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1. How do you define "digital imaging" in terms of the many services your company performs?
"Digital imaging" is a term most people associate with digital print. While that is true to a great extent, we see everything we do as a variation on that. For example, in email marketing, we are taking just as much care in producing stunning images that you view in your browser or mobile device, as we do in producing a printed brochure or mail piece. By default, everything we produce is an image of some sort, and it all starts in the digital format. We pride ourselves on the quality of our work, and you will see the same consistency from Web Design to Email Marketing, pURLS and Digital Print.
2. When a business owner is trying to improve his or her marketing strategy, do you think there's a sweet spot between having too broad of approach ("let's change everything") and too narrow of an approach ("let's just change one thing")?
I think there definitely is. The key to this is knowing your customer data, or hiring someone to sort it out. If your marketing isn't working, you have to know why; you can't just blindly throw things at your customer base and see what sticks. Data Management is something that has to implemented before any kind of serious targeted marketing campaign can take place.
I've always been cautious when it comes to changing marketing strategies, or segments of them. You'd be surprised how many business owners have absolutely no clue which parts of their marketing strategy are working, and which are not. Email, Direct mail, and pURLS are good tools for this, and with automation, you can narrow your metrics down significantly.
So to answer your question, there really is no good way to find that sweet spot without doing a thorough analysis of your existing marketing strategy. I would always lean to making small changes, rather than big, and analyze the results. I almost forgot; TEST EVERYTHING in each sector before making the change. When I say test, I mean for an adequate amount of time. You can divert a small portion of your budget to test something new. It may seem like a success for a month. You have to know if it will work three months from now. Developing a strategy that can deliver consistent long term results is what you should be striving for.
3. People often become so focused on online marketing today, but what are some of the benefits of print?
Many marketing pundits will tell you that print is dead. In some ways, such as newspaper publishing, they are not far off. Print is far from dead, however.
Print can be powerful for a variety of reasons; you can touch it, the colors are more bold than RGB (monitor) images, it's portable, and it can be produced on a variety of mediums.
Some things, such as brochures, flyers, and business cards, don't really have a digital replacement. I say this because these pieces are typically exchanged during face to face contact with another person, or left for people to physically pick up as part of a promotion display.
The very fact that internet marketing is so prevalent right now makes print an even more powerful tool when used in conjunction with the Web. The term "multi-channel marketing" is thrown around quite frequently these days and most people assume it is restricted to the Web itself. The reality is no matter what marketing channels you are using--email, radio, direct mail, TV, social, canvassing--you are already doing multi-channel marketing.
This is where print can boost your campaign results. It has to be tied to the Web in some way, shape, or form. All promotional pieces should have the website and a QR code at a minimum, as most of your competitors already do. Direct mail pieces should be tied to a pURL or have a WebKey attached. These pieces should also be integrated with an email campaign.
What can separate you from the rest of the pack is your design and your quality of print. That goes for email, pURLs, and websites as well. Well designed, high quality print pieces can definitely separate you from the competition. It is important to incorporate this philosophy into your own materials such as business cards, stationary, brochures, and the like.
4. What, in your experience, makes for an effective piece of direct mail marketing?
Data is the most important thing in determining whether your Direct Mail piece will be successful. You have to make sure your data is targeted, its current, and its mailable. Data Hygiene services can take of that.
With that being said, if your data is satisfactory, your mail piece has to be exceptional. We believe it has to be beyond exceptional.
Our philosophy regarding direct mail differs somewhat from regular mail houses. We believe in quality over quantity. The days where you could just carpet bomb a zip code are long gone. We typically mail small highly targeted campaigns in conjunction with email, pURLs, and social integration.
To make the mail piece exceptional, forget the envelope. Most people scan mail for seconds, then it goes in the trash. Full four-color gloss print on a foldable 8 x 8 video player with audio usually will not go in the trash, at least not for a while. Pop-up mailers with WebKeys encourage customers to find what their special offer is via the Web.
These type of mail pieces are not cheap, but they are more than effective. Typically, if your data is targeted, the conversion rate averages above 50%. Keep in mind, these type of campaigns target higher-end B2B or B2C clients, so the ROI is upwards of 150% or more.
5. What inspired the creation of Cox Digital Imaging, and what do you enjoy most about your work?
Ironically, it was the missed opportunities of a business myself and a co-founder were working for. Against all logic, suggestions, prodding, pleading, and begging, they refused to recognize the changing needs of their clients in the digital age. We felt we could do it better and cheaper, and give more value to the client. And we did.