Top Takeaways From Dscoop6

Another Dscoop conference has come and gone. Kudos to everyone involved in making this a spectacular conference! Below are some takeaways as reported by attendees. I feel like I learn something every time I read them.

“The only way to generate dependable emotional commitment is to allow it to be self-generated.”
—Stan Slap

“Great salespeople don’t have great answers. They have great questions.”
—Skip Miller

“Know me, like me, trust me, pay me, evangelize for me.”
—Jennifer Matt

“Your peers can be one of your most valuable resources. My best learning at DSCOOP 6 came from peer sessions.”
—Dscoop Attendee

“We are living in the DIY Industrial Revolution: people-powered products and businesses.”
—Eileen Gittins

“Use everyone you talk to as a ‘vehicle to brand.’”
—Ed Wiegand Sancoa

“Create an experience your customers recognize you meant to give.”
—Stan Slap

“Everything we do is marketing. Everything that touches our client is marketing.”
—Sonia Simone

“Our beliefs drive our actions. If you’re not managing behaviors, you’re not managing your brand.”
—Gregg Lederman

“We will never create passion in our clients that we don’t have ourselves.”
—Stan Slap

“Get better at the most important things you do.”
—Brian Tracy

Three Quick Ways to Help Grow Print Sales

  • Social media can play a big role in client acquisition, retention and loyalty. It’s all about establishing credibility and building trust. Meaningful interactions with your audience are an extremely effective way to accomplish that. Keep in mind that frequency and relevant content are keys to the success of any social media strategy.
  • Search engine optimization. Increasingly, new leads will be generated via your website as search engines seek content and index your site. If you haven’t done so already, build your site around a content management system or blogging software. Many of these, such as WordPress, are free. Rather than have it read like a capabilities brochure, consider structuring your site as a one-on-one conversation with your best client.
  • QR codes. If you’re not already leveraging this inexpensive and easy-to-utilize technology to your clients, you’re missing a great opportunity to differentiate your brand and drive new print opportunities.

If you’re attending Dscoop, please stop by the Great Reach booth (332) and say hello to Patrick Whelan and Heidi Tolliver-Nigro!

How Do You Stack Up?

Here is a partial print marketers’ checklist. How well do your business development efforts stack up?

  • Is your database growing? If you’re prospecting, your database should always be growing. Data is at the heart of all marketing efforts. Maintain it, manage it, grow it.
  • How often do you touch each contact in your database? Aside from establishing relationships, keeping your company top of mind is critical if you want to benefit from the instability that exists in today’s print marketplace.
  • If a prospect or customer were to visit your website, what would their perception of your company be relative to that of your main competitors?
  • If a prospect or customer were to do a search for you online, would your company appear on the first page? SEO is more critical than ever.
  • If a prospect or customer were to search their inbox or collection of marketing collateral, would they easily find materials or communications from your company?
  • With so many people now utilizing social media, would it be easy for a client or prospect to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn? At the least two of the three?
  • With client engagement so critical, does your company produce a branded newsletter that offers a) high value content and b) is a good harbinger of your brand? Consider this from RIT’s Print In The Mix.
  • Is your company being proactive to assure your clients that you are staying abreast of the latest trends and technologies (think QR codes, PURLs)?
  • In terms of promoting your company’s marketing capabilities and services, does your company lead by example?

Visit us at Dscoop. Booth 332!

Survey Says: Green Still Packs a Punch

The printing industry seems to be weary of green topics these days, but here’s a point you don’t want to miss: consumers aren’t. In fact, individual printers’ and distributors’ disinterest in green may actually be hurting them financially. Why?

A recent Capstrat-Public Policy Polling survey found:

  • 59% of consumers consider products’ environmental sustainability to be very important in their buying decisions.
  • 56% noted they would pay “a little” to “significantly” more for a product that was environmentally friendly.

Yet in spite of these numbers . . .

  • Nearly half of respondents (47%) said sustainability and environmental friendliness are “rarely” or “never” mentioned in their employers’ communications.

That’s a pretty big donut hole!

Customers want companies to tell their green story, so why aren’t companies telling it? What a missed opportunity! Green increases customer loyalty. It decreases price sensitivity. Green is good business.

Tell Your Story

Get your green message out there.  Your efforts don’t have to be sensational to be significant. For example:

  • Do you have an office recycling program?
  • Do you participation in a printing waste recovery program?
  • Do you offer FSC- and SFI- (or other) certified papers?
  • Do you buy carbon offsets?
  • Did you recently invest in newer, more energy-efficient equipment?
  • Did you recently change out traditional light bulbs for fluorescents?
  • Do you encourage employee carpooling to work?

Everybody has a green story. So don’t let it go to waste. Your customers want to hear it.

Things to Consider When Planning For 2011

  • Sales force effectiveness increases by as much as 40% when supported by an effective marketing campaign.
  • The most popular way to lose a customer is to lose touch with him or her. Industry-specific data indicates that 60% of customer loss is due to lack of communication.
  • Every client and prospect should hear from your company at least once every 90 days. Successful marketers shorten this to every 30 days.
  • On average, it now takes nine touch points of communication to build a sales relationship. Most salespeople give up after three.
  • Dollar for dollar, investments in customer retention are five times more profitable than investments in customer acquisition.
  • Direct mail as part of an ongoing customer relationship campaign can reinforce your brand values again and again. Mail builds brands.
  • Social media need not be a time sink and when executed properly can be very effective.
  • Readers find newsletters to be more credible than promotional materials. In addition to helping build relationships, they also promote your brand and set your company apart from the competition. Useful, educational, non-sales-focused content is key.
  • Good communications, not pricing, is often the key determinant of
    a sale.

On behalf of myself and everyone here at Great Reach Communications, I’d like to take this moment to wish all of our clients and readers a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Prosperous 2011!

How Are You Communicating QR Codes to Your Customers?

We’ve talked about QR codes a lot in Marketing Briefs lately — and for good reason. Done right, QR codes can breathe new life into static print projects. They do this by connecting print to the Web through the viewer’s cellphone. Seminars. Blogs. Webinars. Trade magazine articles. LinkedIn discussions. Industry listserves. Discussion about QR codes is everywhere.

These discussions are important. This is how we learn. But equally important, how are we communicating this information to our customers? No matter how much potential QR codes might hold, if you cannot communicate this value to your customers, what’s the point?

How do you do this?
First and foremost, you use QR codes yourself. Design your own self-promotion campaigns around them. Add them to your own marketing materials. Put them on your business cards.

If you cannot make QR codes work for you, you cannot make them work for your customers.

Once you have your own comfort level with QR codes, it’s time to actively start promoting them to your customers. I’ve seen some highly effective blogs for this purpose. Articles in newsletters. Customer emails.

If you don’t want to generate your own content, Great Reach Communications has begun integrating QRC content into its quarterly newsletters and e-Grams. It has also developed a QR code primer you can send out as an educational tool to your customers. You can even brand it and send out under your own name.

Whatever you do, use QR codes on your own first. Then get out there and talk about them.