November 27, 2018

9 Tips for Re-energising Your Print Marketing Collateral

Is your print marketing collateral stale and ineffective? We have put together nine tips to help you freshen up your print.

 

Tip One: Use speciality card and paper in different shapes and sizes

One way to breathe life into your print collateral is to use speciality paper. It can help you stand out and be remembered by your target audience. For example, textured paper can really enhance the tactile nature of your print collateral, and this, in turn, helps to make your brand more memorable. But don’t stop there. Instead of sticking to the standard shapes and sizes, mix it up a bit and use eye-catching cut-outs in sizes that surprise and delight the audience. Though be sure your choices accurately reflect your brand identity and are suitable for the target audience.

Tip Two: Use foil stamping to grab attention

Foil stamping is a printing process that uses foil in combination with dye to create luxury metallic effects on all kinds of print collateral from business cards to brochures. It can enhance print in several ways:

  • adds a strong sense of quality;
  • the shiny metallic effect serves as an excellent attention grabber;
  • it provides some additional

Tip Three: Better graphic design

As business owners, sometimes we settle for whatever our graphic designers come up with.

However, this can lead to mediocre results that don’t help us achieve our business goals.

So, take a look at your current print collateral and ask yourself: Is this really the best design for the job? If the answer is no, then consider hiring a graphic designer that has a proven track record of working in your industry and producing high-quality designs. But don’t stop there. Be sure to push them i.e. get them to dig deeper. Don’t settle for the first idea they pitch you. Be armed with a clear vision of what you want to achieve and make sure you get it.

Tip Four: Use authentic imagery

A major marketing trend now is authenticity. People are tired of cheesy, cliched stock photos that don’t reflect their own lives or reality in general. At worse, it puts people off. At best it just fails to appeal to them. This is why more and more marketers are turning to authentic lifestyle imagery as it helps brands connect with people on a more sincere level.

Tip Five: Tailor communications to different events

If you have a regular calendar of events that your business attends every year, chances are you use generic print collateral for each one. On the surface, this appears more efficient in terms of cost. However, you could be missing out on making a good impact. Different events (such as conferences and tradeshows) have their own energies, which is to say they have their own buzz and excitement. So, a good way to harness that energy is to tailor your communications for each individual event.

Tip Six: Plan ahead for events

If you know that you’ll be attending an event that requires specific communication, then it’s a good idea to plan your print collateral in advance. There’s nothing more stressful than leaving it to the last minute and rushing something through that ends up shoddy and ineffective. Advanced planning gives you enough time to develop creative ideas and allows your designers and copywriters to come up with something that really works.

Tip Seven: Go multisensory!

Scientific studies have shown that people are more likely to make a meaningful connection with your brand if their senses have been stimulated in some way. This is why print marketing is so much more powerful than digital marketing. One tactic that creative marketers are turning to is the multisensory mailshot. The idea is to stimulate as many senses as possible so as to forge a positive connection with the recipient. So, think about combining your print marketing collateral with aromas, sounds and interesting textures.

Tip Eight: Print-based content marketing

A lot of marketer’s associate ‘content marketing’ with digital marketing. But this is a very narrow view. Traditionally, content marketing has its roots in the print form. One example is the purveyor of fine food that publishes a monthly or quarterly printed magazine packed with interesting recipes and articles. By providing useful, interesting and entertaining content, they earn the respect and trust of the audience. So, in order to give your print strategy a boost, this is something you may want to include in your marketing plan.

Tip Nine: Integrate it with online marketing

Another way to give your print marketing a boost is to make sure it aligns with your digital marketing so that it becomes a tightly knit system that guides the customer through the marketing funnel. You can use the memorable and tangible nature of print to grab their attention, and then direct them to your website or social media channels where you can use the power of digital channels to convert them into leads or customers.

If you have in mind an idea for Direct Mail campaign, we are here to help you. Contact us at hello@romax.co.uk or call us at +44 (0) 20 8293 8550 to get a free quote. 

November 20, 2018

Communicating the Single Customer View

Successful Organisations are Built on Successful Communication

Successful Communication is only achievable through a well-managed deliberate process. Organisations may have data that allows them a Single Customer View of their activities. But how do you ensure that all of your data-driven customer communication that originates from each area of the business remains relevant and on Brand?

 

Brand Safeguarding

All organisations struggle to keep on brand across a multitude of communication platforms. The operational department often needs to make compromises. And employees will not always communicate the business following brand guidelines. Damage limitation is key to this process. And finding a way to improve the way your brand is communicated that is manageable, flexible, simply updated and scalable is every business’ Nirvana!

 

Customer Journey

We all know that to convert a new consumer customer can take an average of approximately 8 touch points before the enquiry. Converting that lead into a customer and then retaining that customer also needs a clearly defined brand focussed communication plan.

Winning the business only the start. All new clients go through an onboarding process, the more complicated the service the more critical that process is. To ensure that your clients see this ‘honeymoon’ process as well-managed and slick, communicated professionally, they will further endorse and congratulate their own decision to choose you, making onward recommendations of your brand more favourable.

Introduce all new products or services properly to the new subscriber, making them feel satisfied with their choice. To ‘Under Promise and Over Deliver’ is always the way to make your brand shine out. Promising what you can’t deliver will burn the bridge of you new relationship immediately. And will undoing all that hard work in marketing and sales to win it in the first place.

 

Post-Sale Customer Touch Points

These forgotten but vital communications during the customer journey. They can enhance – or damage – your brand affecting the longevity of your customer life.

Poor presentation across operational departments can damage the brand. Accounts/Operations/presenting a different message to Sales and Marketing. Keeping these messages On Brand across all of your data-driven communications very often requires a service provider that is responsible for it.

 

Modern customers want a business that is above reproach, transparent and focussed on their personal needs. You should see customers as both unique and on trend. Your business needs to be aware that to win and retain their loyalty it is the business that must demonstrate, through their brand and communication, your brand’s loyalty to them.

What is your brand doing for your customer? How do you keep that message communicated at every touch point? And allow for two-way communication, feedback loops via data centres that allow your clients to interact and improve their own experience. As well as providing you with invaluable business intelligence data. To ensure that data-driven customer communication is structured, consistent and driven by the vision of your organisation rather than for it to be diluted across departments your business needs complete a review of your communication platforms with a view to aligning them all to the central goals of the business.

From our experience working with many clients, this can be a challenging but hugely beneficial process. Streamlining communication and safeguarding your brand, keeping it on message through an experienced communication management company will reduce your work and improve your results.

November 13, 2018

What is the ePrivacy Regulation? And what does it mean for my business?

Over the last few decades the internet, combined with the development of electronic communications, has revolutionised the way we go about our business.

Interconnectivity has become an integral part of our lives. But with it comes a host of ethical and practical problems: How can society safeguard people’s online privacy? We unpick ePrivacy, so you don’t have to.

The proposed ePrivacy Regulation (ePR) aims to answer that question. It will replace the already existing ePrivacy Directive (2002) with a stronger law that must be adhered to by all EU member states.

 

Why does the ePrivacy Directive need replacing?

Although the directive is a legal act that aims to uphold Article 7 of the EU charter (respect for private and family life), it doesn’t require all member states to implement it in the same way. Essentially member states can be selective about what parts of the directive to adopt and enforce, and this creates an uneven playing field.

In 2002 the directive was adequate. But the digital culture has, since then, become more intrinsic to people’s lives. Gathering and processing personal data via electronic communications is now a huge part of society. Not only that, but the interconnectivity of electronic devices means there are more digital entry points into people’s private lives, meaning there’s a greater risk of privacy violation.

So, the new proposal aims to bring the legislation up-to-date and create a level playing field for all EU citizens.

 

How does it relate to GDPR?

GDPR is about general data protection, which covers a broad range of elements; however, it doesn’t go into detail about electronic communications.

ePR, on the other hand, focuses specifically on electronic communications. In legal parlance, this is known as lex specialis. So, although the ePR will use the same definitions as GDPR, it will actually override GDPR on matters of data-privacy in the context of electronic communications.

Both the GDPR and ePR are part of a movement to reform the EU data protection framework.

What will change when the ePR comes into force?

It’s difficult to say as the proposal is still being developed. We won’t know the exact stipulations until the finalisation. However, based on what’s in the proposal now, it seems that the following areas will be of particular interest:

  • unsolicited marketing,
  • cookies,
  • and bringing OTTs into the regulatory scope.

 

Unsolicited Marketing

There will be stricter rules on sending out unsolicited marketing material via electronic communications, including email and SMS. It will also cover telephone-based cold calling; cold callers may have to adopt transparency tactics such as displaying their number or using a prefix that identifies it as being a marketing call.

There’ll also be stricter rules on gaining permissions and respecting people’s right to object.

 

Cookies

One of the aims is to simplify the cookie process so as to reduce all the irritating cookie consent requests. The idea is to ‘streamline’ the consent process by shifting the onus onto web browsers as opposed to individual websites. This means people will be able to set their cookie preferences at the browser level.

In a press release, the European Commission said:

“The cookie provision, which has resulted in an overload of consent requests for internet users, will be streamlined. The new rules will be more user-friendly as browser settings will provide for an easy way to accept or refuse tracking cookies and other identifiers”

There’ll also be a clear distinction between non-intrusive and intrusive cookies.

Non-intrusive cookies won’t require consent because they’re essential for providing services and improving user experiences. These could be things like shopping carts, remembering previous purchases, or non-identifying analytics.

Intrusive cookies, on the other hand, are those that use data (such as IP addresses) to identify and track users around the internet e.g. third-party cookies for tracking advertising clicks. These will require explicit consent.

 

Confidentiality

The digital revolution has seen the rise of Over the Top (OTT) service providers such as Google, WhatsApp and Skype. Millions of people now use these communication services, meaning there is greater potential for invasion of privacy (think of all the private online conversations happening at any one time).

So ePR aims to make strict confidentiality rules applicable to the big internet communication companies and make them more accountable whenever they fall foul of the law.

 

So, what does ePR mean for my business?

It all depends on your strategies. If electronic communication is an integral part of your business model, then you’ll need to audit your current setup and ensure it adheres to the regulation. You may also need to anticipate threats. For example, if you’re a publisher that relies on third-party advertising cookies, you may see a drop in revenue because people have set their browsers to block certain identifiers. So you’ll need to come up with creative solutions for persuading users to enable cookies for your site.

ePR is definitely something you don’t want to ignore as, like GPDR, the fines for non-compliance will be pretty hefty, and you also face reputational damage i.e. you may gain a reputation for violating people’s privacy. The good news is that you still have plenty of time to prepare. You can get yourself up-to-speed by perusing the current draft proposal. However, it’s worth noting that the current proposal is not set in stone and there are likely to be amendments between now and when it comes into force. So, do keep track of all the latest developments.

 

That brings us onto our final question: When will ePR come into force?

At present, the exact date is unknown. It is, however, expected to come into force sometime in 2019.