Perception is reality. How your customer perceives and receives your message is just as important as the message you intend.
The telephone game shows us that what is heard is rarely what was said. We send and receive communications in many ways, depending on our personality types (Personas).
Marketing requires we make broad assumptions about our audience while targeting them enough to get them to act. The complication is that we are all a mix of 4 personas.
Get to know the 4 personas and how they buy.
Understand your customer's personality.
Talk to them the way they want to hear it.
Here are the 4 Personas and how to engage them...
This persona doesn't have much time, wants to get down to business, and move on to the next challenge. These are the 'Natural Leaders' that are awesome at their best, and insensitive at their worst. This crowd has an eagle-eye view. You won't find them in the weeds.
Who are they? CEO's, Owners, Upper Management
What they want? Achievement, Control, Winning
Best ways to engage them?
Authenticity. Don't pretend you're not trying to sell them.
Clarity. Give it to them in bullet points.
Efficiency. Tell them on the cover of the brochure and above the fold on your website.
Challenge. Let them think it's their idea.
Get out of the way. Allow them to act fast and decisively.
This persona is great at brainstorming. They love coming up with ideas and discussing them. Similar to a Director, they don't spend too much time on one idea. These are the 3rd shelf shoppers; they won't be searching the bottom shelf at the grocery store for items they have to reach for.
Who are they? Public Relations, Salespeople, Entertainers
What they want? Attention, Peer Appreciation, Persuading others
Best ways to engage them?
Activity. Give them something fun to do.
Ask. Get their ideas.
Specials. "Free", "Buy now", "Save" work well. Starbursts on your site.
Shine. Be the shiny object that gets their attention.
Fast & Easy. Don't make them jump through hoops to purchase.
This persona does it correctly every time. These are spell checking, spreadsheet formula writing dynamos. Unlike Directors and Socializers, Thinkers take a long time to purchase while analyzing all of the information. The Director set the goal of getting man on the moon but the Thinkers got us there.
Who are they? CPA's, Engineers, Scientists
What they want? Precision, Accuracy, Dependability
Best ways to engage them?
Proof. Graphs, Charts and Research.
Solutions. Exactly how does this solve their problem?
White Papers. They will scroll down on your site for details.
Information. Feelings have very little to do with their buying habits.
Time. Don't rush them. They are a slow sale.
This persona wants to know what others think. They frequent online forums and seek out groups for their opinions. Relaters look at your testimonials from other satisfied customers to support their decision. They will go out of their way to avoid buyer's remorse before they purchase.
Who are they? Negotiators, Counselors, Customer Service
What they want? Stability, Consensus, Friendship
Best ways to engage them?
Predictability. Don't surprise them with an up-sell.
Stories. Let others tell your story and listen to theirs.
Testimonials. Share feelings from other satisfied customers.
Modesty. Flashy, boasting messages are a turn off.
Time. Once again, don't rush them. They'll get back to you in a few weeks.
It's likely that you see yourself in more than one of these personas. You may be a Director-Thinker, or a Socializer-Relater.
Analyzing the titles of your current customers can reveal a lot about their personality types and how to talk to them through the sales process.
Your designs should include bullet-points for your Directors and an easy to understand offer for your Spontaneous types on the cover or above the fold on your site. Then for your Thinkers and Relaters, place testimonials and statistics inside or below the fold on your site because they will do their research and find them.
Digital vs. Offset Printing
The lines get blurred when discussing Digital Printing and Offset Printing. With the improved quality of digital and the technological evolution of offset, deciding which manufacturing process will be best for your project is not always easy.
Digital printing is a broad term that includes processes as simple as using the black ink laser printer sitting behind you, and as complex as full color reproduction with changing photos and text.
Here are some basics to help you decide what's best for your project:
Quantity - Offset printing has more cost to set up a job than digital so as the quantity increases, costs drop. Digital, however has more of a constant cost per piece that doesn't allow for much saving with higher quantities. This is not a hard rule but compare prices at around 1000 pieces, depending on the project size, and you'll start to see the difference.
Paper - Digital processes are evolving but the choices of paper available to print on can limit your ability to have ultimate flexibility in your paper choices, while offset printing allows for any substrate.
Color - The digital manufacturing process prints the same four colors to create all color, CMYK. Offset uses the same process but has the option to print spot colors to match colors exactly. The digital process limits your ability to get the color exact in some projects. To understand more about Spot vs. Process Colors read this article from our newsletter archives.
Variable imaging - The digital process is the only process that allows for variable images to be different on every piece. You can change pictures, text, colors, etc. Offset printing does not allow for changes from piece to piece. Direct mail addressing must be applied during the mailing process.
Digital printing has been a great addition to the printing industry allowing for short run affordability and variable imaging that was never available prior to its introduction. Digital printing is not taking the place of offset printing, it's allowing for creativity in marketing efforts that have not existed until now.
When the Pope revised the Julian Calendar in 1582 to our current Gregorian (or Western) Calendar, did he realize his creation would become the most useful promotional product according to a survey by the Advertising Specialties institute in 2010?
Throughout history we have relied on our calendars to track and plan events. Without them we wouldn't have weekends or Holidays. 45 BC was called "The year of confusion" because Julius Caesar added 80 days to the year to synchronize it with the solar year.
Our Western calendar has deep roots in the Roman calendar, so it's no wonder the months come from Roman words. It gets confusing at the end because many of the later months are just numbers, but they are wrong according to our current calendar. The Roman Calendar started in March. It wasn't until Julius Caesar named January as the first month of the year that we had 12 months as we know it now.
What's in a name? Do you know the origin of the months of the year?
January - Janus the Roman God of beginnings and endings
February - Februa a Roman festival of Purification
March - Mars the Roman God of war
April - Aphrodite the Greek Goddess of love
May - Maia the Italic Goddess of Spring
June - Juno the Goddess of Marriage
July - Julius Caesar named the month after himself
August - Augustus Caesar also named month after himself
September - Latin Septem "seven"
October - Latin Octo "eight"
November - Latin Novem "nine"
December - Latin Decem "ten"
Wall calendars, desk calendars, pocket calendars and journals are welcomed by all, rarely tossed in the recycling and looked at multiple times per day. Calendars are excellent for getting your brand in the hands of customers and prospects.
Get your name on one and they won't forget you for an entire year.
Don't try to create excitement with wit and words. For ultimate effectiveness, cut to the chase and leave the excitement to the design of your direct mail piece. In writing copy we often forget the basics of why we're doing it.
Here are some basics of Effective Direct Mail copy writing:
Focus on the Action Item
Don't let them loose sight of your objective. What do you want them to do? Call? Visit your website? Go to your store? Donate? Remind them throughout your piece of what they are supposed to do.
Keep sentences short. Period.
We are skimmers. Use active words and make sure your message is clear.
Bend the Rules
Your teacher said not to end sentences with 'and' or 'but'. But it's OK in direct mail. And it can be effective. Incomplete sentences, not a problem.
Proof Read Out Loud
Write how you speak, and get rid of all of those extra words. Reading it out loud will help.
Don't be Shy
If you pretend you're not trying to sell them something, they might believe you. Make your offer clear, and don't be shy about it.
98% of us pick up our mail and sort through it every day. Some goes straight to the recycling, while others get your attention.
Pay attention to the pieces that get your attention and learn from them.