Somehow print marketing has become the red-headed stepchild of the marketing world. The younger generation is buzzing with excitement over social media, SEO, and mobile marketing and makes the mistake of ignoring print. This is an opportunity for you!
While some misguided people might claim that print marketing is dead, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Print is huge! Direct mail is still a huge marketing channel. Billboards. Brouchures. Newspaper/magazine ads. Packaging. Business cards. Presentations. Signage in your local business. Product design. The list goes on and on. Print has existed forever and just because more people do business online doesn’t mean print has magically gone extinct. Until our physical world ceases to exist, print will be a massive part of any business. And since so much young talent is piling into digital marketing, the opportunities for good print marketers are as big as ever.
So let’s take advantage and learn print marketing!
As we said in the intro, print is often forgotten by modern marketers. This is a huge mistake. However, since you’ve made it to this page, we’ll assume you agree and want to bolster your own credentials. To make you feel really good about your choice, we want to link two articles we really like. They talk all about why print is such an important part of the marketer’s toolkit and should actually be a prominent part of the strategy.
Almost all print marketing materials will have a significant visual component to them. Nobody will read your brochure if it’s just white paper with text on it. Nobody will see your company’s sign if it doesn’t have an interesting design. Nobody will buy the product if the package is uninteresting next to all the other products on the shelf. So after marketing fundamentals, design is the next skill you’d be wise to learn.
We’re going to make this section optional, as we assume most are here for designing and marketing type functions. If so, don’t concern yourself too much with the actual printing production and technology. If you work in print marketing, there will be specialists at your agency or you’ll outsource the jobs to a printing company. Nobody expects the designer to work with complex printing machines and if they do, you’ll be trained.
However, we do want to include this section for two reasons. First, it’s an essential part of print marketing. Design is one part but paper types/shapes/sizes, coloring, finishings, and other cool features are all part of print production. Second, 3D printing is a fast emerging technology that can revolutionize print marketing. Learning at least the basics of what it is can be beneficial to your knowledge.
Marketing analytics is much easier in the digital channels, as technology is built into these channels to capture results. With print, it’s a lot more difficult to assess whether customers are responding to your ads and marketing materials and it’s generating a positive ROI.
Every print document, campaign, and method will have different analytical measurements and ways of measuring. We won’t go into depth on each one. However, we want to stress how important analytics is and get you thinking about it in the print marketing world.
Since nobody seems to talk about this subject, we wrote our own detailed article on How to Measure Traditional Marketing.
Every product or service has either a package or label of some type. It has to or customers wouldn’t have any idea what it is or why to buy it. This is a huge function of print marketers… designing what the packaging and/or label look like.
Manufacturers will actually create the package so don’t worry about that right now. Your goal is to think about what designs represent your client’s brand, attracts customers, and provides enough information for a customer to purchase. There’s an art to this and we’ll get you thinking about these topics with Design Print-Ready Product Packaging
Print marketers are often tasked with creating the materials that showcase a company’s brand. Things like logos, signs, templates, business cards, and other materials will have a common theme, color, style, etc that create a visual for customers.
Here we’ll explore how to think about these subjects and design the perfect branding materials. Check out 20 Creative Branding and Identity Designs for Your Inspiration.
There are so many advertisements that print marketers will assist companies in creating and placing. A few examples… mailings, newspaper ads, billboards, posters, fliers. Print marketers need to design something eye-catching, advertise a company/product/service/offer, and convert customers. Not an easy task.
But we can provide some inspiration and examples with 100 Brilliant Print Adverts and 33 Powerful and Creative Print Ads That Will Make You Look Twice
Likewise, this video series gives some great advice as well: Print Advertising Techniques and Examples
The last category print marketers will usually provide services for is internal printing needs. People may not associate such things as marketing materials but they are. An easy example… a restaurant’s menu needs to be well designed, descriptive, and appeal to customers in the restaurant or those deciding whether to eat there.
Pretty much any business will have physical materials that provide decoration, product/service information, company information, or even print materials that are part of the product/service itself.
A good source for thinking about internal needs is Brochure Design: 25 Tips to Creating Marketing Material That Sells
The final portion of this section will put it all together. Regardless of which type of print work you do, you’ll have to work with a client on addressing their needs. They’ll come to you with a request… sometimes quite specific and other times with a goal in mind. It’s your job as a print marketer to realize their vision through a great design and marketing material capable of converting customers.
This final section will talk about how that process works. How do you take a client brief and turn it into a final product? For this, we turn to a great source – Pro Print Design Workforce.
If you’re coming to this page from our Marketing Learning Path, you’ve heard this before. If not, pay attention because this is important.
In the marketing world, learning the fundamentals are absolutely critical. Things like persuasion, sales, branding, creativity, and measurement. Remember that the success of any print campaign requires you to actually be a good marketer. You can know the technology and approach really well but if you can’t generate good, persuasive content or sell your customers, you won’t succeed. This is why we recommend starting with basics and choosing Print as a specialization.
If you haven’t been to our General Marketing Learning Path, check it out. There’s an abundance of amazing content that can help your marketing education and career more than strictly learning Print technical/strategic topics. Here’s our link:
And if you’ve already been there, continue on with this awesome marketing specialization!
If you want to start doing print work, you need a good resume. And if you lack experience, you need to get some. We help with that.
We wrote an article that brainstorms ways to get experience and build that resume and professional portfolio. Here it is…
We commend you for your choice to learn marketing skills. This will help you take the next step up in your career. But how can you turn skills into real job outcomes?
The following guides will help you apply your new skills and see significant career benefit…
It’s pretty tough to differentiate yourself in the job market. But now that you’ve learned a valuable new skill, we think you can do it with your resume.
For more information and to sign up, visit our Building a Top Resume Guide Page
Cover letters are the first thing employers will see when you’re applying to them. So you certainly want it to look good and make a strong case for you to get the job!
For more information and to sign up, check out our page Writing Amazing Cover Letters Guide
Now that you have better qualifications, it’s time to PROVE it to employers. This is what they love even more than resumes! Portfolios are your edge compared to other applicants.
The Portfolio Guide will help with…
For more information or to sign up, visit our page – Creating a Professional Portfolio Guide
The interview is the equivalent of closing the sale. This is when you’re getting more personalized and thus requires substantial preparation.
Here’s what this guide covers…
For more information or to sign up, visit our page Owning the Interview Guide
Everyone should know how to do a business proposal but few do! Yet it’s so important to advance in your career (job applications, bidding on work, proposing ideas, etc).
For more information or to sign up, visit our page The Business Proposal Guide
Sales can be a freelancer’s biggest challenge. But it doesn’t have to be so bad. We’re here to help! This guide will help you improve with:
For more information or to sign up, visit our page – Increasing Freelance Sales Guide
Rather than go from gig to gig, you can do better. Your freelancing can be built into a full business and earn much better, more consistent revenue.
This guide helps the freelancer:
For more information or to sign up for this guide, visit our page at Freelance Gigs to Lucrative Business Guide
Now that you’ve improved your marketing skills, it’s time to focus on how to write them specifically. What do employers look for when hiring marketers?
This guide is one of a kind… we don’t know of anyone else providing such specific advice! And best of all, it’s super cheap! For more information or to sign up, check out our page:
We want to work with YOU directly. What can we focus on?
For more information or to sign up for a time slot today, visit our page Reverse Tide Personalized Career Services
The final section of the Print Marketing Learning Path deals with Continuing Education. Nobody stops learning in their careers and so we want to give you some great sources to be inspired and educated as your print career develops.
The sources we link here are our favorites websites and blogs in the world of Print Marketing. We’d encourage you to subscribe to them or follow their free content, as there’s a wealth of knowledge being poured from these sites…
Podcasts are a great way to learn, as you listen to them while multi-tasking on something else. Perhaps on your commute to work/school. Maybe on public transportation. At the gym or while walking around. In the shower.
Unfortunately there are no podcasts we’ve come across specific to print marketing. However, the individual components that create print marketing success are well covered in the podcast arena. Refer to our General Marketing and Graphic Design pages for our podcast recommendation there. These can give you some great strategies and ideas for application in print marketing.
One thing to ensure you haven’t underestimated is the power of your peers. Whatever you’re learning, it’s always convenient to have a place to collaborate with similar minded people. When it comes to Print, you may have questions or may simply want to participate in a discussion on various marketing topics.
The learning potential is really strong no matter how you use these forums. Warrior Forum is the best for marketing topics and discussion. And for design inspiration and sharing, check out sites like Behance and Dribble.