How many of you miss the 4,000 daily postcards you received during the last election? Yeah, I don’t either. Now, when we’re talking about distribution materials, please don’t think about the last political campaign! Although, you must admit, political campaigns spend thousands observing their target audience and generally get it right which leads me to believe they think it is beneficial to invest money in those postcards. Either that or it’s like a monkey see, monkey do kind of thing. Regardless, they don’t want to miss an opportunity to get their name in front of you. Long before the social media marketing and quality websites, my husband and I built our businesses on old-fashioned distribution marketing.
We printed postcards and flyers, hand-addressed and mailed them. Fortunately, things have evolved a bit and marketing opportunities are limitless. I do, however, think that distribution materials still have a place in today’s marketplace. As with all things, a certain balance between digital and old-school handheld marketing materials.
I know I was just complaining about getting so many postcards during the election, but I do think they work. Think about it, even if someone is going to throw the postcard away, in a split second he or she will see a picture or read a name. That’s why your design has to be extremely effective. You will need a logo (refer back to the “Branding” blog a few weeks ago). I cannot stress this enough to you…your logo has got to be placed as such it’s the only thing people see in that split second. Isn’t that the point? To get in the forefront of potential clients’ minds? In addition to your logo, keep it brief about whatever it is you’re advertising. The best way to gauge the effectiveness of this type of marketing is to offer some kind of discount unique to the postcard.
Flyers/posters are another great advertising tool. Our family is in real estate so the importance of flyers at properties is vital to attracting potential buyers. The flyers give buyers pertinent information about the property to determine if it’s something, they want to pursue either via a showing or at the minimum online. Even if you’re not selling real estate, directing a client to your website from a flyer is vital to the effectiveness. Your flyer can pique their interest and the website gives more details and solidifies the potential sell.
I also chair several fundraisers for non-profits in the area and I utilize posters to advertise the event. I try to keep it very basic with a picture or two that serves as my attention getter, the event logo, website, date, time and contact information. Rather than spending a lot of money on printing posters since it is a non-profit and we want to save every dollar we can, I only print a few to be placed around town. Most of my poster marketing is done via social media. I simply save the poster as a .jpg and post. This way allows me to double market with the same material. It’s really about getting people to recognize something and know what it is without even reading it.
When thinking about marketing materials try to think outside the proverbial box. Don’t limit yourself to paper marketing materials. Years ago, I had just opened a flower shop and it happened to be near Valentine’s Day. At that time, there were three other flower shops in our town, so I needed to do something to get customers to start thinking about my shop. I decided to do something different, so I filled heart-shaped chocolates in a pink box with a note that said, “We would LOVE to be your florist” with our logo and phone number, and hand-delivered them around town. The marketing worked and we had a great Valentine’s Day and gained many loyal clients, thereafter. Another example of this type of marketing just happened to our office a couple of weeks ago. A local restaurant brought us chips and dip to enjoy. Admittedly, the last time I ate there, I had a terrible experience and had sworn them off, but them making a personal effort really helped and I will consider trying them and the chips and salsa were delicious too!
Adding distribution materials to your marketing strategy by staying relevant to your target audience. Speaking of your target audience, your distribution materials absolutely must appeal to them. Millennials expect professional-looking, branded things that are easily recognizable and give some kind of immediate satisfaction like being able to scan a QR code with their phone to get more information. Older generations that aren’t as technology-driven might need a little more information on the distribution materials themselves. It is imperative you determine your target audience before ever designing your marketing material. Next, before designing you need to determine what it is you’re trying to convey to your audience. Are you selling a new product or service, etc.?
Distribution material marketing is a valuable piece to the marketing pie that can get overlooked in today’s digital world, because it is often the piece that sets you apart from your competitors.