The hidden opportunity in your PDF downloads

Posted on August 12th, 2009 by | Filed under: Integrated Marketing, Investor Relations, Marketing News, Soap Box

If your company is like most these days, you have numerous PDFs on your Web site available for download. With this cost effective and user friendly tactic, many companies are missing the opportunity to let the PDF help close the sale.

Newsletter PDF Download (Toyota Material Handling)

PDF Newsletter (Toyota Material Handling)

Too often, the downloadable PDF is not professionally designed because you’re not investing in offset printing. Such treatment can lead to missed opportunities. When uploading documents in PDF format to your Web site, ask yourself, “What does my audience do with those documents, and are my PDFs doing their job?”

From investor relations to sales collateral, your PDF downloads provide a convenient means for potential buyers and investors to collect the information they seek.  But do those documents rise to the level of your corporate identity? Do they enhance your brand? Do they build your image? Do they sell?

When researching a vendor, product or service, buyers commonly collect downloaded PDFs and spit them out of the office printer for later analysis. Product information, whitepapers, spec sheets, company fact sheets, annual reports – they’re all being downloaded and printed as we speak. While offset printing volumes are being reduced, the office printer is alive and well.

So treat the office printer like another media channel. When your company’s material comes out looking superior to the others in the prospect’s collection, you’ve just jumped to the top of the stack.


User or audience? Tailor your campaign to the behavior

Posted on July 28th, 2009 by | Filed under: Integrated Marketing
B-to-B Trade Ad

B-to-B Trade Ad

You’re about to launch a marketing campaign. You know the creative is on target, you know your message is compelling. You want an integrated, cross-media campaign. So, just take that ad creative and repeat it throughout your media mix and, voilá, we’re integrated! … Right?

A common but costly mistake.

While a good campaign has a distinctive look and memorable hook, the actual message must be optimized for each medium. For example, the most powerful and effective creative for a magazine ad can make for an ineffective email. This is due to the radical changes in audience mindset between the various media experiences.

When I’m paging through a magazine, I welcome ads that entertain and captivate me. If I receive an email with that same message, however, it could be an unwelcome intrusion in my in-box that has no value to me. With the same message, a marketer can score a favorable impression in one medium and completely turn off their target audience in another.

Response-Driven Email

Response-Driven Email

The passive medium of print begs for arresting creative, and in today’s world of shrinking print volumes it may be even more effective than ever. In the participatory world of online media, however, you are speaking to your audience in a completely different social context. The audience is actively engaged. They are in task mode. Social media is where they connect themselves to subjects of interest, and email is where they take action.

Think first about the purpose and context of each medium—Web sites, blogs, magazines, billboards, email, postal mail, T.V., social media—and then ask what value you need to bring to each. In going through this mental exercise, you may spark some promotional ideas that work better in the active media.

Tailoring your campaign for channel behavior can add promotional muscle to your offline efforts, and creative punch to your online communications.


Essential, affordable branding and marketing tactics during a recession

Posted on December 4th, 2008 by | Filed under: Marketing in a Recession, Soap Box

Email marketing can be a highly effective alternative when budgets are tight. When done properly, email is among the most cost-effective methods of enhancing and strengthening your existing client base. When done poorly, however, it can damage your brand.

A well executed email marketing program is the most economical way to market to, and build loyalty with, an existing customer base. But don’t expect to acquire new customers with direct emails from your company lest you be branded a spammer. A good in-house email list cannot be bought, only earned. When you earn it, it becomes a highly valuable asset.

Email lists can be built through advertising (that’s right, the “A” word) on targeted publishers’ online newsletters. This way your message is received via a trusted third party. Compared to print, these advertising products can be quite reasonable and far less costly than paid search. If your ad is well placed and has a compelling message, you can convert new subscribers to your in-house email list.


When budgets are tight, don’t cut the “What,” change the “How”

Posted on December 4th, 2008 by | Filed under: Marketing in a Recession, Soap Box

We often hear we should keep up our marketing activity during a recession to maintain–even improve–our market position. The reality, however, is that leaving your marketing budget intact while making cuts elsewhere is easier said than done, and in most cases it’s just unrealistic.

While all cuts are painful, a cut in the marketing budget is often seen as temporary and therefore livable. But to completely stop marketing activity is to surrender market position to your competitors. Can’t afford to maintain previous budget levels? The savvy thing to do during a recession is to switch to highly economical tactics while maintaining your brand integrity.

Bottom line: If you have to cut back your marketing budget, don’t cut the “What,” change the “How.” We’re in a recession and budgets are thin. Lean, economical marketing tactics executed with your existing brand integrity will protect your market share.