Archives for posts with tag: Marketing

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.

Odds are the answer is yes if you are marketing and selling to customers and potential customers and they aren’t receiving your message. Why wouldn’t they be receiving your message? The answer might be as simple as your database list. The most valuable asset your sales team has in its arsenal is a good, clean database list. This could come in many forms:

  • Your Current Customer List
  • Your Prospect List
  • A Purchased List to Reach a New Customer Base

Why You Need a Clean List?

  • You can learn the buying habits of your current customers and more easily target specific messages to them.
  • It is easier to spot trends and patterns in the buying cycle.
  • You can dramatically improve your Customer Service Department by supplying them with up-to-date information.
  • Most Important: You save time, money, wasted effort and you improve your ROI with each Direct Mail Campaign.

How Do You Clean Your List?

  • Make sure you have an internal system set up to change database information.
  • Have your Sales Team responsible for making sure the customer information is current.
  • Call Weatherall Printing! We use the most current postal system software and can run your lists through NCOA and CASS systems for the most current address, as well as deleting duplicate names and addresses.

Weatherall LogoYes, Direct Mail is still alive and kicking and should have a place in your marketing strategy for 2014. In 2011, businesses spent almost $48 Billion on direct mail marketing. And, it isn’t slowing down with direct mail spending forecast to increase 3.6% through 2014.

Here are 10 tips to consider when designing your next direct mail campaign.

A Good, Clean List
The right mailing list is the key to your campaign’s success. Profiling your current clients and members is a great place to start.

Clear Offer
Be clear about your offer. Direct Mail works best when it is specific.

Be Creative
Get creative with your campaign, but don’t put it before steps 1 and 2. 80% of the success of your campaign will be determined by the list and offer.

Test, Test, Test
Test different offers and designs. Direct Mail is easily tracked. You can segment 10% of your list and experiment with different offers and designs.

Personalize Your Campaign
Personalize the copy and images. Incorporating the prospect’s name into the copy will increase  your response rate. Even better, use relevant information such as gender and ethnicity to version each piece.

Plan for the Majority
Make sure you plan for the majority, not the exception. Obsessing over the gentleman who goes by “Jim” but “James” was on his mailer does not ruin the campaign. Correct it and move on to the next mailing.

Make Responding Easy
Have an online response mechanism. It can be something as simple as an email address, or a more personalized approach using a Personalized URL (PURL).

Pair Your Direct Mail with Other Marketing Channels
Consider pairing your direct mail with other marketing channels, like email. When an email address is available, coordinating the delivery of the email with the mail piece drives up responses.

Repetition
Commit to more than one mailing. Direct Mail has a drip effect that increases the likelihood of a response through repetition.

Contact Weatherall Printing at 800-273-6043
Call us and let’s get started on your next direct mail campaign.

Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to get your prospect’s attention and grow your business.

 

460405677Deciding to “go social” with your company can seem like a daunting task. Here a few ideas to consider when you are ready to jump into social media.

Share relevant and useful information with your target markets.

Be active. The more activity a company has on the social media sites, the more participation they will receive. Also, the more relevant your information is to your target markets, the more participation you will receive.

Dedicate a person or department to manage your company’s social media efforts. Social media management is sometimes not a full-time job; however, a person or group should be responsible for its maintenance and growth.

Rather than opening a variety of accounts, start small. Choose one account, master it and then decide on the next social media account to open and how it may incorporate into your existing one. This pattern should continue.

Collect details through your social media platforms. The information can be used in your direct mail campaigns. This concept can be taken a step further via online contact collection forms where programmers can link the information about your company and products.

Publish links and QR codes on all packaging and marketing collateral. This simple act will show consumers where to find more information about your company and products.

Motivate consumers to visit your social media platforms by offering a coupon or printable discount that they can only receive by visiting your social media sites.

Track the progress of your social media pages through special URL’s printed on your packaging and direct mail campaigns. This will allow you to determine which offers and messages best attract potential clients.

For B to B companies follow your customers and prospects on social media sites to start a dialog. You don’t want to be a “stalker”, but companies like to be followed and you will learn a great deal about what is new and important to them. The more you know the easier it is to engage.

Good luck!

Weatherall LogoLike all things, social media platforms age. As sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram grow and develop, so do their users. Some users who were once frequent and active participants become inactive or leave social media sites. New users enter social media communities and implement their own ethos upon them, forcing initial users out. It is important for marketers to understand the demographic shifts that occur as these social media sites grow over time to ensure that the proper channels are being used to reach target audiences.

A February 2013 Pew Research Center study entitled The Demographics of Social Media Users – 2012 surveyed 1,802 respondents in North America over the age of 18 to uncover the patterns and demographic migrations in social media. Social media sites profiled in this study included Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. The study found that age had a direct impact on involvement in social media. About 83% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 29 are active with social media, compared to 77% of 30 to 49 year olds, 52% of 50 to 64 year olds and only 32% of those aged 65+.

A 2013 Pew Research study entitled Coming and Going on Facebook discusses how 61% of current users have voluntarily taken a break from using Facebook for several weeks or more. These voluntary breaks have been coined in popular media as “Facebook Fatigue”. During 2013, 38% of 18 to 29 year olds – Facebook’s former core demographic – expect to spend less time on the site or stop using it altogether. Although the reasons for taking a break from Facebook varied, most respondents stated that they were no longer interested, no longer had the time or considered it a waste of time. A smaller number admitted that drama from friends was making the site less appealing. This shift in Facebook use makes it clear that marketers must be ready to accommodate different demographics when using social media as a marketing tool.

Rather than assuming that a particular audience is using a social media site, marketers must research their core demographics before spending large amounts of capital. It is also important to take advantage of the tools that social networks provide to help marketers. For example, Facebook has a feature that enables ads to be pushed to specific age groups. Additionally, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have all taken steps to better cater to their younger users by increasing their video  capabilities. These sites have also developed new tools that marketers can use to reach video-centric audiences. Staying up to date on the demographics of each social networking site, recognizing that these demographics can change over time and leveraging the tools provided by social networks to reach target demographics can prevent marketers from falling victim to demographic shifts or fatigue.

Arianna Valentini is a research analyst with InfoTrends, a worldwide market research and strategic consulting firm for the digital imaging and document solutions industry.

Weatherall LogoAlthough it is estimated that 57% of all businesses are using social media, with approximately 79% having plans to continue to or start using these platforms, many companies are still unsure why or how to use these sites.

Social media tools help a company brand, market and share information. They also allow  your company channels to engage with your target markets in more frequent and less formal ways. Social media sites enable companies to deliver updates on new products, technology and company information without bombarding customers with “too much” or irrelevant data. Your customers (and the world) will have access to this information.

The more engaged a company is on social media sites, the more customers can interact with your brand and identify with your products. For example, customers may comment on blog or Facebook postings. This type of engagement can lead to positive word-of-mouth marketing as prospective customers may see testimonials from happy customers.

Big Myths and Big Benefits
The biggest misconception most business owners have about social media is that there is a “right” and “wrong” way to do it. There is no exact science to social media’s success or which channels work best. Companies have different objectives and different audiences, so the social media strategies aren’t one-size-fits-all. Determine who you want to speak to and how, and what you ultimately want to achieve before establishing your company’s social media presence.

The biggest benefit for companies using social media is that you will engage with companies via the sharing of information rather than trying to “sell” the customer. Target markets will read your content via social media sites or refer to you for free information. As a result, you may have more prospective customers giving you a call.

Stacy Falconer is the Business Development Director for Westfield, Mass based Dion Label Printing.

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.