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Digital is Dead – Google chooses to “Print”

Digital is Dead – Google chooses to “Print”

Don’t start getting all your ads off the internet yet– they are still worth something. But be advised that digital does not always work as well as you think. Even the elephant in the room who’s been telling everyone for the past 10 years that online advertising is the best way to get customers has recently come to the realization that the new Ink and Paper method is worth engaging to attract new customers when the old Digital way does no longer do the job.

google's direct mail piece

This morning I have opened up my POBox to find an envelope with Google’s logo on it and my address plus FSC logo which is fashionable now. Inside was a 4 page postcard printed 4/2 on a 100% recycled paper and a business card sized 14pt card with rounded corners printed 4/4 digital with a variable code on one side and most likely AQ coating (it definitely looks like a shell card because the AQ coating goes only half way on one side to ensure that the variable code can be imprinted at any time). What surprised me though was the fact that there was no QR code on the card. Google actually wants me to type the 29 character URL into my browser and then type the 24 random character code to get a credit for my Adsense. Although, for me this is a little too much work I’m sure there may be others who will jump on this direct mail offer. Good for you Google. I’m sure others will follow realizing that Print is still King, for local businesses.

Nothing to worry about print

In the last couple of days I had a few interesting confrontations with the notion that the printed document is generating attention. I wonder if it has something to do with the bombardment of ads and media PRs about e-readers, iSlate tablets and smartphones .
Two examples that I want to share quickly are:
1) Wall Street Journal published a study about direct mail marketing. The study reveals that companies which traded direct mail marketing for the less expensive email marketing have suffered declines in revenues.  (Ouch, maybe not that less expensive after all) Their customers have also signaled to them their disappointment, some even phoned in to ask whether they had been dropped from the mailing list.
I don’t think anyone ever calls a company to find out why they are not receiving their email newsletter in the Junk Box.
2) During a meeting with one of my clients we were discussing the launch of a new Epoxy-type floor product. We brainstormed all kinds of marketing ideas yet the company marketing people, like a boomerang, always returned to the phrase “but a printed piece just has that trust feeling attached to it.”
I say this – in the new information age there’s room for print and Internet (TV, radio & computer converged).

Print salesman – an unpaid employee

Print salesman – an unpaid employee

Choosing a print sales rep is not easy. There are hundreds or even thousands of print sales reps roaming the streets of Toronto trying to get your business. As a print buyer you must select a sales rep whom you feel most comfortable with but at the same time who will provide you the service and product that you need in order for your company to be successful. A sales mentor once told me to add to a quotation letter the following sentence: I will be your unpaid employee. That’s exactly what a print sales rep is, an unpaid employee. And just like you interview all your prospective employees you should also interview print sales reps. The great thing about finding a sales rep is that you don’t have to post any ads, they call you. All you have to do is give them ten minutes of your time for an interview. Here is a list of qualities, which Margie from bostonprintbuyers.com has put together and which I have expanded upon, that a print sales rep should have:

•    He exudes professionalism which means he is an expert and has high standards of work ethics, morals and motivation – a person you can count on.

•    He has a lot of experience in the printing industry which means he can advise you on how to produce your project efficiently and economically.

•    He listens more than he talks and he asks you questions about your print jobs, like “Tell me how this piece will be used,” and “Is this piece part of a larger campaign?” and “What matters most to you about this project?” which means that he is not just an order taker but a business partner interested in your success, always gathering information to generate creative ideas for improving your projects and business.

•    He knows something about your company and your industry which means he understands your challenges and works to make your job easier.

•    He shows you samples that are not only beautifully produced, but they relate in some way to your needs which means that he understands your needs and your project’s requirements.

•    He is clearly going to be a resource for you and your firm, not an order taker.

•    He keeps in touch during the production of your job which means your stress is greatly reduced and you can focus on your other tasks.

•    He keeps his word or at least gives you a heads-up if, for example, deadlines are in jeopardy which means that you always have enough time to adjust.

•    He takes responsibility when appropriate, and doesn’t finger point which means when problems arise you can count on him to ensure that your delivery times are not jeopardized; and that he works in your best interest.

•    You can tell he’s someone you’d like to do business with for a long time because he’s not just a supplier but a business partner helping you achieve your goals and be successful.

•    He explains terms and technologies you don’t understand and keeps you current with new trends in printing which means that you become more knowledgeable, you are able to have better communication with other print suppliers and you are able to make more informed decisions.

•    He knows lots of other service providers who can complement work his firm does which means that you always get the best care and the best product and that he cares about your success.

•    He doesn’t bad mouth his competition which means that you can trust him and that he does not only care about his own self-interests.

•    He’s a high-energy person which means that when you need something done quickly you can depend on him getting it done.

•    He’s someone you’re happy to refer to your peers because you know that they will receive the same type of satisfactory service that you are receiving.

•    He keeps you calm during production, no matter how stressful it gets which means that you can sleep better at night knowing that you will get through the project alright.

•    He’s someone whose calls you always take which means he does not bore you with the same question “Can I quote on something?” but rather has something interesting to share with you.

•    He’s your ‘go-to’ resource which means that you can trust him that the information he provides you is always beneficial.