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Master Print Communications
Phone: (858) 486 1105 | Fax: (858) 677-0038
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master print article Creative Marketing

Category: Marketing

So, how is it that some direct mail campaigns achieve positive results, while other’s fail? Well, successful direct mail production is an art. Such a project is finessed and executed with multiple mediums. Each campaign is a new art project and requires a skill set and a strong communications ability. Art is creativity, so that’s what we’re going to discuss first.

Let’s look at facts. There are certain applications that have worked for most print mailers on most occasions. For example, customers tend to prefer looking at shiny text, labels or papers. In fact, most customers prefer the look of foil over paper by 16%. You can consider printing hologram or silver labels and test the response rates. Next, choices are made within seconds. Make an impression and get the reader to actually interact with your direct mail piece-quickly. How do I do this, you’re thinking? An appealing offer will give the customer a choice! If a customer believes there is an opportunity, a premium, an offer or deal then you are one step closer to making an impression. To apply the second half of the riddle, you must have an easy and clear response route for them to make this choice. Whether you want them to claim their offer via mail, the internet or phone-make it convenient and easy for them to say yes and to respond to your offer.

Color is important. There is no doubt about that. But staying within the one to two pantone color palette of the corporate identity is a mistake. By extending the primary color palette to about 4 or 6 primary colors, you can begin to match colors in balance and intensity so that they compliment the design. Some of the most attractive creative designs will undoubtedly rely on a fabulous photograph or illustration. Good designers will select imagery based on the copy to visually communicate the concept. Don’t compromise communications by adding muddy imagery in hopes of stirring visual interest. If your goal is to add depth or texture using backgrounds…that’s a whole other story.

Oh, and DO NOT be afraid of white space. Everyone likes to cruise out to the Bahamas and look at crystal clear waters, same goes with a nice clear sky. Less visual noise is your way to generate more visual power. Always plan your designs around guidelines. Guidelines will help you to be frequent, consistent and successful. Clearly defining the colors, font, sizes and imagery types is the cornerstone of branding through your direct mail campaign.

On an end note, inspire yourself! If you come across something visually stimulating, remember it, take a photo, clip it out, bookmark it and file it-whatever. Think about why you stopped and connected with it and consider how it made you feel. Emotional tactics are always effective in one way or another!

Please email me if you would like to schedule a direct mail consultation for your next marketing campaign.

Posted on Nov 18, 2010.

master print article And then there was light...ahem...PRINT

Category: Marketing

As the pressure for companies’ messages to stand out among the clutter increases, so does the pressure oncreative communications. The human mind has a very short attention-span. Therefore, increasing appeal and “feel-good” emotions is an excellent way for marketers to position themselves as confidantes and trustworthy business partners.

The bottom line is simple: If your communication is appealing-then it is effective. In order for the company message to be effective, then the message has to be relevant. This is a simple formula to wrap one’s mind around. It’s true, this “doctrine” reaches it’s full potential when riding a unique and creative bandwagon-so, assuming you have a very creative team, let’s get down to the basics: How do I get my message to stand out? 

Surprise, surprise! With data! Let’s take a look at your list. You should have three. Your first list is the prospecting list. This list is a generalized compilation of names, businesses, industries and contact names. Your second list is the leads list. At this point you should have the primary data that the prospect list contains, but you should also have notes on conversations, unique facts about the company culture/individual, memberships, partnerships and associations which the company is a part of and any other information you have accumulated during your “courting process.” If you need to brush up on the data, a company’s web-site offers a multitude of unique information in the corporate profile, company blog, company PR releases or the mission statement in the company’s “About Us” section. Lastly, your client data should be a gold mine. In addition to the primary data and unique data, you should have transactional data, conversation notes, birthdays of key player’s, demographic categorizations and any other facts and statistics that you have accumulated during your business relationship.  

So, what’s the point of all this? Application. Only a printer can do what you want done with this data. We’ve already established that 7 out of 10 people feel that traditional forms of advertising, print & TV, are relevant to them whereas only 45% feel that way about online ads. Why? Because online ads are imposing and there’s too many of them. Moreover, not every browser picks up every message exactly as the message is intended to come across. If you send out a direct mail piece, you have the opportunity to make it feel nice and substantial by choosing, for example, an oversize postcard , soft-touch self-mailer and then adding a personalized image, direct copy message and even timed mailing (eg. Kate just bought a new mattress, maybe she’d like to see a catalog of brand new bed frames or Joe had mentioned that he couldn’t make an appointment because his wife’s having a new baby , so printing a nice congratulations announcement is classy and so forth.) Yes, this takes effort and commitment, but the bottom line is, do you or don’t you want the sale?

Variable data printing is a feature of digital printing technology. With detailed data and specific data, Master Print Communications can design and create individualized direct mail , catalogs and cross media marketing campaigns that have images, copy and timing geared towards the unique totality of the individual whom you are marketing to. This is really cutting edge and innovative marketing, folks and I highly suggest setting up a consultation with your print services providerto see whether or not they have the capabilities to manage and apply your data.

Posted on Nov 10, 2010.

master print article PRINTERACTIVE

Category: Marketing

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Keywords: iPad, adage, IDEA conference, interactive print, augmented reality, QR codes, dimensional printing

Posted on Nov 04, 2010.

master print article Printing Fast Facts

Category: Print

direct marketing associationThe Direct Marketing Association's new Digital Marketing Practices and trends report was quite an interesting read. Did you know that the use of digital media is growing very rapidly, BUT direct mail is still a strong contender?

Canvas Magazine reports key finding from the DMA and states that 71 percent of marketers cite brand building as the main goal of their digital marketing. While online marketing is expected to grow, direct mail still represents 17 percent of the overall marketing budget, which is larger than the share held by any other media. For B2B marketers, direct mail currently handles the most target messages (29 percent), followed by email (22 percent).

The study also finds that B2C use direct mail the most (at 32 percent), followed by e-mail (24 percent). In the next 12 months B2C marketers do not expect to change significantly what they are doing in terms of media used to target messages. The one exception is that catalog printing will drop and mobile advertising will increase.

According to the report, the most used media platform at this time is social media. About 88 percent of B2B companies and 82 percent of B2C companies use social media. The most widely used social media for B2B companies are professional social networks (69 percent), microblogs (53 percent) and blogs (47 percent). For B2C companies, the most widely used social media were social networks. Facebook takes the number one spot at 62 percent of usage and microblogs closely follow at 54 percent and blogs finish the lead at 40 percent. On a side note, done forget to stamp social network logos and links on your print marketing materials to integrate and cross promote the various mediums which you are using.

George Orme, the author of the Digital Practices and Trends Report, states that although, “Most marketers are using digital media to both sell and nurture a stronger bond with their customers [the] study also underscored that very few companies have mastered the analytics and found ways to accurately measure the incremental effect of each media within a multimedia campaign.” That said, the value of cross-media marketing is so clearly illuminated for me that it is almost impossible not to see the use of its’ campaign management and ROI estimation capabilities.

Cross Media Marketing, also known as the merging of internet and print, offers much more than an interactive and personalized communications capacity. A campaign allows the marketer to do a couple of things: Generate lead reports to view and print campaign respondents' profiles. View activity reports to see how many times your landing pages were visited, use campaign results to see how respondents are answering your questionnaire, pulling up graphs allow you to view campaign results in graphical form and messages are managed with the ability to view email and SMS statistics while the ROI Calculator estimates your return on investment for the campaign.

Posted on Nov 02, 2010.

master print article Are You Testing?

Category: Advertising

Whether you’re communicating with your consumer through direct mail, print campaigns, internet campaigns, social media and even phone calls it is important for you to manage a segmentation program. What this means is that you are taking multiple images, copy and tweaking your marketing message and its appearance to separate mailing list groups. If you send direct mail, a great way for you to start is to segment half of your mailing list and separate male and female customers on that list. Do one postcard mailing without variable data printing on heavy paper stock, do the second half of the postcard mailing on a lighter paper stock with variable data printing. Your print services provider will discuss with you how a campaign like this is executed, so ask questions about what your options are and what typically works for generating response rates-then see what is working for you!

Campaign testing is only a strategy that determines which words and images make your prospects WANT you! Simple, right? Don’t complicate things by feeling like your marketing campaign is simply ineffective, because after three print mailers you’ve had a low response rate. Instead, use a more effective strategy and figure out a formula that works for you and your consumer. Maybe it’s your direct response copy, maybe it’s the paper stock, and maybe it’s the size of the mailer. In the long run managing the response rates of the multiple versions of the mailer will allow you to save money on ineffective strategies.

We all know that creative imagery with advertising is great because it’s attention grabbing and effective all-around. But creativity and relevancy are equally important. This is why variable data printing is utilized in print marketing campaigns. Sure, you are branding your company and keeping yourself at the forefront of the consumer’s mind so that they will think of you when they need your services, BUT you can’t negate the fact that unless they need you and want you, there will be no sale. Don’t be afraid to appeal to your various customers in unique ways.

For example, have you seen the new Honda Odyssey advertisements? I was driving on the freeway and the Honda ad was really getting on my nerves. “Vanquility, I thought? Are they just using smart words that I, and most of the population, don’t have in their vocabulary? Moreover, why are they being exclusive and using a word only certain people know?!” As a writer, it bothered me that there was a word I didn’t know. After seeing the billboard advertisement a couple more times, I realized “Vanquility,” indeed, wasn’t a word. The goal of using the word in the advertisement was to convey a journey of pure van bliss.

The advertisement for Honda did two key things. First, they got my attention by taking the risk of using a non-existent word. Second, they kept the advertisement simple with one image and one word. The brilliance behind this is that Honda appealed to me because they got my emotions involved. I was irritated and a little frustrated and also confused. You would assume that these are not emotions you want a prospect to feel before a sale, but clearly the goal of a successful advertisement is to understand the psychology of the human. So have fun testing different print marketing campaign methodology and never just choose one way. There are many roads to success and they are the roads not typically traveled.

Posted on Oct 26, 2010.

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