Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Print Marketing Less Travelled

Oddly enough, with the digital tsunami drowning us, print has become more personal than many of us imagined.

That thought prompted me to consider options for less-often-seen print marketing. Here are a few possibilities.

1. Personalized print products used post-purchase to solidify relationships. We've got the usual, of course -- gifts, coupons, invitations, clothing items, etc. -- but how about "activity projects" like a personalized puzzle for the kids or flat cardboard that can be folded to make a box?

2. Transpromotional customer relationship building -- for example, mailing a personalized pen with a refund check or a useful informational brochure with the bill from the doctor's office (e.g. 10 Healthy Foods) or auto service center (The Truth About Oil Changes).

3. "Handwritten" notes on embossed stationary with"person-ality." Isn't this the reasoning behind the very effective holiday notes and cards given away in fundraising appeals-- that we can't throw them away? Could this be expanded to notes that reach out, for example: "We're so glad you dined with us on August 31. It was a pleasure to have you."

4. Less common printed products with history (for example maps, comic books, small books). Covenant House does this very effectively with its small books/stories sent to select patrons. What "must-keep" print product can we offer to strengthen the bond with customers?

5. "Real" -- and increasingly rare -- photographs. When personalized to an individual, a locality, a pet, a car, or a hobby, who can throw away a "real" photograph? (Note: the line here can easily cross from cute to creepy, so "generic-personal" would be the right balance, of course.)

6. Local and special interest magazines. We see these distributed everywhere. Many are free; all are geared to the local or specialty market. Often these magazines are supported by advertising, not subscription. Successfully used by many nonprofit organizations, print periodicals remain a favorite with senior execs.

7. 3D-printed products. Personalized printing has been around for a long time (premiums? t-shirts?), but imagine the "things" we will soon be able to print and sell with 3D printing. It's a brain boggle, from gadgets to jewelry and clothing ... to household items and art ... to things we never thought of (yet). Catch your idea here from this array featured on 3D Printing Examples on Pinterest.

8. Print that thrives with the unplug movement. Print is precious.

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