2 Step Tactical Marketing Using Print

1. Start with a great strategy. (see our post on strategies)

2. Create a postcard, mailer or brochure that speaks clearly to your strategy.

You can’t go wrong here. Your strategy encompasses your strengths and the deep needs of your customers. Your tactic is simply opening a communication channel with your customers.


If your strategy is selling basic insurance product for the general construction industry, go back to step one.

On the other hand:

You’ve found that a niche market within the construction industry is resistant to economic turmoil, and you’ve created a strategic offering of products and services to appeal to that small segment. You’ve gained an understanding of the problems and concerns of companies within that niche.

Now: Designing that brochure, writing that letter and even finding more like-kind prospects who will be interested in your high value proposition, becomes effortless.

The Mother of All New Year's Resolutions

This isn’t about my needing to lose ten pounds, though that certainly woudn’t hurt.

Instead, it’s about sleeping at night, and making sure my family is well cared for. It’s about waking up with a smile on my face and excitement for the day ahead. When all is said and done, what else counts?

Think about it–

So many possibilites have briefly flashed through your mind. They’re part of a bright future just waiting to be lived, even if the path to that future isn’t completely clear. And there’s the big question: how to get there.

So now it’s a new year, a new chance to finally make it happen… or at least to start the journey.

So what’s next?

“Put it in writing,” it is often said. That’s the only way it will ever get done. Tape it to your bathroom mirror, so it’s the first thing you see in the morning and the last you see before bed. Beyond that, here are more ideas in a great blog post I stumbled upon.  Of special note is a tip to find support in a friend, co-worker, group or coach. Share your plan with people who will motivate you and keep you accountable, even when January is long past.

Here’s my dare: Share your top resolution with the world! And add it as a comment below (and/or in the FB panel at right.) I’ll act as your accountability partner and check in with you in a few months down the line. Of course, you’re welcome to reciprocate and hold me accountable too!

What’s my resolution? Get off the fence already! I’ve been juggling three major projects and really need to focus on one to move it ahead. IMO indecision = stagnation = frustration! That holds equally true for a brochure design or direct mail campaign. Only with clear direction can we reach our ultimate destination!

A Happy and Productive New Year to you!

It's a printing thing

I still get a rush from jogging a ream of printed brochures, freshly off the printing press.

It’s the same kind of rush your customer gets when she feels the rich texture of that paper between her fingertips.

When you’re designing for print, remember that the reader’s experience is tactile as well as visual. That’s why printing is unique and powerful. So choose your paper wisely, and you’ll communicate the benefits of your small business more powerfully. And that’s not to mention the potential savings in postage rates you get by making the right choice.

Paper selection is becoming a lost art. So much is printed on standard or “house” sheets, these days. That may save a bit of cost, but it also has that “me too” kind of impact on the user.

Come into our Rancho Cucamonga offices and you’ll find hundreds of paper swatches; it’s a feast for your fingers!

Real Printing Speaks for Itself and for You

I’ve had the good fortune of growing up when printing was “real.” It meant real lead type, machine stamped ink into paper. The blood, sweat and tears that went into building every page somehow made each page more believable, more real.

“Letterpress” printing died out in the late 60s, though today it is coming back in a big way. A year ago I saw letterpress printed holiday cards at Target, of all places. Boutique print shops are appearing across the country, as users of print grow to appreciate a look and feel that just can’t be duplicated on an inkjet printer, copier or even a commercial offset printing press.

Graphic designers and marketers are catching the real printing bug too. Like Indiana based Tactic Marketing who created this up to date take using classic technology.

letterpress business card

letterpress card design

Look closely and you’ll see that “stamped in” text, even in this small photo. This business card face features a traditional layout, though the back side plays on a halftone dot effect that features company staff in a striking and memorable way.

Sure, it’s possible to print business cards cheaper than this. Then again, who cares about ordinary looking, plastic-y feeling cards, when you want to position your brand in an extraordinary way?

Today, so much of what gets put in print (and for that matter online) qualifies as “me too” content. The sheer volume of it all induces a deep foggy haze on the reader. Yet, I’ve never once had a customer tell me “I’d like some ordinary looking cards.”

Yes, the internet has opened up printed products to price competition. Low prices tempt us into purchasing mass manufactured products that fit into standardized pre-press workflows and manufacturing processes. It makes for a sea of uniformity. Cheap, ordinary looking printing may be sending the wrong message to your fans and customers.

On the other hand, your communication in print can reflect the unique talents, skills and approach you bring to your business or art. Can that be done on a simple business card? Absolutely, yes! But it won’t happen by accident.

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