Tag Archives: marketing

The Organization We Compromise For

Dysfunctional organizations don’t just materialize. According to American Entrepreneur and teamMarketer Seth Godin, they develop as a result of many compromises made over time.

A new hire doesn’t seem to be catching on, but the time it will take to replace her trumps the need for initiative and productivity.

A skilled tradesman refuses to train a co-worker because he’s afraid he’ll become less indispensable to his company. The need to maintain current production levels trumps the need for cooperation, teamwork, and increased production capacity.

A sales rep refuses to learn the new CRM platform and says she’s too busy to enter information into the system. The need for an immediate sale trumps the need for account development and consistent revenue growth.

And finally, a tired owner spends 18 hours a day putting out fires, leaving no time for strategic planning. The need to cross items off a list trumps the company’s long-term sustainability.

Organizations of all sizes and types make decisions daily that prevent them from growing into the businesses they were meant to be. The reasons are plentiful—no time to think, too hard to fix, too many urgent needs to attend to. These compromises pave the path to mediocrity. If you want to be the best, don’t compromise! Choose team players, quick learners, time managers, strategic thinkers, and the future over the present.

Quote of the Week:Be careful not to compromise what you want most for what you want now.” – Zig Ziglar

Recipe for Success

Collin Street Bakery produces and ships cookies, cakes, and pies to over 200 countries. Despite minxingbowla strong re-order rate, the company still hungered for new customers. How do you convince people who’ve never tasted your desserts to give your signature fruitcake a try?

Direct mail and creative naming, that’s how! Direct Mail Consultant Greg Hennerberg started by renaming the fruitcake to a Texas Native Pecan Cake, eliminating any connection to the much-maligned holiday gift. After learning about the special nature and history of Texas pecans, Hennerberg created a powerful story to connect recipients to the state’s natively grown pecans.

Hennerberg used a smorgasbord of direct mail best practices to convince people to open the envelope, read the story inside, and place an order. The combination of strong color choices (red and black), a teaser calling all Pecan Lovers, a time-sensitive offer, and a money back guarantee drove a 60% lift in responses compared to previous campaigns.

If you find your business starved for higher response rates, maybe it’s time to rethink your recipe for success. A recent InfoTrends study found that adding direct mail to e-mail, social, or mobile only campaigns increased responses by at least 17%.

Quote of the Week: “No matter how much multi-channel/integrated marketing is a constant theme and reality, expect direct mail to be featured as the ‘tree’ of a campaign from which all the other branches extend.” Ethan Boldt, Who’s Mailing What!

The Golden Goose

One of Aesop’s Fables tells the story of a farmer who owned a goose that laid golden eggoosegs. The farmer surmises that there must be a large supply of gold inside the goose, so he kills the goose to capture all the gold at once. Once the goose is dead, it stops laying eggs completely and the farmer learns a difficult lesson—in his eagerness to get rich quick, he has destroyed his chance to get rich at any pace.

Your top customers are the business equivalent of the goose. If you neglect them, you might make the same mistake as the farmer. Unfortunately, most firms don’t realize when they’re neglecting their best customers. Here are some ways that you could be unwittingly killing your goose right now:

Assuming that the customer won’t leave because they keep buying from you. Your lower-level contacts may not know what’s going on at the top of their organizations. Your contact might say that everything is fine, but a competitor that delivers innovative ideas to his bosses can create a completely new vision without you.

Forgetting to do what’s best for your customer. Business models change, so it might not make sense for your customer to continue buying the same quantities of the same products. If you never discuss the alternatives because you’re afraid of losing a bigger order, a competitor that tells the whole story could make you look bad.

Keep those golden eggs coming by helping your customers grow and be profitable. Forgetting to do that is one of the best ways to kill your goose.

TGI advances to SOC 2 Type 2 Data Security Rating


TGI advances to SOC 2 Type 2 data security rating; Successfully completing another rigorous third-party audit by 360 Advanced

PHILADELPHIA, PA – After achieving the Service Organization Controls 2 (SOC 2) Type 1 data security rating last year, TGI has taken its dedication to data security to the next level and has completed the requirements to earn the advanced SOC 2 Type 2 designation.

The demanding third-party examination that led to compliance with the data security standards was administered by the professional IT audit and compliance staff at 360 Advanced, a national Qualified Security Assessor, HITRUST CSF Assessor and Certified Public Accountant firm based in Tampa, FL.

“Achieving SOC 2 Type 2 compliance has proved to be a deal maker for us, especially with the numerous customers we serve in the financial services industry,” said Rick Elfreth, TGI’s Executive Vice President. “In a recent project, TGI was selected to print and fulfill a large run mailer for a financial institution using variable data. The customer chose TGI because they were confident that their strict security standards would not be compromised. The SOC 2 compliance gave the customer peace of mind that their data was secure and protected within a controlled environment.”

“To me, it comes down to confidence and trust,” commented Scott Elfreth, COO of TGI. “Those are the two words that I want our current customers and potential customers to take away from what this audit means to their businesses.”

Both executives agreed that the audit and compliance designations give TGI a competitive edge by bringing added value to their services, and that educating clients and potential clients about the importance is essential.

According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, achieving the SOC 2 Type 2 report attests to the ongoing maintenance of a service organization’s IT security and compliance systems, procedures and processes.



For nearly four decades, TGI has been at the forefront of embracing and implementing the latest software, technology, and equipment. The company’s investments in technology coupled with an outstanding team of industry professionals, has allowed TGI to provide the experience and expertise in digital print and marketing solutions that help businesses automate processes, enhance communications, create brand/product awareness, and drive sales.



Known for it’s responsiveness, experience and professionalism, 360 Advanced has clients in more than 35 states that are major service providers in various industries, including cloud and SaaS based organizations.  360 Advanced is one of only a few specialized firms in the U.S. that assist service providers as their independent IT assurance and compliance assessor in maintaining and communicating security and compliance to their clients.

Services provided, but not limited to, by 360 Advanced include the following industries: Title Services, Hosted and Managed IT, Data Center and Colocation, Software as a Service (SaaS), Healthcare, Financial Services, Insurance, HR | Payroll | PEO, Legal and Collections, Bulk Mail Printing and Distribution, Background Screening, Business Process Outsourcing and Marketing.

Services provided by 360 Advanced include HITRUST CSF, SOC 1 (SSAE 16), SOC 2, SOC 3, PCI DSS, HIPAA Security/HITECH, Microsoft Vendor Policy and other security and compliance services.


360 Advanced Contact:
Eric Ratcliffe
866.418.1708 ext.710


TGI Contact:
Scott Elfreth

No Time Like The Present

While many managers struggle with holding their teams accountable, it seems it is most epidemic with sales managers. Surprisingly, these accountability challenged managers often have the biggest problem with their best reps.
The top reps might be the ones failing to update their CRM or turn in forecasts or account development plans by the assigned deadline. The manager rationalizes that his stars don’t have time because they are busy selling. Not holding the best reps accountable is often a slippery slope and before the manager knows it, no deadlines are being met, the team is missing its targets, and his credibility is shot.
Here’s how to get off to a fast start in 2016. Managers should sit down with their teams, explain that the lack of accountability is undermining the team’s productivity, and clearly and specifically set expectations for 2016. Add an accountability plan to your strategy that sets consequences if deadlines aren’t met. Try withholding expense checks if you really want to get their attention. Oh, and one more thing, the same process can be used by senior management to hold their sales managers accountable.
Quote of the Week: “Accountability breeds response-ability.”—Stephen Covey
For more Marketing and Sales motivation, sign up for TGI’s Marketing Minute Newsletter

Super Bowl 50, “Commercial Bowl” Breakdown

Maura Glacken, TGI’s Marketing Coordinator, breaks down a few commercials from Super Bowl 50.

Ah, another Super Bowl came and went. While we are still trying to gain back momentum from Sunday’s festivities, there are a few things that I can’t stop thinking about. Aside from the Bronco’s win, Lady Gaga’s outstanding version of the Star Spangled Banner -Can you say Goosebumps- and the halftime show, the buzz about the commercials seems to continue to be a debate among all marketers and non-marketers alike. It IS the biggest opportunity of the year for advertisers after all, the COMMERCIAL BOWL. So, I spent some time re-watching Sunday’s commercials, and while I am not saying that I’m an expert, these are the ones that I can’t stop thinking about… and no, #Puppymonkeybaby (although- still hilariously replays in my mind) is not one of them.

Here are the summaries and breakdowns of a few commercials that stood out in my mind:

2017 Audi R8: Commander; Shoot for the moon

Summary: A heartwarming, emotional storyline of a sad retired Astronaut finding his love for life again through his son’s new Audi R8.

Breakdown: The cinematic quality of this commercial is outstanding, the storyline; powerful, emotional, inspiring… Pairing this storyline with Bowie’s iconic “Starman” (and only a few weeks after Bowie’s death), mesmerizing, powerful, and took this commercial’s emotional effect to greater heights. This one was definitely memorable, and “Starman” is on repeat in my brain.

Budweiser USA: Not Backing Down

Summary: Budweiser takes on the Craft Beer Revolution to prove that they are “not backing down”.

Breakdown: Taking a more riveting approach than past Super Bowl ads, this year’s Budweiser commercial takes on the Craft Beer Revolution in a powerful, yet playful manner. Budweiser traded in their heartwarming puppy & Clydesdale horse storyline to remind viewers that they have Clydesdales, not ponies, and that they are not backing down. Heavy machinery, extreme weather conditions, powerful and fierce Clydesdales and big venues prove that Budweiser is “ Not Small… Not a Hobby… Not for sipping… Not backing down since 1876”.

My favorite part- an old man at a bar flicks the lemon slice off of his beer glass, because Budweiser’s are “not fruit cups”

Snickers: Marilyn

Summary: Even Hollywood Icons get cranky when they are hungry.

Breakdown: Another trip down memory lane this year as Snickers proves that “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” Hollywood Icon, Marilyn Monroe, looks a lot like Willem Defoe when she gets cranky. Donned in pearl earrings, a white dress, and re-creating Monroe’s famous “skirt” scene, Defoe is hysterically cranky before eating his Snickers. Seeing Willem Defoe in a dress while throwing a tantrum is pretty funny, but was this the best Snickers “You’re not you when you’re hungry” ad? That’s up for debate- comment below, which was your favorite?

Mini: Defy Labels

Summary: Mini Clubman defies labels and proves this car is for everyone.

Breakdown: Mini takes on the labels that both celebrities and non-celebrities have had to overcome and use them to defy the stereotypes of the Mini Clubman – a chick car, a cute car, a short man’s car, a gay car, etc. This ad promotes a powerful message to “defy labels” in this creative and simplistic, yet direct commercial for the new Mini Clubman, proving that this car is for everyone. In addition to the powerful message, this ad proves to be the best use of Celebrity, as a series of unexpected cameos are used to Defy labels (Abby Wambach, Serena Williams, Tony Hawk, just to name a few).

Pantene: Strong is Beautiful | Pantene Dad- Do

Summary: NFL dad’s prove that “Girls who spend quality time with their dads grow up to be stronger women”

Breakdown: Dad’s of the NFL; DeAngelo Williams (Pittsburgh Steelers), Jason Witten (Dallas Cowboys) and Benjamin Watson (New Orleans Saints); pair up with their daughters in this powerful and heartwarming ad. Each dad is giving their daughter a “Dad-do”, while their daughters giggle in approval, and say the adorable “I love you daddy”. A branch off of Pantene’s ‘Strong is Beautiful’ campaign, the ‘Dad-do’ campaign is meant to promote that “Girls who spend quality time with their dads grow up to be stronger women.” This commercial was powerful and heartwarming and will have a longer lifespan than other Super Bowl ads.

My favorite exchange is at the end of the commercial when DeAngelo Williams hands his daughter, Rhiya Williams, a mirror:

“When you look in the mirror, what do you see?”


“That’s ‘Strong is beautiful’.”

Pantene created a series of extended videos for these ‘Dad-dos’, which consist of hysterical play-by-plays of the NFL dads creating their ‘Dad-dos’:

DeAngelo Williams: Dad-Do #1

Benjamin Watson: Dad-Do #2

Jason Witten: Dad-Do #3

DeAngelo Williams: Dad-Do #4


Shock Top: “Unfiltered Big Game Ad Review”

Although I was not really a big fan of the initial Shock Top Super bowl ad that aired on Sunday, Shock Top takes the win for greatest Super Bowl ad follow-up. Their initial ad was pretty funny, but I felt it got lost in the sea of other Super Bowl ads. So, when I saw the “Unfiltered Big Game Ad Review” pop up on my newsfeed Monday, I just had to watch it. Adding a playful extension to their own ad of exchanged insults, T.J. Miller and the Shock Top orange wedge paired up again to watch and review other commercials from Sunday… the results? Hysterical. Watch as they hilariously take on their Super Bowl ad competitors. “Puppymonkeybaby? He will haunt my dreams for years to come…”


Overall, the ads this year were good, memorable, and hysterical… but there were a few that left me with an Eli Manning reaction– Xifaxan and it’s walking intestine, ENVY’s Opioid-induced constipation, and the snooze fest that was the Persil laundry detergent commercial. FYI- those ads cost $5 million for a 30-second spot this year!

So, what did you think about Super Bowl 2016’s commercials? Which were your favorites? Share in the comment section below!


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.

For more great articles like this one, sign up for TGI’s Marketing Hour Magazine or eNewsletter.


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


For more articles like this one, sign up to receive TGI’s Marketing Hour Magazine and eNewsletter


3 Simple Tips for Hosting an Exciting Corporate Event

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
  • Conferences
  • Conventions
  • 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

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.