Marketing and Design 2015How much is too much when it comes to marking up jobs to be resold. The numbers that agencies and print shops use to mark up work they don’t produce can be a mystery and even to the ones working for them. I have worked at shops that used a double variable slide rule technique. This process does not include the all but forgotten “slide rule” that preceded calculators but the “I think we can get away with this amount,” rule.

 

The process would go as follows:

  1. Calculate the total cost of the job that was being farmed out
  2. Use a predetermined scale to cross reference the cost and its associated mark up. Example: Total job cost $2,650.55. Find the number in our mark-up table. Jobs between $2,500 - $3,000 would receive a 1.65% mark-up or $4,373.40 ($1,722.85 profit)
  3. Now if the company was deemed to be loose or not watch every penny, these numbers and the associated mark-up would escalate. I have seen owners and not so ethical managers disregard previous business mark-up tables and charge 3 to 4 times the actual value. These people would fit in well with the white pants and white belt world of used car salesman. Hidden in the invoice programs these companies use, are plenty of surcharges that ad to the total but never become listed as a line item. Box charges, delivery fees, digital imposition charges, specialty services and on and on. This added fluff becomes a necessity for ill run businesses.
  4. Aggravation factor. This process has two parts that are intently entwined. The first part deals with how much a customer or the company they represent is important to the firm doing the printing. Companies that are necessary for the survival of a provider may get a pass on additional charges. However, they are not immune to the increased mark-ups above. The second part deals with customers that have little chance of returning or do not account for much revenue over the year. An additional charge or aggravation factor may be assessed to theses accounts.

 

There is really no rule of thumb when it comes to pricing jobs that done or re-sold by providers. This is where it becomes especially necessary to do you homework and never allow complacency to enter the decision. I have seen too many large corporations that trust a provider and end up paying 3 – 4 times for business collateral than they should.

 

5 Tips to prevent overpaying for printing.

 

  1. Quotes - Get quotes from companies that specialize in the job that you are in need of. No provider can do it all and will always job out before they tell you they can’t provide something. This may not always be easy and it’s not always clear to what specialties a provider may produce or ones that he will job out. Due diligence is required here and these providers should be changed frequently to assure a quality mix of potential venders.
  2. Line Item - Ask to have separate line items for each part. Design or concept work should never be included in the printed price. You just might end up paying that design charges again and again when you re-order in the future.
  3. Mailing Charges – Ask for the postal statement and provide your own check written out to the post master. Do not allow your postage to be marked-up.
  4. Charges - Get all the charges up-front, this includes shipping, delivery or any other charges that may be added.
  5. Quantity – You never want to order more than you will ever use but some common sense here can save you thousands. Quantity discounts if you can combine orders with another branch or just ordering enough for the entire year can save a lot of expense. Ask for a discount if you increase your order or what is the next price break on each order.

1

mobile workforceSome of our first insights of the future of telecommuting came by way of Hanna-Barbera’s Mr. Spacely’s wonderful treatment of the inept George Jetson and his R.U.D.I screen. Not exactly today’s Face Time but R.U.D.I. or the "Referential Universal Differential Indexer" was for George, a step in that direction. Mr. Spacely, with the help of his right hand robot, Uniblab, always managed his telecommuting employee, George, the same, he fired him. Mr. Spacely’s management skills although lacking in leadership or any assemblage of etiquette was concise and bold to a point. Two things in Mr. Spacely’s favor, you knew were he stood and exactly what he expected. Developing leadership and managing a mobile workforce starts with clear communication and specific goals that encourage and build a team with a common objective.

Communication – phones, e-mail, Instant Messaging, Virtual media, Go-to-Meeting, Web Conference, Skype, Face Time  

There is no shortage in ways to keep in contact with a mobile workforce and for the latter there is no real way to hide as well. Messages sent on multiple platforms can not be easily ignored or intentionally forgotten. Team leaders can keep in contact with their entire mobile force and schedule times and media devices so that when a group is needed to convene, it is not only possible but convenient for all members of that specific team. Daily interactive messages from leaders to their team members can keep a team on specific time frame and reach their objectives set. Team members' accountability for participation and engagement is also critical if the mobile and distant work force is going to succeed. Leaders and members must develop a consistent conversation etiquette that keeps their group informed and updated but falls short of blowing up the team members' phone.

Goals – Precise, Consistent, Clear  

Team goals need to be set early in the process or success from a mobile workforce will be erratic at best. Without a precise, clear and attainable goal for your mobile workforce in place, your teams’ efforts can not be tracked. If you cannot track your metrics then it is almost always impossible to determine if you are successful.  Detailed protocols that arrive around your set goals include: deadlines, R.O.I. Sales or lead Numbers, etc. must be in place and fairly enforced for the entire group. These goals must be attainable, set high but not out of sight.

Teamwork – Face-to-Face, Celebrate, Fun and Creative

Building an effective mobile working team can have a far reaching positive effect on all aspects of a company. An energetic and knowledgeable work force that is delighted as well will put a very positive spin that is felt through the company and the profits that are generated. It’s not always possible to meet your mobile employees in face-to-face scenarios but this should be tried at least twice a year. Companies need to allocate realistic budgets so that team members can reach their goals. Regularly scheduled team events such as celebrations, conferences or seminars establish trust and go a long way to delight your mobile workforce.

As companies look to reach worldwide and set their sights on a global community, their work force and the hours they set have become more than the standard hours of 9-5. Telecommuting has stretched the work force and the managers guiding them to meet these goals.

internet marketingWith the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, consumer behavior has been changing and your internet marketing better be changing as well, if you want to stay relevant and in front of these consumers. The internet, or more precisely your website, has been a focal point of your marketing efforts for the past few years but now more than ever the internet has become a communication platform. Just having a functional web presence is no longer adequate for attracting and converting your new and existing customers to sales in 2015. The internet has become a real time messenger with relevant dialogue that must be maintained, controlled and congealed to make your companies message stand out and stand tall in 2015.

“…the internet has turned what used to be a controlled, one-way message into a real-time dialogue with millions.” Danielle Sacks.

79% of adult Americans use the Internet. This number seems a bit low to me and I’m sure an additional 10 – 15% use the internet but just don’t know they do. These individuals might not be engaging in e-mails or ordering items online but are acquiring information through third parties that are surfing on their behest. I did this for years, searching for information and on occasion ordering for my parents. The internet or more precisely your presence on the internet is reaching almost the entire US population.

 

78% of Internet users conduct product research online. We not only find ourselves investigating products beforehand that we are interested in purchasing but justifying a purchase that was made at a brick and mortar store as well. We are always in search of the ‘Great Deal”. If we have been enticed to purchase quickly due to circumstance or a great marketing message, then it is not out of the question to do some product research on the back end. We may have already made the purchase but did we get that “Great Deal”. We seek justification on our expenses and if it seems that we paid too much or received a substantial less product, then we are inclined to correct the mistake now or in the future.

 

10.3 Billion searches are conducted every month on Google. That’s just Google not taking into account Bing, Yahoo or other search engines.

 

1/3 of US consumers spend three or more hours online every day. This number speaks for itself. It wasn’t too long ago that this number represented the number of hours an American consumer spent watching T.V. The T.V. might be on but we are paying more attention to the Internet and seeing more commercials on online than ever before.

 

US Internet users spend 3x more minutes on blogs & social networks than on e-mail.This is one metric that should steer your marketing budget more than any other. Facebook, Twitter and blogs have become the vehicle of choice for the public to speak, vent or otherwise be heard.

 

70% of the links search users click on is organic or not paid. If “location, location, location” is the cry of the realtor then S.E.O., S.E.O. , S.E.O.  is the wail of the 2015 marketers and not through key words or tags but with relevant content.

 

200 Million Americans have registered on the federal Trade Commission’s “Do Not Call” list. This number continues to grow and if you have ever purchased a mailing list of consumers you will know the hoops that one must jump through just to get a list with consumer’s phone numbers. The days of cold calling are long gone.

 

Companies that blog will get 55% more website visitors than those who do not. It’s not so much the actual blog or good content but the idea that your website has relevant and changing content that will push your website to the first page on search engines sites. Blogging is becoming one of the best ways to increase your S.E.O. and inform your customers.

 

Inbound marketing cost 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing. It stands to reason that getting to know your leads before you spend your marketing dollars to try to convert them into customers is a more cost efficient system than traditional outbound marketing. Inbound marketing lets you do just that, see who is visiting your website and what content they are viewing. Inbound marketing helps you develop a relationship with your leads and website visitors that will allow you to market specifically to them in a way that no other media can come close to. Inbound marketing can be a complicated adventure and a coordinating nightmare with all of its various parts but the end the results can be well worth the effort. Hippoface can help you navigate through the complicated fields of an Inbound marketing campaign.

1

work life balanceWith the economy on the upward swing, employee retention has suddenly become a critical issue for many companies. All companies deal with turnover and most will measure this metric and compare themselves within their industry. The turnover rates can vary widely within each sector and what is acceptable for the Hospitality Industry at 30 – 40% would be considered a disaster scenario within the Manufacturing community. A more specific and telling metric is the percent of employees that quit within a specific industry. In November of 2013, the Hospitality Industry had a 3.9% ratio of employees quitting their jobs, compared to just a .9% ratio within the Manufacturing Industry.
What do these metrics mean in dollars? Studies have shown that the total cost of losing an employee can range from tens of thousands of dollars to 1–2x their annual salaries. So if your industry is filled with higher paying tech jobs like engineers, then there is little solace in having a lower quit percentage when these positions are costing you thousands of dollars to replace. The cost of retaining your work force can be substantially less than replacing quality employees and provide your business with other benefits of a seasoned work force.

  • Health Care
  • Child Care
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Telecommuting
  • Sabbaticals

These 5 employment benefits and perks resonated highly with employees in 2013, the same employees that you are trying to retain and attract.“Work-Life Balance” is trending upward and becoming more important to U.S. workers.

It’s hard to imagine an employee “perk” that is not in place somewhere, if you can think of it, it’s being done. This is one aspect of employee retention that can be impossible to keep up with the Jones’. Some companies like Google or Facebook are always going to set the bar out of reach for most companies. I’m not sure that all the perks that these companies tout work well enough to copy. Take your dog to work is just one. I love my dog, a golden but taking him to work would be a 120lb fiasco. Imagine a blonde haired Chatty Kathy doll with a tongue too big for his mouth and a desire just as big to meet everyone and you get the picture. In our work force culture, there are always going to be more companies that are laid back and have more capital to spend on “Work-Life Balance” employee benefits than you do. Basketball hoops and ping pong tables just might not physically fit in your company’s space or having employees work from home on Fridays just might not be possible with your corporate structure or the nature of your business.  This does not mean that you can’t become more appealing to new or retaining quality employees. There are a multitude of fun and interesting areas in the“Work-Life Balance”scene.

“Work-Life Balance” can be the most cost effective way in keeping and attracting quality employees. Take a closer look at your company’s vacation, sick and personal days. Pay close attention to the time that your employees spend on commuting and the traffic conditions that your work schedules put them in. Think about offering catered lunches, bike parking, casual attire and encouraging volunteering in the community.

As “Work-Life Balance” becomes a more important aspect of employment, it’s time to start putting into place the small things that will make being an employee of your firm a satisfying one. Satisfied and content employees are less likely to be swayed by other offers or to start looking for other employment. A “Work-Life Balance” structure can help keep those recruitment costs in check.

2015 marketingWith the popularity of Facebook and Twitter, consumer behavior has been changing and your internet marketing better be changing as well, if you want to stay relevant and in front of these consumers. The internet, or more precisely your website, has been a focal point of your marketing efforts for the past few years but now more than ever the internet has become a communication platform. Just having a functional web presence is no longer adequate for attracting and converting your new and existing customers to sales in 2015. The internet has become a real time messenger with relevant dialogue that must be maintained, controlled and congealed to make your companies message stand out and stand tall in 2015.

 

“…the internet has turned what used to be a controlled, one-way message into a real-time dialogue with millions.” Danielle Sacks.

79% of adult Americans use the Internet. This number seems a bit low to me and I’m sure an additional 10 – 15% use the internet but just don’t know they do. These individuals might not be engaging in e-mails or ordering items online but are acquiring information through third parties that are surfing on their behest. I did this for years, searching for information and on occasion ordering for my parents. The internet or more precisely your presence on the internet is reaching almost the entire US population.

 

78% of Internet users conduct product research online. We not only find ourselves investigating products beforehand that we are interested in purchasing but justifying a purchase that was made at a brick and mortar store as well. We are always in search of the ‘Great Deal”. If we have been enticed to purchase quickly due to circumstance or a great marketing message, then it is not out of the question to do some product research on the back end. We may have already made the purchase but did we get that “Great Deal”. We seek justification on our expenses and if it seems that we paid too much or received a substantial less product, then we are inclined to correct the mistake now or in the future.

 

10.3 Billion searches are conducted every month on Google. That’s just Google not taking into account Bing, Yahoo or other search engines.

 

1/3 of US consumers spend three or more hours online every day. This number speaks for itself. It wasn’t too long ago that this number represented the number of hours an American consumer spent watching T.V. The T.V. might be on but we are paying more attention to the Internet and seeing more commercials on online than ever before.

 

US Internet users spend 3x more minutes on blogs & social networks than on e-mail.This is one metric that should steer your marketing budget more than any other. Facebook, Twitter and blogs have become the vehicle of choice for the public to speak, vent or otherwise be heard.

 

70% of the links search users click on is organic or not paid. If “location, location, location” is the cry of the realtor then S.E.O., S.E.O. , S.E.O.  is the wail of the 2014 marketers and not through key words or tags but with relevant content.

 

200 Million Americans have registered on the federal Trade Commission’s “Do Not Call” list. This number continues to grow and if you have ever purchased a mailing list of consumers you will know the hoops that one must jump through just to get a list with consumer’s phone numbers. The days of cold calling are long gone.

 

Companies that blog will get 55% more website visitors than those who do not. It’s not so much the actual blog or good content but the idea that your website has relevant and changing content that will push your website to the first page on search engines sites. Blogging is becomming one of the best ways to increase your S.E.O. and inform your customers.

 

Inbound marketing cost 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing. It stands to reason that getting to know your leads before you spend your marketing dollars to try to convert them into customers is a more cost efficient system than traditional outbound marketing. Inbound marketing lets you do just that, see who is visiting your website and what content they are viewing. Inbound marketing helps you develop a relationship with your leads and website visitors that will allow you to market specifically to them in a way that no other media can come close to. Inbound marketing can be a complicated adventure and a coordinating nightmare with all of its various parts but the end the results can be well worth the effort. Hippoface marketing and design can help you navigate through the complicated fields of an Inbound marketing campaign.

2015 web designGenerating traffic to your website is a varied blitz that you‘ve invested considerable time and money into, now you better focus your efforts on having them stay. The statistics tell a sobering story about the way we surf, for half of us, it’s just one and done. That is to say we click, select a website and then were off to another nether of the web; a web that we search, buy and communicate in. If you’re doing the metrics on your website pages performances, and you should, you will see that the majority of traffic entering your site will leave without navigating to any of your other pages. These potential customers and let's face it, revenue, might never come back. Consider these 5 website appearance tips to improve user experience and decrease your bounce rate.

“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions,” Pablo Picasso.

Use the right colors for your audience and draw attention to a few specific elements on your landing page. Too much of a good thing here is truly too much. Don’t try to make every thing stand out, you will only accomplish the exact opposite and blend the page into one cosmic color mess. Avoid a kaleidoscope of colors and pick just two to four from your existing marketing materials.

“Animation has completely changed, and I've always been a big fan,” Shia LaBeouf. 

The one rule here is simple, avoid anything unnecessary. Using flash animation because it looks cool is completely the wrong strategy. There are too many browsers and platforms for flash or background music to work properly all the time. If it’s not essential to your page, drop it.

“Perfection of planned layout is achieved only by institutions on the point of collapse,” C. Northcote Parkinson.

The layout of you webpage is not as dire as the above quote but is important none the less to help retain those sought after visitors. Create a clear navigation structure and organize page elements in an eye pleasing grid fashion. White spaces, white spaces and more white spaces, avoid the clutter.

“Copy, art, and typography should be seen as a living entity; each element integrally related, in harmony with the whole, and essential to the execution of an idea,” Rand Paul.

There are more fonts available for web use today than ever before but that doesn’t mean they are right for your pages. Keep it legible and use fonts, font sizes and font colors that can be easily read. Keep in mind that a large majority of the web viewer’s might be coming to your website via smart phones. Use bullet lists, section headers and short paragraphs. 

"Trust is built with consistency, "Lincoln Chafee.

Keep the elements on your site fairly consistent from page to page. These elements include colors, sizes, layout and the exact placement of the elements. Navigation should always be consistent and remain in the same location on all of your pages. Logos and tag line should carry the same messages as your other business materials to reflect a concise and consistent message to your visitors.

Website appearances are very important in today’s ever changing business world. With all of the challenges in directing traffic to your website, keeping those who do click is even more important. You might have a wonderful website with interactive pages and scads of information but if no one bothers to stay, oh well.

Websites can be a complicated adventure and a coordinating nightmare with all of its various parts but the end results can be well worth the effort. Hippoface marketing and design can help you create a killer web appearance and start keeping those finicky web well wishers.

2

Paper Mill Swatch BookYou’ve gone through countless hours of mulling over logo designs, color combinations, fonts, tag lines, relevant information, just to name a few and now it’s time to choose the paper to display your company’s new branding. There have probably been a few swatches already being discussed with a nudge from the designer towards a complimentary color and possibly a favorable finish to your new sheet.

Paper Companies Can Make it Hard

The choices can seem overwhelming and if you take into account the number of swatches and variety of paper offered by all of the mills vying for your business, it is. Each swatch book will include a variety of colors in separate finishes and weights for each of the product lines they run. Like the yellow pages, theses swatches can be outdated before they ever reach the designer or printing company showing the samples but this is not the only hurdle to clear in choosing the right paper.

Designers Can Help or Hurt

Designers or artists live in their own worlds and for some, the actual production of the piece is a distant thought. Avoid selecting a color or finish that is not readily available in your area. Paper wholesalers might carry a diverse line of product but stock only a few styles of the lines which they may offer. The mills themselves run only the most popular choices and reserve the rest for short run or on-demand applications. Mill items, as their name implies, come straight from the mill. Selecting a paper that is only stocked at the mill will result in having to order a minimum quantity that is not so minimum.  Ordering paper from the mill will require a substantial purchase with several weeks needed for delivery.

More Than One Application

Letterhead stationery is only one part of your company’s branding. You will need a matching #10 envelope and their availability will be different from the letterhead stock. Selecting parent size sheets and cutting them down for your letterhead is not a problem but this is not an option for your envelopes, unless you will have them converted. Take into consideration the possibility of needing invitations to a corporate event, now you will need announcement envelopes. A-7 or A-2 envelopes are even less likely to be stocked in a diverse number of colors or finishes.

Business cards or company brochures are printed on heavier cover weight stock and these are also stocked in different quantities, colors and weights, if they are stocked at all. Be sure to find out if these items are going to be produced by offset printing or through a digital press, as this can affect your weight choices as well. With a specific weight limit for a digital press, the choices for the heavier stock can be less and reduce what is available locally or in manageable quantities.

Don’t Forget the Finish

Certain finishes of stocks apply themselves to the finishing processes better than others. Laid finishes present their own problems when being scored; they crack and naturally resist a fold. Laser finishes work well when the sheets will have to be processed through a personal printer. Linen finishes on heavier stock have a thinner feel than other finishes and your business cards can have a substantially less hearty presentation.

Future Considerations

Mills are constantly reevaluating their costs to produce their products. In the end, if it doesn’t sell they are not going to keep producing it. Pick a stock that has been around for some time. This might not be the most innovated or stylistic choice but the last thing you want to face is having your company's paper, the look you've spent so much time and money on, be discontinued.

4 Things to Keep in Mind

  1. Choose a color that is not only complimentary but also available locally

  2. Choose a paper that is available in stationery, envelopes, card stock and invitations

  3. Choose a finish that will work for all of your needs

  4. Choose for the future. What’s here today might not be available next year

1

Digital or OffsetSo much is made of the pros and cons of each process and the cost associated with each but sometimes the most vital factor is omitted. Quantities of the run, deadline schedules and color proofs are all facets of a job that should be weighed in the decision process but they are not as important, as answer to the following question:

What Will Be My End Use of This Piece?

This is the most important question to answer in determining if a project should be offset printed or produced on a digital machine. Let us assume that our project can be produced by either process, that is, there are no size limitations or extreme stock weight that is needed. Both processes work well and have been used to reproduce just about any type of artwork. There is, however, an end use that can rule out producing your piece on digital equipment. If you plan to run your produced piece later through a laser printer it must be offset printed. Whether its letterhead, envelopes, mailing labels or a company brochure that is to be imprinted with personal information and you plan to send it through your office printer then find a way to make offset printing the affordable choice. No matter how improved digital laser printers have become, they still use extremely high heat to fuse the toner onto the surface of the paper. This heat will always start to smear existing toner that was put down on the initial pass. The more you run previously copied material through the second time, the more evident the ghosting or smudges will become.

Once we know that our piece will never see the inside of our office printer, then and only then, can we factor in the additional criteria.

The digital process works well for short run full color. When larger quantities in excess of a few thousand impressions are required then offset will probably be the more economic choice. Offset printing will produce better screens and sharper grays. Some pms colors will not reproduce very well on digital equipment and some pms colors will not reproduce at all. Specialty colors such as fluorescent or metallic inks will not work on digital equipment that use toner. The type face or fonts used in the piece is another consideration when quality is an issue. On digital equipment, type like an image, is a collection of all four colors. This process can leave type that is thin, not very crisp. This can be the case, especially when producing type that is the color of light gray. In the offset printing process, spot colors are used to reproduce the type as a solid color.

The benefits of reproducing your artwork off of digital equipment can be numerous. Coming from a print background it’s hard to admit but the quality over the past few years with the ability to use heavy card stock is awesome. If your end use is a leave behind, newsletter or some thing similar, look towards the quantity breaks. If you have to run the piece with additional variable information then printing by offset might be your only option.

Finishing of the piece is another variable that is also often overlooked when determining the best way to produce a printed piece. Coated cover stock that is run with full coverage through a digital printer can have issues when scored with a rotary scoring machine. The score will crack the toner and leave a frayed edge when folded. These issues can in most cases be eliminated if the piece is creased with a digital creasing machine or scored on a conventional letterpress. If the piece is produced using ink with an offset press then there is a bit more leeway with the options available for scoring/creasing and finishing.

The Best of Both Worlds

Offset printed pieces run fine through digital presses and you can have the best of both worlds by offset printing your blanks and then imprinting through digital equipment. This works especially well for business cards. Offset print logos, screens, heavy lines or color bars that are common to your cards and then imprint them with your employee information as needed. Business cards with quantities as low as 50 cards per employee can become feasible with this shared process. This process can hold down the cost of short run business cards without sacrificing your company’s branding.

Variables to Consider

  • Final end use of the piece (If your office printer is in the mix, offset)
  • Run length (Shorter the run the more digital looks like the right choice)
  • Time considerations ( Digital is by far quicker)
  • Variable information (Digital for variable now, Offset if variable later)
  • 14.3 x 26 (Largest size readily available for digital output)
  • 130# cover (Heaviest stock weight commonly run on digital equipment)
  • Finishing (Score or fold and it's digital.... get a sample)

Conclusion

If you are confused by the two choices or would just like to get another opinion, then seek out a professional in the print field. Be careful, there is a well known precedent in this business to recommend a process to unwary customers that is coincidentally what their company is primarily set up for. In other words, your professional will recommend something that they can do in-house. This can leave you with a more reliable choices or methods, still on the table.. If time allows, be prudent and diligent and seek unbiased opinions, they are out there if you know where to look.

Spend the Time

Trade Show TacticsTrade show marketing is a very in-depth, concise and strategic undertaking, and in most cases, a costly endeavor.  Your trade show appearance has to enlighten and dazzle the attendees with a message that directly relates to your business goals. If you have been planning for an upcoming show for several months, you are more than likely not ready and will not see a very positive "Return on Investment" (ROI). Typically, at least six months to a year of planning is needed to correctly justify the expense. Now that we have scared our “Wedding Planner Want-To-Be’s”, let’s look at some of the necessary evils of Event Marketing.

Is This Event Worth the Expense?

Once you have determined if this particular event is geographically and relevant with your type of business, it’s time to figure out if the cost will be worth it. Will the money that will be spent on the trade show increase your customer base and company revenue? This question is not an easy one to ascertain, since the results of the trade show can take months or even a year to bring your new contacts from just names to customers. That is why it is just as important to measure the metrics of a marketing event as it is to properly plan and execute the trade show itself. Run the numbers of sending your staff and the cost of the trade show and compare that to the possible increase in customers, revenue, and exposure and you get your ROI. Confused? You should be. Your business or more precisely, marketing your business, provides multiple challenges with different solutions that will work together or independently to reach your goals. If you think that a trade show is worth the ROI then let’s get started in the planning.

Setting Goals and Picking a Call-to-Action (CTA)

Trade shows are lead generating factories and should be treated as such. Not just leads but quality leads as well. Trade shows also offer opportunities to spread brand awareness and increase organic and direct web traffic. The goals of trade show marketing can include:

  • Increase in New Quality Leads and Sales

  • Increase in Organic and Direct web Traffic

  • Increase in Social Media and Blog Following

Once the goals of the trade show are set, you will have to figure how to get there. In trade shows, as in all other marketing campaigns, the call-to-action remains the key element connecting your marketing goal with the means of achieving it. Your CTA should be integrated into every aspect of your trade show marketing plan because it will be your key to reaching the goals you have previously set forth. As a reminder, a call-to-action is an image or text that will prompt a visitor to take action, such as subscribe to a newsletter, view a webinar, or request a product demo. Consider the CTA’s role in everything, including your signs, handouts, giveaways, landing page, booth, goals, and metrics.

If your CTA is directing your lead to a web page, create a custom landing page that is tightly connected to the overall campaign. This landing page could offer free material, such as an ebook or whitepaper, specifically related to the trade show and offers directed to the trade show visitor. Sending trade show attendees to your landing page on your website will also provide you with the opportunity to gather information about them as well. You want to be able to track who is interested in your company and how you can follow up with these leads in the future with the ultimate goal of turning them from a lead to customer. Remember, these attendees are talking with your competitors at the trade show as well, so what is done with the information in the coming months is as important as obtaining the lead itself.

So before you continue to planning your trade show marketing, you need to be fully aware of what your CTA is and what it’s prompting visitors to do.

Focus on an Inbound Approach

Create a memorable experience with a lasting impression on the attendees that stop at your booth. If you blend in with all of the other booths by design or with a similar handouts then you have conformed to normality and thus have become just another vendor. Start with the booth. If you look the same as the booths beside you then you will be initially perceived as such by the attendees. Creating a different look or something outside the norm can be expensive but the price is worth it. You are there to be noticed, so be noticed. The key to making your trade show marketing successful is to do something that makes you stand out.

Dress differently. The majority of people behind the booths will be in suits or casual business attire. Step out of the box with this one and incorporate your messaging with your wardrobe. Integrate your message not only with your wardrobe but with all of your signage as well. Carry you company message or theme consistently and boldly throughout your display and the employees working behind the booth.

Make your handouts timely and online friendly. It is probably a good bet your handouts will for the most part get lost amongst the barrage of paper flowing from the other booths, but have them ready just the same. Do not rely on them as a core strategy but someone will inevitably stop at your booth and request some form of company literature.

Encourage Internal Communication

Finally, it is important to ask others in your company for their input on the trade show. This is where you are more likely to develop a trade show marketing idea that will make your booth a memorable experience with a lasting impression on the attendees.

1

Recruiting 2015


Monster recruiting jobsFacebook
, LinkedIn and Twitter set the bar for users in the social media cloud but there are still some other heavy hitters in the arena of employment websites. Monster, CareerBuilder and Jobster have been in the ring for quite a few rounds and pack a very powerful punch when it comes to employment websites. These clear-cut job search websites reach millions of prospective employees each month and can be a prized addition to your company’s on-line search for that next great employee.

Monster.com is one of the largest employment websites in the world and is the largest job search engine in the world. OnMonster, employers wanting to post job openings can post them in one of two categories. “Standard Job" posting site will cost from $210 - $395 for a 60 day ad, the price depending on your location. Most locations will put you in the $350 - $385 range. You can also select the “Skilled & Hourly" posting site and this targeted listing site will cost your company $119 for a 14 day listing.

Another service provided by Monster is a “Power Resume Search” option. This search option will help you pinpoint the best qualified candidates based on your criteria. It will rank candidates based on the information you supply and rank the candidates in a side by side comparison. This service is subscription and location based and can purchase in one month to one year termsw. A single month with a 100 mile radius with up to 100 resumes will cost $575 and a subscription of 3 months with 300 resumes is $1,300. If you are looking for a campaign that is nationally based then a 1 month plan with 100 resumes will cost $700. A three month plan nationally with 300 resumes will set you back $1,750.

The top ten hourly job titles for Monster

  1. Customer Service Representative
  2. Retail Salesperson 
  3. Administrative Support Workers 
  4. Office Assistant 
  5. Bookkeeper 
  6. Medical Office Receptionist 
  7. Medical Assistant 
  8. Receptionist
  9. Accounting Clerk 
  10. Telemarketer   

Monster is always competing for your business, so there is always monthly specials. So a quick look at their website can yield savings in your next candidate search.

CareerBuilder.com, operated by CareerBuilder, is the largest online employment website in the United States, with more than 24 million unique visitors each month and a 34% market share of help-wanted web sites in the United States.

CareerBuilder charges per post and you can edit your post as much as needed in the 30 days that it is advertised for. A single post on
CareerBuilder will cost your company $419 with savings coming, if you advertise with multiple posts. 10 posts on CareerBuilder will cost $3,400 or $314 per post a savings of $790.

As with Monster, you can also search their extensive data base of resumes. This is also a subscription based service as well. CareerBuilder'ssubscription rates are for 2 weeks to a year with no limit on your radius. 2 weeks will cost $600 and one month $1,000. A six month subscription is $4,200.

CareerBuilder has a multitude of specific websites and categories to hone in on that specific resume. Sologig job postings are essential for recruiting IT or Engineering professionals. Posting your job on Sologig, puts it on one of the largest IT and Engineering job sites on the internet.

CareerBuilders.com offers a Free demo tour of their Resume Database before you buy. With a minimal release of information, you can see if this service will be useful in your next search of online resumes.

Jobster is the little brother of Monster and CareerBuilder in the employment website and job listings service. Jobster is also the most economical of the three and listing your job openings on Jobster will cost substantially less than the other two. Jobseekers can use the site to search job postings on Jobster.com as well as job boards from across the web and employer sites; explore user-generated content about companies and their culture and use social networking to connect with current and past employees at the companies the user is interested in.

A 30 day single post on Jobster is $75. Posting 5 jobs and the cost is $375 or bulk postings of 50 positions for $1,000.

Whether you use Monster, CareerBuilder or Jobster for finding your next great employee, one thing is evident there are a slew of online resources that are just a click and dollar away from securing that next great hire.