August 24, 2016

Brexit: The Survival Guide

Brexit: The 10 Thoughts to Keep Focussed

By Malcolm Durham

Having been promised an apocalypse if we had the temerity to vote leave I venture to suggest that it’s not turning out quite so badly. There is still much to resolve and the tough decisions are some way off but in the meantime life must carry on. So if you’re wondering what it means right now can I offer the following:

1.     Don’t panic. We haven’t gone to Mars, we haven’t even left Europe, just the European Union. Calais is still only 22 miles from Dover (about 12 hours by car or rail)

2.     Out is the new In. We’ve left the European Union, an enclosed trading area of 500m people and are free to trade with everyone now as freely as we like, so long as they agree. We’ve been making significant strides in this already with our non-EU exports up 6.8% a year since 1999. We can join the World Trade Organisation and have a baseline of tariffs of 3%, not perfect but not a disastrous starting point.

3.     Don’t panic. Thankfully and I mean THANKFULLY we are not in the Euro and our currency devaluation not only does it mean our exports are priced as keenly as mustard – so keenly that Tata have postponed the sale of their Port Talbot plant – but if you want to sell your business then the overseas buyers will be almost 20% keener than they were.

4.     Inflation is good(ish). With a weaker currency our imports costs will rise. Everyone will use this to put their prices up. So should you. Even if you employ descendants of the Norman Conquest on land that produces King Edward potatoes and sell them to Smiths Crisps you will have some foreign inputs to justify increasing your prices. If you are uncertain just practise looking in the mirror and repeating the phrase “It’s Brexit mate” until you believe it yourself.  Add “Innit” if you’re still having difficulty.

5.     Don’t panic. If inflation takes hold our national debt will finally reduce as a % of GDP. And as interest rates rise to satisfy holders of the devaluing of their investments you’ll be able to put money in the bank and get a return on it.

6.     We did it before so we can do it again. Those of us who worked before Maastricht didn’t have any problems selling goods and services in Europe. If you need an EU subsidiary to enable you to trade within the EU then you can get one. I doubt that it will be long before at least one country sees this as an opportunity and creates a cheap and fast hub in say Dublin or Copenhagen, which would validate transfer prices and ensure compliance with appropriate regulations.

7.     Don’t panic. The overseas businesses are not all going to leave. Pre-Brexit I used to listen to some hedge fund managers threaten to move to Switzerland if taxes rose. But they didn’t. Even for financiers there’s more to life than money. Do you know what is on at the theatre in Geneva? And could you understand it if you did?

8.     We can create new funds for scientific co-operation, farming subsidies and fisheries that are more effective than EU wide ones. In fact this has been announced in the time it took me to write this blog.

9.     Even better we can have new subsidies that won’t be prohibited by the State Aid rules. For example we can have as an Export tax credit scheme which I and other have proposed over recent years.

10.  Don’t panic. The labour laws in France and Germany are so strict that even tube drivers are envious. So moving large numbers of bankers there is unlikely.  The need for flexibility will keep them here and so most (OK not all) of the industry will remain.

We’re going to have to pay something to the EU and the chances of us seeing that £350m in the NHS are as likely as winning the World Cup in the next 50 years. But so long as we don’t let the lunatics take over the asylum, and curbs on immigration are based on need not prejudice then we’ll be fine.

Romax, can take no praise for writing this Brexit article, we have quite blatantly ‘borrowed’ it from Malcolm Durham, the MD at Flexible Directors providers of the most excellent Part Time Finance Director.

 

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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January 15, 2016

Publicus is here!

Romax has been at the forefront of marketing communications since its inception in 1997. During this time, our sector has seen a number of disrupters from the evolution of digital print and the advent of social media.

The global spread of smartphones has prompted a rapid evolution in how people read and consume content and raised further their expectations of ease of use and service. Few publishing or marketing channels remain untouched by this digital tsunami.

By the end of 2015, 2.5 billion people worldwide will own a smartphone, and in an average day will check it 150 times and spend 82 minutes gazing at a tiny screen.

The easy availability of information in a few thumb swipes encourages a degree of laziness among readers. So publishers and marketers must make their mobile content browsable and snackable.  A miniaturised version of a website won’t cut it on a 5” screen: you need to develop a dedicated smartphone app and web edition that delivers the good stuff simply and with built-in multi-media such as video……

Video grabs attention away from pure text – on websites, digital publications, marketing collateral and apps – especially for the under 35s. So all publishers and marketers have to learn how to create enticing video or at the very least audio, within their online collateral.

The digital space is particularly good at one thing and which is a big advantage of direct mail – analytics. Data is the new oil, something I have alluded to in a previous post, so to be able to track in infinite detail potential customer habits either through an app or a web edition of your collateral can provide insights into behaviour, track your best performing offers or most interesting services.

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself” – Peter Drucker

Publicus blog

This is why we are proud to unveil, publicus, our brand new digital publishing platform built with the modern publisher and marketer in mind. Publicus allows us to take an ordinary pdf file and create a beautiful, fluid web edition and simultaneously convert to HTML5 and display in apps within the online stores of Apple, Google and Amazon. All managed by the Romax team here in London.

This all comes with the ability to display multimedia content, can be subscription based and fully trackable using our in-built dashboard. For some clients, the ability to “sell” space to third party advertisers, with banner adverts on both the web and app editions, could also enable the campaign to become self-funding.

We are super excited that this is now available to our clients so please get in contact to see how we can get you moving in the digital space.

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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January 16, 2015

Business Apps for Designers, Print Buyers and Marketing Professionals

Business Apps for Designers, Print Buyers and Marketing Professionals

Whether you work in the print industry, you work in marketing or buy print for a living, certain tools just make life easier, with help from PrintWeek and a little more research of our own we have chosen our top three apps that we use all the time. If you prefer Romax to complete the calculations for you just contact us hello@romax.co.uk or call 020 8293 8550

ImpressCalc

Paper App 2

 

ImpressCalc

Developer ImageEngine

Price Free

Platform iOS

An app to look up the dimensions of A-sized papers, together with a converter for common print units (such as microns, points and picas to mm and inches) and a paper weight calculator for your choice of run length.

USE: Check your page sizes for design and print

ImpressCalc

 

Paper App 1

 

 

Developer ImageEngine

Price Free

Platform iOS

An app to look up the dimensions of A-sized papers, together with a converter for common print units (such as microns, points and picas to mm and inches) and a paper weight calculator for your choice of run length.

USE: Check your page sizes for design and print

WhatTheFont

 

photo 1

 

Developer MyFonts Inc

Price Free

Platform iOS

Identifies the fonts in a photo or web graphic

Photograph the article/image/graphic, upload the photo through the app and it identifies the font  – no more guessing!

USE: Identifies the fonts in a photo or web graphics

Book Thickness Calculator

 

Book Thickness calc App

 

 

Developer Manfred Breede

Price 69p

Platform iOS

A metric calculator that gives the thickness of a book when you enter the number of pages, gsm of the paper and thickness of the cover boards. A compensation factor can be entered for different paper characteristics.

USE: Check your book thickness for Photobooks

 

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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August 4, 2014

Can marketing automation software systems improve DM results?

How marketing automation software can be used to improve DM results

 

The emergence of marketing automation systems has added a new dimension to companies’ direct marketing campaigns. The evidence suggests that these systems are effective in improving the monitoring of results from campaigns and better targeting precious marketing resources.

According to the 2013 Lenskold Group/Pedowitz Group Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness Study, companies that use automated marketing tools are more effective than those that do not. This is due to the fact that these companies are taking a more rigorous approach to measuring the results of their campaigns than their less effective peers. The marketing automation software simply helps to make gathering usefully detailed results quicker and easier, which explains the greater take up of such software amongst more effective companies.

Automated systems that are integrated with customer relationship management systems are used by four out of five of the “top tier” marketing firms that responded to the Lenskold/Pedowitz survey. Out of the total respondents to the survey only 13% had automated tools integrated into their systems.

One of the important activities that automation makes easier is testing the effectiveness of direct messaging campaigns. Software can be used to analyse the effectiveness of a campaign in generating leads with a group compared to a control group who were subjected to a different campaign. It also makes it easier to draw out the relative value of customers generated by the respective campaigns.

Another use for automation is to produce reports that show the revenue generated from leads who responded to a particular campaign.

Sophisticated techniques can be employed to gather more reliable data about the effectiveness of marketing spend. These can include setting up control groups that are not exposed to a particular aspect of your marketing activity, so that a comparison can be made with those that are. In this way it is easier to identify which aspects of a campaign are under-performing and need to be modified or dropped altogether.

Ultimately the goal of gathering data regarding the effectiveness of marketing activity is to improve your approach for the future. This requires the data to be presented in an understandable format for managers. Automation tools provide a neat way of presenting data in readily digestible formats so that the information can be acted upon.

By slowing down and taking a good look at how your marketing spend is actually affecting the market segments that you are targeting, you will improve the effectiveness of your direct marketing approach. Automation helps with this, which in turn will help make your business more profitable.

 

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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June 19, 2014

The Future’s Bright, The Future’s OMNI Channel

Romax – The Future is OMNI Channel

Linear marketing and purchasing is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. When customers enter a store today they are usually already informed about products through other channels, such as direct mail or the internet. Additionally, while in store they may be browsing elsewhere simultaneously using mobile apps, checking pricing and reviews online. Today’s customer is more sophisticated and more informed than ever before, and businesses need to match this with sophisticated and informed marketing strategies. Marketing can no longer be split into discrete channels. In our digital age, all channels need to be harmonised to deliver consistent aligned messages. This is OMNI channel marketing.

Where does direct mail fit into all of this? As new marketing channels emerge, others don’t disappear. Instead they work side by side to inform and influence the customer in a multi faceted approach. Digital marketing doesn’t just deliver online purchases, but also sends customers into bricks and mortar locations. Similarly direct mail marketing continues to drive sales, both online and in store, provided the message is relevant and personal. A recent Royal Mail study revealed, perhaps surprisingly, that those most likely to open and read direct mail are in the 18-24 age bracket.

One example of a successful omni channel campaign would be a direct mail leaflet with a QR code. The customer seamlessly moves from offline to online by reading the leaflet then scanning the code to read more via a mobile app. Having been informed, the customer then visits a high street store or restaurant and completes the cycle.

London based marketing services company Romax has many years experience of providing direct mail and print, and more recently cross media services to a large client base including several blue chip organisations. Founder, Robin Sumner describes how things are changing, “Individual marketing channels can no longer function in isolation. Cross media marketing is the way forward, with all channels working as one to deliver a consistent marketing and purchasing experience to the customer.”

 

romax_logo_tag_blueRomax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2CDirect Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: hello@romax.co.uk +44 (0) 20 8293 8550

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