Saturday, November 26, 2016

Is It Time for a Fresh Look?

Re-branding is a big deal, and it shouldn’t be done lightly. But sometimes, the time is right. Whenshould you consider re-branding your business? Here is some advice from the experts.

1. When something has significantly changed in your business.
Businesses evolve, and there can come a point at which you are a different business than you were a few years ago. Maybe you’ve expanded into new areas. Maybe you’ve had a growth spurt and your local brand needs to grow with it.
2. When your customers have changed.
Not only do brands change, but also their customers change. McDonald’s customers have become more health-conscious, for example. Harley Davidson’s customers have gotten younger. With these changes have come significant changes in presentation of the brand. Has your customer base gone through a significant and long-term change? If so, does this need to be reflected in your branding? 
3. Your visual brand looks stale.
Eventually, even the best visual branding begins to look dated. What looked cool in the 1970s isn’t going to play today. Color trends, fonts, logos, and entire brand representations need a makeover every once in awhile. How long has it been since your brand had one?
4. When customers have lost engagement with your brand.
Customer engagement can often be recaptured with fresh, new ways of marketing, but sometimes, there is something about the branding that no longer connects. If you can’t get sales out of a slump, maybe new branding can help prospects see your products with fresh eyes.
5. You look like everyone else.
When you opened your business in a hot new market 10 years ago, you were unique. But as new competitors poured into the space, that uniqueness is disappearing. If you are no longer standing out from your competition, fresh branding can help you break through.
Think it might be time to rebrand your business? Give us a call and let our brand experts and graphic designers brainstorm with you. 

~ Kelly Mank, President of Time4Printing, Kelly@Time4Printing.com
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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Switching from Static to Personalized Makes Results Soar


With consumers squarely in charge of product research long before they ever contact your company, content marketing is more important than ever. One of the most important forms of content marketing is the customer newsletter—and more and more are moving to personalized editorial.

What happens to results if you switch from a general-education newsletter to a fully personalized one? One community-based healthcare system found out. After sending a traditional newsletter for years, it began matching the content to what it knew of patients’ health conditions. Personalized content ranged from advances in treatments to schedules for clinical trials.

After about a year, the healthcare system conducted a readership survey to find out how the new approach was being received. The results? 

·          93% of respondents felt the articles were relevant and of interest.

·         73% read the entire newsletter every time it came in the mail.

·         77% said it was easier and quicker to read.

·         95% said they became aware of services that were previously unknown.

Not only did the healthcare system solidify its relationship with existing patients, but nearly every one of those patients learned about some of the provider’s services they didn’t know about before. Imagine the impact on revenues! 

Not every marketer can track to this level of detail, but there are many simple, cost-effective steps you can use to monitor your marketing effectiveness too. Personalized URLs, barcodes (visible and invisible), discount codes, and multiple landing pages for various iterations of the same campaign are all ways to track and measure results.

Talk to us about converting your content marketing into personalized content marketing!

~ Kelly Mank, President of Time4Printing, Kelly@Time4Printing.com
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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

3 Reasons to Use Direct Mail That You May Not Know

There are lots of reasons to use direct mail, and you may have heard many of them. So here are three statistics on the value of direct mail marketing that you may not have heard.

1. Direct mail has higher value in persuasion.
According to a recent study by Canada Post and True Impact Marketing,  direct mail generates a motivation score that is 20% higher than digital media.  The study found this score to be even higher when direct mail creative uses print enhancements (for example, special coatings, dimensionality, and print-to-mobile technologies).

2. Direct mail is easier to understand.
A wide variety of studies confirm that information provided in print is easier for people to understand and process than information provided in digital form. In the case of the True Impact study, direct mail was found to require 21% less cognitive effort. That means your message is absorbed more quickly and effectively.

3. Direct mail results in higher brand recall.
Not only is information in direct mail easier to process, but it is more likely to be retained. True Impact found that brand recall was 70% higher among participants who were exposed to direct mail ads rather than to digital ones.

Need more reasons to love direct mail? Just ask!

~ Kelly Mank, President of Time4Printing, Kelly@Time4Printing.com
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Are You Marketing Through Content?

Have you noticed that your competitors are sending out more newsletters these days? Posting more white papers? Increasing their investment in blogs and social media? It’s the rise in the power and influence of content marketing.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 89% of B2B marketers use content marketing, and according to Curata, 75% of marketers are increasing their budgets for it. Are you one of them?
What exactly is content marketing? It is using content such as newsletters, white papers, video portals, and blogs to increase your website’s visibility with search engines and engage customers or prospects digitally and in print. Timely, relevant information engages the target audience, develops or reinforces brand awareness, and maintains client loyalty.

In a world of print and web templates and stock imagery that, on the surface, creates an environment in which all brands can look the same, content marketing establishes you as the expert in your industry. Content marketing can capture mindshare and create real competitive differentiation.

Content marketing is also profitable. When one provider of security incident and events management (SIEM) wanted to improve its lead generation, for example, it used content to build brand awareness during the early research stage of the buying cycle. It created a library of vendor-neutral information, then used this content as bait to attract potential prospects. The company used the information gathered through content marketing to identify which recipients were interested in which content. Then it used a scoring methodology to determine when prospects were most likely to be ready to buy.

The result? The company improved its qualified lead generation process and boosted revenues by 38%. 

Looking for ways to use content to educate your customer base, build brand awareness, and stay top of mind? Talk to us! We can help.

~ Kelly Mank, President of Time4Printing, Kelly@Time4Printing.com
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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

1:1 Marketing Is Relationship Marketing!

What makes 1:1 printing work? What turns an average marketing campaign into an outstanding success? Is it the graphic design? Is it the mailing list? Is it selecting just the right variables like income, age, or gender? Those things are important, but there is one ingredient that trumps them all. Relationship.

At its core, 1:1 printing is “relationship marketing.” Relationship marketing is an approach that focuses on nurturing long-term customer relationships rather than focusing exclusively on the short-term sale.

What might this look like in your business?

Say you are a local, family-owned hardware store. Normally, a customer walks in, does his shopping, and you make yourself available to answer questions and recommend products. You hope that great service, quality merchandise, and your employees’ wealth of project expertise will hold their loyalty. You might have special promotions or discounted merchandise in a bin at the front of the counter.

But what might this look like if you decide to implement a proactive relationship-marketing program using 1:1 printing?

When a customer walks in, you smile and greet them, but you also ask if they would like to be on your mailing list for your newsletter, “Tips for Shop & Home.” If they say yes, you collect their name, address, and critical information for personalizing content, such as whether they rent or own, whether they have children and their ages, and any specific home needs such as a garden, pool, or workshop.

Once a month, you send out a personalized newsletter addressing each customer by name. You also customize the content, providing weatherizing tips, suggestions for ongoing home maintenance, and relevant offers based on what you know about their property. If they garden, you might offer planting tips and discounts on seeds, berry bushes, or garden mulch. If they have a pool, you might offer maintenance tips and discounts on pool supplies.

Because relationships are about interaction, you may want to create excuses to open dialogs with your customers. This might include an occasional customer survey, feedback form, or customer contest (such as best recipe using home-grown vegetables or best home workshop project). This creates an interaction between you and your customers that makes each person feel valued and gives them a stake in their relationship with you. At the same time, it gives you more information to further personalize future mailings!

That’s relationship marketing—and it’s one of the factors that makes 1:1 printing great.

~ Kelly Mank, President of Time4Printing, Kelly@Time4Printing.com
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Targeting High-Value Millennials

Why target Millennials in your prospecting? Because once their loyalty is secured, they are more likely than non-Millennials to share their love of your brand, product, or service with others. Furthermore, once you gain their loyalty, they will often spread the word for you, especially if you help them do it. How do you go about attracting this key customer base?
Use multiple channels. Millennials are multi-channel researchers. One study of their travel planning habits found that Millennials use an average of 10.2 information sources during the planning stage [1].

Don’t provide irrelevant information. Millennials don’t like to be inconvenienced, so target and personalize the message. Know what types of information they are looking for and how they want that information shared before you move them into the sales funnel. Respecting channel preferences is critical to these consumers.

Shorten the timeframe. Millennials use a lot of devices and draw on lots of information sources during the research process, but they make the actual buying decision fairly quickly. If you are selling brick-and-mortar, adding QR Codes to hang tags, product packaging, and in-store displays is a great way to take this audience directly to customer reviews, product comparisons, and feature-rich product videos that can help them make that decision right then and there.

Make it easy to share. According to the Boston Consulting Group, Millennials are twice as likely as non-Millennials to share pictures or experiences online using their mobile phones [3]. So help them do it! Create incentives for social-media sharing such as “Post a picture of yourself in our store on Facebook or Instagram and get 10% off immediately!”

Take the time to get to know Millennials and refine your strategies to woo them.  After all, what could be better than attracting customers who, once their loyalty is secured, will turn around and attract more of the same type of customers for you?

[1] http://hotel-online.com/News/PR2013_2nd/Apr13_MillennialTrends.html
[3] http://mashable.com/2012/04/16/millennial-consumers-study/



~ Kelly Mank, President of Time4Printing, Kelly@Time4Printing.com
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LindedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/KellyMank
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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Response Rate, Cost Per Lead, Cost Per Sale

When you are evaluating the success of your print and multichannel marketing campaigns, how do you know which channels are most effective? How do you know which channels (or combination of channels) are delivering the most bang for the buck?

To answer this question, marketers often look at response rate, cost per lead, and cost per sale. What’s the difference between them?

Response rate is how many people responded to your campaign. If you mailed 5,000 postcards and 500 people responded, your response rate is 10%. Those 500 people then become leads.
Cost per lead is how much it costs you to get that lead. Let’s say that direct mail campaign cost you $5,000. With 500 responses, each response (or lead) cost you $10 ($5,000 / 500).

Not every one of these leads will turn into a sale. Let’s say you were able to convert 30% or 167 of those leads.  When you divide $5,000 by 167, you find that your cost per sale is $30.

Which one of these numbers is most important? All of them! Why? If your average sale is $35, you have barely broken even on this campaign. To improve your results, you could lower the costs next time or you could try one of these three things:

1. Increase the response rate to bring more sales into the funnel, lowering your cost per lead
2. Increase the conversion rate, lowering your cost per sale
3. Tweak the offer or incentive to increase the average revenues per sale to lower your breakeven point.

There are lots of ways to evaluate the success of a marketing campaign and improve your results. Let us analyze your results and brainstorm ideas to get the most out of your marketing dollars!

~ Kelly Mank, President of Time4Printing, Kelly@Time4Printing.com
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