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    Perfect Year In Review

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    #5 Perfect Printing installs a 257 kilowatt solar energy system that includes 1,000 solar panels atop the Moorestown headquarters building producing about 44 percent of the total power consumption for the company.

    # 4 Perfect Printing is the first to install the Heidelberg Kama76 Die Cutter in the US allowing foil stamping and embossing to be done in-house.

    #3 Perfect Printing announces the formation of a marketing Development team whose goal it will be to help companies solve business challenges through more effective communications.

    #2 Perfect Printing adds Wide Format Printing to its suite of Offset and Digital print capabilities for creative applications including point-of-sale graphics, museum graphics, window graphics, retail displays, trade show signage and displays and custom packaging.

    #1 Perfect Printing announces big changes to come in 2014 including a company-wide rebranding campaign and its evolution to a full-service communications company.

    As we enter 2014, we will continue to work to find new and innovative ways to meet our customer’s communication needs. Over the next few months, we will officially unveil our new name and a new logo (you received a preview in our 2014 calendar). We will also introduce our new menu of services in more detail. We are excited about this new direction, the new year and all the possibilities. Happy New Year…here’s hoping that your 2014 is Perfect!
     

    Reinvention

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    For those unfamiliar with this "Philly landmark", Franklin Mills is considered to be the area's first huge outlet shopping mall.  It was marketed as a "destination" and "a mall to end them all" when it opened in 1989.

    Well, much has changed since 1989. In addition to the economic turndown of the mid-2000’s, outlet shopping became commonplace and the novelty wore off. Looking to “reinvent itself”, the property's management redefined its value proposition. Rather than a theme-park like destination,  they now are repositioning the mall as offering “budget-conscious shoppers more selection for less."

    What lessons can be learned from the rise and fall (and perhaps re-birth) of the Franklin Mills Mall? Customer needs evolve and change. What was once a novel idea can become not so "shiny and new" over time. Companies must continually evaluate customer needs to determine if they are still being met. 

    Has your industry changed since your company’s value proposition was first defined? Do customers have offerings similar to yours or perhaps other means to achieve the same goal that does not require your product or service? Periodically it’s important as marketers to review our value proposition to see if it’s still on target. When was the last time you asked the question “Do we need to re-invent ourselves?”

    Read the complete article
     

    Photo credit: http://www.philebrity.com/

    Looking into the Future

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    Nanography is most commonly known in the science field as the manipulation of ultra-small particles. In the medical field this process has been employed in studies as a way to deliver medication through absorption of the skin because of the ultra small particles that it allows the medication to be broken down to. Nanotechology, as it relates to the graphic arts industry, has come to the forefront due to the efforts of Benny Landa. Landa was the inventory of the Indigo digital printing press and is considered by many to be a “founding father” of digital printing. After selling his company to HP, Landa started a research and Development company. One of the efforts he led was figuring out a way to employ nanontechnology to enhance the science of putting ink on paper. Landa’s team has found a way to reduce ink to nano particle size. In doing so, they realized that the colors in the ink were significantly stronger than conventional ink and a toner and gained other properties that possibly will make it a superior way of putting ink on a substrate.

    Using the proprietary NanoInk, nanotechnology promises the possibility of changing the digital print process. The possibility of a wider color gamut, a lower cost per impression, and the ability to print on a significantly wider range of media is something that has implications for the print industry and anyone that utilizes print as part of their media efforts. While it is still far from being considered mainstream, this technology has the potential to significantly disrupt the graphic communications industry in the years ahead. The next 12 months will be a good indicator as to whether the nanotechnology process is ready for prime time.

     

    A New Spin on Something Old

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    The #XmasJammies video is a holiday sensation, putting a new spin on an old idea. Much like Shutterfly did for (or to) the traditional photo album (read this article on Shutterfly’s innovative approach), the Holderness family has done to the traditional holiday card, holiday family photo card and the even more detailed ‘year-in-review’ letter.

    In 3:38 minutes of time, they sing and dance their way through an engaging review of their accomplishments as a family in 2013. They also manage to promote their digital marketing services in a tasteful and engaging manner while creating an unforgettable product. But above all else here are five reasons why our team loved the #XmasJammies video and why we believe other companies should adopt a similar approach to their marketing.

    They Tell a Story
    The rise of social media provides the best opportunity for companies to take a fresh look at how they market their brands. New platforms emerge each and every day while the big ones (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) still provide ample opportunities for companies to get their messages out and logos in front of millions. These platforms also provide an opportunity for individuals and companies alike to become storytellers and according to a recent Forbes article, this is the here and now of marketing.

    Demonstrate Their Expertise
    Team Holderness did a wonderful job telling their story through video which, oh by the way, just-so-happens to be what they do for a living. While not everyone will be able to tell their story through their product offering, demonstrating an expertise in a creative way (hosting a seminar at an unusual event and recording it) not only demonstrates an ability to think outside-the-box, it also demonstrates a willingness to be different and to reach people through different methods.

    Be Authentic and Fearless
    Just how many husband and wife duos would actually rap their way through a video in their jammies for the entire world to see? We’ll bet that not too many would be that comfortable. However, there’s an authenticity to the Holderness video that pulls the viewer in, as if they can totally relate with what they’re saying. This has more to do with their ability to overcome the fear of being authentic in the eyes of their peers, than it does in their ability to create a video. Any company can hire a marketing firm to record a video but it is up to the company and their employees to figure out how to promote the business and its culture through an authentic story.

    Make it Personal
    Since the dawn of time people have done business with people they know. This hasn’t changed but the challenge for most companies today is to figure out how to “get personal.” For many businesses, both big and small, there simply isn’t enough time in the day to do everything that needs to get done, including getting personal with customers and vendors alike. The Holderness’s figure out how to do this by using an annual tradition to let everyone know who they were as people and it would be very hard to not do business with them after seeing that video. When joomla_4eloping a marketing plan companies should consider the “how do we get personal” element and should consider the best platform for distributing those messages.

    Utilizing Technology
    Long gone are the days of questioning whether or not your business should be on Facebook, create a video or blog. These are now standard practices for just about every marketing strategy and the employment of these tools should be a part of any company’s daily routine (excluding the Development and deployment of video). The inclusion of a hashtag within the title (#XmasJammies) was the icing on the cake!

    joomla_4eloping a novel approach to differentiate your company from your competition is not easy. It takes strategy, design and implementation as well as testing and a little failure to get it right. However, include a few basic elements like those mentioned above your chances of connecting with your audience is improved.

     

    The Printed Book in a Digital Age

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    For those that may not be familiar with the story, Boston’s Old South Church, whose congregants used to include John Adams and Ben Franklin, sold the Bay Psalm Book through an auction at the price of $14.2 million dollars. The book was a first edition, printed in 1640 and is believe to be the oldest book in America.

    Fast forward 375 years from today and I wonder what will be sold at auction as a piece of American history? Will they sell a URL from the first known webpage? Or maybe an e-reader that contains the book “Shades of Grey”? Hopefully the charging technology of today will work 375 years from now but I would not bet on it.
    What mediums of communication will still be around centuries from now is anyone’s guess, but the disruption in mediums caused by the current wave of technologies will be felt for many years to come.
     

    Can You Finish What You Started?

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    If every print manufacturer can print within the same quality parameters does this make all print producers equal? This question can be resolved when looking at the next step in the production process, which is the finishing of the piece. With competition from all of the other forms of media, one of the trends in print has been to make your piece standout. Finishing techniques such as diecutting, foil stamping, embossing and custom packaging can add a significant “wow” factor to the printed piece and greatly increase the chances that the intended recipient will retain the message that you are trying to convey.

    With the pressure towards faster production cycles it is has become more critical that your print production partner handle these operations in house. While outsourcing will always play a significant role in the industry, there is no denying that it places a greater strain on the ability to turn a job as quickly or to maintain consistent quality standards. A print production partner that produces the entire job in-house will provide you with the peace of mind that a project is being managed under a single process and has the greatest probability of meeting your expectations in regards to quality and speed of turn around.
     

    Technology Changes and Wide Format

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    The quality of these inkjet joomla_4ices has greatly increased to the point that it is allowing for shorter runs in less time than could have been dreamed about with the previous generation of equipment. The implication of this change, along with significant advances in the types and quality of available substrates, has been most profound in the specialty packaging, interior signage and POP markets.

    In the past, to create full color images for products in these markets was a three step process. First, a liner was printed via conventional offset. This was done for quality reasons, as there were no alternative processes to print high quality images directly on to a substrate. A second step often involved lamination of the liner. While sometimes done for aesthetics, this was, more often than not, done to create a more durable product. Offset printing on an unprotected liner sheet would simply not hold up to the rigors of the settings in retail display or packaging. A third step involved mounting the liner sheet to the desired substrate. In the past the choice of substrates was significantly limited. What used to be a three step process can now be accomplished with a single step.

    The quality of the substrates have also greatly improved; imaging can now be done directly onto items like foam board, corrugated paper and composite board. The UV inks that are used offer greater rub and fade resistance than conventional offset inks. This eliminates the need for additional protection from lamination in many cases. All of these changes have allowed for shorter run lengths to be done more cost efficiently and with quicker turn cycles that could never have been conceived with the previous production methods.
     

    Volunteer Retention for Non-Profits

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    Volunteers are essential to many non-profits as they allow the organization to work more efficiently on limited budgets and increase enthusiasm for the organization within the community. When one thinks of marketing campaigns for non-profit organizations it is usually in the context of a financial giving. The giving of time, however, can be just as valuable to a non-profit and it is important that the proper conversations take place to joomla_4elop and retain those volunteers.

    Bringing out the passions of the volunteers is key. While outbound marketing in the form of direct mail, e-mail and telemarketing are key ways in which to communicate, just as important is inbound marketing? Social media and content marketing are ways to keep volunteers connected to your organization. Sharing the successes of the organization and focusing on key volunteers will encourage others to contribute their efforts so that they can be part of something that is doing positive things within the community they care about.

    Interestingly, the level of donor retention varies throughout the country. Some of the lowest donor retention rates are in places like Southern California, Miami, Orlando and Las Vegas. In those locations it appears that the non-profits have the added burden of competing against the fun and sun in order to retain their volunteers.
     

    How Does Google Reach Customers? It’s Not How You May Think.

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    Google certainly could have reached out to me via e-mail or via paid search advertisements. For all I know they could have been trying to reach out to me by e-mail, only to have them go into my junk e-mail folder along with the 250 other e-mails that are deposited there on a daily basis. The direct mailer that I received was done in typical Google fashion, lots of white space and focused on copy. While it gave me directions as to how to respond via the web, it also provided instructions for a call in number. Kudos to Google for realizing that giving the intended recipient ways to respond beyond the web can pay dividends.

    For those that may wonder if direct mail should play a part in your next campaign, I think that you only need to look at Google. They are a company whose primary source of revenue is from electronic advertising, yet even they see the value in using direct mail to reach the intended target.