Print is NOT dead…you just have to be creative……..

I keep hearing it…even from those in our own industry!  Talk about becoming part of your own problem…or should I say demise!??  There is a reason so many “printers” have gone out of business…they simply could never get past the “printing” part of the “Printed Communications” business.   Tunnel vision will get you “ran over by a train” every time….. Print is NOT dead…in fact…it is in the most exciting and vibrant ( and yes challenging ) time of its history!

Have you looked at “dimensional printing”?  Variable imaging has opened the door to unlimited ways to “connect” with clients with printed materials.  What about 3-D printing?  Isn’t that amazing?  Dead…far from it !

You just have to “think past print”…..and think “printed communications”…..Let’ go simple…let’s even go “back” to a basic… the Envelope…. boring?  out of date??   Past media ????   Really….?   We still need them…we still print them …but are we getting any “marketing bang” from those bucks anymore?

Let’s look at that simple, old, tired envelope and create a communication piece….that will get the recipients attention….. and SELL for us !  Market Review had a great piece earlier this year…and since Euby can’t say it any better himself…I will provide you the 12 points to creating a “client engaging envelope”  …. and of course …as always….your Suncoast Representatives will be more than happy to assist you with our creative team to develop your very own from these suggestions.

1)  Size….yes..it does matter….you may pay a little more in postage…but bigger is better….  2)  Shape…yes..the USPS has made it difficult but square or odd shapes get attention.   3)  Color…Color Sells…make it vibrant…make it sing to be seen !    4)  Texture…remember above… dimensional printing….if it “feels different” it will get attention….works with YOU…right?  It will work with everyone   5)  Tease…it’s ok….put a little “edgy” teaser on it …it really does not hurt and it catches the eye of some personalities…   6)  Variable & personalized information….we see many times the “open rates” when they are personalized to the receiptients….again…it works with you…right?    7)  Back Flaps ….add a call to action…why waste that space    8)  Back side….again..do not waste this space…put a teaser…or simply a faux rubber stamp…DO NOT BEND.  etc.   9 ) Window envelopes are not becoming more “opened” that closed envelopes…this trend has continued for several years now….run with it…we are not going back!   10)  Hot Spots …the corner the address area the postage area…tease toward those spots…as that is where the recipients eyes go ( within USPS regs of course )   11)  Corner Card Return address…THAT IS THE FIRST hot spot…most receipients look there to see if they are going to open it…based on who sent it.   AND THE BEST FOR LAST…….12)  Involvement Devices….Zip strips,  Labels, Peel off Stickers, re-positionable notes etc…..any think that creates the impulse to “interact” with the piece!

Give it a try…. what do you have to lose?  You will prove to yourself that “Print is alive and well”…… and that it will SELL !

Till next time…. have a very happy and SAFE 4 th of July !  Happy Independence Day !  Happy Birthday USA!  May God continue to bless!        Euby

From Bricks to Clicks…and back to Bricks! Ecommerce matures to physical stores…

Greetings from a soggy Saturday in Fort Lauderdale !

Something very interesting is happening the the “On-Line” stores recently and the trend is rapidly growing….

The On-Line retailers obviously to the brick and mortar stores to the web……and now the “web” is bringing them

back to physical retail operations!  Who Knew?   I just finished reading about this new trend in AdAge Digital!  A very interesting trend in the e-commerce industry…..and one that has been greatly “un-reported”!

When Warby Parker founder Niel B. wrote the business plan for  what is now one of the hottest e-commerce companies,  there was not any mention of physical stores.  But just two days into their launch in 2010 they were added….yes…48 hours into the business launch !  They were buried with requests for their popular “in home try-on” program.  Suddenly they realized that they needed some central location for many people to see, fell and touch their products…and yes…try them on….and shipping each single item to and from was proving overwhelming.  Solon they added “Pop up” stores, mobile truck stores and then yes…physicial brick and mortar locations.  The showrooms have proven tremendously successful.

This is no longer an unusual story anymore….Gap owned Piperlime …Bonobo’s Gide Shops have both added showrooms…and never intended to do so…..they are doing it because it is simply a “better customer experience” …. and most recently in a real surprise…the daily deal company “Living Social” has opened their first store with more planned in the future!

What they have all figured out is that the customer prefers  ( their first purchase specifically ) in a hands on, feel and touch ( or try-on ) enviroment…then they are more comfortable with the “re-orders” on-line.

Go figure…Customers PREFER a physical experience !  As Euby has evangelized for years….Sales is a RELATIONSHIP business…and being there in person is a much greater relationship experience than digital!   E-Commerce can complement the experience but it cannot replace it!

So the brick and mortar companies can complement their efforts with their on-line offers….and now we know of course that the “On Line Retailers” can complement their e-commerce business with a physical store.   From Bricks to Clicks and now back to Bricks !

Interesting how things work out …isn’t it?

Till next time…..     Euby

What time do TOP CEO’s get up ? From the Guardian…

Had to share this…since everyone has accused the Euby of being a little “crazy” for being in the office around 5:30 or 6:00 AM each morning for the past 30 plus years….kinda justifies all those early mornings!

In this article several top CEO’s in the US including the bosses of AOL and Ericsson …Tim Dowling discovered that an EARLY START TO THE DAY is a common thread in all of their successful lives!  The same patterns emerged

each time…Some of the routine is dictated by the job itself ( no one knows that more than Euby ) but most of it is the product of their outlook and approach.  These CEO’s live their lives in a very DIRECTED way.

First and Foremost…THEY GET UP EARLY !  6 AM is a good start…5 AM is BETTER!  and they NEVER hit the snooze button!  ( Actually on the rare occasion that I do not wake BEFORE the alarm…it “startles” me…I am

not used to it at all! )  They all say “life is too exciting ” to keep sleeping.   A milder form of the Euby statement…..”I will sleep enough when I am dead”

Business and Domestic life are hopelessly blurred.  Leisure activities are as rigidly planned as the office !  Weekends are for work and play!  Not one of them sleeps in even on the weekends…..

Not ONE takes time for Sudoku in the morning !  It is up…work out or run out!

They may be in charge of international companies…but they are also SLAVES to Email like everyone else !

Far from providing any of you a blue print for rising to the CEO position….these details may in fact have you reconsidering the whole idea of being a CEO.  There is NO FINISH LINE to the race…..only more road work ahead

for those that want to reach for the top….noticed I said “reach”…even as the CEO ..there are higher levels to achieve.  Never slow…never stop…you will NEVER reach the top!  You wouldn’t want to…you would fall over the

other side and have to start all over again !

Euby

Are you kidding me…someone thinks “face to face” sales calls are obsolete? Not in Euby’s world…And not on this Planet Earth !

While on the topic of the meeting this past weekend, one that I missed, ( I was presenting in

the next room ) was shared with me by Claudia St John of Affinity HR Group  ( great company for your

HR Resources if you are not familiar  www.afinityhrgroup.com )

A gentleman in the next presentation room was speaking on the obsolescence of the Face to Face

sales call…as technology had “replaced it”….. Email, Phone, Text, Social Media, Direct Mail,

etc etc etc….    He is very fortunate that ole Euby was not sitting in that one…while I would have

been respectful and professional, he would have received solid challenges from me at every

oportunity…after all …I am the sales manager that states…”Go out and sell something today”

after every sales meeting.

My response to the group over our proprietary listserve is show below….I hope you enjoy reading

it as much as I enjoyed writing it……

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First and foremost…the “world’s top researcher in the mathematics of selling” ( didn’t know we

even had one of those ) has indeed stated the obvious….sales processes and techniques have

changed and continue to change as technology rapidly improves ( or at least quickens ) communications.

 

However, the statement that selling “face to face is almost obsolete” is a little bit off the reasonable

scale in my world….not only is it not OBSOLETE …it is more valuable than EVER.  Again, he is right

mathematically I assume… as we do have to “touch” the clients and prospects more times than in

the past, and in more ways.  Sure…companies are hiring more “inside” sellers…for phone, email,

web, e-commerce and all of the “techie” sells processes that most of us have added to our arsenal,

but to discount the “face to face sell to the point of obscurity” is a bit over the top!  Possibly

the Title was simply intended to get our attention.  It worked with me only due to the source ( in

this case Claudia’s professional clout….if she felt it was worth forwarding…I felt it would be worth

reading )  as without her credibility that title would have sent me to the next page quickly.

 

Selling face to face is the ultimate weapon….RELATIONSHIPS are not really RELATIONSHIPS without

some personal interaction….just ask that “footballer” from N.D……  that are simply

digital acquaintances…. Give me the face to face sellers every time.

My hypostasis’ is if the “mathematician sales expert” documents the CLOSING RATIO’s of

sales between the “tech” and the “touch”…the TOUCH wins by a large margin.

 

I plan to forward this to my best competitors right away….hopefully they are “trend followers”

and pull back from the streets….. I will be more than happy to send the troops in behind them!

Have a great weekend…

Euby

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As you can see….I strongly disagree….but look forward to meeting him some day and

having a great discussion.

Till next time….   Have a wonderful weekend!  Euby

 

PSDA Association…the required membership for the Print / Marketing industry

Good Saturday morning everyone!

Euby attended the PSDA Winter Board Meetings and CEO Conferences in Sarasota Last weekend.

If you are in the Print and Marketing business, you owe it to yourself and your organization to join

this outstanding association.  It is the premier association in our industry that covers the entire

manufacturing and distributor markets to the extent that it does.  We have incredible education

and training available, as well as industry leading trends and directions.  Take a look for yourselves

at  www.psda.org  or email me for more information.  I am on the PSDA Board as well as one of

the most vocal fans.

Euby