For companies of all sizes, success often comes down to dollars and cents. Sales drives revenue and profit, and marketing can reach an audience that can ideally be converted into those sales. While major enterprise corporations have the luxury of spending millions, even billions of dollars on marketing and advertising annually to build sales and grow profits, small- and medium-sized business (SMBs) are often resource-strapped in three key areas; budget, time and expertise.

AS a SMB, your company is probably looking for a partner to help it market and sell in today’s cross-media world. You need solutions that integrate and automate marketing across print, online, mobile and social media channels, while being agile enough to support emerging media types and channels as they rise to prominence.

Just like enterprises, SMBs are also becoming more data-driven. While you want solutions that can help drive demand and generate leads, you also want information on marketing effectiveness across all channels and a calculation of return on marketing effectiveness across all channels and a calculation of return on marketing investment (ROMI) so they can further optimize marketing and sales.

Marketing automation technology has emerged with the potential to meet all of these demands. Many solutions on the market today provide a central location to manage a business’ marketing efforts. Based on workflows a user creates, these solutions can automate the creation, distribution, tracking and management of marketing communications for many different applications.

funnel picIn the case of sales effectiveness, marketing automation is used to keep leads engaged and nurtured as they work their way from a lead to a sale, which is detailed in photo. Triggers are often used as a way to prompt when a message is sent to a recipient: A prospect or lead may fill out an online form for more information; triggering further targeted communication based on the information that person provided. Most marketing automation solutions available today focus on automating and optimizing the use of email to communicate with customers and prospects more effectively. With an expanding interest in using direct mail and other promotional print, however, more solutions are also adding support to automate print marketing. These solutions often integrate with leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools to help manage and store captured information, such as behaviors and preferences, to drive more targeted (and successful) communications as these initiatives evolve.

WHAT SMBs ARE SAYING ABOUT
MARKETING AUTOMATION
Of the SMBs surveyed in the InfoTrends’ report Capturing the SMB Marketing Automation Opportunity, 14% are already using marketing automation solutions in their business. Many report improvements in marketing effectiveness and measurement capabilities.

Nevertheless, there is always room for improvement, and SMBs need to work on using marketing automation to help generate demand more effectively, improve the quality of sales leads coming into their companies and enable more effective communication with customers.

INFOTRENDS’ OPINION
SMBs face many challenges in this rapidly evolving world, especially as it relates to resource constraints around money, time and expertise. SMBs need easy-to-use tools, as well as sage guidance, to lead them in the right direction and help them get the most out of the resources they do have. Self-service tools and marketing automation technology help address a number of critical marketing and communication needs. These solutions are increasingly easy to use, provide time-saving functionality and leverage the Internet to provide a cost-effective choice for SMBs that think big.

Steph Pieruccini is a consultant for InfoTrends, a worldwide consulting firm for the digital imaging and document solutions industry.

Marketing is transforming right before our eyes at a pace never before seen. Sales-ready leads, data management, lead scoring and nurturing, tracking, and measurement at the contact level are just a few of the focus areas for marketers in 2013.

The fact that studies report that marketers are going to spend more on IT staff in the coming five years than their IT Market_piccounterparts demonstrates the importance of more effective marketing methodologies driven by new technology solutions.

This fundamental transformation is creating unprecedented opportunities in the fastest growth area of our industry. This also requires a new kind of technology solution – one that helps marketers create relationships – building dialogs across fragmented channels, one that helps them address then marketing ecosystem in a more effective manner, and one that is powered by deep insight and analytics.

THAT LEADS US TO MARKETING AUTOMATION
Wikipedia defines marketing automation as the use of a marketing automation platform to streamline sales and marketing organizations by replacing high-touch, repetitive manual processes with automated solutions. Essentially, it enables marketers to do more in less time and allows the marketer to focus on high gain activities while the technology delivers the marketing program methodologies.

Most of the marketing automation solutions today are cloud-based applications that enable print and marketing professionals to seamlessly integrate off and online media, such as direct mail, email, web, SMS (text messaging), social media and mobile to create a highly personalized and unified experience across multiple channels.

Since the No. 1 goal of most marketers today is to deliver sales-ready leads to their sales teams, a new and important marketing application within the marketing automation solution now takes on new significance for all marketers; the ability to create rule based, multi-touch drip marketing campaigns to generate, nurture and score leads – cost effectively.

What this does for the marketer is enable them to deliver sales-ready leads to sales for immediate follow-up, while the remaining prospects are lead nurtured until they move into the sales-ready category.

Joseph Manos is an Executive Vice President for Irvine, Calif. Based MindFireInc, which specializes in marketing intelligence software and services that enable the creation and deployment of targeted, trackable cross-media marketing campaigns. You may contact him at jmanos@mindfireinc.com

Weatherall Printing launched a newly designed website this month. Our new site is now more customer-focused and aimed at making it easier for customers to place orders, request quotes and upload files directly to Weatherall Printing. In responseMessage to most facets of business going digital, we have made it easier for the customer to handle the information flow directly to Weatherall Printing. We have also added social media to our new site. You will find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Weatherall Printing Co. was established in Tupelo, Mississippi in 1924 as an office supply and stationers store. In 1957 the office supply portion of the business was sold and since then we have been printing commercially, serving the Southeast Region of the United States.  We moved into our current facility in July 1983, expanded in 1994 and again in 2004. In addition to offset printing, we now offer digital printing, online storefronts and multi-channel marketing solutions to deliver your message. Visit us at www.weatherallprinting.com.

The look and feel of certain papers in your hand plays a part in how your finished piece will turn out. I have read several books over and over simply because they feel wonderful in my hand. How ink and paper work with each other is an enormous part of printing, as well as the cost. Understanding and picking the right paper for your next job is paramount to its success.

First, you’ll need to understand the differences, and there are many.

Paper Type
Paper usually comes in one of two types: Coated or Uncoated. The paper stock you choose is usually written in terms of paper weight or thickness (lbs or pts) and paper type. To explain, “14 pt Gloss” means the paper you chose has a thickness of 14 points with a gloss look or sheen to it.

Paper Stock

Uncoated
Uncoated paper means exactly how it sounds, no additional coating was applied to the paper. It is usually used for letterhead, envelopes and personal stationary.

Gloss
Gloss refers to the coating on the paper. This should not be confused with the post-production finishing process like UV or AQ Coating. “Gloss” simply refers to the actual gloss or sheen of the paper itself, prior to printing.

C1S
Coated One Side: Paper Stock is glossy on front, flat with no coating on the back.

C2S
Coated Two Sides: Sheet is glossy on both sides.

Silk
Silk coated paper stock has a flat, unreflective or dull finish. 


Finishing Coat
Aqueous Coating
This clear coating creates a high-glass surface to protect the printed pieces from dirt and fingerprints. The AQ coat improves the durability of your printed piece (such as postcards, brochures and catalog covers) as it goes through the mail.


Weatherall Printing’s Standard Stock and Uses
80# Gloss Text

Standard glossy paper stock with a thickness like a light magazine cover. The glossy finish provides an excellent opaque base for rich process color printing.
Printing Uses: Brochures, Catalog Inserts, and Flyers.

100# Gloss Text
This paper stock is similar to 80# Gloss Text but is thicker and heavier. It gives your printed piece a more significant feel.
Printing Uses: Brochures, Information Sheets, Self-Mailers, Posters, Newsletters.

80# Silk Text
This paper stock fine, non-gloss finish that makes it easier to read.
Printing Uses: Brochures, Newsletters, Catalog Inserts and Flyers.

100# Silk Text
This paper stock is thicker and heavier than the 80# Text for a more substantial feeling piece.
Printing Uses: Brochures, Newsletters, Catalog Inserts and Flyers.

80#  Silk Cover or 100# Silk Cover
This paper stock is a cover stock with a smooth, non-shiny coating. It is perfect for detailed printing and still have the ability to easily write on the paper. It is often paired with its sister paper, 80# or 100# silk text, for use inside of your catalog or booklet.

80# Gloss Cover or 100# Gloss Cover
As a cover stock, this paper is stiff like most postcards. This stock is also coated, making photos and other images look beautiful.
Printing Uses: Heavy-Weight Brochures, Catalog Covers, and Product Specification Sheets

100# Uncoated Cover
This paper stock is in 14 point thickness and you can easily write on this stock.
Printing uses: Business Cards, Appointment, and Reminder Cards

70# Uncoated Text
This uncoated (non-glossy) paper stock has a significant feel in your hands, and is the best type of uncoated paper for desktop laser printing.
Printing Uses: Stationery, Newsletters, and Superbills

24# and 28# Uncoated Text
This paper stock is normally used for envelopes.
Printing Uses: Envelopes and used as Copy Paper

While these are our standard stock items, we order many other types of paper stock to suit your project.
For your next printing project, please contact our Customer Service Department and let us help you deliver your message!

Deborah Kellett, Customer Service         debbie@weatherallprinting.com
Betty LaBiche, Customer Service            betty@weatherallprinting.com

There is no doubt that mobile is now table stakes for marketers, advertisers and media companies. The sheer size of the mobile audience, along with the diverse capabilities and immediacy that modern mobile technology can deliver, has prompted organizations to go back to the drawing board with their website and application designs to account for the unique features of mobile devices. Smaller screen sizes, touch interfaces, push notifications, location services … they are all pushing practitioners and technology firms to rethink their approach to design to help them reach their audience in a clear way.

It should be noted that the “large screen” desktop interfaces are not going away anytime soon, especially in the workplace, meaning that design ultimately needs to be multi-modal. Some companies are approaching this issue by building responsive layouts that automatically adapt depending on the browser or screen size. Others are taking a more piecemeal approach by designing for a particular channel or, in the case of mobile apps, designing for a particular device or operating system.

Interestingly, some of the design elements born out of the necessity to create usable interfaces on smaller screens are now becoming common in designs for larger screens. The interface of Microsoft’s new Windows 8 OS is probably the starkest example of this phenomenon, but there are plenty of others. Forms are becoming less dense and easier to use due to the lack of space of many inputs and large drop-down menus, and icons are being designed and implemented in more meaningful ways to reduce interface clutter. In other words, mobile is driving more simplicity in interface design, which is a step in the right direction for creating more user-friendly digital experiences.

The Road Map for InfoTrends’ Digital Marketing & Media Trends (DMM) Consulting Service helps companies understand how to harness the power of interconnected media effectively to meet their business objectives. To read the full DMM report, visit http://www.infotrends.com.

The whole “big data” phenomenon may be overstated in the business and tech media at this point, but for good reason: Companies are proving time and time again that a data-driven approach leads to smarter business decisions and can develop a competitive edge. As a result, more businesses — even small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) — are turning to solutions that help them harness the power of big data to help them do everything, from more accurately tracking inventory to listening and engaging with relevant online social conversations.

As the data universe continues to grow exponentially, tools are rapidly being developed and deployed to analyze larger and more diverse data sets to make it easier to make quick, actionable decisions. Marketers and advertisers are shifting their spending to digital channels, which means more metrics but also more noise in an already-noisy media landscape. Technologies and services that help marketers filter out this noise to capture actionable insight, while also automating manual tasks in intuitive ways, will deliver the most value and, as a result, find the most success.

The Road Map for InfoTrends’ Digital Marketing & Media Trends (DMM) Consulting Service helps companies understand how to harness the power of interconnected media effectively to meet their businessobjectives. To read the full DMM report, visit http://www.infotrends.com.

Consumers definitely know their personal information is more readily available for companies to use than ever before. While this type of data can be used to give consumers more personalized experiences from the businesses they use, they still do not have a lot of insight into the scope of personal data floating around in tracking cookies or in third-party marketing databases. Similarly, they do not have a lot of power to control how this information is used and shared, which now happens in real-time and can be influenced by each user’s specific web activities.

While the marketing and advertising industries successfully deflected major regulations in 2012 through intense lobbying efforts, new regulations in 2013 are highly likely to be passed due to the sheer number of bills and other initiatives currently in the works, along with the need for laws to catch up with the fast pace of innovation in this area:

• Following the release in March 2012 of a two-year
investigation on consumer privacy in the digital age,
the U.S. Federal Trade Commission endorsed
legislative action around data privacy, including
the creation of “do-not-track” mechanisms in web
browsers that help consumers opt-out of online
behavioral tracking and targeting. Efforts by the
industry to self-regulate DNT were stalled at the end of
2012; the consequence may lead to legislative action
on the issue.

• Retiring Democratic Senator from West Virginia, John
D. Rockefeller IV, launched an inquiry into information
brokers like Acxiom, Epsilon and Rapleaf last October to
better understand their practices and determine if they
are handling consumers’ personal data appropriately.

• Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) recently released a draft
bill called “The Application Privacy, Protection, and
Security Act of 2013,” or the APPS Act, targeted at
creating guidelines for data collection, retention and
sharing practices of mobile app developers. With other
initiatives at various stages in the works, expect more
attempts — and some successes — to introduce new
marketing and advertising regulations in 2013.

The Road Map for InfoTrends’ Digital Marketing & Media Trends (DMM) Consulting Service helps companies understand how to harness the power of interconnected media effectively to meet their business objectives. To read the full DMM report, visit http://www.infotrends.com. 

We all have theories on how to best market to Generation Y (also referred to as Millennials). The industry is saturated with articles on how this group of young adults’ (born between 1977 and 1995) spending power will continue to grow. Some marketing leaders believe this group only responds to marketing messages when they come through an electronic device or a social media site.

One thing is certain: Generation Y is completely dependent on their technology, so you would assume this approach must be true. Have you ever witnessed a Gen Y lose their phone? Their world comes to a screeching halt.

Consider these ideas when creating your Gen Y campaigns.

Consider these ideas when creating your Gen Y campaigns.

It is important to understand how we move forward as marketers, given the fact that smartphones have taken the place of just about everything: CDs, calculators, watches, calendars, video game consoles, home phones, TVs, photo albums, trips to the bank, cameras, GPS, pen and paper, alarm clocks, video recorders, newspapers, address books, computers, invitations, social interaction and the list goes on.

Because of this, some brands believe the best, and maybe only, way to market to this generation is through social media or an integrated email campaign. But, I am not so sure this is completely true. With a massive amount of brand messages coming at them in digital formats, how do you break through the different messages they receive and really get their attention?

One idea that may be overlooked is printed mail (and yes, that is mail with stamps). Consider incorporating a direct mail piece into a campaign using multiple touch-points, including a printed piece.

Lamont Swittenberg, managing director at Luminosity Marketing, says, “Sending something by direct mail is a way of breaking through the clutter because they do receive so much communication that comes digitally, and you still can’t replace the personal touch from direct mail.”

With that said, you still need to think beyond a traditional direct mail print piece and understand how to speak to this generation in a way that makes them say,“That’s just cool.”

“The leap for marketers is to recognize the different lens Gen Y applies to reading their mail and adjust the marketing message to make those Gen Y differences a measurable advantage,” says Jason Ryan Dorsey, author of “Y-Size Your Business.” For instance, Dorsey says Millennials prefer pictures and directions to an online video rather than long blocks of text or fancy words.

Although there are many industry leaders teaching us how to “speak Gen Y,” Dorsey is a great resource, being a proud member of this generation himself. You can find more information to help guide you in all marketing touch points to this group of young adults at www.jasondorsey.com .

Heather Hill works in Marketing and Communications at Nosco, a health care packaging and solutions provider based in Gurnee, Ill.

Douglas Adams had it right. In the late 1970s, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” introduced the concept of a hand-held device that contained the sum total of all universal knowledge. In 2007, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs re-mixed this idea by talking about a “post-PC” world, a time when the PC went the way of the Dodo bird. Although the fight over terminology made for entertaining media posts, it’s stunniPC_Revolutionng how fast the post-PC vision has come to pass. The Internet is the now source of universal knowledge and smartphones/tablets are the devices nearly everyone is glued to for hours every day. At least on this planet, science fiction has become reality.

Most research now shows that we’ve just now reached the tipping point. According to Gartner, 2013 marks the year that more people globally will access the Internet through mobile devices versus desktop computers. The mobility revolution has changed everything. The resulting transformation in consumer behavior is shaking up whole industries. And, if you believe in the law of exponentials (see Ray Kurzweil’s “The Age of Spiritual Machines”), we’re just getting started. It’s still early days!

So, what?
Well, if you’re in business — any kind of business — you need to care about this deeply. The decisions you make today about how to go mobile, how you think about web development and how to create amazing customer experiences are critical, as they will affect your business in fundamental ways. As technology advances accelerate, businesses need to think about how to drive agility — the ability to respond quickly to unpredictable change. It’s not about features per se; features are transient. The real meaty decisions now involve how you approach web development holistically to include a wide range of touch points, including mobile, TV, kiosks and more. And how to invest in architectures and approaches that drive better agility with lower cost.

“The Post-PC Revolution Is Here —Don’t Panic!” is used with permission from author Mitch Bishop, CMO of MoovWeb. MoovWeb offers products and services that help its customers take advantage of the mobile revolution (http://blog.moovweb.com/2013/02/the-post-pc-revolution-is-here-dont-panic/).

 

Self-Mailer Postal Regulations Changed 1/15/13

More changes? The USPS, in collaboration with the mailing industry, made changes to the self-mailer postal regulation earlier this year. The USPS states that this will help reduce damage to your mail and, at the same time, save their postal equipment from jamming.

You might ask yourself what in the world is a self-mailer? It is a mail piece folded to letter size and resembles an envelope, but is not mailed in an envelope or any type of binding. If the mailer contains any staples it is no longer considered a self-mailer. It becomes a booklet and no longer subject to any of the new regulations.

The newly passed regulations are extensive. But, I have outlined the important points below.

  1. Final folds on the top are no longer permitted.
  2. Self-mailers now require double tabs instead of a single tab.
  3. Quarter-fold self-mailers will need to be at least 70# book (=28# bond).
  4. Tabs are no longer permitted at the bottom of self-mailers.

    Insert 1
    Tri-fold and quarter-fold flyers and newsletters will need two tabs next year, not just one.

  5. The final folded panel creates the non-address side of the mail piece from bottom to top, or lead edge to trail edge, as shown.Insert 2

For Tri-folded self-mailers, the mailing address must be on the middle panel, with the final fold creating the non-address side.

Insert 1

What the post office calls oblong self-mailers must have the final fold on the right side, or “leading edge”. You have two options for tabbing.

 

Quick Summary of Self-Mailer Changes Effective 1/5/13:

Previously

New: Effective January 5, 2013

1 tab on top allowed when final fold is on the bottom. 2 tabs required on top when final fold is on the bottom (or 1 on leading and 1 on trailing edge) if bi-fold, tri-fold, or quarter-fold under one ounce.
Maximum size: 6-1/8” x 11-1/2” Maximum size: 6” x 10-1/2” *
Sheets that are bound by one staple not considered a booklet for tabbing purposes. Sheets that are bound by one staple are considered a booklet for tabbing purposes.
If final fold is at the top, piece can be sealed with two tabs on the bottom. Final fold no longer allowed at the top.
Remittance envelopes can be inserted anywhere in a quarter-fold self-mailer. Remittance envelopes must be inserted in the first fold of a quarter-fold self-mailer.
1 sheet folded self-mailer: paper basis weight of at least 70# book (=28# bond)Multiple sheet folded self-mailers: paper basis weight of at least 60# book (=24# bond), except for newsprint. 1 or more sheets, final fold on bottom:
≤ 1 oz: 70# book and 2-1 in. tabs top or sides
>1 oz: 80# book and 2-1 ½ in tabs top or sides
1 or more sheets, quarter folded:
≤ 1 oz: 70# book and 2-1 in. tabs top or sides
>1 oz: 80# book and 3- 1 ½ in. tabs sides
Newsprint, minimum 55# book:
≤ 1 oz: 2 tabs top or sides
>1 oz: 3 tabs sides
Tabs were allowed on the bottom in certain cases, e.g., final fold on the leading edge or to hold in an enclosure. No tabs allowed on the bottom. Must use glue dot to hold in an insert if the bottom is open.