marketing gets pushed aside because it takes time to prepare and bring to life. Throw in the added details that many marketing projects need – such as printed flyers, promotional banners and other signage that helps bring concepts to reality – and boom, busy entrepreneurs are often overwhelmed by the many steps that they believe it takes  to get a job done. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Staples has made it nearly turn-key to support small businesses with a variety of marketing needs, specifically supporting print and other marketing services that are a must for small businesses to run effectively. From signage to business cards, loyalty punch cards to promotional flyers, and so much more, Staples confidently supports busy entrepreneurs with self-serve and full-service options. A recent visit there myself made me appreciate this, allowing me to both place an order for 1K plus promotional postcards while also being able to make a few immediate laminated copies of some important documents I needed to get done ASAP. After reviewing all that they offered, I was pleasantly surprised to learn Staples’ Print & Marketing Services included making custom stamps, various binding options, production of over-sized prints and multi-forms – which is perfect for those businesses looking to keep detailed information on customer orders, etc. Additionally, they even offer direct mail options, making it almost too easy to introduce mailers into your marketing strategy and admittedly something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Needless to say, I have a list of some next steps I’ll be taking soon to add to my marketing and fortunately, I now know just where to go to help me get this done.

The Road to Marketing Realities

As a business owner of not one but two businesses, my recent visit to Staples made me realize just how much more marketing I could – and should – be doing since my accessibility to a team like the one at Staples is practically in my backyard. Plus, many of their services can be completed online as well which makes it ideal for those moments I can’t – or don’t want to – sneak away from my office. Keeping this in mind, it turns out that the right marketing tools can actually help small businesses make money.

How so, you may wonder?

To start, it’s important to understand the core value of marketing. Marketing serves as a communication avenue to connect and inform customers. This avenue should always be directed to sales, but often it includes some twists and turns along the way. When you consider those twists and turns, you should also consider how other marketing strategies can help get your customers back on track. For example, as my own small business plans for a big event launching in January 2017, I have to assume social media, email marketing and my blog alone won’t communicate these event details to every potential customer. While these online marketing strategies are strong players in my overall marketing plans, nothing can replace the face-to-face interaction that I have with customers every day. Between now and then this is undoubtedly going to happen hundreds of times, so my goal needs to also include introducing marketing that supports my physical interaction with consumers. Using promotional postcards and event signage are just a handful of ways I can inform customers about my upcoming 2017 event, for example. To further explain, imagine the following:

Business owner meets customer through a typical in-store experience. Customer sees a sign highlighting an upcoming event hosted by the store. Business owner shares additional details about the upcoming event taking place. The event is months away, but it is something the customer seems excited about and something the business owner is actively planning. Customer leaves and says she will look online to learn more about the event.

At this time, the customer can either A) leave and forget the name of the website to later refer to or B) forget the conversation simply due to life’s busy moments or C) receive a promotional flyer from the business owner, tuck it into her wallet and soon after refer to it again to follow up on the event details.

As a small business owner, which avenue do you think is most ideal?

To help fuel the drive that your business travels, make sure your marketing includes physical pieces that inform and connect with customers. As for the fuel that will ignite my own upcoming marketing goals? I was inspired by Staples to step outside my comfort zone thanks to their team and resources making it so easy for me to do.

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