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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Personalization Matters: Why Going the Extra Mile is Always Worth It


When people talk about the decline of "mom and pop" businesses in favor of the giant, national retailers, one of the things they bring up is that it's hard to find a store that you can walk into these days where the person behind the counter actually takes the time to learn your name. You can't walk into a national brand and expect someone to go "Hey, Phil - how did that new garden hose you bought last week work out for you? I've been thinking about you, and I thought you might like this other new product, too."

But the fact of the matter is that these days are not over - not by a long shot and especially not in the world of marketing. You absolutely can inject this much more intimate, fulfilling level of personalization into your marketing collateral - provided that you're willing to go the extra mile.

Personalization in Marketing: By the Numbers


If you ever wanted a clear cut example of why "going the extra mile" is an investment that pays off in more ways than one, look no further than the following statistics:

  • According to a recent study from Digital Trends, an incredible seventy-three percent of consumers prefer to do business with brands that use personal information to help create more enriching, more relevant shopping experiences.
  • According to a completely separate study from Infosys, eighty-six percent of consumers said that the level of personalization (or the lack thereof) absolutely plays a role in their purchasing decisions. 
  • If you think that personalization is only a game for digital and internet-centric businesses, think again: direct mail success rates are continuing to trend upwards because, you guessed it, people find actual mail that they can hold in their hand much more personal and rewarding than something that is easily ignored like an email. 

It's About "Walking the Walk"


The major benefits of personalization in marketing extend far beyond just statistics like these, however. It all comes back to the values that your brand represents and the promise that you're making to each and every one of your customers. Simply put, it's one thing to say that you care about all of your customers - it's another thing entirely to do the types of things that turn this from catchphrase into irrefutable fact.

Put yourself in their shoes. If you get two pieces of marketing collateral in the mail - one of which is addressed "Dear Sir or Madame" and another that has your name and maybe even specific information about past purchases that you've made - which one are you going to put more faith in? Which one would you bet cares about you more? Which one would you believe has a vested interest in making your life better?

Your customers have made their opinion loud and clear - they don't just want you to sell to them. It isn't just enough to have a product or service that is objectively better than anyone else's. They want to be a part of something larger than a single purchase. They want something that they're not going to get anywhere else - a true relationship with the people they give their hard-earned money to. Personalization and going the extra mile are just among the many, many ways that you can now do that in the modern era.

Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Founder/CEO
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 520
www.PlumGrovePrinters.com
PeterL@PlumGrovePrinters.com

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Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The “Foot in the Door” Technique


Nobody questions the value of getting “a foot in the door.” We all strive at one point or another to get a foot in the door with an employer, an institution of higher learning, or even a romantic relationship.

As a marketer, however, your interest in getting a foot in the door is more likely with your customers and a hopeful precursor to a big sale! A salesperson who gets a foot in the door by getting customers to agree to a small initial request will undoubtedly find greater success with larger requests (think major sales $$!) down the line.

Freedman and Fraser’s Compliance Experiment

One of the first studies to scientifically investigate the “foot in the door” phenomenon was the 1966 compliance experiment by Jonathan L. Freedman and Scott C. Fraser. This experiment took place in two independent phases that used different approaches and test subjects. Because these studies were conducted on weekdays during the more conservative 1960s, the vast majority of test subjects were housewives.

The first Freedman and Fraser study divided 156 subjects into two basic groups. Both of these groups were telephoned by researchers who pretended to be from the consumer goods industry. One of the groups was contacted only once with a relatively large request. The other group was contacted twice, first with an initial small request and then with the much larger second request. In this case, the small request was to simply answer a few questions about kitchen products while the larger request, which came three days after the small request, was to allow someone to come into the home and catalog the contents of all their cabinets.

The second study essentially followed the same template as the first, but used the posting of a small and discrete window sign as its small request and the installation of a large and unattractive yard billboard as its large request.

The Effectiveness of the “Foot in the Door” Technique

The results of the Freedman and Fraser experiment were quite revealing. In the kitchen products study, subjects who agreed to the small first request were more than twice as likely to comply with the large second request. The results of second study backed up those of the first with significantly more people agreeing to place an eyesore of a billboard in their yard after previously agreeing to place a small sign in the window of their home or automobile. Perhaps most surprising, it did not even seem to matter that the promotional social message of the small sign (keeping California clean) was entirely different from that of the gaudy billboard (driving safely).


Modern Marketing Implications

The use of the phrase “a foot in the door” usually conjures images of the old fashioned door-to-door salesperson who manages to wedge the tip of a shoe against the doorjamb of your entryway after you answer your doorbell. And we all know that after the foot is in the door (or you agree to a small initial request), the salesperson will undoubtedly try to make their way into your house (or get you to agree to a much larger second request).

But how does this sales technique work in the modern marketing landscape? In short, it’s all about calls-to-action (CTAs).


Call Them into Action

If you are distributing printed material that ends with a CTA, you may want to consider how far to push your customer base with your initial request. Don’t scare away a potential sale by asking too much too soon.

You can wait a bit for that big sale if it means building a comfortable and lasting rapport with your customers. Consider closing your marketing materials with a modest request or CTA and gain compliance for a big future payday!

Best,

Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Founder/CEO
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 520
www.PlumGrovePrinters.com
PeterL@PlumGrovePrinters.com

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Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Symbiosis of Sponsorships: Good for You and Your Beneficiary


Marketers are always on the lookout for new and innovative opportunities to raise awareness about the brands that they represent. It isn't simply about getting the word out about a new product or service; it's also about reminding people that you're there, you're always going to be there, and that you're the best. In an era where marketers strive to stretch the value of each dollar as far as it will go, one often overlooked opportunity may generate the types of results you're after: sponsorship.


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Sponsorship and Brand Awareness: The Stats

Even if you don't view sponsorship of charities, non-profits, or other local organizations as a valuable addition to your marketing arsenal, it's clear that other marketers do. According to a study conducted by IEG Sponsorship Report, sponsorship was a $2 billion dollar enterprise in 2016 and is expected to increase by roughly 3.7 percent over the course of the next year.

A report generated by the Edelman Trust Barometer indicated that sponsorship even goes beyond marketing impact. Eighty percent of consumers around the world agreed that a business has a duty to play a key role in addressing modern issues.

It even plays an important role in your own company culture. Fifty-one percent of employees surveyed said that they didn't want to work for a company that didn't have strong societal and environmental commitments, and almost seventy-five percent said that they liked their jobs more when they were given an opportunity to make a positive impact, as with sponsorships.

sponsorship-compassSponsorship Best Practices

If you decide to move forward with sponsorship as a new brand and marketing opportunity, keep in mind a few key things. First, do your research carefully. Always make sure that you're aligning with an organization that meshes with your existing culture and values. Do as much digging as you can, as sponsorship creates a symbiotic relationship between two entities. A scandal at one will more than likely affect the other, so you'll want to make sure that there are no skeletons hiding in the closet before you make a commitment.

You'll also want to make an effort to isolate the impact of your sponsorships from the rest of your marketing activities so that you can ascertain what role it's playing in your overall campaign. Sadly, MarketStrategies.com says that only half of marketers actually do this. Even though you're doing something for a good cause first and recognition second, it still needs to be measured for maximum effectiveness-- just like anything else.

Sponsorship is a valuable branding and marketing opportunity, particularly for companies operating in the small and medium-sized business space. Not only does it give you a chance to raise awareness in a powerful way, but it empowers you for something even more important-- giving back to your community.

Shout It From the Rooftops

When you begin a sponsor/beneficiary relationship, make a big deal about it. The first and least costly method is to issue a joint press release. Email a text and a PDF version, along with high-resolution logos and photos, to local news outlets, trade press, clients, and vendors. Of course you would update your website to reflect the new relationship, either by posting the press release, or adding the statement as part of your header or footer. Set up reciprocal links to both websites. Another fast and simple action is to add the logo and a statement to the email footer of all employees: “Proud Sponsor of ABC Company.” You'll have to decide for yourself what printed materials (letterhead, brochures, business cards, displays, etc.) should also be updated.
sponsorship

Give Them a "Promotion"

Whether your sponsorship commitment consists of monetary donations or free products/services, you can also make the most of the relationship by providing promotional items. As any non-profit, your beneficiary would love to receive a supply of nice pens featuring its logo; or branded apparel, etc., to give to its volunteers; or necessary print items including business cards, letterhead, note cards, etc. Plum Grove Printers + Tradeshows And Displays offer discounts for non-profits.

By the way, Plum Grove Printers + Tradeshows And Displays is a longtime sponsor of the American Marketing Association's Chicago Chapter.

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Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Founder/CEO
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
847.882.4020 Ext: 520
www.PlumGrovePrinters.com
PeterL@PlumGrovePrinters.com

Like Plum Grove Printers Facebook PageFollow Plum Grove Printers TwitterConnect with Plum Grove Printers LinkedInConnect with Plum Grove Printers Google+
Printing, Marketing & Promotional Products with Powerful Execution.