21 Şubat 2008 Perşembe

Corporate Image and Print Strategy

Present a positive first impression with your logo, business card, post card, and trifold brochure, but don't try to finalize your sales in print. Realistic goals for each of your printed marketing materials should be considered before trying to fit your company history on the back of a business card.

Understanding the purpose of your printed materials is the basis of my print strategy advice. The viewer's reaction to your corporate image in print is like having a silent salesperson 24/7. Marketing materials are not intended to close orders. They should stimulate interest based on a professional image. Don't overdo it or your efforts may backfire.

Business Card
Your business card is the introduction. That's all. A professional look and positive first impression may get you to the next step. If you attempt to sell your product or service on your card, it will most likely be too crowded and ruin the purpose. The back of your card should be used and include a small ad that goes beyond who you are, and briefly presents the benefits of what you do. Keep the design simple. Violate what I call My 5 Second Rule for Small Business Owners, and the card will be tossed. Search my name and "5 Second Rule" to find the full article.

Post Card or Flyer
A 4x6 or 5x7 flyer or post card is an introduction, also. However, with more space for creating a favorable first impression a design with less content is still more effective, and preferred. The purpose here is to impress the viewer and include a call to action which may be as simple as call us or visit our website. For example, I created full color artwork for a real estate post card that tells how effective the "less equals more" worked. The message was simply "If you are looking to sell, buy, or rent, please give me a call", and it worked wonders. The stunning graphics included a gorgeous background photo of Orlando and the real estate broker in the foreground. Again, you have 5 seconds to impress the viewer.

Trifold Brochure
Your 8-1/2 x 11 full color trifold brochure is the first opportunity to go overboard with photos and a more direct sales pitch with benefit statements and color photographs. The key turning point in the buyer-salesperson relationship is when the prospect reaches out and they contact YOU. Your trifold brochure's purpose is to go beyond the call to action as mentioned for your post card or flyer, and it needs to convince the buyer to make contact by presenting realistic benefits for what you offer. Brochures still cannot close orders. If there is a remote possibility that the viewer has a need, the positive first impression and list of benefit statements may make the difference between the brochure being saved or tossed. The lifespan is still 5 seconds if your printed piece is unprofessional.

Why Does This Strategy Work?
Knowing the sales psychology of how to approach new prospects explains why this corporate image print strategy works. You must get past the first obstacle of human character which is to avoid change. They were in business without you, so they don't really need you now. A positive first impression breaks the ice and leads the prospect through the evolution of initial casual interest to sincere desire to explore the potential relationship. Closing the order will take more effort to convince the buyer.

Here's how each piece works. The business card and flyer or post card are the introduction. Buyers need to know who you are and how you can help them first. A professional trifold brochure takes them from who you are to what you do. Once the prospect goes to your website, you have the opportunity to sell, or at least presell. Understand the psychology that occurs and gradually lead your potential new customers to a happy conclusion. Your print material strategy will be more effective.

Do not exaggerate anything. Time limit offers are an insult. Act now or else will backfire. Your entire message must show sincere interest in helping your prospect solve a problem. Printed materials are the introduction. The brochure can help presell the prospect. The strategy for your website content needs a different slant, so the rules change. All you present in print introduces and reinforces who you are. The brochure, website, and your sales approach share the job of convincing the customer what you do. People are more likely to find you online searching for what you do than your company name. Make sure your website addresses the subtle difference in the sales process and buyer psychology.

To summarize, how you specify print materials that present your product or service to a buyer will help determine when and if they initiate contact. The true sales process cannot begin until that happens. It will take a real person or a very convincing website to turn each prospect into a paying customer. Keep in mind that your business card, post card or flyer, and trifold brochure each has a simple purpose. Don't stress out your print strategy with unrealistic expectations.

In conclusion, don't overlook a professionally designed website to match your printed marketing materials. Your website can sell, or presell the client before they pick up the phone or email you to initiate contact. Every person who calls you has in effect said "We can do business; prove to me why we shouldn't." Don't take this action lightly or overlook the significance. You just struck gold. Treat this person like family, and both can look forward to the mutual benefits of doing business now and in the future.

Jim Degerstrom offers small business advice based on 30 years in management, sales, and marketing, including President or General Manager of small companies in 5 states. He is proficient in website and graphic art design, and runs his online Small Business Resource Center at http://www.jimdegerstrom.com from Kissimmee FL USA.

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