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Making the Business Case for Web-to-Print

business case

Web-to-print (WTP) systems and marketing portals are now a key tool for many organisations, especially those who are working to keep up with the pace of new technologies. Communications now have to move faster and connect to more and more channels. For large, multi-site organisations with distributed teams, WTP can provide a central hub that enables teams to cooperate more efficiently; making processes and workflows more automated.

One of the biggest barriers for implementing web-to-print within an organisation is usually putting across a compelling business case to the people holding the purse strings. After all, decision-makers probably won’t be using the software in their day-to-day work. This instantly makes it harder for them to understand the relevance of WTP for the organisation. Furthermore, the decision-makers may not understand how complex it is creating; distributing and ordering print and digital assets.

Putting together a strong business case to spell out the benefits of WTP can be one of the biggest influencers for the decision makers. Follow these 5 steps to produce a persuasive and compelling business case that will bowl over the decision-makers.

Step 1: Build a Team of Web-To-Print Supporters

Start by identifying all departments within the organisation who will benefit from the use of web-to-print. Bring together several representatives from different departments and discuss how WTP would benefit their team. The more people you have on board from the beginning, the stronger your business case. So these people will be your WTP supporters who will work to push the project forward.

Step 2: Identify the Business Reasons for WTP

If you have thought about implementing WTP in the past, issues may have already been identified that need addressing. With your WTP supporters, list all the challenges the organisation faces and how exactly WTP will address them. If your marketing team spends hours searching for the right versions of the right asset, their skills and time clearly aren’t being well utilised. Furthermore, marketing teams can work much faster when creative files are instantly available and automatically converted for different channels. Each department should identify every area that a WTP platform will make workflows simpler and more efficient.

Step 3: Measure the ROI

Each business case will be different depending on the size of the organisation and the number of people within teams. Considerations should be taken into how much time is spent searching for files, recreating lost files and creating new assets. It’s estimated that on average a marketer or creative will spend up to an hour a day searching for files. This is valuable time that could be spent on the more important business activities that will actually make you money!

If for example there were 5 people in a marketing team and they each spend an hour a day searching for lost files, that equates to 1,225 hours a year if each team member took 3 weeks annual leave. Now if the average salary was £35,000 P/A including holiday, that totals a whopping £16,145.50 a year wasted on just searching for lost files alone.

From the above example you can start to see how much money you could be wasting each year because of poor asset management. Implementing a WTP platform could reduce this figure significantly and in fact, most businesses will see a net profit from WTP within the first year of implementation.

Step 4: Understand the Key Benefits

Efficiency: Web-To-Print software dramatically improves efficiency by keeping all valuable media files accessible in one centralised repository. This means the routine tasks of managing large collections of assets is taken care of.

Save Time: Inefficiencies can cause business to slow down which can be detrimental to time-sensitive projects and deadlines.  WTP enables teams to collaborate more effectively and ensure tight deadlines are met.

Ordering print marketing material can also be a very laborious, time-consuming task, especially if there are multiple vendors and suppliers involved. WTP software simplifies the process of ordering so print runs can be started in a matter of hours, not days.

Save Money: One of the biggest expenses relating to the production of assets is the use of a graphic designer. WTP software makes it easier to repurpose files – a better use of your resources than re-creating assets from scratch. Additionally, it provides a secure central repository for all your assets so you won’t waste money repurchasing licensed files.

Branding: You’ve probably spent considerable time and money ensuring your brand is strong and memorable so it is worth protecting. WTP helps ensure your organisation is accurately and consistently represented as only pre-approved templates can be added to the portal. So design elements that shouldn’t be edited are locked down meaning you have tighter controls over your brand assets. Furthermore, depending on permissions, some design elements can be edited using a simple drag-and-drop which removes the need for a designer to artwork simple jobs.

Step 5: Make the Case

Finally, bring your WTP representative together with management to highlight the importance of WTP and demonstrate exactly how the software will make your team more efficient whilst saving money for your company. When you present your business case to the decision-users, be realistic about the ROI and specific goals. A well thought-out strategy and compelling business case will make your overall case clearer and more appealing. With concrete examples and the backing of a team of supporters, you will successfully build a business case that will get the thumbs up from all parties.


Brand Centurion by Burst Digital

Brand Centurion is a powerful, easy-to-use web-to-print portal from Burst Digital. With Brand Centurion, you can store, create and distribute marketing assets without the need of a designer. It’s web-based – so can be accessed from a browser, with no software to install. So all you have to do is upload your approved design templates and brand assets, choose who has admin access to the portal, and then request print runs whenever you want. In addition, all transactions are logged to give you complete control over your budget.

If you are putting together your business case for web-to-print and would like some impartial advice, call today and we can set up a demo so you can experience the full benefits of Brand Centurion.

Ready to protect your brand? Talk to us today!

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5 Signs You Need Web-To-Print Software

web-to-print

You may have considered adopting a web-to-print tool or a marketing portal on a number of occasions but not quite got round to it. You can always find an excuse as to why now is not the right time – i.e. you don’t have the staff to implement the software, you don’t have the budget or maybe you already use Dropbox or other cloud storage tools so you don’t need a marketing portal.

Whilst many marketing portals will offer similar benefits to cloud storage, there are a number of portals that can deliver so much more. For large businesses with multiple business locations, marketing portals with web-to-print capabilities really are indispensable. This is especially true of organisation who produce large volumes of print marketing content on a regular basis.

If the above sounds all too familiar, then managing your assets digitally is likely to be the path you need. With increased productivity, better workflow and a more structured system of operating, the benefits are extensive. Here are 5 signs that you need a marketing portal with web-to-print capabilities:

Time Wasted Searching for Files

On average, marketers spend an hour a day fielding requests and searching for the right version of an asset. Not only is this frustrating, but it also results in valuable time being wasted. This is time that could be spent on more important business activities. There may be more than one person producing these assets which results in assets being stored across shared departmental drives, individual desktops, and cloud storage which you might not have access to.

Keeping all files in a central repository that brings everything together in one place can alleviate this bugbear. You’ll be able to narrow things down even further by utilising powerful search capabilities to accurately pinpoint files. Not only will you save time and money, it’ll allow your teams spend more time doing what they do best.

Producing New Assets

One of the biggest costs relating to the production of marketing assets is the use of a graphic designer. From the original designs, to re-edits – the cost can quickly accumulate. Even the simple task of re-working of business cards can be a time consuming exercise. Spending time and resources re-creating misplaced or deleted files can easily be avoided by adopting a marketing portal.

Enabling you to search through previous work, a marketing portal will provide a central store of work that could either be reused or re-edited. New templates can also be uploaded with editing rights. Brand elements that shouldn’t be changed can be locked down, while other elements can be personalised. This saves time and money that would be spent on producing assets from scratch.

Campaigns and Branding are Lacking Consistency

Inconsistent branding tends to be a result of the wrong style of imagery used, the wrong font used or perhaps even an old logo being used that is now out of date. For multi-site organisations that are sending out a lot of messages, this can become a real headache. If you’ve spent the time to brand your business correctly, you need to ensure each department is representing the corporate image in the way it was intended. Using the wrong version of an asset can dilute the brand and make your communications incohesive. It’s important to monitor the assets that are available and how they are being used.

Implementing a marketing portal allows you to control individual access, and make sure your employees can only access the right version of an asset. This includes the latest logos, promotional material, and the right corporate documents. This ensures you maintain brand integrity across all touch points.

Miscommunication between Creative Teams

Within large organisation, the likeliness is there will be more than one person working on or producing creative marketing assets. Everyone has their own way of working, and processes can quickly become confused, especially if new people join the organisation. With different systems for saving and naming files, it can be difficult to find the latest version of an asset. Workflow redundancies can very quickly creep in that can slow down important business activity.

By creating a central repository within a marketing portal, all project members have instant access to the same shared resources. Even those working remotely can access the files produced, wherever they are in the world. As a result, miscommunication is minimised as everyone is working from the same assets, using the same system.

Excess Admin Procedures

Ordering printed marketing material can be a laborious task. Calling multiple vendors, requesting quotes, designing and sending files, waiting for proofs, making corrections, and waiting for your products to arrive all slow down the time to market. As a result, valuable time is taken up that could be spent on the more important tasks. Adopting a marketing portal with web-to-print capabilities can eliminate many of these tasks. It can also help avoid costly mistakes such as sending the wrong files or not proofing prior to printing.

Costs can often be negotiated ahead of time, approved templates are uploaded onto a web based dashboard so you have instant access, and only agreed elements can be edited. The order process can take a matter of minutes – instead of days. With less time spent on the admin involved in locating, editing and distributing files, your teams can devote their energies on building strategies and driving revenue.


Brand Centurion

If any of the above issues affects your ability to work to optimal levels of efficiency, it’s time to considering adopting a marketing portal. Brand Centurion from Burst Digital allows you to manage and track all of your branded print and digital marketing assets through one easy-to-use, powerful and cost-saving marketing portal with web-to-print capabilities.

Contact us today to find out more about Brand Centurion or to book a demo.

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Unwrapped! Seasonal Branding and Marketing Tips for 2016

christmas

You might think it is too early to start talking about Christmas, but when it comes to seasonal marketing, it is never too early. There are some brands that spend their whole year planning their Christmas marketing campaigns and rightly so! In 2015, the UK spent over £70bn between November and the end of December so for brands looking to cash in, it really is the most wonderful time of the year. Although consumers are naturally spending more money, there are a few things that you can do to boost your sales.

Here we’ve unwrapped our top tips to help you get a head-start on your seasonal branding.

Prepare your Content

Preparation really is key when it comes to running a successful Christmas marketing campaign and developing a clear and precise marketing schedule for the entire holiday season is vital. This is best done several months in advance and the sooner you start the better. You may be running several product offerings or sales throughout the months running up to Christmas so you need to ensure you have all your marketing assets prepared.

The likeliness is you will use a combination of assets to make up your campaign so the best advice we can give is to produce all your marketing assets in advance. Allowing that extra time to prepare will be crucial for your business. You need to have a clear idea of your messaging throughout the season so identify keep dates in the calendar.

Black Friday (November 25th) and Cyber Monday (November 28th) are “holidays” that have only just come over to the UK from America but already a lot of big brands such as John Lewis and Currys are cashing in. Running sales on these days can be a great way to increase sales and raise brand awareness. Bear this in mind and make note of these important dates in your content calendar.

Calendarise your Content

We all know how tough it is to buy gifts for everyone on your list and for many; Christmas involves a last minute dash to buy those last few bits. Help alleviate this annual tradition by starting your campaign early and encouraging consumers to start their Christmas shopping with you. Promote your best sellers early on in the season and make your marketing message loud and clear.

Remember, customers will typically have five interactions with your brand before they make a final purchase decision. The earlier you start your campaign, the more likely your consumers are going to have those five interactions.  People might scoff when they see Christmas campaigns in late-October but starting the hype early will inevitably work in your favour. The key here is to market little and often to avoid annoying consumers. Depending on your area of business, you could also consider sharing extra seasonal inspiration.

For those people that are last minute panic buying though, so why not offer some last minute gift ideas? Once again, promote some of your best sellers but maybe the ones that won’t break the bank. This is a perfect way to snatch up those last minute sales.

Manage your List and Target your Audience

One of the best ways to engage with you audience is with personalised content. Sending personalised message will increase the chances of them shopping with you over the festive season. Remember, consumers will be looking for the best possible deal but engaging with them on a personal level might just be the tipping point to help you win the sale.

If you have a CRM database, make the most of it with personalised mailers. If you also have data on your consumers buying habits, use this data to re-engage them by sending them offers on products you think they might like. Tracking customers online can also allow you to re-engage with them by sending emails to remind them about the products they might have left in their online basket.

Alternatively, why not reward your regular customers, it is Christmas after all! Send them a promotional voucher or maybe even a small gift. Not only will it bring you extra business, it will remind also remind your customers why they shop with you. This will in turn make them advocates for your brand. It will get your customers talking to their friends and family about you, potentially bringing you in even more sales.

Revisit your Branding for the Holiday Season
Whether you have a physical store or an online store, giving your store, website and social media channels a slight rebrand. This will inevitably strengthen your brand’s overall position in the consumer’s mind. We’re not saying you need to overhaul your whole website or store as this isn’t cost effective, but there are a few small things you can do to add some festive cheer with the addition of web banners, in-store promotional materials or social-media posts.  After all, nothing gets people in the Christmas mood like the proper decorations and ambience.

Depending on the size of your brand, you may want to produce a new style guide to ensure your colours; fonts and other design elements are on point and this will help with the overall design of your marketing assets and ensure brand consistency across all consumer touch points. Having consistency across all touchpoints will help your consumers distinguish your marketing message from your competitors consistency makes your recognisable!

So there you have it, a few things to consider help you win those all important holiday sales.

 Brand Centurion

Brand Centurion web-to-print and asset management tool really is the gift that just keeps giving. Store, create and distribute all your seasonal print and digital marketing assets with one, powerful, easy-to-use portal.

We also offer a wide range of print services and seasonal promotional materials to ensure your business is Christmas ready.

For a demo of Brand Centurion or to find out more about our print services, call today on 01293 660722


Written by Liam Beauchamp for Burst Digital on 10/10/2016

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The Changing Faces of Branding: Technology, Audience, Trends & Tastes

changing face of branding

Branding can be hard at the best of times, especially when there are so many different elements to consider. It can also become a little overwhelming when the market is constantly changinging. With new technologies entering the market and trends starting weekly, brands are having to adapt rapidly.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of those changing elements that have the biggest impact on brands.

Technology

Ten years ago, digital marketing was very different. For many brands, just having a social presence was enough as the market was still developing. And when it came to choosing your social channels, only a handful of popular options were available. However, there are now over 2.4 billion active users of social media around the world. This has meant brands are now having to compete more fiercely for just a few seconds of an audience’s attention.

Today’s consumers now expect to be, and are, engaged with brands on many different digital channels and touchpoints. This has now made the customer journey a more involved one. And with wearable tech such as the Apple Watch and Google Glass becoming more mainstream, marketeers once again have to grapple with new technology. Declared as the next big thing, wearable technology can help reduce the time between intention and action.

Given how quickly the wearables market is developing, marketeers need to start preparing to target consumers through this new channel. Currently 1 in 7 people in the UK own wearable technology and the trend is set to continue. As a result, consideration needs to be taken into making marketing messages more glanceable so that messages can be delivered on smaller screens with enough relevant information to encourage someone to discover more by clicking through on their smart phone.

This is just an example of things to come but the point is, technology is constantly improving so marketeers need to be constantly aware of how they are going to reach consumers through these new channels.

Audiences

Every brand has an audience but as any good marketer will tell you, audiences evolve constantly. Everyday their needs and wants will change and people today don’t have the same concerns or needs as they did say  5-10 years ago. This can make it increasingly difficult for brands to target their consumers in the same way that might have appealed to them last month.

After major events such as the 2008 recession and more recently Brexit, people are becoming more savvy with their money. There have also been wider divisions in politics, culture and taste across generations more recently.  Therefore, brands need to consider the value of their products more than ever before. Not just in terms of money though, but also in terms of what their brand represents.

In the past, consumers have been broken down into “lazy” segments such as ‘millennial’ or Gen Z’ but there are potentially 15 year age gaps within these segments. To get a better understanding of audiences, these segments need to broken down even further. Brands need a clearer understanding into the nuances that make each consumer an individual. By understanding their consumers beliefs, values and needs; they can effectively reach out to their audience in the most appropriate manner.

Tastes

As consumers, we are a very fickle bunch. Our likes and dislikes are constantly changing resulting in endless new products hitting our shelves to help feed our appetites.

When certain goods go out of fashion or people’s tastes and preferences no longer remain favourable to them, the demand for them decreases. The level at which a customer desires your product not only affects your demand curve, but essentially your overall success as a brand. One way to stay ahead of the curve is by altering the product or service. This ensures the demands of consumers are always met meaning they don’t have to look towards other brands to get what they want.

Apple is a brand that is very good at “reinventing” itself. They very quickly realised that to stay at the forefront of technology development, they needed to listen to their customers and adapt. With Apple bringing out a new iPhone more or less annually, they have been able to add/change/remove the elements that their customers like and dislike about their products. They have blown all competition out of the water and now you will struggle to find a household without an Apple product.

Trends

Trends come and go and it can sometimes be difficult to work out which ones are going to stick around. As we discussed in our previous blog post (5 Trends that Should be Shaping your 2017 Marketing Budget), live video is one trend that we think will be making waves in the next couple of months.

Another trend that has stuck around is documenting every waking moment of our days. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and all the bits in between documented on Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram. As they say, a picture paints a thousand words and brands should embrace this power.

People like to get to know the ins and outs of a brand – they’re not interested in just seeing the curated marketing content that has been planned for the past 6 months. By sharing moments as they happen, brands can start building a personality that their consumers can relate to. In turn, this turns consumers into advocates and they begin sharing your story. John Lewis is one brand that has nailed this and they are constantly producing share-worthy visual content – no wonder they are one of the UK’s leading brands.

Brand Centurion

With the elements of branding changing constantly, it can be difficult to manage your brand successfully. With Brand Centurion, you can create marketing and branded-materials in-house and distribute them in a timely manner, allowing you to react quickly to these changing elements. To find out more or to request a demo, call us on 01293 660722.


 

Written by Liam Beauchamp for Burst Digital, 26/09/2016

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5 Trends that Should Shape your 2017 Marketing Budget

Trends 2017

We’d all like a crystal ball to help us plan next year’s marketing budget so that we could spend more time engaging with our audience and less time planning. How nice would it be to know exactly which emerging technologies and trends are going to have the biggest impact on your bottom line? Or knowing exactly which digital channels your prospective customers will be using.

Unfortunately we can’t predict the future but that doesn’t mean we can’t draw upon some comprehensive research to help us make some informed predictions as to which way things are heading.

The way in which the marketing industry drives forward is immense so here are our top five predicted digital marketing trends that should be shaping your 2017 marketing budget.

Video – Live Streaming

In the last year we have seen video skyrocket. Each social network now seems to offer its own video platform but live streaming is still relatively new. The first release of tools like Periscope and Meerkat only came about in early 2015. Facebook very quickly jumped on the bandwagon though and more recently, YouTube has introduced live streaming capabilities.

Live video streams can be used for marketing in various ways. They can build awareness, drive conversion and boost engagement. Very often this will be dependent on using the right social platform for your content though. By supplementing your current social strategy with live video, and hyping the build up to your content, you have a real opportunity to reach the masses.

Despite the enormous growth of the apps there are still very few brands that have adopted video. Live content is now getting preference over all other content though. Its rate of user adoption and participation is driving the urgency to include this in marketing strategies. With live video being the best way to bring the full power of personal sales to social media, there is a real opportunity for ROI.

You can only do this though by adding value to your customers, so don’t just go straight in with a sales pitch. Give your customers an insight into the personality of your business. Stream company events, make live announcements, conduct interviews or even run a live video blog. Although it is safe to say that live video is here for the long haul, now is the time to determine how to best use it to build awareness and expand reach.

Cross-Device Retargeting

Consumers are much harder to reach these days, especially as they switch back and forth between all their different devices. DMA’s Statistical Fact Book reports that the average consumer is now connected through five addressable devices. This in turn means five opportunities to get your brand in front of them. Today’s shopper uses a laptop, a tablet and a smartphone and consumers will bounce back-and-forth between device before making that final purchase decision.

As these consumers move across devices, marketers must engage with them in personalised, meaningful ways. By tagging consumers at their first touch point with your brand and tracking their behaviour across devices, marketers are able to target them with display advertising that is appropriate for the device. This provides a consistent and engaging messages across devices ensuring your brand is always at the forefront of their mind. 

Google has recently announced that advertisers will soon be able to reach users across devices with Google remarketing campaigns. This is a significant development as this isn’t something Google previously supported. This means marketers will seamlessly be able to deliver a marketing campaign that targets audiences across all devices.

Personalised Content

There is so much content on the web that it can be difficult for brands to break through the noise. It can also make it difficult for brands to differentiate from other brands, especially if they are offering the same product or service and targeting a large audience. If you’re producing content to appeal to everyone, it’s not going to be as valuable as content that is targeted.

Consumers now expect more from brands and are looking for you to add value to their lives, not disrupt it. In exchange, brands get their custom, loyalty and brand advocacy. We can only achieve this by providing content that our customers actually want to read. If brands have a better understanding of the person they are targeting, they will have a better understanding of the information their customer might be seeking.

The web is now saturated with content so for brands to add real value, they need to shift their focus towards narrower niches, personalised content and more targeted channels. Although this will undoubtedly generate lower volume, the quality of engagement will be much higher.  A lot of brands will give up on content marketing as they are not seeing the short term results. This makes it a perfect time to step up to the plate. Eventually, we will be able to target content down to individual preferences, desires and interests.

Optimise for Mobile First

Smartphones have now overtaken laptops as UK Internet user’s number one device. On average, we are spending almost two hours online on our smartphones every day. There has been an emphasis on optimising for mobile traffic and now it is clear that mobile first should be the mantra for the rest of the year and beyond.

Having a mobile-friendly website or app is just the beginning.  For the first time Google has started widening their first page search results to include mobile apps and they have recently released their “Mobilegeddon” algorithm. This will essentially phase out sites that have not been optimised for mobile access from showing in search results. This is very bad news for companies who have not yet optimised their website.

Desktop traffic is slowly beginning to fade away, and in order to increase the competitive edge of your company, mobile-focused online marketing is key. As it currently stands, one in seven Brits own wearable technology and the trend is set to continue.  This means marketers need to be prepared to produce content to fit the format, the channel, and the place.

Social Analytics

It may feel like social media has been around for a lifetime but it’s certainly still in its infancy. Although most companies have adopted one or two social media platforms, many of them are still not collecting data. 88% of marketers aren’t sure of the best way to engage their audience on social media which is potentially driving away consumers. With the move to mobile though and more brands relying on social platforms, analytics will offer the greatest opportunities.

The mass-target approach is out, and personalised data-driven marketing plans are in. By making greater use of social analytics, brands are able to drill down and gain valuable insight. There are certain nuggets of valuable data buried within the mountains of social media chatter. Organisations that are looking for a competitive edge can use social analytics to identify patterns in customer sentiment which in turn enables them to gauge their marketing effectiveness. This process goes beyond the usual monitoring of “likes” or retweets to develop an in-depth idea of who their social consumer is and this information is invaluable.

Using social analytics, brands are able to understand how their customers are making use of their services or products and what their views and opinions are about that particular company or product. There are countless blogs, tweets, comments and complaints regarding products and services. Social media platforms are now the No.1 place for consumers to complain. This huge volume of information can be used to evaluates consumer’s experience which can then be used to help companies perform better.


 

Written by Liam Beauchamp for Burst Digital, 12/09/2016

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Building a Brand: The Building Blocks of Success

Building a Brand

Building a Brand – The Building Blocks of Success

We all know that there is no recipe for success when it comes to business, especially when there str so many internal and external factors that can either make or break a business. We cannot prepare ourselves for all eventualities but there are a number of steps that can be taken to minimise risks. When we think of large successful businesses, the key players that come to mind are Coca Cola, McDonald’s and Apple. But what have all of these companies got in common that have made them so successful? Strong branding!

Branding is bandied about a lot when it comes to talking about successful businesses. You brand represents everything about your business and it resonates with your customers and prospects. With this in mind, it is vital that you get the basic building blocks right. But what are the building blocks that have enabled these brands to triumph over others?

Building Block #1: Clear Strategy

Before launching any brand, you have to ensure that you have established your brand foundation. Your brand foundation can be identified by answering a number of questions:

What are our core values? What do we believe in? How do we want our customers to perceive us? What is our core messaging and visual identity? What do we want our company to represent?

After answering all of these questions, you will have a clearer understanding of what you foundation strategy should be. These foundation principles could be a list or statement, or a selection of carefully selected words. They essentially need to be referenced by everyone who touches your brand internally, at every stage of any business decision making process.  Also, by understanding who your ideal customers are, you can ensure that you’re building a brand that aligns with their wants and needs.

Building Block #2: A Strong Logo

This is a given really but once you have established your foundation, you need to address your visual elements. Designing a logo is no easy task as there are so many elements to consider. To put it as simply as possible though, make it unique, make it adaptable, make it timeless but most of all, make it memorable.

This is the first element that the public will probably come into contact with so it needs to be striking.  Remember though, your logo will set the standard for all your marketing collateral so it needs to be adaptable. Logos need to translate across different mediums but still evoke the same meaning.

Building Block #3: Guidelines

Once you’ve established your identity and you have a logo to match it, you need to ensure your other visual elements match the image and personality of your brand. This is essential as it helps develop a sense of familiarity for your customers. Fonts and colours which will be heavily influenced by your logo will have a big impact of your branded marketing materials. You need to consider how your fonts and colours portray your brand.

For example, if your brand is corporate, then your font should be slick, easy to read and professional. No Comic Sans please. However, if your brand is a bit more fun, then you can use a font that is energetic and slightly more elaborate.

Research has shown that colour also plays a vital role in the perception of brands. This is why it is so important in understanding your ideal customer. If your customers are looking for a brand that is exciting, you may choose to use red in your marketing collateral. Or if you want to convey sophistication, you may look to use purple. There are no clear cut guidelines when it comes to colour but when it comes to choosing colours, you must test. You cannot know how your audience will respond to your colours in your content and layout without testing to determine which colour combinations work best.

Your guidelines will also cover elements such as writing guidelines, web design and print design.  Once you have a clear set of brand guidelines, as long as they have been clearly established, it should help everyone from your team to your suppliers designing your marketing material. Making sure everything is consistent and looking like it’s from the same company.

Building Block #4: Tone of Voice

Your tone of voice is not what you say, but how you say it. In relationship to branding, it embodies and expresses your personality and reflects the overarching foundation.  The words you use on your website and in your marketing collateral can define how people perceive your business.

When establishing your tone of voice, you need to think carefully about whom you are talking to. Do you want to appear casual and friendly or formal and sharp? Your tone of voice needs to be distinctive and recognisable. Carefully selected words can heavily influence customers and by picking a voice that fits your brand and culture can make you more memorable to customers.

Building Block #5: Consistency 

Consistency is key for your business and does a multitude of things four your brand. It can contribute to generating trust, attracting more customers and also creating a professional feel across the business. Ultimately, consistency contributes to brand recognition, so you need to make sure all your marketing elements and messaging is cohesive. Not only does this help strengthen your brand, but it also drives positive sentiment and trust in consumers. This ultimately leads to brand loyalty and lifelong customers.

In recent years, we have seen the power of branding with Apple. In the early stages they were able to establish an identity that meets their needs, and they have stuck with it. Changing the look or approach of the Apple brand could easily undermine the consumers’ understanding of who Apple are as a company. Apple consistently places a lower case “i” on new digital products – the iPhone, iPad, iPod, iWatch. This ensures that consumers can easily identify a new product as coming from Apple, even if they haven’t heard from them.

Building Block #6: Brand Centurion

Consistency is the key theme that runs throughout all of the points above and any brand manager will tell you how vital it is for a brand to succeed. One of the biggest tasks faced by brand managers though is keeping their marketing consistent. With Brand Centurion, many of the daily struggles are alleviated by providing organisations with one, easy-to-use, powerful asset management tool. Brand Centurion automates all the demanding creation and distribution jobs and ensures that all marketing collateral is consistent every single time.

Written by Liam Beauchamp for Burst Digital – 30/08/2016


If you’re interested in developing your brand, call us today and up your marketing game!

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Web-to-Print: The Must-Have for Multi-site Marketers

web-to-print: the must-have tool for multi-site marketers

You may have considered implementing an asset management tool on a number of occasions but not quite got round to it. You always seem find an excuse as to why now is not the right time – i.e. you don’t have the staff to implement the software, you don’t have the budget or maybe you already use Dropbox or other cloud storage tools so you don’t need an asset management tool. With their wealth of benefits though you are potentially missing out on an tool that for many successful marketing departments are indispensable.

There are basic asset management tools will essentially act as centralised repository in which business can efficiently store, organise, access and distribute a large number of marketing assets. Whilst they offer similar benefits to cloud storage, there are a number of asset management tools that can deliver so much more.

When producing large volumes of print marketing content on a regular basis and delivering it to different audiences across different stores,  adopting an asset management tool with web-to-print capabilities offers an array of added benefits.

Brand Uniformity

Your brand is your strongest asset as it represents your company identity and your corporate values so it is vital that this is maintained across all your business locations. Your brand needs to communicate the same message across all channels because a lack of uniformity can weaken your brand. Within large, multi-site organisations, there will be more than one person responsible for branding and if tight controls aren’t in place, branding mistakes will be made. A web-to-print solution improves consistency across all marketing as design elements can be locked down meaning they can’t be changed. This allows you to have tighter control over your marketing assets.

Increased Efficiency

Ordering printed marketing material can be a laborious task. If you have to call multiple vendors, request quotes, design and send files, wait for proofs, make corrections, and wait for your products to arrive all slow down the time to market. This is valuable time that could be spent on more important tasks. A web-to-print solution can eliminate many of these tasks and help avoid costly mistakes. Costs are negotiated ahead of time, approved templates are uploaded onto a web based dashboard so you have instant access, and only agreed elements can be edited prior to printing. The order process can take a matter of minutes – instead of days.

Centralised Purchasing

If you have numerous people ordering printed stationery from numerous vendors, costs can very quickly spiral out of control. It can also become difficult to track what you are spending. With an effective web-to-print solution, you can manage budgets by seeing exactly who is ordering what before approving the order. By using a single vendor, you have tighter controls over your budgets.

Personalised Marketing

A massive 79% of people will act on direct mail if they feel like it is personal to them. Unfortunately though, many marketers are missing opportunities by concentrating their personalised marketing efforts online. With some web-to-print solutions, you can integrate and manage your CRM data to enable personalised marketing.  This means artwork can be pre-populated with personalised information so your direct mail piece makes a greater impact.

Digital Repository

As well as storing print marketing assets, many web-to-print solutions can also be used as a store for digital assets including Facebook banners, email signatures, videos, PDF’s or photography. This makes it incredibly easy to share approved digital assets. This ensures that your teams are using the right version of the right asset ensuring overall brand consistency. And because web-to-print software works away from your internal IT software, you can rest assured that your files are safe.

Cost Saving

One of the biggest costs relating to the production of marketing assets is the use of a graphic designer. From the original designs, to re-edits – the cost can quickly accumulate. Even for the simple task of re-working of business cards can be a huge expense if you have to produce multiple versions for different people. With a web-to-print solution, you can upload pre-approved templates that allow you to customise only the agreed elements. This could include elements such as the name field, telephone number and email address of a business card. With simple drag-and-drop, this removes the need for a designer to artwork these jobs. This means your designers time can be better spent on the more important tasks.

Web Based

As mentioned, web-to-print software works away from your internal IT software. This means there is no software to download and it be accessed 24/7 on any device, anywhere in the world. This also removes the hassle of phone calls and emails to get a print run started – you can do it all from the portal.

Web-to-Print and Burst Digital

If web-to-print sounds like something that your company might benefit from Brand Centurion – the web-to-print portal from Burst Digital. We can work with you to ensure your branded marketing assets are consistent across your business locations.


Written by Liam Beauchamp for Burst Digital – 08/08/2016

Direct Marketing Facts & Statistics, CMO Council, 2015

https://www.cmocouncil.org/facts-stats-categories.php?view=all&category=direct-marketing

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Managing Your Marketing Assets

Effective Management of your Marketing Assets

Companies today have to work harder and harder to get the attention of their “distracted” prospects and customers. There have been seismic shifts in the way consumers expect brands to communicate with them. As a result, CMOs and marketers have to create more unique, personalised and targeted marketing assets. As more assets are created and new versions updated, it can become increasingly difficult for teams to locate and distribute the relevant materials.

This problem is experienced daily by large organisations and has highlighted the need for effective asset management tools. A marketing asset management tool goes far beyond simple media storage; it is one of the best ways to maintain consistency.

But why should marketers care so much about asset management tools? In short, these tools are transforming organisations by changing h how knowledge and resources are shared.

Marketing and design teams spend countless hours creating assets, from uploading branded assets, to incorporating new assets into the creative. By creating a central library for all these assets, organisations are able to improve efficiencies and ensure that the right version, of the right asset is used every time. For small and large businesses alike, asset management tools are becoming indispensable. By integrating an asset management tool with existing processes and technologies, marketers are able to streamline their campaign management. You must first plan, then effectively implement, integrate and market your application if good profits are to be made.

To ensure the greatest success from marketing campaigns, organisations are making better use of ‘big data’. These data sets are continuously scrutinised by analysts to reveal patterns and trends relating to human behaviour and interactions in response to an ad. This data and what we can learn from it is worth its weight in gold.

While most marketers will recognise the importance of this analytics-driven approach, too few are actually implementing it. The importance comes from understanding the data and learning from it to draw actionable insights. And of course, this learning can feed right into planning. By implementing an asset management tool that enables an organisation to integrate their customer data, they are able to produce timely assets that react to their prospects and customer’s needs and learn from their successes and failures.

But do I really need an assets management tool?

Well, with the number of platforms, targets and markets set to increase, it is now more important than ever to design an efficient workflow that centralises marketing activities and minimises the cost of creating marketing materials.

Written by Liam Beauchamp for Burst Digital -25/07/2016


Brand Centurion

Brand Centurion can solve many of the issues surrounding asset management by providing sales and marketing teams with instant access to the right version, of the right asset, every time. A dynamic web-to-print portal and digital asset management tool that can enable organisations to maintain brand-consistency, prevent costly mistakes and allow them to order branded print marketing materials instantly.

It’s web-based – so can be accessed from a browser, with no software to install. All you have to do is upload your approved design templates and brand assets, choose who has admin access to the portal, and then request print runs whenever you want. All transactions are logged to give you complete control over your budget.

Ready to protect your brand? Talk to us today and try out our demo. 

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Packaging Innovations: The Future is Digital

Packaging Icon

The potential of digital print is constantly broadening, and its benefits for packaging are only just being realised. In terms of customer engagement, personalisation, and re-usability, digital print has opened up a whole new world of opportunity. As the print quality has improved, the advantages of digital print have become clearer. In 2016, we will see more digitally printed packaging on retail shelves than ever before.

With millennials now considered the most influential generations, the behaviour of brands is changing. Packaging is consistently identified as one of the major influences on everyday purchase decisions. With generations that are engrossed with anything visual, packaging design characteristically outweighs the practical attributes of a product.

The challenge that is faced by brand owners is how to leverage digital print to drive profit from innovative marketing campaigns. With customers desire to connect with brands on all levels, brands have to work harder to get their market share by offering consumers a truly special experience with their product.

Personalised Packaging

Personalisation is the latest buzzword and has become a novel way to reach out to the masses. We have seen this from big brands such as Coca-Cola, Nutella and Marmite who have utilised digital print technology to personalise their bottles and jars.

In 2013, Coca-Cola started their infamous ‘Share-A-Coke’ campaign. The campaign saw them print 100,000 of the most popular names on the Coke bottle labels all over the world. Overall, this delivered a 6.8% increase in their global Facebook community and their values sales have increased 4.93% year on year since the campaign started.

Personalised packaging has proven popular amongst brand owners. It can give brands more direct contact with customers and strengthens the relationship that they are trying to build. Digital print has enable personalisation on a scale that wouldn’t be possible using the more traditional printing methods.

Interactive Packaging

Packaging has always been interactive. The look, the colour and the shape are just a few elements that subconsciously impact our perception of a brand. As mentioned, the design of the packaging for many is more important than the actual product attributes itself. With this in mind, digital print has allowed brands to explore interactivity with use of electroluminescent inks and conductive inks.

Packaging Oculto Light Up Beer BottleOculto, a lager blended with beer aged on tequila barrel staves recently unveiled two new interactive packaging innovations. These included a first-of-its kind illuminated bottle design that featured smart label technology. The smart label was created using electronic pathways, paper batteries and LED lights that were activated with a pressure switch. The switch was placed where the thumb naturally falls while holding a beer bottle, and once pressed; the LED light began to shine. This technology was a clear demonstration of how packaging and marketing can give customers a full sensory experience.

Brand owners aren’t just concerned with marketing gimmicks though; they are much more concerned with the practicalities interactive packaging can offer. Packaging for prescriptions could soon connect to your phone to give you a reminded when you need to take your next dose. Researchers are also working on an early-warning system that enables packaging to sense changes in the condition of the packaged food. Smart labelling and colour changes would be used to transmit those changes informing the consumer their products are no longer fresh. This development in intelligent packaging could dramatically reduce food waste.

Multi-Use Packaging

Packaging McDonlad's VR Headset

As a nation we have become more conscientious about our waste and the UK now has the fastest growing rates of recycling in the UK. With that in mind, brands are working to transform packaging from otherwise useless receptacles into useful items. Last year saw Ogilvy and Mather Tokyo turn Pizza Hut’s cardboard box into a working film projector. Powered by the user’s smartphone, the box contained a small lens which was inserted into a perforated hole in the side. When the user’s smartphone was placed in the box, the screen was displayed onto the wall.

Brands are also striving to make new technology accessible all through their packaging. When Google released Cardboard, its paper-and-velcro VR headset, the guys over at McDonald’s Sweden noticed an opportunity. In March of this year, McDonald’s began selling a limited number of Happy Meals in boxes. With a little construction, these could be transformed into VR headsets. By tearing eyes and nose holes and inserting lenses, kids got free a VR headset. Customers who bought one were then also given an access link to download the Happy Googles VR game, an animated skiing-race game called ‘Watch Out on the Slopes’. Investing in this new and exciting technology has proven a smart way at making consumers feel involved with a brand.

Retail continues to change at a dramatic pace and the demand for personalised and engaging experiences call for new approaches to packaging. With end users making the move to digital, print is now the major player in bridging the gap between physical products and the digital world.

Written by Liam Beauchamp for Burst Digital – 27/06/2016


Burst Digital

We are constantly pushing the boundaries with print. We also house some of the latest digital print technology that will allow you to produce dynamic and personalised marketing print assets that will open up channels to your customers and products.

 

 

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The Evolution of Print – Technological CPR

The Future of Print

Technology is constantly evolving and believe it or not, traditional print media is getting a technological overhaul. There is some hearsay in the industry that print is outdated but by combining print with some digital wizardry, print is being brought back to life. As a result of this, we are seeing big brands re-embracing print and incorporating it back into their marketing strategy.

With strong evidence to support the fact that engagement with print is now much higher that with ‘new media’, is print becoming the new ‘new media’? We believe so. With a little bit of technological CPR, print is now a multifaceted media that is making its comeback. Here is a quick look at the future of print:

volkswagen-polo-the-polo-principle-2-600-52358

3D Printing

3D Printing has been on the lips of a lot of people for the past 2 years. It has rapidly grown momentum and is set to be the next ‘big thing’ in the print industry. As 3D printing has become more viable, big companies are now starting to utilise the tool. Customers now have the ability to produce bespoke products, for example, personalised clothing, accessories and toys.

Volkswagen recently encouraged its Danish fans to design their dream Polo through the Volkswagen website. 40 of the best ideas were created using a 3D printer and displayed at a Copenhagen exhibition. An overall winner was then selected and the winners design was turned into a real, full size car.

3D printing still has a long way to go before it becomes “main stream” but with the number of applications, materials available and scales, the possibilities with 3D printing really are endless.

Augmented Reality

This is another big player in combined print and digital technology with marketers as it is currently one of the most accessible and it can offer customers the immersive experience they are looking for from brands. It also makes everything in the world seem way cooler! AR works by overlaying digital information onto the real world. Using your smartphone camera, a target image is detected and your phone can then project digital information onto that target image. This essentially brings the image to life.
layarar

Domino’s Pizza is one brand that has successfully used augmented reality in its marketing efforts on its billboards. By encouraging passer-by’s to view the billboard ads through their phones, customers were privy to special deals. These were then automatically uploaded to the Domino’s mobile app on their device. Customers were then able to order pizza directly from their phone.

Conductive Inks

Although this technology is still in its early stages, its applications offer marketers the opportunity to do something truly exciting Conductive inks work by combining ink with metals such as carbon, copper or silver. When printed, this serves as a wire for an electronic device. Eventually conductive ink could be used to bring print to life by generating a noise, pulling up an app on a smartphone or even turning on a light. This will essentially turn printed paper works into a touchscreen.

A collaboration between the University of Central Lancashire and leading newspaper published Trinity Mirror explored the future of publishing using conductive inks. In celebration of Steven Gerrard’s career at Liverpool and his 8 most memorable moments, an interactive print supplement was produced. Users connected a clip to the supplement and it allowed users to listen to audio snippets from momentous games. When the clip was connected to the edge of the print, pressing a printed button triggered online interactions. This CMS also gave publishers a dashboard view to monitor the analytics data from the supplement.

Final thoughts…

Technology is now altering the way customers interact with brands and their marketing. The take up of these technologies is still in its infancy but it is believed that by 2018, there will be over 200 million users of augmented reality apps. The challenge for marketers is to offer interactive editorial content that is exciting and relevant. This can only be done by converging the physical with the digital. The most holistic way for this to happen is for marketers to re-embrace print and the possibilities it can now offer.

Written by Liam Beauchamp for Burst Digital


At Burst Digital we are constantly pushing the boundaries when it comes to print marketing. Although these technologies are currently beyond the reach of many, with our expert knowledge in print, we can help you identify ways to ensure your print marketing stands out.