Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

Engage Your Readers… Effective Headlines

March 1, 2015

HeadlineSMWhen you are writing a marketing communication piece – print ad, sales letter, direct mail piece, brochure, blog entry, press release, newsletter, webinar – where do you start? You may be surprised to learn that experts advise starting at the top by writing the headline.

The headline is your promise to readers, a statement of what they can expect if they continue reading. Promises are first made, and then fulfilled. So make the promise to readers through the headline, and fulfill it in the content.

The importance of headlines is not a new concept. Writing in 1923 in his book Scientific Advertising, Claude Hopkins said, “We pick out what we wish to read by headlines.” Forty years later, in his 1963 book Confessions of an Advertising Man, advertising legend David Ogilvy wrote On average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents of your dollar.” Continuing today, busy people decide what to read on web pages, e-mail, or blogs based the strength of the headline.


Order Out of Chaos… Defining a Marketing Strategy

February 21, 2012

What strategy are you using to promote your business or organization? Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices – brochures and sales collateral, newsletters and product bulletins, direct mail, e-letters, desktop web site, mobile web site, blogging, Google Place page, search engine optimization, keyword search, content creation, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter?

Have you been jumping from one method to another based on whatever is getting the most buzz in the business magazines you read?

Paraphrasing from Nike: Pick one and just do it.

For more… 

The Growing Importance of Smart Phones

October 28, 2011

It’s a fact – smart phone use is growing rapidly, and because of functionality, represents the new frontier for accessing the Internet and World Wide Web. There are even some pundits who believe that mobile phones may someday overtake desktop computers for personal use.

Sound improbable? We have a few statistics that might help convince you. We’ve assembled them from comScore, Inc., a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics:

For more… 

Print: a Valuable Part of Your Marketing Strategy

August 25, 2011

Turn the clock back a few years to the early days of e-mail marketing, social media, and mobile communicating, and you’ll find many predictions regarding either the death of print or declarations of its future irrelevance as a sales and marketing tool.

Now, after almost of decade of experience with these new communication technologies, we know that they are adjuncts to print, not replacements.

For more… 

Through Their Eyes… How the World Sees You on the Web

August 24, 2011

When was your company’s web site first launched? Was it in the dawn of the Internet age when we were still debating whether e-mail and web sites were even necessary to conduct business? Or was it more recent, after we realized that web sites needed to be more than digital display ads? Did you plan and construct the site yourself or turn to your talented teenaged nephew – the acknowledged Internet guru in your family?

No matter when your site was first launched or how it came to be, there is one thing for certain: a web site is now just as important as printed sales material for attracting prospects and informing customers. And just like your printed material, the web site needs to be periodically reviewed for brand consistency, relevancy, and functionality.

For more…

Selling Today… Same Basics, Different Tools

April 7, 2011

Things are getting very confusing in today’s sales environment. While the fundamentals of connecting with customers and prospects remain the same, the ways of doing so are changing. New skills are needed, but the time to acquire them is limited. The pressure to change is constant, but there is little guidance on how change should take place.

In this issue of Printips, we’d like to offer our take on the situation. While not denying that change is the order of the day, we believe a little common sense about it all will help bring some order to the chaos.

Sales fundamentals

No matter how much things change, the fundamentals remain the same. So let’s review some basics of the sales process.

Fundamental #1: People buy from those they know, like, and trust. The buying decision is based on relationship.

Fundamental #2: To build trust, get to know your customers and prospects. Focus on helping first, selling later.

Fundamental #3: A prospect will trust a referral coming from someone they know. Referrals take the burden of prospecting from the salesperson, so ask your customers for referrals.

Fundamental #4: Show your trustworthiness by providing excellent service and exhibiting ethical behavior in selling and servicing your customers. This is the basis of a long-term relationship with a customer.

Fundamental #5: Prospecting is the first and most important step in the selling process. Prospecting consists of identifying potential customers and qualifying them. A qualified prospect has the authority, desire, and money to make a purchase.

Fundamental #6: Prospecting requires a strategy and the tools and skills to carry it out. Part of the strategy is recognizing that prospects are not all alike, and tailoring the prospecting approach to their preferences.

Do You Have a Marketing System?

April 7, 2011

In 2007 the board of directors of the American Marketing Association adopted this definition of marketing:

Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.

For another take on the definition of marketing, consider this from The Chartered Institute of Marketing, a professional association based in the United Kingdom:

Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer requirements profitably.

Management guru Peter Drucker defines marketing this way:

Marketing is not only much broader than selling; it is not a specialized activity at all. It encompasses the entire business. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of the final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view. Concern and responsibility for marketing must therefore permeate all areas of the enterprise.

Finally, Regis McKenna, an influential marketing consultant whose professional career includes authorizing five books on marketing, succinctly states

Marketing is everything.

What all these definitions have in common is the recognition that marketing requires businesses and organizations to be customer-centric – to shift from a focus on production to a focus on what customers need and want.

Traditionally, marketing activities have included advertising, distribution, and selling. However, with the shift in emphasis from products to customers, marketing now includes insight gained from the study of customer behavior (incorporating the disciplines of social science, psychology, and sociology) as well as input from hard science (economics and mathematics). Thus relationship marketing and social marketing are now being added to traditional marketing activities.

QR Codes… Here They Come, Ready or Not

March 13, 2011

Regular readers of Printips will remember our first issue on Quick Response (QR) codes in which we introduced what was then a very new idea in cross promotional marketing. Since then QR codes have been popping up in television ad campaigns, in magazine display ads, on real estate signs, and even on menus. And now that major corporations have begun using QR codes, public perception is accelerating. We expect that some time in the next 12 months we’ll reach the tipping point where QR codes become firmly h established as an information source.

To remind you, QR codes are a two-dimensional (2D) graphical representation of information – often of a URL (uniform resource locator – the Internet address of a web site) but also phone numbers, e-mail addresses or other bits of data. Developed in 1994 by the Japanese manufacturer Denso-Wave, the first use of QR codes was inventory tracking of vehicle parts. Early on, Denso-Wave, who holds the patent and name trademark, freely shared the code specification, allowing others to expand the use of QR codes to other applications. The specifications for QR codes were adopted as ISO standard 18004 in 2000.

In the United States and Canada the introduction and adoption of QR codes has been slower than in Japan and Europe, mainly due to immature technology for mobile communication. Compared to Japan and Europe, there are a smaller number of camera phones as a percentage of all mobile phones. Also, QR reader software must be obtained from third-party vendors (rather than coming installed in mobile phones) and is device-dependent. According to a survey conducted by North American Technographics of a randomly selected sample of 42,792, less than 1% of mobile phone owners used a 2D barcode scanner in Q2 of 2010.

Predictions are that this is about to change. In 2010, some major US marketers, including Calvin Klein, Chevrolet, Allure Magazine, Verizon Wireless, Heineken, Entertainment Weekly, The Weather Channel, Starbucks, Nike, and Warner Home Video, all had campaigns based around QR codes. And as camera phones increasingly replace older mobile phone instruments, the use of QR codes will spread.

Integrating Print Into Your Marketing Mix

January 7, 2011

A few months ago in this newsletter we introduced you to the power of combining traditional direct mail marketing with web-based communication, and provided supporting research for the concept. Since then, new research has been published, providing even more evidence for the idea that print remains a viable and valuable part of any marketing campaign.

FedEx Office, in conjunction with the Ketchum Global Research Network and Braun Research, conducted the third annual Sign of the Times small business survey in spring 2010. The survey respondents were small business owners employing 5 to 100 employees and whose companies generate over $100,000 in annual revenue; over 500 interviews were completed. Survey results include:

• 87% of survey respondents indicated that printed marketing and advertising tools are somewhat to very effective in driving customers to their businesses.

• 57% of owners aged 18-34 believe in the power of flyers and brochures – more than their older counterparts (47%).

In addition, 44% of respondents said they plan to increase communication with existing and potential customers via a printed piece – a newsletter or direct mail.

Multi-Channel Marketing… Many Ways To Vary Your Promotions

January 7, 2011

The lifeblood of any business or organization is keeping current customers interested in your product or service while finding prospects to become new customers. This necessarily means that your business or organization must devote time and resources to promotion – using various methods to reach a target audience with a specific message.

Effective promotion is not limited to large businesses with substantial budgets. Smaller businesses and organizations can be successful by understanding how promotion works and adapting strategies and techniques to fit the available resources.