Happy Thanksgiving and Successful MarketingNovember 27, 2013
This week marks one of the only weeks we feel justified for over-filling our plates, eating second helpings of dessert and sleeping on the couch while watching football on a Thursday evening. But let’s pull our minds away from the Thanksgiving table and back to the office for a few more hours and think of the time of giving in terms of marketing, based off Predictable Profits’ post http://bit.ly/1cmXh8u
1. Show Some Humanity.
This is the season of giving after all, so let your consumers be the ones to give you the good content. Everyone is proud of the dishes they cook, so engage with your consumers online and ask them to share photos. Who captures your company logo best from drawing with the mashed potatoes on their plate?
2. Thanksgiving Cards.
Avoid the task of sending generic “Happy Holidays” cards to your clients; Thanksgiving is celebrated by all Americans. No longer will you have to worry about offending a colleague or making them feel obliged to return a card.
3. Get Festive Online.
Revamp your website for the holiday season. Try a temporary landing page adorned in red and green, or use the vibrant autumn trees in your backyard as a new cover photo. Customers can relate to the seasonal changes better than the stock images.
4. Involve Current Customers.
Get some buzz for your brand. Ask customers why they are thankful for the products you offer. Set up a reward for one lucky social media follower.
5. Change it Up.
Trigger interactions with your customers with a lesser-known celebration. Did you know that November 29th is “buy nothing day?” Share what your company plans to do instead of Black Friday shopping and see what customers have to say
We wish you all a wonderful and blessed holiday. See you next week.
The Future of Marketing for 2014November 26, 2013
As this year draws to a close, it is time to start considering trends for the future. Infographics were one of the big marketing ploys in 2013, so it is only fitting that Print Media Center uses one to identify 20 trends that they expect will drive marketing in 2014. Our goal at CPS Gumpert is to curate content that brings you value. This blog summarizes the marketing trends.
The shift to the digital realm has been apparent over the past few years, but in 2014 expect $135 billion dollars to be used on digital marketing collateral. While only 25% of the ad market will be comprised of internet advertising, the biggest digital trend is that marketers have learned to target their audience in the right space at the appropriate time.
Trends in the marketing mix:
- Visual is power. 74% of reporters want to see press releases with photos.
- Get social. The marketers are, and they plan to double their budget for social media over the next five years. Try including social sharing buttons to increase click-through rates in your emails by 158%.
- Strategize. Join the 50% of marketers that have a content marketing strategy. 78% of CMOs think creating custom content will drive the market. Once you create it, optimize it for SEO. 33% of organic searches click the first listing. But just know that 72% of PPC marketers plan to increase their budget.
- Plan that event. It’s not just for consumers. 67% of B2B content marketers say events are an effective strategy.
What to expect:
- Find your customers online. Facebook and LinkedIn have proven to marketers as a reliable resource to find customers.
- Gain more leads. B2b blogs attract 67% more and inbound marketing brings in 54% more leads.
- Use testimonials. This shows the highest effectiveness rating for marketers.
- Rely on the eye. Visual data processes 60,000,000 times faster than text, so add videos on your landing page to increase conversation. After all, 65% of your audience are visual learners.
Go into 2014 with your eyes open and realize that digital is dominating. Keep your marketing strategy visual, customized and engaging. Be fun, be creative, be real and be YOU!
Not-So-Awesome Customer ServiceNovember 14, 2013
I am drawn to new technologies. Fascinated by what minds, smarter than my own, have created to make our lives easier, faster, more interactive and down right fun. There are times though, when I find myself longing for the simpler days when customer service meant looking someone directly in the eye while you shake hands (versus emails) and going out of your way to create an awesome experience for a client. I cringe when I see those opportunities to really impress, get completely missed. At CPS Gumpert, we pride ourselves on our authentic relationships with our clients and while we are dependent on technology as printers and marketers, we remain very client-focused as a company. As an employee, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
As a consumer, I see customer service being strangled by technology pretty regularly. Most basic example: there are few things more frustrating to me than standing at a register while an employee struggles to do basic math in their heads to figure out my change. Or worse, an employee who leaves me standing while they search for a calculator because the register is currently down. I’ve even had the corporate headquarters of a popular retail store tell me I wasn’t offered certain return policy options “in-store” because they don’t train customer service at a local level to offer these options – they involve returning cash. What happened to hiring smart people, trusting your employees and firing them if they prove themselves untrustworthy? While we’re embracing the technologies that are supposed to make life easier, are we creating employees who no longer take pride in a job well-done?
A few weekends ago, my husband and I enjoyed a rare night out. Nothing fancy, but a few hours browsing a bookstore and then dinner at a chain restaurant. It was a busy night and I gave our name to the hostess for a table who promptly typed it into her iPad. Pretty cool, I thought. And then she requested my phone number, which I gave her and THEN thought…wait, what? I need a cell phone to get a table? Yes, that’s what she wanted – my personal cell phone number so she could text me when my table was ready. When I explained that neither of us were carrying our phones on our date night, she sighed heavily that she would have to call out our names then. What a pain..the waiting area was right across from the hostess booth. I didn’t know if I should apologize to her for making her go so far out of her way, but…I didn’t. What I did was realize that as a consumer, I want the technology to make things run smoother, but I also want to be treated like a person…oh, and I want the vibrating coaster I used to get when I waited for a table!
The moral of my story is this: technology is great, but I think there still has to be a human behind it – a face that actually cares about your experience of their product, services and company, not only because it’s their job, but because it’s the right thing to do.
– Jodi Hey, Marketing Director
CPS Gumpert Receives Corporate Philanthropist of the Year AwardNovember 8, 2013
We are excited and humbled to celebrate with the awardees at the 13th Annual Celebration of Philanthropy Luncheon held by The Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County (CFAAC) this Friday, November 8th at the Doubletree Hotel in Annapolis.
To be in the company of community leaders such as this year’s Philanthropic Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Lisa Hillman – retired President of the Anne Arundel Medical Foundation, Philanthropists of the Year John and Cathy Belcher, Volunteer of the Year Fred Davis as well as the Keith Campbell Foundation who will receive the Celebration of Philanthropy Foundation Award, is an honor.
“On behalf of CPS Gumpert, I am thrilled to accept the Corporate Philanthropist of the Year award. The local business community has supported our organization over many years. They have helped us grow from a 12 person print shop to the 115 person marketing company we are today. We appreciate all of the support and we are fortunate to have the ability to share our success. These non-profits provide hope and huge benefits to those who are less fortunate in our community. The people that manage and direct these organizations are the real honorees – they make a true impact everyday,” said Jeff Ostenso, CEO of CPS Gumpert.
CPS Gumpert does its best to continuously support non-profit organizations in the Anne Arundel County area including AAMC, The Light House, Food Link, Annapolis Film Festival, Children’s Theatre of Annapolis, Maritime Museum, Community Foundation of AAC, Annapolis Opera, Wellness House, Hospice of Chesapeake and many others.
“I believe [Jeff] exemplifies this award as a businessman, concerned member of our community, generous donor and all-around wonderful member of the Human Race,” said Pam Siemer, Director of Development for The Light House. (posted on: September 30th at cfaac.org)
According to Dave Hoffman, Sales Representative at CPS Gumpert, “Over the past several years our partnership with Anne Arundel Medical Center has grown stronger and I am privileged to have them as a customer. In return, we can proudly say that we are a strong supporter of the AAMC Foundation.”
“Our employees make the difference, they embrace our corporate culture and that helps provide the direction for our giving. We are blessed to have a great organization that works hard to help others,” said Ostenso.
Are QR Codes Dead?November 5, 2013
QR (Quick Response) Codes, those little clumps of dots that form a square that we’re still not really sure if we need to whip out our phones and scan. The technology behind the QR Code, spawned from the creation of barcodes in the 60s, was developed to allow 2D coding capable of holding a great deal of information. In 2002, the QR Code became widespread among the general public in Japan due to the marketing of mobile phones that could actually read the codes and then the technology began spreading across the world. Custom QR Codes using high-levels of design and color, micro codes that carry small amounts of info and can be printed very small…the technology continued to morph. (More QR Code History)
But the potential was apparent and already, new technologies that are far superior to scanning a QR Code that records your contact information then sends you to a website, video, etc., have already been developed. Augmented-reality apps that only need you to hold your smartphone over the content to get to enhanced features are quicker and definitely more interactive and interesting in this climate of the over-stimulated buyer. Not only that, but Apple and Android have yet to ship a phone with a QR reader pre-loaded. Per a recent MarketingLand blog, given the fact that these two mobile platforms accounted for more than 87.6% of all smart phones sold worldwide in 2012, this may mean QR Codes are over.
It’s a shame, because I can see some uses where the technology could enhance the customer experience, especially in retail. QR Codes on shop windows allow scanners to get descriptions of products in their windows, download company apps and access store information even while it’s closed.
Museums can offer more history on an artist than that the little plaque on the wall. I also thought contests were a great idea. Simply scan while you’re sitting in a drive-thru line, visiting a store or even a conference booth and be registered to win! But the poor use of these QR Codes when they were new, may have clinched their deaths: Codes that were too small or too far away to work. Codes that didn’t send us to a functioning website, codes on body parts and moving objects…all of these did nothing to encourage smartphone users to actually take the time to use them. So tell me, is the QR Code dead?