Winner of Best of the Best

Ad and Plaque

For 13+ years we have been voted Best of the Best by the readers of the Auburn Journal, and we couldn’t be more thankful to our community and our fantastic customers.

Since opening the business in 1946 we have striven to be been involved in the community and has enjoyed giving back. In 1984 Brad and Merrill purchased the business and have since continued to be involved and continue the tradition of giving back and supporting many community events. Being a big part of our community, being involved and giving back is what I am passionate about. I do it because I see a great future for our community and all there is to benefit from for me, our company and my kids.

Besides being such a staple of the community we work hard at being a partner to the land trusts and non-profits locally. We give back to many non-profits and work closely with them to find new ways of attracting donors and new revenue. Using print, email, direct mail, signage and promotional products to elevate their clients message in a cohesive, timely and branded manner. Our clients have seen that the value improves exponentially with a multi-touch approach.

I strongly feel that we are a one of a kind shop in this area with all the equipment and up to date technology that we have in our North Auburn location. Feel free to stop by and see all that we have to offer.

The 5 Stages of Awareness that can make or break your campaign

People don’t buy products, they buy a better version of themselves.

A better parent, a better friend, a better marketer, a better business owner…Think about it; you might buy a seat for a webinar, on how to increase your profits using social media, because you want to be a business owner or marketer with a more profitable business.

It’s so obvious that it can sometimes be hard to figure out the next step in your marketing plan to reach the people that want or need what you are selling in order for them to feel fulfilled. Sometimes you just have to talk to somebody who has been there before. That’s what we sent our designer/marketer-in-the-making out to do. She found a great resource in Talia Wolf’s messages about reaching people where they are in the stages of awareness. The whole time she was reading or listening to the webinars, she realized that she was also in a sales funnel—Talia’s sales funnel. And she was OK with that because what she was getting out of the experience made her want to go all the way to the end. She recommends that you, the reader, check this person out here: https://getuplift.co/ and you will not be disappointed.

Before we go further, let’s examine the difference between marketing and sales.

They go hand in hand and cannot survive without each other. What makes them different is the order in which they are used, and how they are used. The marketing department’s job is to do the research, plan product launches and campaigns, and provide collateral for the sales people. The sales department needs to get educated by the marketing department on what they are selling, get familiar with it, and then go out and well…solve problems! Both departments have a role in the typical sales process.

There are 5 stages of client awareness during the sales process and it is up to marketers and their sales people to nudge potential clients through the stages. The end goal is to solve the person or company’s pain. Don’t sell to them, solve their pain.

cool fox shows the 5 stages of awareness5 stages of awareness:

  1. Unaware. These people don’t know they have a pain that needs solving quite yet, but they ARE going through the pain. They need to be shown that there is pain and that they have it.
  2. Pain Aware. These people know they have a pain. Let them see that you know and understand their pain. This is where you can show them some DIY solutions and push them to Solution Aware. Don’t show your products yet; you are still letting them get to know you.
  3. Solution Aware. They know there are solutions, services, platforms that can solve their pain but don’t know what is right for their particular circumstances. Talk about different solutions and how your solution solves their pain. Do NOT talk about features of your product yet. Focus on solving pain first. Pushes them into the product aware phase.
  4. Product Aware. They know you, your competitors, etc., and are just not convinced you are the right one. Now you can talk feature, services, prices, etc. You’ve already shown them that they have a pain, you understand their pain, there are solutions and yours is one, now show them how yours is better than the other solutions. It’s important that you wait until this stage to do this. Skipping the other steps is a good way to lose people. You have go to hold their hand a little so they know that you care about solving their pain.
  5. Most aware. People decide to convert but they need a buy button, a call to action. If you did a good job on the other 4 steps, you get the opportunity to make a difference in their professional or personal lives. If you have failed to make your case in the other 4 steps, you will lose them here.

Continue reading The 5 Stages of Awareness that can make or break your campaign

3 Million chances to convert with direct mail

In 2017, almost 3 million pieces of direct mail passed through our building. That’s a lot of mail! Among them were catalogs, oversized postcards, standard mail, letter sets, etc. That’s three million chances for businesses to get their potential clients to take action. How well will it work? Let’s take a look.

As a business owner, you may have heard that direct mail made a comeback after the recession slump. Well, it never really left as a viable option; the recession just reduced the competition!

direct mail has much higher response rates than other marketing channelsDirect mail is doing well today with or without recovery. Check out these stats from the Data and Marketing Association Response Report that we gleaned from Compu-Mail:

  1. Direct mail household response rate is 5.1% (compared to .6% email, .6% paid search, .2 online display, .4% social media). This is the highest response rate the DMA has ever reported, since coming out with the Response Rate Report in 2003.
  2. At 6.6%, oversized envelopes have the greatest household response rates over other mediums (followed by postcards at 5.7% and letter-sized envelopes at 4.3%).
  3. At 37%, oversized envelopes have the greatest household return on investment over other mediums (followed by postcards and letter-sized envelopes at 29%).
  4. The response rate for direct mail among people aged 18-21 years old is 12.4%.
    The top response rate tracking methods are online tracking such as PURLs (61%), call center or telephone (53%), and code or coupon (42%).

So, what if you aren’t getting the responses for your direct mail that you see in these stats?

It all comes down to two things: 1. Foot-in-mouth problems 2. Attention to your target market and where they are in the 5 stages of awareness. This dictates copy (words), design, and timing of your mail piece.
Continue reading 3 Million chances to convert with direct mail

On a budget and tight deadline? Browse our Idea Book

It’s a given that in most industries you can have only two of these three things at any time: low price, good quality, and quick service. What if you just want a smidgen of all three? Purdy please?

You’re not exactly Mr. Monopoly, you don’t want to just plop some text on a brochure and call it good, and you need it yesterday. Yes, yes, you should have a budget for this, you should have been prepared far enough in advance to hire a good designer, and you knew this was coming —but sometimes not. Or sometimes you just need a little mercy!

So, here is a smidgen of luck for you. We can make you a custom piece, but we can also use some pre-made templates to get you started. Call it an idea generation tool if you will. Just go here, download our catalog, and reference which one you want to use. We have the same catalog in our office (of course) so we know which one you are talking about.

Browse the idea book by going here and clicking on the image of the book: http://www.api-marketing.com/our-services/design-services/

Authenticity in Modern Marketing

A free range, grass fed blog postAuthenticity.  What does it mean to you?
Is it a pristine, original painting? A perfectly restored classic car? Perhaps organic fruits and vegetables? Artisan firewood? Using leeches as a way to heal wounds? Well, you get the picture. Humanity can get a little carried away with authenticity. But it sells. In fact, the Rule of Seven (“rule” stating that you must contact a person 7 times before they will consider your product or service), is becoming a laughable thing of the past. It’s no longer about how many times you contact somebody, it’s about HOW you contact them and if it is RELEVANT and COMPELLING to them.

We are obsessed with authenticity
In the digital age we are bombarded with demands for our attention,  In our over-processed lives nearly every outlet is untrustworthy. The things we do trust are original, simple, and down to earth. We are drawn to people and other creatures that persist, and that are unapologetic originals—because we want that too. This phenomena can be seen in nearly every issue on every side of the political aisle and is manifested in different ways.

Businesses can direct that passion and drive for authenticity on a product or service by speaking the new language of the consumer.
Continue reading Authenticity in Modern Marketing

Is Your Social Content Carefully Planned Out?

SOCIAL MEDIA PLAN
When content is created on an ad-hoc basis, you risk promoting content that’s off-brand, or off-target for your long-term company objectives. Planned content and regular posting allows for a consistent workflow to maintain the quality of the content that your audience sees. If you are like most people working on their social media, you have a busy schedule, and would benefit from a regular routine and an established workflow. Great content will flourish from this consistency.

PURPOSE OF YOUR CONTENT
Content is one of the key parts of the tool kit when working towards Social Keyboardyour long-term goals for social media along with advertising, community involvement and internal alignment. Content should always
be aligned with the social media strategy and with the goals you’ve defined. That is, if your overall goals for social focus on awareness and engagement, tailor your content accordingly. Creating content deliberately and thoughtfully, and giving forethought to the action you want the user to take with your content, creates targeted and powerful messages.

CONCLUSION
Your social presence can bring the best of your organization to the forefront. When there are clear directional lines between the needs of your audience and the corresponding content, it’s usually representative of a company that has distinct, functioning social goals. The actualization of a good social content strategy becomes tactical. Your voice that your audience will recognize, and should be one that proactively meets their needs. Your posts must not be a bland industry message, it’s an approachable human presence that naturally points the right customers in the right direction.

Consistency – Quality Content – Commitment

The CMO’s Guide to Mobile Marketing

CMO guide
This content marketing e-book is a great resource for your business.

The modern day marketing mix is vastly different than the days of yore.  Previously, marketers only had print, TV and radio to choose from.  Budgets and the target audience dictated where and how your brand, products and services were presented. Now, it is a totally different set of parameters.  Your prospective customer is bombarded with far more messages in more places from the time they wake up to the time they turn off their tablet and fall asleep. Where do you and your company fit in?

This guide explains the fastest growing marketing channel, the mobile device, and its myriad users. From mobile search to SMS, MMS to Push Marketing and DMP, learn how it all applies to you and your branding goals this year.

Click the link below to download the complete PDF.
API-CMOsGuideToMobileMarketing_15-1

Brought to you by Oracle Marketing Cloud and API Marketing

Data is still King

Crown 11Who gets your message is the most important part of any campaign, if your a business is looking for new customers. You may have the greatest offer ever. You may have the best product that is on a must have wish list. Your timing is impeccable. None of that matters if you don’t reach the right prospects and miss your target audience. That is why your data, your list, is KING.

I did a simple review of many of the types of data sources that are available to build a database. Whether you are using it for print, e-mail, social media or even phone calls, this outline can give you some insight to make your KINGDOM even bigger.

Download the White Paper Databases Made Easy

When Marketing Works

I read about the new Peanuts movie and one of the creative ways they are promoting the movie. It’s smart, it’s fun, it’s great marketing. Besides it being cute, I like how the website uses advance HTML and preloaded effects to make your experience fast, easy, and keep you on the site. Below is image I created for myself and Merrill. If you have a few minutes, give it a try. APIM_PeanutsClick Here and get ready to be “Peanut-ized”

In fact we’re having a contest. Whoever makes the best Brad or Merrill character will win a $25 Starbucks gift certificate. Just go to the site, make your likeness of one of us, download and send it to peanuts@api-marketing.com. You will have untill the 31st of October and we will have our staff vote on the best likeness. Enter as many times as you like, and like everything, “some restriction will apply”. Have a blast!