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Insights and inputs from our team and around the web.

I'm sure you've seen a number of solar panels going up. Over the last few years, federal and state governments have been incentivizing home owners to look into solar. Spring and Summer are generally quite busy months for solar companies, so before Sunnova hit the road, they wanted to be sure their fleet was up to par.

To help prepare Sunnova for their busy months, we wrapped several of their installation vehicles to help them market while on their way to and from appointments. Every time this vehicle is driving or parked, it's a mobile billboard.

Remember all of those forecasts about the demise of print? They haven’t come true. Like most offline channels, direct mail took a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is still remarkably effective. Research by PFL found that, even during the pandemic, marketers were 18% more likely to see “good” or “very good” ROI when direct mail was in their marketing mix than when it was not.

Let’s look at five reasons why print continues to thrive, even in our digital and multichannel world.

College academics and sports are wrapping to a close for the year, but ASU Football is continuing with spring/summer training to prepare for their fall season of 2021. A few weeks ago we completed a new fence wrap for their practice field.

Just recently, the Arizona Diamondbacks asked us to help them with a big project. Just outside of the stadium is a large area where graphics are switched out every so often. The marketing team decided they wanted to use this space and place a building wrap to thank the health care workers for everything they've done and endured through, especially this past year with all of the challenges we faced.

Thomas Printworks is a third generation family owned business.

In March of 1956, the first shop opened up in Dallas, Texas. We were founded as "Thomas Blueprint" with a focus on traditional blueprints servicing the architecture, engineering, and construction industries. Three generations ago, B.J. Thomas started a legacy with a few employees and a vision to serve the Dallas suburbs outside of downtown.

Construction can be a stressful but rewarding profession. I know that currently the construction industry is seeing some interesting challenges but more opportunities than in 2020. With the economy and supply shortage aside, project Managers, what is it that you are the most worried about?

It's been an interesting 14 months for students.

Some graduated last year in the middle of the covid pandemic and lock downs. This past school year, many schools and students have been a mix of some socially distanced in person classes and online options. Many high schools and colleges are now facing difficulty coordinating graduation based off of local guidelines and number of students that would be participating.

This will not be any new knowledge to you marketers out there. But, this can hopefully give you a new perspective when considering the fundamentals of your next marketing campaign. You will notice that many of the points reference each other, this is because in order to have an effective marketing campaign, all of these decisions influence others.

Businesses are constantly evolving. Especially over this past year and all of the changes businesses have seen due to a globally affected pandemic. Over this past year many of you have developed new products, launched new services, or began focusing on a specific niche or targeting new audiences.

Be sure to update your marketing collateral along the way. Your social media and website are immediate changes you can update, but this also includes your company brochure. If you haven’t updated your company brochure in a while, here are seven tips for making the most of it.

1. Keep a tight focus.

A brochure isn’t a catalog. Hit the highlights, including your mission, product and service categories, and what makes you different. Save the details for another time.

2. Break it into targeted versions.

Increase the power of your marketing by targeting brochures to specific audiences. Instead of creating 10,000 of one brochure, for example, try breaking it into four different versions of 2,500 each. Use them to promote various product lines, target audiences, and even different events.

3. Use unique imagery.

It might be tempting to keep down costs by using free or low-cost royalty-free images. However, generic photos can hurt your brand. They aren’t you, so they don’t tell your story. Plus, they can damage your brand if people see those images somewhere else. Use traditional royalty images over royalty-free and when applicable, hire a professional photographer to take images of your own products, services and people.

4. Limit your font choices.

Don’t over-clutter your space or create visual confusion with too many fonts. A good rule of thumb is to use no more than three fonts in any one piece.

5. Use white space.

Brochures are designed as door openers, not sales closers. Be selective. Use white space to create breathing room to keep the design clean and inviting. Tell your audience just enough to pique their interest and get them to take the next step.

6. Use high-quality stock.

People associate the quality of your paper stock with the quality of your products. Don’t skimp!

7. Include a call to action.

Even though you might not want to give a hard sell, you still want a call to action. Otherwise, your audience may just read the brochure, then set it aside. CTAs are critical to getting your audience to take action.

Are you redesigning your brochure or designing one for the first time? Get in contact with us and let's see what we can create together.

Hello future vehicle wrap investors! Looking to give your car a makeover? It’s a big step, and when it comes down to it, there are many different components to think about. Whether you’re on the fence or have already decided to invest but are lost as to where to start, we’re here to help! Read on and discover the basics of all things vehicle wraps and helpful tips from experts. Also! DOWNLOAD A FREE VEHICLE WRAP CHECKLIST BELOW! Everything you need to keep in mind before talking to a sales rep is at your fingertips.

When designing a direct mail piece, have you ever thought about how the recipient’s eye travels around it? Understanding this basic reader behavior can help you improve your results, even if your design is already working for you.

In the previous blog, we busted some of the myths or misperceptions about promotional products. Now, let's address some commonly asked questions about promotional products.

There are a number of beliefs out there that will lead you to believe that promotional items are a waste of money and effort, and that is simply not the case.

Follow along and watch as the preconceived beliefs about promotional items dissipate.

If you were among the 100 million Americans who viewed Super Bowl LV, then you saw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win on their home turf. This is the first time the Super Bowl has even taken place on the home field of a team in the Super Bowl, let alone win it.

But if you watched this year's Super Bowl you not only got to watch a historic first time ever event, but you might have noticed a change in pace with many of the advertisements.

Cars aren't cheap. You pay for the car, maintenance, oil, the new tires, the wind shield wipers, coolant, insurance, gas, registration and probably a dozen other things.

When it comes to cars you always have the conversation about the miles per gallon, but have you had a conversation about the marketing per mile? If you're already paying for insurance and gas, might as well look at a reasonable way to use it to get in front of an audience.

Let's talk about an audience.

There are a number of cities where public transportation it a good option, but for most Americans, traveling by car is a necessity.

Marketing has a lot of moving parts. When organizing a campaign, you’re considering what channels to use, the target audience, the frequency of messages, design, language of communication, and so much more. It’s a complex task to try to know how to:

  • say the right thing
  • to the right people
  • at the right time
  • in the right mode

That’s a lot of factors you have to try to get right.

In this blog we are going to focus on the language of communication or saying the right thing and using tying in some psychology to consider.

What do all great direct mail pieces have in common? They engage people’s curiosity from the moment the mail piece gets into their hands. Here are five tips for capturing readers’ attention as soon as they open the mailbox.

1. Know your corners.

On a mail piece, the upper right-hand corner is where our eyes go first. Use this location to place teaser copy or compelling data such as “99% customer satisfaction rate!” It’s a secret that all highly effective catalogers know — and now you know it, too.

2. De-clutter.

When the layout is cluttered, it’s hard for people to focus on any one thing. Use white space to draw the eye and make information easy to absorb. Instead of heavy blocks of text, use bulleted or numbered lists.

3. Tap psychology.

Have you ever heard of techniques such as the Zeigarnik Effect, Von Restorff Effect, or Noble Edge Effect? These techniques use brain science to capture attention and engage your audience.

The Zeigarnik Effect is when information is left unfinished. Leave people hanging, and they feel compelled to open...

The Van Restorff Effect is the use of content that is out of place to capture attention. Old Spice used this to significant effect with its “Smell Like a Man” campaign.

The Noble Edge Effect taps people’s desire to be associated with positive social or environmental causes. (more coming on Psychology and Direct Mail next week!)

4. Use testimonials.

People trust other shoppers more than they do marketers, so use customer testimonials to let other buyers promote your product. Use QR Codes or AR to bring those endorsements to life by taking shoppers directly to mobile video.

5. Have a clear CTA.

How many direct mail pieces have unfulfilled potential because someone forgot to include a call to action (CTA)? Don’t assume that readers will automatically know what you want them to do. Add urgency or additional value by giving a deadline, offering an extra discount for early response, or providing other motivators to encourage people to respond right away.

These are a few simple tips to better your direct mail, however, the real effects that you will see with your direct mail is the money you invest in how you measure and track results. Get in touch with us about the availability for direct mail through Tactix360.

Catch our blog next week as we dive deeper into some psychology and direct mail/marketing.

Maybe if you're like me, you feel like the end of the year has popped out of nowhere. Spring merged into the summer, and then the leaves were orange and now, bam, it's December. Which means... everything and everyone is in holiday mode and has been for the last six weeks. Sound about right?

Small businesses, we know that you have had a hard go this year. There have been shut-downs and then ability to reopen with new guidelines, and then a couple few week closures once again. Some of you may have been closing and wondering if it's worth being open or whether to close your doors for the time being, but don't let the date intimidate you. You have a few weeks and then the new year rolling around, you got this!

Since COVID, there has been a large social media platform to shop small businesses. On Instagram, you can add a special sticker for "shop small businesses" and on other platforms see the hashtag "shopsmallbiz" and many variations.

People recognize how hard it was on restaurants, small personal stores, and service businesses who work for themselves and have been pushing to avoid big online and department store shopping for their holiday gifts and pushing to support their local community and friends and family. This year has impacted many individuals in different ways, and they want to help!

My biggest piece of advice, is to make it personal, because your business is personal! On everything that you are sending out, include your story, your why, about your business.

Thank them for helping you fulfill your dream, investing in you, trusting you, letting you give your service or knowledge, letting you get back on your feet, whatever it may be. Keep this in mind as you consider some of these stationery options:

Gift Cards

These can be easy gifts for others. Someone may know you and want to support your business, but they wouldn't use your services. This way they can support you and give the card to someone who will use it and come into you. This is also a great way to grow your business through word of mouth.

Thank You Cards

Especially if you aren't super busy this right now, take the time to right a personal thank you. It will mean a lot to the customer and these personal touches go a long way with what attitude they develop towards your business.

Referral Reward Cards/Punch Cards

This incentivizes customers to come back and use you again and pass it on to their friends and family. Rewards programs act as a promotion that give on the cusp customers reason to buy.

Direct Mail

This is one of the best options you can do. Let's develop a campaign together.

You can break it up into different ideas, but we would recommend doing a few pieces within a specific amount of time to really target your audience and get some traction. Some ideas could be:

  1. Last minute reminder/ deal/ promotion before holidays
  2. Forecasting your business and menu/options/services for the upcoming year
  3. Coupon or promotion

Or we can target your audience and get a really good piece out, measure metrics and then reevaluate and come up with a new game plan.With our tactix360 technology, we can work with you to create a campaign that is personal to custom information, followed up with on social-media profiles, and tracking the mail until it's received.

We started off as one location in Dallas, Texas. We did blueprints and worked with construction plans and architects and slowly grew and expanded and then started adding more capabilities.

It really has been a journey with many improvements, redirections, changes, updates, and planning that has gotten us to where we are today. This year has been a ride for us as well, and to all the small businesses out there, we applaud you because we have been there with you.

It all starts small, and we love to see businesses grow and can be there to provide all of your printing needs no matter how small or large your journey takes you.

It's not a secret. The more comfortable you make it for people to respond to your offer, the more likely they will do it. This is one reason that the combination of direct mail and email is so powerful. It provides more opportunities for the recipient to say "yes." But unlike direct mail, email requires the recipient to opt-in. So how do you get people with inboxes already full of marketing communications to opt into one more — yours?

Here is a complied list on ways you can reduce the barriers to email opt-in and make it easy for your target audience to say "yes."

This at home new work style has made work relationships increasingly harder to maintain. For those of us that are completely remote, it's become a lonely work environment.

No more chit chat on your coffee break.

No more saying hi to your coworker you've become friends with to ask how their kids are doing.

No more team work meetings that make you leave feeling upbeat.

Social interaction for many can be a critical part of feeling included and wanting to work. When we feel like we belong, we are more confident and perform better. So how can you make your employees feel like they belong? Increase employee engagement.

Here are a few ways to increase employee engagement:

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