Making Sure Your Customers Get the Message
Today’s empowered consumers require personally relevant marketing communications. This solution brief tells you exactly how to get the right message directly to your target audience.
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Giving the Right Message to Customers:
Why your sales channels need customized print collateral to win today.
Once upon a time, all marketers had to do to influence consumers was come up with a homogenous creative approach and blast it to the masses. Those days are long gone. Consumers no longer respond to a generic approach. The Internet, with its wealth of information, has empowered consumers to become much more selective about the messages they receive and trust.
To gain the attention and respect of consumers today, we need to speak directly to them, showing that we understand the world they live in, their individual needs and their individual desires – and not only in digital media, but also in print.
Today, We Must Customize Our Communications.
In this age of the empowered consumer, we need to be able to custom tailor our marketing
communications for local markets, and in many cases, individuals. Consumers in Baton Rouge,
Louisiana may have preferences that are vastly different from those in Seattle, Washington, and both groups may be a world apart from consumers in New York City. Differences in geography, climate, history, culture, traditions and dialect all require customization to appeal to local sensibilities. This applies to everything from printed material such as brochures, catalogs and direct mail, to the wide variety of online media now available to all of us. Welcome to the age of customization.
Customization in the Digital Age.
Recognizing the realities of the newly empowered consumer, a whole new category of service providers
has emerged. These firms offer sophisticated marketing automation technologies that help marketers
deliver custom content to consumers via digital vehicles, including social media sites, websites, emails and text messages. This is on top of the paid search and ad targeting capabilities provided by search engines. Content can be automatically tailored to individuals based on personal information gained about them through their online activity (emails read, links clicked, web pages visited, online forms submitted, items purchased or downloaded, etc.).
But while digital media seems to get the bulk of many marketers’ mind share these days, a much older
medium remains vitally important to reaching consumers: print. And despite continued predictions to the
contrary, print continues to flourish as a marketing medium.
Print Performs Better Than Ever.
Despite the proliferation of Internet content, broadband connectivity and mobile devices, the printed
piece remains a uniquely effective way to communicate with consumers. Marketers still rely on hardcopy
brochures, catalogs, magazines and direct mail to deliver information and compel action, and
customers are still more likely to respond to print than to digital communications. According to the
annual USPS survey released in 2011, 81% of Americans still skim or read advertising mailed to their
homes and 51% read catalogs sent to their homes.1 People are also more likely to respond to direct mail (4.4% on average) versus email (.12%), display ads (.04%) and paid search (.22%), according to a 2012 DMA study.2
Print remains a powerful way to enhance your brand too, especially when incorporating high quality
print production, papers with a pleasing tactile feel, special coatings, die cuts, multi-dimensional
designs and scannable images such as QR Codes to integrate with online and mobile media. From an
emotional standpoint, there’s nothing quite like the feel of a richly produced brochure, catalog, magazine or direct mail package that can be held, touched and opened in one’s hands. A study by Millward Brown published in 2009 demonstrated that compared to digital media, printed material stimulates more emotional processing, connects better to memory, produces more brain responses related to internalization, and generally feels more real and personal, which in turn can be more motivating.3
Customization Of Print Media.
Thanks to the enduring power of print, marketers are facing increasing demands from their sales and
marketing channels to provide custom versions of print collateral, tailored for different geographic
regions, demographic profiles and product needs.
The more diverse and dispersed the channels are, the higher the demand for customization, and the
harder it is for marketing departments to keep up. Traditionally, customization has required manually
altering and printing collateral, stealing marketers’ precious time and requiring costly custom print
runs. And when marketer’s can’t meet the demand, users in the channel are forced to create their own
versions of collateral, often sabotaging corporate brand consistency by misapplying logos, colors,
typography, images and overall design.
In response to these challenges, a new online platform technology called Marketing Asset Management,
or MAM had emerged, providing a very cost-effective way to deliver custom print collateral to local
markets on-demand, including brochures, flyers, direct mail pieces, corporate identity, in-store signage, advertising and more. MAM completely automates the customization process, relieving overburdened marketing departments of this repetitive and time-consuming activity. MAM also provides built-in controls to ensure brand consistency.
How MAM Works.
A MAM system stores your marketing materials online as templates and lets you lock the portions of the
templates that contain your corporate brand – items that must remain unchanged and consistent across
all media – while allowing local-user access to customize other parts of the templates. The MAM system
also stores a library of graphics you’ve made available to use in those templates, with permissions
you’ve set for how and where these graphics may be used. Then, members of your organization at the
local level – sales representatives, local marketers, retailers, distributors, dealers, franchisees, etc. – can log into the MAM system through an online portal, customize marketing pieces to match the
needs of their local audiences, and quickly have short runs produced and delivered to them using
cost-effective, digital print-on-demand technology.
• Brochures can be customized with a local distributor’s brand and contact information, as well as geographically relevant imagery (for instance, sunny beaches in Southern California, a hilly sunset in the Midwest, or a skyline on the East coast.)
• Direct mail pieces can be tailored to feature locally oriented promotions, with relevant graphics and copy and the contact information of the local sales outlet.
• Catalogs can be tailored to contain just the product lines or specific products that suit the demographics of a local area or vertical niche.
• Stationery (business cards, letterhead, envelopes, note cards, etc.) can be customized with the names, contact information and the specific branding of local sales representatives.
MAM handles digital too.
A MAM system can easily accommodate storing and customizing digital assets as well, including
web landing pages, emails, banner ads and PDF collateral, providing a solution for managing a full
assortment of marketing assets.
• A restaurant chain customizes menus and promotions for multiple metro areas.
• A hardware store chain localizes weekly promotional circulars and in-store signage for different regions.
• A medical device manufacturer lets local sales representatives build a custom catalog of products tailored for each sales call, which can either be printed on demand or delivered as a PDF.
• A national athletic association provides nationally branded promotional kits and signage to local athletic clubs throughout the country to help them promote the enjoyment of sports for all age groups.
• A national hospital group allows the hospitals in its system to create custom services catalogs to cater to their respective communities.
• An automobile manufacturer gives its dealer network access to a collection of newspaper and Internet advertising templates for weekly sales, which dealers can customize within corporate branding guidelines to feature specific inventory and pricing specials.
• A large franchise incorporates MAM into its back-end system for franchisees to access a complete assortment of professionally branded marketing materials that can be customized for local sales needs.
• A real estate group provides templates to its realtors in cities across the country to create custom business cards and promotional literature for individual properties.
These are just a few examples. There is practically no limit to the uses of MAM for all kinds of organizations that sell to diverse groups of consumers in multiple markets.
Putting It All Together.
Marketing Asset Management (MAM) is one of several complimentary technologies which can
be combined to custom tailor your entire marketing mix for local markets and individuals. These
technologies span the media gamut, from search engines, social media and websites to print, TV and
radio. The beauty of these systems is that they can completely automate the labor of customization,
allowing localization on a scale that would otherwise be impossible for marketing teams to accomplish.
ZUZA specializes in providing MAM solutions, so if you would like more information about how this
technology can help your organization, we would be happy to talk with you.
ZUZA supports marketers to be Champions with a web-based platform called MAM (“Marketing Asset
Management”) that automates creating, producing and fulfilling customized marketing materials while ensuring a consistent brand. This powerful solution makes tailoring collateral for distributed marketing channels remarkably easy, fast and cost-effective. ZUZA’s all-in-one marketing solution includes full-service printing and comprehensive mailing support from the company’s state-of-the-art production facility. See how ZUZA can support your marketing efforts by visiting zuzaMAM.com or calling 858.350.9411 to speak to a ZUZA representative.
1 United States Postal Service Household Diary Study, 2010 Edition
2 Direct Marketing Association (DMA) 2012 Response Rate Report
3 Millward Brown Case Study: Using Neuroscience to Understand the Role of Direct Mail (2009)