Friday, October 11, 2013

Brochure Series completed in 19 days for show

EJW Client Tigerflow Brochures redesign project
Print thrives, but client expectations for production and delivery now verge on real time. After all, "it's digital, isn't it?" With a looming trade show deadline we committed to our client to deliver not one, but a series of product/corporate brochures in less than 19 days. Answering your question at the outset: Print, who needs it? Fewer folks than before but, then again, who needs trade shows, either? And yet, decision makers continue to rely on both.

In today's everyday world squeaky wheels of marketing tend to languish. Projects to effect performance 30, 60 and 90 days out is considered long term by many, particularly in small to mid size B to B businesses. Marketing plays a back seat to a daily grind of product management and sales.

That is, until a major event threatens to spotlight a company's market commitment. Then, the specter of inadequacy looms large to focus attention on marketing basics, such as: show booth graphics, Powerpoint & video presentations, visitor handouts, brochures. Pre-, during -, and post-show advertising, direct mail and promotions.

Another plus for trade shows. WIthout them how many marketing projects would languish in the lands of Hurry-Up-And Wait. This brochure project, originally approved without a particular timeline weeks before, now leaped to life with company stakeholders on red alert. Design concepts and rough content now moved forward with all due speed to meet impossible milestones. Failure is not an option when 10's of thousands of dollars in company resources are at stake, not to mention image and reputation.

In this industry show of mechanical systems, an all-out, full court analog experience was deemed essential. Brochures arrived on time and had the desired effect on the industry represented there and then and beyond.

In fast-tracking any new creative development, two factors rise in importance to ensure success to avoid crashing and burning: client focus and a solid agency vendor resource.

Call in a trusted partner. In this story, EJW had been working with our client for years. Every project with essential building materials is double archived. On the same wavelength we push the right buttons, ask the right questions, know what works in tight situations. To keep projects moving we become the shepherd herding the proverbial cats when milestones need attention.

Form a project team that includes agency & company personnel. To keep projects moving, fully prep members for expected participation. Assign point persons to manage all of the content likely to be required in any marketing project, such as: special image files, 3D renderings, content sources, vertical market expertise, product and application knowledge.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

To Social, or not to Social, that is the question for B to B marketers

A B-to-B company looks back on one of its customers and the history of its last profitable sale. The purpose? Uncover telephone calls, sales visits, dinners, handshakes at trade shows that may have had an impact. An investigator also documents responses to direct marketing, ads, press release programs, and website interactions. A company may even have a social program that has yielded reactions.

What role did each "engagement" play? Which had more sales impact? Most importantly, and the reason we study marketing response, how should we separate marketing activities that are nice-to-haves versus those we need-to-have for next year's budget?

The real questions wrestled by business marketers when building budgets can be boiled down to priority.

It has been said in B-to-B land that Social media is social, more for customer service and not to be judged for lead generating. In that sense it takes on a more foundational role in marketing.

The fact is, for better or worse, Social opens up one more channel from which to support customers.

Instead of asking how to meaningfully count B2B Social interactions or impressions, a company would be advised to carefully study its customer base to determine its current perceptions and likely use of Social before rolling out another communications channel.