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”

9 Marketing Tips Worth Repeating

The average person is only capable of retaining 3-5 brands per category in their memory. If you want to introduce your company into someone’s consideration, you need to push another company out of consideration. Repetition is fundamental to top-of- mind success.

If you won’t tolerate a poorly performing employee or a poorly performing MIS system, then why is there such widespread acceptance of a poorly performing website?

Whether or not you’re marketing to your customers, you can be assured that your competitors are.

The abandon rate for social media is VERY high. Beware of creating marketing graveyards. This also applies to outdated website content.

Dollar for dollar, investments in client retention are 5 times more profitable than new client acquisition.

Irrelevant communications contribute to customer defection and alienation. Content is king. Otherwise, your efforts are just part of the marketing noise that people tune out. How does your content compare to your competitors?

Impersonal websites fail. Sites with with no names and generic email addresses (Sales@, info@) struggle to foster trust. Sales is about relationships. View your website as a one on one conversation with your best customer.

It’s not one or the other for effective marketing. You should be utilizing outbound, inbound and social media strategies. Again, many of your competitors are.

If it isn’t growing, it’s dying. Data goes bad at a rate of 2% per month. How does your database compare to a year ago? How does your web traffic compare to a year ago?

4 Reasons to Use Customer Communications

The following was excerpted from an article by Customer Communications Group.

Why use customer communications?
Customer communications CAN impact your bottom line. The case to use customer communications mirrors in many ways the case to invest in relationship marketing. A customer communications strategy may be for you if your objectives are to:

  • Enhance your relationships with your customers
  • Upsell and cross-sell products and services
  • Retain customers (especially the best customers)
  • Build loyalty and advocacy among customers

Build Credibility
Newsletters allow you to build your company’s credibility as an expert by providing customers with educative information.

Convey Information
Got a lot to say? Have plenty of information to share? Customer communications work well if you need to convey complex information about your products or services on an ongoing basis.

Break Through the Clutter
Customer communications can be an excellent tool to break through junk-mail clutter. If it offers valuable information to the customer, rather than just trying to sell products, a newsletter can become something that the customer anticipates, especially when sent frequently and regularly.

Deciding Whether to Seek Help or Go Out of House.
Don’t have the resources in-house? Consider taking your project to an agency. Being consistent if the key.

Published by Customer Communications Group, Inc., a full-service agency specializing in relationship marketing and customer communications. Copyright 2012 Customer Communications Group, Inc.