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master print article What Is Your Advertisement Capable Of?

Category: Business

What does a professional designer, marketing expert and a product or service in need of sales all have in common? Well, if the elements are mixed well, an effective and creative print advertisement. Your advertising program may be bringing in customers, but is that all you want? How about making your company a strong and fearless competitor in your market? How about giving your business a unique and memorable branding? Attracting customers is great but ultimately it is a well designed marketing program that will generate profitable customers.
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Print advertising is not a one way street. You can not find generic laws that apply to the art of effective advertisements. But what you can do is explore the venues of tried and tested approaches and apply them to the unique culture of your service or product. Read through some of these approaches and get ready to create effective marketing pieces!

You may consider filtering out the people willing to make the purchase commitment from those who are not. This is a great way to manage time as well as focus on the qualified buyers, “Product/Service starting from the low…” is often utilized to discern the prospects from the non prospects.

Making your offer an affordable one is important. The key to this is wording. Many times the customer will eliminate themselves as a potential customer because they don't resonate with the pricing.  A great strategy is key wording like, “Only…per month” and “5 easy payments of…”

All customers are conscious of where they are doing business at. People will prefer to save on commuting and general travel. This is why emphasizing local business is compelling. Let your buyers know that you are close to them. Effective geographic grouping will sound something like this, “Serving San Diego since…” or “Free delivery to the San Diego area.”

Print Advertising is your chance to emphasize the professional climate of your company. Whatever you portray in your marketing piece is essentially how the recipient will perceive your company. If you portray a better image than your competitors, by nature your recipients will see you as the better business choice. Professionalism insinuates value and trust which are key components of a business relationship. Aside from using professional colors, imagery and design be sure to mention qualifications and repertoire. Emphasize things like, “A proud member of…” and “Doing business since…” you may also consider stamping your piece with certifications and partners.

Fear has been used as a motivational tool by experts for ages. You are their solution and the problem solver to their concerns. The customer must make that connection in your marketing piece. A good example of this tactic is, “Is a bad return rate taking you down?”

Have you ever purchased a product or service and was unsure of whether or not it was a good buy, whether you will need it down the road and if you made a good investment? Your ad can reduce any regret or doubt associations with the purchase of your service or product. Diminish any potential concerns with a confident reassurance of your service. Use statements like “100% Guarantee” or even “Lifetime Warranty.” Moreover, if you cannot make a statement like this you should reconsider the quality of your product or service.

Advertisements can also be a great opportunity for you to show your customers that you are open to their comments and suggestions. The best way to increase profitability for your business is to be aware of all complaints, compliments, suggestions and even testimonials. Consider verbiage such as, “How can we improve our services…fill out this card and receive 20% off your next purchase?”

If any of you have taken the law school admissions examination, you should be familiar with this next approach. You can actually lead the customer towards their decision and lead them to exactly what you want them to do. This should look something like this, “If A then B” or “Because of A you should do B”

People will hear certain “trigger” words. These words should be strategic enough that they effectively influence your customer's purchase. You are targeting the prospect but also taking into consideration the targets that influence them. For example, “High safety features…” and “Most energy efficient…” or “For the whole family”

You may also want to consider doing a consistent campaign to maintain an ongoing sales relationship. Consistent advertising is a strategy that generates the feeling of a specialty. To illustrate this choose a season, month or day and tag a promotion to it like, “Thirsty Thursdays…$5 pitchers”

There are also some key points to keep in mind as you work through your marketing project. Remember, any barriers to clear communication will be detrimental to making business deals. Make sure to clear up any misconceptions to what you're trying to get your prospect to do. Furthermore, people tend to trust companies that are large and established. This is not a difficult illusion to create and convey in your piece and it can ultimately get you business with larger, expansive companies. Lastly, if someone is not interested in the purchase then they are not interested. Consider using your piece to get them to start considering and thinking about the purchase.

Posted on Feb 10, 2010.

master print article What do color and packaging have in common? Digital has taken both to new heights!

Category: Print

custom packagingTo date, there are 12 Xerox iGen presses installed in the packaging markets. While this number does not include the print market, packaging is surely a gem hidden within the industry. Print shops that have made commitments to technologically advanced digital presses like the Xerox iGen4 are valuable resources for brand owners looking for improvements in their packaging process. The main packaging concerns for these owners have been the timescale and approval processes required in supply chain management. They are looking for inventory reduction while at the same time entering the market with new types of products.

Wouldn't an automated digital system capable of printing a multitude of variables and varieties of content and styles be a dream come true for the packaging world? Printing personalized packages in multiple languages is done with Xerox Automated Packaging, powered with Stora Enso Gallop. This flexible automated digital system switches from one job to the next and is a great asset to a rapidly changing marketplace.

Packaging is an immense business opportunity for digital printing but it is also highly successful in the photo market. The world's largest photo suppliers like Germany's CeWe Color and Fujifilm and Spain's Hoffman have installed Xerox iGen4 presses. The trend has trickled out to Switzerland and Finland as well, where these machines are quickly escalating the competition of the European photo market.

According to Pira International, an industry research association, in 2005 the worldwide digital print market for packaging was 580.7 million dollars. By 2015 that number is projected to rise to 6 billion U.S. dollars. Eight of those 12 iGen press installations in the packaging market were for the pharmaceutical industry. The digital print market for this sector is expected to grow to 1.34 billion dollars by 2015. Why is the world choosing digital and why is digital packaging demand increasing? The use of variable data and automation are pioneering this success. Moreover, color accuracy and predictable consistent color are integral to the presence and personality of a packaged product.

The integrated solutions in digital packaging have addressed the critical needs of the packaging industry and opened up infinite businesses opportunities for brand owners.

Posted on Feb 09, 2010.

master print article The Hidden Secrets of Green Marketing

Category: Environment

green marketingWhile marketing campaigns of the times have, quite frankly, overused "green", they haven't necessarily been unsuccessful at selling it. Many companies, like Aveda and DuPont, have successfully used direct mail campaigns to appeal to the rising demand of eco-friendly products and services. But, why are some campaigns generating results while others aren't?

Well, promoting messages that are both economical for the consumer and drive immediate sales have given life to an interesting game called, "green marketing." This game is a dangerous one, but with well-designed and creative customer interactions, victory is yours.

The tangibility of direct mail enables a powerful marketing tactic-the personal connection. But be careful, this can get messy. With green marketing, many players have attempted to enhance their brand with unsubstantiated messages. To unlock the hidden effectiveness in such a marketing design, it is important to convey the sustainability message, but also to explain or illustrate to the customer what the benefit of their purchase is.

Many salons regularly send postcard promotions and new offers around a certain time frame-like the holidays. Aveda's 2009 investment in a sustainability direct mail piece generated over 10% of the response rate, equaling an 82% year over year increase for the one month of December. Is there a secret game piece being played? You know it! The campaign transcended over to email and provided additional elements to the sustainability efforts which linked to a company video connecting the consumer to the company's work in Nepal. The message was conveyed through multiple channels and told the consumer that their purchase made a difference somewhere in the world.

Product sales should have a tangible message embedded within them. When introducing a new carpet made from renewable resources, DuPont, choose to go with a multi-touch acquisition campaign. The result was a clear sustainability message about the product that conveyed the durability and softness of the carpet's corn-sugar composition. The environmental message and the consumer benefit was communicated tangibly when Ogilvy Earth developed a mock corn on the cob, with the cob being DuPont's carpet. The cobs were then placed in crates of corn, along with condiments demonstrating the carpets stain resistance capabilities and hand delivered to both dimensional mailers and journalists to be sent along to prospects. A website and email blasts accompanied the campaign.

According to the company representative, customers are not willing to give up on product performance to save the earth. Experiencing the product makes the connection that it is not just green but actually of good quality. While consumers can still interact with direct mail, the sample approach delivered the sustainability message and gave the consumer an experience of the benefits.

Posted on Feb 08, 2010.

master print article The Future of Cross Media

Category: Marketing

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Keywords: cross media marketing, BMW, web2print, dutch design

Posted on Feb 05, 2010.

master print article Is Your Ad Getting a Good Response Rate?

Category: Print

Spending a sufficient amount of time to research, design and finalize your print ad is a key component to its success. While you may not feel completely confident with your ad, there are a few secrets to increasing the power of your marketing piece.

Your ad will consist of graphics, headlines, copy and contact information. The way that these elements interact with one another will determine the response of your recipients and the results of your intentions. The times of loosing business to your competitors are over. Simply apply these print ad tips to capture attention, convey your message and increase response rates.

The role of graphics is to communicate visually and give your piece a unique personality. For starters, your ad should contain a large and direct headline. The type that you choose should be bold, wide and easily readable. The headline should be somewhat of a balanced invasion, containing a powerful message that will seize your reader's attention. Headlines are the most critical component to the piece, because four out of five of your recipients will not read past them. The headline should have one purpose-to stop the recipient in their tracks. Ask yourself, "How will my reader benefit from my services?" The answer to this question should be woven into your headline. Furthermore, headlines are also useful to help you differentiate yourself from the competition, so make an effort to keep yourself from being generic.

When you are ready to integrate an image and work with its placement, make sure that you have one large picture, not many, that coalesces well with the placement of other content on the piece. The simpler the images are the better, as you will be able to avoid clutter. Using one picture, as opposed to many, will help maintain a smooth visual flow that drags the reader's eyes from the top left to the bottom right corners. The only exception to interrupting this flow is if the obstruction is a vital part of the main message. While the image is important, it should never dominate the wording. Remember, an image is an image and words are words-never cross one into the others' territory. If the words become too hard to read you will loose attention along with a potential client.

Let's look at your copy. The keys to unlocking well written copy are precision, clarity and information. Aim to answer every potential question which your prospect may ask. Do not take too long to get to the main benefit. While not skimping on facts is worth lengthier copy, you must focus on what the reader is thinking, which is "How can I benefit?" It is helpful to use facts, case histories, claims and specific statements that build credibility. The rule of thumb is that you cannot wait towards the end of the content to get to their biggest benefit. Put the most important benefit at the very beginning of the content. Lastly, keep your copy warm, friendly and personal. Think of it as a "friendship piece" and use simple, everyday language.

Have you ever heard the saying, "The fear of loss is greater than the desire for gain"? Well, in print advertising it is not just a saying, it is a fact. Think: what does the prospect loose by not acting, and integrate that into the content. But, remember to see words as ammunition. You do not have a single bullet to waste! For your writing to look, feel and read well, get rid of all unnecessary wording.

The last rule of copy is a simple, but important one: tell the reader exactly what they need to do. Don't leave their action open ended. Ensure that the recipient knows exactly what to do and how or where to do it. Your contact information should be easy to find, keep the print bold and easy to read.

Posted on Feb 04, 2010.

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