How Print Can Contribute To Your Business Goals

The Homer Group has been in business for over 50 years. That’s three generations adapting and working with complex changes of business to business (B2B) or business to consumer (B2C) interaction.

Our bread and butter comes from printing and distribution, where companies can engage almost anybody in their target audience with unique styles of brand communication. We do live in a modernized and on-demand digital world where Google AdWords, e-mail blasts, and social media is king (check out our marketing agency, Navitas Marketing, for that stuff)… but let’s not axe print altogether as it does serve an important portion of your business budget.

In a recent Reuters article by Arathy Nair and Supantha Mukherjee focusing on The New York Times, the prominent newspaper has taken some punches with an underwhelming print advertising revenue. Drastic changes (like scrapping the Home and Automotive sections) have been made at The New York Times—a common motif in today’s print publication world. It has gone as far as massive layoffs and alternative strategies at respected companies.

Yet, according to authors Nair and Mukherjee, “Print advertising accounts for more than two-thirds of the Times’ print advertising revenue.”

To warrant that eye-opening statistic, New York Times CEO Mark Thompson declared digital as main growth area but directs attention to investing in ‘islands of growth’ for the print side.

Realistically, companies we work with may not be as powerful or enterprising as The New York Times, but we strongly urge anyone handling their budget to take printing serious and make use of Mr. Thompson’s strategy if you want to showcase your business in the best manner.

If your company has an audience that is engaged by in-depth reading, make use of materials such as catalogs or newsletters. Remember how your audience may behave and if your relationship extends to keeping a record of surveys, there may be data related to questions about their favorite magazines or publications.

Your company’s print collateral can be mailed and kept for careful consideration. In fact, according to Stratton research, percent or more of association members prefer print publications and 30 percent prefer a print-and-digital combination.

There will always be a tangible value to what you publish. People are on the go in today’s hectic society, but someone reading on long-distance commutes with no WiFi can open any material and truly concentrate on what message is communicated.

With concentrating on one or two solid messages about your businesses, you can have your reader avoid skimming habits which usually occur more frequently for websites in 15 seconds (Alshaai & Varshney, 2005).  One company in particular, Valpak, a direct marketer of coupons, compiles data from focus group sessions of people and tend to use an O.H.I.O (Offer, Headline, Information, Other) method that grabs a reader’s attention fastest.

Consumers want credibility, so you must factor in a way to promote your brand in cost-effective ways that showcase your business. People may be leery of scams if your internet presence is the bare minimum. The prestige of fine printing can be utilized in many different ways! Well-designed sell sheets, brochures, and business cards do not have those threats attached.

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2014 Super Bowl Ads – Trends & Observations

The biggest football game of the year is over. A game in which two American football teams battled it out to become “world” champions. A game so big that all of America watches it… even though many of its viewers might not even like football.

For some, it’s the commercials that are the biggest draw. Every year, we have our expectations filled (the Budweiser Clydesdales were back and Doritos made us laugh as always). We also have new trends and observations while watching.

Here are a few of my commercial observations for Super Bowl XLVIII:

Super Bowl Campaigns: In the past, we’ve seen advertisers repeat their commercials throughout the Super Bowl. This year, we didn’t see the repetition, but rather saw a commercial pick up where they last one left off. Kudos to Pistachios (Pt. 1 and Pt. 2) and numerous Bud Light Commercials.

Embraced Diversity: Advertisers began embracing some of our society’s biggest family topics. Cheerios showed a commercial with a multi-racial family and Coca-Cola presented a commercial that included America the Beautiful in multiple languages AND a gay couple with their daughter.

Sentimental: We usually think of Super Bowl ads making us laugh, and many of them did. But this year, we had a ton of commercials that were much more sentimental, including Budweiser welcoming home our troops and Chevrolet acknowledging World Cancer Day.

Suspenseful: Advertisers withheld their branding until the end of their commercials. Some were funny, some were sentimental, but often times, the viewers were forced to watch a commercial just to know who’s it was.

What trends did you find most successful or least successful? Which were your favorite commercials? I’ll add some additional examples to each section if you share your favorite Super Bowl commercials with me.

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Five Marketing Trends You Should Be Watching

Marketing trends keep advancing and changing with the new technology. Consumers have so many mediums of communication to give and get information and it’s a marketer’s job to keep up with all of these. It’s simple to keep up with what the consumer wants and where they are going to find it if these five simple trends are paid close attention to. Let’s break it down into five categories.

  1. Media Fragmentation: According to the Edison Report, there are 256 million U.S. users watching TV, 243 million listening to radio, 232 million on the Internet, 182 million connected at home via broadband, 177 million connected at home via Wi-fi, and 139 million smartphone users. Consumers are using more devices now than ever to do so many different things. Marketers constantly have to catch up to where the consumer is. Digital content that is sent out to the public needs to be catchy, creative and visual. In a world where the media has become more and more fragmented, more aggressive and outstanding content is important. You must catch the eye of a viewer amongst the millions of other technological ideas and persuasive techniques thrown at them daily.
  2. Smartphone Devices Are Taking Have Taken Over: 53% of Americans now own smartphones, making the mobile outlet a critical way to get in touch with consumers. Information is constantly being received from smartphones. Mobile is now becoming a more prominent channel for commercial transactions. “Mobile first strategy” is a priority for marketers. Utilizing apps and location-based marketing will continue to grow. Posts to social media should be short and simple. Images are best for a visually inviting approach. Create content that is easy to read and understand on the go.Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere
  3. Facebook Still Reigns Supreme: Facebook has undergone many changes since its debut but still continues to rise in the amount of users. Among some of these changes are #hashtags, typically known to be used on Twitter. Although this recent addition is not yet very popular, hashtags can open up many new opportunities to advertisers. Consumers who have clicked on a particular hashtag can see what others have said about this word, giving advertisers the ability to market directly to the consumer. Creating content that is specific to what the consumer wants has been made simpler through Facebook. A user’s demographics, interests and community group are made public for an advertiser to use and market. Creating content that follows the consumer is made simple and achievable.
  4. Branded Content on News Feed: 62% of Facebook users have noticed more brand content on their news feed recently. Users that want to see these advertisements pop up in their news feed will have an easier time accessing them directly. The users who get annoyed with seeing an advertisement they don’t want in their social community can easily hide it. One of the best things an advertiser can do to market their brand is to invest in high quality photos. The more visually pleasing, the more likely a viewer is to stop scrolling, click on your link and interact with your page.
  5. Twitter is Increasing in Popularity: The Edison report shows that Twitter is becoming more popular and engaging more users, following closely behind Facebook. 89% of Americans have at least heard of Twitter. Although only 15% of Americans use Twitter, 84% hear about Tweets through other forms of media. Twitter’s reach to consumers and viewers is much higher than one may think so taking advantage of this is key. Promote your brand through Twitter so that viewers can reach it through multi forms of media. Encourage talk about your brand and use hashtags.

Following these five simple trends will help a marketer or advertiser know how to reach the public. Keeping up with changing technology, knowing where your demographics focus their attention on and being creative will keep your brand forefront.

 

Information from this post came from studies published on:  http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/marketing-trends-2013/

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