Posts filed under ‘prisma’

Web to Print: The DokShop Solution

WEB TO PRINT: The DokShop Solution

DokShop For some years now discerning print buyers have been charged with reducing costs, saving time and improving results, all the while saddled with tight marketing budgets based on revenue generation. While some marketers have turned towards alternative media to help meet their defined objectives, others simply started cutting back their efforts altogether. Those that have experimented with multi-channel communications, especially the integration of print and the Internet, have found they did not need to stray too far to get results. And really, with so many companies falling well short of their sales objectives today, no one can afford to scale back any part of their marketing efforts.

 A September 2008 Epsilon survey of top Chief Marketing Officers reported that over 94% of the respondents said they feel “a tough economic period is precisely the time when marketing plays a key role.” By investing in proven strategies and collateral-based marketing materials, companies can sustain basic marketing efforts that continue revenue flowing even through economic downturns. This notion can be substantiated considering the CMO Council’s 2008 Marketing Outlook that said events and trade shows, direct marketing, sales support materials, and online marketing were at the top of marketers’ investment lists.

 Generally speaking, collateral-based materials have always been centered in corporate marketing departments where brand standards, timing, costs and other critical aspects of marketing campaigns can be closely monitored. With the time, expense and headcount required to maintain this control, however, many have looked to their vendors for solutions. Meeting these demands on time, with ease, and at reasonable prices can be difficult; especially for those vendors unwilling to evolve. Many traditional printers have yet to embrace the web-to-print relationship, maybe for fear of losing the customer to the convenience of the Internet, or simply due to a lack of technological confidence or knowledge.

 “In today’s business environment, being able to provide traditional print, as well as a robust web-to-print solution, is crucial to the future success of any commercial printer,” according to Bob Anderson, President of Prisma Graphic Corporation. Launched almost 9 years ago, Prisma’s industry-leading, online solution called dokshop has become an integral part of the company’s business and appeal. “Most of our clients really understand the importance of an online application like this right from the start,” says Anderson. “Our dokshop system alleviates the majority of the day-to-day costs and headaches of corporately-managed marketing efforts; helps to explain why it has become the fastest growing component of our company.”

 Dokshop Defined

DokShop Prisma Graphic developed dokshop.com as an online solution to support company-specific ordering sites that are tailored and personalized to meet the individual needs of each client. More specifically, dokshop sites enable clients to easily manage and distribute valuable corporate marketing assets; direct mailers, sales sheets, brochures, image or logo libraries, advertisements and email blasts, for example. These products can be produced statically or variably and either printed on demand and/or distributed electronically or by any common carrier. More importantly, the basic functionality of these sites gives complete control to the client to decide who can order, how often, how much and how each order is cost accounted.

 Prisma Graphic promotes these fully-customizable, web-to-print solution sites to clients looking to save time and money in the marketing process. With complete personalization options, dokshop can mirror a corporation’s centralized marketing department and help to lower basic administrative costs. Ultimately, dokshop’s very existence is to help marketers maintain brand standards, manage multiple location orders and total inventory, minimize collateral waste and economically distribute assets quickly and efficiently.

 Orders placed through dokshop typically ship within 1-to-4 working days from the time of receipt – a fraction of the time needed for a traditional order. Since introduced in 2001, dokshop has enabled businesses around the country to launch worldwide marketing campaigns much more efficiently. Today, dokshop supports nearly 235 clients with over 32,000 users and continues to grow.

 Simply put, dokshop allows Prisma Graphic to offer their clients the products and services they need, when they need it and how they need it. Please contact your current Prisma Sales Representative, or Bob Anderson now to find out how this dynamic web-to-print solution can benefit your company (800 379-5777 or  roberta@prismagraphic.com ).

  “What brought Avnet to Prisma in 2000 was the need for a quick turnaround on a specialty order of embossed business cards. I am pleased to say we have been married like ink to paper with them ever since. Prisma not only upholds our project deadlines but also meets our time, cost and quality standards. Needless to say, when they launched their dynamic online ordering site, we were the first in line. Their dokshop system has helped us control brand consistency across our 300 world-wide locations, streamline our print buying process and manage our company collateral; supporting our company-wide green initiative. Our business relationship has significantly grown and strengthened over the years, as they continue to work with us and our ever-evolving needs. The key to their success is their friendly service, ideas and consistent effort to support our programs.”

 Al Maag,   Chief Communications Officer, Avnet

With operations in 73 countries, Avnet has become one of the world’s largest technology distributors of electronic components, embedded subsystems, enterprise computing products and solutions. Their corporate social responsibility strives to make a difference in their employees, community, industry and the environment.

In 2008, Avnet was recognized in the list of “America’s Most Admired Companies” by Fortune magazine – ranking first in many categories and second overall.

 “As a large organization, one of the biggest struggles we face, as do many large organizations, is maintaining brand consistency. We also have the added challenge of supporting multiple locations throughout the country, which can be both time consuming and costly. A couple of years ago, Prisma set us up with a dokshop site, which streamlined our ordering process while allowing us to maintain our brand throughout our nearly 200 locations. Our dokshop site has made it easy for our locations to utilize corporate-approved materials, rather than relying on their own collateral.”

 Darin Hancock,  Marketing Manager, University of Phoenix

In the past 30 years, University of Phoenix has helped transform the landscape of higher education by making it easily accessible for working students. The University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association (ncahlc.org). University of Phoenix offers a wide variety of degree programs at the Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorial levels and in fields such as business, technology, health care and education to name a few.

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November 10, 2009 at 3:36 pm Leave a comment

Print Smart: The Rewards of Being Green

Print Smart: The Rewards of Being Green

FSC LogoDespite the growth and popularity of the Internet as a marketing tool, the mailbox continues to be the preferred communication channel for information, promotions and announcements. According to a study by International Communications Research1, 70% of consumers prefer direct mail compared to 18% who prefer email.

 As consumer concern for the environment increases, so has sensitivity toward direct mail and its perceived negative impact. While direct mail accounts for only 2% of the country’s municipal waste, it is still a concern for businesses that use direct mail as a marketing strategy.

 So, what can marketers do to accommodate today’s consumers? Print Smart. For Sherri May & Company, a mailing proponent that specializes in direct marketing, being green is the positive result of simply printing smart. “We’ve been the most successful when we focus on delivering the right message, to the right audience, at the right time, using the most energy and cost-efficient means possible. Green production is a win-win all the way around,” explains Sherri May.

 To address the growing concerns of the environment and the impact of direct mail, the Direct Marketing Association, Pitney Bowes and the United States Postal Service have all published practical steps to become more efficient in direct mail and thus more environmentally responsible.

 Data Management – Reducing Undeliverable Mail

Each year almost 60 billion pieces of direct mail end up in landfills. By working with a partner who understands how to minimize undeliverable records and optimize the production process in general, you can save as much as 30% on each and every mailing. Incorporating USPS endorsed NCOAlink® software, Intelligent Mail® and OneCode ACSTM into the data process will ensure accuracy, helping to maximize ROI while maintaining good environmental stewardship.

 FSC Certified versus Traditional Recycled Paper

Besides positively positioning your company’s image, for little or no additional cost, using an FSC Certified paper helps reduce global warming, save forests, conserve water and lower emission of toxic pollutants. Moreover, using a recycled FSC Certified paper supports municipal recycling collection programs and diverts usable materials from incinerators and landfills.

 Generally speaking, the benefits of using a traditional recycled paper are more of a perception than a reality. Many countries continue to destroy rain forests for the hemp needed to produce the original papers used in the recycling process today. In fact, recycling traditional paper actually depletes more in fossil fuel and other non-renewable resources in the collection, fabrication and delivery than it saves for the environment. The FSC Certification demonstrates that your finished product was produced from start-to-finish, using sources and methods that promote responsible forest management worldwide.

 Manage the Mailbox

When possible, try to consolidate your message into fewer mailings. Instead of mailing monthly, consider mailing quarterly and augmenting the effort with opt-in, personalized phone and/or email communications. Combine multiple messages into a single envelope and always utilize the front and back of each insert. “Companies that are able to coordinate all their mailings through a single internal point person, do a great job of managing the customer mailbox. Customer perception can turn negative when they receive multiple mailings from the same company within a short period of time,” says Sherri May. These minor adjustments will stretch your marketing dollars and help to reduce your company’s impact on the environment.

 Manage the Message

Making an impression is sometimes easier than most people think. Minor size adjustments, self-mailers versus envelope mailers and even using a pre-printed corporate mailing permit instead of stamps, can all extend the budget of a direct mail piece. This creative thinking not only improves efficiency, but also inherently applies eco-friendly practices.

 Poly versus Poly-Less Envelopes

Implementing the use of a window envelope is a smart way to retain personalization, yet avoid the extra cost of match mailing. Also, by using poly-less window envelopes, especially on larger quantities, you can reduce production costs while making these envelopes easier for consumers to recycle.

 Vegetable/Soy or Petroleum Inks

The increasing demand for a front-to-back eco-friendly process has made vegetable and soy-based inks more cost-effective than ever before. Today, these inks are very competitively priced against petroleum-based inks, and customers appreciate receiving printed pieces from those who demonstrate a commitment to the environment.

Always Consider the Combo

Printing one project at a time is always more costly than printing multiple projects at once. Although that’s not always possible, a strategic approach to your next staggered, multiple-piece campaign could save your company thousands of dollars, while also reducing the manufacturing waste of the overall campaign.

 Become an Environ-mail-ist

Employing these simple initiatives into your direct mail strategy can improve your company’s image, will be good for your budget and ultimately good for our planet. Print Smart is more than a philosophy for Sherri May & Company and Prisma Graphic. We all have a responsibility to our clients and to our shared environment. Plus, if we’re able to reduce a carbon footprint along the way… we all win!

 Contact Sherri May & Company today to discuss everything from data optimization, mailbox management and how to develop a results-driven direct mail campaign that positively impacts our environment. Call 602 547-7020 or visit  www.sherrimayco.com . 

 1 International Communications Research (ICR) study dated 6/11/2007

2 The Truth About Green, February 2008, © Pitney Bowes Inc.

3 Forest Stewardship Council, see  www.fsc.org  for more information

 Mailing Made Simple

Over the years it became increasingly clear that print buyers were becoming tired and often frustrated managing multiple vendors in the direct mail process. This is especially true considering the everyday pressure to find ways of improving speed to market, while reducing costs at the same time.

 In response, Prisma Graphic hired a mailing expert, invested in the equipment and launched an in-house mailing department almost three years ago. This move quickly became an invaluable addition to our service offerings.  We have been able to shorten turnaround times and reduce overall project costs for our clients.  Today, our mailing department drops over 1.5 million pieces per month and continues to grow in output.

Advantages of a Knowledgeable One-Stop-Shop:

•          Start-to-finish quality control by a trusted contact

•            Improved speed to market

•          Waste reduction by using USPS endorsed NCOAlink®, Intelligent Mail® and OneCode ACSTM processes

•            Availability of saturation or demographic-specific list purchases

•            Promotional results tracking

 To find out how Prisma can help you reduce costs and make
your next direct mail project seamless, contact your a Sales Representative, or John Pisauro at 800 379-5777 or johnp@prismagraphic.com.

Sustainable Actions

Prisma PressEveryday at Prisma Graphic, we search for ways to step a little softer on the earth. From the inks we use and the paper suppliers we support, to the design of our 82,000 square foot facility and the company-wide recycling program, we are proud to say we have successfully implemented one of the most aggressive sustainability programs in our industry.

Most of our success and efforts are thanks to our General Manager, Alan McAbee. His 29+ years of seasoned commercial printing experience and devotion to sustainability have benefited Prisma, as well as the green initiatives of some of our clients, Arizona State University in particular. Truth be told, Alan is always willing to discuss current trends and real-world sustainability applications with anyone who shares his passion.

Prisma’s initiatives include:

•            Vegetable and soy-based inks

•            Energy-efficient equipment

•          Low-wattage halogen bulbs used in offices

•            Recycled shipping cartons

•            Recycle paper, aluminum and cardboard

•          FSC Certified & FSC Certified recycled paper

•          Trip Reduction Program (rewards for use of alternative transportation)

•          Eco-friendly floor mats, cleaning and restroom supplies

•          High efficiency HVAC units

 For more information about sustainability or to learn how Prisma can help with your efforts, please contact a Sales Representative, or Alan at 800 379-5777 or  alanm@prismagraphic.com.

November 10, 2009 at 3:24 pm 1 comment

Making the Most of Marketing Dollars, Planning and Prepress is key.

Making the Most of Marketing Dollars, Planning & Prepress Addressed

Although it seems fairly straight forward, there are many decisions leading up to and within each print project that directly affect its bottom-line and overall impact. Proper planning and specific attention to detail can save thousands of dollars. Working with a reliable and knowledgeable print solutions representative is a great start; a partner willing to provide practical solutions to make the most of your marketing dollars.

 The options to save during planning are endless with a little creative flexibility. And, below are just a few examples.

 Removing bleed on an 8.5 x 11 flyer allows for 10, rather than 8, to print at a time and on the same parent-sized sheet; paper is normally 30 to 50% of the total job cost.

 Think about using a self-cover format for multiple-page products. Removing the heavier cover eliminates the cost of an extra press form and may allow the project to fold in-line; every off-line process adds to the bottom line.

When preparing for a direct mail project consider the following:

•            Processing the mailing list(s) in advance will establish the actual quantity needed and potentially reduce waste by 7% or more.

•            Sticking to a maximum finished size of 11.5 wide x 6.125 tall, and staying under 3.3 oz, can save roughly $0.12 per piece in postage; a $2,400 savings with just 20,000 mailers.

•            Fugitive glue dot closures can be applied during the folding process for a small set-up fee, while the wafer seal application adds $17 to $20 per thousand in each direction; new USPS regulations require closures on all “open” sides.

 Once the final specs are established, a second place to prevent additional costs is in the final file set-up and content review stages. Utilizing each software application correctly and carefully reviewing projects before file release are critical steps in this process. Below are just a few examples of ways to retain cost controls.

 Using a document size larger than the actual trim size of the piece, forgetting to include 1/8″ bleeds or building multiple-page products in spreads, rather than single pages, can all add considerable time and costs in to the prepress process.

 Correctly specifying inks, throughout software utilized, has never been more important. Using PANTONE’s COLOR BRIDGE® profiles to establish your 4-color process builds will ensure color accuracy and avoid second and even third rounds of color proofs. To download free support tools, including the latest color libraries and PANTONE® Color Bridge Tutorials visit www.pantone.com. You will be asked to create a user account, then you can click on the “helpCenter” in the menu bar to select the “Color Library Updates” page.

 Running a quick spell check and having an “outside” set of eyes review the overall content, before final file release, will also help avoid costly mistakes. Discovering grammatical and layout issues beforehand will help to keep projects on track and on budget.

 To find out more about minimizing costs or about proper file set-up, please contact a Prisma Sales Representative, or Kyle Cardinal by calling 800 379-5777 or emailing  kylec@prismagraphic.com.

November 10, 2009 at 3:03 pm Leave a comment

What is Loyalty Marketing and how can it help my business?

Loyalty Marketing  by Jessica Grosse

 As consumers, we are constantly exposed to loyalty marketing programs. Think about how many times a day you insert your debit card, scan a key fob or provide your phone number or zip code at the check-out counter. We have become so accustomed to these routines that most of us now consider them just part of the purchase process, regardless of the personal benefit or reward. Whether we opt-in or not, our spending patterns and product preferences are easily attainable. Considering how prevalent transactional data has become, companies willing to invest the time and resources to collect this data have a distinct advantage in their respective industries. This data provides clear customer profiles, helps to predict product trends and can also be used as the foundation of a successful loyalty marketing program.

 I recently had the opportunity to sit down for a brief Q&A session with Stacee Amos who is the Owner of SEEK-Consultants, an advertising and branding firm. The goal was to capture the essence of a loyalty program, what it entails and how it can work for any brand.

 Q:         How do you define loyalty marketing?

A:            Loyalty marketing can be defined as a program that helps a company retain and expand their existing customer base by identifying the purchasing habits, preferences and then translating that data into relevant incentives to increase sales.

 Q:         What is a successful loyalty program?

A:         You must keep it simple and sweet or “KISS.” A successful loyalty program offers: (1) a clear list of expectations, (2) valuable rewards/perks that are relevant to its members’ needs and (3) attracts new customers with compelling opportunities that are only provided through the program.

 Q:         How does one start a loyalty program?

A:         A few top-line points in starting a loyalty program.

•          Get to know your customers intimately. Try to gather enough information during enrollment to learn about their preferences, which will in turn allow you to define their needs, wants and wishes. After all, the program is all about them.

•          If you can offer multiple points of communication, find out how they prefer to be contacted (online, direct mail, social media, mobile, etc.) and how often (1x a day, 1x a week, 1x a month). This investment will keep loyalty customers engaged on their terms, and allow your business to better understand what methods and promotions are working best.

•            Tracking. A loyalty program must have a tracking component within each communication. Implement an online tracking code, personalized URL (PURL), vanity phone number or bar code within all communications to determine what works and what needs improvement.

 Q:         What types of rewards are appropriate in loyalty programs?

A:         In most cases, the bargain hunters are not loyal customers. Ideally, your loyalty program will have rewards based more on products and less on discounts. If you are a restaurant, consider offering members one of your most popular or newest appetizers the next time they dine in. Or, if you are an online or retail store, offer an exclusive opportunity to purchase new products prior to the general public. Reward your loyal customers with your product as the incentive, not a discount. These customers become “loyal” over time by choosing your brand over price.

 Q:         And lastly, how do you sustain a loyalty program?

A:            Sustaining a loyalty program is simple if you continually support your existing customers with relevant promotional opportunities, entice new customers with members-only rewards and consistently track all communications; ensuring you target the right person, with the right message and at the right time.

  To learn more about the benefits of loyalty marketing, or discuss ways to get started using transactional data to increase sales, contact a Prisma Sales Representative, or Chad Carmody at 800 379-5777 or   chadc@prismagraphic.com.

November 10, 2009 at 2:51 pm 3 comments

Emerging Markets: Latino Market Grabs Attention

Marketers’ heads are starting to turn toward new big game players. The Latino population’s high growth, changing labor profiles and purchasing power are making a noticeable difference in business demographics. According to the second annual Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG) survey, Top Marketing Trends for 2009, the multicultural marketing trend was one of the top 20 rated marketing concepts most interesting and relevant to the majority of the marketing executives surveyed.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that from 1990 to 2000 our Hispanic population increased by 12.9 million people. Moreover, this market accounted for almost one-half of our nation’s growth from 2000 to 2006. At nearly 15.5% of the total current United States population, their impact can be seen nationwide with 29% purchasing power in California, 18% in Texas, 10% in Florida, 8% in New York and 4% in Illinois.

In response to increasing requests from Latino prospects, Prisma Graphic added a team of bilingual sales professionals to meet the demand. As a member of the business community in general, we understand diversity is a necessity – diversity in our product, in our service offerings and in our people.

“Accommodating the needs of the Hispanic market has allowed us to better support the Arizona and US business markets with exceptional print marketing campaigns. We have seen significant growth since we have ‘cultured’ our services,” says Claudia Ochoa, Prisma Sales Representative. “If I were to sum it up, I think our progress is a direct result of continued involvement, dedication and good old-fashioned word of mouth.”

Claudia Ochoa and Ramon Tamayo are two of our bilingual Sales Representatives. Fluent in Spanish and English, they have both worked hard to reach out to the Hispanic community. We have since secured business with clients such as the Arizona-Mexico Commission and Latino Perspectives, a local entertainment and news magazine.

In a country where demographics continue to evolve, technologies develop, and communities expand, one thing is for sure – businesses must change along with them if they expect to remain relevant in the near future.

To find out how Prisma Graphic can help serve your multicultural marketing efforts, call 800 379-5777 and ask to speak to Claudia Ochoa  claudiao@prismagraphic.com .

November 9, 2009 at 10:17 pm Leave a comment

Leveraging the Internet’s Power with the Impact of Print

Prisma Graphic the impact of print

Leveraging the Internet’s Power with the Impact of Print.  Some are convinced the Internet will one day rule the marketing world. Experienced marketers know that it is just a tool, albeit a powerful one, that works best when it is combined with other mediums, particularly print.

According to a recent InfoTrends study, companies that launch multi-media campaigns reported an average improvement of 35% (using print, web landing pages and email) over single channel print-only campaigns. Moreover, using personalization pushes that average closer to 50%.

Current marketing trends depict that no one vehicle will win out soon, as top response rates continue to be the result of a combination of media. The Internet has proven to be an extremely efficient way to gather information, while direct mail is best at driving traffic to storefronts and websites. By providing a variety of touch points, to maintain visibility, the consumer ultimately decides how to receive your message.

An easy way to integrate the Internet and print into a campaign launch is by utilizing both variable data printing (VDP) and online one-to-one messaging (such as personalized URLs and emails). Marketers are now enlisting both mediums to individualize each and every piece of a campaign; right down to the images shown, every word of pitch and even the specific product offerings.

 Where to begin?

 Chase Granberry, Founder of AuthorityLabs, suggests exploiting the strengths of both mediums. “When you are ready to expand your client base, purchase a prospect list that mirrors your best customers and send out a general direct mail that drives interest to an informational online landing page.” As we all know, consumers will provide contact information to receive something of value – special promotions, contests with great prizes, networking event notifications and even monthly newsletters.

Using this “opt-in” approach helps to qualify the leads, complies with recent legislation and provides all the contact info needed to dig a little deeper. “The more information you can gather, the more you can make your product or service relevant to the consumer,” explains Granberry. “And, the better you are in this process, the higher your response rates will be in return.”

In fact, some marketers have gotten extremely advanced at employing the one-to-one messaging technique. Granberry says, “A friend of mine recently received a windshield wiper offer on a day it happened to rain in Phoenix and from a national retailer he had patronized a few months prior. And to think, some might call that a coincidence.”

To learn more about the options that integrate your marketing efforts and help improve results, call your current Prisma Sales Representative, or Shelly Sheldahl at 800 377-5777 or email shellys@prismagraphic.com.

 University of Phoenix

Integrated Marketing Case Study

Client Objective/Goal:  To successfully integrate client-supplied initial contact information, gathered through mail-in, call-in and on-line sources, into follow-up direct mail pieces customized for each prospect; including name, gender, nearest campuses and programs of interest. The ultimate goal is to increase interest and enrollment opportunities by making each message more relevant to the individual.

Prisma Graphic Solution:  Developed web-to-print products that incorporate the initial contact information into a variable data print (VDP) direct mail application, to individually address each prospect and provide multiple communication methods to further the relationship. This dynamic approach has not only provided the client with a substantial cost-savings through automation, it has allowed them to make their message relevant to each prospect. Moreover, it has expanded the client’s ability to provide and gather more information to help satisfy demand through traditional and/or online course offerings.

November 9, 2009 at 10:02 pm Leave a comment

The evolution of targeted marketing are you ready for the fourth wave?

The Evolution of Targeted Marketing   Will you be ready for the fourth wave?

by Mike Schmitt

 While it goes without saying that these are trying times for organizations across the board, there has never been a more important time to market your company. Times like these prove that effective marketing can guarantee your survival during a down economy. Because there are fewer consumers willing to spend on your products, target marketing will help you deliver on the promise of spending less for a higher return.

 During a time of economic distress the CFO rules. This spells trouble for mass media investments as the hard dollar ROI is often difficult to measure, let alone prove. Targeted marketing to the rescue. The CFO will appreciate the fact that you are sending offers exclusively to people who are determined to be good candidates for your products and overjoyed to learn that you will be able to directly attribute marketing dollars spent to revenue generated.

 Brief History of Targeted Marketing

 We can look at targeted marketing in waves. The first wave of basic segmentation finally moved (most of) us away from “junk mail” or unsolicited promotions. Offers became relevant based on demographics such as gender, household income and lifestyle traits.

 The second wave was defined by “actionable” consumer data and personalization solutions for both traditional and emerging media. Intuitive companies realized that their very own customer data, including their transaction history, allowed for a new class of both segmented and highly personalized targeted marketing. The really smart marketers enhanced their customer data with geographic, demographic and lifestyle information. So, the right offer got to the right person and with a relevant message to the recipient. Now a company could actually spend less on marketing campaigns and expect a higher return.

 Second wave marketers, however, were lacking a true connection with the consumer. Direct mail continues to be the medium of choice for prospecting, and variable data print has given new life to this proven method of product and brand promotion through the ability to cost-effectively personalize each printed document. The proof to me that the cost of personalization had become reasonable, to even the smallest business, was when our dog Max received a personalized postcard from our veterinarian!

 Importance of the Consumer Database

 We know that most companies have some form of customer database, as well as a transaction master. We also know that a significant number of companies have very poor and scattered data. Customer data is duplicated in several departments, mailing addresses are fairly outdated, little or no data verification (mailing, email, telephone) systems are in place and the list goes on-and-on. Bad data basically means that any attempt at targeted marketing will result in a poor response to the campaign. More importantly, the potential actually exists to lower lifetime value as you may send a very negative message to your customer.

An extreme case involves a hospital that sent out a promotion for a cancer screening, which targeted elderly people within a certain radius of the hospital. The hospital received a call from an upset woman who thought it was in poor taste to be included in the promotion, when her husband had recently passed away and at the very same hospital. Another person received multiple, redundant offers and wondered about the quality of the care if they were unable to even get a mailing correct. The message here is to spend the time and effort on the database, before any form of targeted marketing is considered. Everything is better with a good database. Your analytics and reporting will tell the true story, and you will have the confidence to launch highly personalized marketing promotions knowing your data is accurate.

 Integrated Cross-Media Marketing

We are now just entering into the third wave. Savvy marketers are branding their products and images in a consistent way and across all traditional and emerging media. While newspapers are getting roughed up by the Internet and network TV is competing with cable, all media remains important. Marketers are working to have consistent messaging on the web, traditional media, mobile phones (which greatly outnumber personal computers) and on email. Many marketers are also trying to figure out how to exploit social media (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter), but that is a topic unto itself. Thankfully, there are variable data composition engines that will produce output for emerging presentation spaces (e.g. mobile screens) and the ubiquitous 8.5″ x 11″. The new breed of composition engines help marketers format any given promotion to all sizes and resolutions required for cross-media marketing. Mobile, web, email and direct mail are all supported so the designer can concentrate more on the messaging and less on the presentation space. This is not to say that we can ignore the fact that a mobile webpage must be radically different than a typical PC web browser page, but the designer can prototype the various formats to ensure consistency across different media. This is far superior to using different design tools for different media.

 Marketers have also learned that some marketing messages are better sent as printed documents, while others are more suitable for electronic communications. Email, thanks to the spammers, continues to be a tough way to prospect as it is very hard to get through the clutter. Many marketers realize that direct mail can be used to drive online communications. Companies should determine the individual preferences of their customers and this means supporting traditional and emerging media; many direct marketers are predicting an explosion in mobile marketing. Americans love the concept of instant gratification, and the mobile phone gives the consumer an opportunity to respond to a promotion anytime, anywhere. As a marketer you get the chance to respond while the consumer’s interest is at its peak. Send a mobile coupon while asking for their email address – fully integrated and automated cross-media marketing.

 Marketing Nirvana – The Fourth Wave

 The fourth wave of targeted marketing can be characterized by the consumer managing their marketing communications from both a timing perspective and the channel of delivery. Imagine a consumer registering in a global marketing database their desire to purchase a diamond tennis bracelet within the next 60 days. Now also imagine that they prefer to receive mobile offers while commuting to-and-from work, email during the work days and direct mail at home on the weekends. Fourth wave marketers will have the ability to promote to people who are looking at the products they sell, during the time frame that they are interested, and through the channel the consumer has selected. Respecting the wishes of the consumer will reward the marketer with highly qualified prospects and nothing else.

 Marketers that have developed the infrastructure and processes necessary, to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the fourth wave, will obviously have a significant competitive edge over their rivals. I believe that consumers will respond positively to advertisers who spend the time and effort to fully understand their preferences for marketing communications.

So, get your consumer database ready — the fourth wave is a marketing tsunami that will wipe out those who ignore the signs.

Prisma Graphic works closely with Mike Schmitt, CEO of Clairvoyix, to provide our clients options that meet their targeted marketing goals. To discuss how we can help your company stay in front of direct marketing trends, please contact your current Prisma Sales Representative, or Rob Steele at 800 379-5777 or
 robs@prismagraphic.com.

 Clairvoyix is a full-service direct marketing company with a core-competence in database marketing and marketing automation solutions. Delivered as a “Software as a Service”, its branded database (Clairvoyix Knowledge Factory), is the foundation for fully-integrated, cross-media targeted marketing. Clairvoyix directly supports personalized communications utilizing any media type including direct mail, email, web, PURL and mobile campaigns. From customer data hygiene and consumer data enhancement to analytics and campaign execution, their company offers a complete targeted marketing solution for clients of all sizes. Call 877 866-8693 x709 or e-mail mike.schmitt@clairvoyix.com  for more information.

November 9, 2009 at 9:49 pm Leave a comment

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