Flyer Printing – The Ultimate Guide to Flyers & Print Advertising

Print advertisements, such as color flyers, continue to generate cash flow and develop new revenue streams for virtually every industry. Every business that has developed into an industry leader over the last several decades, did so by utilizing key concepts in advertising that have evolved from very humble beginnings. Not all advertising works, so it is extremely important to understand how ads work, why some succeed while others fail, and what your ads should consist of to generate the maximize ROI.

The Birth of Modern Advertising:
Although there were always market vendors from the early days of ‘civilization’ who would stand in the marketplace ‘crying’ their wares, it wasn’t until the advent of the printing press that printed advertising as we know it today came into being. In the very beginning, advertising was nothing more than a single line of copy in the newspaper that perhaps listed the product, the price and a very simple description. Among scholars, it is held that this form of printed advertising first appeared somewhere in the latter part of the 17th century. As time went on, and as the technology of printing progressed, color was added and at some point simple graphics evolved into photographic images.

For the next almost 200 years printed advertising remained pretty much the same. A single line of copy or perhaps a small block of text was all that consumers were likely to see in their local papers. That is until Thomas Barratt, who married into the family of the famous Pears Soap Empire, decided to launch an aggressive advertising campaign to promote their product to the rising middle class who finally had buying power. In the beginning, Pears Soap had been marketed to a small portion of the population, the elite who could afford an expensive, handcrafted scented soap that was suitable for their ivory complexions. Now that the working middle class was a viable market, and knowing that he had to ‘reach’ them in order to keep his family business afloat, Barratt set about formulating a marketing strategy that would reach the masses. They revamped their production lines in order to make Pears Soap affordable to the average consumer and set about developing an aggressive marketing campaign to reach that demographic. Thomas Barratt is famous for his cherubic children in the Pears Soap advertisements, many of which we still recognize to this very day. Because of his aggressive marketing strategies and innovative use of print, he is often considered to be the “Father of Modern Advertising.”

During WWI, to offset the rising costs of advertising, the philosophy of creating a need was introduced to the masses. Companies begain creating “perceived needs.” For the first time, all of the strategies which are now tried and tested advertising methodologies, were melded together and distributed to consumers. The rest is history.

The 3 key elements of print advertising are:

1. Reach the maximum amount of potential customers at the lowest cost possible
2. Design aesthetically pleasing or response-driving artwork
3. Create a need for your product/service while offering “irresistable” benefits to consumers

Today’s flyer printing and advertising still focuses on these key strategies, which have been proven to work using decades worth of statistics. Technologies, products, and services change over time, however, human needs and response criteria remain largely the same over time.

Let’s put history to work to visualize the success of the 3 Keys. For example, consider Burger King and McDonald’s. They dominate the fast-food market for their niche and they got there by reaching a huge market with advertising that was eye-catching and created a need. During the latter half of the 20th century commerce was booming and the average family was living life in the fast lane. Both corporations capitalized on this fast-paced environment by employing ads that were appealing to the eye, while also playing on the need that they were creating. The message is simple, “you are important.” In other words, “you deserve to do things for yourself and take time away from your busy lifestyle.”

McDonald’s still uses the ‘Golden Arches’ whicht print on demand company symbolize a place where life is idyllic and a far cry from the hectic life that people are forced to endure to make ends meet. “You deserve a break today at McDonald’s. We do it all for you.” Their impressive advertising strategy planted a seed in the heads of consumers that they deserve to take a break and let someone take over at least one of their daily tasks – cooking.

The same hold’s true with the marketing strategy employed by Burger King. “Have it your way!” The message being, you answer to a boss, you answer to your family and you are bogged down with responsibilities, so now it is time to do what you want for a change. You deserve to have it ‘your way,’ and, of course, since you should be treated like a king/queen, there is a subliminal message in the famous BK crown.

All 3 Key strategies were employed by both mega-corporations early on, and as you can see, literally launched them to the very top of the fast-food market. They launched national advertising campaigns

(Key #1) with pleasing advertisement designs
(Key #2) to create a need
(Key #3) in the lives of mass consumers.

Avoid Common Misconceptions in Flyer Printing by Researching Demographics
One of the most common misconceptions that business owners have when creating flyers is to think that designing a flyer based on the ‘3 Keys to Success’ is all there is to it. There are actually other ‘steps’ that should be taken prior to creating your campaign. It is a huge mistake to believe that an ‘eye-catching’ flyer that reaches a ‘maximum number of people’ and creates a ‘need’ is all there is to it. One of the factors that should be considered is researching the demographics in a specific market area before launching your campaign or none of those three keys will fit the lock! In other words, targeted marketing is the “true” key to success.

Understand your market demographics to make the 3 keys work for you!
Look at this research which paid off for McDonald’s and Burger King – big time. At the time of their rise to fame, market analysis was simple and provided basic insight into the lifestyles of the consumers they were trying to reach. It is apparent that their advertising campaigns focused on the working middle class who were overwhelmed with work at relatively low wages. There were definite psychological tactics employed that wouldn’t have been effective if their ads didn’t reach the right people with the right message. You can’t create a need where there is no void to fill. It is as simple as that.

Take a good long look at the product or service you are selling, find a demographic that has a void that you can fill, and target them with amazing advertisements. Create and distribute your flyer printing campaign to reach as many targeted customers as possible, make it appealing so it catches their eye, and then set about filling the void you have discovered by creating or emphasizing a need. If you don’t have the resources to do the research in your market area, there is an age-old trick that enables you to ‘borrow’ research that has already proven to be effective. It’s so obvious that it is easy to miss, it’s called “analyzing what your competitors use.”

Take a look at the two burger empires to see just how effective it is to ‘borrow’ what is working for your competition! It doesn’t really matter which corporation did the actual market analysis first, the point is that one of them found a void, filled it by creating a need, and launched an all out advertising campaign that could fill that need/void. Then, as history has it, the war was on. Although the area of that ‘void’ those two corporations addressed were to some degree different, they both identified the void and created a need based on something missing in the lives of consumers. Remember, that was the time of the “Me Generation” so when consumers felt like they were losing control of their lives due to the need to care for others, both corporations pounced on that and ran with it. One company promised that consumers could have it their way while the other provided a break from the reality of losing the sense of self that was so vital at that time.

You can do the same thing in your market area by expanding on what is effectively working for your competitors. Obviously they have found a way to create a need in order to sell their products/services. Whatever they are utilizing is working because it is bringing in the business. Take the time to analyze their marketing strategies. Try to identify the demographics they are reaching out to. What forms of advertising are your competitors using and how are they distributing it? Competitive analysis is exactly what highly successful businesses like Burger King and McDonald’s do. They analyze the competition and then try to stay one step ahead of them. Once you have the concept of your advertising created, it’s time to get down to the practical aspect of printing and dist

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