The reading level for this article is Novice
Usually when you look in your tool box for something you know exactly what you need it for. It may be a hammer to drive a nail into a piece of wood, or a screw driver to tighten a loose screw. Likewise, establishing the purpose of your design project and identifying the right tool to use in order to accomplish your goal ensures a higher return on your investment.
1. Define the purpose of your project:
Before you decide what promotional tool is right for you, you should clearly know what you intend to achieve with it. Ask yourself if you want to:
– Inform: Raise awareness of a new product or feature, for example
– Instruct: Tell audience how to (reply, purchase, use, etc.)
– Interpret: Help audience develop own perception of value or use
– Persuade: Prompt desired action, lead prospects to take a step
2. Select the most appropriate promotional tool:
You will need to carefully select which tool to use, especially if you are a small business on a limited budget. Consider how you are more likely to reach your audience more effectively:
– Who is your target audience?
– What do they like?
– What do they aspire to achieve?
– Do they watch TV, listen to the radio, read print or surf the Internet?
– How do they behave?
Study how your most successful competitor is handling their communications and analyze reports for your industry. Knowing what works (and what doesn’t) can help you ensure a higher return on investment.
3. Work with a professional designer:
A lot of smaller organizations believe they save money by using a creative friend or employee to develop the company’s communications. However professional designers can create more effective communications, more economically. While your non-professional help may be very inexpensive or even free, only professional designers have the technical and creative skills, plus the experience to develop cost-effective tools based on sound problem-solving strategy. Investing in professional designers ensures the highest quality and the highest possible return on your investment, because they help you:
– Gain competitive edge, enhance your professional image and develop your brand
– Create effective communications that produce results
– Save your time and money with cost-effective solutions and professional project management
– Avoid costly mistakes during all phases of each project
4. Build a strategic communications plan: You can communicate more effectively if you plan your communications strategy in advance. Based on the previous year’s expenses, you can set up a feasible budget. You can find out how many brochures were used and which promotional efforts worked (and which didn’t). When you work with a full-service creative firm, you can save time and money if you plan ahead, by negotiating volume and frequency discounts.
January 2004. © Mediamix Design & Publishing Inc. All rights reserved.