In the age of the internet the role of print media in ensuring the success of ones brand and products is often overlooked. The issue is not rooted in its role but the perceived cost of both developing and creating something that can distributed widely. This barrier is by far the toughest faced by small companies whose limited budget is often consumed by operating costs and wages leaving only a small percentage for marketing. In large companies this small percentage often easily suffices for the purposes of branding and marketing. In small companies however this cost often forces tough decisions on where to direct the budget. Does one invest in print or digital media?
An Odd Analogy : Getting Noticed On and Off-line
It would seem an odd analogy to use the barriers associated with internet based marketing to explain the barriers associated print based marketing. Despite this the two share quite allot in common. On the internet the initial barrier to entrance is not the cost of hosting a site or securing a domain but rather creating copy (marketing material) and creative (logo’s, images and so on) that reflects your brand. This creative barrier is likewise faced when one directs fund’s at print based campaign’s. To this end I will, at least for the moment, ignore this barrier and turn to the questions of production and distribution.
Production & Distribution: Comparing Conversion Rates On and Off-line
Producing a website is a rather simple task assuming that you have your creative and copy. With platforms like Joomla and WordPress the technical barriers are in some ways altogether absolved for the somewhat tech-savy business owner. The problem is once created how do you get your site noticed. It is here where the analogy takes root. Even the most catchy creative elements and most insightful copy will not ensure that your site is found. Getting founds means spending money. Directory listings and ad’s are the avenue’s most commonly used and their cost reflect this. At best you are likely to spend around a dollar per Google lead. When costs of this size are taken into account the effective cost of getting rack cards, brochures and cards printed is altogether lost.
The difference between digital and print campaign’s is that the cost per click, unlike the cost per print, increases with more clicks and attentions. By contrast the cost per print diminishes with higher volume and attention. The difference between printing 10 and a 1000 business cards is, by the time you turn on and set up a print press, insignificant. This stands true no matter the material or print product. More costs significantly less per unit. By contrast, your targeted on-line campaign’s not only draw the attention of customers but also competitors. This attention, when directed at a particular site or set of keywords, costs.
Solution: Select Copy and Creative that Distinguishes rather than Promotes
The key is to invest in your copy and creative to ensure that both your print and digital campaign’s reflect the differences that your potential clients care about. Marketing your differences means clarifying what aspects of product or service makes it worth seeking out. Effectively doing so will ensure that your product, even with low production costs and small distribution will have the kind of conversions that will ensure your companies growth and success.