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