7 Ways to Maximize Impact on a Small Budget

A high-impact marketing campaign comes from creativity and strategy, not from having limitless resources. Let’s look at seven ways to optimize your marketing budget for maximum impact, even on minimum dollars.

  1. Concentrate on a niche market. Target your message to a smaller market versus a diverse group of prospects. Maximize your marketing spend by mailing highly relevant, targeted offers rather than general solicitations.
  2. Plan your printing. Involve us in the design of your printed pieces from the beginning. We can often recommend paper, ink, trim sizes, and layouts that will save you money.
  3. Maximize your postal spend. New postage rates have recently gone into effect that address size, shape and weight. Using these new parameters, we can advise you on creating mailings that will minimize your postage expense while maximizing your ROI.
  4. Consider postcards. Some studies estimate postcard readership at close to 100%, especially if your design is eye-catching and your message is brief. Ask us for assistance in creating a low-cost postcard that meets postal service specifications for reduced postage.
  5. Be the expert. When prospective clients are in need of your product or service, you will have instant credibility if they have seen your name in print. Create a newsletter or blog, write articles for magazines, newspapers and journals, or even consider producing your own branded magazine.
  6. Network. Join a speakers bureau and attend trade shows and conferences. Utilize online networking resources, such as LinkedIn. Pass out and mail business cards and brochures to boost awareness among your potential clients.
  7. Partner with non-competing businesses. Identify companies that offer complementary goods and services, and create cooperative marketing collateral using a pool of shared dollars.

There are many cost-effective ways to let future customers know about your company’s products and services. Be resourceful and you will reap the rewards on your balance sheet.

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Personalized Marketing: It’s Mainstream

From personalized coupons at the checkout counter to “just for you” recommendations at Amazon.com, personalized marketing is everywhere.

While some marketers are still deciding whether to take the plunge into this “new” form of marketing in print, fully personalized documents have been around for a long time. Back in 2010 (“Capturing the Cross-Media Direct Marketing Opportunity”), InfoTrends found that the overwhelming majority of marketers were already using segmented (40%) or fully personalized (21%) communications. Only 40% of campaigns fit into the category of “one to many.” This means that if you are sending static mail pieces, you’re competing with marketers who are not only speaking to their customers and prospects on a personalized level, but they are seasoned at doing so. If your competitors are personalizing and you are not, you are at a competitive disadvantage.

Need to get started? Even with a simple basic customer list, here are steps you can take:

  1. Personalize by name.

Use the recipient’s name creatively. Integrate it into the design in an interesting, eye-catching way.

  1. Target by a single, simple variable.

Will it help to target the mailing by gender? How about by ZIP code? Would it help to add a map? (This works great for new businesses or new branches or locations.) These are data you already have. Use them!

  1. Beef up your marketing database.

Purchase simple variables like home ownership or household income for the names you already have. Adding to your database is not expensive, and it can boost your marketing effectiveness exponentially.

Need help? Talk to us about how you can put data to use to create a more personal relationship with your customers.


Marketing in an Omnichannel World

We are bombarded with electronic media. Cellphones. iPads. Kindles. Nooks. Facebook. Video streaming. Where does print fit? Right square in the middle.

To be effective, marketing needs to be multi-channel. From a consumer perspective, there isn’t print and online media. There is just marketing. As succinctly stated by Lazar Dzamic of Kitcatt Nohr Digitas, a London-based creative agency, “People don’t think ‘offline’ and ‘online.’ They just see a brand in all its touchpoints.”

Regardless of channel, marketing success starts with data. You want to gather as much data about your target audience as possible to make the message richer and more effective. You also want present a consistent brand and marketing message across channels.

Here are some best practices to get you started:

  • Verify and correct existing customer data.
  • Append that data to learn more about each customer.
  • Customize messages based on customer insight.
  • Personalize consumer interactions across all touchpoints.
  • Integrate communications and present a consistent message across all channels.

When you develop the print portion of your campaigns, focus on those aspects of print that are unique to the medium or that are particularly suited for it:

  • Use great design that pops off the page in a way not possible on a screen.
  • Tap into the richness of printed color to create a lasting image. Add special effects such as coating, die-cuts, and embossing.
  • Integrate tactile media, such as textured surfaces or stocks to create a memorable experience.
  • Include product samples, personalized booklets, and other incentives not possible in a digital world.

Print offers unique benefits that cannot be replicated on a screen. Take advantage of them!

Need some fresh ideas? Just ask.


DRIVE Your Sales with Print!

Would you rather use a marketing channel that is inexpensive or that delivers results? If you said results, then you need print.Driver

The industry is ripe with data on the effectiveness of print and its unique role in the world of marketing. In a sea of electronic messages, print continues to frame and influence shopper behavior in a way that other channels do not.

This is especially true of targeted, personalized print, but it is also true of non-personalized print.

Consider the data below:

• Direct mail response rates average 3.4% for letter-sized direct mail to a house list and 1.3% to the general public or a prospect list. This compares with email response rates of 0.12% and 0.03%, respectively

• Direct mail has the lowest cost per lead.

59% of consumers enjoy getting postage mail from brands about new products. Only 39% like getting this information by email.

27% feel that information that comes in the mail is more trustworthy than information that comes online.


Elements of a Successful Cross-Media Campaign

Want to energize your print campaign? Add demographic or psychographic segmentation and personalization. Want to energize your print campaign even more? Combine print with other media to amplify its effect.

The most common cross-media campaigns these days are print and e-mail, but you might also want to consider banner ads, social media, SMS text messaging, search engine advertising and other avenues that complement print. Each will have different uses and benefits, depending on your marketing goals and the target demographic you are trying to reach.

Here are some basic rules to keep in mind:

1. Consistent branding across all media.

Different media have different requirements and limitations, so you aren’t going to be able to maintain 100% consistency all the time. But whenever possible, try to use the same images, color schemes, messaging and other elements across media.

2. Strategic application of media.

Know what role, specifically, each medium is supposed to play. If you are going to combine e-mail with print, what are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to “prime the pump” for the print piece? Are you using e-mail as a follow-up? Maybe if you’re driving traffic to a campaign-specific website, you might want to consider Internet banner advertising in demographic “hot spots.” The key is to match the medium to the audience and the message so that each medium plays off the others strengths.

3. Appropriate matching of media to the audience.

Ensure that you use the right medium to communicate with each target audience. Not all media are appropriate for every demographic. You’re not going to reach many senior citizens with SMS, for example. Plus, the mix is always changing. For example, only teenagers and college students used to use Facebook, but increasingly professionals and businesses use it as well.

Identify your marketing objectives, and then ensure that each medium is the right one to accomplish those goals. Make sure that you match the medium to your demographic and your offer, and use it appropriately within the best practices of that medium.

There is a learning curve associated with multi-channel marketing, but the ability to amplify and reinforce your marketing message can be invaluable.