Mixing and matching print materials front and back is the worst way to promote your program. What you think you may be saving you are losing in broken message.
There I said it.
I know it’s a very popular way to market in the martial arts and fitness industry but it is extremely novice.
And almost every martial arts marketing company out there does this EXCEPT one.
Now I will preface to say there ARE ways to mix a message but you have to design the WHOLE card to match cohesively. And sometimes if you are speaking to all adults it’s a good way to provide mixed programs to the SAME market. But 2 markets on one card. Is not good design practices.
To take one card and mix it with a completely different design is killing you.
It’s like taking that striped suit and putting it together with that polka dot shirt, and that plaid tie, with pasely socks. One big mess of noise.
Let’s look at this.
When you walk into a doctors office does he ask you what test you think he should run first?
Of course not. But why?
Because that is what his or her expertise is.
You defer your thinking to theirs which is rooted in practice and mastery.
I know what you are saying Doctors, Design, it’s not computing Chris…. Stick with me for a minute.
When you place 2 completely different looks on a card you mix and match more than just graphics. You mix and match the message and often the market.
Would you buy a watch from a dentist?
Would you get your teeth cleaned at the jewelers?
No. Of course you would not. You would use the expert for the job. You would use the tool for the proper duty.
Too many martial arts and fitness marketing companies try to with good intentions I am sure be “service” oriented.
But I ask if you aren’t doing the best you can for your customers are you really serving them?
When you try to market to multiple markets, you dilute your message.
You do save money at a cost you disjoint your message.
When speaking to parents about their kids, do so.
When speaking to adults for adult programs do so.
You aren’t serving anyone by trying to mix and match your message.
All you are doing is confusing the message, and the reader.
Sometimes SERVICE is really about doing the HARDER things that need to be done and said rather than the popular thing.
Sometimes to be in service of others is to SAY NO when they do not have a point of reference to understand why they would answer in the first place.
Sometimes being in service of others is doing what is best for the customer even if it makes you less money or less popular.
I would never ask a customer to make decisions on something we have put the work in for years with.
Conversely I would never question when a customer tells me about their market, their offer or their own services.
Why because I know what I know and you know what you know.
I have always thought it foolish to place important design decisions in the hands of customers who are not designers. This is like giving someone lighter fluid and a match. A lot can go wrong and quickly.
Instead we ask important questions LIKE:
Who is your market, demographic? What is the income in the area you are trying to speak to?
Who is your perfect member? What is their gender, and age?
What is the offer you are trying to promote.
We work with a lot of the top schools in the country and they all share similar traits. They all promote to one market at a time. Sure it does cost extra, but it is more effective this way and easier to target a select individual.
Another thing that is a problem is bouncing from different looks and different marketing materials.
ALL of the biggest companies and the most successful ones are all branded with cohesion. Meaning everything matches. When you have one card from one provider and another from another you are completely inconsistent and the reader has trouble identifying who you are by any one of your pieces. Stick with one company and use them for a year, use multiple products for the best result.
This blog post goes against almost every single martial arts marketer out there. And it will definitely ruffle some feathers but it needs to be said. Let’s stop living in the dark ages and bring it into the 21st century.
Let’s put the nail in the coffin here.
Pick up a magazine. Any one. Skim through it. Notice every magazine is cohesive and consistent, all of the pages and folds follow a specific guide and look.
Not convinced yet? Let’s keep it going. Here are a bunch of Nike ads. Starbucks. and Hayabusa ads.
All cohesive. All similar.
So there you have it. 2 things. That fit together.
Cohesion. Being consistent in your message. Always.
Use similar products, and speak to each market one at a time. Otherwise you look frugal and you can’t look frugal when asking for $150 a month. If you do the math the extra costs is covered by 2 extra sign ups. Simple. Effective.
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Or any business for that matter.
Most people miss it entirely.