Monday, September 18, 2017

Best Practices in Personalized Marketing

Let’s look at three best practices that need to be the foundation of any personalized print campaign.
·      Traditional marketing rules apply. Even with personalized marketing, traditional rules hold firm. Ultimately, all of the elements — creative, message (including personalization), offer, segmentation, call to action, and incentive —need to come together to determine success. 
·      Focus on relevance, not “personalization.” It doesn’t matter how “personalized” a document is. If it isn’t relevant, it is worthless. Take the shoe market. You don’t want to sell orthopedic shoes to teenagers. You can deck out the mailer with text messaging terms, pictures of X-Games, and use all the contemporary lingo, but it’s not a relevant message unless a teen needs to purchase a birthday present for grandpa.
·      Know your customers, then market to what you know. When the National Hockey League began 1:1 communication with its customers, it asked them to fill out a survey that indicated that 40% of the of NHL’s fan base lives outside their favorite team’s home market. That means these fans can’t easily go to games or access highlights. Imagine the opportunity for the league! So ask yourself, what don’t you know about your customers now that might allow you to create relevance in a more powerful way later? Do a customer mail or email survey. Use what you find out to speak directly to the needs and interests of your customers.
Investing in your marketing database and developing an intimate understanding of your customers takes time, dedicated resources, and manpower, but it is one of the most important investments you can make. Personalization is a powerful tool, but to get the big pay-off, it cannot work alone.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Maximizing Your Multichannel Advantage

Did you know that 72% of consumers say they would rather connect with brands and businesses in a multichannel environment (SailThru)? And that 55% of marketers now use three to four channels to reach their target audiences, up from 44% two years ago (Direct Marketing Association)? Creating a multichannel mix doesn’t have to be daunting. Here are five tips for maximizing your efforts: 
1. Don’t let data paralysis keep you down.
“Multi” begins with two. Start with a simple one-two punch with email and direct mail. Or direct mail to mobile marketing video via QR Code. Add social media sharing buttons to blog posts and e-newsletters. Then add in other components one at a time.
2. Know the strengths and weaknesses of each channel.
Marketing channels are not interchangeable. Each has strengths and weaknesses, so know the pros and cons of each channel and match them to the right stage in the campaign.
3. Know your customers’ channel preferences.
For some campaigns, you may want to use multiple channels to reach the same customer at different times and in different ways. Other times, you want to communicate primarily or initially through their preferred channel(s). For example, if you offer a customer newsletter, don’t assume everyone wants the print or email version and send every person the same thing. Ask which channel they prefer, then honor their request. You’ll get more responses and improved customer loyalty that way.
4. Remember that social and mobile channels are driven by print.
If you want to grow your email and social media efforts, start with print. That’s because print is one of the key drivers of awareness of email and social media exposure and sign-ups.
5. Break down the silos.
Although multichannel campaigns don’t have to be integrated, simple reasoning says that they should be. All of these components need to work together, whether through a marketing automation system or being driven by human decision-making. This requires breaking down data silos.
6. Match channels to their place in the sales funnel. 
Marketing channels are not interchangeable. They are used at different times and for different purposes. Understand the role each channel plays in your sales funnel and match the channels up appropriately.
Need help understanding the benefits of each channel and putting together an effective mix? Give us a call!



Thursday, June 8, 2017

What Is Really Motivating Your Customers?

Particularly in the B2C environment, emotional factors are often at play. For example, if you are selling exotic vacations, you aren’t just selling a cost-effective hotel with great food and a seafront view.
·      You are selling relaxation.
·      You are tapping into the desire to escape from the daily grind of meetings, presentations, and child rearing.
·      You are selling the desire to be catered to. 
Tapping into these deep emotional wells can help you sell more.  Instead of mailing a postcard with the headline, “Get 25% off plane tickets today!” Try, “Don’t you wish the office were a Thousand Miles Away?” Or, “Isn’t It Time that Someone Pampered YOU?”
Think about a parent dreaming of excitement beyond the children’s homework, playing shuttle for soccer practice, and meetings for the PTA. A trip offering whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, and skydiving might tap deep emotional needs for adventure.  Try a postcard with an image of the face of a skydiver, wide-eyed and exhilarated—cheeks flapping in the wind—that says, “You, too, can FLY!”
Whether you are developing direct mailers, sales letters, or magazine ads . . .
·      Think about unmet frustrations and deeper emotions that might drive recipients to make a change.
·      List the potential motivators. To be recognized at work? Get a promotion? Be challenged? Break out of the mold? Feel empowered, youthful, and sexy?
·      Show — don’t tell. Use the power of graphics to tell a story.

Emotions are powerful marketing tools. Emotionally driven purchases tend to be less price-sensitive and more spontaneous. The medium of print has the ability to tap into those emotions and motivate behavior in a way that no other medium can do. Take advantage of it!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Benefit from Effective Branding


An effective brand creates an enduring perception in the minds of your customers and distinguishes you from your competitors.  An investment in branding can pay off in many ways. 

Increase mind share.  When you want a cola, you think of Coca-Cola or Pepsi.  If you need a bandage, Band-Aid comes to mind.  Are you top-of-mind in your market segment?  The sensory components of printed materials engage readers on an emotional level, connecting customers to your brand in a way electronic marketing can’t match.  Consider incorporating a gloss varnish, embossing, a distinctive die cut, or one of the many textures now available in papers and other substrates.

Build loyalty.  A memorable experience with a quality brand creates loyalty, which translates not only into the likelihood of a repeat sale but also an increased probability that the customer will buy related items from the same brand. 

Benefit from referrals.  People who have never used your product or service may still recommend it if they’ve encountered your brand enough times to develop a sense of familiarity.  Printed collateral can be more visible to the casual observer as the prospect doesn’t have to consciously seek out your message.  Include your social media information on your printed products.    

Command a premium price.  A powerful brand can lift your product or service out of the ambit of a commodity, so you have buyers eager to pay more for what you’re selling.  Many companies sell coffee, so what makes people stand in line and pay top dollar at Starbucks? 

Lower your marketing cost in the long run.  Although you have to invest resources to create a strong brand, once it is established you can maintain it without having to re-tell your story. Many budget-conscious marketers rely heavily on electronic media, but research shows that people still prefer print.  We simply don’t have the same visceral reaction to an e-brochure as a professionally printed piece.     

Less risk for the consumer equals more sales for you.  If someone is put on the spot to make a decision, he will most likely choose the brand-name supplier.  Consider monthly postcard marketing so prospects interact with your brand regularly.  Printed materials have the advantage over electronic media based on portability and permanence.


Building an effective brand is a continuous process.  Evaluate your brand’s market position periodically to make sure it’s fresh and relevant.