Written by Ivania Garcia

Do you like cold calling? You must admit, it’s never been anyone’s favorite part of selling. It always feels like the first few calls fail to go anywhere until you land a few that do. With the help of social media, you can find new prospects and even be able to promote your business. It may be hard to believe, but print and social media go together like peas and carrots.

Here are a few things to consider when managing your business on social media:

Who has time to read marketing communications these days? Consumers love print, but they have less and less time to read. You have to hook them fast—and keep them engaged. You must create The solution? Make your printed pieces faster and easier to read. Here are five ways to freshen things up and make your printed pieces “sticky."

Written by Ivania Garcia

Many franchises struggle with having to keep up with marketing requests while still needing to be on brand and following company guidelines. A marketing portal is a powerful management tool where your employees can log in to access any company marketing piece they need. Do you have a sales rep with outdated brochures or a marketing employee needing printed materials for an event next week? Marketing portals give you the power to order or customize any company-approved marketing material at any quantity requested.

Wondering whether your franchise could use this magical portal? Here are the top four benefits:

Millennials

Written by Ivania Garcia

The millennial generation, born between 1980-2000, make up a large portion of the population at about 80 million members. By 2020, millennials are projected to cumulative $1.4 trillion in spending power and it’s now more important than ever to market to them.

Written by Ivania Garcia

When creating your marketing plan, you think about how to attract customers to your business, whether it’s through online advertising or through your business storefront. Once your customers have discovered your business, what are they experiencing, and are they coming back?

It’s easy to forget something as small as customer service, but this is a major aspect of every business, and many can’t hide from things such as online reviews or a bad reputation.

Your marketing plan continues with customer service, and here’s what that includes…

Written by Ivania Garcia

The Pumpkin Spice Latte is more than just a seasonal fad, it’s become an iconic drink that most can only receive during the fall season. The marketing strategy used to promote this drink has been widely successful and Starbucks benefits from it every year. Since its first debut in 2003, major companies have created their own copies of this popular drink such as McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts. Many more have even gone as far as creating pumpkin spice cookie dough, ice cream, cereal, candy and even skin care products.

Here are some marketing tips you can learn from the #PSL phenomenon:

Written by Ivania Gracia

Back to school

Back to school is here, but are you ready? This time of year isn’t just for kids, but for teachers, principals and PTA leaders to have all the items they need to properly inform students and parents. Here are some great ideas for faculty and staff to have on their back to school to-do lists:

Written by Ivania Garcia

If your business needs to reach the greatest number of potential customers, vehicle wraps may be an option for you. Vehicle wraps have now leveled the playing field for small to mid-size companies by affordably competing with vendors 10 times the size of a smaller company. You can have a flashy car wrap like Coca-Cola, and receive all the same mobile advertising benefits.

Written by Ivania Garcia

Knowing how to promote your company leading up to a trade show is important to be successful at any event. How about during the event? From the brochures to the uniforms you wear, can all make the difference in how successful a trade show can be for your business. What happens after the event? Don’t worry, we have tips for how you can market your company during all stages of a trade show.

We live in an era of gadgets. Research shows that 94% of people have their cellphone within arm’s reach at all times, consumers are shopping on tablets while watching television, and more email is opened on mobile devices than a desktop. Customers continue to move into a multichannel world, and responsive marketers need to go there, too.

Channel integration isn’t something marketers can afford to ignore. According to Target Marketing’s Media Usage Survey, 37% of marketers’ 2016 budgets went to online marketing, 29% went to print (direct mail, magazines, newspapers), and 21% went to live events. The rest was split between radio, television, and space advertising.

Even as direct mail remains the bedrock of highly effective marketing campaigns, digital components are increasingly part of the mix. According to Target Marketing, the following digital channels are growing the most rapidly:

Written by Ivania Garcia

I’m sure you’ve wondered what would be the best option for your business, email or direct mail? Both options have their benefits that can help promote your business and boost sales.

Direct Mail Marketing

  • Consumers will actually respond to direct mail. 56% of consumers who received direct mail went online or visited the business. 62% of consumers who received direct mail made a purchase within the next three months.
  • Mail is considered to be more personal. You can tailor your mail pieces in a way that can be relatable to your consumer. Direct mail has the power to convey and encourage emotion. People value what they can see and touch and can even influence the consumer on how they feel about the sender.
  • Consumers check their mailbox every day. In the United States, 98% of Americans check their mailboxes on a daily basis. You can always be sure that your mail piece will be in someone’s hands.
  • Direct Mail can solve your “millennial problem.” A whopping 92% of millennials are influenced my direct mail to make a purchase compared to the 78% by email. How to target millennials has been a very difficult job for many companies but direct mail has been very affective in reaching this demographic.

Written by Ivania Garcia

Wondering when your best friend’s wedding invitation will arrive? How about your IRS refund check? USPS has now figured out how to let you know what is coming to your mailbox that day.

To sign up, postal customers must register at InformedDelivery.USPS.com and follow the instructions. Then the customer will receive a daily email with up to 10 black and white images of their mail. If the customer has more than 10 mail pieces, then USPS will provide them with a separate link to view the rest of their mail.

According to the market research firm InfoTrends, production color digital print continues to grow at an astounding rate. Inkjet is set to grow at 19%, from 200 billion impressions to 350 billion impressions, by 2020. By contrast, toner-based imaging is forecast to grow at 5%. Likewise, where color inkjet accounted for 46% of total production digital color page volume in 2015, it will account for 62% in 2020.

Driving this growth is not just inkjet’s production speeds, which range from 1,000 A4 ipm to 10,000+ depending on the machine, but its outstanding quality and consistency, too. It is not unusual for inkjet presses to be producing millions, even tens of millions, of extremely high-quality impressions per month.

Mailbox

What happens when you create a marketing promotion from a fictitious travel agency to test the effectiveness of different mailing formats? RAPP Germany, a multichannel marketing agency, hired Neilsen to find out.

With all other factors equal, RAPP wanted to know, which techniques would be most successful? It tested five mailing formats: standard envelopes, printed envelopes, self-mailers, wrappers, and email. It found that envelopes have a tremendous impact on the effectiveness of the direct marketing piece, especially if they are personalized.

Written by Ivania Garcia

Travelers are now relying on digital channels for destination ideas, recommendations, booking and local deals. In today’s digital world, many travelers, especially millennials, prefer to do extensive research on their own for their travels. Digital signage makes perfect sense for hotels because they can easily provide this information straight from their lobby or the guest’s hotel room. Not only can digital signage help improve customer service but it can enhance the customer’s experience and assist hotel operations.

Digital signs can be easily updated and can liven up any room. Adding digital signage lets guests know a are a modern and up-to-date establishment. The appearance of a hotel is important in the hospitality industry. From the lobby to the elevator and to the restaurant/bar, there’s so many ways to utilize digital signage in an establishment.

Written by Ivania Garcia

Restaurant Promotion

Restaurant marketing can be very stressful but it shouldn't have to be. There are many things you can do to promote your restaurant without having to spend thousands of dollars hiring a PR agency to do it for you. Some of the best ideas are very simple and easy to work with.

When we think about adding color to marketing pieces, we often think about photos, charts, and graphs. But color can be added in many other ways, as well. These include highlight text, brightly colored banners, borders, and backgrounds, and symbols such as starbursts and arrows.

Why think about more places to add color? According to Shoshana Burger, director of corporate strategy and customer insights for X-Rite Pantone, there are some powerful reasons:

Written by Ivania Garcia

Have you ever wanted to open your own storefront, but didn't have the money for it? With how much social media has advanced, it has been made easy to promote and sell items online. One very popular way is through Instagram.

Instagram has over 700 million monthly active users and its use for visual flare has made it ideal to sell online. Per a Pew Research study, 55 percent of Instagram users are between 18-29 years old and with 30-49-year olds at 28 percent.

Sound appealing? Here are some tips to get you started:

Written by Ivania Garcia

Coffee Shop

You want to know how many calories were in that late-night pizza you had over the weekend? Now you must wait. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced a delay on requiring restaurants to post calorie counts on their menu boards.

The rule, originally proposed by the Affordable Care Act in 2010, was set to go into effect on May 5, 2017. The FDA recently announced a new deadline of May 7, 2018 for all businesses that sell food with over 20 locations to begin posting calorie counts. These rules, which took the FDA took more than four years to write, were originally set for 2015, but were pushed back to 2016 and again to 2017. Every grocery store, cafeteria, convenience store and movie theatre that serves hot food would have to comply to this rule.

Paper cutout family

Did you know? In North America, it takes less than two seconds to grow the fiber for a standard #10 envelope. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. According to Two Sides North America, here are some little known facts about paper and trees.

  • The time required to grow the fiber needed for a #10 envelope is 0.3 to 1.9 seconds
  • The time required to grow the fiber needed for a ream of 500-sheet office paper is 0.3 to 2.2 hours

Growth rates are based on 100 acres of managed forest in North America.* The fastest growth rates are for Loblolly Pine and Hybrid Aspen. The slowest are for Black Spruce. Climate and temperature play a large role in growth rates. Here are some other fun facts:

  • A forestland owner or tree farmer with 100 acres of commercial pulpwood could produce 15.8 million #10 envelopes or 4,000 reams of copy paper (500 sheets each) in a single year
  • Any market for paper products also benefits local communities, given that a portion of the income is re-injected into local businesses and services

Unfortunately, claims such as “go paperless – go green” or “save trees” mislead consumers into believing that paper is environmentally damaging, as well as a cause of deforestation (permanent forest loss) when it is not. In fact, paper supports the growth of North American forests, and well-managed forests provide a multitude of environmental, social and economic benefits to thousands of North American communities. Forests are also key to helping mitigate climate change due to carbon sequestration and promoting biodiversity compared to other land uses.

Want to learn more? Check out Two Sides’ Fact Sheets or Myths and Facts series.

* Results are based on type of tree species used and the age and growing conditions of the trees. Data and fiber growth rate calculations were obtained from the literature for nine tree species used in pulp and paper production and occurring under different growing conditions in the U.S. and Canada.