Back to school – five-steps to effective print planning for Q4

As I was dragging my children around the shops to replenish items of school uniform, trying to find a pair of school shoes that fitted them post their summer growth spurt, I was struck by a sense of nostalgia and that back to school feeling.  Typically, there are two times of year when both from a personal and business perspective, we have a renewed sense of purpose and the desire to make a fresh start.  January is the obvious example of this, but September for me also has that feeling.

This year more than ever, as we come out of a post pandemic world, businesses are trying to work out how to bring their teams back to the workplace and implement what is being termed as a “hybrid way of working’.  What do we mean by this?  Well, some people are going to be really keen to return to the workplace to see and engage with real people, others are going to be really anxious about it.  It is important to recognise that we have all been on our own journey over the last 18-months or so and to be sympathetic and patient to how others are feeling.

So, what does that mean from a print planning perspective?  As the rhythm of things start to change, from the slow pace of summer, we turn our focus towards the final quarter and start to focus on our businesses, we wanted to share some thoughts to help get you started:

1. Reviewing what you have:  A good place to start is to conduct a print audit. How many letterheads, business cards, marketing collateral, etc do you have? Are they still relevant?  Also consider, as people return to the workplace, do you need to update signs or directions to help support their transition.  Once you have done a print audit, then look to draft a brief to replenish stocks as you need.  Don’t forget that we may also now be able to return to in person events and conferences, so remember to accommodate for these as well.

2. Defining the objectives of your print items:  Once you have a list of print items that you need, it is important to review the objectives of each piece.  What action is it that by engaging with these printed items you want people to take?  It could be to get in touch to arrange a discovery call or purchase a particular product or service.

3. Who is your audience?  When you review the objectives of each print item, it is also important to consider your audience – who is going to read this print item?  Having a clear understanding of your target audience will help you to define your objectives, select the right product for them, use copy and imagery which will resonate with them.

4. Economies of scale:  When we work with our clients we are always trying to get them the best price and deal for their budget, for a small business owner we know this is important.  We have just launched our print management package this year, which will help with this, as there are definitely some benefits to be gained by taking an overall approach to your print requirements.  The benefit comes in two ways, firstly you can bulk buy your items and secondly, via the delivery fees.  Do get in touch to see how we can help you with this.

5. Timings and measuring effectiveness:  As with any good marketing activity at the beginning of a project it is important to work out your timings – when you need things for and also what you think success looks like.  An example of this could be that if you take some collateral to an industry conference, you then get 10 enquiries back from it, that way you know that the print items have played a role in this process.  In a digital world it is really important to sometimes have something tactile that clients can take away with them to refer back to later.

No matter what your industry, it’s important to start planning print collateral requirements before you run out.  Give yourself time to create engaging creative that resonates with your audience, supported by a design that will showcase your business.  Last minute planning could result in your hard work going to waste, by missing the sparkle it needs to make you memorable and appealing to your ideal client.

Whether it’s advertising promotions, fulfilling a marketing strategy or replenishing the stock cupboard, Q Print can help you make the most of Q4.  Please get in touch to arrange your no obligation discovery call so we can chat through your brief and help you start your print planning process for the year ahead.


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Raina Joyce

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