How to Create a Marketing Plan for Your Print Company

When was the last time you actually created a marketing plan for your print company?

If you’re like most of the printers we talk to then it has likely been a long time since you created one. To be honest about half of them have never really created one at all.

We do get it, creating a marketing plan can be time consuming and sometimes feel pointless if you don’t have the resources to consistently pull the plan off.

And for those we talk with who do create marketing plans, unfortunately many of them aren’t getting the results they want out of the plan.

This is why we decided to put together this article on how your print company can create a marketing plan that actually works and delivers the visibility, leads and sales you expect it to generate.


There are 5 Steps to Creating a Marketing Plan for a Print Shop We’ll Cover

  1. Define Your Target Customer
  2. Marketing Budget Creation
  3. Marketing Channel Selection
  4. Campaign Development
  5. Build & Launch


Define Your Target Customer – Print Marketing Plan

Everyone knows that you need to define who your customers are. So this isn’t news, but do you actually know who your target customers are? Most print companies we talk to say that they do, but when asked if they can define the attributes of that customers most quickly realize they don’t actually know who that target customer is.


To start we have to say that “Everyone” is not your customer.

The good thing about a marketing plan is that you as the print company get to define who your customer will be by defining who you want to work with and build around that.


Below we are listing a number of ways that you can identify who that target customer is

  • What market do you want to sell to? Why do you want to sell to that market segment?
  • Who do you currently sell the most to? Using a target you currently have experience will allow you to close new business much faster.
  • Do you want to sell more of a specific product? If so this can point you in the direction of a specific target customer who uses that product most.
  • Most print companies can target marketers, graphic designers and company owners who do the marketing for their business as general targets.


There is no one answer here.

You may define multiple target customers by segmenting them into industry, job title and / or size of company.

Regardless, you need to make a decision and build on that.


Marketing Budget Creation – Print Marketing Plan

Surprisingly to most the budget part of a marketing plan feels the most difficult, but in reality it can be the easiest. Our advice is to simply choose an amount you are comfortable with spending.


There are four ways print companies typically approach creating a marketing budget.

  1. Start, but get frustrated and don’t create a budget (don’t do this!)
  2. Overthink it and spend a week trying to come up with exact numbers based on a bunch of market research and planning (99% of those who plan like this get frustrated because the plan never rolls out like they thought)
  3. Create a budget based on 2 KPIs. Sales and Cost Per Lead. (this is a good one)
  4. Choose a number based on available cash flow (this is o.k. as well)


We’ll focus on method 3 and 4.

Using a Sales Goal and Cost Per Lead goal will allow you to build a marketing plan to meet those goals. For example, assume you want 120 new sales (new customers) per month, and let’s say that your average lifetime value of a customer is $10,000 with a 50% margin that is $5,000 profit, let’s also assume you are okay with acquiring that new customer for $150, which would leave you with a lifetime profit of $4,850 from each customer. Now let’s assume you currently have a close rate of 30%.  If we extrapolate this would mean that 120 is 30% of 400, so you’ll need to generate 400 leads per month to hit the Sales Goal and if it costs you $150 to close each of those new sales the total budget would be $18,000 and if we divide in the number of leads (400) you get a Cost Per Lead of $45.


Budget = $18,000

Sales Goal = 120 new sales

Cost Per Lead Goal = $45


Your numbers may be way different.

If you change the acceptable Cost Per Sale then these numbers change significantly.

But ultimately this will allow you to come up with a budget and provide guidance to how the marketing must perform to make everything profitable.


Choosing a budget based on available cash flow works great as well.

If you currently have $1,500 per month available to spend then use that.

From there you can set marketing KPIs to measure performance.


The fact is you need some amount to spend per month and setting that here is a critical step.


Marketing Channel Selection – Print Marketing Plan

Choosing where you will market your print company doesn’t have to be difficult.

There are two primary sectors for channel selection. Online and Offline marketing channels.


Online Marketing Channels for Print Companies

Fortunately this is a very easy decision for printers.

You essentially should market across all online channels.

  • Google Ads
    • Pay Per Click Keyword Targeted Ads
    • Retargeted Display Ads (ads that follow customers around)
  • Social Media
    • Facebook
    • LinkedIn
    • Instagram
    • Twitter
  • Email


Publishing content to your target customer on each of these channels can be very easy.

The majority of marketers at print companies overthink this though and are sometimes paralyzed by overanalysis. Simply posting relevant copy and articles here will get you more print leads and sales.  Shameless plug, Pryntbase creates all of this content for you, so it’s done, and it’s researched to deliver amazing results.


Offline Marketing Channels for Print Companies

As a print company you are very familiar with Direct Mail so start there.

Ensure that your own print marketing is on point by creating compelling direct mail advertisements that you send out to your target customers.


Additionally you can run sponsorships, set up at trade shows, and attend events.

The great thing about in-person events is that you can share real examples of work you’ve done which creates more of an engaging experience for prospective print buyers.


Campaign Development – Print Marketing Plan

Campaign development brings together all of the previous components of your marketing plan preparation. By knowing who your target customers are, what your budget is and what channels you’ll market on you can complete a campaign.


The only thing you’ll need to add to this is defining a message based on the pain experienced by your target customer and the competitive advantage you have as a print company.


Let’s assume you are targeting HVAC companies.

You can create a campaign that focuses on pain points such as…

  • “Is your current marketing not getting new heating & cooling clients?”
  • “Have you been burned by marketing agencies in the past?”
  • “Are you attracting the wrong kind of customers?”


Now let’s address your advantage in the marketplace.

Do you have experience working with HVAC companies? Have examples to prove it?

Are you willing to guarantee results for your customers?


Whatever those advantages are you can pair them with the pain points to generate your campaign message.


Here’s a final example.

“Are you attracting bad heating & cooling clients? We specialize in getting HVAC companies highly profitable customers. And can prove it!”


This message will be built across all of the assets needed to launch your marketing plan.


Build & Launch – Print Marketing Plan

This is where you’ll put it all together.

Write the copy for each of the assets needed for each marketing channel.

Build those assets into each of the marketing channels, apply the budgets and schedule for launch. At this point all you need to do is watch the results come in!


Doing this will allow you to easily create a marketing plan for your print company, generate more traffic, print leads and print sales.

Are You Ready to create a Marketing Plan that Gets Results?