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In retail environments, brands have just 3 seconds to make an impression on shoppers. Learn how to make sure your products catch buyers’ eyes.
As consumers, we’ve all been there: staring at a shelf fully stocked with dozens of brands’ variations on the product we’re looking for — whether it’s lightbulbs for the guest bathroom, treats for the pup, or bottles of wine for a friend’s housewarming party. It’s overwhelming, isn’t it? Even if we thought we knew exactly what we wanted, the sheer number of options in front of us gives us pause — and the way the products are merchandised may draw our eyes (and our dollars) to a new brand. In fact, research from the Shop Association reports that consumers are exposed to 3,000 promotional messages per day and a whopping 80,000 items in a given grocery store visit. How do we choose?
And more importantly, how do brands ensure their products are the ones that catch our eyes?
It isn’t easy. The same report finds that a consumer’s decision to stick with their go-to brand or buy from a rival takes, at most, seven seconds — and those competing brands have just three seconds to make an impression.
The key to ensuring your brand stands out from the rest? Powerful point-of-purchase (POP) displays. These are the end caps, shelf talkers, display stands, and other types of signage that highlights a brand’s products in order to sell customers on its benefits and value right there in the store. To ensure your brand’s POP / POS displays make your products stand out among those 80,000 competitors, we recommend following these six steps.
1. Speak to Your Audience’s Needs
Consumers generally aren’t looking for products with certain specs or features; they’re looking for products that solve their problems. Maybe that’s eliminating a pain point or making their lives easier in some way; maybe it’s boosting their self-esteem or impressing others or simply adding joy to their lives. As you create your POP / POS signage, and particularly the messaging it conveys, don’t lead with the latest bells and whistles but with the intangible value your product offers customers.
Additionally, be sure to consider the customer’s entire experience. While, ideally, your target audience is already familiar with your brand from your digital, direct mail and other advertising tactics, the shopping trip offers yet another channel to meet and engage with potential buyers during the customer journey. To make your brand stand out, devise ways to engage with consumers from the parking lot into the shelf with branded signage, POP / POS materials, and product coupons.
2. Design for the Specific Retail Location
When you’re creating display materials for multiple outlets — even multiple locations of the same store — remember that not all retail locations are created equal. Retailers will have different rules and guidelines. These guidelines could be based on space constraints. An elaborate floor display that looks beautiful in a large suburban location is likely to be a tripping hazard in a smaller store tucked into a compact, urban area.
Differing rules may also be driven by local laws. No matter how beautiful the design or how powerful the message, a store display that isn’t compliant with regulations is simply a waste of money. Consider working with a marketing supply chain partner that’s well-versed in retail parameters and industry regulations to ensure every piece of in-store signage is compliant and display-ready.
3. Keep Longevity in Mind
A torn-up, worn-out display is a turnoff to customers, so as you design your POP/POS signage, do so with durability in mind. Whether it’s a temporary display for the holiday season or a permanent installation, you’ll want to ensure it looks great as long as you need it to. Will it survive transportation and storage in pristine condition? If it’s a product display will it support the weight of the products? Will it withstand in-store traffic, including shopping cart collisions or purse bumps?
Additionally, you’ll want to ensure the display is easy to restock. Shelf-talkers that get in the way of shelf access or endcaps that are too complicated to easily refill may look great at first, but as product dwindles, they may not get refilled as often as necessary, leading to missed sales opportunities. (Remember, too, that if a display is complex to restock, it’s probably hard for shoppers to access as well and they may pass it by.) A durable, easy-to-maintain display will showcase your brand in its best light for a long time.
4. Ensure Prime Placement in Store
The real estate adage, “location, location, location” applies to in-store signage and displays, too. Once you’ve invested in high-quality, beautifully designed marketing materials, it’s important to ensure those materials are displayed where customers will see them. For example, the Shop Association notes that the sweet spot for signage height is between shoppers’ shoulders and knees. A sign that’s close to the floor isn’t likely to be seen, nor is an in-aisle ceiling dangler.
Also consider unexpected places to grab shoppers’ attention. Research says six in ten in-store purchases are impulse buys, so it may pay to place your displays in strategic places to pique those impulses. Place your products near the cash register to inspire last-minute buys, or near items they pair will with to entice customers. (For example, showcase your salsa on the chip aisle or package your spirits with fun bar accessories and coupons for popular mixers.)
(Note: Make that prime placement easier for everyone involved by ensuring your signage is delivered on time and easy to assemble.)
5. Minimize Production Costs
With tight marketing budgets and high ROI expectations, it’s important to ensure the costs of the POP / POS materials don’t outweigh their value. A savvy marketing partner can help find ways to minimize costs without sacrificing quality or effectiveness. Some of the levers you may pull to streamline costs include material selection, manufacturing techniques and complexity of design. Choosing a partner that gangs orders through “buy windows” and has a proven network of production facilities helps maximize economies of scale, saves costs, and minimizes risk. Knock-down displays — the kind that are shipped disassembled or flat and popped up in store — can save significant costs on packaging and transportation. The more creative you and your partner can be about design, materials, shipping, and ordering windows — without sacrificing quality — the more valuable in-store marketing will be for your brand.
6. Follow Best Practices for POP Display Design
Finally, to create POP / POS materials with maximum impact, be sure to follow the design best practices that are most likely to catch shoppers’ eyes and encourage them to choose your product. Select bold colors that both showcase your brand and evoke the feelings (comfort, safety, impulsiveness, etc.) you want buyers to feel. Select unique shapes that will stand out on shelves and against other displays, and ensure any interactive elements are intuitive for shoppers. Keep your messaging clear, simple, and easy to digest — and be sure your brand logo is on full display. Above all, keep the audience’s needs and experience at the forefront of the design process.
Please contact us for free information, tips and assistance!
Written By: Casey Rush Source: One Touch Point Blog
The psychology of colour is based on the mental and emotional effects colours have on sighted people in all facets of life. Did you know your surroundings may be influencing your emotions and state of mind? Well, there’s a good chance that the colours in those spaces are playing a part.
What is Colour Psychology?
The psychology of colour is based on the mental and emotional effects colours have on sighted people in all facets of life. There are some very subjective pieces to colour psychology as well as some more accepted and proven elements. Keep in mind, that there will also be variations in interpretation, meaning, and perception between different cultures.
Applying Colour Psychology to Everday Life
Did you know your surroundings may be influencing your emotions and state of mind? Do you ever notice that certain places especially irritate you? Or that certain places are especially relaxing and calming? Well, there’s a good chance that the colours in those spaces are playing a part.
In art therapy, colour is often associated with a person’s emotions. Colour may also influence a person’s mental or physical state. For example, studies have shown that some people looking at the colour red resulted in an increased heart rate, which then led to additional adrenaline being pumped into the blood stream.
There are also commonly noted psychological effects of colour as it relates to two main categories: warm and cool. Warm colours – such as red, yellow and orange – can spark a variety of emotions ranging from comfort and warmth to hostility and anger. Cool colours – such as green, blue and purple – often spark feelings of calmness as well as sadness.
The concepts of colour psychology can also be applied in everyday life. For example, maybe you’re planning on re-painting your walls or redecorating a house or room with a new colour scheme. Well, you might want to consider some of these suggestions about colorus and how they might affect your emotions and mood:
Psychological Effects of Cool Colours
Need to be creative? Want help getting those brain synapses firing? Try utilizing the colour purple. Purple utilizes both red and blue to provide a nice balance between stimulation and serenity that is supposed to encourage creativity. Light purple is said to result in a peaceful surrounding, thus relieving tension. These could be great colours for a home or business office.
Are you looking for a peaceful and calming environment? You might consider using green and/or blue. These cool colours are typically considered restful. There is actually a bit of scientific logic applied to this – because the eye focuses the color green directly on the retina, it is said to be less strainful on your eye muscles.
The colour blue is suggested for high-traffic rooms or rooms that you or other people will spend significant amounts of time. Another cool colour, blue is typically a calming and serene colour, said to decrease respiration and lower blood pressure. The bedroom is a great place to use these colours as they should help you relax.
Psychological Effects of Warm Colours
Want to create an environment of stimulation or whet people’s appetite? You might consider utilizing the colours yellow or orange. These colours are often associated with food and can cause your tummy to growl a little. Have you ever wondered why so many restaurants use these colours? Now you know why even after people watched the movie SuperSize Me, they said they were hungry.
You do want to be careful about using bright colours like orange and especially yellow. They reflect more light and excessively stimulate a person’s eyes which can lead to irritation. You also probably don’t want to paint your dining room or kitchen these colours if you’re a calorie-counter.
Pyschology of Colour for Marketing & Advertising
Marketing and advertising are well-known for utilizing colour psychology. The fact that some companies have heavily invested in this type of research and many others have followed through in its use shows they have at enough belief in the concepts of colour psychology to implement them in their advertising.
Colour is consistently used in an attempt to make people hungry, associate a positive or negative tone, encourage trust, feelings of calmness or energy, and countless other ways.
Most marketing and advertising executives will likely agree that there are benefits to understanding and utilizing the psychological effects of colours. Now let’s take a look at some of the more common traits of colour psychology, by some common colours.
The following are some common psychological effects of colours in the Western Hemisphere. Keep in mind that certain shades or tones may result in very different meanings. Also, the context around the colour, and even surrounding colours, can have an effect. Think of this as more of a beginning guide to colour psychology.
Colour Psychology: The Colour White
sense of space
mourning (in some cultures/societies)
Colour Psychology: The Colour Black
thinning / slimming
death or mourning
Colour Psychology: The Colour Gray
Colour Psychology: The Colour Red
Colour Psychology: The Colour Orange
Colour Psychology: The Colour Yellow
Colour Psychology: The Colour Green
Colour Psychology: The Colour Blue
Colour Psychology: The Colour Purple
Colour Psychology: The Colour Brown
mourning (in some cultures/societies)
Colour Psychology: The Colour Pink
Source: Art Therapy
Uber and Lyft drivers are just 1 click away, Amazon offers free same-day delivery, and Deliveroo can get us food from our favorite restaurant in under 32 minutes… Gone are the days in which consumers agreed to invest effort and wait to be served. In a fast-paced world, we look for consumption that is time- and labor-saving.
What matters to consumers is the time and effort they have to expend – the less, the better. ‘Fast’ and ‘easy’ are keywords that should be high on any marketer’s agenda. Take the example of Uber. Its success is not based on a strong emotional connection with customers. What makes the platform so successful is captured by a single word: convenience. Uber’s interface is intuitive and user-friendly. You open the app, type in your destination and immediately receive pricing information. Upon agreement, a driver is immediately connected to you and knows where to pick you up. Reaching your destination, you just get out of the car and Uber charges your credit card automatically.
So, what is convenience then exactly? Academic research by Len Berry and colleagues in the Journal of Marketing suggests that there are five different levels of convenience.
1. Decision Convenience
The first is decision convenience or the time and effort needed to make a purchase/consumption decision. A great example here is Netflix’s recommendation system, driving more than 80 per cent of content watched on the platform. To avoid subscribers getting lost in the vast library, the company goes to great lengths to serve up its content in the most fun and easy way possible. The success is undeniable with Netflix being the dominating streaming platform of the moment.
2. Access Convenience
Second comes access convenience or the time and effort needed to get hold of what is desired. Chinese Hema Fresh puts strong emphasis on this dimension. Being part of Alibaba’s new retail concept, the highly popular grocery chain seeks to integrate the best of offline and online. Hema, among other things, has an in-store on-demand kitchen (just like Whole Foods), is able to deliver any order under 30 minutes within a specified delivery radius (just like Instacart) and sells pre-packaged meal kits to make consumers’ lives easier (just like Hello Fresh). At the basis of this model is a sophisticated and data-driven logistics systems, setting the example for the entire retail industry.
3. Transaction Convenience
Third is transaction convenience or the time and effort needed to pay for products. A prime example here is Amazon that put an easy and transparent payment experience at the core of its business. Its new Amazon Go stores even go further and remove any checkout hassles by automating the payment system, completely eliminating the cashier and waiting lines. The successful concept is set to grow to as many as 3,000 new U.S. stores in the next few years, while also expanding to other countries worldwide.
4. Benefit Convenience
Fourth is benefit convenience or the time and effort needed to consume the product. Consumers today are looking for simple and efficient consumption experiences, allowing them to make the best of their time. The popular navigation app Waze, owned by Google, offers its users such a simple and intuitive user interface, providing highly contextual information like traffic, obstructions and other hazards to minimize travel time. In 2016, Waze partnered up with Dunkin’ Donuts, a U.S. coffeehouse chain, and integrated an ‘Order Ahead’ function. Wazers, as Waze calls its user base, may order coffee within the app and speed past the line when picking up their order inside a DD restaurant.
5. Postbenefit Convenience
Finally comes postbenefit convenience or the time and effort needed to deal with such factors as product maintenance, exchange or failure recovery. One example here is Tesla’s mobile service teams allowing cars to be serviced when and where customers are in need. More recently, the U.S. carmaker introduced an automated service feature allowing Tesla cars to order parts that require replacement on their own. Doing so, Tesla reduces the time needed for car maintenance and proactively prevents any failures.
To successfully interact with today’s hyper-connected and impatient consumers, marketers should be obsessed with delivering ‘fast’ and ‘easy’ solutions to customers. But how?
Regular audits to understand improvement points along the entire customer journey are recommended. A strong customer mindset should be driven by questions like What is it that customers are looking for? How can we further enhance/simplify the customer experience? What levels of convenience matter most? A deep understanding of customers based on solid metrics and a thirst to experiment in search for better customer solutions are key to any organization seeking success. Netflix is well-known for its continuous use of A/B-testing to optimize the platform’s interface. Any major change to the Netflix experience is preceded by extensive testing. Nothing is left to chance.
Artificially intelligent technologies now allow for cost-effective real-time service delivery, 24/7. Despite clear limitations still there, the growing occurrence of chatbots, personal (voice) assistants and humanoids at the service frontline is rapidly making real-time service delivery a minimum requirement to compete on the market. It is imperative for any organization to look into this exciting new world of possibilities and to see where technology can be used to enhance the customer experience. KLM, the Dutch airline, is fueling its customer service with AI to automate over half of all inquiries through Facebook, Messenger, Twitter and WhatsApp. The result? A doubling of its case volume and service agents freeing up time to focus on cases requiring a human approach.
While some marketers would argue this thinking does not apply to their industry, nothing could be more wrong. Take the example of Lemonade. The U.S. insurance platform is rapidly transforming a seemingly rock-solid industry. Their approach? The promise of a zero paperwork and instant everything. Lemonade uses AI to sign up customers and to evaluate claims, boasting it takes a maximum of 3 minutes from approval to payout. The result? A four-year-old startup valued at $2bn.
It is clear, no organization is free from the push toward higher convenience. Time to become ‘fast’ and ‘easy’! The Uber’s and Amazon’s of this planet won’t wait for you to catch up.
Source: EDHEC Vox Written By: Arne De Keyser
Running A Small Business? Find The Benefits Of Signage...
Running a small business is already complex enough and it never seems that you have enough time to get the work done. One of the major things that can help to take down on the amount of time that you will spend answering questions at the business is by getting the right signs in place. By knowing about the benefits of getting the proper signage it will be very easy for you to see this is a great way for you to run your business and start to get the return on your business investment that you want to have.
#1 Helps People Find The Business
This is one of the things you should realize this can do without being spoken about. However, sometimes people will forget the signs that are up at the road will help people start to find the business. So you will want to make sure you have a sign at the road, but also on the building. This way people are able to find the business and know which building it is located in. If you are in an office building, then you will want to make sure your business has a label on the board by the elevators that can help to guide the customers or clients to the office that you are going to be working with.
#2 Guides People Around The Business
This is one aspect that a lot of major retail stores have started to take advantage of and that is the hanging signs are going to help guide people to the different sections of the store. However, even in a small business, this will help people in getting to start to learn their way around the location. So you will not have to be concerned about the customers coming up every five seconds to ask where something in the business is located at.
When you are using these signs to help guide the customers around the business, you need to make sure they are in a location that is easily visible. When it is easy to find the items, you will notice that people are going to be able to get from the back of the store or the entrance way to the area they want to be at without going to the desk and asking the employees who may already be busy taking care of other customers.
#3 Can Provide A Catchy Logo Or Color Pattern
A sign that you are having installed can start to provide you with the information that can help in getting a logo or color that can stand out from the rest. This is going to allow you to have a great time because people will start to see your name and logo, but also the colors and know exactly what they are talking about. What else is nice about the signs is some of them will allow you to add some characters onto the signs as well, which is going to help out in getting the great look you want to have and have an item that will set you off from everyone else.
#4 Helps With Branding Of The Company
We mentioned briefly on the logo and image of the business that you can have on the signs. What you will really like is this is going to help you start to build your brand. This will make it easier for you to have the right feedback for your business and know that people will start to recognize it and the name that you have for your business will often start to become associated with the logo and colors.
#5 Helps Announce Specials or Sales
When you are properly using the signs, you will notice that some of the uses can be to help you announce a special sale or a special you have going on in the store. So this will help you in getting the extra draw of customers that you never would have thought about reaching before for your business. So, this is going to be a great thing for your company and it will help you out in making more money than what you normally would.
A good example of this would be the sidewalk sales you see some stores doing. These sales are fairly obvious when you are walking up to the store, but not all the stores are located where you would be walking up to the store. So you will want to make sure you look at this because it can help you draw in crowds from the road if you have signs that are announcing the sales properly placed by the road.
#6 Provides A Warning To What Is Going On
When you think about the safety of your customers you need to realize one of the major concerns will be a wet floor. When your customers are on a wet floor and slip and fall, then you will be at fault normally. However, if you have the proper notification out about the wet floors and to use caution or even a watch your head type of sign you will be able to alert your customers about the hazards that are here in the business. You will not have to be concerned about the customers not being aware of the hazards that are in the area.
With a new year upon us and no sign of the pandemic slowing down anytime soon, now is the perfect time to refresh and replace the signage in your business... We have the Physical Distancing Signage you need! No job is to big or small.
"...should we be concerned about the possibility of a downturn?"
Avison Young - Trends You Need to Know About for 2020
#1 Lower for longer
How investors are dealing with a low inflation, low interest rate world – and
whether they should be concerned about the possibility of a downturn.
#2 Power to the people
Landlords, developers and occupiers need to pay increasing attention to local
political activism, as today’s street protests increasingly signal tomorrow’s
The pace of globalization is slowing, and in some areas is starting to reverse as
nearshoring and the localization of supply chains gathers momentum.
#4 Building resilience
Cities across the world are leading the charge in responding to climate change,
to ensure economic, social and environmental sustainability.
#5 (Place)making an impact
Placemaking creates great environments for people, organizations and
communities. It is becoming the focus of
#6 The rebirth of retail
Urban design initiatives, an explosion of technology-fuelled experiential retail
and the emergence of new omni-channel strategies give an insight into the
future of physical retail.
#7 Let’s talk about flex
Forget what you may have read in the newspapers, flexible offices are here to
stay and will remain one of real estate’s hottest growth areas in 2020.
Augmented intelligence? Your new best friend could be your cobot, a
collaborative robot who will make your life easier by helping you work
quicker – and smarter.
#9 Wishing well
Wellness is the new front in the war for talent, and buildings have a huge part
to play in supporting companies’ efforts to look after their staff.
#10 Heavy lifting
Logistics is currently a labor-intensive business, and the sector is facing the
twin challenges of staff shortages and a growing volume of e-commerce
Source: Avison Young / Written By: Nick Axford
The strategic use of psychology in direct mail can drive amazing results. Did you know that our brain is doing most of its work outside of our consciousness? If we are able to create a good direct mail psychology strategy that enables us to tap into subconscious decisions, we can generate a greater response from prospects and customers.
How Can This Work?
1. Emotional Triggers
Both men and women need emotional engagement for direct mail to work. This requires the use of both good emotional copy and imagery. Segmentation can really help you target the right people with the right emotional copy and images.
When there is too much clutter of messages, either copy or images, the brain cannot process it. Make sure that you leave white space and use concise copy so that the brain can easily process your message.
The brain likes puzzles and humor. Keep them simple for easy understanding. They are effective, with increased engagement.
4. Women and Empathy
If your audience is women, you need to tap into empathy. Women engage with images depicting faces and direct eye contact. Women also respond to group/community activity images and, of course, babies, too. Some women will pay attention to messages that make life easier, celebrate her or allow her to do multiple things.
A complicated mail message will most likely be ignored by the brain. There are ways to simplify your copy and images to capture attention.
How to Capture Attention
Novelty — This is the No. 1 way to capture attention. Our brains are trained to look for something new and cool. A novel message or layout can really help you stand out in the mail box.
Eye Contact — Humans are social beings. Images of people or animals making eye contact with your prospects or customers grab attention and draw them into the mail piece.
When you are able to integrate a multiple sensory experience into your mail piece, you create a richer and deeper engagement with your audience.
How to use the senses:
As you can see, the brain is powerful and is very good at ignoring messages. Taking the time to consider all of these psychological factors can really help you drive your response rates up. As always, focusing your messaging with targeted segments to really reach the right people with the right message will increase the success of your mail campaigns. Are you ready to get started?
Source: Target Marketing / Written By: Summer Gould
It’s an age-old debate: direct mail versus email marketing.
Supporters of digital media will say why drain your marketing budget on direct mail campaigns that nobody reads when you can contact your customers using the channels they prefer — television, social media, and mobile?
However, the latest data makes a strong case for printed direct mail. Sure, social media and mobile marketing are on the rise. But that doesn’t mean that customers aren’t responding to direct mail or that this channel is losing its effectiveness. That’s just plain false.
The reality is, direct mail remains a critical part of the mix. So the next time someone tries to tell you direct mail is dead, remember:
1. Direct mail doesn’t require opt-in
Unlike email and text messaging, you don’t have to get a recipient’s permission to send them direct mail. This means, even if a customer doesn’t subscribe or unsubscribes from your email list, you can still get in touch with them. (Which is why it’s always a good idea to get physical addresses from those on your email lists!)
2. Direct mail never stays in a spam filter
"Yes, your message may be picked by someone else," notes Roger Buck, former director of marketing and product development at The Flesh Company. "But the chances are small - and direct mail never has a virus."
3. Direct mail stays effective longer than you think
Direct mail is a bit like a note on the refrigerator door. "We sometimes hear from customers that our mail stays on their desk for weeks," says Andre Palko, president of Technifold USA. "They may not immediately take action, but our brand lingers until they are ready to contact us. An e-mail does not last as well - and is far less striking. "
4. It’s still effective when the target recipient has moved on
“If you send an email to someone who’s no longer at a particular company, it bounces. If you send a postcard, the new person in that job sees it — and you’ve just introduced yourself as a vendor,” says Palko.
5. With direct mail you do not have to fight to get attention
E-mail is effective, but also overwhelming. In 2014, The Radicati Group concluded that the average business customer sends or receives 121 emails per day. In 2018 there are probably 141 in all likelihood.
Larry Bradley, owner of Proforma Sunbelt Graphics, writes: "The overwhelming deluge of e-mail in the office is a solid hurdle for e-mail marketers. It is difficult to distinguish the mess from the real mails, so that a large part of business e-mails is not read at all. By contrast, companies receive much less marketing by mail than ten years ago - a unique advantage for direct mail."
6. Certain offers just won’t get traction by email
There’s a reason businesses are more likely to get lending offers in the mail than they are by email. B2B decision-makers trust direct mail more than email, especially for high value products and services. Mailers can also include a wide variety of trust-building content not possible (or reasonable) to include in email. Yes, you can provide links. But with direct mail, you get that content in front of them in a tangible way right out of the gate.
7. Direct mail can reach high-level decision-makers
There are only so many things you can do to make email look more important. But beyond writing a compelling subject line, most of them look hokey. Direct mail offers options like kits, dimensional mail, and unique packaging options that, by their nature, get past the gatekeepers. (Palko has used everything from metallic envelopes, lunch bags, packing list pouches and prescription bottles to mail letters. “They are not only fun, but they get opened!” he says.) While these mailings may have higher price tags, they can also get near 100% open rates. When you’re trying to reach the C-Suite, that’s worth a lot..
8. Direct mail drives social media and online marketing
Many people believe you don’t need direct mail when you have social media and mobile marketing. What they’re overlooking is how social media and mobile marketing relationships get captured in the first place. Very often, it’s through print. Saying that you only need social and mobile is akin to saying that when you buy a house you only need the upper stories and not the foundation. Without print, getting social and mobile engagements is much more difficult.
Don’t let digital marketers get away with stealing your customers based on false contrasts. Open the discussion about the benefits of direct mail versus email—and when to use each. Be proactive and let direct mail showcase what you can do.
Source: Xerox / Written By: Heidi Tolliver-Walker
Marketing is an ever evolving combination of art and science, and today marketing's role is growing in importance. The challenges of producing tangible growth and ROI are two trends that will continue to grow as the business climate becomes more competitive, and the opportunities more fragmented.
Market fragmentation is creating a new frontier in terms of techniques, strategies and reach. As niches become more focused, the concept of a “market-of-one” is becoming the new reality. We have to create a “unique” experience for each prospect to drive them to convert, build trust, and finally act.
Focusing On Customer Experience
These trends deserve your attention as you address the complexities and challenges of marketing in the coming year.
1. The Growing Role of B2B Marketing
This year will see marketing expand beyond its traditional role. Businesses are facing new and unique challenges today, like the shortage of talent, commoditization and increasing competition to name just a few. These are enterprise-wide challenges that will require cross-departmental collaboration to solve, and marketing is in the perfect position to take the lead.
Watch for greater alignment between marketing and HR, sales, and operations. Everything from addressing employer branding strategies to recruit talent, to business development will be calling on marketing to increase value and visibility.
2. Balancing The “Customer Experience”
Probably the biggest trend to watch in the coming year will be the task of focusing on customer experience while still driving growth. Marketers have been focusing on “customer-centric” methods, basing their approach on the lifetime value of a prospect.
This year, the focus will be on adding “customer-focused” techniques of providing relevant experiences across all touch points, to deliver what customers most value. Balancing these two approaches can deliver a more personalized approach that will generate higher revenue, while building stronger brand loyalty.
3. Executive Branding: Thought Leadership
In the past few years the focus of branding (thanks to the Internet, mobile, and social media) has shifted to the individual – both in terms of the customer, as well as the “voice” of the business.
As a result traditional branding and marketing efforts aren't enough. Especially when it comes to B2B marketing. Today, executive branding, or developing thought leadership is growing. Buyers want to know the “why” behind the business and put a face to the operation to build trust. In order to really stand out, executive branding will be the fastest growing trend in B2B marketing in the coming years.
4. Formats, Channels and Mix
As marketing refocuses on thought leadership, the need will arise to refine content and marketing mix as well. As more channels and delivery platforms become available, marketing teams will need to better leverage a broader mix of marketing choices and formats.
For example, video both pre-recorded and live is becoming much more prominent as is live streaming of events. Diversification of content delivery formats includes podcasts, interactive assessments (as in the managed print field) and mobile friendly content. Marketing firms will also see a shift from Twitter and LinkedIn to more non-traditional B2B formats like Facebook and Instagram. Along with this shift will come the reliance on paid opportunities to boost distribution away from organic-only approaches.
5. Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning
DRIP Marketing has grown in the past few years, and the "automation" trend will continue as the integration of artificial and machine learning in B2B marketing grows in importance.
According to Forrester Research, “AI will provide business users with access to information and insights before they're available.” By using cognitive interfaces, complex systems and advanced analytics combined with machine learning technology, business decisions in e-commerce, marketing, product management and other areas will be able to happen almost in real time.
6. Experiential Marketing
Imagine being able to give your customers and prospects the opportunity to experience your brand in “real life” or the virtual world. This trend will grow in the coming years, especially in the B2B space. As virtual reality begins to take a greater hold, it will be possible to immerse prospects or customers from anywhere in the world.
A great example in the B2C space is the growing use of virtual reality in luxury home sales. Prospects are able to take an "immersive" tour of properties that have not yet been built. When it comes to B2B, educate yourself about the latest experiential strategies and techniques and how you can integrate them into your marketing strategy so users can “touch," “taste” or “feel” your brand. Internally, experiential marketing is a great opportunity to engage, educate and energize employees.
These are 6 trends to be aware of in the coming year. As marketing continues to become more personalized, the techniques, strategies and channels will continue to evolve. Staying ahead of the trends and technologies that are changing our business will be the key to success moving forward!
Source: Adobe Hubspot Blueleadz Written By: Rob Steffen
Companies are spending thousands of dollars on marketing and advertising in an effort to bring more awareness to their brand or to their message. Many collect or buy data about their target audience which they should be able to turn into tactics to drive responses, but 80% still report that their traffic generation tactics are only slightly or somewhat effective. (brighttalk 2015)
Targeting Your Customers Interests
Getting the audience to see their message is one challenge, but getting them to act on it is an even greater one. Some companies are asking for feedback or promoting the sale of products but rarely do they speak directly of their clients specific wants and or needs.
We believe that you can use your audience data along with your marketing message to create a powerfully unique message for each recipient. By specifically targeting your customers interests and by delivering it through a printed marketing piece, you can increase your response rate roughly 35% and increase brand retention by as much as 70%.
If more people paid attention to your marketing and remember your brand, how much more revenue could you generate?
If this is an interesting topic for you, lets talk. We may be able to assist with your next marketing campaign.
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There are lots of reasons to use direct mail, and you may have heard many of them. So here are three statistics on the value of direct mail marketing that you may not have heard...
Go Direct for Best Results
1. Direct mail has higher value in persuasion.
According to a recent study by Canada Post and True Impact Marketing, direct mail generates a motivation score that is 20% higher than digital media. The study found this score to be even higher when direct mail creative uses print enhancements (for example, special coatings, dimensionality, and print-to-mobile technologies).
2. Direct mail is easier to understand.
A wide variety of studies confirm that information provided in print is easier for people to understand and process than information provided in digital form. In the case of the True Impact study, direct mail was found to require 21% less cognitive effort. That means your message is absorbed more quickly and effectively.
3. Direct mail results in higher brand recall.
Not only is information in direct mail easier to process, but it is more likely to be retained. True Impact found that brand recall was 70% higher among participants who were exposed to direct mail ads rather than to digital ones.
Need more reasons to love direct mail? Just ask! Click Here » to learn more.
 “A Bias for Action” (Canada Post and True Impact Marketing, July 2015)
Getting decent sales results can be challenging. With so many ways to communicate it's not as black and white as it use to be. I mean, 30 years ago all you had to choose from was a traditional sales calls or in-person meeting. Should I call them or knock on their front door.
Then came the internet which opened up a whole new ballgame - email communication - and what a revelation that has been. And now, here we are in 2017 and the channels just keep growing.
The birth of social media has made a great impact on how we communicate and today there are more ways to contact a lead than I can count on my own two hands. There is one in particular that I find very effective, especially when it comes to B2B selling, and that's LinkedIn...
6 Creative Ways to Make Your LinkedIn Message Stand Out
Click HERE » To View the Full Article
Source: Hubspot Written By: Michael Pici
The last 10 years have seen enormous changes in the acceptance of commercial and institutional landmark signs, both static and digital, as well as urban and community wayfinding systems...
With that in mind, new research undertaken on behalf of the International Sign Association (ISA) and the Signage Foundation—a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding knowledge of the purposes of on-premise signage—has explored the various ways signs enhance cities’ downtown areas, helping to increase tourism, development and consumer spending. By reviewing the importance of different attributes of exterior landmark signs, this research study has compared the effectiveness of different approaches to create a clearer picture of how signs play an important role in their communities.
Click HERE » To View the Full Story
Source: SignMedia Written By: Craig Berger
How to get your ideas to spread
In a world of too many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to just ignore the ordinary stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones.
Click HERE » for additional TED Talks to discover... Where Ideas come from.
Source: TED / Presenter: Seth Godin & Various Others
Advice for achieving and maintaining customer centricity at a time when customers expect nothing less.
Customer centricity is all the rage in today's world of marketing; a world where technologically empowered consumers expect more and more from businesses and their marketing. Fortunately for marketers, technology continues to advance at a remarkable rate for businesses, as well. However, all of the technology in the world can't salvage a marketing strategy that isn't wholly focused on these empowered consumers.
In this Q&A, captured during the 2016 Direct Marketing News Marketing&Tech Innovation Summit, Vivek Sharma, CEO and cofounder of email marketing technology provider Movable Ink, a Summit sponsor, spoke with DMN's Editor-in-Chief Ginger Conlon about the opportunities in customer-centric marketing, the balance between marketing on a contextually relevant level, and relying too heavily on marketing technology.
Source: Direct Marketing / Written By: Perry Simpson