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Articles by Heidi Tolliver-Walker

Heidi Tolliver-Walker is former print industry magazine editor and long-time industry analyst, content developer, author, and blogger. She has written for the industry’s top publications, research companies, and private companies for the past three decades — so long that she still has an AOL address, which she signed up for back when AOL was still cool. You can reach her at [email protected]

Displaying 1-99 of 250 articles

Quiz: How Many Things Can QR Codes Do?

Published May 12, 2021

If you were asked to come up with a list of ways that QR codes can be used in marketing, how many could you list? Could you come up with at least 10? As QR codes see a resurgence, being driven by everything from the COVID-19 pandemic to USPS postal promotions, it’s time to take stock of how they are being used, as well as the opportunities that are being missed.  

Graphic Arts Teachers to Printers: “We Need You!”

Published May 5, 2021

This is the third in the series about what can be done to keep the pipeline of new talent flowing into the printing industry. In this article, we look at the relationship between the graphic arts schools (or lack thereof) and the local printers and the profound impact this has on the pipeline.

Graphic Arts Teachers: The Printing Industry Can Do More to Help Keep the Talent Pipeline Alive

Published April 28, 2021

Following up on last week’s article on the current state of high school and trade school graphic arts programs, what can be done to keep the pipeline of new talent flowing into the printing industry? Has anyone asked the teachers of high school graphic arts programs on the front lines? Here is a selection of responses to a query about what can be done from their perspective...and they had a lot to say.

Insight into the Dwindling Workforce Development Pipeline: Graphic Arts Teachers’ Perspective

Published April 21, 2021

Jeff White, director of development for the Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation, solicited insight on the dwindling pipeline of skilled labor from the teachers of graphic arts programs at the high school level. The results reveal why printers can’t wait for someone else to fix the problem.

Direct Mail Campaigns Bombing? Could the Phone or Website Be to Blame?

Published April 14, 2021

Do you have a client who seems to be doing everything right in its direct marketing campaigns, yet its metrics are not what they should be? Before the client pins the blame on you, they might want to check two potential culprits that lie between the campaigns and the sale: the website and the call center.

What Is “More Sophisticated” Personalization, Anyway?

Published April 7, 2021

Who’s Mailing What! recently released its report “18 Direct Mail Trends for 2021,” with predictions from leading industry experts about what they are seeing on the horizon for this year. First on WMW!’s list is “more sophisticated personalization.” But what, exactly, does “more sophisticated” mean?

Content Is King: But Disconnects Kill Effectiveness

Published March 25, 2021

We all know that content is king. Connect with your audiences using the right content and you’ve got engagement, attention, and sales. But that’s if you are sending the right content, and one survey shows that in the B2B market, there is a disconnect between what buyers need and what marketers are sending—and a big one.

A Surprising Reason for More and Better In-Store Signage

Published March 23, 2021

There are lots of reasons to encourage your customers to beef up their in-store signage and displays. Great marketing. Safety and regulatory compliance during COVID-19.  But did you know that really good signage can also make your customers less price-sensitive?

Be Inspired: Mactac Gives Back...and You Can, Too!

Published March 16, 2021

Consistently, surveys show that giving back to the community increases a brand’s favorability among buyers. Never has this been more true than during the pandemic. That’s why stories like “Mactac Gives Back” resonate so deeply.

The Power of Social Media...on Packaging

Published March 9, 2021

Customer product reviews are a powerful tool in e-commerce, and positive reviews often make the difference between someone making a purchase or not. Those reviews are in the public domain, so why not use them in print marketing, too? This company did.

What Is an Identity Graph and Why Does It Matter?

Published March 4, 2021

What is an identity graph and why does it matter? In a nutshell, it is the “next generation” customer identity management. Think of it as marketing’s version of an FBI profile.

Nine Continuous-Feed Inkjet Webinar Takeaways

Published March 2, 2021

Takeaways from a recent webinar on assessing continuous-feed (CF) inkjet for your print operation.

Direct Mail Lessons from After Five Tuxedo Rental

Published February 24, 2021

A closer look at a case study from Postcard Mania with takeaways for other print providers about boosting their own direct mail business.

Why Customer Journeys Matter More During a Pandemic

Published February 10, 2021

Even if printers are not in the market for a new marketing automation system, tracking the new and updated features of available platforms provides insight into where marketing is going and what they (and their customers) need to watch, both now and in the future. One such change is the increased use of AI to speed and simplify the identification and understanding of customer journeys. As COVID-19 ramps up and consumers tighten their belts (again), the timing couldn’t be better.

Direct Mail Retargeting Goes Mainstream

Published February 3, 2021

Direct mail retargeting is starting to go mainstream. In this post, we look at some key supporting data for growth in the direct mail retargeting market and the approaches used by three printers offering these services.

Marketing Metrics Are Changing — And That’s a Good Thing

Published January 27, 2021

Gone are the days of evaluating campaigns largely in terms of response rate, conversion rate, and dollars per sale. When we read case studies, listen to webinars, and browse industry coverage, we see a wider range of marketing metrics being used than ever before. It’s no wonder that 90% marketers now see measurable results from their personalization efforts.

Survey: Changing B2B Buyer Expectations You Need to Know

Published January 20, 2021

The way B2B buyers make purchases is changing, and PSPs and their customers must change along with them. But it provides opportunity, as well. Results from the latest DemandGen “B2B Buyer Behavior Study.”

What Types of B2B Content Win You Data?

Published January 13, 2021

B2B buyers are using more pieces of content in their research than in prior years. This means more things you can print and distribute digitally for your customers. But exactly what types of content do they see as valuable enough to register for and for which they are willing to provide information about themselves and their companies?

Turning Pandemic Response into Long-Term Success: Lessons Learned from a Non-Profit

Published January 6, 2021

Many print companies have reinvented their business models and service offerings to overcome the challenges presented by the pandemic, but not every printer can develop a new proofing solution or create 100% automated, touchless production. But that doesn't mean that you can’t make changes that improve your ability to weather the pandemic and set yourself up for success. Heidi Tolliver-Walker offers some tips from an organization outside the printing industry.

Poll: Pandemic Is Fueling a Resurgence in QR Codes

Published December 16, 2020

Is the COVID-19 pandemic fueling a rise in the use of QR codes? Yes, and for a simple reason—they provide a safe, touchless way to communicate between businesses and their customers. We see this anecdotally, but data from a recent poll by MobileIron support this observation, as well.

Print Sales Calls: Who’s in Charge of the Conversation?

Published December 9, 2020

When a print buyer wants to know your sweet spot or equipment list of upfront, what is the right approach? Pivot the conversation to needs and solutions? Or answer the buyer’s questions?

Lessons in Success During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Part 2)

Published December 2, 2020

As it has become clear that the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be deeper and longer than many expected, printers have an important question to ask: What differentiates the companies that thrive during a recession and those that do not? In this Part 2 on this topic, we look at two additional examples of printing companies that have invested and innovated their way to success.

Lessons in Success During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Part 1)

Published November 18, 2020

As it has become clear that the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be deeper and longer than many expected, printers have an important question to ask: What differentiates the companies that thrive during a recession and those that do not? In this article, part 1 of two-part series, we look at the research and the first of three examples of printing companies that have invested and innovated their way to success.

Learning from Others’ Mistakes: Mailing Disasters from the USPS

Published November 11, 2020

When you get a chance to learn from someone else’s mistakes, take the opportunity while you can. In a document titled “Top 10 Mailing Mistakes,” the United States Postal Service offers four examples of mistakes in formatting and design that rendered the mail pieces of four real-life marketers unmailable.

A Tale of Two Informed Delivery Interactive Promotions

Published November 4, 2020

The U.S. Post Office’s Informed Delivery service offers a free interactive campaign feature. But just because it’s free doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think it through. It’s a great opportunity. Don’t waste it!

COVID-19 Spurs Proofing Innovation at Continental Web Press—and Wins New Business

Published October 28, 2020

When clients are used to traveling for press checks of color-sensitive documents, then a global pandemic severely hampers business travel, how do you continue to meet the needs of those clients? You create a brand-new proofing solution. At least, that’s what you do if you’re Continental Web Press.

The Question Print Sales People Must Be Prepared to Answer

Published October 21, 2020

A seasoned print buyer offers insight into what newly minted print salespeople often do wrong and what they need to do right instead.

How Buyer Behavior Changes in a “Shelter in Place” World

Published October 14, 2020

How is shopper behavior changing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic? How does that shape the channels you use and the positioning of your messaging? One survey provides some insight.

The State of Multichannel Marketing Year over Year

Published October 7, 2020

DemandMetric and PFL have released their 2020 “State of Multichannel Marketing” report, a survey of 600 marketers on their use of multichannel marketing and coordinated marketing efforts. This is the second year that the companies have paired up to conduct the research, so we look at some highlights of the year-over-year results.

How a New Generation of Print Buyers Impacts You

Published September 30, 2020

If you are engaging with print buyers, you know that the process looks very different from the way it used to. Just ask Maeghan Nicholson, marketing manager of Suttle-Straus, a large commercial printer just outside Madison, Wis. After a wide-ranging conversation about changes in the process, here are three takeaways.

When Marketing, Don’t Forget the Influencers

Published September 23, 2020

When you are helping your clients select the target audiences for upcoming campaigns, are influencers on the list? We hear more and more about “influencer marketing,” but how does it work? Should you be helping your clients do it?  

The Day an Infectious Disease Expert Became a Trading Card Celebrity

Published September 16, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s trading card is the TOPPS Company’s best-selling card of all time—and a product of the ruthless efficiency of the company’s production workflow. What lessons are there for the rest of the industry?

“Doing Good” During the Pandemic Pays Off in More Ways Than One

Published September 9, 2020

During times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers look to brands to provide leadership. It’s not enough to provide great products, great prices, and great service. Consumers are looking to brands to have a social conscience, as well. This look at statistics collected by Engage for Good provides a number of lessons for both printers and their customers.

How COVID-19 Is Changing Consumer Patterns—and Why Marketing Strategy Should Change With Them

Published September 2, 2020

Marketers are anxiously awaiting the world to “return to normal,” but what does normal look like? Even when consumers start buying again, there may be radical changes in product categories, segmentation, and product positioning that will outlast the pandemic. Do your clients know what they are? Are they prepared to adjust to them?

Peek Inside Salesforce.com’s “State of Marketing Survey” (Sixth Edition) and the Challenges It Paints for Marketers

Published August 26, 2020

Growing data repositories, fractured data management, and the need for automated solutions to extract actionable insights are among the top challenges seen in the data of Salesforce.com’s sixth annual “State of Marketing Survey.”

Marco Boer of IT Strategies on How the Pandemic Will Drive Inkjet Growth

Published August 19, 2020

Conversation with Marco Boer, vice president of IT Strategies, about the changes in production being driven by the pandemic, including the impact of the cost of paper on hardware selection.

Software Makes Personalization Easy...But We Still Have to Think

Published August 12, 2020

Just because certain types of personalization have become easier to implement doesn’t mean that the human element isn’t important. On the contrary, it’s more important than ever. Software makes it easier to spit out “personalized” documents, but the people behind those documents still have to think. 

What Buyers Want From Brands...Right Now

Published August 5, 2020

As the U.S. economy begins to gradually reopen, marketers are wondering what consumers are thinking. Do they intend to return to shopping as normal? Are their feelings about their favorite brands changing? How do they want marketers to interact with them in these new and changing times? An April 2020 survey from Influence Central provides some insight.

Data Doesn’t Help You If You Don’t Understand or Trust It

Published July 29, 2020

Most companies understand the value of data in driving their marketing campaigns. The problem is, most marketers don’t understand or trust the data they have. In fact, when data contradicts preconceived beliefs—the very time data is most important—companies often dismiss the data and go with their guts instead. So what good is it?

Multi-Touch Billboards? Interesting Idea from DuckDuckGo

Published July 22, 2020

Multi-touch campaigns aren’t just for direct mail and email anymore. Internet search company DuckDuckGo is using the power of coordinated billboard messaging to communicate a more complex message than we typically see on billboards and taking OOH messaging into new territory.

Is It Time to Stop Talking About “Millennials”?

Published July 15, 2020

Today, Millennials outnumber Boomers in the US population, and Millennials and Gen Zs are said to account for more than one-third of the workforce.  When we are talking about Millennials, we are talking about us. Is it time to start talking about Millennials differently?

Five (No or Low-Cost) Ideas for Turning Downtime into a Path to a Stronger, More Profitable Business

Published July 8, 2020

Your print shop is still open and you don’t want to lay off or furlough employees unless you have to, but the work isn’t flowing in like it was. How can you justify keeping them on? One of the answers is to see this as an opportunity to invest in strategies that will pay off in an even stronger, more profitable workplace for everyone long term.  Here are five ideas for starters.

Funny Marketing Fails NOT to Try Yourself

Published June 24, 2020

It’s been a long, difficult road recently. Time for some levity...and some actionable marketing lessons thrown in as a bonus. Here are some marketing fails you don’t want to try yourself.

Survey: Highlights on the State of Digital Packaging

Published June 17, 2020

Highlights from “Digital Packaging: The Time Is Now!” (Napco Research) with a focus on changes in attitudes toward digital packaging and how technology is no longer the limiting factor in adoption.

Want Job Opportunities? Create Them!

Published June 10, 2020

Part two of Heidi Tolliver-Walker’s interview with Arnie Kahn, president of PrintLink, a job placement service for the printing industry, about opportunities in a post-COVID-19 environment. Kahn describes opportunities for the right candidates to make lateral moves into new areas, such as changing market verticals or applying skill sets to new printing sectors.

Got Emotional Connection? Then You’ve Got Profits

Published June 3, 2020

What is the secret to keeping customers from switching to a competitor with lower prices, faster curbside pickup, or a coupon that drops at just the right time? Motista, a provider of predictive intelligence, thinks it has the answer. Customer affinity. A look at the conclusions and data from its two-year study.  

QR Codes: Sorry, Folks...They’re Back

Published May 27, 2020

Anecdotal evidence suggests that QR codes may be on their way back. In a recent post, I gave two examples of where QR codes should have been and weren’t, and now I’m going to give two examples of where QR codes weren’t, but now they are and why.

Survey: Problem-Solving Is Great, But Making Money Is Better

Published May 20, 2020

A look at the conclusions from “Market Trends 2020,” a new report from Chief Outsiders, a network of top CMOs. The bottom line: We have become accustomed to marketing being driven by buzzwords like “customer engagement” and “focus on the customer,” but those things now must be tied to real, measurable company growth.

If It’s About CX, Why Aren’t We Doing This?

Published May 13, 2020

If customer experience is king, then maybe we need to stop making fun of QR Codes and take them more seriously, especially with the growing reliance on cellphones for both in-home and out-of-home interaction and with so many situations in which AR and NFC just aren’t practical. Two lost opportunities for customer engagement tell the tale.

5 Reasons the COVID-19 Lockdown Is a Great Time to Send Mail

Published May 6, 2020

I recently interviewed an executive at a large print shop, and in that conversation, we discussed the role of direct mail during the COVID-19 pandemic. With direct mail becoming increasingly sophisticated and printers investing in both printing and finishing equipment that enables more creative pieces, we discussed how now is actually a great time to be sending mail.

When It Comes to Packaging Sustainability, It Takes a (Business) Village

Published April 29, 2020

Consumer attitudes toward packaging are changing. Even as packaging becomes more upscale, more marketing-oriented, and more engaging, consumers exhibit growing wariness about its environmental impacts. What is the industry doing about it?

COVID-19’s Impact on Hiring and Placement: An Interview with Arnie Kahn of PrintLink

Published April 22, 2020

Printers are considered essential businesses. Are they still hiring? How is the COVID-19 pandemic impacting placement for essential printing jobs? Arnie Kahn, president of PrintLink, provides some insight.

More “Worst Ever” Direct Mail Stories

Published April 8, 2020

Fun collection of direct mail fails that represent the kind of classic mistakes we see on a regular basis. While these examples are funny, there is a serious message behind them. Know your direct mail fails... and don’t let your clients repeat them!

What’s COVID-19’s Long-Term Impact on Mail?

Published April 1, 2020

What will be the long-term impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the printing industry? There are three possibilities: It will shift even more communications to digital channels as marketers reduce their direct mail spend during the lockdown and keep it that way; direct mail volume will remain unchanged; or direct mail could see a resurgence as marketers and their customers develop a newfound appreciation for the channel they’ve been missing.

Got a 3D Printer? Save a Life

Published March 25, 2020

As the world reels from the impact of the coronavirus and the increasing scarcity of critical medical equipment like masks, gloves, and ventilators, the 3D maker community is stepping in to do its part. Do you have a 3D printer? Join the movement.

Marketers Aren’t Always Using the Most Effective Channels, Even When They Know What They Are

Published March 18, 2020

According to new research from Printing for Less (PFL) and Demand Metric, marketers are not always using the most effective channels, even when they know what they are. Instead, they use the channels they know and are most familiar with. A look at some intriguing data on channel use and channel effectiveness, including types of direct mail.

Which to Choose: Natural Language or PR Speak?

Published March 11, 2020

How we speak to our customers matters. Are you using natural language or that “PR speak” that investors love but that causes the average person to tune out?  

The Impersonal Personalized Letter

Published March 4, 2020

Today I received a marketing letter that was an interesting twist on the use of faux handwriting to make a communication feel more personal. But instead of the handwriting being on the front, it peeked through a window on the back.

Neiman Marcus Shines a Spotlight on OptiChannel Marketing (Yes, Opti, not Omni)

Published February 26, 2020

A short case study from Neiman Marcus that includes direct mail shines a spotlight on the importance of a term we don’t hear much anymore, but maybe we should revive—optichannel marketing.

We Know Martech Works—Here’s Proof

Published February 19, 2020

According to new research, marketing technology does more than make marketing automation easier.  It results in higher response rates and higher ROI. A look at a study from Printing for Less (PFL) and Demand Metric.

Lessons from Resonate’s “State of the Consumer” Report

Published February 12, 2020

Reports like Resonate’s “State of the Consumer Report” provide valuable insight into buyer types and how to understand and segment them in ways that help you develop great targeted copy. But before you can develop personalized or targeted content, there is a more fundamental question to ask. Once this question is answered, your targeting and personalization efforts will have maximum success.

Marketers Are Starting to “Get” the Real Benefits of Personalization

Published February 5, 2020

According to data from Evergage/Research International, marketers are starting to “get” one of the most fundamental values of personalized experiences. Yes, personalization drives immediate sales, but more importantly, it creates better customer experiences and higher customer loyalty, which drive better ROI over time. The shift from a short-term to a long-term perspective is great news for everyone producing personalized campaigns, whether they are doing online personalization or not.  

New Insight into Why Targeting Works

Published January 29, 2020

When we think about creating relevance in marketing communications, we think about personalizing based on traditional factors such as demographics and past purchases. But the principle of “liking” adds another useful dimension to the equation.

Want More Donor Revenue? Write a Better Thank You Letter

Published January 22, 2020

Data insights and expert testimony tell a powerful tale: a nonprofit’s “thank you” letter matters more than many people might think. Get it right and donors feel great and are motivated to keep giving. Get it wrong and they disconnect. So get it right!

Creative Ways to Market in Print You Probably Haven’t Considered

Published January 15, 2020

Collection of print case studies showcasing how print can be used in ways that most of us have never considered. While many case studies showcase the high-end “most clients can’t afford this” kind of possibilities, these show the use of simple, traditional techniques in ways that make you stop and say, “I wish I’d thought of that!”

CMO Council Survey: Channel Choice Matters

Published January 8, 2020

To find out what consumers really think about channel preferences, the CMO Council surveyed 2,000 consumers in English-speaking countries across the world. The takeaway? Understanding, tracking, and responding to consumers’ channel preferences has never been more important.

10 Industry Changes That Make Me Grateful

Published December 18, 2019

Looking back, the industry has changed considerably in 20+ years. Here is a list of 10 changes for which I am grateful. How about you?

Basic Personalization Isn’t Enough Anymore

Published December 11, 2019

Where are retailers along the curve of personalized marketing? What is the ROI? What works and what doesn’t? These were some of the questions Liveclicker wanted to answer with its report “Driving Value with Advanced Personalization.”  The takeaway? Basic personalization isn’t enough anymore.

Trends in Digital Video Advertising

Published December 4, 2019

Round-up of digital video advertising trends and top-line data on the digital video advertising market.

Before-and-After Shots Show Anti-Greenwashing Efforts Are Working

Published November 27, 2019

Two Sides North America has been on a campaign to remove greenwashing. Here’s visual evidence that it’s working.

Survey: Consumers’ Willingness to Give Up Personal Data is Waning

Published November 20, 2019

In the past, surveys have shown that people are willing to provide their personal data in exchange for personalized experiences, but new research from the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) shows that this willingness is changing. What’s going on?

Do Consumers Love QR Codes and Just Don’t Know It?

Published November 13, 2019

What happens when you show people they can save time by holding their phones up to a black-and-white graphic and connecting directly to a website? I’m having the opportunity to watch it happen in real time.

3D Printing: Taking It to the People

Published November 6, 2019

A 3D print shop displaying at a local art fair? Why not? Isn’t that where many of its customers are?  

Survey Looks at Adoption of Augmented Reality

Published October 30, 2019

Will augmented reality finally gain widespread adoption in print and digital marketing communications? When will it move beyond enterprise applications, gaming, and social media? To find out, ARtillry Intelligence worked with Thrive to survey 2000+ U.S. adults.

Promotional Products May Offer More Luxury Than You Think

Published October 23, 2019

When you think of promotional products, what comes to mind? Branded hats and pens? Tote bags? Many printers may not see these items going with their clients’ high-end image, so they may not give these complementary offerings a fair shot. But promotional items can also include high-end luxury items used for C-level executives, influencers, and corporate events. Some, like this company’s products, even offer the trendy element of sustainability.

What Are the Ethics Behind Direct Mail Trickery?

Published October 16, 2019

If you want to grab immediate attention with direct mail, make the mailer look like something other than a traditional letter. Mailers often use envelopes designed to look like USPS Priority Mail, Air Mail, or UPS or FedEx packages. But do some efforts cross the line?

Hey, There’s a Real Person Behind Those “Love Mail” Numbers

Published October 9, 2019

Sometimes we forget that there are real people behind the direct mail data. Last summer, I got to put a face to a data point. It made me wonder, “Now what?”

Fresh Data on the Adoption of Personalization in Direct Mail

Published October 2, 2019

NAPCO Research has released a new report on the use of personalization in direct mail. The report finds that marketers are evenly splitting their campaigns between personalized, segmented, and mass mailing approaches and that highly personalized campaigns are seeing increases in response rates up to 17% in certain market verticals.

Marketing Lessons from Top Retailers vs. Fastest Growing Ones

Published September 25, 2019

Study by Iterable looking at the marketing strategies of “top retailers” vs. “fastest growing retailers” during the two-week period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The results? The fastest growing retailers were more focused on “near sales,” less likely to send promotional emails, more likely to re-engage abandoned cart shoppers, and less likely to use multiple channels to do it.

Gimmicks or No Gimmicks? The Challenge of Email

Published September 18, 2019

Are “magic” subject lines really magic? Or are they only magic for certain people? Are you tracking who is responding to which? If you know which customers respond to which tactics, you’re way ahead of the game.

Small Business Goals, Challenges, and Marketing Tactics

Published September 11, 2019

According to the Small Business Administration, 89.0% of all businesses in the United States have less than 20 employees. What are the primary goals, challenges, and marketing tactics of these companies? This survey from Taradel provides some insights.  

Got Sustainability? PebblePost Says Print Does!

Published September 4, 2019

Usually, when a printer has a sustainability page on its website, the page talks about things like carbon emissions, tree planting, or use of environmentally certified papers. But PebblePost has a sustainability page, too—but it is talking not about consumables and energy use, but how its trigger-based direct mail programs, in themselves, are environmentally friendly. This is a great model for presenting direct mail as an environmentally friendly option that can help marketers meet their sustainability goals.

How Are Consumers Engaging with Digital Content?

Published August 28, 2019

Highlights from 2019 Adobe’s Brand Content Survey, including consumers’ daily digital content usage, usage of multiple devices, and some head-scratching data on their attitudes toward personalization.

Transpromo Messaging: More Likely to Be Seen in Print

Published August 21, 2019

Are your clients buying into the paperless billing trend? If so, this survey from Consumer Action shows that they might want to think twice, especially if they are doing transpromo messaging.

Takeaways on Triggered and Automated Direct Mail

Published August 14, 2019

Takeaways from a recent webinar on triggered and automated direct marketing, both from a high-level technology perspective and from the perspective of a mid-sized printer producing real programs every day.

What Neuroscience Can Tell Us About Why Magazine Ads (and All Good Print Marketing) Work

Published August 8, 2019

Highlights from the white paper “What Can Neuroscience Tell Us About Why Magazine Advertising Works?” Published by the Magazine Publishers Association, the white paper synthesizes years of neuroscience studies on why people understand, recall, and are better motivated by information provided in print rather than digital.

Areas Where Only Print Can Reach (Still)

Published July 31, 2019

We have been hearing for a while that 24% of Americans in rural areas still have no access to broadband, making print critical for marketers looking to reach those areas. This isn’t just a small pocket here and there. There are entire communities, even cities, without broadband access, where only traditional channels like print can reach.

Are You Walking the Customer Retention Walk with Your Customers?

Published July 24, 2019

Whether it’s a print business or any other type of business (such as your customers’ businesses), retaining customers is critical. But knowing how important it is and being able to develop and execute an effective strategy are two different things. Here are five tips you can use to guide your customer retention strategy, as well as your customers’.

Is Heavier Weight Paper Worth It? This Study Says Yes

Published July 17, 2019

Last week, I posted a list of links to neuroscience studies showing the power of print over digital in many areas, including content retention, recall, and willingness to buy. One of those resources contains a reference to a 2015 study that is often overlooked. The study looks not just at print vs. digital, but the weight of the paper, as well. If you are not familiar with this study, you should be.

Neuroscience and Print: Compiled List of Links

Published July 10, 2019

Print and digital communications both have their strengths, but when it comes to comprehension and recall, studies consistently show that information communicated in print is more deeply embedded, recalled with more detail, and creates a more powerful emotional engagement than digital. Here is a compiled list of links on studies on the neuroscience of print, or how our brains respond to print vs. digital communications, listed in chronological order of publication.

Survey: Multichannel Marketing from a Small Business Perspective

Published June 26, 2019

How are small businesses implementing multichannel marketing? What role does direct mail play in those strategies? Taradel decided to find out. This article takes a look at some key findings and takeaways.

Study: Direct Mail Shoppers Are More Engaged, Spend More

Published June 19, 2019

Research from Pebble Post/Murphy Research finds that direct mail shoppers are highly engaged and spend, research, and evangelize more than non-direct mail shoppers. What’s behind this behavior? A look at the data from Pebble Post, as well as others.

Putting Numbers to Direct Mail’s Ability to Drive Purchases

Published June 12, 2019

In concert with Pebble Post, Murphy Research released a study that puts data to what we intuitively know but can’t always document: that direct mail drives purchase consideration and plays a central role in the path to purchase. These are good numbers to have!

Looking to Combine Print with Social? Check Out These Data

Published June 5, 2019

This article looks at the data from Merkle’s “Digital Marketing Report” (Q1 2019). Specifically, it looks at growth (or lack thereof) in ad spending and impressions for the top social media channels.

Study: “Nudge” Customers into Going Green

Published May 29, 2019

Printers have become accustomed to incentivizing customers to use environmentally friendly consumables by minimizing the cost difference from non-green versions. But a new research study shows that this approach may be counter-productive. Would charging more for a “green marketing package” actually increase your customers’ green purchasing intent? This study suggests that the answer is yes.

Do You Have Your “Do Good” On?

Published May 22, 2019

Doing good has become good business practice. We not only see it in action, but the research bears it out, too.  Fortunately, we are seeing printers taking up the mantle and investing in various areas of social responsibility, cementing customer relationships and (hopefully) creating positive peer pressure to do the same.

Is In-App Use the Future of QR Codes?

Published May 15, 2019

Is in-app use the future of QR Codes? As in, not a QR Code app, but someone else’s app? Maybe this explains research that shows that QR Code use is increasing.

A Conversation About Web-to-Print With Slava Apel, Founder of Amazing Print

Published May 9, 2019

If today’s online storefronts and web-to-print workflows don’t look anything like they used to, there’s a reason. The software has advanced leaps and bounds from where it was even a few years ago. This interview with founder and CEO of Amazing Print Tech Slava Apel reflects how the technology is changing...and how it is changing those who use it.

Lesson from the Cracker Jack Box: Let’s Use AR Responsibly

Published May 1, 2019

Even as the technology and implementation of augmented reality races forward at blazing speed, many marketers are still stuck in the past. As a result, and as illustrated by my recent experience with the prize in a Cracker Jack box, it hurts the entire industry.

Survey: Does Color Variation Matter as Much as We Think?

Published April 24, 2019

Heidi Tolliver-Walker summarizes Eddy Hagen’s recent study on the impact of product packaging damage and color variation on consumer purchases. Hagen’s surveys always challenge our assumptions, and this one is no different. The conclusion? Color variation isn’t as important to consumers as it is to the rest of us.