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Direct Mail

July 11, 2012

Definition: A marketing effort that uses a mail service to deliver a promotional printed piece to your target audience

Thank you Entrepreneur Magazine for sharing this.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/encyclopedia/term/82234.html

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Consumers and Marketing

July 6, 2012

Thank you Kyle Lacy, Exact Target  for letting us share this one:

66% of Consumers Have Made Purchase After Receiving Email

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Picture Permits now Available through the Post Office

July 2, 2012

You can now take your branding a step further and add a photo to your permit with the post office. You do need to fill out an application to use this but if your business does any mailings, you may want to check this out:

Picture Permits

Here are some basics about indicias:

Permit Design

Cheers,

Bridget

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EPS Files and why you should keep them

June 21, 2012

Often times I come across a client who says, “I can’t open that .eps file.” or “What do I do with this file?”

.EPS files are encapsulated postscript files and if created in a program called Illustrator give you the ability to make your file as large or as small as you need without losing any quality.

Your business logo should have been created in a vector based program like Illustrator and you should receive your logo in different formats: .eps, .jpg and .png. These three files give you flexibility.

Use the .eps file to send to your printer or graphic designer or promotional person. They want this file, even if you can’t open it.

Use .jpg files for in-house usage or for the web. Some designers will save .jpg files in cmyk and if they do, you probably won’t be able to open it.

Use .png files for in-house usage or on the web anytime you do not want to have a “white box” around your logo and instead want it to sit on a color background.

PDF files are becoming a norm as well so don’t overlook that.

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Do you have a logo for your business? Logo Basics You Can Use

September 27, 2010

I recently met with a prospect to talk about newsletters and business cards. When I arrived at her office I noticed that one of her business signs was in blue and another sign was green. Her business card was blue and red. She has been in business for more than eight years and hasn’t had an opportunity to have a logo designed. She is a savvy business owner who probably got so wrapped up in the day-to-day activities that she hasn’t had time to develop and build her branding.

Here are a few tips that I shared with my prospect:

  1. Build it into your business budget and have a professional logo designed. Check with a few different design firms as pricing can vary.
  2. When you get your professional logo, make sure you have it saved as a .eps file to send to the printer and your promotional contacts. And as a .jpg (rgb) file to use on the web and on in-house marketing materials.
  3. Use your logo on every business marketing tool you create including letterhead, business cards, envelopes, websites, email signatures, promotional products like pens, hats, etc. Your logo represents your identity and the “face” of your business.
  4. Your logo will have specific colors that define your business identity. Use these colors in all of your marketing tools. This builds brand consistency. This helps us remember you.  This separates you from your competitors. Keep the colors simple, crisp and try to use 3 or less colors.
  5. Keep your logo simple. If you want ideas of what a good logo looks like just take a look at the big business logos like McDonalds, Nike, Kohl’s Macy’s, Chase, and more. They are all simple.
  6. Your logo will have to be saved in black and white, color, reverse white so you can place it on different backgrounds so make sure it’s readable and easily understood in all of these formats.
  7. Your logo should speak to your business personality so select colors and symbols that help tie-in to what your product and service represents. Design with the masses in mind.
  8. Have your designer build your logo in PMS (Pantone Matching System) colors. This will make it easier for your printer to match the color and will keep the color consistent. Remember that PMS colors may look different when converted to CMYK for printed materials and RGB for the web. Pantone has color books that your designer might have that can show you what the color would look like in PMS/CMYK/RGB. This will help you see realistically what your color choice will look like in these different formats.

If you have a logo and want to change up your business identity, try to stay with the similarity of your logo and “freshen” it up as opposed to going into a whole new direction. If you choose a whole new look then be prepared to change all marketing materials to match the new look or we will be confused when you market to us.

Logos are an important part of a business marketing plan and should be one of the first things a business person acquires next to getting an accountant and a business banking account. Without a logo, consistent color and an identity, we won’t know who you are, what you stand for or how you want to be remembered.

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Graphic Design Basics: File Extensions & Color Defined

September 20, 2010

 

Often times I will ask a client to send me their logo as an eps file and they have no idea what I am talking about. So I provide them with a bookmark that I designed to help them with the graphic design basics. I want to share these graphic design basics with you so when you’re asked for a certain file or color you’ll be prepared.

FILE EXTENSIONS

.tiff = Tiff files are used for high resolution image files that are placed in printed materials.

.eps = EPS or encapsulated postscript files are vector-based files that can be enlarged without losing any quality.

.ai = AI files are native Adobe Illustrator files which are vector-based files that can be enlarged without losing quality. Printers and designers prefer using these or .eps files.

.psd = PSD are native Adobe Photoshop files that are used for creating and editing image files.

.jpg = JPG files are typically used in web applications but can also be saved and used for print purposes.

.gif = GIF files are used for web graphics that contain text and have a “transparent” background. These images are typically used for the web and not print materials.

hi res files = High resolution files  are high quality files that are used for printing and are saved at at least 300 dpi (dots per inch).

lo res files = Low resolution files are smaller files that are typically used for the web and are saved mostly at 72 dpi (dots per inch).

COLOR

RGB = Red, Green, Blue. RGB colors or files that are saved as RGB are used for the web or in photography when editing photos.

CMYK = Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black. CMYK files are used for 4 color printed material.

PMS = Pantone Matching System. This is a universal color system that designers and printers use to ensure consistent color quality when printing.

SPOT Color = Spot color is used when a project has a specific PMS color and is printed using only the specific PMS spot color. You’ll typically see this in letterhead, logo, and envelope printing.

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Recipe Postcard Marketing Tip for Businesses

August 26, 2010

This is an example of a personal postcard marketing campaign. The Cream Cheese Lasagna recipe is a old family favorite.

 

 As a graphic designer, I am always looking for “out of the box” ideas to share with my clients to help them be remembered. One idea I love to share is custom personalized recipe postcard marketing.  

It’s a great way to reach out to your clients and connect on a personal level. Basically you select one of your favorite recipes, add a personal note and direct mail them quarterly to your client list.  

You can send one recipe for summer, fall, winter and spring. Your clients will enjoy getting a new recipe to try and you will be able to connect with your clients by adding a personal note that relates to why you like the recipe and wanted to share it. Your clients will also keep your recipe postcard which will keep you top of mind.  

Think about using recipe postcard marketing the next time you want a unique and personal way to reach out and connect with your clients. It’s the perfect marketing recipe!

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How to be prepared for your next on-air interview

August 24, 2010

I’ve just returned from giving a five-minute on-air interview with Fishers Chamber of Commerce President, Dan Canan about my business Gurtowsky Graphics and the Fishers Business Insider, a monthly publication that I design for the Fishers Economic & Community Development Commission in conjunction with the chamber.

Note to self. Be prepared.

You’d never know that my college background was in broadcast news. I was so nervous during the interview that I mis-spoke certain titles and internally sounded like I was rambling on about nothing.

So I’m writing this blog to give you a few tips in case you find ourself in front of the camera with a live microphone.

  • Make sure you have a clear understanding from the interviewer about the topic that you’ll be speaking.
  • Arrive a few minutes early so you can adjust to your new surroundings. (This interview was held in the produce section of a Super Target.)
  • Write a few ideas ahead of time or small topics that you can share if needed during the interview. But have one topic or reason in particular for conducting the interview. For example, are you promoting a particular event for your company or business? Or is there a particular area of expertise and information that you want to share with your audience?
  • Focus your eyes, ears and attention on the interviewer not the camera man. (This can be difficult because you aren’t sure who you’re really talking to.)
  • Relax. Treat the interview setting like it’s a casual, comfortable conversation that you are having with a friend or co-worker. (But be sure to mind your p’s and q’s.)
  • Don’t forget to thank the interviewer at the end.
  • If you’re happy with your interview or feel your information is important to share, be sure to tell your friends, co-workers and others in your sphere when to look for your interview to air, and give us the time, station and day if possible.
  • Have fun. Your personality will shine through if you can take a deep breath, be relaxed and speak casually and professionally.
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Business Networking: Is it worth it for your business?

August 18, 2010

As I head off to a Fishers Chamber of Commerce luncheon today I sometimes ask myself if business networking is worth it for my business? And the answer has to be yes. But that yes doesn’t come easily. I like to call any type of networking “sweat equity marketing.” Meaning you can’t just plunk down your membership fee, sit down and expect business to fall into your lap instantly or at all.

Instead join professional organizations with longevity in mind and roll up your sleeves and get to work. That’s how you’ll get business. Some ways that you can work your “sweat equity marketing” is to volunteer to take on a leadership role. For instance, I quickly realized that the best way to become more familiar and more valuable to the Fishers Chamber of Commerce was to volunteer to be one of their Ambassadors. As an ambassador we help new members at events feel more welcome and show them the ropes. We represent the chamber as leaders and go to people whenever a member needs anything and we extend our time and sometimes our talent when needed to help the chamber maintain and even grow their organization. And we commit to attending atleast six events per year.

What do you get out of it? You begin to naturally build relationships with professionals who live in or near your town or city and people get to know, like and trust you. So when they do need your product or service they think of and choose you and your company first.

It doesn’t happen overnight and may not happen for the first six months of your membership. But eventually it will happen. So the next time you attend a professional networking event ask yourself, “What can I do to make business networking worth it for my business?”

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10 Tips for Long-Term Marketing Success

July 29, 2010

There are so many ways to manage your marketing efforts so you can make and keep your business successful. Whether you are a business owner or employee, marketing is a vital part of your business. As you read these tips think about one idea you can initiate right now that can make a difference.

1.   DEFINE YOUR MARKETING INVESTMENT

What should you be doing with 10%, 30% and 60% of your marketing time?

“As a rule of thumb, according to Jay Conrad Levinson in his book Guerrilla Marketing for Free, here’s what you should be doing with your marketing time:

SPEND 10% of your time and energy marketing to the universe at large (meaning anyone in your marketing area).

SPEND 30% talking to your prospects (or those folks in the universe who match your typical customer profile).

SPEND 60% talking to existing customers.

Why? Because it costs you one-sixth as much time and money to sell to an existing customer as to anyone else.”

2.  WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW TO MARKET YOUR BUSINESS?

Take some time to inventory your current marketing tools and tactics.

What are you doing now to market your business?

What is working and what isn’t?

What one item can you add to your marketing mix that can help you be remembered?

3.   CREATE/MAINTAIN/USE A CUSTOMER/PROSPECT LIST

Do you maintain a customer/prospect list for your business right now?

What are you tracking?

What should you be tracking?

How should you be tracking this information?

We all probably use some sort of list to track our customers and prospects, even if it’s just via invoices or email listings. But at some point we need to take the information we have and incorporate it into a program that can show us at a glance what’s happening with a particular customer or prospect or can help us gather lists that we can use to market to specific audiences.

Some of the items that you want to be tracking include the basics like name, address, email, phone number, website, anniversary or birthday information.

You can also take it to the next step and include referral tracking information. You can track who gave you your last prospect or sale. This can be helpful because it will tell you where your activity and money is coming from so you can repeat that process and thank your referrals for giving you business.

You can use  “CRM” (customer relationship management) software programs like ACT, AddressTwo.com, SalesForce.com, Highrise.com, and more to manage your customer/prospect lists. Some of these offer online management systems.

These powerful programs can help you track your marketing efforts and grow your business. Some companies will even let you try the program before you buy.

If you have a marketing tracking program in place ask yourself what you can add to  make it work harder for you. Can you use it to do email campaigns, postcard mailings and more?

4.   DO YOUR CLIENTS AND PROSPECTS REMEMBER YOU?

Do you attend one or more professional networking events a month?

When you network do you hand out your business card and expect to instantly get business? Or worse, do you hand out your business card and ask for the sale within the first few minutes of meeting a prospect?

Customers and prospects remember you based on how many times you interact with them and how effectively you grow relationships with them. So take the time to grow a relationship or to at least ask more questions before asking for the sale. Prospects and customers make choices based on what’s “top of mind” — or who they remember when it’s time to buy something.

ASK YOURSELF:

What’s your personal auto or home insurance agent’s name?

Who sold you your last house?

Who handed you a business card at your
last networking event?

Do you know these people by first and last name and their company name?

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO BE REMEMBERED?

Here are a few tips:

Build relationships not transactions

Become active in your member affiliations like chambers, professional organizations, etc.

   You can:

–   Volunteer

–   Take on a leadership role

–   Join a task force

–  Sponsor an event

–  Advertise in their publications
    and on their websites

By becoming active beyond the “membership” role of an organization, you can quickly add value to the organization, yourself and your business.  And it will help you be remembered, build relationships and grow your business.

If you focus on helping someone get what they want or need you will become a more valuable marketer and you will get what
you want.

5.   ONLINE, WORD-OF-MOUTH, PRINT: WHAT’S THE MOST EFFECTIVE FORM OF MARKETING?

Many business professionals have turned to using only social media and e-newsletters to market their business because it can be more cost effective. But is it reaching your 10, 30 and 60 percent investment? It is recommended that you create a marketing plan that has a mixture of communication tools. 

Your plan should include a mixture of professional networking to include chambers, associations, professional referral organizations like BNI, online marketing such as your website, facebook, twitter, blogs or even online ads, e-newsletters, newsletters, postcard campaigns, greeting card campaigns word-of-mouth marketing and traditional advertising if your budget allows. The most effective form of marketing is having a mix.

You have to decide what’s right for you and your business.

Ask other business owners what they use and what’s working for them. You can do this by using business facebook pages, linkedin or sending a survey via online software like surveymonkey.com.

The bottom line is that you want to be remembered and growing a long-term successful marketing plan with a mix is the key.

Your prospects and clients need to hear from you weekly, monthly and quarterly and mixing the communication tools keeps it fresh. For instance, you probably don’t want to just use weekly e-newsletters unless you are a restaurant or business that can offer weekly coupons that we can come to expect and use on a more regular basis.

Instead offer a brief monthly e-newsletter to provide tips and pertinent information about your business, send a postcard mailing to reach prospects and customers and ask them to go to your website and fill out a form and offer some kind of incentive, and send a note or greeting card on a customer’s birthday or business anniversary or a handwritten thank you note to a prospect for meeting with you.

6.   WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER ONE MARKETING ASSET?

What is your number one marketing asset? It’s YOU!

You make your business unique. Marketing tips and techniques are what help you market your business, but you are the ultimate marketing asset!

Whether you’re interviewing for a new job, talking with a new prospect or representing your business at a networking function, business deal or other business activity, we should remember you.

7.   SUCCESSFUL MARKETING MEANS BRAND CONSISTENCY 

Remember to keep all of your marketing tools branded consistently.

How? — Keep your brand colors, fonts, images and logo consistent on your website, letterhead, envelopes, business cards, advertising — whatever you use to market your business. Adding a picture of you on your business card or your business team on your website can bring instant credibility to you and your business. We identify more quickly when we can recognize faces and we’re more likely to remember your name.

8.  SHARE YOUR BUSINESS TACTICS WITH OTHERS

One of the best ways to market yourself and your business is to offer to speak at events, write your own blog or share information with others. It builds instant credibility, provides valuable information to your prospects and customers and gives you an opportunity to give back to your business community.

9.   DO YOU HAVE A MARKETING PLAN?

A marketing plan is your road map to success. There are many ways to create a plan. Start with a simple plan that can become more comprehensive as you get more familiar with the benefits to using it.

Here are a few resources for you:

Research your membership directories and look for marketing firms or other businesses who specialize in helping you create a marketing plan.

Use Google search engines. You can find     a multitude of marketing plans, books, tips and more on the web.

Ask your business colleagues how they created their marketing plan.

Visit your local library and ask for the business reference section, many may be accessible online.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/howto/mktngplan

marketingplans.com

Visit the score.org and sba.org websites. They have local offices and offer free business consulting and low cost seminars.

Incorporating even one of these tips can quickly get you on the road to achieving long-term marketing success.

10. KEEP UP WITH MARKETING TRENDS: READ BOOKS AND SUBSCRIBE TO E-NEWSLETTERS

The best way to keep up with your marketing success is to stay up-to-date with marketing trends and information.

Here are a few recommendations:

READ MARKETING BOOKS

Guerrilla Marketing for Free by Jay Conrad Levinson

Marketing Kit for Dummies by Alexander Hiam, 3rd edition (get the book with the cd in the back)

The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly, 2nd edition by David Meerman Scott

Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers by Seth Godin

Real-Time Marketing for Business Growth by Monique Reece with forward by Ken Blanchard

SUBSCRIBE TO E-NEWSETTERS

http://sethgodin.typepad.com

http://marketing.about.com

http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog

http://www.toprankblog.com