The Showcase Workshop Blog

So you've decided to stop printing brochures. Now what?

For many of our customers, print is ingrained into their organisation like making messes is ingrained into toddlers.

However, most marketing managers I speak with understand the benefits of going digital. They know that it’s easier to track ROI with digital marketing assets. They know that it’s easier to observe the results of digital sales collateral.

This tug-of-war between “the way we’ve always done things” and “the way that gets sales results today” is a tough one for many.

I also know that pretty much every company has had to (or is having to) deal with this transition at some point. I’ve seen a lot of them go through it, so I understand this is a significant change for established organisations to make.

So even though some of my previous posts on the topic of switching from print to digital may have included a little humour on the side, I want to reassure you that I know this change is important and can't be taken lightly.

It’s important to your bottom line.

It’s important to getting more sales.

It’s important to building relationships with your customers.

So if you’ve made the commitment to stop wasting money on print and start getting sales results with digital collateral, I’m going to help you through it.

If you can’t make the move to digital in one fell swoop, here are 3 transition plan ideas that may work for your organisation. One of these may be just the ticket for your company to transition from print to digital – or you might find a combination of these approaches works well.

1. Prioritise by Product Popularity

Open a blank Excel spreadsheet.

Across the top row, list out all of all your products.

Then, under each product, list out all of the related sales and marketing print assets. This will include brochures, sales sheets, price lists, and any other paperwork your sales team tends to carry with them to customer meetings.

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Now, rearrange the columns in order of product sales.

Start by putting your least popular and lowest selling offer in column A. Your last column should be your most popular and best-selling offer.

The first few columns (your content for your least popular products) are your top priority in your transition away from print. Stop printing any more collateral for these offers, and move to digital only.

Why?

  1. This is going to be the best way for your sales team to make the change as they're reaching for these assets least frequently.

  2. These assets are probably costing you the most to print - they're the ones that you throw away the most of when you print an update. If you're throwing a lot away that pushes right up the per unit cost of the ones you actually did give out.

Over time, work your way to the right, toward your most popular offer. And as you get there, consider running both print and digital for your most popular product for a while.

2. Prioritise by Practicality

Open a blank Excel spreadsheet.

Across the top row, list out all of your content types. This would include brochures, spec sheets, price lists and the like.

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Now, rearrange the columns in order of how often you update and reprint this material.

Start by putting the materials you update most often (such as price lists) on the left, with the materials you update least often all the way to the right.

The first few columns (your most frequently updated content) are your top priority in your transition away from print. Stop printing any more of this collateral, and move to digital only.

Of course, I think you should put them in a tool like Showcase Workshop so those updates are instantly in the hands of your sales team - no waiting on the printer, no relying on them to have picked up the latest version. But I would say that wouldn't I?!

Over time, work your way to the right until all of your sales and marketing assets are digital.

3. Set a Deadline

Set a deadline to have all of your printed collateral fully digitised. Then work backwards from there and create benchmarks for the transition so you’ll know your organisation is staying on track along the way.

Make sure to share this with everyone in the sales and marketing team so they know what to expect over time and when the printed assets will be phased out.

This Is a Transition – Not an Overnight Change

I have been hounding you to stop wasting money on print for a while now. I believe that digital marketing and sales collateral is more cost-efficient and effective than traditional printed collateral. But I also understand this is a big deal for your organisation.

I hope the transition plan ideas in this post help you as you shift from print to digital. Just remember, it doesn’t have to happen overnight – but the sooner you can make the switch, the sooner you’ll start seeing results.

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Wellington, New Zealand
Millie is President and Co-Founder of Showcase Workshop. Her mission is to eradicate ring binders from the world of sales. She rides a Pashley and knits on aeroplanes.