Archives for January 2013

3 Things Every Printer Should Seriously Consider

Every employee is a harbinger of your brand. I see it all the time, and it has even happened in my own business. Employees (and owners) mishandle situations that end up creating opportunities for their competition. It’s not just the sales and customer service people who have to provide a customer-centric experience. Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s, in making his case for consistency, always claimed that the first bite and the last bite were what the customer remembered most. So pay attention to how your phones are being answered and how your products are being delivered. Consider having written policies to address this.

Focus on client retention. Printers should forget about trying the latest and greatest marketing methods for finding new customers until they have become proficient at retaining the customers they have. There is a wealth of information (some of which I produced) to support the premise that client retention efforts produce a far greater ROI than new client acquisition efforts. As a shameful plug for my own services, the use of company newsletters was originally developed as a customer-retention tool back in the 1950s. Engage your customers (not just via the sales call), educate them, and promote thought leadership. It’s not hard to do.

Focus on creating a mobile-friendly experience. It’s more than just having a mobile-optimized website. Think about it. If approximately 50% of emails are being read on a mobile device, then there is a tremendous amount of business being done in a mobile environment. How easy is it to engage your company from a mobile phone? Try typing in a person’s last name while you’re driving or even an extension. It’s just too easy to hang up and call the next company that occupies mind share in the prospect’s or customer’s head. The bottom line is that with so many people transacting business from a mobile environment, you need to make the entire experience easy.

5 Quick Things Printers Should Know About Content Marketing

1. Create content with your customers’ needs in mind rather than the needs of SEO, your company newsletter or social media. Too many companies are misdirecting their focus. If it doesn’t present strong value to your customers, then it’s not going to help you with the other areas either.

2. The tyranny of the content calendar/editorial deadline is most often the reason for non-engaging content. Only produce content when you have something really meaningful to share. Your clients should look forward to your communications and value them. If not, you’re just creating marketing noise that your audience will tune out.

3. SEO is overrated. Okay, that’s a little subjective but unless you’re an online printer, it’s true. Consider that most people will enter qualifying information into their search in order to get the most relevant results. This includes the printer’s name and a geographic qualifier. Bottom line, focus on creating mind share. The average person will recall 3-5 brands per category. Get your brand in there and stay there. If you focus on these efforts, your SEO will come naturally.

4. Your content should be mobile “friendly” which sounds a lot simpler than “optimized,” and it’s pretty simple to implement. There are free WordPress plug-ins that can help you achieve this, as well as email services (such as ours) that optimize your e-newsletters automatically, and tools like iflymobi.com.

5. The most important thing you can achieve with your content is to promote your brand as a thought leader and trusted resource for the services you provide. Your brand is what people perceive it to be, and the quality and value of your content will have a strong influence on that perception.