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Showing posts from May, 2014

Do You Truly Know Your Target Market?

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Are you preaching to the wrong choir?

While every business owner or marketing department head certainly has heard that basic rule of advertising -- know your target audience -- when was the last time you stopped to ask, "How well do I REALLY know my target audience?"

Say, for instance, you run a landscaping business. You know your target audience includes homeowners in your town. But if you take it a few steps further, you may just discover that your true target audience includes homeowners between the ages of 45 and 65 who live within a five-mile radius of the center of town and who have an annual income over $55,000. Sounds pretty specific, right?

The old adage "you can't please all the people all the time" certainly applies to your marketing efforts. Too many businesses try to be all things to all people, focusing on too broad a demographic. Narrowing your focus can result in a more effective use of your marketing dollars.

If you haven't taken this …

Color in Print Advertising: Are You Sending Hidden Messages?

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A printed marketing piece -- whether a brochure, flyer, catalog, or letter -- contains many design components. From margin size to font, use of white space to size and type of paper, the elements that go into a printed piece require much consideration. But when it comes to color, marketers all too often make choices based on personal preference, anecdotal evidence, or even hunches.

However, people actually devote time and effort to studying this stuff; researchers have uncovered a large body of quantitative data about the many ways color affects consumer behavior. Their findings can help inform color choices, so printed projects can better reach their intended audiences.

How Important is Color in Marketing?

In a nutshell: Very. A study by the Seoul International Color Expo found that almost 93 percent of consumers said visual experience is the most important factor when it comes to purchasing. Of these, almost 85 percent listed color as the major factor. Even more impressive, a repor…

Let's end the confusion of Paper Weight & Size

In an effort to help eliminate the "Paper Weight" confusion problem,
we have compiled the comprehensive table listed below.
Now you can compare various types of paper and their "Equivalent Weights."

Definitions:
Basis Weight
The basis weight of a paper is the designated fixed weight of 500 sheets,
measured in pounds, in that paper's basic sheet size.
It is important to note that the "basic sheet size" is not the same
for all types of paper.Caliper
Caliper refers to the thickness of a sheet of paper expressed
in thousandth of an inch. This measurement is taken with a micro meter.
Normally, paper caliper should not have more than a + or - 5% variance
within a sheet. Generally, the relation between caliper and basis weight ....
the greater the caliper (the thicker the paper), the greater the paper weight.Equivalent Weight
While different paper types have different basic sizes,
papers can still be compared by using equivalent weight. Basis Weight ("Category")…

What You Can Learn from a Stack of Pancakes

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Everyone has comfort foods they view as the perfect meal after a long week at work, a stressful day, or even just to wake up to after a long night out with friends. These foods range from a plateful of pancakes to a bowl of homemade macaroni and cheese or Mom's chili. Whatever the comfort food may be, most tend to share a few characteristics on common.
They're not all that good for you.
They're very filling.
Health experts would tell you not to eat them.
Theoretically, food should be optimized to provide our bodies with nourishment. Foods that don't provide optimal nourishment -- and might actually hurt it with excessive calories, salt, and fat -- should not be desired. However, as humans, most of us like to enjoy our foods. Hence, the popularity of comfort foods.

What purpose do these foods serve?

Comfort foods fill a very specific role in our lives. For some people, favorite comfort foods remind them of their mother or grandmother's cooking when they were growing up.…

Why Choose Newsletters?

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When it comes to business marketing outreach tools, it just doesn't get much more venerable than the newsletter. In fact, some even describe the newsletter as the perfect intersection of tradition and technology.

Indeed, it's hard to top a well-designed newsletter that's filled with useful, relevant information and thoughtful graphics and images, especially when it's printed on attractive paper. A well-done newsletter simply screams "high-quality," an impression that rubs off on the business that distributes it.

The newsletter's history itself is inextricably entwined with commerce and marketing. Let's delve into the background of this classic marketing tool -- and explore the new ways that newsletters meld tech and tradition.

Newsletters: The Early Days

Historians believe that the first newsletter was created in 1538, decades before the advent of newspapers, but the first documented newsletter appeared in England in 1631. Titled "The Continua…

Printing: Greener than You Think

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Everyone who's worked around printing has undoubtedly heard the same mantra at least once or twice: Save a tree -- don't print. While it's true that climate change is a major challenge facing our nation and the world, the idea that printing is contributing to deforestation is a misconception. Research indicates that the number of trees in the U.S. is actually on the rise. Tree farming -- the source of most paper products -- is the cause.

In reality, printing is a sustainable industry that actually benefits the environment. Let's debunk a few of the myths surrounding printing... and discover why it's greener than you think.

Myth #1: The Number of Trees in the U.S. is Declining

Actually, the opposite is true. Statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization indicate that forest growth has exceeded harvest for more than 60 years; in fact, forest growth volume is 380 percent more today than it was in the 1920s. That means that the country is actually home to 20…

What Cities Can Teach Us About Branding

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Quick, what comes to mind when someone mentions they're going to visit New York City? What about Washington, D.C., Toronto, or Paris? Every city has something that makes it unique, even if it's not far from other metropolitan areas.

Washington, D.C., and New York are only about five hours apart, yet the two cities are remarkably different. Those visiting New York for the first time might be interested in trying their first New York bagel, visiting the Empire State Building, or seeing Times Square. Those venturing to Washington, D.C., will be more interested in seeing the major buildings of the U.S. government and visiting the monuments found around the city.

No one ventures to New York and then says, "There's no point in going to see Washington, D.C. It's going to be just like New York." Why? Branding.

In many ways, cities have done a great job of branding themselves to potential visitors. They've created an atmosphere and a 'product' or experi…

How Adventures on a Playground Affect Adventures in Business

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Anyone who's visited a children's playground in the past few years has likely noticed stark differences from the jungle gyms of the 1970s and early 1980s. Today's equipment is very sanitized. There are very few ways for children to possibly injure themselves. Signs clearly indicate the age appropriateness of the equipment and discourage smaller children from trying the equipment designed for older children. Over the past 30 years, it has been increasingly common for towns, cities, and designers of playground equipment to create playgrounds that maximize safety and minimize the risk for the children and themselves.

Those who hang around playgrounds have also become accustomed to the sight of overprotective parents. These parents monitor their children's every movement and interfere at the slightest suggestion of a struggle or their child having a disagreement with another child.

The motivations are understandable. No one wants children to get injured while playing. H…

Business Card Marketing: Evolution of the Smallest, Most Versatile Marketing Tool

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Quick: Which single piece of marketing collateral combines two old adages -- "first impressions are the most important" and "a picture is worth a thousand words" -- and proves them both true?

It's the trusty business card, of course! Given the wealth of information this compact little marketing tool holds and delivers in just a few inches of space, it's no surprise they've been popular since the 1400s. Today, business cards are still evolving, with ever-more creative designs and options.

A Rich Past: The Social History of the Business Card

The forerunner of the business card stretches back to 15th century China. At that time, royals and aristocrats would send their servants to the homes of other members of the upper classes, bearing "visiting cards," announcing their intent to pay a visit.

Two centuries later, the practice caught on in France. During Louis XIV's reign, visiting cards became all the rage in high society circles. Proper …

Connect With Your Customers

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No matter how great your product or service is -- and we know it's great -- customers still make buying decisions based on emotions. Sadly, most businesses don't strive to create that personal connection that influences buying behavior. When it comes to effective sales and marketing approaches, building relationships with customers is key. But how can you bring that all-important personal touch to every transaction and really make your business stand out?

These best practices will help you nurture personal connections with customers and build brand loyalty.

Ask First, Sell Later

Before you jump right into a standard sales pitch, take the time to ask your customers a few questions. More importantly, really listen to their answers. A bit of gentle probing will help your customer articulate exactly what it is they need. That, in turn, will allow you to clearly explain exactly how your products or services will solve their problems.

This way, you're not simply pushing som…