Posts filed under ‘print planning’

Web to Print Marketing Material From Customized Portals: Anytime, Anywhere, ACCURATELY

Powerful web-to-print marketing solutions are revolutionizing marketing efficiency and accountability. Around-the-clock access to pre-approved corporate collateral enables customers, franchisees and sales teams to have immediate access to the tools they need to create successful marketing campaigns quickly, easily and accurately.

DokShop is one such marketing collateral management solution that offers online proofing technology that reduces production time. With DokShop your company can have their own online catalog of customizable printed materials ready to order. Each site can be branded for individual clients.

1. Coordinate worldwide marketing efforts
2. View and download PDF proofs
3. Access powerful, dynamic reports and receive email updates
4. Assign administrators to monitor and approve orders
5. Define and analyze cost centers

According to Prisma Graphic owner, Bob Anderson, gone are the days that it takes seven touch points to get a business card printed…”For a general job like ordering a business card, first you tell your secretary, they ask the marketing department, it has to be called in and then a sales person takes an order. It gets typeset, proofed, and then goes to print,” The heartburn and headache that used to keep marketing gatekeepers awake at night is completely alleviated through this technology.

Working smarter through the use of templates and web-to-print portals, allows organizations to cut down on unnecessary print overages, inaccuracies, brand band-aids, and design paralysis. Consider how much collateral your company prints. Chances are, you have ongoing needs for stationery, forms, marketing materials, and much more.

Anderson said the technology enables projects to move four times as fast through the system. It also tracks projects, similarly to the way a package to be delivered by UPS can be tracked on the Internet.

Whether your company is large or small, modifying and managing those materials can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Simplify corporate processes by utilizing DokShop.

At Make-A-Wish, a non-profit that grants the wishes of kids with life-threatening illnesses, director of brand communications, Mike Pressendo uses DokShop.com to help mange the communication output of 72 chapters. “I want to maintain continuity of the brand across all our markets. This technology allows me to do that and then allows the chapters to localize it. But I don’t want them monkeying with fonts and headlines. With this, I can keep the overall look and feel the same across the board.”

Pressendo said the technology creates a huge financial savings, allows for better quality control and saves time. “This allows us to preserve and promote our brand, “ he said. “We’ve had other printers, but they couldn’t keep up with our technological requirements.”

This online service is a streamlined, cost-effective way to order and print all your business materials. Since 2001, businesses around the country have used DokShop to improve turn-around time, reduce human error, and ensure brand continuity. DokShop is fully customizable and enables both internal employees and distribution networks to order personalized collateral.

Corporate brands remain protected, yet promoted according to universal guidelines within local markets, increasing the relevance of the message to the target market and improving marketing performance.

Marketing accuracy has never been more qualified. Log onto DokShop.com today for a demo – and a better night’s rest!

June 9, 2010 at 7:03 pm Leave a comment

Prisma Graphics: Top Marketing Supply Chain Provider

Recently, American Executive did an article showcasing us, Prisma Graphic, a local Phoenix commercial printer. The article interviewed Bob Anderson, owner of Prisma Graphics since 2001, regarding how the company has been able to stay in the top 10% of commercial printers nationally.

There have been two key things that can be attributed to Prisma Graphic’s success in the printing industry. The first was its people. Anderson said the 28 employees working for the company in 2000 were well known for their high-quality standards. Today, 22 of those employees are still with the company, and although Prisma now employs 130 people, that dedication to quality still remains. For example, the majority of Dokshop’s business has come through referrals, Anderson said.

Second, the team suggested working with the client’s marketing department online rather than by phone and fax. Back then, there were no available software programs allowing for that kind of collaboration, so the company’s internal developers created a program of their own, and Dokshop was born.

Dokshop has enabled large corporate clients to have the brand protected by using Prisma Graphic for their collateral marketing material. The company even handles warehousing, fulfillment, and inventory management for clients, tracking and delivering orders as needed. And, as companies continue to reduce marketing budgets and head counts, Anderson predicts the demand for these services will grow.

Read the entire article to find out how Prisma has succeeded and continued to grow in the down economy and how they are using innovative web to print products such as Dokshop and their new designer product, PrintPower, to stay on top.

American Executive article: Prisma Graphic: Open to Opportunities

June 7, 2010 at 2:19 pm Leave a comment

Connect With Customers Through Color

Watched HGTV lately? Color trends come and go in the interior design world, so I thought it would be interesting to see if the print world follows suit. Do you know what colors are currently forecasted to be “hot?” How often do you reinvent your print collateral to coincide with such trends? Is your color palette universal enough to stand the test of time?

Believe it or not, color speaks to people with great emotion. What are your paper products saying to your customers?

“Color trends are not conjured up using a crystal ball. They are the result of much observation of our surrounding natural world as well as the influences that will impact our world in the future,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®

According to Pantone, an X-Rite company, and the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for design industries, name a few factors that play into the selection of color trends: socioeconomic issues, technology, lifestyles, entertainment, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, the needs, moods, fantasies and aspirations of CONSUMERS!

Eight featured palettes in PANTONE VIEW home + interiors 2010 offers the newest colors and combinations to best express directional themes for 2010. CMYK printing equivalents are ALSO supplied to accurately reproduce the forecasted colors in marketing materials, in-store signs and packaging.

With our unpredictable economy, is it worthwhile to look at our print materials with an eye to color? What do our color palettes need to convey in such economic unrest?

I believe consumers are looking more to the “old days” for a sense of elegance and a return to quality. Making the old new again appeals to our sense of practicality and resourcefulness – qualities which are definitely back in style. Products and services that also connect emotionally have a better chance of appealing to our cautious consumerism.

What SINGLE color do you think can take us back and make us feel nostalgic and secure…Pantone has announced that the Color of the Year 2010 is… PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise, an inviting, luminous hue.

Combining the serene qualities of blue and the invigorating aspects of green, Turquoise inspires thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and a comforting escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of wellbeing.”

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According to Pantone, whether envisioned as a tranquil ocean surrounding a tropical island or a protective stone warding off evil spirits, Turquoise is a color that most people respond to positively. It is universally flattering, has appeal for men and women, and translates easily to fashion and interiors. With both warm and cool undertones, Turquoise pairs nicely with any other color in the spectrum. Turquoise adds a splash of excitement to neutrals and browns, complements reds and pinks, creates a classic maritime look with deep blues, livens up all other greens, and is especially trend-setting with yellow-greens.

Looks like we can’t go wrong with turquoise – add a splash where it works within your current style guidelines. Perhaps your design already has a placeholder for each year’s current color trend. If not, give it some thought!

May 19, 2010 at 7:07 am Leave a comment

Timing is Everything

Never before has timing been as important in launching a marketing campaign and maintaining customer communications as the here and NOW. With today’s flood of communications and endless messages, maybe what is said matters less than WHEN it’s said.

Consider the significance of this for a moment. Much of the focus as writers, promoters and marketers tends to be on the messaging, but how much attention is currently paid to things like time of day when messages are sent – and more importantly, when they are received?

As real time communication tools like Twitter and status updates on Facebook and LinkedIn and mobile messaging take top priority in fully integrated communication campaigns, the question of WHEN is obviously going to continue becoming more and more significant.

With these real time platforms, readers rarely give a second glance – most blasts, updates or texts are skimmed right away or junked. Given this, you want your message to hit when your audience is the most receptive – including the right day and the right time.

Is it possible to determine this information or is it too dynamic? It depends. Studies exist with benchmarks for best days of the week produce the best open or click rates. These are aggregate numbers across thousands of senders, however, so be leery of the data, because data alone doesn’t take into account your particular call to action, target audience, or recipient behavior.

So…maybe what’s best is conducting your own study. Start with your best guesses based on what you know of your audience, emails and organization and then test to find best days and time combinations from there. Don’t forget to weigh those options against your call to action.

For instance, if your call to action is related to a purchase, obviously you want to consider your audience’s pay periods. If your call is time sensitive, then calendaring is imperative.

Keeping detailed records is what’s going to make or break this methodology. You must have a good system for tracking your end results and then USE the data for future decision-making.

Remember, real-time communications is intended to help messaging be more relevant to your customer. If you’re able to graph and predict more successful times for sending out various pieces of your campaign, obviously you’ll be more successful and ahead of the competition.

Image: stefanomaggi

May 3, 2010 at 9:59 am Leave a comment

How we React to Color – Tips for Commercial Printing

Even in the wilds of nature, color plays an intensive role in behavior, attraction and aversion. Color is informative. It tells a creature whether or not something is probably safe to eat, as well as whether or not another creature is weakened, sickly or healthy. Color has the power to alter moods. Softer oceanic colors can soothe frazzled nerves, high energy neon colors dazzle and delight the night life crowds, and power colors adorn the workspaces of professionals that understand the profound effect their surroundings can have on their productivity and focus. With so much to be communicated via proper coloration, and with certain tasks being better suited to certain colors, any professional working in commercial printing would do well to put extensive thought into the subtle or explosive messages they are sending with the palette they select for each project.

Successful commercial printing first requires a clear and goal-oriented identification of the overall mood or schema of the project at hand. Publishing with the intent to advertize will usually require a far different set of shades than that required by publishing with the intent to inform. Taking a moment beforehand to clearly define the project goals and intentions will pay dividends down the road in terms of successful and relevant visual themes.

Once the goals are defined, it’s time to choose the best colors for the particular job. Advertizing material, which is always designed to be eye-catching and visually distinct from information surrounding it, benefits greatly from oppositional colors that create strong contrast to the human eye, and thereby increased reactive interest. Notice how often advertizing materials feature dichromatic balloons, banners, or bubbles in yellow and red.

Because these two colors are naturally strong signals for the human brain, due to their wide prevalence in the wild as indicators of food edibility or the shock of blood, they cast a powerful spell all their own upon modern readers. At the same time, their placements on the light spectrum cause them to be mutually enhancing. Red and yellow trimmed informational boxes are even more noticeable than either solid red boxes or solid yellow boxes.

The overall effect achieved by these two colors when synthesized by the human brain is one of heightened attention. Countless other such combinations exist, each with their own varying thematic message. Deep greens, when commingled with dark or soft browns suggest earthy peacefulness, growth and the natural world.

Tinkering with these combinations and allowing time for various color themes to show their ultimate thematic effects can greatly enhance any commercial printing project. Likewise, identifying the target audience of any particular publication and making educated guesses as to their thematic expectations or moods will increase the overall effectiveness of assembled content. Brochures designed to woo potential retirees to a beach community, for example, should display the area being promoted in soft, relaxing, pleasant hues. A mixture between the tranquil blue comfort of sea and sky and the entrancing sherbet swirls of a sunset will strongly deliver the message that it’s time to buy tickets.

April 25, 2010 at 8:32 am Leave a comment

Customers EXPECT Trust and Value in 2010

Has your customer base decreased during the decline of our nation’s economy? Probably so. Personal consumption, which drives economic activity, continues to fluctuate, which makes it even more imperative for businesses to earn customer trust and keep it.

Consumers are not parting with their money as easily as pre-recession days. They are looking for discounts, bundles, special savings packages, and rebates, in products and services – and also searching out better business relationships with those they feel will best put their hard-earned money to work. Customers are expecting competing companies to offer phenomenal value while earning and keeping their trust.

From a business perspective, we understand that the ROI of keeping current customers is far more desirable than acquiring new. On average, it costs a company at least five times as much to win a new customer versus keeping an existing one.

In fact, highly effective organizations reportedly spend an average of 10 percent of their operating budgets on resolving customer problems caused by poor service while ineffective organizations spend as much as 40 percent. Unhappy consumers don’t typically keep it to themselves either: dissatisfied customers generally tell twice as many people about a bad experience as they do a good experience.

With numbers like these as incentive, why don’t more businesses achieve their loyalty goals? Does your company even have clearly defined loyalty goals? Perhaps one reason for falling short on the success meter is due to the lack of control in delivering consistent behaviors that regularly please customers.To deliver that type of service companies must first understand what their perceived customers truly value and then plan for consistent implementation.

Consumers have lived through an onslaught of negative events over the past several years and continue to live in an unpredictable economy at best. The Commerce Department said The United States plunged into recession in December 2007 amid financial turmoil following a home mortgage meltdown. The economy shrank at a 5.7 percent pace in the first quarter of 2009, the government said last week in a revised estimate that showed slower consumer spending. The initial estimate was a decline of 6.1 percent.

As one of the scrambling businesses vying for the loyalty of “the cautious consumer”, trust must be created and maintained. It’s no secret that companies are collapsing around us daily. Making loyal customers happy has always been important, but more so now than ever, customers share their reviews of your service and/or product at the speed of the internet, making the art of relationship building of paramount importance.

The obvious conclusion? Give your customers what they want. At each interaction the customer is shaping an opinion of you and your business.

Be more than an email message that gets trapped in the junk folder.

Send a hand written thank you note, ensure quality products, choose vendors that meet your same customer service standards, reward employees who walk-the-walk and…

Track the good, the bad and the ugly…

Your customer service reputation is at stake and there are no second chances in this unpredictable economy of 2010.

April 16, 2010 at 2:24 pm Leave a comment

Bored With Your Marketing Campaign?

Seeing the same marketing collateral day in and day out might get boring as a company insider, but is it actually boring to your audience? That’s the operative question here. Before going to the drawing board and reinventing your image, ask your design and executive teams the following questions:

1. Is your campaign fully integrated? i.e. does your logo appear on all materials in accordance with your style guidelines? i.e. does your campaign cover all markets such as print, viral, social, etc.? Do you and your printer have full and complete brand control?

2. Does your campaign reflect your company’s environmental philosophy? i.e. Are you using recycled paper with a credentialed printer?

3. Are you seeing quantitative results with the current campaign? i.e. are sales up, is your service being used, are you competing strongly in your industry? Does your printer provide full records management that allows you to track collateral usage as a productivity indicator?

4. Are your materials being created uniformly, efficiently and in a cost productive manner? i.e. are you using a print house that uses a marketing supply chain management system?

5. And lastly, are you unique to your specific niche market? i.e. are you trying to be everything to everyone or are you staying within your market purview and business competency?

These five questions are VITALLY important to the decision making process involved with creating, maintaining, altering or completely reinventing a current marketing campaign. Obviously budget is a huge factor, as is timing.

So, if your answer to any of the above questions is ‘NO’ then boredom might not be the only ill effect of your current identity. In fact, it might be time to check the budget, ramp up the design team and get your print shop account rep on the calendar.

If this seems overwhelming, remember that effective marketing is often what separates rapidly growing companies from those slower growing or even stalled companies within like industries. If you expect your business to continually grow, you must be or become an effective marketer, advertiser and promoter of your business.

Be smart – understand your position in the market place, research your campaign, think it through for execution and longevity, test it, and implement it fully! Keep in mind, you’re likely to grow your business to the extent that you master your marketing campaign. Visit us at Prisma Graphic to learn more.

April 7, 2010 at 12:16 pm Leave a comment

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