If you manage or work in a busy marketing department you likely know these scenarios.
- I need you to stop what you’re doing and design this custom (sales sheet, billboard, poster, print ad etc.).
- For some reason everyone’s business card looks different than your identity standards.
- Someone from sales just printed the old brochure design from 3 years ago instead of the new one
So how did things get so out of control? Thankfully there is a solution to gain back control of your time and your corporate identity. A web based ordering solution will address all of these scenarios and more. So how does it work? The web portal is how those you authorize will procure your companies marketing materials. It will contain products you authorize and templates that can be edited only as you have specified.
Product access is controlled by you. Some users are only able to access certain products while others you allow to access more or all. You control who can order what and how much customization they can have. You control which trusted vendors will produce which products.
You are removed from the proofing process because proofs happen in real time on the site based on your template rules. Order history is maintained in the system allowing you to track usage and see trends. Does this sound like a tool that can put you back in control of your company’s brand?
If you are looking for solutions to regain control of your brand and free up your design resources feel free to contact me any time for advice or to discuss your specific challenges.
Until next time!
To Your Success!
I am sure many of you receive online statements from credit card companies, banks, utility companies and more. You also get lots of direct mail or “junk mail” advertisements just as I do. How often do you see companies touting “green” initiatives as their reason for pushing us to online statements and email communication?
I sure want to do my part to protect the environment and save the earth. I recycle, reuse, bike and walk when possible. I teach my children to do the same and why it is important. So, in our collective rush to do the right thing might we be getting misinformation? Might we be making poorly informed choices?
As a marketing consultant helping my clients navigate the myriad of options available, I am often asked about social media, email, mobile marketing and more. I make recommendations based on my clients goals and use all of these when and where appropriate and effective. Print, paper and mail though seem to now have a stigma as being synonymous with polluting the earth. This is due in part to companies, trying to reduce their costs, pushing us to email and the web. They do this by making us feel we are harming the earth by choosing paper and print.
“Please consider the environment before printing this email”. “Save a tree and go paperless with e-statments”. There are many more examples I am sure you can think of and they all have one common theme: Paper and print are bad for the environment. Well I am here to say ENOUGH of this misinformation. Lets get down to the TRUTH.
Regarding Paper, Did You Know?:
- The paper industry plants 3 times as many trees as it cuts. There are more forests in the US today than 20 years ago.
- Forestry is the most sustainable of all primary industries that provide energy and materials.
- 11% of the world’s forests are used for paper, with the majority of wood fiber used to produce paper coming from waste products like wood chips, sawmill scraps and recycled paper.
Dr. Patrick Moore early member at founding of Greenpeace stated “To address climate change we must use more wood not less. Using wood sends signals to the marketplace to GROW MORE TREES!” From an environmental perspective the paper industry is a model for all others. The print industry too is following suite.
Regarding Print & Mail, Did You Know?
- The U.S. print industry generates more than $100 billion in annual revenue and provides U.S. jobs for more than 100 million Americans. That is bigger than the US auto Industry we bailed out recently.
- Print and mail drive commerce, provide jobs and educate our youth.
- Studies show you’ll read printed information up to 30% faster while retaining more information than reading on a screen.
Now that you have heard the truth all I ask is this: Please don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for using paper or print to communicate with your customers, coworkers, friends or family. It is still the best option in many cases and is environmentally and socially responsible.
Please pass this information along and do your part to save the environment and spur the economy.
For more info on environmental responsibility of the print and paper industry please check out these links…chooseprint.org Video paperbecause.com acculink.com/greenInitiative
Until next time!
To Your Success!
Yes you can! It’s not wet but it does bead up on the page and you can feel the bulges.
After the introduction of AccuLink’s 3dUV technology in my last post I have been bombarded by emails wanting to know more, Sooo… here is a Video that better illustrates the process and some of the most common questions I received:
1. Is it thermogrophy? No. It is a patented UV-curable clear polymer that produces raised print effects with variable densities and gradations that add tangible height, texture and dimension to the sheet. It is digitally applied post press using an OPA guided inkjet array. (whew, what a mouth full)
2. How do you achieve the textures and different layers? These effects are set up pre-press then applied all in one pass onto the post-press printed sheet. It can even be set up by your own graphic designer with a bit of knowledge.
3. Are there plates or dies required to create the texture? No. This is a totally digital process that is actually much “greener” and eliminates plates, molds, chemicals and solvents while significantly reducing overall energy usage. Each image can be unique and can include variable print, pURLs, QR Codes and more.
4. What are the max/min thickness it can be applied to? This sheet fed press accepts digital or offset printed sheets ranging from 4pt. to over 50pt. in thickness and can even be applied to lamination.
5. How high can the emboss effect go? This is the best part. It has print capabilities ranging from 20 microns to 70 microns in thickness and can apply a variety of clear polymer patterns in the same pass to easily achieve dual sided and multilevel embossing effects.
6. Where can I get this? Currently AccuLink is the only U.S. manufacturer with a Scodix 1200 UV press.
Check out this Video that better explains the process: Scodix Enhanced Greeting Card Example
These are not the only questions I have received but they were the most common. If you want to know more about 3dUV or would like a sample to see and feel for yourself Contact me.
To Your Success!
Challenge: A nationwide auto parts retail franchisor identified wasteful inefficiencies in its attempts to supply franchisees with up to date business cards, stationery and promotional printed material from its in-house printing facility and business card vendor. The franchisor wanted to turn the money losing operation into a profit center where all expenses and revenues could be accounted for.
Solution: AccuLink designed a web based e-commerce system where business cards are created, proofed, ordered and paid for on-line by individual franchisees. Each order results in a commission payment back to the franchisor as well as an accounting trail of the charge card transaction. Other corporate identification items (stationery) and marketing materials (flyers, brochures and POP displays) are included on the ordering site in pre-approved templates so franchisees can customize according to their individual locations under the confines of the franchisor’s marketing guidelines. Again all pricing is predetermined by the home office and revenues are accounted for and managed by the e-commerce system designed by AccuLink.
Result: Problems with inconsistent quality have been eliminated. Delivery time on critical promotional materials has been reduced from weeks to next day service on most items. Unaccounted costs and wasteful overhead has been replaced by detailed monthly activity summaries, instant secure charge card payments and profitable royalty payments on every order.
Are you struggling with supply chain and distribution issues? Share your story here. I love a challenge!
Until next time…
To Your Success!
As we venture into the new normal of doing business we find ourselves relying more on computers and the internet than one may have ever imagined 30 years ago. The way we communicate research and buy is forever changed from those days. The scary thing is it is only changing faster. So fast it can be really hard to keep up and can be extremely intimidating. It can also be a real time saver and this translates into money savings.
Embrace this change and reap its benefits. Ignore it and be passed by your competitors. I have been in the graphic communications industry for more than 20 years and a lot has changed. I find myself acting more as a consultant and educator than in the old days when I was a just a print salesman. With so many more tools and options available now it truly does take an expert to review your needs and goals then work with you to craft the most effective and economical solutions.
I recently had a client that utilized a QR CODE on a direct mail campaign after I introduced him to the technology. He did some research online and found a free site to generate the code then tested it on his iPhone with success. He printed and mailed one version without letting me know he was using a QR code. When I saw the QR code I was surprised since he had not mentioned it to me. I scanned one with my Blackberry and it would not read. Alarmed I had several others in our plant try their phones. No luck. I only had success with a Droid. Oh no I thought. I immediately contacted my client and told him the bad news. He was concerned and asked me why it wouldn’t scan consistently. In this case it was generated with his organizations identity colors. There just was not enough contrast for most readers to resolve the code. I reminded him that we are more than just a print and mail provider we are also a technology and marketing solutions provider. He agreed to consult with me on future uses of new technologies in his campaign at the creative stage.
I really enjoy discovering the possibilities brought about by new technology. I love learning about new tools and uses that are being created. My favorite part is when I am working with a client with a seemingly insurmountable problem and I am a part of crafting the solution.
Learn all you can and don’t be afraid to try new things but don’t forget to consult with those that may have already traveled that new road and can help you avoid the pitfalls that may lay in your path.
Until next time…
To Your Success!
Target Market – Reasons Why You May Need to Revise and Upgrade Your Target Market
By Suzi Elton
If you sell your services, you may come to a place where it makes sense to revise and upgrade your target market. Often you’ll know because you have a nagging sense that the market you are currently targeting no longer makes sense for you. Perhaps your business has changed and upgraded (or your plan changes). The market might also have changed and become less lucrative or appropriate for your business. There’s also the possibility that you could just plain be tired of working with the same types of clients, and want more variety or to provide different kinds of services. Maybe you are working on revising your written business materials, and the need for change becomes suddenly undeniable.
Let’s look at the reasons you might want to revise and upgrade your target market.
1. You are tired of the way you have been working and the types of clients you have been working with and you want to change this. Maybe you’ve been doing the same old thing for a long time and you’re bored. There’s nothing wrong with that. It happens to all of us. The critical point is to be aware of these feelings, and to work on making changes before you become jaded and apathetic. Just because you change up your target market does not necessarily mean that you must lose the credibility you’ve built up over time, or must “start all over”. You still retain your expertise, you will probably just figure out new ways to apply it.
2. You realize that your market has degraded and become less profitable over time. This could be because of competition or changing market conditions. It doesn’t matter why it has happened. It’s more important to realize that it has happened, and take action to revise and upgrade your target market before your business suffers too badly. There’s a temptation to “hold onto” our fantasy of the way the market once was for us, rather than to face reality and revise our target market. It’s a form of business “denial” – a desire to live in lost days of glory. We know that what we are doing once worked and don’t want to abandon what was previously successful – in case those conditions return. Typically, though, you’re better off to face reality and make the needed changes.
3. You don’t know how to revise or upgrade your target market. Many who market and sell services aren’t necessarily trained in the concepts of targeting a market. You might have come up with your market description as an evolutionary process over time, stumbling into it or discovering it fortuitously. When you’ve already got a business functioning though, there may not be time or comprehension about how you need to redefine this aspect of the business.
4. You’re afraid to change your target market. You once had a successful business selling your services to that market. You’re unsure why conditions have changed. You hope things will return to what they once were. You don’t know if aiming for a different market will be a boon or a boondoggle for your business. You hesitate to invest in new written business materials in case it doesn’t work out. Things aren’t going so great, but there’s no guarantee that revising the target market will make things better.
These are the most common reasons that make owners of service businesses hesitate when they want to revise and upgrade their target market. The investment in new written business materials is considerable, and they must feel convinced that it is the right thing to do and the surest way to new and increased profits for their business.
Suzi Elton provides business writing that attracts targeted prospects to your service business and converts them into clients for you. She is a Robert Middleton Certified Action Plan Marketing Coach, as well as a professional writer. Her website offers a free series of 8 assessments you can use to analyze your own site.
To learn about her Robert Middleton style Web Site Tool Kit Writing Package, go to http://www.wowfactorwriting.com/services/web-site-tool-kit-package/
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Suzi_Elton