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Marketing: Basics of Dataset Management - Removing Duplicate Records
March 25th, 2011

The first rule of effective direct mail marketing is to have a clean dataset - a record of names, addresses and other contact information that is accurate. Often, we find datasets that have been compiled from multiple sources and have duplicate entries throughout the file. If the data is in a spreadsheet, like Microsoft Excel, simple sorting is sometimes enough to identify duplicate entries and remove them. But other times, like when the dataset is very large or the duplicates aren't obvious, it requires some advanced filtering techniques to clean up the dataset.

In this video from Tech Republic, Bill Detwiler shows you three advanced techniques for sorting through your spreadsheet data to identify and remove duplicates. If you have questions about how to compile your dataset for direct mail marketing, or if you need help sorting through the data you have, contact us and we'll help you "sort it out."

Posted by Kent Callison   |  0 Comment(s)  |  Leave a Comment

Graphic Design: Maintaining Brand Consistency with Graphic Standards
March 23rd, 2011

Your brand and visual identity is how people recognize you in the marketplace. Maintaining a consistent look and feel of your brand is critical to making sure customers recognize your product or service and feel comfortable doing business with you.  To ensure your visual brand or logo is always consistent, develop-and adhere to-a written policy of graphic standards. 

 
Large corporations and universities, for example, typically manage all marketing efforts through a central communications department to ensure the organization's brand is always consistent. But what if you are a small business? How can you make sure your brand is always on point?

Begin by engaging a graphic design firm to create your logo. In addition, request documentation of graphic standards and brand guidelines to govern the use of your visual identity.  Train anyone who communicates on behalf of your organization to follow these guidelines explicitly, including the specifications for the size, color, font and dimensions of the company logo. For print communication, specifications can include what color and quality of paper the company logo will be printed on, including standard formats for flyers, newsletters, letterhead, brochures, business cards and postcards. 
 
By standardizing the use of your brand and visual identity across all marketing channels, you present a uniform appearance that communicates effectively with all audiences and maintains a consistent image for your organization.

Posted by Kent Callison   |  0 Comment(s)  |  Leave a Comment

Marketing: Using Multi-Channel Marketing to Enhance Customer Relationships
February 25th, 2011

Communicating with your customers is a critical component of a successful marketing plan. Communicating effectively, however, can be difficult if you don't utilize the channel(s) of communication your customers prefer. While some may be happy receiving emails about new products and services, others may prefer a postcard or brochure in the mail. Some may prefer searching your website or reading your Facebook page or Twitter feed. Still others are most comfortable with a phone call or personal visit. As your business grows, it can be increasingly difficult to recognize which channels of communication your customers prefer and in what context they prefer them.

One simple way to learn how your customers want to communicate is to simply ask them with a multi-touch, multi-channel campaign. The process is pretty straight forward:

  1. Contact your customers via email, postal mail, website or other means.
  2. Ask the customer to specify which channel of communication they prefer.
  3. Use the channels they specify in the future.

There are many benefits of determining a customer's preferred channel.

  • Improve the chances of marketing materials actually reaching your recipients
  • Reduce time and cost associated with ineffective methods
  • Enhance customer relationships
  • Increase the frequency of communication
  • Improve your return on marketing investment

 

Contact us to learn more about VisualHub and other ways you can use multi-channel marketing to improve your return on investment. While you're are it, let us know the channel you prefer as well.

Posted by Harold Williams   |  0 Comment(s)  |  Leave a Comment

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