Tag Archives: marketing tips

5 Ways to Transform Failure

From TGI’s Marketing Hour Magazine, September/October 2015 issue. Back in the Saddle: Tolerating Failure and Winning Against All Odds.

“Mistakes are the portal of discovery”- James Joyce

In business, following your dream to bring your product or service into the world is a risky venture. Among the many incredible stories of great successes in business ventures, there are far more stories of dreams that were lost along the way. Entrepreneurship is a risky venture, the competition is fierce, and odds are you are going to experience some degree of failure among the way. But failure isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some of the greatest innovators’ in history have succeeded because of the way they have transformed their failures.

If you feel defeated along the way, here are 5 ways to transform failure:

  1. The Environment: You must create a safe, flourishing work environment that promotes creativity and healthy risk. Reward and celebrate your team for their suggestions and efforts- not only their successes. Try to limit the use of the word “failure”, it implies a complete dead stop. Nobody wants to be associated with that, so why create that negative energy? Instead, try to use the terminology, “Trial and error”.
  2. Listen and Learn: Make time to listen to your team. Very often, business owners or senior management completely outsource to consultants for a new set of eyes, instead of tapping the resources within- those who intimately know the company culture and what clients need.
  3. Track Your Progress: Have a formal process to track ideas and programs. Have fun with it by making it into a contest where you discuss progress as often as you like (monthly, quarterly, etc.). It’s important to follow through and take action, so that your team knows any viable suggestions will be tested and engaged with.
  4. Avoid He Said, She Said: Taking a 20,000- ft assessment of what went wrong in any situation should not be a blame-and-shame session. Seek input on how to deal with the issue(s) moving forward and look for ways to avoid the proverbial “same mistake twice”.
  5. Be Consistent: If you’re going to meet the prospects of failure head on, be consistent in how you treat it, regardless of the size of the problem and who is at fault. The key is to build a healthy culture around failure- one where missteps are seen as learning opportunities for everyone. This increases and promotes individual responsibility around failure.

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Impact: Going Deeper Than Data

By Lorrie Bryan, TGI’s Marketing Hour, Volume 1 Issue Five: September/October 2015

With a few clicks, the right data-software combo can readily tell you who your best customer is and what products or services he has bought from you in the past A couple of more clicks, and you can predict with a great accuracy what they’re likely to buy from you in the future, how much and how often. With a few more strategic clicks, you can capture and analyze data that then helps you create a tailored, automated marketing plan that provides your customer with engaging messaging that’s personalized for increased relevance and effectiveness.

You don’t even have to pick up a phone and call him. 

But you can click-click-click until your fingers ache; search the expansive internet heavens; gaze intently into your super-duper, 32-inch, professional-grade, ultra-high-definition monitor; crank up the latest Voice of the Customer program; dive into social media; and still not understand your customers sufficiently.

If you really want to know what keeps your best customers up at night, what’s on their wish lists, and what you can do to help their businesses succeed and their dreams come true, try an old-fashioned, pre-information-age practice. It’s called conversing, personal interaction and visiting- and it can make a deep impact.

“We go directly to our customers and see their actual situation and needs first-hand. Then we can propose changes and solutions that more satisfy them.” –David Stevens, Senior VP, American Mitsuba Corp.

10 Ways to Make an Impact on Key Customers

  1. Create a Customer Advisory Board and invite your best customers to join.
  2. Look for opportunities to visit with your best customer at his place of business.
  3. Invite your best customers to visit your facility and show them how you operate.
  4. Provide your best customers with valuable content on an ongoing basis.
  5. Customize your products or services to add unique value for your best customers.
  6. Be responsive and readily available to your best customers.
  7. Offer remarkable customer service that exceeds their expectations.
  8. Anticipate their needs and be solution oriented rather than product oriented.
  9. Know their industries, know their companies and understand what is important to them personally.
  10. Be authentic, take a genuine interest in your customers, and facilitate their success.

 

“Businesses don’t have relationships with businesses – people have relationships with people.” –Dimitri Kapelianis, Associate Marketing Professor, University of New Mexico

 

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Bringing Back The Ink and Paper

featureimageTo stay ahead in business, business and marketing professionals alike are constantly searching for the next big marketing campaign to really get their word out there. To be heard, we need to be different, we need to capture the attention of our audience, and we need to think outside of the box. However, sometimes we over think the process and the most effective way to grab the attention of our audience is right in front of us – ink and paper. It may seem a bit “old-school” or “dated” to some, but print media and business go together like PB & J. Our theory on this is, “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it”, so while some businesses will be quick to disregard this method, especially in this digital world, we will be helping our clients master the fundamentals.

Direct mail marketing offers a return of 1,300 percent.”

We are in a digital world, our inboxes are full, our eyes are constantly on screens of all shapes and sizes, but seeing a piece of paper- that’s like magic! For example, I have only been at work for a few hours, and already in my personal email account I have 83 emails…Yes, really! I get emails all of the time, and unfortunately, many get overlooked or sent IMMEDIATELY to the trash bin or spam folder without questioning it, but print? Anything in print I take a look at, it’s in my hands, grabs my attention- even if for a few moments- and I either hold on to it or throw it away. BUT even though I threw it away, it was a much longer process and that printed piece got my attention, I looked at it, I physically touched it and it made an impact. So now, if I receive an email from the same company that sent me the printed piece, I will be more inclined to read that email.

The feeling of paper can influence the way customers perceive a product, service and brand. It’s called Haptic Perception– recognizing through touch. Printed materials trigger emotions in customers that digital marketing efforts cannot replicate. The tactile quality of fine papers combined with unique printing techniques, trigger emotions and capture the attention of your audience.

“4 out of 5 customers say they read, or at least scan, the direct mail marketing materials they receive and act on them right away” 

So how will you make an impact by using Print in your next Marketing campaign?

Here are a few tips:

Print + Digital = Success: 

Don’t rely solely on Print Marketing for your next campaign, combine print and digital to create a multi-channel campaign. It’s a known fact that when an email campaign is supported with a print piece, it creates a better rate of response than when using email or print alone. Support your email marketing messaging with your printed piece and vice-versa. Incorporate web, cross-substrate print, mobile, email, social media, and targeted landing pages to create more opportunities to communicate with audiences, AND to track the success of your campaign. Remember, the more forms of media, the more interaction and engagement from your clients, so mix up your media in your next marketing campaign.

“Brand awareness is fueled 44% by print & 37% by online media. Incorporate both for even better results.”

Paper is important:

Texture, quality, size, shape, color, fold, weight, packaging, substrate material, these are all things to consider when planning your printed piece. A plain white piece of paper with black ink in an envelope won’t get the same amount of attention as a multi-colored die-cut and folded printed piece. With the amazing printing technology that is out there and the multitude of substrate options, the possibilities are endless! Make an impact, think of your campaign as a whole before selecting your substrate. Are you promoting a new Eco-friendly product for your company, or are you going ‘Green’? Then choose a natural recycled paper that’s printed using eco-friendly, water-based, odorless industrial inks for your direct mailer. If you are having an event, choose an odorless, non-toxic, phthalate-free, green and eco-friendly adhesive material like PhotoTex for your event signage. Your campaign should be consistent, the paper and printed materials should compliment the campaign.

Design matters:

Good design does more than just look good; it’s a branding and marketing tool that really helps to deliver results. The right design should create a great first impression, be memorable, and establish recognition. When it comes to style and decision-making, the number one goal should be consistency. Make sure your design is consistent with your branding, your messaging or your event theme. Branding throughout all marketing materials is the key to making sure your company is being recognized. Every message you send out, should hold true to your branding, but also incorporate the campaign or event theme. Typography, shape, color, texture are all basic elements that matter in creating a successful marketing campaign. Think of the end goal, what message you want to be heard, how you want to be perceived and remembered. A good design is essential to the success of your campaign; so don’t skimp on the details.

Get help from an expert:

Endless substrates, design elements, shipping methods, combining print and digital marketing, there are so many elements to be considered when you create a print marketing campaign. Luckily, veteran printers know what methods of print marketing are most effective. They know the fundamentals; every substrate and packaging method, the basic elements of design, they know which colors work best for each type and color of substrate, and they care about making the most of your print marketing. Choose a company that has a passion and long history in print.

You won’t find many marketing solutions companies who know print the way we do. We believe that choosing the right paper for your project can make a difference. That’s why over the years, we have formed close relationships with many of the finest paper mills and paper merchants. And for our first five issues of our Marketing Hour Magazine, we have worked closely with them in an effort to showcase some unique and quality papers that perhaps you may find will add attraction to your future communications. Need help choosing the perfect paper for your next campaign? We would love to help! Contact us today to get started on your next campaign.