Archives for posts with tag: Tupelo MS

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.

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.

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.