Laying Out the Pros and Cons
We know it can be a long process to research, find, and decide on a marketing solutions company that achieves your objectives. We also know that the full package – good data, quality design, excellent messaging, great customer service, mailing and fulfillment, and quantifiable results – is the goal, but not always the outcome. Since we get asked about it from time to time, in this blog, we’re going to cover why you may want to choose to work with a marketing company over a CRM services company who also happens to strategize and launch campaigns. Before you make your decision, give this a quick read.
Not Always the “Path of Least Resistance”
First and foremost, although it may appear “easier” to partner with a CRM service to launch your campaigns (because they have access to CRM) – they don’t always have immediate access to other capabilities. For example, they likely don’t have in-house creative design, printing, fulfillment, and mailing, and if they do have some of them – they likely don’t have all of them to execute a turnkey campaign. The main focus of a CRM company is usually just that – customer relationship management. Their key offering is their ability to compile and supply lists – which they may be excellent at doing, but what will they provide in terms of other areas of expertise?
Because of the outsourced services they use (such as those listed above), CRM companies can’t always make campaign changes on the fly. They’re usually unable to print on-demand, have their artist make quick modifications, make last-minute changes to the mailing process, or most importantly, optimize the campaign based on results, midstream.
The Marketing Differentiators
So, what’s the alternative? Partnering with a marketing solutions company that offers expertise in everything from implementation to optimization. Marketing companies are often also connected directly to the list compiler, and even more than that, they’re usually more closely if not directly connected to everything else you’ll need and use during the campaign production process – from strategy to printing. Since many if not all of their services are in-house (including design, print production, fulfillment, and mailing), you can always make changes and improvements mid-stream and at rapid speed. They can simply call on their marketing team of strategists, artists, print production associates, and others to change gears, swiftly improving the efficiency of the program while it’s in progress and effectively increasing campaign ROI.
Additionally, marketing companies focus solely on marketing strategy and production, and the more years of experience under their belts of doing so – the better. Marketing execution is not an add-on to marketing companies. It’s what they do, day in and day out. And the right marketing company will be able to simultaneously execute concurrent campaigns, whether single-touch or many, with corresponding digital to (targeted, specified) customers and prospects. If you’re lucky or do your research, you’ll find a marketing company that also incorporates backend fulfillment, seamless management, granular personalization, and attribution, and will be a team of dedicated experts, creators, innovators, and most importantly, marketers. You get the picture we’re painting. It’s important for a marketer or marketing team to also value and provide quality execution and customer care to every client, and ensure you have the reporting, understanding, and peace of mind you need, with 1:1 attribution, automated data exchange, and a detailed dashboard.
Next time you’re debating, think through this blog first. Do you just need a simple marketing campaign with CRM first, or do you need a multi-touch, well-focused marketing campaign with accurate, up-to-date lists and quality attribution?
The 9 Most Unique Ways to Use Print in Your Marketing
Over the past two weeks, if you’ve been keeping up with our blog, you’ve gotten the chance to hear about the true power print holds. We’ve shared why print is still so powerful in today’s marketing world, as well as tips and tricks on how to improve your current print marketing practices. Print is trustworthy, cost-effective, results-driven, and sticks with customers, and we’re here to show just that. For our final blog of The Power of Print series, we’re taking you through the 9 most unique (and powerful) ways your company can use print marketing.
1. Letters & Postcards
“Letters and postcards” can really mean a variety of things. From packages to flyers – to dimensional mailers, sending these to customers and prospects gives you a chance to include personalized messages, catered services, tailored specials and more to gain their brand loyalty and trust while breaking through the digital noise. They won’t go to waste, as 44% of customers visit a brand’s website after receiving direct mail marketing.
2. Newsletters & Updates
You may already be sending out an e-newsletter or monthly updates to your customers to keep them in the know, advertise new products and services, and send upcoming company and event information. Why not switch it up and give them a surprise with a printed version every so often? For printed newsletters or update materials, you can choose from a wide range of materials, layouts, shapes, and sizes to share your company’s news in a fun, eye-catching, and creative way.
3. Business Cards
Business cards have been around for years, and there’s a reason they’re still used currently, despite all of the digital options available. Not only do business cards share your contact information quickly and effectively with others, but with all of the print options of today, they give you a chance to further show your brand’s quality and creativity. Unique and eye-catching business cards will always be great tools at networking events and social gatherings, and are a great way to stay on the minds of potential customers.
4. Loyalty Cards
This simple yet powerful tool will keep your customers coming back and get them excited to do so. Using loyalty program pieces or punch cards with your logo and brand is a great way to advertise and market your business, its products, and its services. Even better – make these cards super quick and easy to use by including a QR code that tracks customer purchases. Studies have shown that up to 64% of small businesses that have implemented a customer loyalty program have found that the program earns the business more money than it took to create – so get the most bang for your buck with this simple and effective print marketing piece.
5. Posters, Flags, & Banners
Posters, flags, and banners are physical marketing pieces that are so large that you can’t really ignore them. These are great advertising options because of their scale, cost effectiveness, and longevity. Use them in store, hang them in your windows, post them around town, hang them up at a tradeshow – over and over again. Spend a bit more on print quality, and you can use them for years to come.
6. Promotional Products
These non-paper items are a great print option that not everyone always thinks about. Almost every household in America has at least one magnet on their refrigerator – so, let’s make sure that one magnet promotes YOUR business. Or, place your logo and a unique design on a sticker to go on a laptop, water bottle, or phone case. Whatever makes the most sense for your audience, print it. If they like it enough and use it, you’ll get some free marketing promotion as they sport your company t-shirt, use your branded water bottle, or share your logoed hand sanitizer. Hand out these promotional items at trade shows and events, send them in the mail, or give them out as a parting gift after face-to-face meetings.
Printed, branded calendars are a great opportunity to showcase your brand or products – for 365 days of the year. Offering these to clients and potential customers is a great relationship starter, and since calendars are usually front and center on desks and office walls, your company’s name has a higher chance of being remembered.
Probably one of the most well-known ways to share company information, a brochure is a quick and traditional piece to remind customers of what you represent and what you have to offer. 48% of people retain direct mail for future reference – so sending them a brochure ensures that they can go back to your company information any time they’d like. Furthermore, brochures are versatile. They can be sent out, placed in establishments, or handed out at events. There are endless places and ways to get brochures circulating to share your brand and offerings.
The catalog has come a long way, and in today’s digital world, it’s much easier to design and print. The catalog is an extremely budget friendly way to share your products, and, like other print materials, it’s a great way to show your company’s quality and care by using thoughtful paper, color, and texture choices. It’s also a unique way to stand out among your competitors, and again, break through the digital noise of today.
Looking for ways to incorporate the power of unique print into your next marketing campaign? At Strata, we’re print experts (it’s in our DNA) and we’re ready to help! Contact us today to start brainstorming your next eye-catching print project.