When your kids leave the house in the morning or before going to Aunt Samantha’s house, what’s one of the first things you do. You look them over. Did you brush your hair – you might ask. Are those teeth brushed and breath smelling fresh. Tie your shoes. Who used the bathroom?
You did this as you want to ensure that you children look good for themselves and also because they represent you.
Your marketing material is the same. Have you taken 30 seconds to really look at your letter head, your business cards, your pens, and any other marketing collateral you have?
Think about it. When you send a proposal to a client or a thank you card to a new customer – your words mean a lot but the paper the words are on are also VERY important.
I’ve been writing quite a bit about the need to refresh your web site. What’s also important is to refresh your paper marketing material.
In a recent survey, conducted by International Communications Research (ICR), nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of all small businesses said they lacked full confidence in their marketing decisions, according to the results released by HP yesterday.
Furthermore, nearly half (46 percent) said they did not have general marketing expertise and 60 percent felt their small business marketing could be more effective.
You can use a professional designer, to help, there are many of them, or your local printer might be able to offer some professional assistance. But you might also be surprised at what you can do on your own – with some help.
HP has always been known as a leading printer manufacturer, and they still are. But one thing they’ve been pushing over the past several months (possibly more) is an initiative to help small businesses publish their own marketing collateral.
The printer you use is important (be it from Xerox, Lexmark, Dell or others). The paper you use is also very important.
What you also need, however, is software (and professional help) to help you design your new and improved material and some help spicing up your logo.
For example Logoworks, an HP division, has a full suite of marketing and design services and products. If you go to your local office supply store you could also check out products from Avery which have pre-printed and designed marketing material as well.
In an effort to help small businesses with their marketing and branding efforts, HP recently launched the “What do you have to say?” Small Business Contest. Prizes include a Logoworks by HP “Start Up Package” to help refresh or create their brand image and a printing package to print professional-quality marketing collateral in-house.
The contest runs through Feb. 28, 2008. To submit an entry and for more details on terms and conditions of the contest, visit www.hp.com/go/brandcontest.
This contest and others are also listed on the Small Business Calendar, a cooperation between Smallbiztechnology.com, Small Business Trends and Business Technology Radio.
Small Business Trends has in fact put together a POWERFUL