September 22 marked the first day of fall for 2016. As of today, there are 109 days remaining until 2017. What are you going to do with them?
The answer to this question can vary depending on the type of organization you have. So, let’s look at the most common denominators. Continue reading
Guest post by Jayde Ferguson - Perth, Australia
Poster printing has become an inherent part of any business organisation, whether big or small. Businesses need banners, posters and various visual collateral to communicate information to clients and potential customers.
This is why it becomes important to choose the right paper quality that not only balances your cost considerations, but also looks good enough to represent and enhance your business or organization. We look at a few tips on how to choose the perfect paper type for your posters.
1. Balance Cost
For small scale organisations, cost is one of the most important factors, but even large scale businesses do not have an endless supply of money and are always look for effective ways to save and manage costs. Thus, it is important to balance this factor and consider not only the paper type, but making sure they are professionally printed at a poster printing company to save on costs.
If you are going to print a large number of copies, go for something that is inexpensive. For quality considerations, you can still make it look good by choosing blended paper materials like cotton, bamboo, polyester and alpha cellulose. These materials still provide a stylish look whilst not putting a huge hole in your company’s pocket.
2. Life of the Posters
You need to decide how long you want your printed posters to last. Do they need to be durable enough to last the distance? Or are they only required to be showcased for the next two weeks?
For long term projects, your paper needs to be acid free and thick (about 60 lbs. or above). Not determining the life cycle of your posters prior to printing can be a costly mistake that’s easily overlooked.
3. Personal Taste and Company Image
Determining your own personal tastes and the image of the company you are showcasing, can help in deciding what paper fits best for the project. High quality paper with a glossy or silk finish gives a very sophisticated and classy look.
But, some designs might favour a matte finish over a glossy one. Some poster papers have a warm tone (tending towards red) which makes them pleasing to the eye while others have a cool tone (tending towards blue). These choices will determine your final result to a large extent and should fit with the design of the poster.
The location is important because for outdoor posters, material needs to be strong and durable while indoor posters can afford to sacrifice durability for looks. Again, thickness becomes an essential factor in this because you do not want the poster to crumple under its own weight.
High grade photo paper would do the trick for outdoor posters. For indoor posters, you can go for various materials depending on your target audience.
If they are purely internal but need to stay professional, for example boardrooms, go for photo grade medium thickness, glossy finish and an additional protective coating. If it is going to be in the usual staff rooms, standard printing paper made from cotton would be durable and not too costly either.
Defining the purpose of your project and putting together a brief before your start is the key factor in determining what paper type will work best. Protective coating is one of the better options with its waterproof varnish and will ensure your posters are immune to external factors, so keeping this in mind to incorporate into your budget is ideal.
This article was written by Jayde Ferguson who writes for Snap, an Australian printing and marketing firm.
P.S. For your printing needs in the U.S., click here.
It’s OK. I give you permission. Your smaller business or nonprofit doesn’t have to do every imaginable marketing tactic under the sun.
This holds especially true if you work in an environment where you regularly hear: “I just read an article about [fill in the blank] and we should be doing that.”
Answer: No, you shouldn’t!
Marketing is NOT a hodgepodge of the flavors of the month.
It isn’t something you want to change every time a new shiny tool comes along. There’s more to it than that.
To succeed with your marketing efforts takes thought, strategy, and perseverance, not having a profile on every social media site. Every business and organization is different - some have similarities, but no two are exactly the same. The ideal is to develop a marketing plan that best suits your organization, taking into account its human and financial resources.
A marketing plan not only helps organizations define where they are going and how to get there, it also helps pinpoint the specific tactics that are doable. If your organization cannot possibly manage everything on its marketing tactics list, it’s time to pare it down and focus on the “best bets” - the ones with the most promise or that have proven to be successful.
If your business or organization is locally-based, you probably don’t need that many tactics that target the entire planet. You’ll want to find those marketing channels that help it reach its targeted, local market segments. And, even if you work nationally or globally, you’ll still want to identify the marketing channels that help your organization reach its target audiences.
Another benefit of a marketing plan is establishing responsibility and accountability for marketing efforts. Gone are the days when the “marketing department” was solely responsible, whether that encompasses one individual or several. Today, everyone must be a marketer, engaging customers (donors, clients, volunteers, etc.)
Tom French, Laura LaBerge, and Paul Magill summed this up well in a McKinsey & Company article entitled, “We’re all marketers now.”
Companies of all stripes must not only recognize that everyone is responsible for marketing but also impose accountability by establishing a new set of relationships between the function and the rest of the organization. In essence, companies need to become marketing vehicles, and the marketing organization itself needs to become the customer-engagement engine, responsible for establishing priorities and stimulating dialogue throughout the enterprise as it seeks to design, build, operate, and renew cutting-edge customer-engagement approaches.”
This principle can be scaled for every organization - no matter its size.
So, sigh deeply. You don’t have to do it all in marketing, nor should you try. Be strategic for the best possible outcomes.
Is your organization trying to do too much? How is it managing? Do you have any tips to share?
On July 1st, Canada turns 146, and on July 4th, America marks its 237th year of independence. As we celebrate the independence of these two great nations, it made me think of the ways in which we work today.
Whether you work for a small business or a nonprofit organization, what does independence look like in your workplace? Does your organization work independently from others? What about its departments or areas of responsibility? Do people collaborate and share information?
The Collins English dictionary defines interdependence as “dependence between two or more people, groups, or things.” Now, that’s more realistic, isn’t it? When we collaborate and work for a common objective, we can accomplish so much more.
Earlier this year, Cisco conducted an internal study called the Cisco Collaboration Work Practice Study, in which it uncovered that “employees value collaboration. Working together and having multifaceted perspectives trumps working alone and often leads to idea propagation.” The company said its recommendations will work for any organization that wants to derive greater business value by improving collaboration.
In a post-PC world, collaboration is more critical than ever. It means getting the right information to the right people at the right time to make the right decision. In turn, these well-informed and quicker decisions help organizations get work done, fostering productivity, innovation, and growth.”
The nonprofit sector has embraced interdependence in the past few years, partly out of necessity during the Great Recession, and partly because they’ve seen how successful it can be. When organizations collaborate, they can surely make more of a difference to their mutual causes.
I’ve also seen an increase in smaller businesses working interdependently, even with competitors. If Company A provides a service that Company B does not, and vice versa, it can be of mutual benefit when they collaborate, rounding out their business offerings so they don’t have to turn their own customers away. It’s a win-win for both sides.
Now, you may be wondering what this has to do with marketing. It’s quite simple. When employees collaborate and work interdependently, they are more satisfied and engaged.
And, when they are more engaged internally, they will be better brand ambassadors externally. Providing exceptional customer service to your customers, clients, donors, volunteers, members, etc., is what helps your brand stand out and bring people back.
So, Happy Interdependence Day! And, to my Canadian readers, Happy Canada Day! To my American readers and friends, Happy 4th of July!