How Agencies Can Prepare Clients For Success

A marketing agency is typically hired on to help companies achieve their marketing goals and objectives.  What happens when a company has not set any goals and objectives?  How does an agency handle this type of situation?  We have all heard from clients the famous line “We really don’t have a marketing budget”.  How can an agency prepare their clients for success? The first step is discussing the allocation of funds for marketing and setting achievable marketing goals.  Without this step, the client will be setting themselves up for future failure.   The key is to be prepared with the budget, goals, and proper direction.  Clients must have a vision of their brand and where they see the company going in three to five years.

Here are some tips to help agencies make sure their clients are prepared for success:

First things first…make sure they know their brand and value proposition!!!

  • Developing New Logos and Rebranding a company can be a very challenging task without the right information up front. What vision does the client have in their mind as far as the look and feel of their logo? Logo colors and style need to be communicated to the agency so they can deliver what the client wants on the first try.  Communication is the key here.
  • New Collateral– When developing a new brochure or sell sheet for a client, it’s important that the client has all the materials that you will need up front in order to design the piece. Make sure you have the high res version of their logo, high res stock or professional photos, and insight into their writing style.  I can’t tell you how many times we started on a project with little direction from the client and we had to change things over and over due to the client not being prepared up front.  Be specific and ask the right questions. Don’t be shy!
  • New Website – Developing a new website for a client is another challenge and can be a daunting task if you don’t understand the client’s vision.  What is it about the existing website that they don’t like?  Do they want to add features like blogs, chatting, streaming video, etc. to the website?  Ask these questions up front and also find out the budget for the new website.  You would be surprised how many agencies work in the dark with little communication with the client.

Be specific… Do make sure you put in writing the due dates and all the items you need in advance in order to start on the project.  Marketing is not an easy task and can be subject to many people’s opinions.  Always determine up front who will be approving your work and send all marketing materials to one main contact.  You don’t want too many people involved with making changes to marketing materials as it can turn into a circus. The goal is to keep communication strong and build stronger agency client relationships. Keep your clients prepared and you will see a more successful relationship form between agency and client!

Author: 

Monique Merhige is the President of Infusion Direct Marketing & Advertising, Inc.  She has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola.  Infusion is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in the security industry and delivers marketing solutions that include Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Branding, Collateral Development, and Social Media Marketing.  Visit:  www.infusiondirect.com or call 631-846-1558

Sources:

Imagewww.natebianco.com

About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

It’s Time To Upgrade Your Marketing – How to Keep Your Brand Fresh

Why do some companies seem to be stuck in the 70’s and can’t seem to move forward with a new look and feel? I can’t tell you how many clients come to me who have not updated their marketing collateral in 10 years.  Some CEO’s are stuck in the old way of doing things and seem to not want to change. The word “change” scares many business owners and keeps them from updating the company’s brand. Is your company’s logo and marketing materials out of date and tired looking?

Even If It’s Not Broken, You May Still Want to Fix It

The old saying if it’s not broken don’t fix it holds true to many CEO’s who have been running businesses for 30-40 years. These types of business owners do not want to utilize social media and online marketing.  They want to stick with traditional advertising and telemarketing initiatives to drive new business.  However, they are missing out on new ways to promote their business and receive additional leads.  It can be frustrating for employees that are up-to-date on the current marketing trends to convince the CEO to change their ways. The key is to show the CEO valid reasons to change their ways.

Here are some tips to help convince “old school” CEO”s to upgrade their marketing:

English: Creating lifelong customer value with...

English: Creating lifelong customer value (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Old Collateral – A great way to convince a CEO to change their collateral is to show them a brochure of a competitor.  The new brochures have more white space and are concise.  Developing a new brochure is a great way to rebrand your business and upgrade your marketing.  Costs range depending on the type of brochure you would like to produce.  A simple tri-fold brochure can cost under $1000 to design and printing costs are low.  The style today is more photos and less text..keeping it light and airy.

New Website – A website is the face of your business and should be consistent with your marketing material.  Many companies have not upgraded their website and are using an outdated website.  New websites can be upgraded with flash and new photos that make it look up-to-date.  The cost to redesign a website can be kept low if you provide the photos and content to a website developer.

Trade Show Booth – An old booth design can destroy your brand at a trade show.  It’s important to keep up with your competitors and design a new booth.  Show the CEO’s a competitors booth and explain that it’s important to keep your marketing materials consistent.  The cost can be high for this depending on printing costs…but you will use the new trade show booth at all shows.  It won’t go to waste and is a very important investment.

Social Media Marketing – Show the CEO your competitors page on Facebook and Linked-In and explain that it’s good to have a page as well.  There is no cost to develop a FaceBook page for your business…so there is nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Why not?

The most important item to a CEO is the ROI and if you can show this over time..then you hit a home run.  Set goals up front for the CEO and show him results and you will be a “star”.   Dealing with “Old School” CEO’s can be extremely frustrating..but learning how to work around them and show the benefits of upgrading can be rewarding.  Take it one step at at time and don’t hit them with too much change at once.  The turtle always wins the race!

Author: 

Monique Merhige is the President of Infusion Direct Marketing & Advertising, Inc.  She has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola.  Infusion is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in the security industry and delivers marketing solutions that include Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Branding, Collateral Development, and Social Media Marketing.  Visit:  www.infusiondirect.com or call 631-846-1558

Sources:

About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

Consistency Is Key In Your Integrated Marketing Strategy

Consistency is an important concept in marketing that many companies fail to deliver. It’s the key to success…so why is it overlooked by so many marketing executives?  The answer is that most marketing is fragmented and coming at people from too many different directions. Between TV, radio, print, outdoor billboards, email, direct mail all competing for your attention – consumers don’t know where to look next.   It’s important for companies to integrate their campaigns and not rush launching too many campaigns at one time.

Here are some guidelines to help deliver a consistent identity with a cohesive integration plan:

Select Your Logo, Tagline, & Colors – Keep your colors and logo consistent in all marketing messages. This includes print advertisements, TV Commercials, direct mail, etc.  Your tagline needs to be present on every single marketing piece to drive home what you do!  Be clear in telling people what you can offer them.  However, this is still not full integration.  Integration requires the entire company being able to state what you do in the same manner.  You need to integrate your message throughout your entire organization.

Message Longevity – Marketers tend to be in a rush to meet the next deadline or get the next campaign out the door.  It’s important to realize that integrating your brand takes time. Don’t continue changing the direction of your campaigns. Keep it consistent for years if you need to…….there is no time limit to branding your company.  Don’t lose patience and stop the momentum of keeping the same messaging out there.  The worst thing you can do is confuse people with mixed messages.

Verbiage – Create messages that can be easily understood by your target audience. Don’t speak in terms that people don’t understand. A perfect example would be a company that has technical terms in a print advertisement that would be better suited for engineers.  It’s important to make sure that your audience clearly understands what you sell and how the product will benefit them.  Focus on the solutions you offer to take their problem away.  This should be in every single piece of marketing communication that is sent out by your company.

A perfect time to use integrated marketing communications is during an acquisition. When a large organization acquires another company…..it’s important to have an integrated marketing plan in place. The time right after the acquisition is crucial to branding the new company and making sure people understand how the brand integrates into your own.  An example would be a security integrator who installs security products and just purchased a security software company.  Your marketing message would need to show how this new software company integrates into your existing company.  The security integrator should show how they are working hand and hand to produce the ultimate security solution for the end user.  In my experience, the company that is acquired usually changes their brand image to reflect the parent company. There have been some cases that the brand image was changed over time.  As long as you have an integrated marketing strategy in place that delivers consistency….you will be ahead of the game.

Author: 

Monique Merhige is the President of Infusion Direct Marketing & Advertising, Inc.  She has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola.  Infusion is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in the security industry and delivers marketing solutions that include Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Branding, Collateral Development, and Social Media Marketing.  Visit:  www.infusiondirect.com or call 631-846-1558

Sources:

About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

Copywriting Tips to Become an Effective Copywriter

Are you cutting costs by writing your own marketing materials? Many business owners are writing their own copy for direct marketing programs and online advertisements.  It’s challenging to be creative and come up with new taglines and copy.  If you are not a pro at copywriting you will be after following the tips below.  Anyone can become a good copywriter if they follow the most important rules and practice writing.  The more you do it the better you get at it…just like most things in life!

Writing good copy is a technique that can be taught to business professionals in any industry.  However, it takes time to produce copy and you need to be able to focus without interruptions.  Here are some tips to help you produce fabulous copy for your marketing materials:

  1.  Personalize your message – Try writing to a single person rather than a mass audience.  Visualize your prospect and speak to them in a way that they understand.  Make sure you know your target audience. Smart companies should write copy that makes the reader feel as if they are speaking directly to him/her.
  2. Don’t come on too strong – Less is more….most readers have a short attention span.  Don’t hit them with too much information or too many offers. Keep it simple. It should focus on the benefits and not all about your PITCH.
  3. Use a compelling offer – Make sure you have a compelling offer to get people to respond.  It should be relevant to your audience.
  4.  Create a sense of urgency – Make sure you give prospects a feeling of urgency.  They should want to contact you now to grab that special offer or time will run out.  Keep them on their toes.
  5. Use Clear Qualifying Language – Make sure you use language that is clear and easy to understand.  For example, Engineers would need technical copy and terms…but a normal business person may not be as technical.

Types of Campaigns

Depending on the type of campaign, you will need to fit your copy to the medium. For example, when writing brochure copy, people have the tendency to write a book.  You need to keep the text short and to the point.  Most people have a very short attention span and will only look at the bulleted or highlighted items.  Same holds true for an email campaign or direct mail postcard.  Keep it simple…..

If you can’t adhere to the tips above and don’t have the time to focus on writing, then you should outsource to a professional copywriter.  Professional copywriters are available on a freelance basis and can be hired for specific projects.  You always want to keep your copy fresh and new ideas flowing! Happy writing!

Author: 

Monique Merhige is the President of Infusion Direct Marketing & Advertising, Inc.  She has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola.  Infusion is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in the security industry and delivers marketing solutions that include Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Branding, Collateral Development, and Social Media Marketing.  Visit:  www.infusiondirect.com or call 631-846-1558

Sources:

About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

Marketing Techniques for Small Businesses That Work

Many people have the dream of leaving their corporate position behind and starting their own business.  However, many never reach their goal of business ownership due to the lack of a real plan.  Owning a small business has many challenges…but if business owners focus on the customer and develop a cohesive marketing plan that reaches their target audience effectively, then they have nothing to worry about.  How do you market a new business?  It all starts with building your business by securing a customer base through the following marketing activities:

Referral Networks – Most people do not see the value of networking.  It’s huge!!  By getting out and mingling with companies in your area…you are building valuable relationships that will set the stage for your business.  By attending local networking events, it helps build your name and relationships without spending a fortune. It’s a no brainer….networking works and should be done regularly.    One relationship can bring in many new customers and referrals.  Think about each person and how many people they are connected to…it’s endless.   Face to face meetings are as important as social networking and needs to be part of your marketing plan for small businesses.

Cold Calling– Who wants to sit on the phone and make phone calls…not me!  But guess what…it works!  By being proactive and reaching out to a targeted list of companies, you are adding to your network.  All it takes is one lead to turn into a customer.   Prior to starting a call campaign, a script should be produced and used for all calls.  You want to call with a purpose and offer something attractive to potential customers.  It also helps you be creative and adapt to various questions you get from your prospects. You will be surprised with the results and how many people you end up building a relationship with.  The best time to call is in the morning before people start their day.  You should dedicate 1-2 hours per day on making calls and prospecting.  There are also classes that offer training on how to make calls and succeed.

Inexpensive Marketing Materials  – A quick flyer that explains what services/products you offer is a great way to spread the message about your small business.  You can print out on your office computer and develop a nice template in Word.  Again….you don’t have to spend a fortune on hiring a designing and going to a fancy printer.  As long as you create a flyer that has the correct messaging for your target audience and great images…you are good.  Also…a unique business card will grab attention. Use a different color or shape.

Free Press– Write a press release on your small business and send it out everywhere!  Guess what…it is free!  You can send to your local press list and even splurge on an online pr site.  It can cost anywhere from $50 – $200 per release…but it’s worth it.   It’s a great way to announce your company to the world.

Co-Marketing – Work with other small businesses to share marketing costs.  You can create a direct mail campaign or print ad together.  Perhaps….your services complement each other.  Be creative and come up with some new offers that are out of the box.  You can offer discounts and bundle your services together.  Also, you can share a booth at a trade show to cut costs.

Seminars:  Create a seminar series on various topics that build your credibility in the industry.  You can host an event at your office or select a venue that wants to bring people into their restaurant.  Schedule events after work and include your target customers.  Seminars are a great way to build your network and business.  It also creates a buzz about your business.

Building a business is a process that takes time and can’t be rushed.  As long as you have an effective marketing plan in place, you will succeed.    The time you put in today will be rewarded tomorrow.  Don’t give up!

Author: 

Monique Merhige is the President of Infusion Direct Marketing & Advertising, Inc.  She has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola.  Infusion is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in the security industry and delivers marketing solutions that include Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Branding, Collateral Development, and Social Media Marketing.  Visit:  www.infusiondirect.com or call 631-846-1558

Sources:

About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

2012 Direct Marketing Trends – Marketing is Here to Stay

MARKETING IS BACK AND HERE TO STAY!  Yes….Marketers can start to rest easy knowing that businesses are starting to see the value of marketing again.  By reducing marketing budgets over the past two years, companies are seeing a reduction in overall sales and are not happy!  They are starting to be proactive and seek out professional marketers to help them meet their sales objectives. Without marketing…visibility is limited and new opportunities dry up quickly.   Perhaps….CEO’s had to see for themselves the outcome of not marketing their product/service.   As they say “It All Happens For A Reason”.  Perhaps….Management has finally accepted the fact that you can’t live without marketing forever.

Where are we headed in 2012?

Marketing reports are showing that companies have added on new marketing programs in 2012 to include new collateral development, direct mail, and increased trade show presence.  For example, many companies are investing in new trade show booth designs and new glossy 4-color brochures to re-brand their company image.  Companies that have not invested in any marketing activities for the last 5-10 years are coming forward and asking marketers to help steer them in the right direction.  We are seeing more marketing positions open up and marketing consultants are starting to see an increase in their client base.

As stated by The Ballantine Corporation, an area of direct marketing that is projected to see a huge focus in 2012 is targeting and personalization.  It all comes down to relevancy and prospects are more likely to respond if the topic is relevant to them.  They also mentioned another key factor in target marketing in 2012 will be trigger marketing.   Trigger marketing is when specific messages are sent to a prospect/customer based on the trigger of a certain criteria. An example would be a birthday where you receive a direct mail piece offering a discount off of dinner.

Another interesting fact is that people have moved past their negative feelings about direct mail and are starting to respond again.  With the overload of emails in our inboxes, prospects prefer other methods of direct marketing.   The goal is to be smart with your marketing and make sure you are sending relevant messages/offers to your target audience.

Tailored URL’s (PURLs) are also a big item in 2012.  This includes a dedicated url that provides prospects with a web landing page that is customized to their needs.   It can include their name, special offers, information on previous purchases, or a special message just for them.  It’s the wave of the future.

With the buy in from management and CEO’s, marketers can work their magic and create unique marketing campaigns for their clients.   It’s a team effort all around and with the support of the key players, there is no end to a marketer’s success.  The goal should be to keep trying new tactics and find out what works best.  As long as you test and show results for your campaigns….there is nothing to worry about in 2012!

Author: 

Monique Merhige is the President of Infusion Direct Marketing & Advertising, Inc.  She has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola.  Infusion is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in the security industry and delivers marketing solutions that include Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Branding, Collateral Development, and Social Media Marketing.  Visit:  www.infusiondirect.com or call 631-846-1558

Sources:

About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

When to Use On-Line Public Relations Vehicles?

As a public relations specialist, it’s important to know when to use on-line Public Relations vehicles.  Since there is a cost associated with PR websites, you don’t want to waste it on something that is not newsworthy.  It’s important to research the various websites available and the costs for uploading a press release. The most popular websites include PR Web, 24-7 Press Release, BusinessWire, and PRlog.  The most expensive sites are PR Web & BusinessWire which charges up to $200-$250 per release,  24-7 Press Release charges $50 per release, while prlog is free.   These online sites  can get your company noticed, improve your search engine rankings, and generate more leads. Once you create an announcement about your organization, it goes out across the web and hits the press worldwide!

The process is simple…..Each online mechanism requires you to set-up an account and offers you the ability to distribute your press release and reach all your targets: print and broadcast newsrooms, individual reporters and editors, consumers, financial and news portals, websites, news syndicators, bloggers, social media networks and more.  You can also target by region, industry, or news theme.  Usually, once you upload the press release it takes 24 -48 hours for the press release to be approved and distributed.

Here are situations that call for spending your dollars on an online PR site distribution:

Upcoming Trade Show – Your company is exhibiting at an upcoming trade show or conference and you want to spread the word.  An online PR site is a great vehicle to accomplish this.  It will help you promote your booth and invite attendees to stop by. It creates excitement and anticipation for your company and can increase your booth traffic.  It’s also a great way to get the word out to the media that will be attending the trade show.  They are always looking for new stories to cover at the show and by giving them advance notice, you can schedule meetings and get people talking before the show!

New Product Launch – You have a new product coming out in the fall and you want to start creating hype in the industry now.  An online site will give you the ability to inform your target audience about the new product prior to the release date.  It’s a great way to prepare for your new product launch.  You can also upload product photos and offer discounts to people that order the product in advance.

Acquisition – Typically, most companies write a press release announcing a new acquisition.  By uploading the announcement and sending out via the online sites, you are getting the word out quickly. You can select by industry and make sure that everyone in your particular industry is aware of your new acquisition.

You sent out the release…now how do you track results?  Most PR specialists look at impressions, number of views, and online articles.  An impression refers to any time the headline and possibly the summary is displayed at any of the distribution points the online site has the ability to track.  It includes the home page, browsing by day or category, and newsfeeds.  The release views refer to any time the full body text of your press release has been displayed at any of the distribution points.  By keeping track of your successes and how many times the PR release is published gives you the backing to continue spending money on these types of vehicles.  Hopefully, it will continue to be a vehicle that is widely used in the future.

Author:

Monique Merhige is the President of Infusion Direct Marketing & Advertising, Inc.  She has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola.  Infusion is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in the security industry and delivers marketing solutions that include Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Branding, Collateral Development, and Social Media Marketing.  Visit:  www.infusiondirect.com or call 631-846-1558

Sources:

About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

How to Use Webinars As A Lead Generation Tool

c/o www.a-cutederm.com/

c/o www.a-cutederm.com/

A webinar is a great tool for businesses to help grow their businesses.  It’s a shame that more companies don’t utilize this medium to educate their target audience on their products/services.  Most companies today are using webinars to educate their internal team and offer sales training.  It eliminates travel expenses by not having to fly in employees to one location for product training.  How many times have you attended a massive sales training seminar in an upscale hotel?  This is something that we should start seeing less of over the next few years.  If companies are smart….they will take the money spent on these events and put it towards engineering and additional marketing programs. The biggest benefit of a webinar, is that your audience can attend a webinar from the comfort of their own desk without leaving the office.  The cost to the company is minimal.

Why are most companies not using webinars as a lead generation tool?  This is a great way to spread the word about your products/services without spending a fortune.  The ROI can be high if companies utilize this medium the right way!

Major Benefits of Webinars:

  1. Attendee List –You can communicate with past prospects, new prospects, and current customers by inviting them to a webinar. It’s a great way to remind them about you!
  2. Credibility – By hosting a webinar on a particular topic…it makes you the industry expert and gives the company credibility as being the spokesperson.  It’s important to get knowledgeable presenters who understand the target audience and how to speak to them.
  3. Webinar Invitations – You can create an upscale email or direct mail invitation and send out to your in-house database.   This is a great way to get in front of your customer or prospect and show that you know the industry. Also…people like to receive free information.  It’s a great offer as part of a direct marketing campaign.
  4. Follow-up – All follow-up should be made within 2 days of the webinar.  All attendees should receive a thank you email.  You can send a link to the archived version of the webinar to the people that registered…. but did not actually attend the webinar.

Webinars can be an effective way to grow your business and increase your profits.  It’s important to give your prospects a presentation that keeps their attention.  Also, interaction is important where participants can type their questions during the webinar session.  A Q & A Session at the end of the session is a great way to keep your webinar interactive.   It is important to know your webinar layout before you begin. This includes what you anticipate on covering, what your objectives are, the format, the length of your webinar and so forth.  The typical length of a webinar is 45 minutes with a 15 minute Q&A session at the end.  Also, the timing is important.  Since you will have attendees from the east and west coast…2:00 p.m. EST is a great time to hold your webinar.

Promotion is crucial to your webinar’s success.  A great way to promote your webinar is through social media sites, direct mail, email, and banner ads.  It makes a great Call To Action for your campaign.  It’s time to add webinars to your marketing tools and start reaping the benefits today!

Author: 

Monique Merhige is the President of Infusion Direct Marketing & Advertising, Inc.  She has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola.  Infusion is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in the security industry and delivers marketing solutions that include Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Branding, Collateral Development, and Social Media Marketing.  Visit:  www.infusiondirect.com or call 631-846-1558

Sources:

About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

Direct Marketing ~ Email VS Direct Mail

Direct Marketing is a crucial component of any lead generation program and should be part of your strategic marketing plan.  In 2012, B-to-B companies are continuing to include direct marketing in their marketing mix, but are focusing their efforts on email campaigns.  Why are they choosing email vs direct mail…there is one simple reason!  MONEY….Yes….it’s cheaper to run an email campaign verse a direct mail campaign…but which is one is giving back a greater ROI?

Marketing PlanAs a marketing consultant, I recommend to my clients not to put their eggs all in one basket and only rely on email campaigns only. To be successful, it’s important to utilize each slice of the direct marketing pie effectively.  My belief is that email marketing should be about retention and focus on your customers only, while direct mail should be used strictly for prospecting.

Here are the problems I have seen with email campaigns over the years:

  1. Noise & Clutter – Just too many emails in our inboxes – On a daily basis, I receive around 40-50 promotional emails from businesses.   I receive more promotional emails than actual work emails from my colleagues.  There is “Noise” and “Clutter” in our inbox that has caused us to stop paying attention to our emails and simply ignoring it.
  2. Lower Response Rates– Due to the clutter discussed above, response rates have dropped under 1% for email campaigns where a few years ago we saw response rates above 2%.
  3. Open Rates Have Dropped Due To Junk Emails– We just hit delete or watch emails fly into our junk folder and rarely hit open.  This is happening more and more….Our open rates have dropped from an average of 14%-20% to 5%-10% over the past few years.

The good news is that whether you are utilizing email or direct mail…..there are a few concepts that holds true for both:

1.   What is your offer

2.  How relevant is that offer to the audience you want to target

3.  Timing of your campaign

4.  What action are you asking your audience to perform?

The items above can help you increase the success of your email campaigns…but the true success will be when companies start focusing email campaigns on their customers only. This will increase the response rates because a person is more likely to open the email if they are a customer.

Why Direct Mail?

An example of direct mail used by political ca...

Image via Wikipedia

Yes…Direct mail marketing tends to be a costly and time consuming campaign to implement, costs can range from a $1 a piece to $5 a piece.  Designing, printing and mailing the campaign can take a number of weeks and usually involves a third party mailhouse.  However, direct mail is great for sending promotional items and delivering them right into the hands of your prospect. Unlike email marketing which is constrained by available space and layout, direct mail marketing can be colorful, attention grabbing and use as much space as you need to get your message across.  The campaign has longevity and can make an impact for a long time.

At the end of the day, each business needs to figure out what direct marketing mix works best for them.  Remember…..cheaper is not always better or the right way to reach your customer base.

Author:

Monique Merhige is the President of Infusion Direct Marketing & Advertising, Inc.  She has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola.  Infusion is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in the security industry and delivers marketing solutions that include Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Branding, Collateral Development, and Social Media Marketing.  Visit:  www.infusiondirect.com or call 631-846-1558

Sources:

About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

Why should Marketers Hire A Professional Photographer?

One picture is worth a thousand words….yet most companies skimp on taking professional photos of their products or facility.  Why do companies insist on having an employee (non-photographer) snap shots with their inexpensive digital camera and use the photos on their website or within a marketing piece?  This makes your company look cheap and low-end.  A company’s website or brochure is the face of the company and gives a lasting impression.  Can anyone come up with a solid reason why executives don’t want to spend money on professional photos….when this should be a priority. You wouldn’t hire an engineer to head up your marketing efforts. So why expect your employees to capture the kinds of photos that a professional is trained to capture? If your business image is important…then it’s imperative to hire a professional photographer.

A visual image is crucial to the way customers and prospects perceive your business.  Why have people perceive your company as cheap and low-end when all you have to do is hire a professional photographer for a one day shoot.  The total investment is minimal and will leave you with a variety of pictures to use on your website, at a trade show, social media sites, within a new corporate brochure, for press, etc.  The uses are unlimited!  Why would you skimp out and not take advantage of a professional photographer.  Here are some reasons why you need to call a pro:

  1.  Lighting – It’s imperative that the proper lighting be used whether it’s for your products or even a headshot of your CEO.  Only a professional photographer understands the type of lighting needed to create the desired images for your company.  For example, a properly lit product shot will enhance the details of that product.
  2. Background – The background is an essential part of product photography and can be as simple as a white back drop or as elaborate as an office setting.  A professional photographer can assess the best way to use these backgrounds for the optimum results for your company.
  3.  Camera Equipment – Similar to the dollars a marketing professional will spend on campaigns, a professional photographer will spend thousands on top of the line equipment.  Between the photographer’s camera, lenses, and lighting capabilities….each photograph is enhanced for the best results possible.  Whether it be a shallow depth of field or creating shadows where needed, the professional photographer’s equipment is an extension of their vision and creativity.   You can think of it like a paintbrush in the hands of Picaso.

Lights…Camera….Action…..Hopefully you can see how the equipment, lights, and experience of a professional photographer can add to the marketing strategy of any company.  Just as a corporation uses the right tools to run its business, a professional photographer uses the right tools to optimize their performance and creativity to deliver the perfect picture.  It’s time to hire a professional photographer in 2012 and keep your marketing collateral and corporate website fresh with new photos!  Most companies invest heavily in marketing….so why not spend a tiny bit more and get the most out of your marketing materials.  From corporate events to product shots, a pro is needed to capture quality photos.  You will be amazed how having professional photos can transform your business and take you to the next level.

Author: 

Monique Merhige is the President of Infusion Direct Marketing & Advertising, Inc.  She has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola.  Infusion is a marketing consulting firm that specializes in the security industry and delivers marketing solutions that include Public Relations, Direct Marketing, Branding, Collateral Development, and Social Media Marketing.  Visit:  www.infusiondirect.com or call 631-846-1558

Sources:

About Monique Merhige

Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.

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