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Beyond digital

Cliff Apter //October 3, 2014//

Beyond digital

Cliff Apter //October 3, 2014//

Although we live in a digital world, our marketing and branding practices need to be more than just digital in nature. There is still something to be said for the traditional way of marketing a business…with signs! In fact, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, signs are the most effective, yet least expensive, form of advertising for the small business. As such, it is still a viable means of promoting your business’ key messages and values. It is also an important part of a consumer’s decision-making and overall impression about your business’ credibility.

By combining both digital and what I call “materials marketing,” that is, promoting your business using tactile materials like metal, paper and acrylic, your business will have a solid communication strategy that speaks to all of your target audiences in a visual manner and keeps your brand top-of-mind. A few of today’s most popular and effective types of material marketing signs you should consider using for your business include:


Banners are the most popular type of sign among businesses today. They are versatile, cost-effective, can be made to any size and because they are flexible and portable, banners can be used for nearly all signage applications. The ability to generate high-quality digital images on banners makes it simple to generate maximum exposure with minimal cost. As a result of new technologies, banners are now available in several different materials including poly, vinyl, nylon and flex-face. 

Channel Lettering

Channel lettering is one of the most effective ways to capture your customer’s attention immediately. Your business’ logo or company name can be directly converted into a beautifully lit sign to display outside your business building, in a store window, or even at a trade show. Whether front lit or reverse lit, channel letters draw attention. Channel lettering can be done in aluminum, acrylic and polycarbonate materials.

Today, LED lighting is the most popular and energy efficient material used to draw attention to signs like this because they use less energy and are easier to maintain.  Electronic signs are a permanent business asset that are on the job for your business 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Spread across the lifetime of the sign, an electronic display delivers a much lower cost-per-thousand exposure than other advertising mediums. 

Vehicle Wraps

Vehicle wraps and vehicle graphics are another cost effective materials marketing tool for your business. Vehicle wraps and truck lettering or spot graphics do a fantastic job at making your brand message mobile and bring your business more customers. Although you may not think of them as signs, vehicle wraps help you extend your business’ reach and visibility throughout your community. Studies show that consumers remember vehicle graphics advertising, in fact according to the American Trucking Association, you can generate more than 600 visual impressions for every mile driven!

Any of these material marketing signs can be combined with digital marketing strategies. If you’re using a banner at an event or driving around town with a vehicle wrap on your business car, you can include social media, QR codes, and website links and icons directly on your signage to encourage customers to visit your website, “check in” or “tag” your business online. This strategy boosts customer engagement in both the physical and digital space.

Marketing your business with both physical and digital “materials” can place your business ahead of the competition. Materials marketing, whether you choose to use banners, vehicle wraps or channel lettering, instantly creates a valuable marketing space. Whether you are on the road or in your office, it is time to start thinking about how your business can create instant branded environments to capture audience attention and showcase brand personality.