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    The Wonderful World of Data

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    However, in today's rapidly changing environment, business owners, communicators and marketers representing companies and brands can no longer count on tradtional marketing techniques to reach intended audiences. Marketer's must now reach potential consumers and other members of their ‘community’ via targeted, personalized and meaningful messages. But the question remains, how?

    Enter the wonderful and often perplexing world of data. The very first step in formulating effective messaging begins with a basic understanding of modern data. Now we’re not talking about mega-data or crunching big sets of numbers over long periods of time to identify purchasing patterns and other outcomes; we’re talking about understanding basic data to gain insight into who is interested in your product or service and how to reach them.

    At Perfect we are often asked to analyze data sets on behalf of our clients to help them determine the best way to reach their clients via printed material. However, we recently looked inward to gain a better understanding of our own customers in an effort to communicate with them in a more targeted specific manner and this is what we discovered.

    – The average age of our contact and decision maker is 36 and predominantly female.
    – Our top thirty customers fall into one of four vertical markets including: Finance, Academia, Non-profit (both philanthropic and associations / professional societies), or Healthcare.
    – Additional and emerging clients can be found in the Retail, Apparel and Entertainment space.
    – The overwhelming majority of our top customers have both creative and in-house marketing teams.
    – Turnaround time, consistency across platforms, variable data and strategic insight are considered to be the main benefits in working with Perfect.
    – The majority of our customers are located within 45 miles of our facility (although we support global efforts for several clients)
    – The majority of our clients are either employed by, or have an understanding, of design, communications and marketing concepts and methodologies.

    These and other findings have helped shaped our communications to our client base in fun and interesting ways. For example, each and every year we print a deliver a Perfect calendar for our customers. This year we hired a local designer for the layout and an illustrator from Philadelphia to design the artwork for our gift (Click here to see illustrations). His renderings included illustrations of Ben Franklin riding on a Vespa, scenes from the Jersey Shore and a reference to the Pocono’s, all regional hallmarks that our audience could identify with.

    We are also in the process of joomla_4eloping an additional campaign that speaks to our customer’s professions but that hasn’t launched yet so you’ll have to wait to learn more about that program.

    In the end, it doesn’t take a scientist to cull through your data and identify opportunities for messaging. In most cases, the real work is obtaining the information in a way that makes sense (we simply identified buckets of information including addresses, industry, staff, purchasing history, etc.) in an effort to create what we call connection categories.

    Once the gathering of the data is complete a few identifiable trends should rise to the top and help you gain a better understanding of what your audience may want to see in your communication to them.

    For an article on understanding the intersection of consumer behavior and big data


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    Governmental Data and Direct Mail

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    Certain industries and campaigns may find value in data that the government makes available at no charge. In December of 2009, the Federal government issued a directive to agencies within the government to post more information online. In addition, the Feds have encouraged municipal governments to do the same. A visit to provides a significant amount of data of public information that can be obtained at no charge. Datasets can be searched among communities like healthcare, education and manufacturing. Some municipalities have begun to post residential building permit applications. If you sell kitchen appliances, what better way to find out who is redoing their kitchen and may have a need for your product?

    While not all of the data can be targeted to an individual or household, the amount of data becoming publicly available will only continue to grow. A treasure trove of public data is available for those that can figure out creative ways in which to use it.

    Can QR Codes Be Revived?

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    Whenever something new comes out in the world of communications, marketers are scrambling to figure out ways to incorporate them into their various channels. Sometimes it works, but often I see a shoehorn approach, where the sleek, new shiny object is forced clumsily into an existing idea. Months later, the technology is deemed ineffective and many times the technology is abandoned. So it is with QR codes. In case you don't know, the QR code is the ugly little box that often appears on signage, brochures and anywhere else a blank space might appear on an otherwise less cluttered marketing message. The promise: Scan here with your mobile joomla_4ice and be rewarded with something wonderful! The payoff: Too often eager scanners were greeted by corporate websites-many not even optimized for the mobile joomla_4ice being used to scan the code. It's to the point where most people I know no longer even consider scanning a code. And why should they, when marketers haven't taken the time to give their audiences a proper reward for taking the time to interact with them?

    Well, just about when I was ready to declare the QR Code dead, I'm starting to see them used in very powerful and compelling ways. One example that got my attention lately was the Bowflex Upper Cut. The product, which is designed to teach people how to do a myriad of pushups, comes with a poster that shows each style of pushup and also has a QR code which leads the scanner to an instructional video to use the Upper Cut effectively. As a marketer, imagine the power of capturing scan information for future campaigns. As a user of the Upper Cut, imagine the impact of rewarding content and the satisfaction in a product whose value goes beyond the item in the box you received on your front porch.

    QR codes, like all new communication methods, are only as good as the planning and creativity that go into them. By taking the time to consider your audience and caring enough about their time and circumstances to reward them for interacting with your brand, you can build a solid community of brand advocates. Waste their time, and they will simply stop paying attention to you.


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    Marketing and the New Healthcare Laws

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    For medical specialists, one of the best ways to gain new patients is through the referrals of other doctors. Recent studies have shown that 60% of patients trust to current doctor to provide good referrals. Having a program in place that builds a community with other physicians and makes them aware of specific services that can be offered is one way to increase the amount of referrals.

    A recent campaign from a cosmetic dentist that I came across illustrated the positive aspects of adding new patients. This dentist wanted to build referrals from other general dentists in his area that did not do the type of procedures that he offered to patients. To grow his practice he initiated a campaign that had the following goals:
    1) Increase awareness of his practice
    2) Establish relationships with other area dentists via a study club
    3) Gain specialty referrals from the area’s general dentists

    The campaign utilized direct mail, a personalized micro-site and follow up e-mails. One of the response incentives was the ability for responding dentists to participate in a network group that would allow them to meet face-to-face with their peers.

    Halfway through the campaign, the dentist was able to achieve a record year for referrals. The average annual value per referring dentist was $20,000, which made it easy to see how a community building program like this can quickly pay for itself many times over.

    Photo credit: Seattle Municipal Archives

    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!


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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

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    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.