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Insights and inputs from our team and around the web.

In Confessions of an Advertising Man, David Ogilvy, founder of the highly regarded advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, wrote, “Ninety-nine percent of all advertising doesn’t sell a thing.” Not exactly a comforting statistic, especially considering how much money you spent into creating and printing marketing copy/materials.

You don’t want your products to be in that 99%. How do you make sure you are in the coveted one percent?

If I were to say, “personalization and relevance", it'd be of no surprise. Maybe even get a slight eye-roll. Expected? Sure. But it’s true.

Do you sell the kinds of products or services that are ordered on a cyclical basis or that renew according to a regular schedule? If so, you should consider sending simple, calendar-triggered reminders based on the customer’s purchase or service history to keep your revenues flowing.

Auto dealerships use this technique all the time. To boost its service revenues, one dealership decided to slice its customer database (both active and inactive) by type of automotive service, such as emissions checks, tune-ups, and brake service. Then, the dealership sorted this data by date of the next service, such as all customers with emissions checks coming up within the next 60 days. They used this information to generate weekly alerts to car owners in advance of the recommended service dates for their vehicles.

As a smart competitor, you know that you need to snap up the opportunities before your competitors do. This includes potential customers. Your competitors are going after the same customers you are, so how do you attract them first? Here are three proven strategies that start at the mailbox.

Supply Chain this, Supply Chain that. Everything starts as raw materials and then through their own process becomes the finals goods, ready to go to the consumer. The idea of Supply Chain Management is overseeing and simplifying the process of products and services from start to finish and everything in between.

Seasons Greetings! How did your shopping go with an introspective perspective? To recap, these were the questions from the previous blog:

  • Have you walked into a new store you've never been in? If yes, how come? Did a sign catch your eye? Did it smell good? Did the atmosphere seem appealing? Was it next to another store you were going to? Was it on your way back to your car?
  • Have you gone inside a store you weren't planning on attending? If yes, what made you decide to take the time to stop? A sign? Notice something about a sale? Did you remember an add you saw? Did you remember an item you own that you enjoy and either need another one or want to give it to someone else?
  • When entering stores, where in the store were you drawn to first? Try to really think: what drew you to that part?
  • Did you make an additional last second purchase while at the register? Why?
  • Did you find a sign that caught your eye? Why? Color? Placement? Wording? Message?

Spooky season ends and 'tis the season begins. Stores are decked out with red, green and gold. Christmas trees and wreaths line the fronts, and holiday music has already begun playing on the local radio station. Christmas may be December 25th, but it starts on November 1st.

Given this, it is no shock that 22% of people plan to start their holiday shopping in October. Since 2008, holiday spending has been increasing every year. This Christmas season, it is estimated that American adults will spend approximately $900 on gifts per person. Nationwide holiday spending is projected to exceed $1 trillion. (Investopedia). Almost half of holiday shopping occurs online (46%) and believe it or not, men will spend more than women.

Bottom line, holiday spending is big and all of the stores want you to spend money. And frankly, if the item and price are right, chances are, you are looking to spend your money too.

What are Managed Print Services (MPS)?

MPS involves the active management and optimization of document output devices and related printing and business processes. A MPS program allows organizations to regain control — control over printing costs, control over printing efficiencies, and control over printing management.

The main components provided are needs assessment, selective or general replacement of hardware, and the service, parts and supplies needed to operate the new and/or existing hardware (including existing third-party equipment if this is required by you). The MPS provider can also track how the printing fleet is being used, the problems, and the user’s satisfaction.

What drives color trends?

What influences the graphic designers who are designing your marketing collateral, direct mail, packaging, and displays? These are four factors that Jack Bredenfoerder, director of BV Color Strategy, contributes to impacting the use of color:

Band-Aids are the go-to cover up for any boo-boos. For the simplest scratches and wounds that need some time to heal, Band-Aids cover it until it is ready to be out in the open again.

Cover up

While under construction, sites use fences to protect the materials against theft, keep the public away from open trenches and other dangerous equipment. In order to further protect against theft and to hide what's going on inside, many sites use fence wraps. They act as a way to add privacy and 'cover-up' the mess until construction is completed.

Fall is such a beautiful season. Greens are replaced with bright yellows, oranges, and reds. Classic flavors of cinnamon and pumpkin return, football of all levels takes the center stage, and excitement of holidays to come fills the crisping air.

What is it that makes fall exciting? If fall was year round, would it still be perceived to be this beautiful and exciting?

Let's take a look a few concepts fall can teach us about business.

Change is exciting; change is beautiful

A forest of green turns shades of yellows and reds with fall. This is a stark contrast from the appearance of the same forest for the past five or six months. Just as leaves change color, the markets change. Customer taste can change. Your company can (and sometimes will have to) change.

For me at least, fall is exciting because everything looks completely different; companies can likewise have this new excitement. Is it time for a re-brand?

Or if not a re-brand, is it time to update your look? A lot can change about a company with an updated logo, redesign of materials handed out and signage. 60% of businesses who updated their signage experienced a 10% increase in sales! Updating can boost your sales and cause a talk. Humans notice change.

If you haven't thought about digital signage, that might be a good change for you to consider. 4 out of 5 product brands noticed up to a 33% increase in sales through the use of digital signage.

Sometimes we need to let go

Leaves drop and scatter the ground. Trees need to let go of their leaves to survive. Companies likewise need to examine and let go of strategies, people, items, whatever it may be, that aren't helping their bottom line.

Just because it's not working doesn't mean it wasn't a great idea. It might just not be right for your industry or wasn't quite executed properly. Let go, and go back to the drawing board.

Be seasonal

Just like how pumpkin flavor is popular at this time- not every offer or item you have has to be available year round.

Would pumpkin donuts really be a big deal if they were carried year round? Probably not. Would October Fest be a big deal if it happened every weekend? Well, that might be.... but, the point is, items or events can be seasonal and bring excitement. It gives customers something to anticipate.

Prepare — You don't know what's in store

Plants and animal prepare for winter- if something big hits your industry are you ready to move with the change? Do you have the supplies or assets possible to do so? If you're not one step ahead, you're falling behind.

Thanks for reading this week's blog. Remember, change is good. If you're looking for a change in your signage, Thomas Printworks is here to help.

Last October, Thomas Printworks took on a project that mimicked the Miami Florida sky. For the past few years, we've assisted in large format printing projects for Alan Faena, but this one set the limits sky high.

We helped print and install a building wrap that covered the historical Versailles Hotel during the annual Art Basel Festival. Much like a fence screen or fence wrap that is used to connect to the fence to create a design or hide construction behind it, we wrapped this historical building. The Versailles Hotel is located near the center of Miami Beach, right in the middle of the festivities. As they are under construction, the building wrap served a dual purpose- covering the construction as well as showing off beautiful art and participating in the festival.

This is a big refurbishing project Mr. Faena has going on there in Miami. The building next to the Versailles hotel was torn down and in its place, a new 41 unit tower is being constructed. This will be called the Faena Versailles Contemporary (Francisco Alvarado).

The existing 1940s building, famous for the bell tower on top, is being turned into "a 22-unit condominium...that will be called Faena Versailles Classic. Faena is preserving the facade, most of the grand lobby, terrazzo flooring and custom chandeliers. Each suite will include ocean views, and custom kitchens and bathrooms, ranging from one to four bedrooms. The building will also feature two duplex penthouses with up to 7,300 square feet" (Alvarado).

With all of this work going on and Miami's annual Art Basel festival soon approaching, Mr. Faena reached out to us with a special project.

A little bit about the design...

The idea behind this project was to "transform the historic Versailles hotel into the sky itself, disappearing and becoming transparent at sunrise and sunset"(@faenaart on instagram). This effect was made possible by using photographs of both the Miami sunrise and sunset from artist Miya Ando.

This project was titled "Sora Versailles". "Sora" meaning 'sky' or 'heaven' in Japanese, (Miya Ando). (If you go and check out her page, a picture of this project is located on the front home page! You can also watch a short clip of a time lapse of the building.)

Our sales representative overseeing the project, Juan Fernandez, said, "the pictures of the project do a great job, but there's nothing quite like walking down Collins Ave and just seeing this outstanding work of art stretch up to the sky".

In essence, this multipurpose building wrap masterpiece wowed many while accomplishing its purpose. Don't let projects take you out of commission; get a design and/or your name out there! Learn more about the opportunities to create branded environments.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for a new big project underway this fall!

Whether you're a non-profit company or running an event where donors and sponsor will be in attendance, I'll bet your bottom dollar that you should try out a donor survey.

Donor surveys can be tremendously useful in planning a fundraising campaign to raise the maximum amount for your project.

Look at this statistic:

Managing a fleet of printers and plotters can take a tremendous amount of time and work. Especially since printer management is rarely centralized. In most cases IT oversees printer security and implementation. Office management could oversee assigning rights to print to various printers and plotters along with measuring printing volumes. The purchasing team is most likely taking care of ordering and stocking paper, ink and other supplies.

When multiple departments and management are involved in managing your printer fleet, it can be a struggle to get to the real issues that are holding your printers back from maximum productivity and uptime. One InfoTrends study concluded that companies can reduce cost by 30% using managed print services (MPS). Here’s why it makes sense for companies considering managed print services.

We cannot underestimate the value of technology and digital advertisement. Technology is continuously growing in it's capabilities as well as it's usage. However, this does not leave print obsolete. Print has proven valuable on it's own and when paired with technology has proven great results.

Let's take a look at some information gathered by a study conducted by Millward Brown for the Magazine Publishers Association titled “The Print Campaign Analysis".

BMW did a direct mail campaign a few years ago that took direct mail for a spin... literally. They wanted to 'show, not tell' the capabilities of the BMW M6 Coupe going 0-60 in 4.1 seconds. So they turned their luxury M6 Coupe into a printing press (check out the video!) Here's how they did it.

Relationships require time and care. Everyone needs a little TLC. But.. customer relationships don't really follow normal relationship rules. Sometimes it may be difficult to know how to "maintain" or "mend" a relationship that's undefined or unclear. Without effort, relationships dissolve. Without addressing and solving issues, they tend to come to an end. Don't let that happen with your customers!

On one hand, using multiple fonts in a print layout can open you to a world of creativity. On the other hand, if you use too many fonts (or if the fonts you choose don’t work well together), you don’t end up with creativity; you end up with a mess.

Type often obeys the engineering law “form follows function”. That is, a typeface should be appropriate to what the typesetter designed it to do. At the same time, that form needs to be aesthetically pleasing. The basis of good typographic design is balancing the two.

Color is critical in marketing. It’s not just about making your products look great; color helps to tell your story, too. It stirs your customers’ emotions. It reflects your brand.

Just like fashion, however, trends in color change, and staying current is imperative. To stay on top of what’s happening, here are five color “hot spots” to watch:

Want to keep your customers loyal and continuing to shop with you?

Ask their opinion... then act on what you learn.

One of the most important ways you can value someone is to ask their opinion. When you ask what they think, it makes them feel important.

Originally posted on Small Business Bonfire.

Visual merchandising — and the eye-catching graphics and imagery that go along with it — is one of the most crucial ways to engage customers as they are shopping. Although the retail landscape is ever-evolving, tried-and-true techniques assure that Point of Purchase (POP) programs remain an essential element in reinforcing brand awareness at the store level.

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