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    Small business tips: How to maximize your marketing, minimize your spend

    When it comes to marketing your small business, a digital strategy is vital, but so are traditional marketing and advertising tactics like print advertising and direct mail. In fact, nearly a third of all small business owners still use those formats, while one in five say they don’t plan to use digital at all, according to the 2016 Small Business Marketing Trends Report.

    Small businesses aren’t ready to entirely replace traditional marketing modes with digital channels, possibly because familiar methods still work. MarketingProfs points out that the growing rarity of direct mail and print advertising may actually make your printed marketing pieces stand out. The marketing resource website cites research indicating 73 percent of consumers prefer mail over other advertising methods, and 40 percent will try a new business after receiving a direct mail from that business.

    Making the most of your marketing

    With the majority of small business owners shouldering full responsibility for marketing their companies, time and cost are major factors in the migration toward digital marketing channels. However, savvy small business owners know that by holding down production costs and minimizing their time investment, they can boost the cost-effectiveness of their traditional marketing tactics. They’re turning to resources like Staples Print & Marketing Services, including full-serve and self-serve services to create quality materials for a reasonable investment of time and money.

    Self-serve tools make smaller jobs such as printing, copying, faxing, scanning or shredding quick, easy and low-cost. Larger projects such as big printing jobs, lamination, binding, specialty paper or large copies can be handed over to Staples Print & Marketing Services professionals, who process the work and free small business owners to focus on other things.

    “You can bring your presentations, copy and print jobs and have them professionally and quickly done without taking up the time (and resources) required to have someone do it in-house,” says Gene Marks, small business expert and author. “You can cost-effectively accomplish the kind of marketing that would cost significantly more if you were to do it yourself.”

    Tangible marketing, tangible results

    While digital marketing channels offer ease of access, speed and convenience that appeal to many consumers, traditional marketing tactics that produce tangible materials still have a special kind of power, research shows:

    * Direct mail – which can encompass flyers, postcards, brochures and catalogs – is the preferred communication channel for nearly 50 percent of consumers, according to research by MarketingSherpa.

    * Everyone likes a deal or discount, which could be why multiple studies indicate the majority of Americans use coupons for purchases at least some of the time. In fact, 96 percent of Americans use coupons and the majority of those are printed, according to research by RetailMeNot.

    * Promotional items like T-shirts, mugs, calendars, stress balls, key chains, pens and more are effective at helping consumers remember a company, research shows. A Promotional Products Association International study found 83 percent of Americans like getting promotional products with advertising messages, and more than 76 percent can recall the product, advertiser and message related to promotional items.

    Minimizing the cost and time investment of traditional marketing tactics can help small business owners maximize the value of their marketing efforts. To learn more about how Staples Print & Marketing Services support small businesses’ marketing programs, visit and

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