Printing and publishing companies deal with the printed word each day to earn their living and yet, few have organized and planned their strategic marketing to maximize their overall impact in the markets they serve. As a marketing consultant serving these industries I have been continuously amazed at how few truly leverage their most effective assets. Here are three of nine straight-forward ways to increase your marketing effectiveness.

1.    IMAGE: Look objectively at your corporate identity. When was the last time you assessed how well your corporate identity reflects your company’s true personality? Often a company leaves its identity alone through many years, even decades, not seeing the need for change. As a result, the ‘tone’ of the corporate id doesn’t properly reflect what it’s like doing business with the company. For example, let’s take a fairly progressive modern printing company whose sales staff is always looking for new ways to present the company’s services. On the other hand, if the corporate identity dates back before the company had digital presses this causes a major disconnect between what the company says versus how it looks.

2.    INTEGRATION: Harmonize your complete marketing and communications program. Place all of the current materials your company is using on a long conference table including sales literature, corporate literature, website pages, email marketing and every form a customer receives during the course of a normal job. Do these materials all look and read like they are from the same company? You might be amazed at how little they have in common.

3.    IMPACT: Synchronize your Sales and Marketing Departments. There can be a major area of contention that exists within the Sales and Marketing departments. The quickest way to assess them is to organize an informal show and tell that allows each one to present their most effective approaches they are currently using. Sit back from the table, bring body armor if you haven’t done this in a while, and see what happens!  Objectivity is very important at this juncture and often an outside consultant is required to ensure this objectivity is maintained.

Having performed these assessments and strategy sessions for years have taught me that often the sales department has the key selling points that will make sales happen whereas the marketing department knows how to effectively communicate these selling points. The key is to get them both on the same page, pulling in the same direction, and not against each other.