Friday, September 19, 2014

What’s Your Brand Identity?

What is your company’s brand identity? Do you even know? Whether you realize it or not, all of the choices you make, from the colors on your business card to the graphics on your mailer, create a brand identity in the eyes of your customers and prospects. Let’s look at a few of the brand elements you should be paying attention to.
Color. The colors you choose for your marketing materials should reinforce your brand. Think UPS brown, IBM blue, and John Deere green. Color triggers an emotional reaction, so color is a powerful tool. Red elicits excitement. Blue is associated with faithfulness and trustworthiness. Black connotes luxury. What colors best represent you?
Image. Your presentation should be consistent with your industry. If your business is in a conservative field, such as accounting or financial planning, for example, your visual image should be businesslike. Would you trust your money to someone who gives you a florescent orange business card covered with cheap clip art and grunge fonts?
Distinctive. Your colors and logo imagery should be appropriate, but at the same time distinctive so they stand out from the crowd. “Distinctive” doesn’t mean complicated. In fact, many of the most recognizable logos are simple. Think about the McDonald's Golden Arches or the Nike "swoosh."
Quality. When you are producing your print materials, spend the extra money to produce high-quality work. You can talk about quality products and great customer service, but if your print marketing looks like it was done on the cheap, that is the image that will stick in your customers’ memories. Spend the extra money on “extras” like gloss coatings and heavier-weight paper when appropriate.

Once you have a solid handle on your brand image, be consistent. Whether it’s your business card, your corporate identity materials, or a presentation folder, all of your print communications should have a similar look and feel. Continually reinforce your brand image in the minds of your customers. 

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

Change is not a threat, it's an opportunity. Survival is not the goal, transformative success is.
Seth Godin


Friday, September 5, 2014

Maximize Your Marketing Dollars with This Simple Tip

It’s a standard rule of thumb in marketing. It costs 10 times less to keep the customers you have than to generate new ones. This means one of the best uses of your marketing dollars is to maintain customer loyalty. One of the easiest ways to do that is to use customer surveys.
What makes customer surveys so effective?
  • They make customers feel valued.
  • They provide an opportunity to learn about customer habits and purchasing patterns.
  • If there is a problem with the customer relationship, they open the door to correct it.
How often should you survey? Some marketers survey their customers on an as-needed basis. Their goal might be to understand different customer behaviors, such as a drop in sales or a shift in purchasing patterns, or to get to know their customers better in order to drive 1:1 personalization programs. Others have an ongoing commitment to customer surveys, such as sending annual questionnaires “just because” or follow-ups after each sale to monitor customer satisfaction.
Regardless of which approach works best for you, customer surveys are a valuable tool for maintaining the loyalty of those customers who help your bottom line the most.

Need to send a customer survey? Ask us! We can help. 

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

Winners don't wait for chances, they take them.
Unknown

Friday, August 8, 2014

Tear-Off Cards Make Responses Easy

Do you include tear-off response cards or other forms in your direct marketing pieces? If so, do you send them blank? Or do you pre-fill them with readily available information (recipient’s name, address, product serial numbers, seminar dates) to make responses as easy as possible?
If you are sending blank forms, you are leaving money on the table. Why? Because the more steps recipients must take to respond to your offer, the less likely they are to do it. Conversely, the easier you make it for them to respond, the more likely they are to do it.
Take the example of one marketer that had been promoting its customer education seminars with a self-mailer that included the dates and details of upcoming workshops. The mailers included a detachable reply card for registration. After more than two years, however, most of the registrations were still coming through the company’s website or sales reps, not the direct mailers it was paying for.
The marketer decided to switch gears. It freshened up the design and moved to a heavier coated stock. It also ditched its static response forms and began pre-filling them so all that recipients had to do was add the stamp and drop the cards in the mail. The company received such a bump in its registrations that it had to add an extra seminar session!
If you are sending reply cards, there is no reason not to pre-fill them. After all, the data you need is most likely in your marketing database already, and we have the skills and the equipment to make the entire process easy for you.

Want to get a quick and easy boost to your response rates? Talk to us about prefilling the response forms and reply cards in your next print campaign!

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

“I don’t look to jump over 7-foot bars — I look for 1-foot bars that I can step over.” —Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO

Friday, July 11, 2014

High-Performing Companies Focus on Personalization

What makes a high-performing company a high-performing company? According to a survey of more than 1,000 marketers, it’s a focus on personalizing customer experiences and using metrics to drive the creation of their creative.
According to Adobe’s “Digital Roadblocks: 2014,” when asked about their most important success factors, marketers gave the following answers:
·        Their CEO understands marketing (73%)
·        Marketing is becoming more important to their company (81%)
·        They are “completely” or “very” focused on personalizing customer experiences (63%)
·        Data (metrics from ads, campaigns, website, and so on) is “strongly informative” in evolving their marketing creative (28%)
Great marketing doesn’t just happen. It’s a strategic effort that involves creative, commitment, and effective use of data. Great marketing also starts with a commitment from the top. Just ask the best marketers around.

Need help combining elements of personalization and metrics-driven creative in producing your next print or multichannel campaign? Give us a call!

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Charles Darwin



Friday, June 27, 2014

What Motivates Charitable Giving?

If you are a nonprofit, you know how critical direct mail is to your fundraising efforts. But do you know what motivates your donors to give (or not)?
Most nonprofits might say that the most important factor is having a personal connection to the charity or to the recipient of the donation. But according to YouGov’s “Giving Report 2013,” it’s trust.  
When asked the biggest factor that motivates them to donate,
·         12% of those giving to charities cited “trusting a charity/nonprofit”;
·         8% cited “seeing a child, adult, or animal which will directly benefit from my gift”; and
·         6% cited “easily seeing exactly how and where my money will be spent.”
The single biggest deterrent to giving? Inflated salaries and excessive administrative expenses followed uncertainty about how the money would be spent.
Next time you send out a fundraiser, think through the issues of trust and personal connection carefully. How can you tweak your message so that it focuses not just on the mission of your organization but any projects you might be working on? Also work in issues related to trust. While donors want to know how their money will be spent, only 3% said that “easily being able to do their own due diligence” was a motivator for giving a donation. It’s up you to get that message across.

Need help planning your next giving campaign? Give us a call!

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

We make a living by what we get.  We make a life by what we give.
Winston Churchill

Friday, June 13, 2014

“Make It Easy for Me to Buy”

Want to boost responses to your marketing campaigns? Here is a simple tip. Tell people what you want them to do and make it easy for them to do it.
One of the most common mistakes marketers make, especially in direct mail, is burying the offer or forgetting to include a call to action. So get it out there. Every direct mailer or direct marketing piece should contain the following three elements:
1. The offer. What do you want people to do? Make a purchase? Call for a free consultation? Ask for the free information kit?
2. The call to action. Don’t assume people will know what you want them to do. Ask them to request a brochure, call for a free appointment, or sign up by scanning a QR Code.   
3. Response mechanism. Make it easy to respond. If you are asking them to send away for more information, prefill the BRC with their name, addresses, and other information. If you want them to make a phone call, put the phone number to call in larger font or in a different color so it’s easy to find.
Assume that your audience is busy and you only have a few minutes of their time. Within just a few seconds of scanning the piece, they should know what you are selling, what action you want them to take, and how to do it.

Need help? Give us a call! 

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

The new source of power is not money in the hands of a few, but information in the hands of many. – John Naisbitt

Friday, June 6, 2014

Some Customers Still Hard to Reach by Email

Did you know that, even in today’s multichannel media environment, some customer segments are more difficult to reach by email than others? For example . . .
  • 41% of U.S. consumers aged 65+ still do not have Internet access.
  • 53% of U.S. consumers in this group do not have broadband.
  • 18% of these consumers do not have smartphones.[1]
Particularly for older retirees in lower income households, print remains a critical part of the multichannel mix. For many, it may be the only way to reach them. Even those who do go online may require text-only emails rather than the HTML versions many marketers are geared up to send.
But before you write off U.S. retirees as non-email-reading, non-Internet using consumers, remember that not all consumer segments look the same. In fact, among younger, more affluent, and more educated retirees, 90% have Internet access and 82% have broadband. That’s higher than the U.S. adult population overall. For this segment, email is an important tool for marketing communication, both as a primary means of messaging or as a follow-up to print communications.
So before you reach out, know your audience, their media use, and their channel preferences. It can have a critical impact on your multichannel mix.
Need help figuring it out? Give us a call.


[1] Pew Research Center (April 2014)

Jeff Lampert
Director of Marketing & Business Development

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
Winston Churchill