Archives for posts with tag: digital printing

As the years go by, innovative packaging remains as important as ever. Digital technology has opened the door for new approaches to packaging that are geared toward customer expectations. Here are four trends to watch out for in 2014.

1. Personalization
With variable printing and other cutting-edge solutions, it’s possible to personalize items at a low cost. Presses can easily deliver short-run packages, whether this means 1,000 copies or just a few. As a result, more companies are inviting consumers to personalize their items. For example, Heinz created a campaign that allowed customers to customize soup cans for their sick friends and family members, marketing company Digital Surgeons reported. According to Graphics Art Mag, companies are offering more options for customization, from the copy on the label to the dimensions of the carton itself.

2. User-Friendly
As packaging becomes more sophisticated, it can also be designed to make life easier for consumers. No matter what customers are up to, they want packaging that meets their needs. For instance, those with active lifestyles want to take small packages on the go, while some consumers want bags that reseal between uses to maintain freshness. Others want containers that store easily. In addition, these days, health conscious consumers are often interested in snack-sizes that will prevent them from binging. Companies are being asked to fulfill the diverse needs of shoppers. Whatever wants these consumers may have, companies should look for innovative solutions. In one forward-thinking example from Digital Surgeons, a wine company used recycled cardboard to make a new kind of bottle that is 85% lighter than glass but still recyclable. This shows that some of the most innovative companies address desires customers have yet to express.

3. Sustainable459952319
Consumers are becoming increasingly eco-conscious and are often on the lookout for companies that use eco-friendly packaging. The Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability market has reached $290 billion in just the U.S., according to Digital Surgeons. These consumers feel a personal responsibility for the environment and believe companies should facilitate this interest by providing better packaging. Companies can meet this need in several ways, such as using environmentally-friendly materials or adjusting their packaging so it can be easily re-purposed. Another key finding from Digital Surgeons is that the higher the household income level, the more likely consumers were to rate environmentally-friendly packaging as important to them. This means eco-friendly packaging could be a key consideration for certain luxury items.

4. See-Through
Shoppers are growing more interested in transparency, both in terms of ingredients and in the packaging itself. As controversy grows over genetically modified organisms, consumers want to know exactly what’s in the products they are consuming. In addition to revealing exactly where ingredients came from and how products were assembled, showing consumers exactly what they’re getting can help alleviate any fears or misconceptions. Transparent packages allow the product to speak for itself. However, showing the product shouldn’t mean sacrificing creativity. Rather than making the package entirely clear, businesses can make a window that shows the product but incorporates it into a larger design. This approach is hip, but it also provides the same kind of transparency that shoppers want.

Heather Hill, Marketing Manager at a healthcare packaging & solutions provider, contributed to this article.

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.

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.

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/).