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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 201-300 of 301 articles

Flies on the Wall: On Sale Now

Published May 16, 2018

Psychographic targeting is easier than ever. But can it be trusted? If it can, why aren’t more printers using it? A look inside psychographic targeting and its benefits.

Where Are Marketers Getting Their Data?

Published May 14, 2018

According to new research, marketers are increasingly investing in second- and third-party data to create 360-degree views of their customers. Are your customers doing the same? Are they prepared to compete? Read more. 

Millennial Marketer: “I Don’t Use QR Codes”

Published April 25, 2018

If anyone is using QR codes, it’s Millennials, right? If anyone understands the value of QR codes, it’s marketers. So why doesn’t this Millennial marketer use them? Read on to find out.

How Is Your Mobile Competency?

Published April 18, 2018

Mobile Internet usage continues to grow, including the percentage of users who are mobile-only. Consequently, multichannel marketing strategies must incorporate the full mobile experience. Is your mobile competency keeping pace? Read on to see.

Rarity: Another Reason (Good) Personalization Works

Published April 13, 2018

Despite all the talk about personalized mailings, how often do any of us really receive relevant data-driven direct mail? Is the rarity of truly personalized mail part of what makes it effective?

Two Reasons This QR Code Should Work—and One That Makes It Fail

Published April 4, 2018

We love to hate QR Codes, right? But it’s not the codes themselves that are working against near unanimous consumer adoption. It’s the often rookie mistakes made by marketing departments. Are you letting your customers fail at QR Codes unnecessarily?

Go, NextPage! Congrats on a Great Self-Promo Campaign Demonstrating the Value of Combining Social Media, Video, with Direct Mail

Published April 2, 2018

If MSPs want to convince their clients of the value of multichannel marketing, they must be willing to use it to promote their own businesses. That’s why I was excited to see NextPage launching a really fun campaign combining direct mail, email, video, and social media, along with a targeted digital ad buy.

Are You Distinguishing Between Macro and Micro Conversions?

Published March 20, 2018

Are you helping your clients track both micro and macro conversions? If not, you’re losing opportunities to understand not just what works and what doesn’t, but why.

Epsilon: Personalization and the Power of Me

Published March 13, 2018

Epsilon’s study “The Power of Me” is a terrific data dump for those looking for insights to help their customers justify moving to—or increasing their use of—personalization. Here are some key takeaways.

Interest in Print Retargeting Growing?

Published March 5, 2018

Is interest growing in retargeting with print? Here are some reasons the answer is yes.

Growing a Boarding Business with Print

Published February 28, 2018

What happens when a lifelong print industry account executive starts an entrepreneurial venture? An instructive look behind one entrepreneur’s marketing that includes Facebook, word of mouth, and print.

Sound Off! Why Do You Love Print?

Published February 23, 2018

As an industry, we fiercely defend print because our livelihoods depend on it. But we love it, too. Professionals from around the industry share why they are print nerds. How about you?

Could User-Generated Content Benefit Your Print Business?

Published February 21, 2018

Could user-generated content be a key to selling print? A new survey suggests some intriguing possibilities.

How Fogg’s Behavior Model Brings “Simple” Back to Marketing

Published February 14, 2018

Are we over-complicating marketing strategy? With so many techniques competing for dominance, it’s easy to forget that sometimes the simple things work, too. This post looks at Fogg’s “behavior model,” which can help your clients keep it simple...and successful.

If Print Is So Powerful, Why Do Multichannel Marketing Studies Ignore It?

Published February 7, 2018

If the benefits of including print in the marketing mix are so clear, why is print regularly shut out of the multichannel marketing studies and discussions in the larger world of marketing? Is it simply because digital channels are easier to track? Or is it something else?

IKEA Uses Print to Create a New Motivation to Buy

Published January 29, 2018

Peeing on a print ad may sound strange at first, but it's a brilliant use of print to accomplish something that is very difficult to do - create a powerful new motivation to buy.

In 2018, Take Print Where Digital Can't Go

Published January 24, 2018

Much has been written on the benefits of print and how we can help it compete for marketing dollars against digital marketing. But why try to compete at all? In 2018, why not capitalize on the capabilities of print that digital marketing cannot replicate?

Two Sides Video Ties Sustainable Forestry to Real People

Published January 16, 2018

In this industry, we like to talk about the value of paper to connect with audiences and engage them in a way that digital content does not. What we don’t spend as much time talking about is how consuming forest-based products like paper benefits real people, real families in our communities, and actually improves the environment, too.

Salesforce.com Releases Fourth Annual “State of Marketing”

Published January 15, 2018

This post provides five critical takeaways from Salesforce.com’s “Fourth Annual State of Marketing” report that paint a very different picture of the marketing landscape than a few years ago. MSPs need to be prepared for significant retooling.

Heating Up: Retargeting with Direct Mail

Published January 8, 2018

Retargeting isn’t just for digital campaigns anymore. Companies are coming up with innovative solutions for retargeting lost website customers with snail mail, as well.

More Reasons to Focus on Print-to-Mobile

Published December 14, 2017

With the exploding growth in e-commerce, the ability to prove print’s value as a primary driver of online activity becomes increasingly important. This includes m-commerce, which is growing even faster than e-commerce in general. This makes investment in print-to-mobile technologies a must.

Looking at Consumer Trends from a Channel Perspective

Published December 12, 2017

Are you reaping the benefits of free consumer trends reports to benefit your client base? If not, you are leaving opportunity to help your clients refine their targeting, improving their messaging and channel mix, and better understand the competitive landscape.

Do We Need to Move Beyond the Terms “Prepress” and “Workflow”?

Published November 27, 2017

As an industry, have we moved past the terms “prepress” and “workflow”? Are they too broad to provide any significant benefit to the industry discussion? There is an argument to be made that it’s time to break up the process and discuss it in terms of its discrete elements.

Want Better Marketing? Study Says: Automate It

Published November 21, 2017

A new report from eMarketer looks at the growing use of marketing automation to help marketers better manage their marketing consistency and effectiveness across channels. Data is drawn from third-party data over the multiple years. The results beg the question: What are the implications for MSPs and print?

Are You Using Call Tracking to Prove Direct Mail ROI?

Published November 13, 2017

Call tracking provides vital insight and marketing intelligence to help clients optimize their marketing channels, messaging, and focus. This post takes a look at how three clients benefited from using call tracking to prove and optimize the value of their direct mail.

Where Does Print Fit into Your Clients’ Customer Journeys?

Published November 2, 2017

Are your customers mapping their customer journeys? If so, those journey maps can provide critical insights into where your customers are using their channels well and where opportunities are being missed. These insights can help you help your customers while also getting a greater share of wallet.

Apple iOS 11 Natively Supports QR Codes

Published October 13, 2017

Apple’s new iOS 11 natively supports QR Codes. This means consumers no longer need to download a QR Code reader, know how to use it, or even know what a QR Code is in order to access content.

What Do Crab Cakes and Databases Have in Common?

Published September 27, 2017

What do the failed launch of the McDonald’s crab cake sandwich and databases have in common? If you don’t know your audience, it doesn’t matter what you’re marketing or the tools you use to do it. It’s going to be an epic fail.

Direct Mail 2.0: Connecting Print with Online and Facebook Advertising

Published September 22, 2017

Companies are making it easy to combine direct mail with Facebook, so here’s why it matters. This post takes a closer look at DirectMail 2.0, which combines direct mail advertising with call and mail tracking, as well as ad retargeting through the Google network and Facebook.

High-Speed Inkjet: Have We Seen All This Before?

Published September 13, 2017

The old adage goes: Those who do not know history are destined to repeat it. As we look at the adoption of high-speed inkjet, both the technology and the applications, are we seeing history unfold ... again?

Heading into the Cloud at Print 17

Published September 10, 2017

Are you ready to think about how your operation can start taking advantage of the cloud? It’s an inevitable evolution as everyone seeks to produce higher quality, push through higher volumes, and manage more workflows using the same staffing and resources.

Digital Channels Showing Highest Growth: But What About Integration?

Published September 8, 2017

What is the current state of marketing? A just-released survey from Salesforce provides insights into digital channel growth, along with the current state of integration. The takeaway for MSPs? If you haven’t invested in marketing automation, it’s time to take a closer look.

What Facebook Insights Can Teach Us for Direct Mail

Published August 29, 2017

Want to help your customers improve their direct mail marketing? Help them market on Facebook. Here’s how you can use insights from Facebook’s business pages to introduce your clients to demographic targeting — for free — and enable them to reap the benefits.

Takeaways from the 2017 Social Media Marketing Report

Published August 25, 2017

Printers may not yet be fully comfortable with social media marketing, but it’s critical that they understand the basics. Here are the primary conclusions of “2017 Social Media Marketing Industry Report” just released by the Social Media Examiner to help in that effort.

Business Lessons after the Storm

Published August 22, 2017

As we ramp up to Print 17, three lessons from trees felled in a ferocious storm provide business lessons we can all learn from. Strength of foundation, flexibility, and integrity keep your “tree” upright under changing and challenging business conditions.

Are You Ready for Emojis in Marketing?

Published August 18, 2017

Emojis have become an integral part of today’s communication. If you want to communicate in the language of your customers, like it or not, you need to think about integrating emojis.

Wide Formant and Packaging are "Digital Proof" But But Where are the Real Opportunities for Printers?

Published August 15, 2017

You can’t protect an iPod in a digital box and you can’t replace vehicle wraps with email. Sure, there is some encroachment of digital technologies on the sign and banner industry, but there are limits based on the role that these products play. This article looks at some of the statistics on the current state of these two industries.

Opportunities and Challenges in Life Stage Targeting

Published August 3, 2017

Life stage targeting takes advantage of a powerful truth in consumer marketing—for the most part, consumers are creatures of habit, and the times they are most likely to make major purchases is during times of transition. Understanding and tapping into those transitional times is where life stage marketing comes in.

Opportunities and Challenges in Lifestyle Targeting

Published July 25, 2017

When personalizing marketing communications, it’s easy to default to demographic targeting, which tends to be straightforward and easy to understand. But lifestyle targeting crosses demographic lines and offers new levels of opportunity that can be explored.

Demographics Less Traveled

Published July 19, 2017

When it comes to targeting customers, most marketers think about demographic data, such as age, income, gender, and lifestyle. A recent white paper from AccuData lists some less common demographics that may be easily overlooked but that can add a richer dimension to your marketing.

Do You Know the Four Types of Mail Behaviors?

Published July 12, 2017

According to the USPS, consumers’ “mail behavior” generally falls into one of four categories: sorters, scanners, weak habits, or skimmers. Each category has a different generational makeup, and it may not be what you expect. Knowing what category your customers tend to fall into can help you develop mail that resonates.

What Makes Mail “Interesting”?

Published July 5, 2017

85% of people will open mail if it “looks interesting.” But what makes mail “interesting”? While we tend to talk about the elements of direct mail in isolation, the reality is, it’s not one element or the other—but a combination of elements whose results are multiplicative rather than additive—that make mail interesting. It’s important to get that combination right.

A Look at 3 Great QR Code Applications

Published June 28, 2017

Even with AR/VR on the rise, QR Codes are still very much an important and functional tool for marketers. This blog takes a look at three recent and well-crafted uses of QR Codes.

Marketing Mix Trends 2010-2016: Winners and Losers

Published June 16, 2017

Highlights from Target Marketing’s annual Market Mix Trends report, including trends in direct mail (both personalized and traditional), FSIs, email, online search, and mobile.

What Google Trends Has to Say About QR Code Searches

Published June 9, 2017

QR Codes have been trending. What does a deeper dive into online search data tell us about interest in QR Code adoption and usage? What market categories show the greatest curiosity? Here’s a look at what Google Trends has to say.

No Time for Automation? Try Lean

Published May 30, 2017

You may not be able to make a commitment to implement full workflow automation, but this does not mean you should write off workflow efficiency gains entirely. Why not try going lean instead? This printer did.

Where’s the Workflow?

Published May 22, 2017

Despite all the talk about the need for automated workflow, printers are still not rushing to invest in these solutions. How long can they hold on to fractured and inefficient workflows without this becoming a serious liability?

QR Codes Growing in Use for Mobile Banking and Payments

Published May 5, 2017

Even as people continue to hate on QR Codes, we see them popping up in more and more places, including mobile banking and payments. This article takes a look at three places we regularly see QR Codes in the world of mobile payments and why we should pay attention.

Proof That Adding Images Improves Conversion Rates

Published April 19, 2017

Intuitively, we know that adding images to direct mail, displays, and wide-format graphics adds grabs attention, but these statistics from real-life campaigns show that adding images does more—it actually improves conversion rates.

Are You Promoting Event Marketing?

Published April 10, 2017

A look at the benefits of event marketing and why printers should be promoting their ability to offer event marketing support.

Good Data, Bad Personalization

Published April 6, 2017

This article looks at the missed opportunities of a data-driven mailer created by a top brand and encourages readers to ensure that their own clients use data in a way that is effective rather than simply elevating the cost of a piece unnecessarily.

Do You Know Where Your QR Codes Are?

Published April 4, 2017

When adding QR Codes to printed materials, it’s critical to understand where they are being placed (and whether they are even scannable) as much as it is why they are being used and the content to which viewers are being driven. Examples of where not to place QR Codes if you want people to scan them.

Do Printing Companies Really Need to Offer Marketing Services?

Published March 23, 2017

Do print buyers really want printers to offer marketing services? A recent survey of Print Buyers suggests they don’t. Now what?

Show Me the Money! Study Shows Where the Spending Is

Published March 10, 2017

As the saying goes, if you want to know the truth, follow the money. That’s why Target Marketing takes a look at marketers’ spending trends every year. We can talk all we want about what we think is up and what’s down, but the reality shows up in the numbers.

How to Avoid the “Oops!” in Print Jobs

Published February 28, 2017

What makes for a great print job? Members of an industry discussion group share their insights, both from a client and printer perspective. What can What They Think members add to the discussion? Every now and then, a printing discussion explodes in the public sphere. When that happens, it’s too good not to share. Most recently, this occurred in the LinkedIn Print Production Professionals group. While the overwhelming majority of LinkedIn discussions get no comments and even the most active are lucky to get half a dozen, this discussion generated 66 comments in less than two weeks!

GenXers Are Taking Over Print: Now What?

Published February 24, 2017

Who knew that finishing was the primary determiner of print quality among print buyers? But this is the result of The Print Media Center’s “2017 Print Buyer Survey.” Now what?

Is Customer Experience Really More Important Than Sales?

Published February 23, 2017

Is customer experience really more important to marketers than sales? Multiple studies say yes.

Michigan Tech Study: 3D Printing Ready for Prime Time

Published February 21, 2017

Study on 3D printing concludes that 3D production is now ready for the mainstream and every home. How does this impact MSPs using or considering using 3D printing as a way to get customers in the door?

Another Great Reason to Use Direct Mail

Published February 10, 2017

How direct mail serves a need that digital channels cannot—alerting customers to products and categories they may not be searching for and, in fact, may not even know exist.

Is Data Part of Your Company Culture?

Published February 3, 2017

Is data-driven marketing a fundamental part of what drives your company? If not, your efforts in that area won’t be sustainable or optimally effective. Oracle recently published an article on that topic, and the WhatTheyThink staff has summarized key points as well as providing a link for the white paper download.

Which Wins the CTA Effectiveness Battle? Direct Mail or Email? Case Study Tells the Tale

Published February 1, 2017

Data Services Inc. has published a case study with the side-by-side results of a test on the effectiveness of CTAs use in direct mail and email in the same campaign. The big winner? Direct mail.

Pop Quiz: What Would Have Made This QR Code Use Better?

Published January 24, 2017

We take a look at a good use of QR Codes that could have been done better. Images are provided, along with a challenge for readers to see what they might have done differently.

Dimensional Mail and Influencer Marketing: 2017 Dynamic Duo

Published January 17, 2017

This post looks at the importance of influencer marketing and the role dimensional mailings can play in supporting it. Encourages MSPs to help their customers develop targeting techniques to help their customers get products into the hands of key influencers using dimensional mail.

What's Your Default?

Published October 12, 2010

More Reasons for Customers to Use 1:1 Print

Published September 16, 2010

How to Lose a Prospect in 30 Seconds

Published September 7, 2010

Are You Learning from Groupon?

Published August 21, 2010

Taking the Pulse of the Industry

Published March 16, 2007

Digital Printing: It's Mainstream, Baby!

Published November 17, 2005

Web-to-Print Vies for VDP Pie

Published August 22, 2005

Need a Crystal Ball? Use the Numbers!

Published June 22, 2005

FREE Finding the Finishing Gems

Published May 31, 2005

FREE Have You Minded the Gap?

Published May 19, 2005