Monthly Archives: August 2011

How are we doing? Seriously, we want to know…

When was the last time you asked your customers their opinion? When was the last time you acted on it? I have seen it in grocery stores. A board with a place for PUBLIC customer comments and PUBLIC employee responses below.

“Hey, I don’t like your new sodas. I want the old ones back!” — Fred

“Hi Fred, we’ve had issues getting that soda from the supplier but we will work twice as hard now to get it” — Soda Manager.

You know that YOU like to be listened to. Don’t your customers? Throw away your old “Suggestion Box” and build one online or put up a board in your office and use those comments to make yourself better!

___________________________

Joe Gass @ Heritage Printing & Graphics

5900 Harris Technology Blvd, Suite G, Charlotte, North Carolina 28269 * 704-551-0700     www.heritageprintingcharlotte.com

 22725 Washington Street, Leonardtown, Maryland 20650 *                 301-475-1700 * www.heritageprinting.com

 Veteran Owned and Operated

Wide Format – Signs, Banners & Banner Stands, Displays, Posters, Wall and Window Graphics, Vehicle and Floor Graphics, Backlit Signs, Retail Point of Purchase, End Caps and Toppers, On-Site Installation, Kit Packing and Fulfillment

Offset and Digital – Newsletters, Magazines, Publications, Catalogs, Conference and Meeting Materials, Brochures, Rack Cards, Presentation Folders and Direct Mail

Viral videos, QR codes, and late night connections

As business owners, we’re all looking for new and innovative ways to connect with customers. NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” managed to do just that with a well-placed QR code held up during last Friday’s broadcast. On the show, host Jimmy Fallon, guest Stephen Colbert, former “American Idol” Taylor Hicks, and a bevy of others (including house band, The Roots) sang an over-the-top rendition of “Friday,” a song which came to fame recently in a viral video by Rebecca Black. Near the end of the performance, a staffer held up a card containing a QR code.

QR (quick response) codes are special barcodes you can print anywhere that “translate” from a simple block pattern to a predetermined website address when photographed (or scanned) and “read” by QR-code-enabled devices, such as many smartphones. They’re kind of like a graphic version of a bit.ly or tinyurl.com link.

Anyway, observant viewers, who photographed the QR code on their smartphones, were treated to a video in which Fallon thanked fans for helping raise money for the charity DonorsChoice.org. But it didn’t end there.

At the beginning of this “hidden” video, Fallon held up a QR code, which he led fans to believe was the same QR code his staffer had held up during the show. However, it wasn’t the same code, and those who photographed that second QR code were treated to another video, in which Fallon provided a quick “tour” of the contents of his desk.

A third QR code (held up by Fallon in the second bonus video) led to a final video, again featuring Fallon at his desk. In this video, Fallon offered a sneak preview of some upcoming features on the show and thanked viewers for their loyalty.

So, could you or I recreate this kind of elaborate media campaign for our own brands or companies? Probably not to the same extent Fallon was able to. After all, we don’t have the funding of a major media company (NBC) at our disposal. But that doesn’t mean we can’t find equally innovative ways to use technology to our own advantage. All of the basic tools Fallon used — QR codes, video, and social media — are available to us, as well. We just need to find ways to use those tools to reach our own “audience” and grow our brands.

Joe Gass @ Heritage Printing & Graphics

5900 Harris Technology Blvd, Ste G, Charlotte, NC 28269 * 704-551-0700 * www.heritageprintingcharlotte.com

22725 Washington Street, Leonardtown, MD 20650 * 301-475-1700 * www.heritageprinting.com

Wide Format – signs, banners & banner stands, displays, posters, wall and window graphics, vehicle and floor graphics, decals, backlit signs, point of purchase, end caps and toppers, on-site installation and fulfillment

Offset and Digital – newsletters, magazines, publications, catalogs, conference and meeting materials, brochures, rack cards, presentation folders and direct mail

Veteran Owned and Operated

Building it is Not always enough to Make Them Come

Building it is not always enough to make them come. Many businesses work very hard to maximize search engine optimization on their websites. They then sit back and expect increased traffic flow. But SEO alone isn’t enough anymore.While SEO is a very important part of building a professional website, marketing is also crucial to the success of your site. Emphasize your web address on all your print marketing pieces, ads, giveaway items, email signatures, and the like. Here are a few additional creative ways to entice visitors to your site:Offer a free, unique tool at your website. For example, a walk-in healthcare clinic could offer a “View Current Wait Times Online” feature.

Promote coupons and special discounts available only through your website. This will encourage prospects and customers to revisit your site frequently.
Create a free local online listing for your business through Google, Bing, and/or Yahoo!
Post informative or creative how-to videos that are relevant to your business on YouTube. This will not only promote your business but also drive traffic to your site.
Publicize a contest or giveaway, with a sign-up on your website. Not only will you draw people to your site, but you can also increase your database for future marketing.
Submit news releases to print and online publications in your industry, and include a link to your site on each release.
Some of the best ideas for drawing visitors to your website might come directly from your coworker team. Consider creating an internal contest to encourage ideas for an innovative website promotion, and reward the winner of the best idea. The more valuable the prize (such as a cash gift or PTO), the more thought your team will put forth.
Joe Gass @ Heritage Printing & Graphics
5900 Harris Technology Blvd, Ste G, Charlotte, NC 28269 * 704-551-0700 * www.heritageprintingcharlotte.com
22725 Washington Street, Leonardtown, MD 20650 * 301-475-1700 * www.heritageprinting.com
Wide Format – signs, banners & banner stands, displays, posters, wall and window graphics, vehicle and floor graphics, decals, backlit signs, point of purchase, end caps and toppers, on-site installation and fulfillment
Offset and Digital – newsletters, magazines, publications, catalogs, conference and meeting materials, brochures, rack cards, presentation folders and direct mail
Veteran Owned and Operated