The Right Content At The Right Time

Increasingly, marketers are looking at the sales process as a set of stages, with each stage of the process requiring different types of content to move prospects from one stage to the next.  This process is called lead nurturing.

One of the most important tools for lead nurturing is content marketing. According to BPM Online, which offers a platform for process driven CRM, B2B marketers overall allocate 28% of their total marketing budgets to content marketing. However, companies that see the best return from this channel tend to allocate up to 46% of their budgets for content marketing. Content marketing is a great investment!

Image result for lead nurturing images

 

According to BPM, there are three stages to lead nurturing:

Early Stage (Awareness): During this stage, you want to provide free access to content. This includes white papers, research papers, curated content, infographics, and webinars.

Middle Stage: (Consideration): At this stage, you want to start qualifying prospects as warm and hot leads so your sales team can stay in contact with them and funnel these leads appropriate content at the right time. Content at this stage should be gated so you can identify and qualify these leads. Content might include RFP templates, calculators, guides, and analyst reports.

Late Stage (Evaluation): At this stage, you will be communicating only with the most qualified leads, so you want to make their purchase decision as easy as possible. Content should once again be free and ungated, including product demonstrations, success stories, and video testimonials.

According to BMP Online, 79% of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) never convert into sales because of the lack of lead nurturing. This is not a process you want to overlook!

Need help putting your lead nurturing process in motion? Give us a call!

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What You Need To Know About Digital Stocks

Today, the range of stocks compatible with digital presses is vast, and thanks in part to the range of available substrates, the image quality competes with (some say exceeds) traditional offset. With all of the advances in today’s substrates, what do you still need to know when choosing paper for your next project? Recently, Joe Schemer, specialty digital product manager for Mohawk Fine Papers, spelled out his advice in Printing Impressions magazine. Here are the “must know” issues he discussed:

  1. Digital stocks are available in a full range of sizes to fit today’s press formats. From 8 ½ x 11” to 20 x 29” is standard. Some mills even produce specialty sizes such as 13×30” for banners, dust jackets, and panoramic prints. If you have a specialty need, just ask!
  2. Prices for digital sheets have come down. By request, even less common sheet sizes can be produced economically when ordered in volume.
  3. Whether it’s extremely lightweight or card stock, or specialty finishes like linen or felt, there is a paper compatible with the press on which you will be printing. Keep in mind that digital presses can now print on textured stocks, which will increase your response rates.
  4. Printing on coated sheets is standard. OEMs are working with paper mills to develop coatings specially engineered to match the stocks certified for their presses. Regardless of the individual paper mill or the presses on which their stocks will be printed, all are working provide stronger ink adhesion, no cracking on the fold, minimal jamming on press, and minimal build-up on press.
  5. Despite advances in substrates and engineered coatings, it’s not one-size-fits-all. Digital production still requires matching the paper to the press and taking into account issues such as static, image quality needs, and curling. For premium projects, it’s worth paying more for a premium stock, especially if you will be producing jobs with photographic images or heavy coverage, because it does produce better results.

Need help selecting the right stock for your next project? Work with us to make sure that you are getting the right sheet to produce outstanding results.

 

Source: “When Heat Hits Paper” (Printing Impressions http://www.piworld.com/partner/heat-hits-paper/)

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Rethink Ink on Paper in a Digital World

Image result for 2017 imagesThe New Year is the perfect time to rethink your print marketing strategy, revamp your messaging, consider mobile and refresh your brand. This requires an understanding of the role traditional ink on paper plays in a time when technology adoption and digital delivery are reshaping marketing and customer engagement.

  1. Invest in customer retention. We all know that it costs less to keep the customers you have than to capture new ones, so keep your customers engaged with a consistent multi-channel marketing plan. Maybe you’ve abandoned a print newsletter for an e-version, but your email is getting lost in the inbox and anti-spam legislation is creating new challenges for deliverability. Mailing a newsletter, particularly one that uses variable data to deliver a personalized message, is a great way to keep your company top of mind.
  2. Get to the point. Your customers have more choices and less time than ever before. Rewrite your copy to tell consumers why your company is the only real choice. Change rambling copy into a powerful, focused message.
  3. Be the customer. When you take a step back, are you engaging customers at the right time through the right channels? The way content will be created, delivered, and consumed in 2017 isn’t the same as it was only a few years ago. Is it worth your prospect’s time to follow you on Facebook or Twitter? When they scan the QR Code on your direct mail piece, are they landing on a page with a specific call to action?
  4. Freshen up. If you’re anticipating a change in management, introducing a new product or service, or celebrating a significant business milestone, consider a brand refresh. With slight revisions to your branding elements and positioning, you can preserve your brand’s existing equity while infusing new energy into your offerings.
  5. Mobile. Is your website easily viewed and navigated on a mobile device? If not, make this the year to do that. If visitors have to scroll left and right, or take extra steps to enlarge the type to a readable size, they’ll probably just click out and go elsewhere – likely to your competitor. Mobile is not only the first screen, but often the only screen that targets use to read your email and view your website. Make it easy!

Need help navigating the increasingly complex world of marketing? Let Multi-Craft help get you off to a profitable start in 2017 by putting your ideas in motion!

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Happy New You!

No, the title isn’t a mistake. This is the time of year when we look back to assess our lives over the past 12 months and plan for the next year. For most of us, this means New Year’s resolutions.

According to statisticbrain.com, 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Some of the most common resolutions are:

  • Lose weight
  • Get organized
  • Save more
  • Quit smoking
  • Stay fit

Resolutions tend to be inwardly focused – all about us! Our body, our life, our habits. Yet, according to Forbes.com, only 8% of us will succeed in keeping those resolutions. Why?

Apparently, we are all a little too ambitious when looking at what we want to accomplish in the coming year. Instead of focusing on 1 or 2 worthy goals, we develop a laundry list of things we want to change or accomplish. A long list of to-do’s can be overwhelming and set us up for failure.

So, consider setting a few, small, attainable goals  to focus on throughout the year so you don’t become overwhelmed. I would suggest that those goals should also be measurable. A measurable goal can help us stay focused and let us know when we have met the goal, or if we need to adjust our tactics. For example, don’t just say you want to lose weight. Instead, state that you want to lose 5 pounds by March 1. It’s a sensible goal, it’s timebound and it’s measurable.

Just stating a goal isn’t enough. You must have a plan that will help you meet that goal. If you want to lose 5 pounds by March 1, what will you need to do to make that happen? Your plan would likely include:

  • Exercise – detail what type and how often.
  • Gym – can you afford a gym membership or will you need to focus your exercise plan around a home gym or personal activities such as walking or running?
  • Healthy eating – decide what type of food you will eat and what you will avoid. How will you handle food at parties or out to dinner with a friend?
  • Partner – some of us do better when we have a workout buddy or someone we report to on our progress.

A plan can help you make those daily changes that are necessary to help you attain your goal. A goal without a plan is really just a dream.

Once you’ve accomplished a goal, you can replace it with another. This can set up a cycle of continuous improvement that can become a lifestyle.

Happy New Year! Happy New You! Multi-Craft hopes that your 2017 is everything you want it to be!

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Freshen Up! Give Your Mailing List a Makeover!

When was the last time you updated your customer or marketing database? One month? One year? Five years? Never?

Your marketing database is the list of contacts and everything you know about your current and prospective customers that enables you to create targeted and personalized marketing pieces. It might include name and address, email address, birthdate, age, gender, and a variety of other demographic or even psychographic information. It is your lifeblood.

Although you may run your list through NCOA or CASS on a regular basis, when was the last time you really gave this database a second look? Added a new variable field? Broadened into a new vertical market or geographic territory? There are three ways to freshen up your data.

Purchase a new list. Freshen your database by infusing it with new names. That starts with profiling your existing data so you know who your best customers are. Then you can purchase a list of new names that look just like them.

Add to an existing list. Are you looking to beef up your list with email addresses, mobile phone numbers, or demographics? Working with a third-party data provider, we can append this list with just the variables you want. Most data houses do what is called a “triple check,” which verifies the data in three different places before you buy it. This allows you to be certain of its accuracy.

Conduct your own surveys. You can do your own data gathering through customer and prospects surveys using feedback forms, personalized URLs, QR Codes to online forms, or other techniques. Because these contacts have already communicated with you, they are prequalified as being interested in a relationship with your company.

Interested in what a new list, data append, or customer survey can do for you? Just ask us! We’re ready to help you put your ideas in motion!

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Targeting High-Value Millennials

Why target Millennials in your prospecting? Because once their loyalty is secured, they are more likely than non-Millennials to share their love of your brand, product, or service with others. Furthermore, once you gain their loyalty, they will often spread the word for you, especially if you help them do it. How do you go about attracting this key customer base?

Use multiple channels. Millennials are multi-channel researchers. One study of their travel planning habits found that Millennials use an average of 10.2 information sources during the planning stage [1].

Don’t provide irrelevant information. Millennials don’t like to be inconvenienced, so target and personalize the message. Know what types of information they are looking for and how they want that information shared before you move them into the sales funnel. Respecting channel preferences is critical to these consumers.

Shorten the timeframe. Millennials use a lot of devices and draw on lots of information sources during the research process, but they make the actual buying decision fairly quickly. If you are selling brick-and-mortar, adding QR Codes to hang tags, product packaging, and in-store displays is a great way to take this audience directly to customer reviews, product comparisons, and feature-rich product videos that can help them make that decision right then and there.

Make it easy to share. According to the Boston Consulting Group, Millennials are twice as likely as non-Millennials to share pictures or experiences online using their mobile phones [3]. So help them do it! Create incentives for social-media sharing such as “Post a picture of yourself in our store on Facebook or Instagram and get 10% off immediately!”

Take the time to get to know Millennials and refine your strategies to woo them.  After all, what could be better than attracting customers who, once their loyalty is secured, will turn around and attract more of the same type of customers for you?

[1] http://hotel-online.com/News/PR2013_2nd/Apr13_MillennialTrends.html

[3] http://mashable.com/2012/04/16/millennial-consumers-study/

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How Much Personalization Is Too Personal?

When you are personalizing print or email communications, it’s important to remember that there are real people on the end of the line. Good use of data can be very effective, but the poor use of data can make people uncomfortable.

One marketer caused a stir, for example, when it targeted men with a personalized communication that used their names with “Jr.” added to the end to represent the son they might have some day . . . if they aren’t careful. Needless to say, plenty of recipients were uncomfortable with that approach! This is something many industry commentators call “the creepy factor.”

So how can you personalize your content in a positive way without crossing the line? Here are three tips.

  1. Protect private data. There is a difference between selling educational materials and selling refinancing offers. If you’re selling educational books to children, for example, you might want to know that your neighbor down the street bought a set of the same materials. But you probably don’t want a mortgage company outing you as a good candidate for a refinancing offer.
  2. Make sure your data is current. Keep your data clean and current. One company was criticized for marketing to recipients as if they were one step from a retirement home when, in fact, many of them were not even retired. Use surveys to stay in touch with your customers and get to know them. If necessary, use third party data houses to fill in critical details.
  3. Be considerate. Use the data in a way that is respectful and considerate of the person receiving it. You may not want to let recipients know just how much you know about them upfront. Some marketers start with basic targeting and segmentation, then layer that communication with name personalization, rather than using highly personal details overtly.

Remember that data is just data. When it comes to personalization, it’s what you do with that data that matters. Need help making sure that your use of data is a good one? Talk to us—we’re here to help put your ideas in motion!

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