Archive for January, 2014
We often think about print and social media as being competitors, but print can be one of the greatest drivers of social media engagement, as well. Take a lesson from Skinny Cow, which uses print to drive participation in its social media and mobile contests.
To engage consumers, the company offers daily giveaways. To participate, consumers must purchase a Skinny Cow product such as cheese or ice cream bar at a retail location. Consumers type in the barcode or six-digit game code from the box or wrapper to see if they have won. They can tweet about the contest to gain an additional chance to win.
By printing codes on its product packaging, Skinny Cow drives traffic into its retail stores. Once consumers have provided their mobile numbers to enter the contest, it can begin to send them push notifications, as well. Tweeting multiples the impact of the campaign at no additional cost.
Printing personalized barcodes and game codes on boxes, labels, and wrappers is a simple operation and can be adapted to many different consumer products. Codes can be overprinted or, if you are printing in small quantities, digitally printed right onto the package. You can also print personalized barcodes, QR Codes, or promo codes on napkins, cups, and other disposable items used by the consumer.
If you don’t produce the types of consumer products that lend themselves to these types of promo codes, you can drive foot traffic by printing generic codes or “secret URLs” on office, in-store, or even trade show displays, banners, and signage. Change them out frequently to prevent sharing.
Print and mobile / social media don’t have to be competitors.
In fact, print may be one of the primary ways consumers find you on social and mobile media.
Did you know that even during the Great Depression, some companies thrived? While other marketers were cutting their spending, a few businesses like Camel and Chevrolet took the opportunity to use aggressive marketing tactics to grab market share from their competitors. It’s proof that the key to long-term success in any economy is to get in front of your target audience and stay there.
Even if your budget strings are tightening, here are a few ways to keep your marketing on track.
1. Use fewer inks.
If you have a three-color project, consider dropping down to two colors. With creative use of screen tints, you can often create a similar look for a lower cost. If you have been printing generic business documents like forms in two colors, consider dropping back to just black ink.
2. Use more inks.
This might seem counter-intuitive, but if you have a three-color project, it is often more cost-effective to bump it up to four colors. In many cases, four-color process is less expensive than three-color spot printing because the press is already set up. Plus, you can ask about including your job in a gang run where it is on the press alongside other four-color jobs and then trimmed down to size.
3. Prepare your artwork and proofread carefully.
You can avoid many service charges by making sure you’ve prepared your artwork correctly and caught every last typo.
4. Clean up your mailing list.
It’s boring work, but it can drop your costs dramatically. With a clean list, you can print exactly what you need and avoid extra postage costs as well.
5. Consider different formats.
Just because you have always done a brochure for a particular promotion doesn’t mean it’s the only option. Experiment with a postcard instead of a brochure and see whether you get a better response rate. Testing is the key to effective marketing. A little creativity can go a long way toward saving money.
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One of the benefits of 1:1 PRINTING is the ability to increase the relevance of each communication by making the message more personal. By using information you already know about the recipient, you are able to communicate on a more intimate, 1:1 level.
But this approach can also be misused. Individuals and businesses are very protective of their privacy these days, and rightly so. Customers want to know that their data is not only safe, but that the marketers they do business with won’t misuse it.
What are some first steps you can take to ensure that your customers and prospects know that you care about their privacy?
- Include an official privacy statement in your information-gathering materials.
- If you will be collecting data, include a notice of physical and data security procedures and a promise of confidentiality.
- When personalized your marketing messages, don’t disclose overly personal details (“Hey, Bob! Ready to default on that sky-high mortgage?”).
- Be transparent. Provide full details about what respondents have to do in order to receive any prizes or promotional items.
- Follow all opt-in regulations, including double opt-ins for email lists and providing the option to opt-out of future marketing contacts.
- Assure that respondents’ information will not be sold to third parties.
Privacy standards, both in print and online, are always evolving. So stay abreast of the discussion. Talk to your customers to find out any other concerns and address them. The more you can assure your customers that their personal information is safe with you and that it will be used appropriately, the more you will win their trust.
You can extend the concept of return on investment (ROI) to your print marketing efforts, measuring profitability versus cost. Leading corporations use intensively data-driven approaches to report the economic benefits created from marketing investments. You can develop metrics to measure the effectiveness of your printing expenditures even if you don’t have a full-time staff of business analysts.
Set specific goals for your print campaign. Do you want to increase total revenue and profits? Or is the purpose to increase sales of a particular product or service or expand into a new market? Perhaps you need to spur seasonal sales to offset fluctuations in demand. Or your goal might be less tangible, such as increasing brand awareness or improving your company’s image. Tailor your evaluation methods to these defined goals.
Crunch the numbers. Customize this basic print ROI model with your own assumptions to determine whether your campaign will be successful.
|Number of Pieces Printed||
|Response Rate Anticipated||
|Percentage of Respondents Expected to Purchase||
|Average Profit per Purchase||
|Number of Respondents||
|Cost per Response||
|Number of Buyers||
|Cost per Buyer||
|Cost per Printed Piece||
|Profit per Printed Piece||
PRINT MARKETING ROI
Design your printed materials to track responses. Include a customized coupon, code or inquiry card to determine which customers are responding to a specific printed piece.
Document how new customers found you. Train your sales and customer service personnel to ask how a client learned about your organization so you can be certain new sales are a result of your marketing efforts rather than another factor, such as a competitor going out of business.
Recognize that it’s not all about dollars and cents. Print pieces have a long life and might be passed from person to person, so campaign-driven sales might not be realized immediately. And, there are some metrics that you can only capture through market research. For example, organize a focus group or survey of those who received a specific printed piece to measure recall, perceptions about your company and purchase intent.
These strategies will enable you to cost-justify your print marketing budget and focus your efforts where you will receive the greatest returns.