The Value Of Personalised Print In Direct Marketing

The value of personalisation in marketing has been demonstrated many times. Study after study shows that consumers respond more readily to communications that are tailored to their situation, needs and desires than to blanket ‘one size fits all’ advertising. Depending on the vertical sector, personalised campaigns can outperform static ones by a factor of up to 10. While email and other digital channels of communication have been seen as the easiest and cheapest to personalise, print retains a number of advantages: it can convey quality, has permanence, reaches all demographics and cuts through the digital clutter.

The problem with print – until recent years – has been that it could not support complex personalisation beyond simple overprinting of text such as name and address, because of the cost structure of offset litho and other analogue print technologies, which excel at producing multiple identical copies of documents at low unit cost.

Digital presses have changed this, enabling documents to be printed at productive speeds and at high quality while allowing every element of every page to be different, if desired. This makes possible the ultimate in personalisation – a different printed document for every recipient.

This kind of printing is known as variable data printing (VDP) but it’s often more meaningfully called personalisation, customisation, versioning, variable information printing or one-to-one marketing communication.

The idea of VDP has existed for several decades in certain sectors, such as transactional printing of bank or credit card statements, insurance and other financial documents, but these have typically been restricted to variable text, usually in one colour (black), overprinted onto pre-printed stock. The same idea has been widely applied in mail merges, where name, address and a limited range of other text is added to pre-printed promotional material.

A more recent development of this is transpromo, in which marketing messages and offers are added to the transactional documents, sometimes referred to as ‘white space marketing’, since the additional material is often added in the spaces that were previously left blank around the transactional information. The appeal of this approach is that statements and similar transactional documents have a very high open rate, so any additional messages placed there have a very good chance of being seen.

For businesses that don’t have a regular recurring transactional relationships with their customers, this opportunity does not exist and what has previously been done is the mass mailer, in which standardised content is sent to all recipients – a book of coupons, for example – but can be versioned according to postcode or other demographic information. Personalisation beyond this might extend to printing the recipient’s name on the envelope and varying basic information text.

True VDP allows any text or image on a page to be made variable from one copy to the next so that in a marketing context different products and offers can be presented to different customers within one mailing, according to their age, gender, location or other demographic, their previous purchase history, expressed preferences or inferred interests. It can also allow for different selections of pages to be printed according to the same criteria, such as a college or university brochure that only features courses relevant to the recipient.

Better still, it allows the customer to be in charge of what is printed: rather than assembling the print documents from an in-house or commercially sourced database following a set of business logic rules, VDP can enable the customer to indicate what’s of interest via a website form or interactive page, the results can be fed into the VDP page composition system, the customised documents printed and mailed to the customer, together with supporting information and offers. One example of this kind of ‘pull marketing’ is a customised brochure for a motor vehicle, where the customer selects the model, variant, colour, trim level and accessories and a brochure featuring that specific combination is created, printed and mailed.

While print may have strengths that digital channels lack, the most powerful marketing combination is to use it in combination with them, exploiting the strengths of each, to yield a greater number of touches for the recipient and a unified experience across all marketing channels, both on- and offline.

Using print in parallel with other marketing channels is called multi-channel marketing; when the channels provide a degree of interactivity with each other to further engage the customer and support the marketing message, it’s known as cross-media marketing, though the terms are often used interchangeably. An example of media channel integration is the use of QR codes on printed item that link to personalised URLs (PURLs) that take the viewer to customised online content that complements the printed material.

This kind of linking also brings a further benefit to cross-media marketing, in that response levels can be measured automatically and customer progress tracked along the sales journey, helping to report on, analyse and refine campaigns and to calculate their return on investment.

Need of Trade Show Booths for Personalized Marketing

Despite the rapid strides in online marketing, face-to-face marketing is as important today as it was decades back. Nothing works better when it comes to building sustainable brand power than direct communication with customers. Face-to-face communication at trade shows is a critical marketing tool that provides user information, generates sales leads and drives revenues.

Organizing trade shows is an excellent way of creating a platform for direct marketing and for making an impact through brand display. Still, it can be quite challenging to guarantee success at trade events as budget constraints and pressure to generate more return on investment need to be juggled simultaneously. In order to resolve these issues, hiring a service provider is perhaps the most feasible way to go. A leading service provider is likely to specialize in all kinds of trade show booth services.

Partnering with an experienced trade show firm will help an organization find solutions with an increased focus on creativity and personalization. They will also take into account an organization’s brand vision and try to showcase it in an effective way with their state-of-the-art resources and high level of skills.

Trade Show Design and Display

The first step in building a great trade show design and display is to develop a partnership with the service provider. The organization hired for managing a trade event should get insight into the entire business process, the products on offer and other key areas. Being completely in tune with a business, they should be able to create a booth design that can project the essence of a brand.

In order to design trade show display that is not just superficially attractive, but portrays a brand in the best possible way, an experienced service provider follows a structured process. Besides ideation, this process also includes effective booth staff training where a company’s employees learn to engage and identify visitors to sell in a subtle manner. The aim of this process is to help organizations accelerate their journey to achieve the business objectives, whether it is increasing market share, generating higher revenues or creating a niche.

Stepwise Progression for Trade Show Design

In the first step during the trade show process, a service provider develops partnership with the relevant business and gets to know about its products or services.

The next step is building an idea based on the company’s brand vision and specific objectives that they want to fulfill through the exhibit. In this context, the booth design needs to be creative and functional.

Based on the initial discussions, a detailed design blueprint is presented with graphical illustration. The exhibiting company then needs to provide feedback considering that each and every aspect of the display meets their needs being in line with their overall marketing strategy. The service provider coordinates with the company’s marketing department closely to ensure that the design looks just the way that it should be.

After the design is finalized, the next step is to implement the idea by choosing ideal display materials. Single or double deck booths, booths aligned with motion graphics features, incorporating top quality structural elements etc. are some of the ways to make an effective booth design. Trade show booth services offered by a leading service provider can help you find the most suitable booth design solution without worry.

The Power of the Story! The Secret Weapon of Successful Start-Ups and Booming New Businesses

When it comes to selling or advertising a product or service, does the company with the biggest Marketing Department win? What if you’re a start-up, an entrepreneur, or a small business? What if you don’t have a large budget or layers of personnel? Start-ups suffer the pangs of small spaces, the pain of less staff, the slings and arrows of tight cash flow, and the anxiety of operating each day without a safety net. But they have one very powerful advantage… their story.

Story Marketing gives advertisers an illustrative, emotive, and utterly mesmerizing edge. A marketing story well told can be so captivating that it stops the viewer, the listener, the reader, or the browser during their precious down-time, drive-time, or in-between time just long enough to get a fragment of their attention. That is all a good story ever needs.

Carefully crafting the “life and times” of your product or service is a powerful way to sell, advertise, and communicate its narrative in a fresh and compelling format. Story marketers breathe life into a brand much as a sculptor captures the running veins on the back of a statued hand. Or, an artist paints the sun and heat eclipsing across a field on a late, summer afternoon.

The story of your product or service must be pulsing and alive. It must be memorable and utterly extraordinary. It must grab the consumer by the heart, the mind, and by the hand. It must address how they live, what they hope for, and what they long to become. And, it must call them to action by saving them time, money, worry, or simply making their daily existence a tad bit better.

Many new businesses have no worn path to follow or benchmarks to embrace. They rise and fall on the power of their will and the strength of their desire. While the losers often falter and fade, the winners muscle it out with sheer grit, drive, determination, and something else… a powerful narrative.

Story marketing delivers what the big budgets can’t even comprehend amid all the hierarchy of lost messaging. It accomplishes the critical task of setting your business apart from the crowd by presenting it to the world as if for the very first time. It asks and answers the most important questions that will ever be posed about your new venture… What are the problems it solves? What are the advantages it bestows? And, how does it reflect the needs of the customer?

Let’s face it, there’s no ending like a story ending. If your new product or brand is not evangelized by an exceptional storyteller, you cannot truly succeed at the practice of marketing.