When I say social media, what do you think of? Instagram, Twitter, Facebook? Maybe even Vine and YouTube? You probably don’t think about LinkedIn. Traditionally a platform for Silicon Valley professionals, in the past it has been used for recruitment and self-promotion rather than any kind of brand marketing. Read more
According to E-consultancy, while 94% of companies can see the value of personalised marketing, less than half of companies are putting it into practice. Which half do you fall into – those reaping the rewards of personalised marketing, such as loyal customers and improved brand image, or those late to the party, wondering why their customers are dropping off before even purchasing anything?
A print marketing campaign can be difficult to control, as it is essentially a sum of moving points coming together to (hopefully) form a cohesive ad or direct marketing piece.
In a way, a print campaign is even more essential to get right first time than other forms of media – unlike web or email, once your marketing collateral has been sent to the printers, you won’t have the chance to make any last minute changes.
So how can you effectively manage your print processes to reduce the likelihood of mistakes being made? To help you do so, we’ve put together a handy list of five ways you can streamline your print marketing processes.
1. Keep Everything in One Place
One of the most important and easiest to implement ways to streamline your print management is to make sure all documents, designs, quotes and communication relating to your project or campaign are kept in one easily accessible place.
This might be a computer folder or a web-based program; but as long as you have one dedicated location for your project, you’ll save time hunting around for details, images and so on, especially if things need to change last minute (as they often do!). It’s also a good idea to keep track of versions and drafts as you go along, in case you need to revert back or adopt earlier details at any point.
2. Centralise It for Everyone to Use
If there are a number of your colleagues involved in your print marketing project, or if you work with various different agencies to put work together, it’s a good idea to make this one dedicated location accessible to all involved. This will help prevent duplicate work, as all parties will be able to see progress at all times.
There are a number of web-based programs that can help you do this; some are more focused on project management, such as Basecamp, or Clever Marketing’s Web2Print solution provides a comprehensive tool to help you keep track of your project. Another benefit of using a web-based tool instead of a computer folder is that it can be accessed from anywhere – if you’re working remotely or travelling, you’ll still be able to keep track of your project.
3. Keep an Eye on Your Budget
It can be easy to lose track of how far you are into your budget with any print project, as there are often many parties to consult for sign-off and many amendments that will need to be made as a result.
Keeping a running track of costs associated to your project will help you stick to your allocated budget, or decide when it’s appropriate to amend that initial figure you estimated for the job. Being up front about your budget from the outset of your print marketing project will also help to reduce unrealistic expectations and demands from stakeholders.
4. Always Remember Your Brand Values
Throughout the life of any campaign, the original message can be lost, as can your essential brand stipulations in terms of language, colour and tone. Keeping a copy of your brand guidelines to hand throughout your print project will make sure you don’t deviate too far from your essential brand message, providing a stronger and more relevant end message for the ad or brochure.
5. Reduce Waste
Due to the nature of a print campaign, there will always be an inevitable amount of waste, both in terms of materials and effort. As mentioned above, having a centralised location for all correspondence and drafts of your project will help reduce the amount of redundant work involved, thus saving you money in design agency costs. This also means you can select a design agency based on quality rather than geographical location. It’s worth also considering only printing final versions of your collateral to save on printing costs.
All of the above advantages can be achieved with a simple web2print solution. Web2print serves the business need for streamlined online print management and is centred on the principles of print triggered by demand and collaboration on print projects.
Here at Clever Marketing, we understand how frustrating disparate working documents and spiralling budgets can be. That’s why we offer our own Web2print solution to help businesses to take charge of their print marketing campaigns.
If you need help with streamlining your print marketing with web2print then get in touch with Surrey & Hampshire design agency Clever Marketing.
The beginning of a new year is the perfect time both to reflect on the previous 12 months and to think about what can be improved upon in those to come. While 2014 was the year that responsive design continued to dominate and social media ads became increasingly important, 2015 looks set to be even more of a game-changer for marketers, and companies need to continually evolve and adapt in order to keep up.
Whether you have identified key areas you’d like to focus on in 2015 or you just need inspiration for the New Year, here are the 5 New Year’s marketing resolutions we think you should be making in 2015.
Improve the Health of Your Content
From videos to how-to guides and e-books, content is king. If you weren’t producing content in 2014, or didn’t take its value seriously enough, this is the year to turn that around.
We predict that 2015 will be the year that search engines continue to encourage natural and useful content. January is the perfect time to make sure you have some budget and resource set aside to invest in producing and distributing shareable content in 2015.
“But I already produce lots of content,”
some of you might argue at this point.
“We’re always churning out loads of long, SEO-friendly copy.”
Well, there’s a lesson in here for you too. This year, try to move away from the old-school mentality that dictated that the more content you produced, the better – invest your time wisely in less frequent but higher quality content, zeroing in on specific niches.
It’s also important to humanise your output. This will mean your focus becomes more on making your content valuable and useful, rather than considering it in terms of Facebook likes and shares (although, of course, these are also useful).
Slim Down Your E-commerce Process
Carrying unnecessary weight is never healthy, and this is also true of your web e-commerce process. Lengthy forms, too many mandatory questions and misplaced, distracting upsells all make your online e-commerce sales funnel flabby and ineffective.
Make 2015 the year you make purchasing or ordering from your business as simple as it can be for your customer. Offer convenient functions designed to make customers’ lives easier, such as free shipping or click and collect, carefully integrate your payment gateways to ensure trust and make sure your forms are as streamlined as they can be to reduce bounce rates at this crucial point.
Flex Your Personalisation Muscles
The more relevant something is to us, the more likely we are to interact with it. Therefore, personalisation can lead to increased customer dwell time on your site as well as more engagement, not to mention increased sales. In 2015, we predict that websites will continue to become more and more personalised to deliver a relevant and effective experience to all customers.
Whether you choose to more accurately target your emails or filter relevant products per customer on your site, keep personalisation of content high on your list of marketing resolutions for 2015.
Spring Clean Your Data
To achieve effective and accurate personalisation, you need to be able to rely on your data. There’s no point investing significant time, effort and budget into personalisation if your data list is full of lapsed customers and incorrect details. Start the year as you mean to go on with an edited and accurate data list.
Facebook’s acquisition of Atlas earlier in the year is just one example of how companies now have more access to customer data than ever before, allowing us to target even more detailed and niche groups to yield the best results. Consider using segmentation, the categorisation of your customers into definable groups governed by behavioural traits, purchasing habits or income, to get more out of your data.
Finding Balance with Marketing Automation
Marketing automation can save you time by taking care of some of the repetitive grunt work involved in marketing, allowing you to get on with the more complex and productive tasks.
However, automating all of your marketing goes against the personalisation and humanising principles we have already discussed. No one wants to feel they’re receiving a mass marketing email. 2015 should be the year you strive for balance and quality in your marketing.
Do you need help with any of the above-listed processes? Would you like Clever Marketing to help kick start your project?
If the answer is yes then please call us now on 01276 534 680 – we’re here to take the load off local businesses and provide you with excellent graphic design, print, web, e-commerce and digital marketing services from SEO/SEM to PPC.
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