Creative resources are imperative when it comes to your marketing campaigns. From words to graphics to placement, you're trying to capture your customer's attention above all the other brands who are attempting to do the same thing. The only way you wouldn't be overwhelmed by this task is if your business faced no direct competition! Whether you're looking for a copywriter, a designer, or a consultant, you may want to think outside the box to find some help. See how you can start rethinking your creative resources, and why your local printer may have all the answers you're looking for.
What Does Your Budget Look Like This Year?
The budget for any project is often the driving factor behind its creative resources. Companies may be concerned with how their logo, colors, and wording are coming across to their target audience, but that doesn't mean they're prepared to conduct years or market research to avoid making any mistakes. All companies want to get the best quality for the best price, but very few actually do achieve this elusive combination. There are two key ways to kill your budget when you're looking for creative resources.
When you look for the cheapest creative resources that you can find, it's likely you'll see their lack of expertise reflected in that of your response rate. If you really want to make an impression with your customers, it's going to take more than a single BOGO offer to do it.
Here are just a few ways that marketers turn customers off without realizing it:
- Your branding design is garish or unremarkable
- Your copywriting is a novel rather than a punchy slogan
- Your direct mail is advertising all the wrong benefits to your customers
If you base your creative campaigns entirely on price, it's rare that you find someone who can deliver creative work that will actually say something meaningful to your customers.
Overshooting Your Campaigns
Some companies choose to go the other way by carving out a big budget for each project. This may seem like the best way to go because a company is theoretically choosing a vendor that knows what they're doing. However, this can be a dangerous tactic to take too. Just because a marketing company charges a lot for their services, doesn't mean their services can justify the cost.
In fact, larger marketing companies may be more likely to push your company in one direction or the other. They may encourage you to expand to different markets when you're not ready to do that just yet. They may identify the wrong customers because they don't really understand your company or the scope of what you do. If they end up choosing the wrong direction, you could end up wasting money on a large-scale campaign that ultimately doesn't move your business forward.
Where Should You Look for Creative Resources?
There is no straightforward answer to where to find creative resources. Typically, only the larger businesses will hire full-time people for this kind of work. However, most companies will have enough work to hire creative people on a full-time or even part-time basis. If employers do choose this option, they may have to slash salaries, or they may find that their people don't have enough to do to fill an 8-hour day.
Some businesses will hire local freelancers or contract with temp companies. This way, they only have to pay for the hours worked rather than a 40-hour week. Employers are not required to pay benefits to these employees, making it cost-effective as well. This can be a smart choice, but it also spreads the work across several entities, making it easy for certain tasks to get lost in the cracks. Also, temporary workers will be more likely to be loyal to the temp agency as opposed to your company.
Finally, some businesses may expand the role of their marketers and tech talent to fill in the gaps where creative work is needed. This option is as economical as it is practical in that you're utilizing the talent you already have. You may even find a diamond in the rough when it comes to a creative powerhouse. The problem with this approach, though is that it's often a stretch to expect your marketer to be a wordsmith or your front-end coder to be a graphic artist. You sacrifice the quality of the work and could potentially inspire resentment among your employees.
Have You Checked with Your Local Printer?
If you're not particularly fond of the above options for creative resources in Charlotte NC, you might want to consider your local printer. The printers in your area aren't still in business because the print industry is booming. If anything, local printers have had to hustle to stay relevant to their customers. Those who have managed to come out on top are the ones who were able to pivot their company to fit the needs of their customers.
And what's the best way to pivot in today's day and age? The answer lies in having stellar creative work. A local printer can do far more than print direct mailers and brochures. Your local printer can potentially help you with every aspect of your creative campaigns. So if you're having trouble getting the headline of your materials just right, or you're not sure where to place your pictures to have the most impact, your local printer can give you the advice you need to see the work in a new way.
Customers today are so aware of marketing gimmicks that it's easy for them to ignore your strongly-worded call-to-action. They're so used to empty promises that it's hard to cut through all the reasons for them to say no. A local printer is not only aware of all this, but its staff may be able to suggest a strategy that actually works.
Did You Know Local Printers Have Designers and Copywriters on Staff (If Not a Whole Team)?
You may not have enough work for a full-time copywriter to polish up your campaigns, but your local printer certainly does. They utilize staff on different campaigns and rearrange as needed, so you get a level of flexibility you could never achieve if you had to do it on your own.
What's more, your local printer employs copywriters who have expertise in your industry. They may not understand each and every last detail of your business, but they know enough about your customers to pique their curiosity when they come across a publication of your company.
There are certain words that your marketing should be using to really motivate people to take action. A local printer can help you determine how your audience will respond to different strategies. For example, if your customers are primarily homeowners in a rapidly growing housing market, they may be most likely to respond to services that can improve their resale value.
The right copywriting services can highlight this immediately, so your prospective customers know exactly how you can help them. The staff may be able to find local statistics that will immediately stand out to the homeowner. Local printers see plenty of businesses come and go. They have a knack for the area that a national brand simply can't achieve. They share these insights with you, so you can capitalize on the successes of other businesses while simultaneously avoiding their mistakes.
When it comes to design, your local printer knows their stuff. They can help you find creative ways to reach your customers that are exactly what you need to stand out. Are you sending real estate mailers? Consider how die-cuts can create the outline of a traditional home in the area. Are you announcing a grand opening? Consider having the invite postcard tucked inside of an elaborate outer covering. This extra step encourages your customers to take the extra step, break the seal of the covering, and really look at what's inside.
What Are The Costs of Using Multiple Vendors to Complete a Project?
If you're using several vendors for your creative resources, it almost certainly won't be long before the hassle outweighs the benefits. So let's say you hire an outside team to design graphics for your brochure before hiring a freelance writer three times a week to handle copy. You also hire a printer company to both create and send out your mailers. At the end of the day, you're paying multiple vendors premium prices, when you could be bundling it into a package cost from your local printer.
When you work with a local printer, you only have one team to consult with as opposed to three or four. If you can't get ahold of your freelance writer because of a family emergency, you'll end up delaying the project until they're available again. If one person at your local printer happens to be unavailable for any reason, the staff will already have a contingency plan, so there are no gaps in the service.
Finally, using a local printer rather than a national or online printer means eliminating any shipping costs. If the chain you're using doesn't have a local branch near you, you'll need to shoulder the burden of the shipping. Many local businesses are drawn in by the initial marketing of online printers. Their prices and their promises certainly seem to give you everything you're looking for and more. But the truth is that these companies can come with unadvertised costs that make it an impractical choice.
What Kind of Customer Service Can I Expect from My Local Printer?
Creative work is not a straightforward job, which means you'll need a creative resources group who can keep pace with your needs. With a local printer, you'll get a project proof to review beforehand. If you have questions about how it was created or why there's an inconsistency in the brand colors, you'll get immediate answers to your questions. If there are any problems with a proof, you'll be glad you have the option to adjust the look before the full job heads to the presses.
In addition, you'll get personal service from a local printer. A staff member will call you or bring you in to talk about how the sizing, resolution, and ink affects the message you're sending to your customers. And this is true whether you're working on a small project or a major campaign.
If you choose a discount or an online printer, you may not be able to get a physical copy of your project before the job is completed, meaning it's going to be hard for you to ensure its quality. If you have questions throughout the process, you may just find that the delays go on a bit too long for comfort.
One of the biggest benefits of choosing a local printer is the chance to develop a real relationship with the people you work with. When you choose a local printer, you can call them whenever you need. If you happened to let a deadline creep up on you, they'll be ready to help you out of a jam (just try doing that with an outsourced marketing team or online printer). Plus, a local printer has the chance to really understand the essence of your brand. As time goes by, they'll be able to latch onto the most important aspects of each new campaign with little or no direction at all.
Is It More Cost-Effective to Use Your Local Printer?
Finding creative resources in Charlotte NC is all about balancing what you have with what you need. If you're more concerned with quantity over quality, then it's possible it isn't as cost-effective to pick your local printer. You can opt for budget services that will deliver your message to your customers in bulk. However, if you're looking for something a little more powerful to share with your customers, then the answer may lie in the creative resources of your local printer.
Boingo Graphics has been helping businesses get the creative resources that can actually take their business to new heights. Whether you want to expand business with your current customers or branch out to a different market, we can help. Give us a call today if you're looking for creative business resources that won't let you down.