(Especially During a Down Market)
Keep Your Brand in Front of Your Audience
Consumers still have money to spend, even if they are being more selective. Your dollars spent are apt to hit your target audience powerfully if you’re the one sending a message that you are a Brand that is strong, with something to offer. Staying out front gives your clients reasons to buy your products and services — compared to others messages with too many options to consider to gain and then retain a consumers attention.
Learn more from these issues of TK’s Korner:
SUPPORTING FINDINGS and COMMENTS:
Branding Strategy Insiders point out “...the brands that continue to build their equity in the recession will be best placed to enjoy the fruits of their labor when the economy inevitably returns to growth.”
• A Yankelovich/Harris study that indicated the vast majority of executives agree that seeing a company continue to market in a down economy makes them feel more positive about the company, and keeps those companies top-of-mind when considering purchase decisions.
• McGraw-Hill Research’s Laboratory of Advertising Performance analyzed the performance of 600 business-to-business marketers and found that those maintaining or increasing their advertising budgets during a recession averaged sales growth of 275% over the preceding five years.
• An American Business Press study revealed that sales and profits could be maintained and increased in recession years and in the years immediately following by those who are willing to maintain an aggressive marketing posture while others become non-participants.
• A Harvard Business Review report of 200 companies found that sales increases came from companies that advertised the most during the recessionary year.
Marketers want results.
Every printed piece is done for a reason, to accomplish a means to an end. The options are increasing as technology creates new avenues of communication and the ability to integrate them.
Print has been the world’s NUMBER ONE communications medium for so long we tend to forget its impact and power.
TKs Top 10 Ways Printing Helps You Prosper
(And why it should be in your next campaign...)
1. PRINT is for Keeps
Electronic content comes and goes. It’s easily deleted, never being viewed or read. When it’s gone, your marketing initiative disappears with it. People love to order online, but typically prefer to view products in a printed format vs. on a computer screen.
Print on the other hand is there for the long run. Think about magazine pass-along rates, that range as high as two to three people per issue, giving advertisers double and triple bonuses on their marketing investments.
The older generation typically prefers print. They tend not to feel as comfortable using computers, disks etc. Loading and locating pertinent information takes time and energy vs. you providing them a printed marketing piece. This is more of a well-known medium, which can be especially important regarding donations, as they typically are more established with discretionary income.
In action, the durability of print adds a positive impact. It says, ‘Your message is significant. You cared enough to print it on paper. You’re authentic rather than virtual and you’ll be there when they need you.’
2. PRINT is Portable
Don’t make the fatal oversight to a marketing campaign, a product launch or a branding initiative that is trying to connect with people, by not using print. People trust print. They feel comfortable using it. Print materials can be carried anywhere, at any time. You can take it while traveling on a plane, train, or to the beach, in bed or a bath. There’s no need to boot up, or power down.
3. PRINT Drives a Higher ROI
It’s particularly persuasive as direct mail because people gravitate toward it. A survey by the U.S. Postal Service found that 85% of mail is either read or visually scanned by recipients.
A Vertis Study found:
• 72% of adults replied to direct mail containing a "Buy one, get one free" offer.
• 63% of adults responded to direct mail containing a discount coupon.
Direct mail is also a great way to expand business relationships and keep customers loyal. A study by The Rochester Institute of Technology Printing Industry Center found:
• 67% of respondents like getting mail about new products from companies they already do business with.
4. PRINT is Beautiful
Print offers incredible branding. Nothing makes a brand more recognized than a beautiful ad in a glossy magazine. A well-designed ad is an engaging experience for readers. According to a recent MRI/Nest Step poll, 55 percent of teens say they pay a lot of attention to print ads.
Advanced printing techniques make for a more appealing and compelling final piece. Photos seem to jump off the page. Special effects draw the eye to the printed content.
A new generation of papers and substrates make readers want to touch and feel your message. The beauty of print will rub off on your product or service, giving it a special appeal of its own and an extra tangible dimension that no electronic media can.
Read these previous issues of TK’s Korner:
5. PRINT Plays Well with Others
Print doesn’t have to be the only medium you use, every medium connects with a different target audience in different ways.
Print enhances the impact of all those media by providing your target audience with an extra dimension. The World Wide Web provides a real time interactive environment, but so does the telephone and TV. Print is friendly, warm; inviting and one can’t very well be ignored because they’re holding it right in their hands!
Use a printed direct mail campaign to:
• Draw prospects and customers to a personalized web site
• Follow up with a printed thank-you card
• Show them a next generation upgrade
• Give them an incentive to ‘Buy now’ with a special offer can be a real closer
Research by the Retail Advertising & Marketing Association found that most customers were motivated to begin an online search after viewing ads:
• In a magazine — 47.2%
• In a newspaper — 42.3%
• By reading articles — 43.7%
According to an American Business Media Study:
• B-to-B magazines were viewed by prospects as trustworthy and objective.
• Websites were where they received timely information.
• Tradeshows were viewed as the place for interactions and to improve their awareness of alternatives.
Successful marketers are using all three outlets to maximize their ROI’s.
Read this issue of TK’s Korner: Marketing
6. PRINT is Sought by Buyers
Consumers seek print when they are ready to buy. That’s a fact supported by a study done by The Direct Marketing Association.
Scoring the primary channels for generating orders:
• 60% from printed Catalogs
• 24% inspired by Retail outlets
• 9% via the Internet
Percent of sales by channels also showed prints pulling power:
• 42% — Printed Catalogs
• 20% — Retail
• 26% — Websites
• 12% — Other channels
7. PRINT is Credible
Print still excites people. The printed word is still perceived as more credible to many people than anything on the web. It goes to the old adage, “If someone invested enough to print and mail it, it must be important.” It’s amazing how different the perception is of the print versus online channel when it comes to editorial contribution.
The phrase, “Get it down on paper” has never been more meaningful. Having words and images that you can review, hold in your hand, show to others and keep in a safe place provides a degree of reassurance that no ‘bit-and-byte’ medium can match.
People love the speed and scope of the Internet, but the www’s fleeting nature makes them wonder, “Am I getting the fast shuffle here?” and “What’s all this contradictory information?” Our ink-on paper medium is believable because print is real, timeless and focused.
An increasing number of marketers are leveraging the high credibility of print by using custom publications to get their messages out and absorbed. Researchers found that 66% of people surveyed read custom publications and 80% agree that they contain useful information.
Print sways trendsetters. “Influentials” (those who sway other consumers) are themselves influenced by print. Check out this influence ranking, from the MRI Survey of the American Consumer:
• Magazines — 61%
• In-store — 58%
• TV — 55%
• Newspaper — 53%
• Radio — 44%
• Free samples — 39%
• E-mail — 26%
Customers still need to know what questions to ask... The web is where we go to get answers, but print is where we go to ask questions. The print vehicle is still the best medium on the planet for thinking outside the box and asking yourself tough questions based on what you read — its lean back versus lean forward. If you want to challenge your customers, print is a viable option.
8. PRINT Puts You in Control
What happens when we add print to the equation? Send prospects a personalized mailing that introduces the caller and lets them tell you the best time to call. Now you’re putting the prospect in the control of the situation. You are using Permission Selling as a technique here.
There are no more interruptions at dinner. Just a positive flow of information between the marketer and the consumer. The bond starts to get stronger, The relationship grows. The sale becomes a natural progression of the power of print rather than a rude intrusion.
Telemarketing is the crudest form of cold calling and with the growth of ‘Do-Not-Call’ lists; its effectiveness has sunk to an all-time low. In fact, a Time Magazine poll ranked telemarketing number four on the list of the worst ideas of the 20th Century
(Compare that to My TOP 10 list!)
9. PRINT is Personal
Put each prospect and customers name up in lights, literally. A message to them in clouds (or other unique technique), include a photo or a specific product in which they expressed interest. Print can do all that and more because print takes marketing personally.
Using new Variable Data Printing (VDP) and one-to-one messaging techniques, you can personalize each and every piece of your print campaign, right down to the specific photos you use and every word of your pitch. Did someone say relationship building?
In an Interquest report, response rates for customized color direct mail campaigns ranged from 6% to as high as 75%.
On average, response rates were 5.6 times HIGHER for customized color versions vs. simple mail merge applications.
The more you individualize print, the more individuals you’ll inspire. It’s like saying your customers name in a crowded room; you’ll grab their attention — rather than just the same static message to everyone in hopes of hitting someone.
Read my related article Digital Printing-Variable Data or Business Development
10. PRINT is Everywhere
A survey by the magazine Graphic Design USA, found that:
• 9 out of 10 designers polled have worked in print during the past year, 76% used print exclusively or projects were comprised of a substantial print component, and 71% of their total work hours were devoted to print driven projects.
Event marketing wouldn’t be possible without print. Programs, posters, signage of all kinds, special commemorative publications — print is on the scene. Ball games, motor sports venues, concerts, shows, fairs, museums, galleries and rallies... Wherever a crowd gathers, print can provide a platform for marketers and a fresh perspective for fans.
We’re used to being surrounded by print. We’re comfortable with it. We want more. These are the vital signs of a medium that’s vibrant and valuable. That medium is PRINT.
Portions of this issue were obtained from:
• The Print Council — A business institute that explores the persuasive power of print
• The Rochester Institute of Technology
• Sappi’s book “Life With Print"
• Retail Advertising & Marketing Association
• “Top 10 Reasons Print Should Remain a Vital Part of your Marketing Mix” by David Mammano, President and Founder of The Next Step Magazine.
• “Why are Marketers Blind to the Power of Print?” by Joe Pulizzi, Founder at Content Marketing Institute. Author of Epic Content Marketing.
Another article that reinforces the use of print during down times:
The Lenskold Group — Innovating the path to marketing profitability..."Six Approaches to Spend or Cut Marketing in Tight Economies" by Jim Lenskold.
In this article, there are six strategic approaches that a company can pursue in tough times to generate the best long-term financial outcomes:
Win Share & Grow -
...“If you have not been measuring and managing Your ROI, you will unfortunately be managing just spending levels in hopes of winning the right customers, without good insight into..”
Spend Smart & Grow -
...“Companies that have insights into customer buying behaviors, segment value, and marketing ROI will do much better with this approach. It is perhaps the most ideal opportunity to...”
Minimize Spend but Hold Share -
...“If your competitors choose to hold or increase spending first, your increase in spending can be justified to executives with...”
Cut Marketing & Invest Elsewhere -
...“Instead of advertising brands and communicating messages that may not make a lasting impression or drive immediate purchase behaviors, you invest in customer relationships, additional service, and added...”
Cut Cautiously & Allocate Smart -
...“Try to keep or add measurements that help assess and guide marketing effectiveness. Companies that can spend the smartest will...”
Cut Drastically & Wish for the Best -
...“If there is any flexibility with the remaining budget, consider running test markets to determine and possibly demonstrate that reasonable short term returns can be generated to...”
Read the full article at Six Approaches to Spend or Cut Marketing in Tight Economies
Before we go...
If you have a production issue not discussed above that you would like me to address, or a project that needs to be looked at, please give me a call or send me an email.
As always, I will do whatever it takes to ensure you receive the best value for every marketing dollar you invest.
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Printing Consultant Who Helps You Make Good Impressions
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