While it’s true that we’re in the midst of a
major transition from print to online
marketing, integrating the two could be an appropriate, effective strategy in the right circumstances. Here are three smart ways to take advantage of print/online marketing integration:
Printed catalog and web
Mail order marketers depend on printed catalogs because they can be versioned and delivered directly to target households of customers and qualified prospects. But these marketers also recognize they can cut costs and add to a customer’s convenience by facilitating online ordering. That’s why an increasing number of mail order catalogs carry a code good for a special offer, such as a discount, a free gift, or free shipping. The code must be redeemed by the customer at the marketer’s website. This strategy reinforces print/online integration and provides an incentive for the customer to use an online store, typically a more efficient way for the marketer to receive orders.
Brochure and web landing page
When you create a printed brochure, make it work extra hard by including the URL for a special web landing page – a specific page that supports the messaging in the brochure. This is smart for two reasons: First, it provides an easy response path for an interested prospective buyer, and second, it offers a way to track any response received as a result of the brochure. Another easy way to provide the reader of a brochure with a pre-determined response path is to include a “QR code” on the back of the brochure. These customized matrix barcodes can be embedded with website URLs and read by smartphones with QR code reader apps.
Direct mail and email
If you have both a physical and email address for a customer or prospect, integrating direct mail and email can be an effective way to make the most impact on the individual. Skilled marketers use a sequence of three to boost response. For example, a marketer sends an email alerting a customer that an important direct mail piece will soon arrive. Then the direct mail piece is sent about a week later. After the direct mail arrives, a follow up email is sent to reinforce the message in the direct mail and encourage a response. This three-part campaign can be conducted almost as cheaply as sending the direct mail alone, since there is little cost associated with the two email contacts.
These are just three examples of how to integrate print and online marketing. Keep them in mind – and look for other integration opportunities as you execute your own marketing program.
Year after year, dimensional mailings – mailings that arrive in a unique holder and contain an item or involvement device – elicit exceptional response. In fact, it is not unusual for the response to a dimensional mailing to be 10, 20, or even 30 percent or more, compared to a typical direct mail response rate of 3 percent or less.
Underlying the breakthrough power of the dimensional mailing are two key elements:
Since a dimensional mailing costs considerably more than standard direct mail, the target audience receiving a dimensional mailing must be carefully selected. The mailing list must be accurate (name and address, as well as job title and company name if sent to a business) to ensure 100 percent deliverability. More often than not, the target audience for a dimensional mailing is very small, usually under 1,000 individuals. The list tends to consist of influential people, major customers, top donors or other VIPs the marketer wants to reach with a key message.
The concept for the dimensional mailing is crucial. It must relate directly to the recipient’s interests, needs, or wants while promoting the marketer’s product or service. The very nature of a dimensional mailing makes it hard to resist, but the concept must “pay off” the intrigue – what’s inside the package can’t be a letdown.
Annually, the Direct Marketing Association recognizes exceptional direct marketing programs through the International Echo Awards. The significance of these awards is they are judged not just on creative execution but on results. Not surprisingly, Echos are often handed out to dimensional mailings. Here are two that won 2012 Echo Awards:
Gold Echo Award Winner: First Taste “Samplicious” Program
This program from Kraft Foods Canada was designed to drive top consumers to try products. For $25, the consumer received a special “Samplicious” package worth $60 that included full-sized product samples, full-value coupons, and an issue of “what’s cooking” magazine. Recipients could register in Kraft Canada’s “First Taste” program and receive points for purchases. Results: 275,000 product trials; 75 percent of trial use consumers said they planned to purchase the product.
USPS Gold Mailbox Winner: “Sally’s First Show”
The First Call Fund, a charity of Arts Centre Melbourne of Australia, wanted to raise $20,000 (Australian) to support access to live performances at primary and secondary schools. The Centre created a self-mailing children’s story book that told the story of the charity’s work through Sally’s eyes. The book featured a cover that was personalized with the prospective donor’s name and a personalized mailing panel on the back of the book. Results: $37,000 (Australian) raised, almost double the objective and 132 percent more than the previous year.
If you target the right audience and execute an appropriate concept, a dimensional mailing can attract attention, break through the mail screen, engage and involve the recipient, be retained much longer than traditional mail, create a compelling reason to respond, and achieve exceptional results.
Given that more than three of every four purchase
decisions are made at the point of purchase, the importance of standout product packaging cannot be overstated. Here are six tips to ensure that your product connects with shoppers and outshines your competitors.
START WITH BUSINESS & BRAND GOALS
Your business and brand strategies should drive package design—whether your goals are defined in hard measures, such as sales, or softer measures, such as brand awareness/perceptions. Package design can add perceived value to a product, thereby increasing consideration and margins. Carefully considered, well-produced packaging design can also help an established brand refresh its image and appeal, or help a new brand burst onto the scene.
MAP YOUR CHANNELS
Channel management is a challenge – and an opportunity. By being proactive, you can create enormous advantage. For example, visit all the types of stores where you distribute your products to better understand the store spaces and how shoppers behave in those spaces. Then, design your packaging accordingly. In some cases, this may require modifying packaging size, messaging or material to better appeal to customers in each given distribution channel.
SEND A STRONG MESSAGE
Use your packaging to present a clear and compelling value proposition, and drive your message home with triggers tuned to shopper behavior. For example, the Millennial/Generation Y group responds strongly to price discount messages, while Baby Boomers rate product information-oriented messages higher. Keep messaging concise to avoid confusion.
DESIGN TO ENGAGE
By researching your target audience, you design far more effective packaging. Glean consumer insights from store intercepts, social media, focus groups, or even limited in-store pilots. Use these insights to appeal to your audience’s sensibilities, needs and aspirations. Rise above the competitive noise by being aggressive – but in the context of your consumers’ attitudes and aesthetics. A case in point: based on consumer insights, a new over-the-counter allergy medicine was launched via bright purple to symbolize strength. The brand surpassed $200 million in sales in its first six months on the market.
DRIVE YOUR MESSAGE HOME
Design your package the way consumers interact with it. The front of the package should be all about capturing attention. The rest of the package is about closing the sale via more detailed information and differentiation. The structure and functionality of packaging is also key. For example, consumers increasingly like to interact with products in-store. One excellent example is a wrench that’s packaged so that shoppers could turn a nut inside the unopened package, experiencing the specialized wrench’s ease of use.
Ensure that package design and production contribute to a consistent visual brand imprint, which is essential for building awareness, preference, equity and loyalty. Color, imagery, typography, and shape all help maintain consistency. Partnering with a trusted vendor who has extensive packaging expertise can makes this consistency both achievable and cost efficient.
For a deeper look, download our brest practices guide on package design.
It's the holiday season again, and it's time to think about gifts to give your best customers. Not only is gift giving nice, but a subtly branded gifts can keep your company name in front of your customers all year long. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Branded Phone Cases
Everyone has a mobile phone, and nd everyone should have a case for it. People use their phones all day long, and thehe device is continuously nearby. Offer your customers a professionally branded case made out of quality materials and they will love you forever.
Box of Chocolates
I know, I know. I box of chocolates is so cliche, so overdone, so..tired. But, hey, Forrest Gump put a lot of credence to a box of chocolates so it can't be all bad, right? Besides, people love chocolate. And guess what? Chocolate can be branded just as easily as any other object, thus allowing your customers to actually ingest your brand. What's more intimate that that?
The Witty Grab Bag
If you really want to catch the attention of your customers, send them a boxed collection of goodies that could include a beer glass, cups, a tote bag, a koozie and more. Use your imagination. But be sure to brand your items with witty sentiment and your customers will always think fondly of you when they grab each object to use it.
Personalized Leather Portfolio
Oh yes, everyone's digital today but for many, the power of pen to paper is still unbeatable when it comes to brainstorming, writing a story or just taking notes. A nice, personalized leather portfolio makes for an elegant gift.
A Money Tree
The money tree, otherwise known as Pachira, is said to bring the proper "chi" to an environment. Placed on a stand, which can be branded with the name of your company, it makes for a perfect addition to the desktop
Mini Non-Electric Speaker
Like we said above, everyone's got a mobile phone. Many mobile phone owners use their devices to listen to music. When one wants some background music at work and doesn't want to be tethered to their headphones, a non-electronic speaker is the answer. Simply place the device in the cradle and the sound is amplified.
Branded Mouse Pad
Perhaps a bit mundane, but many people in offices still use desktop computers with mice that need a mouse pad. Mouse pads come in many varieties and they are inexpensive. If cost is a concern, it might be just the gift choice for you.
These are but just a few of the many possible gift ideas you can give your customers. When choosing a gift remember that you want the item to be useful and memorable; something your customers will use on a daily basis. And something that will reflect your appreciation of their business.
Both direct mail and email can be used to
reach the right audience at the right time,
making them highly efficient and powerful marketing media.
To gain maximum efficiency with both of these methods, it’s essential to identify the attributes of your primary audience. That means knowing things about them that you can use to target your message. For consumers, it is helpful to know certain demographics, such as where they live, age, income, and marital status. For businesses, information including a company’s size and industry and an individual’s job title are important.
The good news is this type of data is typically available to marketers who use direct mail and email. Still, many marketers wonder: Which is the more effective medium, direct mail or email? Each has unique advantages, so let’s take a look at some of their key qualities.
Direct mail lists tend to be a richer source of data than email lists. Direct mail can be targeted to those individuals most likely to be interested in learning about a product or service. It can reach a particular consumer in home, or a particular manager at a place of business, with a very specific message. The mailing can contain everything the recipient needs to know in one communication. The mailing format can vary depending on the need: postcard, self-mailing piece, an envelope with just a letter inside, or even an elaborate mailing package with lots of inserts.
The Direct Marketing Association reports that direct mail response rates are four times greater than email. The Cable & Telecommunications Association says that 70 percent of American consumers prefer to receive advertisements and promotions via direct mail. As you can see, direct mail remains an important and useful medium.
Email is most effective when used with a marketer’s “house” list – email addresses the marketer has collected on his own, because the marketer is familiar with them. Exchanged, rented, or purchased email lists must be carefully screened to make sure they are permission-based, because unsolicited emails are considered to be spam. Email lists tend to have less data associated with them than direct mail lists because direct mail lists have a physical address that can be analyzed for demographic information. Email can contain graphics, photos and links to web pages, but it is a good idea to create a default text version for those email systems that may only display text. Email can be very efficient because of the low cost of electronic communications.
If you have both physical and email addresses for an audience, using direct mail and email in combination can be a very effective strategy. You can email a prospect or customer to alert them to an important direct mail piece that will soon arrive, and then send an email to follow up after sending the direct mail piece. Integrating the two media in this way calls attention to a product or service promotion and has the potential to lift overall response.
Don’t make the mistake of viewing direct mail and email marketing as an “either or” choice. Depending on your audience and your objectives, each may have its appropriate place in a marketing campaign.
For tips on direct mail marketing, download our complimentary best practices guide Top 10 Tips for Direct Mail Marketing.
In his classic best-selling book
The Loyalty Effect, Frederick Reichheld
says on average, U.S. corporations lose half their customers in five years. “Customer retention,” writes Reichheld, “is the central gauge that measures how well the company is creating value for its customers. Creating value for customers builds loyalty, and loyalty in turn builds growth, profit, and more value.”
One of the most effective means of retaining customers is the most basic – showing customers they are appreciated. While Thanksgiving comes but once a year, thanking customers should be done all year round.
The simplest way to thank a customer, of course, is to say “Thank you,” but it’s much more powerful to say it with actions rather than words. Giving thanks to customers doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive – but it does have to be heartfelt and meaningful. Here are some of the ways your company can express appreciation:
1. Personalized attention
Recognizing a customer as an individual and giving him or her personalized attention can be a very powerful form of appreciation. Examples: Take the time to write a key customer contact a handwritten thank you note; send a birthday card signed by the staff that services a customer; send a small personalized token of appreciation on the customer’s anniversary date of doing business with your company; drop in on a customer for no other reason than to say “Thank you” in person.
2. Public recognition
Acknowledging a customer publicly demonstrates that you are proud of your association with that customer. Examples: Spotlight a customer in a company newsletter, on your website, or via social media; create a feature story that highlights the customer and make it available to appropriate media outlets; give the customer an Achievement Award at a company meeting and publicize it to your customer base and via the media; invite the customer and key staff to a company party held in their honor.
3. Tangible rewards
Giving a customer an appropriate tangible reward symbolizes the value you place on the customer. Examples: Make a donation to a charity in the name of a customer; treat your primary customer contact and immediate staff to a coffee-and-donuts breakfast; send your customer a gift card or gift certificate as a token of your appreciation; discount a customer’s invoice, offer a free product upgrade, or add a complimentary service as a special thank you; start a loyalty program that rewards customers with redeemable points based on their business relationship with you.
Whatever you do to thank a customer, you’ll find that a sincere gesture will make that customer feel appreciated and valued. In return, your action could help influence the customer’s long-term loyalty.
Advertising through various media outlets can only do so much for brick-and-mortar retailers. It can make shoppers aware of the retail outlet, make them aware of what’s for sale within the store,and, through offers and incentives, get them to physically go to the store. But what happens once the shopper is in the store? Unless they are properly guided by in-store marketing, not to mention intelligent sales people, they might as well be wandering around aimlessly as if enjoying a day at the beach.
We’re not going to tackle retail sales personnel training here, but we are going to address one of the last lines of offense a marketer can put into place to increase sales-in-store marketing.
With such fierce competition in the retail space both online and off, it’s of the utmost importance
retailers be as strategically creative as they possibly can to keep shoppers’ interests once they have entered the establishment. Here are six ways you can entice customers in-store:
1) Make a Strong First Impression
Nothing is worse for a retailer than a shopper who wanders in, finds nothing of interest and then leaves. Capturing and keeping attention is the first element of creating a successful in-store marketing program.
When it comes to liquor, what's more inviting than a bar? Acknowledging this, Absolut placed branded bars in several retail establishments. The bars could be manned by staff to offer customers samples of various drinks based on the season. The bar's visuals also changed to accomodate changing promotions.
2) Lead Shoppers Somewhere
Retailers can use compelling displays at the end of aisles and throughout the store to help guide shoppers to where you want them to go. Or, for larger retails outlets, entire sections of the store can be turned over to branded destinations designed to highlight a specific product or brand and attract a specific shopper.
The store-within-a-store strategy works well for a retailer who has partnered with a particular manufacturer. A section of the store is transformed into a branded mini-store and is designed to highlight that manufacturer's products. This works particularly well for large retailers. Recently, JC Penney opened a Levis store-within-a-store at its Manhattan Mall location and has plans to roll out the concept across its 683 stores. iPads located in the Levis store will allow shoppers to browse and choose various clothing styles and sizes.
3) Surprise Shoppers wtih Cool Finds & Stunts
Design your displays in a way that surprises shoppers with stock they might be interested in and keep them browsing.
To draw shoppers's attention and to bring a bit of excitement to the overcrowded vodka category in liquor stores, Absolut created displays that brought energy to mundane stacks of vodka cases. In the middle of the stacks, Absolut placed a giant martini glasses into which vodka was poured. Of course it wasn't actually vodka but the structure was crafted in a way to provide a very realistic, and dramatic, representation of vodka splashing into the glass.
4) Appeal to Shoppers' Senses
Retailers should always aim for an in-store experience that differentiates itself from from the competition whether it be online of off. Whether it be in-store demonstrations, video walls or store design, the goal should always be to inspire and surprise.
If you're a retailer that specializes in the unconventional or the unorthodox, then your entire in-store experience should reflect that. Milan-based design boutique, known for it's decidedly different fashion sense, opened a new store and built it to appear as if the entire store was upside down. As shoppers enter, they are literally walking on the ceiling. It's an experience that reflects the brand and one that will keep shoppers coming back for more.
5) Capture Shoppers on the Way Out
Provide point-of-sale displays at or near the check out line to give shoppers the opportunity to turn around and pick up an extra item or two. The moment when a shopper pulls out their credit card to pay is prime time to convince them to up their spend. Whether it be specific items highlighted at check out, stand-alone structures near check out or special offers made by sales staff during the check, this moment is crucial for retailers to capture more revenue and should be mined for all it's worth.
For more tips and best practices on in-store marketing, download our complimentary guide, 6 Ways to Entice Customers Instore.
The holiday shopping season is almost upon us, and a recent survey of retail CFOs from BDO finds that retailers are feeling cautiously optimistic about the 2012 holiday season and year-end sales.
The BDO Retail Compass Survey of CFOs examined the opinions of more 100 CFOs at leading retailers across the United States. Retailers included in the survey were among the largest in the country based on annual sales revenue. According the survey findings, retail CFOs project a 4.5% increase in total 2012 sales and a 3.6% increase in comparable store sales for the second half of 2012.
Retailers also are growing more confident in the overall state of the economy, with the number of survey respondents forecasting an ongoing economic turnaround almost tripling this year.
See more about the survey findings in the infographic below:
Almost 20 years after the advent of the web, the need for physical collateral is still very important to the overall marketing mix. As digital as we humans get, we still have five senses and a need for tactile sensation that digital can never completely satisfy. There is a certain feeling one gets when one picks up a magazine or a catalog from one's favorite store or brand. The weight of the catalog and the feel of the paper create a sort of bond that is very different from digital and one that is still very valuable to marketers.
We're going to take a look at five killer catalog designs that you can put to use in your own marketing.
The Spanish National Association of Children's Products crafted a beautiful catalog to highlight its children's fashion line. The catalog is thick and hefty-looking and the visuals are large and inviting in a way that makes you feel as if you are standing right there with the child models. The design is minimalistic and uncluttered.
Mirplay, a company that makes furniture for nursery and primary schools, created a boldly designed catalog that incorporates educational-related themes (big numerals) and large, engaging graphics.
Sessions is a snowboarding apparel company that prides itself on embodying the snowboarding lifestyle It's catalog does the same. Designed with graphics that connote a light-hearted, hip attitude, the catalog embraces the free spirit of the brand and draws the viewer in with engaging situations.
Not technically a catalog, this vibrant brochure is actually a fold out calendar that uses color and words to depict the changing seasons and months. From a blue "freezing" in January to a red "sweltering" in August to a gray "gloomy in November, this work beautifully captures the sentiment of each month. And being a well-designed calendar, it's likely to, ahem, hang around all year, something every brochure strives to achieve.
University of Lincoln
The Science Department of the University of Lincoln, with microscopic imagery of human tissue and x-rays of human bones, artistically shares the school's fascination with and focus on science. For the scientific minded, this brochure captures the mind of the scientifically-minded student in a far more interesting manner that a catalog that might simply list classes and professors.
Launching a new brand is a critical moment for any marketer. When you introduce your new brand or product to the market, you want to make sure it makes a significant impact. However, all too often, brand launches fail to live up to their expectations.
According to The Harvard Business Review, about 75% of consumer packaged goods and retail products fail to earn even $7.5 million during their first year. So how can you increase the odds of success for your new product or brand? Here's six steps to help you build a successful launch pad for your new brand.
1) Establish a core value proposition
One of the biggest challenges in launching a new brand is standing out from the crowd. Determine what sets your brand or product apart, and establish a core value proposition - a marketing statement that summarizes the attributes that make your brand compelling to customers and clearly distinguishes it from the competition. Make sure this aligns with your overall corporate branding and values.
2) Prepare your launch strategy
Use what you know about your customers to develop a strategic launch plan. How do customers look for information? How do they evaluate purchases? Build your go-to-market plan to intersect with your audience before, during, and after a transaction at all of the critical touch points in their buying process.
3) Create compelling messaging and materials
As you translate your brand identity – how you want customers to perceive your brand – into the actual words, images and printed materials, it is critically important to keep front-and-center all the customer insights you worked so hard to understand. Remember customers’ touch points as you calculate the right balance of print and digital content. Be creative. Develop that “big, long idea” – something creative enough to have the latitude to encompass all of your audiences and the longitude to last over the course of many campaigns.
4) Execute across all touch points
Launches are extremely time-sensitive when it comes to marketing elements. Stay on top of timing and distribution across your marketing supply chain and customer touch points. Work
in partnership with your suppliers and agencies, and form a foundation for close communications and synchronization throughout the process. Otherwise, you may find yourself suffering disconnects later that affect the dimensions, quantities, locations and even the colors of deliverables at a critical stage of your launch. If issues arise, one best practice is to form smaller specialized teams that can surgically attack a problem.
5) Monitor and evaluate
As you communicate across all touch points, be sure to listen to the market response and react. Social media is one way. Increasingly useful tools are available to monitor the ripple effect your launch is creating in social networks. Use these tools to listen, interact and adjust messaging accordingly. Some companies use social media as a virtual focus group – you could even gain insights for future product development.
Check in regularly with the sales department to make sure that materials ordered meet the
volume of marketing collateral they will need; the last thing you want is to leave them empty-handed on a sales call.
6) Prepare for the unexpected
With monitoring in place, do scenario and contingency planning: What’s the base case, best case, worst case and one so good you can hardly dare to describe it? What would you do in each case?
Consider digital brand asset management systems – online repositories of content assets with print-on-demand capabilities – in your contingency planning to provide your marketing and sales team with the flexibility to re-order materials on the turn of a dime.
When it comes to launching a new brand or product, it takes many moving parts working together simultaneously to achieve one goal - getting to market in an efficient, timely, and effective manner. To gain more insight into launching a new brand, download our complimentary eBook - 6 Steps to a Winning Brand Launch.