3 Marketing Ideas for December

Printer Marketing PublicationsHere are the three best things you can do in December to help grow your print and mail business in 2017:

  1. Embrace and become highly proficient with LinkedIn (LI). With almost 500 million users, LI is today’s professional network and the best place to expand your reach, promote your personal brand, stay top of mind and generate traffic to your company website. Think you already have it down? What about LI Showcase or LI Sales Navigator? There are so many tools and strategies to explore. I just did a webinar for PIA on this topic. Reach out if you would like to discuss this.
  2. Develop a customer retention program. All sales growth begins with retention. It’s less costly to keep an existing client than to cultivate a new one. Follow the 90 day rule. Use a multi-channel strategy to engage each of your customers at least 4 times per year (good marketers shorten this to 30 days) in a non-selling manner. A company newsletter or magazine, customer education events such as a webinar or lunch and learn, brief email notifications that present useful, customer focused content, customer appreciation events, etc.
  3. Learn marketing. It’s no longer about learning to be a great closer or prospector. The most important trait a salesperson can have today is to be a good marketer. Smart marketing increases sales reach and effectiveness. Join marketing associations and LI marketing groups. Sign up for various marketing newsletters- there is a wealth of highly relevant information right at your fingertips! Being a smart marketer will also allow you to provide greater value to your customers and prospects.

Thanks to PIA for the opportunity to present to their members and thank you to my many loyal clients who utilize my company’s marketing services. If anyone would like information on our turn-key marketing solutions, please visit us on the web and submit a sample request. Cheers to a safe and joyous holiday season!

5 Thoughts on Marketing Your Print and Mail Services

Be current
Make sure to utilize current trends and technologies. Are your website and email efforts optimized for mobile? Employ a multichannel strategy to engage your target audience including, but not limited to, print, email, website and social media. Ignoring even one of these can hurt your credibility and create a competitive disadvantage. Don’t allow that.

Be conversant
View your website as a conversation, not a presentation. Marketing is about engaging your audience. Avoid generic or keyword stuffed content. Google’s “Hummingbird” algorithm likes fresh, genuine, conversational content.

Be a leader
Promoting thought leadership for both your company and personal brands is the best way to differentiate, establish credibility and foster trust. Customers seek that assurance. Be seen as a leader and engage your customers with top tier, helpful content. You are what your content says you are.

Be consistent
You need to consistently execute your marketing plan. Most print and direct mail companies I see these days have a plan in place yet too many do a poor job executing. Treat your marketing with the same importance you would treat your production workflow.

Be frequent
Touch your target audience at least every 90 days. Smart marketers shorten this to 30 days. At the very least, make sure that you communicate with your customers as often as your competitors do. In the end, it will come down to who’s better at establishing trust and credibility.

If you would like a 5-minute demo of our turn-key, area-exclusive marketing programs, please email me to set up a time.

Patrick Whelan
pat@greatreachinc.com
978-332-5555

Little Mistakes That May Be Costing You Sales

When we focus on business and sales, it’s easy to overlook small issues that seem insignificant. However, these small mistakes may be costing you more sales than you realize. Here are some thoughts based on some of my own recent experiences. I actually realized today that I was guilty of one of these. The good news is that they are easily fixable. Are you making any of these mistakes?

Mistakes/job screw-ups aren’t what kill a customer relationship; it’s really all about the resolution process. I’ve become an even more loyal customer in some cases based on how my complaint was handled. View every customer interaction as an opportunity.

Automated phone routing systems cost you sales, period! Some are worse than others but I’ve yet to find one that was mobile friendly. If I’m driving, I can’t start typing the first few letters in a person’s name. It’s easier to deal with Siri, so I’ll be on to the next 3-5 brands in my memory.

Dave Thomas was fond of saying, “It’s the first and last bite of the burger that the customer remembers most.” Maybe not entirely true in the print and mail business but don’t discount the importance proper training for your reception, delivery and A/R staff.

If I’m going to trust you with my print marketing, I want to feel confident that you are marketing savvy. Your website design, content, and social media efforts are important to me. I will give the job to the company I trust the most. Attention to detail is critical.

Have a marketing issue or challenge you wish to discuss? Shoot me an email and let’s set up a 10 minute phone conversation.

Patrick Whelan
pat@greatreachinc.com
978-332-5555

One Printer’s Experience With Marketing

Even if you dismiss what marketers such as myself say about the need to market your print services, it’s hard to ignore what printers themselves are saying. The following is an email I just received:

“I wanted to share that I have had 2 separate experiences in the past week where I received unsolicited commentary on our marketing program. In both cases, the clients commented on how they enjoy receiving our literature and how they have learned from our marketing efforts. To me there is no higher compliment than to say they are “learning” from us. This is evidence that our marketing program is creating a strategic advantage over our competition. Just wanted everyone to know that the money spent on marketing is paying dividends!”

The key takeaway here is “strategic advantage”. It may be hard to measure, but how your brand is perceived, relative to your competitors, is the most critical influencer of determining which company gets the sale. People give their business to the company they trust the most. Promoting thought leadership is paramount to fostering this trust and credibility. Ignore at your own peril.

There’s no easy way or silver bullet. But marketing need not be an overwhelming task, either. Engage your clients, prospects and potential prospects by utilizing engaging, educational (80/20 rule), high value content that promotes your leadership position and also keeps you top-of-mind. Deliver these touch points utilizing a combination of direct mail, email, website content, LinkedIn published posts (like this one) and social media.

If you struggle with content creation and marketing execution, my company provides turnkey, comprehensive and area exclusive marketing solutions to printers and direct mailers. Reach out to me at pat@greatreachinc.com.

Now Is the Time to Be Marketing!

We’ve all done it. Summer slowdown arrives, and we join in. But perhaps when you consider the marketing benefits that summertime offers, you may want to reconsider. At the very least, you may want to maintain a steady marketing course and ease back on some of your other efforts.

  • Companies cutting back on their marketing in the summer are simply choosing to ignore their customers. This opens the door for competitors to get noticed. There is a wealth of client retention statistics to support this.
  • The Internet is up 24/7 and is practically everywhere. Customers still seek and see content. Don’t let your branding efforts take a step back just because it’s summer. The same goes for SEO. With algorithms constantly being updated, the consistent sharing of fresh content will pay big SEO dividends.
  • Take the tortoise and the hare approach. Client retention and acquisition as well as branding efforts require consistent engagement with your target audience. It’s all about creating multiple touchpoints.
  • Consumers are capable of recalling 3-5 brands per category. With companies cutting back, it makes it much easier for you to push out one of those brands and replace it with your own.
  • Science supports summertime marketing efforts. “More sun means more endorphins, which, aside from boosting spirits, also helps the brain remember more information.” [1]
  • Position your brand as the consistent thought leader. Paramount to fostering trust is consistency. “Sporadic posts on social media or your business blog will go ignored since consumers have no reason to follow sporadic content.”[2] The same can be said for your outbound marketing efforts such as print and email. Consistent delivery of quality content will absolutely set you apart from your competition.

Looking for an easy, effective, and inexpensive solution for your content marketing needs? We have been providing printers and mailers with customizable and area-exclusive solutions for 20 years. Our content will set you apart. www.greatreachinc.com

Inspiration and quotes [1, 2] taken from this great article:
https://contentequalsmoney.com/7-reasons-why-summer-is-the-best-time-to-invest-in-content-marketing/

Growing Your Business From the Inside Out

That’s my way of suggesting that print providers focus more on retaining existing customers before looking for the latest and greatest way to acquire new ones.

Here are some stats to consider. I’ve added my thoughts after each one:

80% of companies believe they deliver a superior customer experience but only 8% of their customers agree. (1)

Great customer service requires a customer centric culture. It’s not easy to accomplish but it’s not impossible either.

68% of customers leave because they perceive you are indifferent to them. (2)

Everyone seeks recognition. Do your customers hear from your competitors more often than they hear from you?

50% of people appreciate the convenience of electronic interaction over face-to-face. (3)

How accessible are your email addresses from your website? Do you maintain contact with customers via social media? Are you present in their inbox with timely and relevant communications?

A 5% improvement in customer retention can increase business profits by 25 to 125%. (4)

Imagine how much more business you’d have today if you had retained just 5% more of your customers annually over the last four years!

The easiest way to lose a customer is to lose touch with them. Even a dissatisfied customer can be retained with proper engagement. Sales and retention are similar in that they both rely on strengthening relationships and fostering trust and credibility. The key is to continually engage and communicate.

(1) Bain & Company from Harvard Management Update
(2) http://www.retentionofcustomers.com/Customer_Retention_Ideas_Report_DC_Version.htm
(3) http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007395
(4) Gartner Group and “Leading on the Edge of Chaos”