I live in a paradox of owning a print shop and a digital agency. When I purchased Zipp Printing, many people questioned why I would go from digital marketing (read: the future) to printing (read: the past). I told them, “It’s not either or, it’s both.” See, I don’t believe this concept that print is dead and social media is the one and only. Nor do I stand and fight for print. We literally had a conversation today in my print shop about how we thought a customer would be better served spending their money on something else, not the mailer they just paid us thousands to print and mail. We aren’t romantic about the medium, we just want our customers to be successful. I’m not 100% in on print or digital. I’m 100% in on what works.

It’s not either or, it’s both.

At Zipp, we spend a good portion of our advertising budget on search. We know that our customers head to Google for info on a local print shop. We know they want information about our location, phone number, our services, etc. We built our site to be mobile friendly, SEO strong, and full of info that our customers are looking for. Then we built in a blog that adds fresh content. Then we pushed that info out to all the search engines and listing sites. Now, search printing in Mishawaka… go on.

For Blackwood, our main strategy is building relationships and connecting via Social Media. Our online following grows at a much faster pace than Zipp. Zipp has a 30 year history in Mishawaka and we can capitalize on that, being the local option. For Blackwood, we can easily serve customers nationwide. Our focus is less of location and more on the type of business we want to serve. The nice thing is that Zipp and BC share a similar demographic.

A third and distinct example is another company I’m working with called Horizon Transport. Horizon is a multi-million dollar, 32 year old, transportation logistics company. The company hires contractors to move RVs and other trucks across the country. It’s a pretty simple concept and yet a complicated business. My task is not to find more customers, but to find more drivers. The driver base is diverse, yet there’s a very clear stereo-type. In marketing we call that a demographic. We’re looking for 40-60 year old men that are fairly handy and like to drive. They’re usually pretty simple guys. They’re not usually up on the technological times (their words). Horizon spends a ton of money on billboard ads and search ads. We know that the best prospect for Horizon is someone who’s already driving truck. They’re on the road, so we put the ads on the road. They need to know the weather, so we put ads on the weather app, they search google for things like “transport jobs,” so we put ads on Google. Guess what, it works.

Don’t get romantic about the medium, get romantic about what works.