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Why your marketing mix should still include graphic design and print

If you talk about marketing or look for a marketing agency, the focus will most likely be on the digital marketing of your small business. But we have four very good reasons why you should still have a graphic design and print agency on hand, as it has a vital role in your marketing mix and driving results. There are plenty of good reasons why digital marketing takes centre stage in many marketing plans. You can target a defined audience, possibly quite a large one, at fairly low cost. Digital marketing – Google, Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn, your own website, display advertising on websites etc – matches most potential customers’ research and purchasing habits. But, this assumption of only going for digital tactics forgets two important aspects about modern marketing:

  1. If everyone is focusing budgets and resources on digital marketing, you need some top quality messaging, creative and product/service offer to stand out which can in turn be expensive and hard to achieve in some circumstances.

  2. The idea of marketing being online or offline is actually rapidly going out of date. You only have to look at TV advertising or out of home (billboards etc) which have a blended approach of both digital and design & print delivery.

Therefore, when planning the mix of marketing activities you should be undertaking, consider a graphic design and print agency as a critical part of that mix. Here’s just some of the reasons why.

Business need for a graphic design and print agency

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There are still many occasions where your business will need print, for example contracts and paperwork that require signatures. These need to be on-brand and visually communicate the type of business you are and the service your customer will receive. If it’s mis-matched, shows lack of attention to detail or is confusing visually, it sets poor expectations and standards of things to come! Equally a poor logo can really confuse or devalue the perception of your business.

Brand-aligned business stationary

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There are lots of other stationary requirements, such as comp slips, business cards, letterheads, pop-up banners and exhibition stands, which have to have a consistent use of your logo design and brand identity. These in turn need to match your digital marketing, website, social media profiles, email templates etc. Otherwise you could quickly look like a ‘dogs dinner’ to a potential customer.

Use print and design to stand-out from your competitors

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If you know your competitors send their quotes over in an email, you could choose to stand out by providing your quote in a brochure: well designed, nicely laid out and visually impactful. Even if their quote attachment is in a branded document, your brochure design is still going to be different in a good way! There is no risk of your brochure design getting lost in an inbox, as they can’t simply close an email and have it disappear from view. With less competition in print and consumers placing a higher-value on print (simply due to the reduction in it from businesses), print marketing is actually a great way of achieving cut through with your potential customers.

Blending of digital, offline and print marketing

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The bar to entry of TV advertising, for example, has been significantly lowered with things like Sky’s AdSmart or video on demand services such as All4, where you target your advertising to an audience profile and location, rather than a TV show specifically. The same goes for out of home advertising with digital displays and buying. With this blending, taking a narrow approach of ‘digital’ means you could miss out on a really important channel of communication, relevant to your customers.

Digital marketing agency versus design & print agency

Digital and print actions in fact go hand-in-hand. Your website and social profiles need to be visually and message aligned with your business cards, banners, brochures etc. 

This means you need to ensure a close working-relationship between your digital and design & print agencies (or finding one that can do both) to ensure you get a harmonious and thorough marketing plan. At Growth by Design, many of our clients love the fact we can provide this dual service offering!

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