Michele StillwellBy Michele Stillwell, Director of Marketing and Accounting at MEDiAHEAD

When doing a huge amount of research way back in my Corporate Marketing days, one of my tasks was to take on revamping a sales tool. I accepted that challenge with open arms. The current tool the sales team was using wasn’t working for them. We were splitting as a company and we needed to come up with a tool that would work for the new company. The tool would need to support the sales team with collateral and all the other tangible things they needed during the sales cycle.

The first step was to interview the sales team. I needed to understand the pros and cons of the current tool. I needed to know what they liked… and what they were missing. After that process, I had a great list of features a new system would need to provide.

Features Needed in the New Sales System

• Google search functionality
• Ability to customize the sales brochure/collateral/personalize
• Expiration dates for collateral pieces so the sales team wouldn’t be using outdated materials
• Photo library for vertical market segmentation
• Request for Proposal brochure build functionality
• Merchandise ordering
• Sales Kits
• Quick turn time
• Ability to add cost center codes for billing to various departments

Request For Proposal

The second step was to send out a Request for Proposal (RFP) to several companies around the country. This RFP contained all the requirements for the creation of the new sales tool. The companies were provided due dates to respond to the RFP. And then we started the interview process based on the proposals.

My team and I had a lot of work to do. We interviewed several companies and had them show us their web portals, sales tools and collateral asset management systems. (Several names for the same type of tool.) And then we chose a news sales tool that was perfect! They built the tool for us just the way we wanted it. It had lots of customization and many bells and whistles. This new system also came with a hefty price tag and a huge monthly fee.

Our team went out and trained the sales team in each of our locations. The sales tool housed more than 300 templates, 600 collateral items and supported the Welcome Kits for all our new and existing customers. Plus, we set up an integration with SalesForce. Even better.

So why all this information?

Marketing & Distribution PortalsWhen I went to work for Colormarketing Inc. about 10 years ago, I started out doing some marketing for them, then went into sales, and now I’m doing Marketing and Accounting. As I have evolved, I’ve grown very passionate for this company… not only because of the owner, Kat, whom I truly admire, but for the products we’re selling.

The portal that MEDiAHEAD builds for our clients is fantastic. I know this from my experience in marketing for over 25 years. If you want to purchase a tool off the shelf, then that is what you will get (and pay for.)

Our Marketing collateral web solution is much more than that. It takes everything that the sales team needed from my previous job and double the features. It’s all included in our Marketing Portal system. I’m proud that we’ve developed the best of the best, and I love backing that up during our demos. (Want a demo? Let me know!)

The MEDiAHEAD Marketing Portal

Our tool can do so many things to support your sales team in an efficient and timely way. How? Because we’ve built it from two different tool sets, and we have talented web developers. They’ll never say “no” when asked if something can be done. They always look for a solution. Which is good because that’s what we’re all about.

Does it have Google search functionality? Yes
Can you customize it? Yes
Does it let you put in expiration dates? Yes

All of the above plus so much more.

MEDiAHEAD: Marketing and Distribution PortalsI was amazed when I started working here and started reviewing our Marketing Portal. I found all the features I’d created from scratch in the previous sales support tool. It was right there in front of me in the MEDiAHEAD Marketing Portal. At a fraction of the cost.

It Just Needs to Work

Sales teams need to have access to a tool that they can get in, get the supporting assets they need and go make a darn sale. They can customize, download or print what they need and do it fast. Marketing needs to have the ability to change collateral on the fly. They need to be able to find what they need fast. Nobody has time to waste looking for stuff in a sea of documents, day in day out. I’ve been there, I’ve lived it. Personalization is also key in your marketing approach, let us help you with that. One touch of a button and it’s done.

As the world of sales and marketing continues to evolve, let us help. Everyone has had to learn new methods and processes to conduct sales and marketing efforts, and our Marketing Portal is built to support that effort. Want to know more? Let’s do a virtual coffee or lunch. We would love a chance to make your life easier and earn your business!

By Michele Stillwell, Director of Marketing and Accounting at MEDiAHEAD

Have you ever been looking for that one file and it took you forever to find it? I recently experienced this problem. Picture this: You get art files from someone and rename them. Then you save the files somewhere… A month or two goes by, and guess what? You need that file again.

Searching and searching, you forgot the name of the file. And you forgot where you saved the file. After looking for an hour or so… you finally find it! Whew.

It’s especially frustrating now working from home. Using a remote connection to your company files can be frustrating in itself, let alone trying to find a file.

This is where a marketing collateral asset management tool comes to the rescue.

MEDiAHEAD: Marketing and Distribution PortalsWith an asset management tool, all your collateral is online in a central repository. You can log into your portal site and see your collateral in real-time. Even better, you have the ability to customize the collateral, edit content and download. All at your fingertips.

You can upload anything to the asset management tool: documents, videos, graphics, working files, photo libraries and even physical merchandise. You have the control; it makes finding things super easy.

With a collateral asset management tool, you can:

  • Upload documents quickly and easily
  • Manage version control
  • Archive files that are out of date
  • Allow individual users to edit & customize content while still controlling your branded elements
  • Easily search and find any documents or file by campaign, product targeted audience or any other attribute you choose
  • Order materials digitally or to be printed on-demand and shipped globally
  • Control security access each user receives – what they can view, edit and order, and payment options as well
  • Choose your payment options – including credit card payment, point programs, internal cost center allocations or purchase orders

Brand Control

One thing I learned when working for a large corporation is that brand control is extremely important. When you have an asset management tool, you have control of the continuity of your brand.

There are several other reasons to have such a tool for your sales and marketing team. One stop shopping for your team for client handouts, client gifts and more.

  • You can store your trade show booth and giveaways on your management tool, manage orders for multiple shows in your portal, print customized collateral on-demand for that specific show and ship directly to the location… all from your own desk.
  • Provide turn-key campaigns to channel partners, allowing them to co-brand materials, upload prospect lists and execute marketing or print campaigns all from your asset management tool.
  • Allow your Sales team to easily search and download marketing assets for prospects, and order materials to be shipped out to the field or directly to the client.

Michele StillwellThink about all the time you can save with the organization and efficiency you get in an online marketing portal! Give me a call. I will walk you through one of our portals and show you where you can save time and stay on brand.

For more information, check us out at www.mymediahead.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Kat McDaniel, Principal at MEDiAHEAD.

I can’t even begin to count the number of prospective clients and strangers that ask me if I am veggiebellie‘s mom.

veggiebellie on Instagram

My daughter, Amy McDaniel has 5,580 followers on Instagram. In a very loving way, I’m frequently portrayed as the wacky human that doesn’t understand technology or how to properly operate my iPhone. She also documented my cancer journey and most recently my wedding.

If you follow her, you probably know that my husband is now featured in the fun (or being made fun of). Last Friday, there were many funny clips of us playing Trivial Pursuit… and Rieger Whiskey was involved.

Recently, I was pitching a large account when one of the attendees raised her hand and asked if I was veggiebellie’s Mom. At the Kemper Museum Gala I had no less than four people approach me and ask the same question. And this morning, at one of The Enterprise University Classes with Willoughby, I was approached while getting a cup of coffee. We both laughed and I said, “Yes. I’m the infamous Mom of Amy.”

The Power of Human Connection

I’m using this example to show the power and reach of social media through human connection.

Most brands need to get personal and funny to keep their clients engaged. No one wants to see an infomercial on what your company does.

Wendy’s is a perfect example – the secret to their social media success is confidence and culture. Their playful approach allows them to make their points in a likeable way, like trolling McDonald’s on National Frozen Food Day with tweets poking fun that their beef is frozen. More than three million people follow the brand for their saucy tweets and good natured burns.

Izzy head shotIt’s Not About Selling Product

Social media should not be about selling your product, it should be about people getting to know your brand and your core values.

A good brand should live in the hearts and minds of the people who you’re trying to engage.

At MEDiAHEAD, we show people our brand and core values through the stories we tell. Whether it’s another blog written by our mascot Izzy, or a story about our unique and fun referral gifts… giving people a window into our company and culture is important.

Are you sharing your stories?

By Kat McDaniel, Principal at MEDiAHEAD

MEDiAHEAD Trade Show BoothA month before our event, we sent a variable custom mailer to each of the attendees inviting them to visit a landing page for a free promotion. We used a PURL (Personalized URL) which led them to a custom micro website created with just that one person in mind, the recipient of a specific direct mail piece. In a campaign where 10,000 pieces are mailed, there will be 10,000 different personalized websites generated.

Not only does each website have a unique URL, but the PURL landing page typically greets the recipient by name. Because each website is unique, it’s very easy for the sender to determine which recipients responded to the mailing.

When they visited the micro website, they were able to choose a product – fairly normal for a trade show, BUT: we generated a huge response by allowing the recipient to upload a picture of their favorite thing – dogs, children or funny photos that we printed as a poster, notepad or on a deck of cards.

At the show our booth was mobbed with attendees picking up their gifts and chatting with us.

They were able to see the high quality that we were able to print digitally on their product in addition to the samples we had displayed from other projects. (And we were also able to capture their email addresses for future marketing initiatives.)

Successful marketing applications for PURLs can be found across nonprofit, for-profit businesses and even government. PURLs have been used effectively with existing customers & donors, and with new prospects. Any organization that wants to start a conversation with an audience, or pre-qualify a group of prospects should consider using PURLs!

By Michele Stilwell, Director of Marketing and Accounting at MEDiAHEAD

Window Clings Definition: Window cling decals are a popular material used for graphic displays. Window cling is made from a thin vinyl film that clings to various surfaces. Typically, they are displayed on glass windows and doors. However, they can also be displayed on smooth plastic or metal.

Have you ever wondered or wanted to print some cool window clings? Well, they’ve come a long way since the clings that the minute the sun hit it, it would peel or curl or worse… simply fall off. You can print all kinds of window clings now. Some can cling on the inside surfaces of your building, and some are super resilient to weather and can adhere to the outside of a window. Yes, they can survive outside in the storms, heat, snow and wind.

The other great part of using a window cling is you can reuse it, because it does not have any adhesive glue. It is just a cling.

The particular window clings in the picture below were printed on a dusted vinyl material that allows for some light to come through, but still offers some privacy.    This gives you a kind of etched or frosted glass look. You can do lettering and special shapes or full panels.

Window Cling Sample 1 Window Cling Sample 2

MEDiAHEAD would love to help you print your next window clings!

Soon you will see a display of window clings on all of our windows at 3525 Roanoke, Kansas City, MO 64111.

So stop by and chat with us… or contact us through our website.

Kat 600x450Post written by Kat McDaniel, Chief Innovator at MEDiAHEAD | Marketing Portal Guru | Variable Data Promoter | Analytics Advocate | Explorer

Quick! Name a soft drink.

Chances are you thought of Coke or Pepsi. These beverage giants have spent millions in advertising. Why?

Because they have a goal of being top of mind among consumers from age five to ninety-five. And they’ve been very successful at doing it.

Top-of-mind-awareness (or TOMA) is a traditional measure of marketing effectiveness. It strongly correlates to brand preference, which correlates to increased market share.

Here are five ways to achieve “top of mind” awareness in your product marketplace:

1. Find your unique selling proposition.
Consider what makes your company special. Is it market niche? Exceptional service? Highly targeted products and services? Clearly articulate this to your prospects. Make this value proposition simple and easy to remember.

2. Be proactive.
While a one-time advertising blitz can get your message out quickly to a large number of prospects, TOMA requires a drip marketing approach — a consistent delivery of messaging over time. Keep it coming.

top of mind3. Use consistent branding.
Everything from your customer literature to your e-newsletters should have consistent messaging and similar look and feel. One brand, one message.

4. Use multiple touches and multiple channels.
Stay in front of your audience using multiple channels over time. Awareness is based on repetition.

5. Be useful.
Frequency doesn’t have to mean being annoying. You want your customers to perceive you as a provider of useful information rather than an intrusive pest. Communicate frequently, but give your audience genuine value each time.

Never before have consumers had so many choices. TOMA should be a top goal of your marketing efforts.

It will help customers notice you in a noisy marketplace, all while increasing customer retention and response rates.

MEDiAHEAD: Direct Mail Marketing for the HolidaysThe beginning of October, it is finally culturally acceptable to start talking about the holiday season in public, even though we’ve been secretly planning our 2017 holidays since 2012. For many people, it’s time to dust off that weird, ceramic, light-up tree, plug in those outdoor decorations you never actually took down, and place candles and plants literally everywhere in your home.

MEDiAHEAD can help you spread the holiday joy and cheer with a creative direct mail marketing campaign.

It’s basically the same for businesses, too, except that businesses should also begin to think about their holiday promotions – especially for direct mail. Below, we’ve outlined a few tips for creating a successful holiday direct mail marketing campaign.

1. Get started last month

You know those crazy people who get their holiday shopping done before the absolute last minute? It’s super weird. It’s like they’d rather address their responsibilities head on instead of procrastinate as long as possible. I know a few people who finish their holiday shopping as early as August.

And you know what’s even crazier? There are millions of these people. Approximately 34 million Americans (14 percent of the nation’s population) had already started their holiday shopping by the end of September. So in order to reach these 34 million Americans with holiday promotions, marketers would have had to start even earlier. And if you haven’t already started, what are you waiting for?

Even though the holiday season seems to begin earlier every year, it’s the businesses that make the initial push early that stay ahead of their competition.

2. Send mail frequently

A common word of advice we give to many marketers who are new to direct mail is this: you can’t just send one letter and expect to see a positive ROI. This tidbit of information applies to holiday marketing as well.

So after you send your initial holiday promotional mail, don’t wait to find out how well it will perform. You’ll be working longer hours during the holiday season, and you won’t have time to react to your direct mail responses. Instead, plan a series of direct mail promotions and schedule them throughout the season, which should probably include the New Year as well.

3. Really, though. Don’t forget about the New Year

According to a 2015 survey by Statistic Brain, 45 percent of Americans usually make New Year’s resolutions. If your business is the type that can leverage the resolutions of your customers, then your direct mailing campaign should absolutely extend into the beginning of 2018. Or 2520, depending on when you’re reading this article. The new year is especially important for industries related to wellness and health.

4. Promote your online store

The holidays are all about family, love, and togetherness. Your customers might sort of like you, but they certainly don’t love you, they’re typically not part of your family, and they don’t want to be together with you for very long. They want to see their friends and their cats, basically.

Your direct mail promotions should require as little commitment from your customers as possible, and a great way to achieve this low level of effort is to use your direct mail items to encourage customers to come to your online store. You’ll still make money without extra people crowding your store, and your customer won’t have to put on pants to go out in public. It’s a win-win situation.

Need help constructing a direct mail campaign to spread holiday cheer? MEDiAHEAD can help you create the perfect brochures, postcards, letters, and envelopes for your direct marketing messages all year round. We even recognize the holidays that nobody celebrates, like national Be Bald and Be Free day.

Contact MEDiAHEAD today to get started on a new direct mail campaign!

As a marketing and print services company, we have long known that color plays a major role in the success of any marketing campaign. Specific colors tend to evoke certain emotions in customers, thus creating brand relevance and motivating purchases. The following lists 10 colors that increase sales, along with the specific emotions they bring forth.

1. Orange

Orange is high energy. It has powerful attention-getting properties, it’s fun and cool, and it makes customers feel as though they’re dealing with a cutting-edge company. Cheerful orange evokes exuberance, fun and vitality. With the drama of red plus the cheer of yellow, orange is viewed as gregarious and often childlike. Research indicates its lighter shades appeal to an upscale market. Peach tones work well with health care, restaurants and beauty salons.

2. Blue

When you want your brand to be viewed as trustworthy and cool, blue is the color for you. Mix blue with complimentary colors for best results. Cool blue is perceived as trustworthy, dependable, fiscally responsible and secure. Strongly associated with the sky and sea, blue is serene and universally well-liked. Blue is an especially popular color with financial institutions, as its message of stability inspires trust.

MEDiAHEAD: Blue MEDiAHEAD: Blue Print CollateralPrint Collateral

3. Red

Red is the color of power. It means business. It gets people’s attention and it holds it, which is why it’s the most popular color for marketing. Red activates your pituitary gland, increasing your heart rate and causing you to breathe more rapidly. This visceral response makes red aggressive, energetic, provocative and attention-grabbing. Count on red to evoke a passionate response, albeit not always a favorable one. For example, red can represent danger or indebtedness.

MEDiAHEAD: Red

4. Green

Green is a versatile color. It is warm and inviting, lending customers a pleasant and open feeling. In general, green connotes health, freshness, environment and serenity. However, green’s meaning varies with its many shades. Deeper greens are associated with wealth or prestige, while light greens are calming.

MEDiAHEAD-Green

5. Yellow

Yellow is a powerful color, but it is also the most dangerous hue. Use yellow to command your audience’s attention, and let them know you’re confident in your abilities. In every society, yellow is associated with the sun. Thus, it communicates optimism, positivism, light and warmth. Certain shades seem to motivate and stimulate creative thought and energy. The eye sees bright yellows before any other color, making them great for point-of-purchase displays.

MEDiAHEAD: Yellow

6. Purple

Purple is the color of royalty, which makes it perfect for lending a touch of elegance and prestige to your marketing materials. Purple is a color favored by creative types. With its blend of passionate red and tranquil blue, it evokes mystery, sophistication, spirituality and royalty. Lavender evokes nostalgia and sentimentality.

MEDiAHEAD-Purple

7. Gold

Gold is likewise elegant and prestigious, but adds an element of power purple can’t match. In combination with purple or green, gold is a powerful color that symbolizes wealth and pedigree.

MEDiAHEAD: Gold

8. Black

Black is another highly versatile color. It can be modern or traditional, exciting or relaxing. Used as a contrasting color, black most often adds drama to whatever mood you want to cast. Black is serious, bold, powerful and classic. It creates drama and connotes sophistication. Black works well for expensive products, but can also make a product look heavy.

MEDiAHEAD: Black

9. Brown

Brown, an earthy tone, is known as a comfort color, lending relaxation to customers. This earthy color conveys simplicity, durability and stability. It can also elicit a negative response from consumers who relate to it as dirty. Certain shades of brown, like terracotta, can convey an upscale look. From a functional perspective, brown tends to hide dirt, making it a logical choice for some trucking and industrial companies. Think UPS.

MEDiAHEAD: Brown

10. Pink

Vying for the attention of a young female demographic? You can’t go wrong with pink. It’s fun, frilly and totally female. Pink’s message varies by intensity. Hot pinks convey energy, youthfulness, fun and excitement and are recommended for less expensive or trendy products for women or girls. Dusty pinks appear sentimental. Lighter pinks are more romantic.

MEDiAHEAD: Pink