The smartest 6 Holiday Marketing Tips

Many businesses use Thanksgiving and the December Holidays to market generically themed ideas to attract new customers or engage current customers. Using originality and a bit of a human touch can really affect how customers react to your Holiday Marketing Campaigns. As we are all mostly busy during this season, we will try to keep a short but helpful list.happyholidays

  1. Plan in advance- Sadly, this may not help you now. But, it’s not too early to start thinking about next year’s campaigns. The beginning of October is a good date to start brainstorming and begin planning your Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Seasons Greetings bonanza. A little planning ahead of time goes a long way after the fact.
  2. This is cliche, but personalize your approach. Something most companies don’t factor into a Holiday Campaign is the emotional factor. Most purchases are not rational decisions. They are emotional reactions. Engage your customers on social media with a question like: What is their favorite Holiday tradition? Find a holiday-thanksgiving-pumpkinsway for your customers to insert themselves into the campaign. “Elf yourself” was one of the most successful marketing strategies ever.
  3. Don’t discount Cyber Friday. That’s right. Not Cyber Monday. In 2014 $1.5 billion was spent on Black Friday alone. Planning ahead will also allow to plan for contests or games to be added to that campaign as well.tc-stats-logo
  4. Use last year’s data. If you don’t keep data now, start keeping it this year. Find out what items sold best. Campaigns that use data improve ROI by 15-20%.
  5. You are a customer as well, observe and use what attracts you. You may be in business but thinking like a customer, can inspire many ideas.
  6. This may be taboo for some. But, far too many campaign’s mistake the Holiday season-greetings-clip-art-jgynnt-clipartSeason for the Christmas Season. Focus on the universal themes of family, gift giving, and charity. While this has become a touchy subject as of late, a well though out approach can be inclusive and not have anyone feeling left out.

Using the built in themes of the season, can be half of what it takes to run a successful Holiday Marketing campaign. We wish you a successful Holiday season. More importantly, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.

Are Personalized Calendars Marketing Hidden Gems?

For a moment, forget what the prevailing wisdom is. Because facts are facts,  by the end of this blog, we think you will think differently, from when you started.

Looking for a way to promote your business that will engage, remain, and market your products and services is a complicated matter. Will your idea target a professional audience? If, you mail or email a number of informational flyers, will they just view it as another sales item and toss it to the side?  That is the real conundrum. Is there a product that will not be thrown away, target your audience, and promote your products and services. The answer may surprise you.

Calendars are viewed as gifts, not as sales gimmicks, so they are not likely to be thrown away. The fact is, few people actually buy calendars, so receiving one as a gift is often a welcome addition.

Furthermore, it will remain in one’s office or room for 1 year. They can also be personalized, so that, the recipient will genuinely be happy and grateful. It is not surprising that they are overlooked, as most individuals receive their calendar from an organization or business. What other product will remain in plain sight for a full year and offer 12 separate promotions or sales pitches all in a non threatening manner.

OK, that’s great you say, but “MegaCorp” does not even know my company’s name. Well, offering a personalized calendar as a gift will ensure that everyone who receives one, will at the very least, glance at your logo everyday. This is priceless. The individual is not only coming to know your brand, address, and phone phone number, he/she is endorsing you by having that calendar in their office. Also, every person who sits or visits that office will see it as well. Anyone will assume that you have an established relationship with that company.

This is why it is important to design a custom printed calendar. Knowing your target audience will help you design a calendar, which, will help to grow your brand and market effectively. Perhaps, you know an employee is avid golfer, or enjoys hiking. You can cater to their preference and ensure that it ts something they will choose to look at for 12 months.

 

In 1981 the CAC (Calendar Advertising Council) conducted a telephone survey and found that 70% of calendars were received as gifts, and 85% percent of recipients planned to conduct business with sender of the calendars. That is ROI.

Well, that’s 1981 you say, that does not apply to today’s fast paced, tech savvy world. In the last six years, Calendars have ranged in revenue from 1.07bil to 1.43bil in promotional product sales. That equates to 7.14 share of the $15.64 billion pie of promotional product sales. In the last 6 years, calendars have remained in the top five of promotional products. In addition, look at these statistics reported from ordinary people given promotional or an advertising calendar:

• 74 percent could remember the name of the company advertised
• 72 percent could remember the product or service/message advertised
• 71 percent had done business with the company that gave them the calendar prior to receipt of the complimentary calendar
• 70 percent plan to do business with the company again
• 48 percent had a more favorable impression of the advertiser
• 41 percent have referred a friend to the company that gave them the calendar

Another study showed:

  • 77.6% Plans to do business with the advertiser
  • 48.8% Has referred a friend to the advertiser

That study shows some really interesting information regarding people receiving multiple calendars. Calendars are still relevant and come in many different forms now, from pocket calendars to desk calendars.

 

All of that would not matter if calendars were not cost effective. It is fairly obvious that TV, radio, or internet ads are much more exciting and engaging. They can be interactive and catchy. But, what happens if the TV is on mute or the viewer is in another room. Internet ads are also there and then gone, not hard to miss. All of these methods are extremely expensive. When you consider the cost of a bundle of calendars, it’s hard to think why it is not worth trying.

So, assuming we’re all in agreement (you have to admit that this argument is pretty convincing), that calendars can an effective marketing tool and extremely cost effective, let’s start to design something that will give you the best chance to reap all of the rewards, which, we discussed above.

  • First, it is important that the calendar is aesthetically pleasing. If, it is not pleasing to the eye, it will not be looked at all that much
  • Design it so that your logo and information are in plain view
  • Specify certain times of years or dates that inspire action (For example, if you client is an accountant, perhaps include a reminder to send out flyers right before tax season)
  • Include special offers or reminders of your next catalog of brochure
  • Think of your customer, what do you think your client will be dwelling on on any given month. Be helpful, give tips based on their industry. This will gain trust and force them to look at it more often
  • Include URLs or or phone numbers that will lead them to products and services that will help them

There are many different factors like size, binding, and color to consider when designing a custom calendar. That’s where we come in. Contact us at mmprint.com today.

 

 

 

Why combining print and digital marketing is the best strategy

From startups with 1 employee, to companies with thousands of employees, the importance of print marketing has remained constant for the last 100+ years. We have 40 years of experience and have seen many trends come and go, and today more than ever, there are opinions everywhere on what you should or should not be doing. Our goal is not to answer any of those extremely complicated questions. All you will learn from this blog is what we know works, and how print marketing can help a business that is 1 day old or 1 century old.

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Combining Print and Digital to increase ROI

One of the important statistics we have read recently, came from the AMA(no we don’t get our business statistics from doctors), it is the American Marketing Association. There are numerous studies that show how print is outperforming digital, but the statistic that stood out most to us is that most Americans disregard 80% of their email but they open 80% of their regular mail. The same study shows that:

  • magazines and newspapers have the highest ROI at 125%
  • compared to 87% for TV and digital.
  • However, that number jumps to 163% when combining Print and Digital.

Also, that is in concrete revenue terms. So, we can now see the value of adding Print to your marketing strategy.

presentation-folder-booklets

What this means, is that people still enjoy reading and looking at tangible, physical content. Perhaps, it is because we are inundated with digital content on our phones, tablets, laptops, etc… Posters, calendars, business cards, and catalogs force us to engage in the content. Most importantly, print has the benefit of sitting on the table in an office, or a coffee table at home. A web ad is there and then gone permanently. 1 catalog can be viewed many times by many people. As retail businesses use signs to attract many drivers who pass by their business.

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How Print Marketing Works for you 

Now, where does that leave us in helping you establishing your brand identity, marketing it, and targeting your market?

For starters, packaging, presentation and appearance matter. If you’re like the majority of people, when someone gives you a business card with a plane white background, their name, their title, and their email address, it disappears into what is called the Bermuda Triangle section of wallets. It goes in, and not so mysteriously is never seen again. Now, think of that business card someone gave you in full color, with classic fonts, pictures, and UV coating.

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The person that gave you that business card is more likely to get your business. It is the same with people who dress sharply, or have great style. It is intuitive, if they spend time on the little details on something like a business card, we feel as though they will be a better person to conduct business with. Perception is reality. When it comes to potential clients, your catalog, brochure, calendar, or business card should represent your brand, and establish confidence.

Business Card with Spot UV Coating

Develop a memorable brand identity, that will speak to clients and potential clients about the quality of your products and services. This is where the right type of menu, catalog, business card, letterhead, brochures, flyers, and so many other print items, can establish and market your brand precisely for your target market. It can also be a great tool for maintaining relationships with clients, staying in touch with them or saying thank you. Perhaps, sending out custom greeting cards using variable data so that a company of 100 people will get a Holiday Card with each employee’s name on it. Or sending custom coupons for future business. There are endless ways with which we can help you establish your brand, and build on it.

 

eddmblogTargeting your market has never been easier. Direct Mailings are an effective way to reach out to new and existing customer. Perhaps you don’t want to buy a list, then use EDDM flyers, menus, and brochures. Ask us about EDDM today, it is the simplest tool to target a specific town, street, or neighborhood and ensure that every household receives your item. With the EDDM tools, there is no hassle of buying a list that may or may not be updated.

All of these are just a few of the effective tools Marsid M&M can use to help you grow your brand and ultimately, grow your business. You can visit us at www.mmprint.com today and chat live online with a print specialist.

New Print Products to Make your Merchandise Stand out

When it comes to marketing a product, standing out among your competitors can be an important way to attract new customers. Almost every company will have some sort of marketing materials, whether it be a brochure, website or promotional item. In this situation, creating a printed material that is a little different from the norm may be a beneficial way to highlight your product or company. Here are some new products that can get your creative marketing side flowing:

Pocket Menus

Pocket menu printing for
Mini pocket menus are an incredibly versatile type of brochure for restaurants and retail food companies. Instead of using a traditional take out menu, these can have up to 12 panels which can be used to highlight each section of the menu.
Additionally, we have seen pocket menus used as ways to present stunning pictures, easy to follow recipes, or details about where and how the product is produced. Many consumers are interested in knowing the ingredients and materials that go into the food they enjoy, and a detailed pocket menu can provide extensive information about their contents.

Uneven Fold Header Cards

Header Cards are an easy, affordable and attractive way to market your product. They are simple to assemble and have the flexibility to package several different products simply by switching the content in the polybag. 
uneven fold header cards | mmprint.com
 
Most commonly, header cards are scored in the middle to create an even fold on both sides of the card. Sometimes though, it could be useful to create a card that has an uneven fold so that one side is longer than the other. The card can still be stapled to seal in the product, but this offers a flap that can be used to reinforce the product or provide extra space for information, directions, ingredients or materials used.

Another popular use for Uneven Header Cards is as a swatch card that can be used to show off different types of fabrics. These are used by fashion companies when it is not easy enough to send full samples of a product. A swatch of the material can still give your distributors a feel for the product that you will be selling.

Die Cut Hangtags

custom shape merchandise tags for products | mmprint.com
Hang Tags are an essential way to market your clothing, jewelry or fashion accessories. Make sure you compliment your unique fashion item with a hang tag that is equally special. Die cut printing allows you to make custom shapes and sizes for your product tags.

Having a custom shape can make a big difference on the presentation of your product. With your hang tag, you can include your company logo, information about the product, and what materials are used in the product.


At The Marsid M&M Group, we’re all about innovation and helping our customers grow their business with the best marketing and print materials. Contact us today with any questions or ideas you may have for new projects.

3 Vital Resources for Beginner Graphic Designers

Graphic Design, like many other hobbies and professions, has become more accessible to learn due to the vast amount of help and knowledge on the internet. There are thousands of YouTube tutorials for Photoshop or Illustrator as well as online classes and articles that could get you started. Within days, you’ll be on your way to creating awesome designs and logos.

The problem you may run into is an overwhelming amount of resources trying to guide you in every which way. With so many options to choose from, and so many different styles to sort through, it may be difficult and time consuming. Here are some resources that can be vital for beginner (or any) graphic artists:

  1. Canva.com

    Canva is a great resource for designers who do not have access to programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. While it may not be as feature-rich as these programs, it is user-friendly and will get the job done for most basic design jobs. The program allows you to upload photos, browse through a large selection of stock photos and patterns, and use cool pre-loaded fonts.

    What may be the best part about Canva – besides the fact that it’s free – is it’s compatibility with print design. Most online design programs lack this feature, but Canva allows you to design custom page sizes so that there are no issues in enlarging for print. This way no quality is lost when printing full size.

    Another print-specific feature is the ability to export files with crops and bleeds. This is required by nearly all printers, and can be a pain to fix if it is not set up right. With Canva, you will end up with a High Quality PDF that is ready for print.canva | graphic design tool for those who don't have photoshop

  2. Coolors.co

    This super simple color palette generator quickly identifies colors that work well together. This is great for getting some inspirations for design based on a few complimentary colors. coolors | color scheme generator for graphic designers

    This tool gives you the option to select colors by Hex value, CMYK, RGB, PMS or Copic Value. You can then lock one or more colors and produce an array of colors based on that locked value. It even gives you the option to change the hue, saturation and brightness of your colors, making the tool super flexible.

  3. freeforcommercialuse.net

    Stock photos website for graphic designers

    Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense for you to go out and take photos for a design you are working on. With the vast amount of images that are on the web, it is usually easier to just put in a search of what you’re looking for, and find it that way. There are two minor problems with this, however. First, a lot of photos have licensing restrictions on them, so you cannot use them without giving proper attribution. Second, because there are so many photos to choose from, it may be hard to sort through all of them to find a high quality and relevant photo.

    Freeforcommercialuse.net is a directory linking to some of the best stock photos available. Almost all are free for commercial use without attribution. Some of the sites allow you to search for specific topics while others curate daily collections of beautiful photos. Whatever you are looking for, this is a good starting point for designers looking for high quality photos.

Designing for Print

There are many things to keep in mind when designing materials for print that differ from simple web-based graphic design. Using CMYK color schemes, designing with crops and bleeds, and exporting your files the right way are all vital steps needed to get your piece on the press in a timely matter. Visit our info center to learn more about designing for print, or leave a comment below with any questions you may have!

Lookbook Specs: Choosing the Right Options for Your Fashion Lookbook

Lookbook-Collection

With spring fashion season soon approaching, and the New York Fashion Week kicking off next week, time is crucial in getting all of your collateral together. There is so much that goes into presenting your new line of clothing or jewelry, and some things can go overlooked. Fashion lookbooks are a key part of any presentation, and can serve as major selling point for your merchandise.

When talking to your printer, there will be several questions they will need to ask to find out exactly how to print your booklet. Make sure you know the answers beforehand so that you can get a fair price estimate, and so that your final product comes out exactly the way you are expecting.

Here are some of the most common questions you will face when you go to print your lookbook:

How will my lookbook bind?

There are a few different options available for lookbook binding, and more detailed information and videos can be found at our bindery options page.

The three most common lookbook binding styles are Saddle Stitched, Wire-O, and Perfect Binding. Each has it’s own advantages, and there are different requirements for each style.

Saddle Stitched

This is the most cost efficient option and uses two staples to hold together the sheets of paper. Since this style is printed on large sheets that are folded in half, this type of booklet can only come in increments of 4 pages.

Wire-O Binding

Each sheet is cut to the finished size and bound using a wire with metal loops. This way, the book can be easily turned so that each page lays flat.

Wire-o-lookbook

Perfect Binding

This is the traditional book-binding method of gluing sheets into a thicker cover. Perfect binding produces the most professional finish, but requires a minimum of 28 pages to be bound this way.

perfect-bound-lookbook

What Paper Type Should I use for my Lookbook?

Choosing the right paper for your lookbook can be just as important as the actual layout of the book. Each designer will have different preferences for their lookbook, depending on the style of the material showcased inside.

If you want your images to really pop and you have a lot of bright colors and whites in your artwork, you would probably be best suited for Gloss paper. Need your booklet to be even more shiny? Add a layer of UV Coating to the cover!

Matte or Dull Coated paper is similar to gloss, but the accents are toned down a bit. This option is great for more neutral colors that don’t necessarily need to pop off the page, but will complete the aesthetic of the jewelry or clothing pictured.

The final option is Uncoated paper – this is similar to standard printer paper, but a higher quality, and slightly thicker. This type will give a natural feel and look, as glossy paper tends to be more silky.

What Size Should my Lookbook be?

This is one of the most common questions we face when dealing with lookbooks, and it’s actually pretty simple. The answer is – any size. Most printers use large sheets to print your lookbook, and then cut them down to the finished size, making it possible to make your booklet any reasonable size. However, there are both advantages and disadvantages to this.

landscape-lookbooks
Landscape Lookbooks
Portrait-Lookbooks
Portrait Lookbooks
Advantages:
  • Custom lookbooks will stand out, which can be a key factor in the fashion industry.
  • No need to redesign your artwork – Re-figuring your images to fit in a certain page dimension can be troublesome and they may not appear to their full potential.
Disadvantages:
  • Anything custom will almost always be more expensive. Just like every other industry, having something custom made to fit your needs will run up the bill. Choosing a common size such as 5.5″ x 8.5″ or 6″ x 9″ will keep the cost down.
  • Production time will most likely increase for a custom book, which may be a hindrance if they’re needed in a rush.

Other considerations – Lookbooks are most commonly printed portrait style, meaning they are bound on the long edge. If you need an oblong (landscape) book, it will most likely increase the cost and production time.

There are many things to consider when designing your lookbook. Going into a meeting with your printer with a general idea beforehand will help your printer steer you in the right direction. It will also save you time, money and frustration in the end.

If you need a quote for printing lookbooks, give the Marsid M&M group a call at 516.334.1603 or visit our lookbook printing page for a quick estimate. We offer next day turnaround and free PDF proofs for most jobs.

3 Reasons Direct Mail Marketing Has An Edge On Email Marketing

We strongly believe in the power of Direct Mail even in this electronic age that we live in.

We see it every day, small to medium size businesses and large corporations use direct mail in their marketing mix and yes, they get results!

Even the likes of Google, who’s main business is internet based, uses direct mail to advertise and communicate with their advertisers and customers.

The best part is, it’s not just some generic flyer or brochure, they go all-in with variable data including graphs and charts reflecting the customer’s actual data.

Google Direct Mail

Direct Mail marketing has evolved with the digital age and still brings in a very competitive ROI while consumers directly prefer receiving postal mail from brands:

  • 59% of U.S. respondents and 65% of Canadian respondents agreed with the following statement, “I enjoy getting postal mail from brands about new products”
  • 73% of U.S. consumers and 67% of Canadian consumers said they prefer direct mail for brand communications because they can read the information at their convenience. Additionally, 62% of Americans and 63% of Canadians said they enjoy checking the mailbox for postal mail
  • U.S. advertisers spend $167 per person on direct mail to earn $2,095 worth of goods sold; a 1,300% return

source:  6 Direct Mail Stats That Can’t Be Ignored – Epsilon

We’re not just saying this to convince you to use our direct mail services, Entreprenuer.com is saying the same thing (although we don’t agree 100% with the title, we believe it should be a mix of both but it’s still a great informative read):

4 Reasons to Use Direct Mail Marketing Instead of Email Marketing


How are you using direct mail and email marketing to increase sales and/or brand awareness?

 

Just In Time For Valentines: Forever® Hearts|USPS Stamps

The USPS has released the Forever Hearts, Forever® stamps, two versions depicting a heart shaped with lacy lettering spelling out “Forever”. Available in a white background with a red design and a reversed design in white design with a red background.

The perfect stamp to adorn your custom printed invitations valentines cards, announcements, anniversary cards and much more.

These beautiful Valentine’s stamps were first issued January 22nd, 2015.

Forever Hearts, Forever® | USPS Stamps.

Direct Mail Services
Don’t fret! The Marsid M&M Group has you covered for all of your printing and mailing needs. we are fully equipped to handle your next mailing extremely fast and accurately. Contact us right away toll-free at 1-877-mmprint or visit our mailing services page to request an estimate.

Lookbook Design Tips – Style And Fashion

Lookbooks seem to be the latest craze for fashion start-ups and clothing lines. I can attest to this statement because it’s been our hottest selling product for the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2013 and probably would have been for longer than that… had we paid more attention to this trend earlier in the year.

The difference between a lookbook and a catalog is in the content. Lookbooks showcase your fashion/clothing line’s look and style and doesn’t get into too much detail because it’s all about imagery, hence the name “Look” book.

A lookbook design sets the stage for your target market and with these tips you will be able to create an environment that they can relate to and see themselves in it.

 

Lookbook Design Showcase

 

Simple and Subtle Imagery

Lookbooks are made for looking. Simple as that. No need to create distraction with overwhelming amounts of text or disruptive graphics that take the focus away from your product.

You may opt for a solid color background usually gentle whites or light greys that contrast with the colors of your models and clothing. Even shadows can draw the eyes away from the target, make sure your lighting conditions are optimal.

 

Fashion Lookbook Designs

 

Use Your Environment

For the seasonal or niche fashion-eers, the background can be used to your advantage. Create a habitat where your fashion lives, where you target market finds themselves. Help them envision how your style fits their lifestyle.

 

Lookbook Design and Printing

 

 Gloss, Gloss… Gloss.

The paper you select for your lookbook printing can really influence the outcome.  In my opinion, nothing makes photographs POP like a glossy finish, the good news is most small runs of lookbooks are printed digitally…

Digital printing uses toner which has a glossy finish anyway so basically you can print on uncoated or matte paper and still have a glossy finish. I’ve seen this used to give the printed areas a 3D type effect or can be comparable to Spot UV coating.

 

Halloween Vector Graphics Collection For Commercial Use

With Halloween right up our alley, it’s crunch time to get the Halloween graphics printed up. To save you time we put together this collection of Halloween vector graphics that are available for commercial use. No need to spend hours looking for the right vector only to come to find out that you can’t use it in your commercial project.

We carefully checked the license on each one of these so that you can download them and get right to work!

Feel free to share your art with us on our Facebook Page or on Twitter (@mmprint).

Pumpkin Vectors

Free Vector Pumpkin Download
Halloween Pumpkin By Vector Open Stock
Free Vector Pumpkins Download
Free Vector Pumpkins Download from All Silhouettes
Mix and Match Pumpkin Faces
Mix and Match Pumpkin Faces from Designus

 

Halloween Banner Vectors

Vector Grunge Halloween Banners
Vector Grunge Halloween Banners by All4Designer

 

Halloween Vector Patterns

Vector Halloween Patterns
Vector Halloween Pumpkin and Skull Pattern VectorPatterns UK

 

Free Vector Halloween Bat Pattern
Free Vector Halloween Bat Pattern by VectorPatterns UK

[note]If your halloween project requires printing, please contact us at 516-334-1603 for amazing quality, super fast turnaround and free shipping![/note]