Archive for the ‘Brand awareness’ Category

Built-In Marketing Ideas for 2016

Thursday, January 28th, 2016







Have Fun today!

It's Fun at Work Day today!

Happy “Fun at Work Day”!

 

Did you know that today – January 28th – is National Fun at Work Day? If that sounds like another bogus reason to make the day special, consider this… according to Dave Hemseth and Leslie Yerkes, the authors of 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work state “Organizations that integrate fun into work have lower levels of absenteeism, greater job satisfaction, increased productivity, and less downtime.”

Not only is Having Fun at Work important to organizations’ success, noting the day is a great (and fun) way to stay top of mind. Showcase your culture on social channels; tell your clients a funny joke; send a goofy promo item to prospects – the possibilities are endless.

Every business needs to create and execute a marketing strategy throughout the year, so why not work with built-in dates and awareness issues? 2016 is filled with unique and noteworthy reasons to reach out to your market to build awareness and celebrate. Download our guide with a full year of dates, tips and marketing topics broken down by month.

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Are You Adding this to Your Marketing Mix?

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014







Printed materials are making a comeback as a marketing channel that works. Considering how saturated digital marketing is, it’s pretty easy to understand why.

Here are a few reasons you should consider incorporating more print in your marketing mix:

  1. Print allows the reader to chose when they will engage with your brand - Most digital marketing channels are out of mind, out of sight… messages are seen, then gone, and unfortunately, very hard for your audience to remember. Printed materials can be saved for a time when they need or want your information.
  2. Print allows the viewer to “unplug” - In our over-connected, and over-stimulated world of information pushed to us 24/7, it’s critical we unplug from the noise. Now more than ever, your audience will appreciate being able to learn more about your brand without having to be “plugged in”.
  3. Print can help your market remember you - Print is tactile, and touch is one of our most powerful senses when it comes to storing memory and information. Think of how effective a physical piece can be if it encourages your audience to touch and engage with it? Tactile stocks, high & dull gloss finishes, interesting folds, scratch-off’s and cool die cuts – all scream “touch me”!
  4. Print plays well with other media – Quick reader (QR) codes and augmented reality (AR) technologies are just a few ways marketers can link print to mobile ready offers or landing pages. Incorporate digital with print to maximize your engagement and reach. Allrecipes.com is a great example of a brand creating cross-platform opportunities for advertisers while responding to increasing consumer demand for a curated, printed product. Circulation of their print magazine has grown 40% within the last year to 900,000, and the advertising dollars have followed.
  5. Print is used less, so it stands out more – With so many organizations heavily marketing through online and social channels, there’s a void in the print channel. Why not fill that void before your competition does?
  6. Print can yield a high ROI - A 2010 study by the Direct Marketing Association revealed that for every $1.00 spent on print advertising expenditures, an average of $12.57 in sales were generated. That’s a great ROI, and even better, all industries showed that average.

As you develop your marketing strategies for 2015, consider print a powerhouse in your marketing channel mix. There are so many interesting finishing techniques, stocks and ink options out now to help you create memorable brand touchpoints.

Are you ready to get creative?

RAD Graphics is a tactical marketing firm that helps businesses grow by creating, producing and delivering award-winning pieces and campaigns through a variety of marketing channels, including print. For a free consultation, please call 216-371-3003.

Your business card may be small, but it plays a big role in brand recognition!

Sunday, September 14th, 2014







Last week I went to a few networking events, where I exchanged business cards with those I met.  I was struck by the number of comments I got on our newly designed card… “Wow.. nice card”, “I love the feel”, “What do you do?”.  This small piece of paper plays a big role in reinforcing your brand.

Your business cards can stand out with smart design and print techniques

Business cards collected (and saved) over the last year

What shocked me was that the majority of the business cards I received were quite boring – and forgettable.  Unfortunately, for many professionals, the “art” of the business card has been traded in for quick, cheap and boring.

Let me ask you: are you – or your products or services – cheap or boring?

I didn’t think so.  When you look at your cards, what qualities do they reflect about your professional brand?  Does it give any indication of your unique value, and is it memorable a day or two after receiving it?

Following are a few print techniques you can incorporate to ensure your business card reflects what your brand stands for:

PAPER & MATERIAL: There are so many stock options that have interesting color, texture or weight to  them.  Some even go beyond paper such as plastic, metal and wood.  Explore the options and have fun!

COLOR: We love to design with color… lot of bold, beautiful color!  Consider adding a spot color or metallic for visual punch.

SHAPE & SIZE: There is no reason why a business card must be 3.5″ x 2″.  Design the shape to be different by rounding or clipping corners or trimming to a non-standard size.

SPECIAL FINISHES: Die cutting, foil stamping, embossing and spot varnish can add a unique tactile and visual element to your cards. There are new, unique coatings like spot dimensional UV and soft-touch varnish which add tactile interest without breaking your budget.

So, please banish boring, and talk to a good designer and printer about options that reflect your brand!

FYI, our new card is a 2″ x 2″ square with rounded corners on 3 sides, and finished with a soft touch varnish.  I’m happy to say I’m proud to hand it out!

RAD Graphics is a tactical marketing firm

that helps businesses grow by creating, producing and delivering award-winning pieces and campaigns through a variety of marketing channels, including direct mail. For a free consultation, please call 216-371-3003.


Why Direct Mail Fails, and How to Fix It!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014







Direct Mail is still one of the most highly effective marketing channels available to businesses, but it’s also one of the most misunderstood.  It’s complex and costly, and as a result, businesses tend to shy away from it either because of a bad past experience, or the fear of the unknown.  Direct mail can work for almost any business, and it doesn’t have to fail!  The key to success is in understanding this powerful channel’s strengths and weaknesses, so you can determine if and how it fits into your strategic marketing plan.  Some common direct mail fails we see often are:

  • Using a Bad List - Using an old list with obsolete contacts, or too general a list of names not targeted to your market is simply
    Why Direct Mail Fails, and How to Fix It

    Why Direct Mail Fails, and How to Fix It

    a waste of money.  Statistics show that personalized mail nets a higher ROI, but if you’ve ever received a piece with your name mis-spelled, or with someone else’s name, you know it’s actually worse than non-personalized mail.  In the world of direct mail marketing, a good, high quality list is – and always will be – King.  We feel it’s so critical to direct mail success, we created a separate post with tips on building and maintaining a high quality list.

  • Being Ordinary - Look through the mail you get now.  How much truly catches your interest. There’s so much you can do with size, folds, finishes, color and texture, that there’s really no reason to be boring. You’re brand is not ordinary or boring, so why on earth reflect that?
  • Not Knowing USPS Regulations and Options – There’s a lot of details involved in creating and sending a unique and successful direct mail campaign, which is why I think so much of what we all see in our mailboxes is boring. Consult an expert on how to make your mail stand out and get noticed while remaining deliverable for your budget. There are also a few unique products that the USPS offers, including the Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) service that can dramatically save businesses money.  Again, work with an expert that can provide guidance and help you plan.
  • No Clear & Measurable Call to Action – so many times, we receive direct mail pieces that simply ask the recipient to “contact us” or “give us a call”. People are so busy and distracted these days, you need to give them a super clear and strong call to action that includes a deadline, or they’ll set it aside and forget about it.  Consider this: about 40 years ago, the average person was exposed to 500 messages per day.  Today, it’s close to 5,000, so being clear and succinct is crucial now more than ever.  Add an offer code or train your staff to ask the question “How did you hear about us/this offer” when they call, and keep a record of the response you get.
  • No Clear Definition of Success – Knowing specifically what success looks like is critical to determining how to make adjustments going forward. Define success in specifics like: “We’d like to receive 50 calls for more information on our new service line in the next 2 months”.  Keep in mind, that on average, the response rate to direct mail is anywhere between 1- 4%. You want to make sure your definition of success is attainable, so work with a direct mail professional if you need help defining success for you.
  • One & Done - Only sending a mailing one time is such a common error we see.  Direct mail can be extremely effective, but you need to commit to more than one mailing.  Be consistent and constant and your market will realize you’re here to help them, and provide value to their lives or business. Use feedback you gather from your mailings throughout the campaign and tweak as needed.

RAD Graphics is a tactical marketing firm that helps businesses grow by creating, producing and delivering award-winning pieces and campaigns through a variety of marketing channels, including direct mail. For a free consultation, please call 216-371-3003.

 

How to Choose the RIGHT Promotional Product

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013







Promotional products and apparel are great for showing your appreciation, launching a new service, or even for building loyalty. The key, of course, is to choose them wisely.  Here are a few tips for choosing the right promotional item for your customers, prospects or employees.

Know Your Target Market
This is the most important place to start.  Keep in mind your audience will accept just about any free item, but the goal is to get them to use it, and that’s why it’s important that the item addresses your target markets needs AND their tastes.

So, who is your target market?  What’s their average age, gender and income level?  What do they struggle with?  If your target market is a business professional, what position do they typically hold?  Analyze your customer base and figure out what makes them tick. You can do this by simply exploring social media sites, or surveying some of your clients directly.  Once you’ve defined who your audience is, it’s easier to find relevant items.  Reach out to us or a professional in the industry for help if you’re still stuck.

Know Your Distribution Method
How will you get these in your target market’s hands?  If you’re including a product in a mailing campaign, chose a light, thin item like a pen or a magnet.  Apparel items and mugs or stemware are ideal handed out in person or at trade shows.

Looks ARE Important
Cheap looking items or those of low quality, or worse, items that don’t consistently work, will reflect poorly on your brand and company reputation.  Always make sure they are good quality.  Keep in mind, that doesn’t mean expensive.

A few more tips to remember:

  • Don’t be boring. You’re not boring, so why should an item that represents your brand be boring? There are so many options for almost any type of product you’re seeking out.  Remember, the objective is to choose an item that gets held on to and used!
  • Choose a product with a long shelf life. The longer it gets used, the better brand exposure you get. Great long term items include lipbalm, unique mugs and quality apparel to name a few.
  • Imprint with your logo and a call to action. Do you want people to visit your website, email you or call?  Whatever you want them to do should be your call to action.  Make sure the color of the item works with your brand.
  • Have a few different items on hand for various occasions. This is a great strategy for trade shows.  Have an inexpensive give-away for all who stop by and a nicer item for those who give them contact info, and an even nicer option for those you have a conversation with.
  • Think ahead! It’s best to get a sample of what you’re interested in ordering so take action weeks – maybe even months – before you actually need the item in hand.  This allows time for you to touch, feel, and even use a sample before committing to a large run.

If you’d like our 3-step worksheet on How to Choose the Right Promotional Item, just send us an email!