More manageable and at least two takeaways

As you’ll know if you’re reading this post, I made a commitment a couple of months back to create more content.

I wanted to add more value to my email list and my social media following and build more relationships.

So I made it happen, and the increased conversations and opportunities that I’m getting as a result have made it well worth it – takeaway number one!

Anyway, I always post my email content on LinkedIn to get a better reach (takeaway number two!), and last week I ended up getting a fantastic enquiry as a result.

This week, the work’s come in, and it’s a fantastic project that I’m super excited about getting my teeth into.

But what’s interesting in the reason why this particular business chose to go with us. In the words of their MD:

“I have a lot of things to look after for this client, and I’m sure that you’re what I need to make this more manageable”.

The key word here is “manageable”.

Because we’re not ‘just printers’. We manage the whole job, we’re the perfect service for businesses who have print projects or campaigns made up of multiple parts – essentially we remove the hassle, reduce the cost and get the job done, without our client expending unnecessary time, effort and cost.

So if you’re running multiple or multipart projects, AND you want to save some serious time and cost of managing that print, you know where to turn!

Have a great week!

A smoking concert?

Smoking Concert Ticket

And so now the bank holiday weekend is but a distant memory already…

Following on from last week’s cine footage of my Grandfathers print works from the 1960’s, I wanted to share a little story with you today.

As you may know, our old family business of Gallpen Press Ltd was closed down 18 months ago by its owners.

As a family we still owned the property and finally sold it at the end of last year.

While we were clearing stuff out, we came across some really old print, some of which even pre-dated my dad acquiring the business back in 1983.

It was this piece – the jewel in the crown – that caught my eye:

Smoking Concert Ticket 1895

As you can see from the date, the ticket was advertising a ‘Smoking Concert’ in December 12th 1895 at 8pm, in honour of the families of Bros. Jackson and Bartram.

It’s pretty incredible to see a piece of print this old, and even better, when it’s been printed by a company we owned for many years – it’s a piece of our family heritage.

So, here’s a couple of question for you:

  • Have you got a piece of print that’s older than this?
  • Before you Googled it did you have any idea what ‘A Smoking Concert’ was?!

Oh and finally… Have you got a project that you’d like me to look at that might just be written about in the year 2141?!

Smart Covey cookie

Smart Covey Cookie

I’ve not been in the office this week.

But I’m not on holiday. Far from it.

On Monday and Tuesday I attended a business growth event in Bedfordshire with a couple of hundred business owners from all over the UK, and for the rest of the week I hotfooted it up to Liverpool for three days at an Action Coach event.

Of course, I am keeping up with work as and when I get the chance, but the focus of this week is very much on me, and on learning new things that’ll help my business grow.

It’s what Stephen Covey calls ‘sharpening the saw’ in his fantastic book ‘The 7 Habits Of Highly Successful People’.

Covey illustrates his point by using the analogy of a woodcutter.

If a woodcutter just keeps on cutting wood, then the cutting process will get less and less effective, as the saw gets blunter and blunter.

His point is that if the woodcutter stops cutting wood, and focuses some time on getting his saw sharp again, the sawing process will be much more effective – cutting the wood will be easier.

And so it is in business.

So often we can get bogged down in the day-to-day, and as a result we end up becoming less productive and effective than we want to be.

But by taking time out, to ‘sharpen our saws’ and learn new things that help us to perform the tasks we need to more effectively, we can achieve a better end result. 

When was the last time you put down your saw, and reached for the sharpener?

He’s already back

He's already back

We’ve all had more than our fair share of PPI calls.

But you know why we still get them?

Because they work.

And for the next 18 months, as we count down towards the August 2019 deadline, there’s going to be another massive push on it.

The man leading that push?

None other than the Terminator and former Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It might seem like an utterly bizarre combination, but the fact of the matter is that Schwarzenegger’s role in the PPI campaigns has already had a big impact in the past.

In the first half of 2017, hundreds of thousands more complaints were made, coinciding with Arnie’s first advertising campaign.

So now he’s back, as he always promised he would be.

The fact of the matter is that celebrity endorsement works – using a face that people recognise, like and/or trust will have a big impact on the success of your product or service.

Granted, we don’t all have the budget to hire an Arnie, but the principle is still absolutely valid – who is liked or trusted by your audience, and how can you use that fact to promote your product or service?

Messy Desk

Messy Desk

We’re moving offices next week.

Which – as anyone who’s ever done it knows – is a PAIN.

The computers have got to be moved, the phone lines transferred over, utilities switched, stationery and contact details updated, the list goes on…

But anyway, I’ll stop moaning – after all, the sun’s out, the snow’s gone and spring definitely feels like it’s on the way.

One of the interesting things about packing up and moving out has been how much stuff we’ve accumulated.

It’s a lot of stuff.

But what’s pretty instructive is that when packing up the desk, going through files, and consigning as much stuff to the bin as possible, I’ve ended up with a small pile of marketing.

Whether it’s brochures, calendars or sales letters, they’ve all found their way onto my desk, and some of them have been there for three months or more.

Now, apart from suggesting that I need to keep my desk tidier, this highlights something important for all of us marketing in the 21st century:

We value physical stuff. We’re more likely to consume it, and we hold onto it.

So sending physical stuff out gives you way more chance of grabbing your prospects’ attention, and if you’ve got that, then everything else is a whole lot easier.

And as online marketing continues to rise in popularity, the amount of people doing offline marketing diminishes.

Which means that when you send something physical out, your competition is likely to keep shrinking, giving your marketing a much better chance of getting read and getting acted upon.

So next time you’re planning on sending out some marketing, why not do something physical and get your prospects’ attention?


Image: Designed by Freepik

As keen as

Colmans Mustard

You’ve almost certainly heard the gloomy news: Colman’s Mustard is leaving Norwich.

After 160 years, the Unilever-owned condiment maker is heading off to Burton upon Trent .

And it’s a seriously sad day.

So sad in fact, that some Norwich natives simply can’t allow mustard making to disappear from the city and a crowd funding campaign has been set up by local entrepreneur, Robert Ashton to create a new mustard brand produced in Norwich – called, well.. Norwich Mustard.

Obviously it’s disappointing all round, with jobs lost, and an iconic part of our city being taken away, but at the same time, the uproar that’s taken place, and the efforts to resolve the situation actually provide some really useful lessons for all of us involved in branding and marketing.

You see, what Colman’s has done over the last couple of centuries is developed a seriously strong affinity with a group of people.

So much so, that when we lost it, we felt like some part of us was lost too.

It’d be the same if Guinness ever left Dublin.

Or if the Nike head office moved out of Portland.

Residents of Norwich, Dublin and Portland all feel like they own part of the brands that their locations are famous for, which increases loyalty.

You can’t imagine pubs struggling to sell Guinness in Dublin, or scores of people walking around Portland in Adidas trainers.

And the same has been true of Norwich, and Colman’s.

Make your customers feel an affinity with your brand, by building a strong connection and relationship with them, and you’re more likely to create long-term revenue streams.

Ham and Norwich Mustard sandwich, anyone?

Read more about The Mustard Revolution: The Life of Jeremiah James Colman here

Not hugely productive

Queens Road in the Snow

So, unless you’ve only just woken up, you’ll know that Norwich is on shutdown because of the snow.

The transport links are in turmoil, cars are stuck on roads and everything is pretty chaotic.

It doesn’t look like it’ll be a hugely productive day in Norfolk.

And as usual, there’s already been the point made that countries all over the world are able to take this amount of snow in their stride, and carry on, and the question’s been asked: why can’t we?

In essence, the answer is simple: we could set ourselves up to be prepared for these sorts of conditions.

– We could invest in more snowploughs.

– We could get in more salt and grit.

– We could encourage people to invest in snowchains.

The list goes on.

But the point is that although we could do all of those things, the more pertinent question is whether it is WORTH us doing all those things.

After all, weather is very rarely an issue in the UK.

Most years, we have no issues whatsoever, and therefore, in most years, a substantial investment into equipment and infrastructure to combat snow would be unneeded and unused.

So, would it be a prudent investment? Probably not.

There is a point here, beyond me just waxing lyrical about snow: just because you CAN do something in your marketing, it doesn’t mean you should.

The advent of the Internet and social media has resulted in more choice for advertising and marketing than ever before.

There are more social networks than you can shake a stick at, and for the business owner, more and more options for the investment of your marketing budget.

But just because you could invest in all of these new medias, it doesn’t mean you should.

Instead, it’s vital for us all to decide whether we’re likely to get the return we want, and then decide whether it’s worth investing.

Derby Days

Mick McCarthy

I was at the East Anglian Derby on Sunday.

I go to Carrow Road most weeks, but there’s a little bit of extra spice in the air when the Tractor Boys come to town.

If you didn’t see it, it was a great game, with the main talking point being Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy’s reaction to a dramatic 89th minute goal for his side.

With just one minute left on the clock, Luke Chambers grabbed the goal that put McCarthy’s men in front, and Mick just went berserk.

And during his celebrations, he appeared to aim some choice language towards his own fans.

Yes, you read that right – his OWN fans.

Now the subtext is that McCarthy’s been getting some grief off the Ipswich supporters of late, but regardless, this isn’t a smart move from him.

And in fact, there’s a wider lesson, that all of us in business would do well to heed:

Your relationship with your audience is the MOST important thing.

Build a rock solid relationship with the people who you serve – whether they’re paying clients or not – and you’ll always have more chance of getting meetings, generating leads and making sales.

But be disagreeable like Mick, and fail to build those relationships with your audience, and you’ll find yourself running out of good will pretty quickly.

Oh, and thankfully, Mick’s celebrations were short-lived too – when we equalised in the 95th minute!

We help our clients get a lot of direct mail out the door, and in every single case, direct mail works better when it’s sent to people you have a relationship with.

That’s why it’s so vital to nurture those relationships – if you don’t, then your letter doesn’t get read, and you don’t make the sale.

Why does Google use Direct Mail?

As we speak to prospective clients we often here phrases like “… all our marketing is digital…”, or “printing is so ‘old hat’…”.

And it’s funny, because we’ve seen over recent times that there has been a resurgence in print as marketers acknowledge that the most effective strategy is a mix of digital and print media.

Most if us in business have at one time received a direct mail piece from Google. Google, for goodness sake. These people are the internet; they make up the rules that we all desperately struggle to catch up with when their algorithms change. So why does Google us Direct Mail? They use it because it works for them.

Here are some stats you might find interesting:

Why does Google use Direct Mail?

If you would like to have a chat about how direct mail could work in your business, just give us a call on 01603 397704 or send us a message.