Printing, marketing and graphic design are three very different, yet intrinsically entwined, disciplines. In nearly every case, one is cause for another; and all three are components of successful business operation. Despite the fact that millions of businesses employ all three, myths about each prevail that hinder many companies’ ability to maximize their reach. Thus, I present 30 myths about printing, marketing and graphic design – debunked!
1. Myth: Print marketing will die off soon
Fact: Print marketing is here to stay, as studies continue to prove that most consumers prefer to be communicated with via print.
2. Myth: Young people do not respond to print marketing
Fact: The 18-24 age group is the second most-responsive demographic to direct-mail marketing, right behind the 65 and up age group. That demonstrates that younger generations are embracing print more than their parents.
3. Myth: Printing isn’t eco-friendly
Fact: Printers that use recycled paper and low-VOC-emitting soy-based inks are indeed eco-friendly.
4. Myth: Printing causes deforestation
Fact: Most of the paper produced comes from tree farms specifically planted for the purpose of supplying paper. Such farms continually replant trees as a matter of business. Moreover, there are now more trees in the U.S. than there were 20 years ago.
5. Myth: Print marketing is ineffective
Fact: Print marketing reaches customers on a more private level. This is especially true for direct mail such as postcards and sales letters. Consumers prefer print marketing for communications and are more likely to respond to it.
6. Myth: Print marketing can’t be personalized
Fact: Not only can you generate a targeted mailing list, you can employ variable printing to personalize anything you want.
7. Myth: Printing is too expensive
Fact: Offset printers make large print runs affordable, and the advent of high-quality digital printing makes short runs affordable for even the smallest companies.
8. Myth: You can’t measure results from print campaigns
Fact: Coupons, coupon codes, and other tracking features allow you to measure your response rate and return on investment with accuracy.
9. Myth: Direct mail is junk mail
Fact: While it’s true that most direct mail ends up in the trash within two weeks, it’s also true that a large number of consumers respond to well-targeted print marketing materials. In fact, 73 percent of consumers say they prefer print mail versus email.
10. Myth: All printing companies are the same
Fact: As with any business, printing companies are not created equal. Some go the extra mile with quality and customer service at a fair price. Those are the printing companies you should deal with.
11. Myth: Don’t deviate from what works
Fact: While consistency and repetition are important – and if something works, you shouldn’t stop doing it – you should also continue to explore other marketing channels to see how they perform for your company.
12. Myth: Marketing has to be perfect
Fact: Marketing has to give you exposure to your target audience. Who can define a “perfect” marketing campaign, anyway?
13. Myth: Small businesses can’t afford to market
Fact: Small businesses can’t afford not to market. How else are you going to get business? The key is to market effectively so your investment pays off.
14. Myth: My logo is my brand
Fact: A brand is far more than a logo or other design. A brand is the identity of your company – who you are, what you do, and why you’re better – to your customers. It is cultivated through action.
15. Myth: Marketing success is instantaneous
Fact: It takes time and dedicate to realize the best results from your marketing campaign. If a campaign fails, find out what when wrong and fix it. Then, try again until you can yield a predictable (and profitable) return.
16. Myth: Lower prices mean more sales
Fact: The best customers want value, not necessarily the cheapest prices.
17. Myth: Creative marketing is only for the biggest companies
Fact: If you want your small business to succeed, stop doing what all your competitors are doing and get creative. Go guerrilla!
18. Myth: Customers want a conversation
Fact: Customers want convenience and value, first and foremost. The conversation comes later.
19. Myth: Marketing should land sales
Fact: Marketing should generate leads.
20. Myth: The more people I market to, the better
Fact: You’ll achieve better results with well-targeted marketing, regardless of the size of your distribution.
Graphic Design Myths
21. Myth: Anyone can be a designer (with the right software)
Fact: Sure, a little bit of Photoshop savvy can help even amateurs create an OK-looking poster, but truly great design – the kind that influences – takes learned skills.
22. Myth: Good design is easy
Fact: It is neither easy or fast; designers consider every visual aspect of a layout to ensure it facilitates the intended goal. It’s one thing to communicate, but quite another to communicate effectively.
23. Myth: Good design is cheap
Fact: Good designers don’t sell themselves short, but they do sell high-quality design.
24. Myth: Graphic designers are care-free, energy drink-chugging playboys
Fact: That’s the perception of some designers, but most designers I know are hard-working and family-oriented with a touch of geek. Plus, have you seen what a case of Red Bull costs?
25. Myth: Graphic designers don’t care about your success
Fact: On the contrary, most designers want to help you achieve your goals. They want their work to be effective. Not only does it lend them a sense of a job well done, it keeps them in business: if their designs are good, you’ll hire them again – and tell your colleagues.
26. Myth: Graphic designers are also web developers
Fact: Some designers, maybe. But most are experts at design and leave development to experts at coding.
27. Myth: Design doesn’t influence sales
Fact: Design absolutely influences sales. It visually “speaks” to customers, and crafts the all-important first impression.
28. Myth: Small businesses don’t need to be branded
Fact: Not unless you want to differentiate your company and outperform your competitors, anyway.
29. Myth: Graphic designers can read your mind
Fact: Nope. Be specific with what you want, and you’ll get what you asked for.
30. Myth: Doing it yourself saves money
Fact: Maybe at first, but think of all the money you’ll lose when your design fails to motivate response.
What other printing, marketing, and graphic design myths can you debunk? Let me know in the comments!