The Reason 'Going Paperless' May Not Be the Greenest Option

Posted by digitalpress on 13 December 2018
The Reason 'Going Paperless' May Not Be the Greenest Option
When people find out that I advise companies on responsible sourcing of forest products, most immediately light up with excitement to share how their workplace is "green." Usually without fail, what makes these workplaces "green" are initiatives to go paperless. And we've all received emails that include a line at the bottom encouraging you to think before you print. These policies and initiatives are, of course, all grounded in the best of intentions. And I can agree, you should think before you print, but in a different way.

To understand why going paperless isn't always the best option, we must take a close look at the forestry industry. In this article, I will focus on the North American forest landscape. The important procurement regions of Brazil, Indonesia, Chile and others represent different realities.

Though it may seem counterintuitive, one of the most effective ways to protect forests is through responsible forest management; in other words, responsible and careful harvesting of trees to make forest products can serve conservation goals while contributing to a thriving local economy for forested regions. This is true for the forests that produce pulp for home and personal care products, like paper towels and tissues, as well as for timber products such as wood furniture.

The relationship between the forest products industry and forest conservation can get complicated, but there a few common-sense reasons that illustrate the link between healthy working forests, conservation, and the challenges of going paperless.

1. Trees are a renewable resource: When forests are properly managed according to rigorous forest management principles, such as those established by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®), periodic harvests help keep a forest ecosystem healthy. Responsible, planned harvests open the forest canopy so that younger trees can grow strong and healthy with better access to sunlight and rain. Periodic harvests can also reduce the risk and severity of large scale forest fires. From a practical perspective, forestry companies need forests to stay standing to stay in business, so it is in their interest to manage forestlands appropriately. Sustainable management has a lot of benefits, including the promise for the continued success of a centuries-old industry.

2. A working forest is a valued forest: One of the biggest threats of deforestation in North America is urban development. Populations and cities continue to grow, and forests near these urban areas are at a high risk of being cleared to make way for the next suburb or shopping mall. However, if the forest is a working forest delivering economic value to the community, the risk of conversion for sub/urban development is much lower. Besides the benefit of providing jobs and contributing to the local economy, a working forest can also offer the added value of recreation for the community and visitors. As one example, old logging roads can be converted to recreational trails that provide an escape from the nearby hustle and bustle of the city.

3. We're talking about your neighbours: The forestry and logging industry has been employing people within our communities for over a hundred years. From the landowner who relies on the income from the trees in their backyard to send their kids to college, to the logger who logs the land for their livelihood, to the woman working in HR at the local paper mill, to the owner of the general store in a rural logging town, the forestry industry touches peoples' lives. Oftentimes, the jobs that the forestry industry provides are found in small, rural towns where the economic success of the town depends on the success of the local paper mill. Choosing to replace forest products with other materials or technologies can have a significant impact on these communities. Being from a small paper mill town in Northern Maine myself, I have seen this impact in real life.

"Responsible forest use imbues our forests with economic value, recreational value, and helps move the needle on conservation. Paper products are one way to help keep forests standing."

But I'd like to come back to the point of thinking before you print. Not all paper is equal, and there are some bad actors in the forestry industry that are not managing this renewable resource in a renewable way. You need to be a discerning consumer, whether for business or personal purchasing. When selecting forest products, choose those that carry the FSC® label and be confident that the forest from which the product originated was managed in a responsible and renewable way.

Think also about those tissues on your desk and the paper towels you used to clean the microwave. These come from forests, too. Examine your purchasing choices, and trace it all back to the companies who are producing the things you use every day. Reward the companies who are contributing to healthy forests and a sustainable business model.

As with most things in life, the use of forest products is all about a healthy balance both in the forest and at your printer. So, if you really need to print that document, go ahead, but be sure to print it on FSC-certified paper and be part of the solution, not part of the problem, of a more sustainable forest products industry.

Source: Triple Pundit By Samantha St. Pierre

10 Reasons Why Catalogues Are A Marketing Powerhouse

Posted by digitalpress on 6 December 2018
10 Reasons Why Catalogues Are A Marketing Powerhouse

10 reasons why catalogues are a marketing powerhouse

People engage through stories. They respond when inspired. While merchandising still matters, presenting your products in story form helps connect the reader to your brand on an emotional level to inspire action.

Studies show that consumers enjoy reading magazine-like catalogues. That's why they spend time engaging with them. In fact, the average time spent looking at a catalogue is 15.5 minutes and consumers tend to hold on to them for several weeks. Catalogues are also a strong customer retention tool since people are even more likely to read and keep catalogues from retailers they have bought from before.

Catalogues not only provide the tangibility and power of direct mail, they've become an integral part of an omni-channel campaign by driving customers to digital experiences. They're now mobile, website and in-store traffic drivers.

In addition, catalogues remain an effective acquisition vehicle. A popular men's clothing retailer reports that 20% of its website's first-time customers are placing their orders after having received a catalogue. And they are spending one-and-a-half times as much as new shoppers who didn't receive a catalogue first.

In this article, we'll take a look at 10 powerful reasons why catalogues should be an integral part of your marketing strategy. We'll also give you some helpful ideas that you can use to create a catalogue that connects and delivers.

Reason #1: Catalogues influence purchase decisions.

Did you know that catalogues actually have a stronger influence on purchase decisions than websites or TV ads?  72% of people surveyed said that catalogues make them more interested in that retailer's products, and 84% have purchased an item after seeing it in a catalog. The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) explains that this is because "where online marketing is passive, direct mail is active. Direct mailings are proactive and tactiledemanding that the recipient do something with it. And the better response rates make the return on the investment worthwhile for both retention and acquisition." Powerful evidence like this is why retailers still use catalogues to engage customers and spark them to start the buyer's journey.

Idea worth implementing: Feature additional content that helps your customer connect with your products and your company. Studies show that catalogues that include content to express a brand personality have the potential to drive increased sales. In fact, 65% said they would read additional content. This can include stories around how the product is used or was created, related articles that provide deeper information and customer or employee profiles.

Reason #2: People engage with catalogues on a deeper level.

The purchase experience has become a big deal. Even digital-native organizations have embraced print to better connect with and engage their customers and prospects. It's about moving people beyond a transaction to an emotional connection. Through stories and images, catalogues take people on a journey or even an adventure. That's why they encourage deeper engagement with retailers and their products. Research shows that the average length of time keeping catalogs is 20.3 days.1 And that 84% enjoy getting catalogue from retailer(s) they previously shopped with.

Idea worth implementing: Offer limited-time promotions. Studies show that engagement with catalogues is strongest when sales are featured. Promotions create a sense of urgency and make it easy to reward your customers. In fact, 81% are more likely to look at a catalogue if it features items on sale.

Reason #3: Catalogues are a launching pad for multi-channel purchasing journeys.

Catalogues introduce new ideas. They create awareness and inspire consumers to buy through other channels. Research shows that catalogues are most successful when incorporated into an omni-channel marketing campaign to drive customers to e-commerce sites to optimize purchases.

Idea worth implementing: Extend your brand identity by using the same tone and imagery through all your media channels, including online, social media and print. Be sure to include multiple ordering options in your catalogues, such as website links, phone numbers or mail-in forms including Business Reply Mail® or Courtesy Reply Mail.

Reason #4: Neuroscience research supports the value of physical catalogues as a complement to digital communications.

By studying consumers' brains, science is digging deeper into marketing to analyze what works and what doesn't. The results revealed that "physical ads leave a longer lasting impact for easy recall when making a purchase decision [vs. digital]. Most importantly, physical ads triggered activity in the area of the brain (ventral striatum) that is responsible for [evaluating the] value and desirability for featured products, which can signal a greater intent to purchase."

To sum it up, science is now proving that direct mail such as catalogues deliver:

* Better recall over longer periods.
* Stronger brand associations.
* Deeper emotional connections.

Idea worth implementing: Map out your customers' journey from awareness to purchase to gain insight into how catalogs would best fit into their experience. Are they print traditionalists or are they online shoppers who seek instant gratification? Gathering these valuable insights can help you create a catalogue that gives your audience what they want and gives you the most bang for your buck.

Reason #5: Catalogues bridge the gap between physical and digital worlds.

When paper and pixels converge, amazing things can happen. Catalogues offer the perfect physical platform for integrating dynamic digital technologies such as augmented reality (AR), dynamic QR Code®, near field communication (NFC) and much more. These technologies can help you deliver engaging interactive experiences that jump off the page to drive consumers to brand experiences they will remember, as well as to your digital properties, such as websites, mobile apps, social media, etc.

Idea worth implementing: Leverage Informed Delivery® notifications, a new media channel from the U.S. Postal Service. This innovative feature gives you the opportunity to deliver a physical impression as well as a digital onefrom a single mailpiece. This feature is currently a "value-add" at no cost to marketers. To learn more, visit:

Reason #6: Catalogues evoke strong, positive emotions and associations.

From the feel of the paper on your fingertips to the visual appeal of the images, catalogs give readers a real and multidimensional experience that stimulates multiple senses simultaneously. These physical experiences help make memories and connections. They also inspire readers with possibilities, helping provide an escape from daily stresses. Studies show that catalogues even help ease the anxiety around receiving bills.

Idea worth implementing: One size doesn't fit all. While your inventory may determine the size of your catalogue, consider testing different formats and specialty sizes to see what your customers respond best to. Using innovative printing techniques such as textures and smells can also make your catalog stand out.

Reason #7: Catalogues can leverage customer data to personalise experiences.

Thanks to large industry databases containing demographic information on millions of households, targeting with catalogues is much easier now. And thanks to online purchasing, many retailers have amassed their own databases that can be used to segment their customers by type and buyer behavior. Identifying niches and verticals helps you target only high-quality leadsso you get the right catalogues to the right people. For example, you can showcase a distinct group of products to a target audience, such as golfers or cooks, who are more likely to purchase, which ultimately helps increase ROI. Segmenting also helps offset catalogue production costs because they are going to customers who have shown interest in a particular product category.

Idea worth implementing: Personalise/customize your catalogues using customer data from past purchases to highlight products they've shown interest in. This helps you anticipate their needs and drive loyalty. It can also help you send fewer catalogues to those with lower purchase intent and more to those with greater intent.

Reason #8: Catalogues enable attribution and measurable results.

With budget pressures on marketers to prove ROI, attribution is more important than ever. Armed with the knowledge of which lead came from where, you can better assess if your catalogues are meeting your goals. Depending on performance, you can then adjust your inventory, copy, visuals, offers and digital drivers as needed. With their definitive mail dates and customer and source codes, catalogues are easy to track. Telephone, mail and online orders as well as special promotions can all be tracked with codes, so you can attribute a sale to a specific catalog. Driving customers to a digital app from your catalog also provides instant trackability.

Idea worth implementing: Measure the effectiveness of your catalogues using key code capture and match-back programs so that you can track who bought what and when. Many retailers are syncing up their online customer databases with their catalogue data, so they can test what happens when they are synced with other channels.

Reason #9: Catalogues deliver ease, convenience, and relaxation.

Easy to consume, catalogues provide the opportunity for consumers to slow down and enjoy the experience of being transported through images and storiesall over a cup of coffee. It also gives them the time to discover new items and make the best choices. Catalogues are accessible anywhere, which allows the reader to browse at their own speed and on their own schedule with fewer distractions. And by featuring a focused product selection, catalogues save people time lost in searching a website. That's why consumers report that catalogues are enjoyable and fun to browse.

Idea worth implementing: Limit your catalog frequency by sending them quarterly or seasonally. This promotes attention, interest and excitement for their arrival.

Reason #10: All generations say they like physical mail, especially millennials.

Even though they are a tech generation, millennials are embracing mail. So why do these digital natives love direct mail? "In part, it's because they are inundated with digital media. Physical mail stands out in millennials' otherwise electronic world. This generation is also geared toward visual content, and direct mail caters to the physical senses." This important buyer segment also spends more time sorting mail than other age groups and appears more engaged with mail than the average consumer. This is true for other generations as well. In fact, baby boomers and Gen Xers report strong childhood connections to catalogs prompting feelings of curiosity, hope, and excitement.

In a survey conducted by the USPS®, households reported a strong attachment to mail.

81% take the time to look through mail each day.
67% prefer reviewing physical mail to receiving emails.
64% look forward to receiving mail each day.

Idea worth implementing: Make sure your mailing lists are accurate. A high-quality list ensures that mailing addresses are up-to-date and have been qualified within the past year. USPS offers a FREE, one-time Address Quality Analysis (AQA). You can also use a licensed USPS address hygiene vendor to ensure accuracy.

In Conclusion

Today's catalogues are powerhouse marketing tools. It's no longer a competition between digital and print. It's all about using the strengths of each medium and offering the best of both worlds to create inspiration and engagement that satisfy your customer and your company's bottom line.

Source: USPS


PRINT 18 Chicago

Posted by digitalpress on 29 November 2018
PRINT 18 Chicago

PRINT 18 Chicago by Theo Pettaras

PRINT 18 was an inspiring adventure for informed print and marketing professionals. This highly regarded and credible three-day conference packed a punch with over eighty innovative and problem-solving, educational sessions to assist in all print matters. There were nowhere near enough hours in the day to fit it all in...

I was fortunate enough to have won an all expenses trip thanks to the Konica Minolta Specialised Print Awards where our self-published book, a collaboration with Tim Jetis of A Cabinet of Wonder studio, "A Meeting of Words" took top prize.

My learning experience at PRINT 18 kicked-off with the opening keynote address by bestselling author and speaker Seth Godin. Godin delivered a most interesting address looking back on a century of marketing, industrialism and print, painting a picture of how we can each make a dent in the future with the work we do in our industry. Godin imparted the audience with actionable takeaways that can shape our personal and professional lives into the future.

Later I met up with Professor Frank Romano. He is one of the industry's foremost keynote speakers with over fifty years in the printing and publishing industries. Many know him best as the editor of the International Paper Pocket Pal or from the hundreds of articles he has written for publications from North America and Europe to the Middle East, Asia and Australia. Meeting Frank was a privilege and I was extremely impressed with his humility and wealth of knowledge. I attended one of his talks on the current state of the industry. Romano outlined his interesting expert opinion on where the industry is and where it is heading, including democratic, communication, technology, age and information consumption trends. What struck me most was that direct mail seems to be making a strong comeback as it has proved to be one of the most effective forms of marketing. Other interesting trends include short run bespoke packaging, in Romano's words; "everyone loves unboxing a package if it's presented well" and wide format printing; "Practically every wall can be covered in print". These are trends we sensed, so it is great to know they are backed up by expert opinion and data. Check out this great podcast.

Other key speakers included Pat McGrew, Senior Director at Keypoint Intelligence, who talked about the ongoing disruption from technology processes, sharing her perspective on where the industry is, what the future holds and how vendors can bring success to their customers.

Deb Corn, {pictured above} an impressive industry stalwart, well known for her mammoth LinkedIn profile, principal at PrintMediaCentre host of #printchat, #PMCpodcast and founder of International Print Day, did a stellar job hosting many chat forums which included a session "Girls Who Print". These inspiring women graced us with heartfelt, personal stories of their print experiences and put a spotlight on a very important sector of the print industry. Please check out her amazing website packed with so much incredible information.

A chance meeting with Sabine Lenz was a total bonus and Blessing Sabine is the founder of PaperSpecs she is passionate about paper, print and great design. She shares her passion and knowledge with other designers, print buyers and printers. Through her videos, webinars, blog posts, speaking engagements and more her team provide inspiration, insights and access to crucial, hands-on tools and resources to help designers create printed pieces that WOW. I recommend you sign up to her newsletter.

Valuable time was spent time with existing vendors, engaging with their managers, vice presidents and research and development experts from various world headquarters. This gave me firsthand information on our current technology and an insight into future upgrade paths such as Xerox Iridesse, Konica Minolta KM1 B2 Inkjet Press and the MGI Digital Foiling UV Press.

Lots of new and interesting technology was explored which can further enhance our bespoke suite of services, as well as the ability to produce work more efficiently and cost effectively. Cloud-based technology was also a standout factor at the show and it was clear there will soon be the release of very distinct, game-changing cloud-based programming that will see very exciting developments in our industry. I am very excited with what I saw with Chili Publish web to print, and possibly the world's best print MIS system Print IQ both perfectly integrated with very exciting plans for the future.

"I am a firm believer that knowledge is power."

Here I am {above} sightseeing with Devan Nair from Konica Minolta. I feel so fortunate and glad to have made the trip to Chicago for Print18, the things I learned are invaluable and without doubt by sharing my findings will benefit not only our business but our clients and the print industry as a whole.

Chicago is real America, you have to add it to your bucket list!

Thanks, Theo


The Surprising Power of Print Marketing

Posted by digitalpress on 22 November 2018
The Surprising Power of Print Marketing

The Surprising Power of Print Marketing to Leverage Your Ecommerce Site

Imagine conducting your business entirely with handwritten communication. (Now shudder.) Digital is much more convenient, but print media can be essential in running a company that solely exists online.

Wait, isn't print marketing largely on its deathbed? Wouldn't the likely clientele of a digital company be most responsive to digital advertising channels?

Though many people believe that print is on the way out, it's still more effective than we realise.

Why print is still relevant...

Think about how brick-and-mortar businesses use print. They mail out postcards; they install window decals with their hours and contact info; they hang banners or place sidewalk signs during a big sale. Though you may not have a physical storefront, print media can still be equally helpful to you:

* Print engages more of the senses than digital media, making it memorable. As customers feel and smell paper, they gain tactile memories to associate with you.
* Print pushes you to consider how well your visual design translates across different media. While your logo and colors may look great on a monitor, how well would they do in paper and ink?
* Print helps you test your ability to engage your audience without falling back on a digital crutch. When there aren't animations or clickable components available to hold viewers' attention, how appealing is your design?
* Print gives you a tangible way to build credibility with your target audience. By consistently displaying your logo, you convey that you are serious about your business, which builds brand awareness in your community.
* Print makes you more personable. It reminds people that you are the face behind your business, especially if you include a picture of yourself or a short handwritten note on your print promotions.

Because you do so much online, you don't interact with the local business sphere as much as you would. Still, you shouldn't overlook the power of a loyal local fan base. You need a strong foundation of retained customers to drive profit, since loyal shoppers tend to spend more than new customers. Take advantage local connections through print.

How print boosts ecommerce...

More Internet-based companies are employing print media than you may realize. If you've ever ordered from a larger online company, you may have discovered in your mailbox an enduring symbol of the power of print: catalogs. They drive impressive online profits because of the convenient browsing experience they provide. Shoppers can note the items they want, then go online and order when they're ready. With apps like Pounce, they can even interact digitally with their catalogs through their smartphones.

If you think a small catalog would help increase your traffic, start with a limited print run to test the waters, and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. Remember, a catalog doesn't have to be forty pages to be worthwhile. A five-page overview of your product categories and popular items would easily pique interest.

Circulars are also crucial in creating buyer awareness. Just seeing your favorite brands is enough to remind them of your products and service. Testing this out on your local area is easy, as appealing photo postcards are even simpler to produce and mail than catalogs.

What print can do for your social media...

What does print have to do with social media? Believe it or not, they connect well, particularly in brand voice. An engaging and consistent voice leads fans of your print campaigns to check you out on social media, and makes your social fans pay attention to your print ads.

In addition to using a consistent, shareable tone, you can help your print and social marketing work together in these ways:

* Engage multiple generations of consumers. While elders tend to prefer print and younger shoppers search primarily online, neither group sticks exclusively to one format.
* Drive social traffic with printed calls-to-action. Mention hashtags that fans can use to join the latest conversation on Twitter, or encourage them to like you on Facebook for special promotions.
* Share your online reviews offline. This makes your reputation more accessible to those who may not immediately hop online looking for reviews.
* Print and social media are not mutually exclusive. Fans will appreciate the effort you put into both, and the traffic your store receives will be proof!

Source: Entrepreneur


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