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WhatTheyThink

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 336 articles

Where Are Marketing Budgets Increasing and Decreasing in 2023?

Published January 25, 2023

Where are marketers’ budgets increasing and decreasing in 2023? Two studies, R. R. Donnelley’s “Optichannel Opportunity Report” and Neil Patel’s “How Marketers Are Spending Their Money” paint a consistent picture. The money is going where the proof of ROI is.

Using Eye Tracking to Determine Shopper Interest

Published January 18, 2023

Have you ever wondered how the big CPGs determine which packaging designs work and which don’t? For many, it’s as much science as it is creative. To get insight into just how much science can go into it, take a peek at Quad Graphics’ Package Insight division.

Case Study: Using Google Analytics to Dig Below the Surface

Published January 11, 2023

For their New Year’s marketing resolutions, many companies are committing to making better use of Google Analytics to track their traffic and evaluate their marketing efforts. Google Analytics can be a powerful tool, but if you don’t dig deep, it can be misleading, too.

Seven Marketing Shifts for 2023

Published January 4, 2023

HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Report 2023 takes a look at the changes expected for marketers in the coming year. Specifically, there are seven fundamental shifts HubSpot sees occurring among marketers (and impacting everyone else) in 2023. What are they?

Dive Right In: Interactive Print Is Mainstream

Published December 15, 2022

If there is a story in interactive print these days, it’s accessibility, both for service providers and for their customers.  The range of applications is staggering, from 3D product visualizations and virtual try-ons to AR filters, virtual brand ambassadors and 360 tours. Heidi Tolliver-Walker walks through the various platforms and applications.

Uncovering the Consumer Mindset for 2023

Published December 14, 2022

What will consumers be thinking in 2023? How will they behave and what will drive their decisions? Answering these questions was the goal of GWI, an audience targeting company, in its U.S. “Connecting the Dots” report.

Missed the Print Production Outlook? Get the Highlights Here

Published December 7, 2022

Every year, What They Think offers insights into the print production outlook for our industry. This year was no exception. Our webinar “The Print Production Outlook: The Digital Transition Continues” looked at production technology shifts and the trends driving them. Sponsored by Canon Solutions America, the webinar was moderated by Richard Romano with presenter WhatTheyThink European Section Editor Ralph Schlözer.

Content Marketing Using AI: Putting Jasper to the Test

Published November 30, 2022

Contributor Heidi Tolliver-Walker takes a deep dive into using an AI writing engine like Jasper to develop content for use by members of the commercial printing industry.

Content Marketing Requires Content—Where Do You Get It?

Published November 16, 2022

In today’s marketing world, content is king, and marketing in the printing industry is no exception. But printers aren’t writers, a challenge compounded by the fact that printing industry content tends to be highly technical. Coming up with content is a skill of its own. Where do you find it?

New Mariano Rivera Foundation Print Training Center Set to Open in Premium Color Graphics’ New Jersey Facility

Published November 14, 2022

The Mariano Rivera Foundation’s Print Design Packaging Development Program has been gaining steam since it launched in early 2021. New trainees are finding jobs, and printers are finding qualified employees. Now, as the program grows, a new training center is set to launch in the Premium Color Graphics’ Carlstadt, NJ facility in January 2023.  

Why Are Brands So Disconnected from Their Customers?  

Published November 2, 2022

Merkle has documented a significant disconnect between how well companies think they are doing with their customer experience capabilities and what customers actually think. Why does this disconnect exist? Merkle’s Q3 2022 Customer Engagement Report seeks to answer this question and provide solutions for how to fix it.

Relatable AR: How to Use Augmented Reality to Tell Better Stories

Published October 31, 2022

What is the value of augmented reality in the world of marketing? For Joe Zeff, president of Joe Zeff Design in Pittsburgh, it’s to help his customers tell better stories. Heidi Tolliver-Walker looks at some of Zeff’s recent AR projects.

When “Green” Perception Is Reality, How Do Commercial Printers Fare?

Published October 26, 2022

In the world of sustainability, perception is reality. Sustainability sells, so perception matters. In the printing industry, what creates the perception of being one of the most eco-friendly printers? What can we learn through the lens of Google rankings?

How Do Consumers’ Attitudes Toward Sustainability Really Impact Retail?

Published October 19, 2022

Everywhere you look, brands are promoting their sustainability to woo a public that increasingly cares about the topic. But caring about something and allowing it to influence their shopping decisions are two different things. How much do these values actually impact how consumers buy?

Thinking of Adding an Office Recycling Program? It’s Not as Easy as You Might Think

Published October 12, 2022

Have you considered implementing a company-wide recycling program? As part of a sustainable industry, it’s important for printers to consider. But doing so will take some research. It might not be as easy as you think.

Interactive Print: What’s Working in the Real World? (2022)—Part 2

Published September 28, 2022

Summary of the second half of WhatTheyThink’s August 24 webinar “Interactive Print: What’s Working in the Real World (2022),” moderated by Heidi Tolliver-Walker and featuring presenters Joanne Gore of Gore Communications and Joe Zeff of Joe Zeff Design. Part 2 of the wrap-up focuses on Zeff’s presentation on his use of augmented reality in his Pittsburgh-based graphic design business.

Interactive Print: What’s Working in the Real World? —Part 1

Published September 21, 2022

Summary of the first half of WTT’s August 24 webinar “Interactive Print: What’s Working in the Real World (2022),” moderated by Heidi Tolliver-Walker and featuring presenters Joanne Gore of Gore Communications and Joe Zeff of Joe Zeff Design. This article focuses on Gore’s presentation looking at the evolution of QR Codes from misused novelties to truly useful marketing tools and how to use them successfully.

In a Data-Driven World, Do Printed Forms Even Matter? Some Say Yes!

Published September 14, 2022

Even as we cover increasingly sophisticated digitally driven and data-driven applications, it’s important to remember that traditional business still exists. This includes business forms, and while that business is shrinking, it does still offer profitable pockets of business that commercial printers might want to explore.

Sleep Number Sees 44% Incremental Sales Increases with Retargeted Direct Mail

Published September 7, 2022

For Sleep Number, direct mail retargeting is nothing new. A switch to a new partner, however, has turbo-charged its success, and it is now seeing 44% incremental sales rates.

The First Graduates of the Mariano Rivera Foundation Printing Vocational Training Program Are Ready

Published September 6, 2022

The Mariano Rivera Foundation brings mentorship, life skills, STEM education, and vocational training to at-risk youth. Thanks to support from industry vendors such as EFI, KonicaMinolta, Ricoh, Idealliance, Printing United Alliance, and Adobe, it will funnel much needed talent into the printing industry, as well. Heidi Tolliver-Walker provides an update on the first class of graduates.

The Lighthearted Side of QR Codes

Published August 31, 2022

Even as the use of QR codes has become normalized thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we still see some pretty bone-headed implementations. A look at three use cases in light of three important best practices.

Study: Getting Personalization Right

Published August 24, 2022

Movable Ink’s second annual Audience of One consumer survey has many takeaways. It continues to confirm what we’ve known for a long time: Consumers want you to market to an audience of one. But it has some other takeaways about customer loyalty and customer preferences related to product purchases that are just as important.

In the Driver’s Seat: Increasing Print Business with Augmented Reality

Published August 23, 2022

It’s finally happened. Print and marketing firms are incorporating augmented reality (AR) into their marketing tool kits. Not just for fan engagement and brand building, but as a business problem-solving and revenue-driving solution. Far from AR competing with print, it’s driving it. Contributor Heidi Tolliver-Walker looks at several case studies that launched AR experiences from print.

It’s Time to Talk About NFTs

Published August 17, 2022

What, exactly, are NFTs? Do they matter to us in the printing industry? This article offers a simplified explanation of NFTs and examples of what they look like in the real world.

AR Has Reached a Tipping Point: Now What?

Published August 10, 2022

Augmented reality has reached a tipping point, and it’s one that is increasingly affordable, accessible, and highly relevant to even the average print shop. AR has become a way to offer solutions and help your clients sell products and engage audiences in real, practical ways.

Planning Video? Think “Postcard,” Not “Speech”

Published August 3, 2022

As video continues to grow as a marketing tool, often eclipsing text and images in terms of its power and effectiveness, there has been a rush to embrace it. But video isn’t like print or other marketing content. It’s its own animal, requiring dedicated focus by printers and their clients looking to capitalize on its power.

Is It Time to Invest in More Reuse + Refill Packaging?

Published July 27, 2022

An increasing number of companies are releasing re-use + refill packaging lines. Is this just for large companies like Proctor + Gamble and Unilever? Or is it time for small and mid-sized companies to take up the mantle, too?

Is Influencer Marketing on Your Radar?

Published July 20, 2022

When was the last time you thought about influencer marketing? It’s a powerful marketing tool, and it’s growing. For PSPs, influencer marketing should be seen as a channel like any other. There are plenty of ways for PSPs to add value to an influencer campaign.

QR Codes as a Problem-Solving Tool

Published July 13, 2022

How do you incorporate QR codes into a successful marketing campaign? You don’t make it about the QR code. You make it about problem-solving. Heidi Tolliver-Walker highlights several great use cases from a MindFire webinar that provide great problem-solving insights—whether you are incorporating QR codes or not.

Seven Steps to Creating an AR Holotwin

Published June 29, 2022

Is it possible to create effective AR scenes without a team of tech-savvy designers? Or spending tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars? Is AR finally ready to be used even by small and mid-sized shops to solve business problems for their customers? Here is a step-by-step look at what it took to create an AR holotwin and a QR code showing the final result. Readers can judge for themselves.

AR Increases Engagement with Salt Lake Community College Recycling Program

Published June 22, 2022

Think augmented reality is just for brand-building and entertainment? Think again. It is now being used to drive real, practical results for businesses, educational institutions, and nonprofits. Here is a look at how AR jump-started engagement with one college’s recycling program.

What Do Shoppers Really Think about Personalization?

Published June 15, 2022

What is the state of retail personalization in 2022? A study conducted by Coresight Research on behalf of Sailthru shows significant disconnects between what retailers think is important and what consumers think is important. The survey, “Retail Personalization in 2022,” looks at the difference in perceptions between consumers and retailers on a variety of issues related to retail personalization and data privacy, as well as areas such as loyalty programs and channel usage.

Is It Possible to Have Carbon-Neutral Direct Mail?

Published June 8, 2022

In this follow-up to last week’s article, Steve Falk, president of Prime Data, discusses how his company determined its carbon footprint, how it came to be the first carbon-neutral direct mail house in the world, and invites members of the industry to use its tools to come up with their own carbon footprints to do the same.

Calculating the Carbon Footprint of Canada’s Direct Mail

Published June 1, 2022

Is it possible to know the carbon footprint of direct mail? Canada-based Prime Data decided to find out. It invested in research to determine the footprint of direct mail in its home country as a foundation to understanding the company’s own role in the larger ecosystem and what to do about it.

What Is a “Most Trusted” Brand Anyway?

Published May 25, 2022

Infegy’s Trust Index gives a look into the companies with the highest trust levels based on its analysis of social media conversations. This leads to the question: How, exactly, do we measure trust? Is quantifying it even possible?

Seven Options for Filling Your Employee Pipeline

Published May 18, 2022

The Printing Industries Alliance has released a new report, “Recruitment, Retention, and Pathways to Employment in the Printing Industry” (April 2022), that looks at the realities of the hiring gap in the printing industry and practical solutions for addressing it. Here are seven takeaways from that report.

Study: Key Demographic Is Being Overlooked by Marketers

Published May 11, 2022

Older Americans, representing 100 million consumers and more than half of the nation’s wealth and annual spending, are being overlooked by marketers. Two reports from Alive Ventures, “Growing Older Better: Insights and Opportunities” and “State of the Market 2022,” challenge the stereotypes fueling this oversight and shine a spotlight on the opportunities that you can share with your customers.

What Role Do Demographic Data Play in Targeting Anymore?

Published May 4, 2022

When a 50-something in Colorado making $100,000 per year starts to look more like a 30-something in Connecticut making $50,000 per year, it leads us to wonder: what role does demographic targeting play in today’s world of direct marketing?

The Shroud Of Turin: EFI Reggiani Makes History Printing the Only Authorized Replicas

Published May 3, 2022

When you want to create an authentic replica of one of the most famous and treasured historic artifacts ever discovered, where do you turn? If you are the curators of the Shroud of Turin, you turn to EFI Reggiani. Heidi Tolliver-Walker looks at this unique printing project.

How Enterprise AR Is Driving Marketing AR

Published April 27, 2022

Is augmented reality (AR) ready to explode onto the marketing scene? It’s already deeply embedded in enterprise applications, where it is being used to speed, simplify, and reduce errors in a wide variety of training, service, and maintenance operations. It’s important to be aware of these uses, since the more commonplace a crossover technology becomes in the workplace, the faster it will make its way into the consumer arena, and AR has become SOP for many enterprises.

Are You Meeting Digital Experience Benchmarks?

Published April 20, 2022

With 70–80% of a buyer’s journey already complete before they hit your website, how does your site stack up against others? Contentsquare’s 2022 Digital Experience Benchmark Report provides important benchmarks for buyer experiences. While focused on B2C websites, the lessons translate to all industries, including ours.

Looking for a Sustainable Printer That Walks the Walk

Published April 6, 2022

Ambika Anand Prokop is the author of Greenfeet Guides, a growing series of travel guides for parents who want to help their children more deeply and emotionally engage with cultures and landscapes around the world. She has also been on a sustainability journey that has led her to understand the value of evaluating printers based not just on their website claims, but on in-person conversations.

Using Augmented Reality (AR) to Generate Revenue

Published April 4, 2022

Augmented reality is no longer a niche technology used for entertainment and brand-building. It has evolved into a true revenue-generating tool. For printers looking for opportunities to build new revenue streams, AR has arrived.

Could a “Workation” Policy Help You Retain Employees?

Published March 30, 2022

As the printing industry struggles to maintain a pipeline of new talent, keeping the talent we have becomes all the more important. A new survey on the value of “workations” illustrates one simple way that print providers can retain the talent they have.

The Mariano Rivera Foundation: The Bridge Between Under-Served Students and the Printing Industry Workforce

Published March 24, 2022

In the United States, more than one in five children live in poverty. In the printing industry, finding qualified employees and maintaining the pipeline of new talent into the workforce remains one of the top challenges. A bridge between the two is the Mariano Rivera Foundation. Heidi Tolliver-Walker explains the benefits of this foundation, and what it can mean for finding the next generation of industry employees.

Does Shopping in the Metaverse Affect You?

Published March 23, 2022

Sixty percent of Gen Zers want to shop in the metaverse. What on earth does that mean? How does it apply to printers?

Is Specing Sustainable Substrates Enough?

Published March 16, 2022

As sustainability becomes bigger business, the emergence of recyclable, compostable, and other eco-friendly plastic alternatives for use in packaging, signage, and mailing is growing, too. But making those investments count may take a commitment on the design end, as well.

Looking for Business? Partnering with a Print Distributor Might Be a Good Next Step

Published March 9, 2022

As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and move into the endemic phase, many printers are taking stock of their businesses, asking, “What’s next?” For some, working with a print distributor might be a great option.

Eyeing the Packaging Market? Check Out Desert Harvest’s Commitment to Scrapping Single-Use Bottles

Published March 2, 2022

Trends toward sustainability and cause marketing could be a ticket to differentiation in the packaging market. Check out this nutritional supplements and skin care company to see what this looks like.  

What’s It Like to Own a Landa? The View from Early Adopter Virtual Packaging

Published February 23, 2022

Jordan Patterson, vice president of Virtual Packaging (Grapevine, TX), shares his experience working with a Landa S10P Digital (Perfecting) Press—how they’ve used it, what their experiences have been, and what new markets the press has opened to them.

AR in the Field: Using Holotwins to Promote the Utah Black Business Expo

Published February 16, 2022

Augmented reality (AR) has been growing in packaging, nonprofit, and retail, but it’s been used primarily for branding and engagement and much less for direct sales and fundraising. But that is changing. This article looks at one revenue-generating AR application: the use of holotwins to promote the Utah Black Business Expo.

Do the New Features of USPS Informed Delivery Really Make It Better?

Published February 9, 2022

The USPS continues to add expanded features to its Informed Delivery service, but based on the USPS’s own year-over-year customer satisfaction data, are these new features actually creating a better user experience?

It’s Time for the Metaverse (Yes, in the Print Industry)

Published February 2, 2022

What is the metaverse? Why does it matter to our industry now? With real-life applications and accessibility to even small print shops and agencies, the metaverse something that we should all be paying attention to.

EcoPrint’s Content Marketing Is a Model of Authenticity

Published January 26, 2022

Clients are increasingly looking for vendors who “walk the walk” when it comes to sustainability. A look at EcoPrint, a printer committed to environmentally responsible services, as an example of how one shop does this well.  

Do the New Features of USPS Informed Delivery Really Make It Better?

Published January 19, 2022

The USPS continues to add expanded features to its Informed Delivery service, but based on the USPS’s own year-over-year customer satisfaction data, are these new features actually creating a better user experience?

Why Invest in a Landa Digital Press? The View from Hudson Printing

Published January 12, 2022

Paul Hudson, CEO of Hudson Printing (Salt Lake City), shares his rationale for investing in a Landa S10P—why now, why the Landa, and how he expects it to impact his business.

HBR Study Finds 28% Lift in Sales and 600% ROI by Adding Print Catalogs

Published January 5, 2022

In a large-scale field study conducted by Harvard Business Review, a luxury e-commerce retailer found that by adding print catalogs, it increased sales by 28% and inquiries by 77%. It also yielded a direct ROI of 600%.

Landa Digital Press Update: Crossover Points, Installed Base, and the Value of Being Anti-Fragile

Published December 15, 2021

Miss the “Landa Nanographic Printing in the Market” webinar on November 3? Here is a recap of Landa’s portion of the presentation, giving an update on its expansion, its installed base of users, and what it’s learned about the crossover points with offset.

What’s Second-Best to In-Person Conversations? Augmented Reality—and the Data Show It

Published December 8, 2021

You’ve seen the data for the effectiveness of augmented reality (AR) for sales and marketing. This isn’t due to novelty. There is real psychology to why it works.

Millennials Are So Yesterday…Hello, Gen Z!

Published December 1, 2021

If you haven’t noticed, the emphasis on marketing to Millennials is shifting. Today, it’s all about Gen Z. One of the fundamental characteristics of Gen Z, however, is that they distrust the brands trying to market to them. What does that mean for marketers?

What’s New with USPS Informed Delivery?

Published November 10, 2021

A look at the most recent USPS Informed Delivery update, including updated user stats, the latest open and click-through rates, and new features.

Are Workload Challenges Affecting Your Employees?

Published November 3, 2021

Workplace satisfaction matters. Unhappy employees equal higher turnover. Higher turnover equals higher HR costs and, especially in the printing industry, real concern about the ability to fill open positions. A workplace satisfaction survey from Parallax, while focused on the digital services industry, shines a spotlight on issues that many other employers should consider, including those in the printing industry.

Print Production Outlook: Takeaways from the October 6 Webinar (Part 2)

Published October 27, 2021

Part 2 of a two-part series based on the What They Think webinar “Print Production Outlook: Tracking the Turning Points.” In Part 1, presenter German Sacristan of Keypoint Intelligence analyzed Keypoint and other data on the industry’s growth and key turning points, including the shift to high-speed inkjet. In Part 2, Sacristan analyzes the current and future state of industry applications, as well the state of packaging and labels.

Print Production Outlook: Takeaways from the October 6 Webinar (Part 1)

Published October 20, 2021

Part 1 of a two-part series based on the WhatTheyThink webinar “Print Production Outlook: Tracking the Turning Points.” In Part 1, presenter German Sacristan of Keypoint Intelligence analyzes Keypoint and other industry data on the state of the industry’s growth and key turning points.  

USPS’ Informed Delivery Full-Color Marketing Option: Is it Worth It?

Published October 13, 2021

The United States Postal Service’s Informed Delivery Service is not only growing in subscribers, but it is expanding in services. Its interactive campaigns now offer marketers the option to replace the grayscale scan automatically provided with the service with a full-color “representative” image of each mail piece instead. But is this an option that mailers should rush to embrace?

Would Your Customers Rather Have a Tooth Pulled Than Do Business with You?  

Published October 6, 2021

According to a new survey by Insightly/Zogby Research, consumers would rather have a tooth pulled, learn a TikTok dance with their kid, and wait in line at the DMV than resolve an issue with a company’s customer service department. Why? Because companies are over-confident in their customer relationships and are more interested in talking than listening.  

USPS Informed Delivery Growing Quietly

Published September 29, 2021

In case you haven’t noticed, the USPS’s Informed Delivery (ID) program has been growing quietly but steadily. It has grown not only in numbers, but also in trust among ID users. Features have been enhanced, and more PSPs are quietly promoting it as an extra value to their customers.

Study: Don’t Have Great Tracking and Reporting? Print Quality and Service May Not Save You

Published September 22, 2021

“Enhancing the Print Customer Connection,” a new report from NAPCO Research/Canon USA, 2021, finds that print quality and customer service may not help printers hold onto customers the way they think. Print management, tracking, and reporting tools may be equally or even more important.

Get Your Marketing On: 2021 Shopping Season to Be Earlier than Usual

Published September 15, 2021

If your clients are waiting to start their holiday marketing, you might want to send out the alert: Holiday shopping is likely to start earlier this year.

Takeaways from WhatTheyThink's “Interactive Print” Lunch-and-Learn

Published September 8, 2021

Didn’t make the August 25 lunch-and-learn “Interactive Print in the Real World: What’s Really Working?” No problem. Here’s a roundup of the presenters’ main points.

AR Is Not Up and Coming: It’s Already Here

Published September 1, 2021

Round-up of key data points from WTT’s lunch-and-learn “Interactive Print in the Real World: What’s Really Working?” The data reinforce why AR is not an up-and-coming technology, but rather one that is already here—and a force to be reckoned with.

Merkle “Media Insights” Report Tackles Impacts of COVID-19 on U.S. Economy

Published August 25, 2021

Merkle’s Q3 2021 Media Insights Report looks at the fundamental changes brought to the U.S. economy by the COVID-19 pandemic—changes that remind us that, even once the U.S. economy is back at full steam, it may not look exactly like the economy that existed before the pandemic.

AR, VR & Interactive Print: What’s Really Working?

Published August 23, 2021

We’ve been hearing that print is going interactive for years, not just with QR codes, but with technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and near-field communications (NFC). Some of the applications are truly astounding, but are they relevant to the printing industry at large? Heidi-Tolliver-Walker looks at some examples of how “interactive print” is relevant to commercial printers.  

Gartner: Marketing Budgets Are Not Bouncing Back to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Published August 18, 2021

Even as CMOs’ 2020 marketing budgets were being slashed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, CMOs were hopeful that those budgets would bounce back in 2021. But Gartner’s just-released “CMO Spend Survey” tells a different story. Not only are budgets not bouncing back, but they have dropped to the lowest level in the history of the survey. Is there any good news for PSPs in here?

True Print Personalization: Is It All Talk and Little Action?

Published August 11, 2021

To what extent is this industry merely talking about relevance-based personalization and to what extent are we actually doing it? Insights from Who’s Mailing What!, a national database of direct mail, raises some interesting questions.

Gartner: Marketing Budgets at All-Time Low, but CMO Council Finds the Opposite

Published August 4, 2021

As the U.S. economy continues to bounce back, “state of marketing” surveys are giving conflicting pictures. One says marketing budgets are falling. Another says they are rising. What to make of this conflicting information?

Five “Feel Good” Environmental Stories from the Paper and Packaging Industry

Published July 28, 2021

Paper and packaging companies are not only consumers of natural resources, but they are striving to be protectors of them, too. Here are five “feel good” stories about how members of the paper industry are doing their part.

QR Codes Are Fueling the Growth of Augmented Reality

Published July 21, 2021

Until recently, growth and excitement around augmented reality (AR) has been limited among printers since the barriers to entry were high, and other than for SnapChat filters and niche applications (such as gaming), few consumers were using it. Even as AR experiences became more robust and effective, they required an app, and marketers found that people don’t want to download apps. Now AR has developed a symbiotic relationship with QR Codes, and that changes everything.

Turning QR Codes into Print Work

Published July 14, 2021

Why has one QR code usage gain traction when others haven’t? What lessons can we learn from it? Can QR code use be turned into further print work, even if the code itself “steals” certain types of business?  

The Unboxing Experience: What’s Old Is New Again

Published June 30, 2021

Recently, Keypoint Intelligence released data from a new vertical market survey that reflects how a classic concept—unboxing—has become today’s news. No company illustrates the power of unboxing more than Apple.

QR Code Steals Client’s Business

Published June 23, 2021

For many printers and their clients, QR codes offer many opportunities for improved customer engagement and better customer service. But for some industries, they could actually represent the potential for lost business for printers, too.

Who’s Tracking Direct Mail?

Published June 16, 2021

The Who’s Mailing What! Database contains an astounding wealth of information about direct mail. The database is growing by leaps and bounds, currently containing more than 130,000 mail pieces and with 13,000 mail pieces added every 30 days. Because these mail pieces are searchable, you can slice and dice the database any way you want—by industry, by sub-category, by search term, by color, by mailing format, and the list goes on.

Recruiting Firm’s Perspective on Addressing the Aging Workforce

Published June 9, 2021

Arnie Kahn, president of PrintLink, a recruitment firm specializing in the printing industry, shares his insights on the challenges of maintaining the pipeline of skilled workers into the printing industry, along with some of the solutions and opportunities that a good staffing agency offers.  

Seven Signs of Retail Recovery to Brighten Your Day

Published June 2, 2021

It’s rare that a survey is the bearer of truly good news, but the recent consumer attitudes survey out of McKinsey is one of them. Here are seven nuggets of good news from the survey that should make the grass a little greener and the sky a little bluer this morning.

Study: The Business Danger of Public Politics

Published May 26, 2021

A new Shoppers.com study finds that Americans are more likely to boycott a brand due to their political positions than they were one year ago. So be careful how you post, share, and comment on your social media pages. You could be driving away potential customers.

“Loose Lips Sink Ships”

Published May 19, 2021

How careful are you with sharing information about your company, your sales practices, or your processes and technologies in public, thinking, “Nobody knows me here”? Could you be giving away compromising information without realizing it?

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.