Marketing and PromotionProfessional business marketing and advertising agency personnel and media representatives can be a great source of marketing information and a big help in planning your promotional advertising campaign. Ad agencies earn a large portion of their profits in commissions from advertising media placed on behalf of their clients. The ads cost the client the same whether placed through an advertising agency or directly with the promotional media outlet. However, the agencies usually bill their clients for other services performed, such as marketing consultation, copy writing, custom printing, and advertising design artwork. A thorough knowledge of business marketing and advertising is essential to any businessperson.

Business Promotion

You need sales marketing promotion to attract new customers and hold present ones, to counteract competition, and to take advantage of opportunities revealed by your market research. Your promotional activities may include any or all of the following: advertising, publicity, public relations activities, special sales, (clearances, closeouts, Valentines Day, etc.), contests, promotional items, displays of products or printed marketing materials on the business premises and at any trade shows. Full color promotional flyers combined with email marketing strategies are a great way to announce a grand opening. This is a perfect example of a sales promotion activity. Promotion requires ongoing planning and execution to accomplish the following:

  • Establishment of clear policies, such as those outlining pricing procedures, returns and adjustment rules, policies regarding the servicing of product, salesperson compensation, and salesperson market responsibilities

  • Creation of a company image emphasizing the competitive distinctions of the company, such as better quality, faster service, lower prices, or convenience

Marketing Strategies

Plan your company marketing and promotional strategies at the beginning of each business year and revise them during the year. Base your advertising strategies on market opportunities indicated by reliable market research, telling you what to promote, where to promote, and when to promote. Determining what to promote by considering where the best profit opportunities lie and noting which market areas hold the greatest promise for development. Your promotion may also depend on products you want to move out of stock. A build-up of one product in inventory may indicate a need for a special clearance to reduce stock to normal levels. If your analysis of company sales shows that normal sales efforts are not penetrating certain areas, you may have to plan a special promotion to target market and open up those areas.

How do I design business cards, letterhead, and envelopes for 2 color printing.  For instance, can two colors be combined for a third color?  Can the white of the paper be allowed to shine through to create gradients (like light blue to dark blue)?

Does Illustrator allow you to select just two colors and design from those.  If so, how do you set up your color palette?

Sure, you can use Illustrator to design your pieces with only two colors.  You’ll be working with Spot Colors.

Working in a CMYK document color mode, you can create your CMYK color and add it to the Swatch Window (Window > Show Swatches). Then you can make it a spot color by double clicking on it in the Swatch Window.  Change the Color Type from Process to Spot. Notice the ‘spot’ in their little swatch in the Swatch Window. Or there are entire libraries available from Pantone, who supplies them to Adobe. Windows>Swatch Libraries>Pantone (Coated, uncoated, etc, depending on the gloss of your paper stock)

To vary the screen from 0 to 100 percent, use a percentage tint (Window > Show transparency). To blend two colors, you need to place objects on top of each other and learn about Overprinting. For example.  Create a 100% red spot color square and a 100% yellow spot color square and overlap parts of them so there’s a common area.

Now select View > Overprint Preview from the menu

Now select both squares and choose Window > Show Attributes. There, check the box marked Overprint Fill. The common area will become orange and that’s the way it will print! That’s how you create interesting blends with a limited spot color palette. If one of your colors is black, you can just use 100%K, you don’t need to “Spot Color” it.

Please be aware that there are certain issues with offset printing pieces that use transparency.  There’s a Guide available at Adobe about Flattening your Transparencies before commercial printing.

Branding Your Business

Although the name of your business and your logo on your business card and letterhead are part of branding, it is much more than that. Your brand is your business’ identity. A potent brand identity is a statement that says what it is that your business does, how you go about doing it, and who you are, along with establishing your significance and credibility to your customers.

Your brand also has some other indefinable attributes to it. It is the way customers perceive your business. If the brand name of a company is perceived as high value, it enjoys several advantages over its competitors, particularly related to pricing.

Perceived value is the reason why people pay top dollar for branded goods and clothing. How a brand is perceived comes about by highly effective promotion of the brand, product labels, and marketing which results in creating good awareness about it.

(more…)