It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re running, chances are that a huge chunk of your time (and money) will be spent on advertising and marketing.
The reason for this is simple: virtually no business is likely to survive these days without a significant investment in marketing, due to increasingly fierce competition in almost all highly profitable industries (take “coffee shops”, for example).
What’s more, most companies are spending more on marketing than ever before, which makes standing out from the crowd increasing difficult, especially if you’re a relatively small player in your industry.
So, the question is: how do you compete against big brands with huge marketing budgets?
The answer: don’t compete with them directly; instead, try utilising underused marketing tactics that your competitors aren’t using.
For example, most big brands – and even smaller companies – tend to focus almost solely on online marketing these days; this presents you with a huge opportunity when it comes to offline marketing, as there is likely much less competition.
If you really know what you’re doing, you can absolutely kill it when it comes to printed marketing materials such as leaflets, flyers, etc.
The Secret to “Killing it” with Print
It’s important to note that while there may generally be less competition with printed marketing (in most industries, at least); there will still be some competition.
Luckily, most companies – especially the smaller ones – have very little idea how to create an effective printed marketing campaign.
Many companies hire cheap designers who end up creating sub-par designs; opt to save money by printing materials themselves, which leads to low-quality flyers/leaflets (and is also completely unnecessary considering the fact that you can get thousands of A5 leaflets from around 5p/each); and generally put very little thought into the overall aim of their printed materials.
So, the secret is simply to outsmart your competitors when it comes to planning, designing and printing your marketing materials.
It’s important to remember that while your competitors’ shortcomings provide you with a great opportunity, you still need to make sure you know what you’re doing when it comes to designing your printed materials.
If we look at leaflets – for example – it might be easy to assume that hiring a good designer is all there is too it, but in reality, the design process is much more complex than this.
You need to think about the aim of your leaflet, the target demographic, the action you want people to take when they read your leaflet, and much more.
But how exactly do you do all of this?
The Periodic Table of Leaflet Design (Infographic)
I came across this infographic (full size version available here) a couple of weeks ago, and it’s honestly the best leaflet design guide I’ve ever seen.
It breaks the leaflet creation process into six different categories (e.g. concept, structure, content, design, print, etc.), which are then further broken down into a total of 36 bitesize tips, effectively walking you through the leaflet design process from start-to-finish.
Much like the original periodic table, the infographic also assigns a numerical weight to each of the 36 topics (ranging from -3 to +3), which helps to document the importance of each point.
For example, you’ll notice that in the “Structure” section, the “Ac” element (i.e. including a call-to-action) has a weight of +3, meaning that it’s extremely important to ensure your leaflet has a good call-to-action.
Similarly, the “Rg” element within the “Pre-Print” section (which refers to sending your design off to the printers in the RGB colour format) has a weight of -3, highlighting just how important it is now to do this.
What’s more, FastPrint – the creators of the infographic – also created a mammoth 7000+ word written guide to go alongside the infographic, which offers a deeper explanation of each point, along with numerous good/bad examples of each point in action.
If you’re thinking of creating a leaflet for your business, this guide (along with the infographic) offers pretty much everything you need to outsmart your competition.