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:
- 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”.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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”.
- 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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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
- Create a Customer Advisory Board and invite your best customers to join.
- Look for opportunities to visit with your best customer at his place of business.
- Invite your best customers to visit your facility and show them how you operate.
- Provide your best customers with valuable content on an ongoing basis.
- Customize your products or services to add unique value for your best customers.
- Be responsive and readily available to your best customers.
- Offer remarkable customer service that exceeds their expectations.
- Anticipate their needs and be solution oriented rather than product oriented.
- Know their industries, know their companies and understand what is important to them personally.
- 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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Event planning is no easy undertaking. Organizing dozens of tasks, pressing deadlines, managing vendors, communication, and all around multitasking is what you deal with every day in order to pull off an awesome event. And on top of these things, you have to worry about making sure your event is a memorable one. When it comes to planning a successful event, you need to be innovative, utilizing new technology and introducing new ideas to your attendees. So how will you create an innovative and memorable event for your attendees?
Here are 3 simple and useful tips from the TGI Team:
1. Be Consistent:
Make an impact before, during and after the event by creating a theme to carry out throughout all event messaging and signage.
- Your pre-event communications should set the tone for the event and build interest, and all communication during the event or following the event should be consistent with your original communications.
- During the event, branding should make an impact on your attendees throughout all event signage and messaging, this creates an air of importance and helps make a memorable experience.
2. Integrate Media:
Every touch of your event messaging should integrate multiple platforms to help engage attendees and create interaction.
- Event emails should lead to landing pages or social media platforms to create interest in the event.
- Printed collateral, such as invitations or save the dates, should include a QR code or Personalized URL (PURL) that leads to the event page, registration page, or maybe a video from one of your speakers.
- Create a hashtag to use throughout all of your event messaging, this will help get your attendees attention and build excitement before, during and after the event.
3. Get the Team Involved:
Hold a meeting for your staff, and the presenters/panelists for the event. Get them all to contribute on Social Media before, during and after the event by using the event hashtag. When the team shares an inside view or behind the scenes preparation for the event, it builds the excitement for the event.
- Have staff members start sharing behind the scenes photos before the event: staff meetings, new printed pieces come in, any giveaway items or overall preparation for the event.
- Get speakers involved by having them guest blog, sharing info about their presentations and event info, or create a video blog on why they think your event will be a great one to attend.
Keeping the conversation going before, during and after an event is key to making your event memorable. Every attendee should leave talking about your event, and anyone who could not attend should be excited for your next event. With TGI by your side you will get a reliable partner who understands the event industry and will be with you every step from start to finish. TGI is a reliable single-source provider for all of the printing and marketing services you need to help promote, conduct, and follow up your event. Whether you are having a monthly sales meeting, exhibiting in a trade show, or conducting a national conference, you can count on our expertise and experience in the event industry to deliver quality products on time and on budget.
To help make your next event a success, download TGI’s FREE event planning checklists and sign up to receive a FREE gift from the TGI Team.
TGI offers exceptional print & marketing services for corporate events:
- Annual company meeting
- Award banquets
- Board or shareholder meetings
- Charity functions
- Company parties
- Customer appreciation event
- Employee appreciation event
- Fundraiser events
- Golf outings
- Happy hours
- Holiday celebrations
- Product launch events
- Sales meeting national/regional
- Seminars/workshop sessions
- Trade shows
- Training sessions
- VIP events
To 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On September 12, 2013 TGI will be part of the webinar The Art of Efficiency, Kate Dunn from InfoTrends will be joining us to facilitate the webinar. Being an expert in Marketing and Sales, we wanted to provide her background in the industry, and to ask her a few questions about web portals and eCommerce.
Kate Dunn is CEO and founder of Digital Innovations Group (DIG) in Richmond, Virginia. Kate started her professional career in marketing with Xerox Corporation. After 15 years with the company, she joined Choice Communications, Inc. as vice president of marketing and sales. She was instrumental in the development of Choice 1:1, the personalized printing division in 1998. Choice was widely recognized as a leader in relevant marketing with four cases added to the PODi Best Practices in Digital Print in 2003. Kate is a frequent guest lecturer in both the undergraduate and post-graduate programs at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business on the subjects of integrated marketing and sales.
Online Document libraries or B2B web portals are big right now, why are they gaining popularity?
Kate: Since 2008 enterprises have been looking to reduce their marketing spend and still generate results. Initially this took the form of a reduction in spending. However, organizations are starting to understand that their spend is more than what they pay their partner vendors for things like print or digital services.
Over 50% of the costs of marketing materials come from process costs to customize, warehouse, manage inventory and from obsolescence. And that doesn’t even tackle the opportunity lost from marketing that is not relevant enough to its recipients to drive response and interaction.
Today smart marketers are examining their supply chain for ways to improve their efficiency from customizing documents through to their distribution. They are also looking at ways to streamline the process for creating and producing more relevant documents like personalized or versioned direct mail, digital documents or messaging and signage. One way to do this is through the web by creating document libraries that can be customized, ordered, produced and distributed on-demand. They are ending up with more efficient processes, far less waste in their supply chain and more effective documents that deliver much higher ROI.
B2B eCommerce VS. B2C eCommerce, Can you explain the difference between the two?
Kate: eCommerce typically refers to procuring something over the web. For B2B that means companies selling to other businesses and for B2C that means companies selling to consumers. Either way the company providing the service is going to invest in user interfaces that make it easy for end users, either consumers or employees to customize, order and track what they are buying.
For B2B applications, the web interface is typically branded for the company. Including both their static documents like business cards, letterhead etc. and their customized or personalized sales and marketing materials. B2C sites are branded to the company providing the resource and have templates for postcards, books, calendars etc that can be customized by the consumer.
How are B2C and B2B eCommerce similar?
Kate: They both use the web, and streamline the process for users to customize, proof, order and track the things they want to print.
What are the main goals for companies to turn to B2B eCommerce?
Kate: They typically come at it from two sides – efficiency and effectiveness.
On the efficiency side, they want to reduce the number of steps and the time it takes to create or customize the materials. They need to operate, market or sell their services and eliminate costly handling and obsolesce within their supply chain.
On the effectiveness side they want to make the process easier for creating more relevant and personalized documents, which deliver higher response rates, more customer engagement and higher returns.
It boils down to saving money and making money.
Join us September 12, 2013 for our Webinar, The Art of Efficiency.
Sign up today!