Print is NOT Dead – It’s Just Evolving

You are out at lunch and get a tweet that it was released a couple days ago – and it dawns on you that it may be waiting at the office.

Your pace quickens in anticipation… Sprinting through the front door you let your assistant know that for the next 30 minutes you are “in a meeting.”

I love it when my latest Fast Company arrives!

Yes – I’m a print junky. I love the smell of a press room; the gazillion types of paper substrates; the typography you can use; the finishes you can apply; the way photography and great creative can open up your neural pathways… yes, print can be flat-out good for your brain!

With all the social media, website, marketing automation and SEO love out there, I’d like to defend the honor of print. The irony of writing this as a blog post and being presented to you as pixels is not lost on me, but to sort of quote Mark Twain, I’d like to state that “the rumors of the demise of print has been greatly exaggerated.”

Let me use my subscription to Fast Company as an example. @Fastcompany understands what I call the tri-fecta of Marketing Communications – great content meets wonderful creative and together they give birth to an exquisitely-produced and printed magazine.

PRINT IS NOT DEAD, BABY, it’s simply evolving.

In a world of instantly communicated bits, bytes, tweets, posts and pins, printing has had to redefine itself. Print, which is the original social media, has taken a lot of negative hits from these newer communications channels, but there are some advantages that print will always have…

  • It’s Tactile. You can touch it and smell it. Different types of printing techniques can produce smooth or rough finishes. You can create a magazine cover that feels like basketball or add a scent so your collateral piece smells like the north woods.
  • It’s Sticky. You can’t turn off a sales flyer. A high-resolution postcard doesn’t take forever to download.
  • It’s Green. Yep – you Paper DOES grow on trees! Did you know that the North American Paper Industry plants 1.7 million trees a day? As a matter of fact, did you know that there are 20% MORE trees in the US today than 40 years ago?1 Check out this great infographic from our friends at Aleyant

PrintIsBig-AddLogo-750wd_web

  • There’s a Cognitive Advantage. Studies show that students who read texts in print scored significantly better on the reading comprehension test than students who read the texts digitally.2
  • Print Plays REALLY Well with Others. When combined with a web-based communications channel(s) in a cross-media campaign, print is super-effective..
    • Marketers report an average improvement of 35% for multi-channel campaigns over single-channel campaigns.3
    • There’s an average improvement of close to 50% for personalized multi-channel campaigns, which is something that’s easier to do when deploying a cross media marketing strategy.3

So what’s the takeaway from all this? Don’t abandon your print spend for pixels exclusively. Print can and should be a strong part of anyone’s marketing communications strategy to optimize your ROI.

Rock on!

  1. Printisbig.com (yeah – we see the irony, too)
  2. Paper versus computer screen: Effects on reading comprehension International Journal of Educational Research, Volume 58, 2013, Pages 61-68 
  3. http://ferranteassoc.com/cross-media-marketing-programs-effective/

Scott founded Lighthouse Marketing Services in 2000. Lighthouse specializes in the art of visual communication, whether it be B2B or B2C, it’s our business to make your business an efficient communications machine. Be a part of the conversation, with graphic design that pops, all the print that’s fit to print, and sticky web sites that embed themselves into the hearts and minds of your clients. Our job is to not only help you craft and produce your informational piece, but to make sure you are getting the message in front of your desired audience through the tools we can provide. From direct mail to marketing automation to SEO, we can assist you in developing a process by which you are creating qualified leads and ultimately converting those into sales.

 

 

Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation & Business Intelligence

I used to love Google Analytics because I could see how many people were visiting my site or my clients’ sites, and where they were coming from.  When I learned about the power of Marketing Automation (MA), it was like turning on a light in a dark room. The business intelligence that MA generates is incredible. Business intelligence (BI) – is defined (at least by Wikipedia) as the set of techniques and tools for the transformation of raw data into meaningful and useful information for business analysis purposes. We have found that the use of MA (we partner with SharpSpring) in our day-to-day interactions with current and prospective clients has created an enormous amount of business intelligence. For the sake of this discussion, when we refer to BI, we will be talking about website activity and sales efforts.

BI is critical to ANY organization.  At Lighthouse, our current clients’ needs come first, but we want to keep new clients coming in, which requires an intentional sales effort.  That means prospecting, qualifying, calling, following up, presenting, quoting, landing an account and then maintaining it.  Referrals are great, and we get a lot of them, but there is nothing like good old fashioned sales calls – by phone, email, direct mail or personal visit – and you have to track ALL of that activity.

Calling on unqualified leads is neither effective nor profitable. For many small to medium-sized businesses, they simply don’t have the time or the know-how to provide qualified leads to their sales team.  This is where Marketing Automation (MA) can help by using tools to create the intelligence to separate the qualified leads from the scrap heap, and make your sales team much more efficient and happy (ever been around a sales person in the middle of a sales drought? Not fun.)

Let’s say you have 1,000 leads – and they are not current clients.  The MA tool that we use, Sharpspring, has a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) built into it’s program that allows you to create profiles for each of those 1,000 leads.  All we need is their name, the organization name that they work for, and their email address.  The more information we can add to that profile though, phone number, address, etc., the better.

Marketing automation has the ability to track every move they make when it comes to interaction with your company. Web visits, email threads, forms submitted, calls made, links clicked – all of these interactions are logged into what we call the “Life of the Lead” and SCORED. This is where it gets good. MA creates Business Intelligence by assigning a score to each interaction; completeness of profile, for every interaction both on the web and through email, for the TYPE of lead that they are (more on that in a subsequent post.)

This is all done behind the scenes and continuously.  At any one time, you can see a snapshot of your lead list and see who has the highest scores.  These are your qualified leads.  We also give these leads a decay rate – we subtract points for inactivity, creating an even larger gap between those qualified, warm leads, and those that are not qualified.  You can also see in real time, when your clients have visited your site, what pages they have gone through and how long they were on there.  Every morning, you get a summary of the previous day’s activity, and you can also set your sales team as owners of different leads, and have them notified via text or email if one of those leads reaches a milestone of activity.

There are many reasons to incorporate Marketing Automation into your sales and marketing strategy, but the ability to create Business Intelligence and automatically qualify leads should be reason enough!

For more information on how Lighthouse can help you set up a Marketing Automation program powered by SharpSpring, give us a call, or fill out the contact form here (which is connected to SharpSpring – so don’t be surprised to get an email from us thanking you for your time!)

Lighthouse Marketing

Marketing Comes Alive at Lighthouse

Lighthouse Marketing is a Marketing Services team that focuses on extending strategy into action. We can assist you from the initial point of creative to supporting services like video/photography and then into the delivery mechanism of print, web development or promotional items. We are experts in all of these areas, which in turn benefits you in both quality and price. We handle all aspects of the process for our clients, including planning, project management, design, production, and website development along with social media.

The advantage to working with us is that we can help you with any graphic need that you might have – and we do it with an eye to your budget.

So what does a Marketing Services company do?  We really are a hybrid company – built on the concept that our clients would need someone that could design a collateral piece, take a photo and/or video, build a website, print a brochure, post a story to a blog, send out alerts on social media, make sure the website is optimized for Google, or get a golf shirt produced for a company outing.

We do ALL of these things and allows you to be more efficient at running your business or organization without having to worry about sourcing all of these items at different firms.

The best news?  Is that we are fun to work with, are budget-minded and will help your organization articulate it’s unique offering in a creative and visually engaging way!

We have all of your marketing needs covered:

  • Branding
  • Design
  • Photography/Video
  • Direct Mail
  • Print
  • Packaging
  • Promotional Items
  • Website Development
  • Social Media
  • Marketing Automation
  • SEO

 

Special thanks to Batavia MainStreet, Kiss The Sky, Water Street Studios, Joi Cuartero, Jen Evans, Sarah G. Davis, Andy Christopoulos, Lax Reigns, Dayna Corbitt (via David Foster), Limestone Coffee & Tea, Foltos Tonsorial Parlor, Michelle Hartney, Scott Salvati, Alexis Cayton, Jaime Foster and BEI Properties.

 

Flagsource Blueprint Flyer

Hey kids! Take a gander at our latest design for Flagsource. They needed a flyer that showcased their materials and we provided. #newwork #marketing #flyer

JCS2014-18 Blueprint Vision DS 12.11.14.indd

Marketing Automation

The Business of Intelligence and Marketing Automation

I used to love Google Analytics because I could see how many people were visiting my site or my clients’ sites, and where they were coming from.  When I learned about the power of Marketing Automation (MA), it was like turning on a light in a dark room. The business intelligence that MA generates is incredible. Business intelligence (BI) – is defined (at least by Wikipedia) as the set of techniques and tools for the transformation of raw data into meaningful and useful information for business analysis purposes. We have found that the use of MA (we partner with SharpSpring) in our day-to-day interactions with current and prospective clients has created an enormous amount of business intelligence. For the sake of this discussion, when we refer to BI, we will be talking about website activity and sales efforts.

BI is critical to ANY organization.  At Lighthouse, our current clients’ needs come first, but we want to keep new clients coming in, which requires an intentional sales effort.  That means prospecting, qualifying, calling, following up, presenting, quoting, landing an account and then maintaining it.  Referrals are great, and we get a lot of them, but there is nothing like good old fashioned sales calls – by phone, email, direct mail or personal visit – and you have to track ALL of that activity.

Calling on unqualified leads is neither effective nor profitable. For many small to medium-sized businesses, they simply don’t have the time or the know-how to provide qualified leads to their sales team.  This is where Marketing Automation (MA) can help by using tools to create the intelligence to separate the qualified leads from the scrap heap, and make your sales team much more efficient and happy (ever been around a sales person in the middle of a sales drought? Not fun.)

Let’s say you have 1,000 leads – and they are not current clients.  The MA tool that we use, Sharpspring, has a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) built into it’s program that allows you to create profiles for each of those 1,000 leads.  All we need is their name, the organization name that they work for, and their email address.  The more information we can add to that profile though, phone number, address, etc., the better.

Marketing automation has the ability to track every move they make when it comes to interaction with your company. Web visits, email threads, forms submitted, calls made, links clicked – all of these interactions are logged into what we call the “Life of the Lead” and SCORED. This is where it gets good. MA creates Business Intelligence by assigning a score to each interaction; completeness of profile, for every interaction both on the web and through email, for the TYPE of lead that they are (more on that in a subsequent post.)

This is all done behind the scenes and continuously.  At any one time, you can see a snapshot of your lead list and see who has the highest scores.  These are your qualified leads.  We also give these leads a decay rate – we subtract points for inactivity, creating an even larger gap between those qualified, warm leads, and those that are not qualified.  You can also see in real time, when your clients have visited your site, what pages they have gone through and how long they were on there.  Every morning, you get a summary of the previous day’s activity, and you can also set your sales team as owners of different leads, and have them notified via text or email if one of those leads reaches a milestone of activity.

There are many reasons to incorporate Marketing Automation into your sales and marketing strategy, but the ability to create Business Intelligence and automatically qualify leads should be reason enough!

For more information on how Lighthouse can help you set up a Marketing Automation program powered by SharpSpring, give us a call, or fill out the contact form here (which is connected to SharpSpring – so don’t be surprised to get an email from us thanking you for your time!)

Marketing Automation: Why Your Company Should be Using It

You might have heard the term Marketing Automation (MA) being thrown around as the latest fad in web analytics. After doing a lot of research and testing it for myself for both Lighthouse and several of our clients, I have to say it’s a game-changer for those that want to use it.

MA isn’t actually one thing – it’s a suite of tools that work in concert and allow you to hone your business intelligence as it relates to your current and future client base. It’s used in conjunction with your website and as a push tool in the form of Email blasting. It incorporates online forms, link tracking, lead scoring, customer relationship management, campaign cost measurement, and many more tools.

After looking at several of the big players in the market, we ended up partnering with Sharpspring, a Marketing Automation agency out of Gainesville, FL. They offered everything we were looking for in terms of tools, but most importantly allowed us to provide our clients this functionality at a fraction of the cost of the bigger market. They get how we operate as an agency and to that end have a model set up to help our clients – they are phenomenal.

Back to MA – the name itself implies the fact that things are moving behind the scenes. This is true, but there is a significant amount of work to be done up front in order for those workflows to run seamlessly. Kind of like building a website, where the most critical part of the development is in the blueprints, you really need to layout your plan for on boarding new clients and relationship management so your team is most efficient.

Once all of these things are in place, you can start tracking people that visit your website, landing pages, shopping carts, visit from links, social media posts, form submittals, etc. This is where it starts getting good, because the real value in the MA platform is Lead Scoring.

Every profile you track has a score – and that score increases or decreases automatically depending on the activity going on with that profile. I will go into more detail on lead scoring in subsequent posts, but the groovy thing here is that the warm to hot leads (those that are more active than others) will rise to the top of the list of contacts. Your sales team (which may be just yourself or a team of sales people) can then be contacting those leads that are “qualified” rather than just cold calling the entire database, which is vastly more productive.

I will be writing more posts going into the detail of Marketing Automation, but for more information, you can check out our page on MA here, or visit our partner Sharpspring who also has a wealth of information to give!

Google Plus: Social Media Powerhouse of 2014

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Google Plus just entered the social media scene in 2011, making it seem like an infant among the major players of Facebook and Twitter, but in just a few short years it’s risen to become one of the most important social media options for businesses…

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Reviewing LinkedIn’s Contacts App

Reviewing LinkedIn’s Contacts App (via Small Business Solutions and Entrepreneur Blog)

As social media has become a tool more and more businesses and organizations are using, LinkedIn has made a name for itself as an invaluable resource for professionals. Although it’s lumped in with other social media sites, LinkedIn has much more…

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Lighthouse launches LMS 3.0

Lighthouse is proud to announce the launch of the third iteration of it’s web presence, code named “Mr. D’Arcy.”  We have built this on a WordPress platform, to showcase the functionality that WordPress has to offer.