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A Publication Powered by Rider Dickerson

Engaging Marketing Minds

Vol 4, Issue 3, May/June 2014

No strings attached Why sending customers to your website matters INSIDE Making data sing Romancing your brand America’s love affair with digital


State-of-the-art Digital Printing: powered by our HP Indigo 7500 Digital Press. Traditional Sheetfed: turning print pieces into showpieces. Large Format: when you need big and brilliant. Heatset Web: when you haven’t got time to spare. Specialty Printing + Substrates: think loyalty cards, hydraulic laminate and magnetic strips. SmartTrack Technology: integrated marketing that spans microsites, personalized URLs, QR Codes and more. Fulfillment + Mailing: packing, shipping, storage. On-Demand Marketing Services: your own online hub, giving you web-to-print control over your materials, from ordering to fulfillment (even database marketing). iPaper Technology: PDFs become engaging, online experiences. And more.

publisher’s letter

The High Ground


uthor Scott Stratten writes, “If you believe business is built on relationships, make building them your business.” What Stratten and other thought leading experts find ironic in today’s highly connected, addicted-to-ROI world is that people buy from people they know and trust. Despite the incessant need for a CEO or CFO to manage every dollar and report back on the effect of the latest tweet, people buy from people and developing real relationships matters. So, in this highly electronic world where everyone has their heads down, the people who take time to build authentic relationships will shine.

Being yourself is a sustainable practice because it allows you to connect with people who are like-minded and share similar values. While many marketers are immersed in the immediate gratification of electronics and sales managers continue to Bill Barta rely on the archaic practice of cold calling, the brightest of us all are working on owning the high ground of thought leadership and authenticity. Being yourself is a sustainable practice because it allows you to connect with people who are like-minded and share similar values. In turn, when you have those common denominators, the likelihood of having a long-term relationship increases. Owning the high ground of thought leadership is when you endeavor to become a recognized expert in a field and, ultimately, become a known entity to the market. Once you establish that kind of cache, it sets you apart. In contrast, the oldfashioned cold call can commoditize a relationship right from Dean Petrulakis the start. In this issue, we wanted to take a deeper look at some of the strategies at your disposal – tools that can deepen your relationships and help you own the high ground. In our cover story, “No Strings Attached,” we highlight the idea that driving people to your website is critical to your engagement. In our second feature, “Making Data Sing,” we examine the premise that data is just noise without context – and that context only can come when you are intimate with a market. That’s part of owning the high ground. Enjoy the issue and all the best,

CONTENTS 03 Publisher’s Letter The High Ground

04 The Inbox

06 No strings attached Social vs. Corporate – What site do your customers frequent?

10 Making data sing

14 Trending with... Renowned innovator and bestselling author Lon Safko

15 Eye pads Survey shows how consumers are crazy for digital devices


Bill Barta, President & CEO, Rider Dickerson

Managing Editor

Dean Petrulakis, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Rider Dickerson

Art Direction

Brent Cashman

Bill Barta President & CEO Rider Dickerson

Dean Petrulakis Senior Vice President Business Development Rider Dickerson

Printed on 100# MPC Silk Text

printForum is published bimonthly by Rider Dickerson, copyright 2014. All rights reserved For more information contact 312-676-4119 printForum • May/June 2014




W Just like your dad did –

kind of


May/June 2014 • printForum

hen it comes to brand loyalty, you’ll never guess whom Millennials take after. Did you say their parents? According to Adroit Digital’s “Millennials: The New Age of Brand Loyalty” report, 64 percent feel the same level of, or greater, brand loyalty than their baby boomer or Generation X parents, while 24 percent feel more brand loyal than mom and dad. And while many Millennials have brand loyalty identical or more than their parents, 77 percent use a different set of criteria for selecting which brands they are loyal to. According to the survey, Millennials are loyal to brands that have a corporate conscience. They expect the brands they follow to be eco-friendly, to care more about the planet and to be willing to change.

What’s in a tweet?


t’s as simple as hitting, well, “Tweet.” But what happens after that? Depends on whom you ask. According to research from Social Media Marketing University (SMMU), while 40 percent of brands agree that Twitter is an effective marketing tool, 45 percent say there

are challenges in measuring its ROI. But that’s not stopping brands from using the social medium, with 46 percent saying they tweet once a day and 42 percent owning up to one to five times a day. Four percent send at least 10 tweets per day, research shows.

You always have to be ready for what’s next in technology and consumer behavior. A lot of people saw the rapid move from the web to mobile coming, but it happened a lot faster than most of us thought it would. – Former MySpace founder and CEO of the Social Gaming Network Chris DeWolfe on why it’s important to stay ahead of the curve

Romancing the Brand:

How Brands Create Strong, Intimate Relationships with Consumers By Tim Halloran

Consumers don’t just use brands – they engage in a rich, complex, ever-changing relationship with them. Seasoned marketers of the most successful brands know that consumers who feel emotionally connected to a brand stay loyal, resist marketing gimmicks from competitors and influence others to try the brand they love. So, how can marketers work to cultivate and grow those consumer relationships that drive lasting success for their brands? Tim Halloran believes the key to success is in the relationship. In “Romancing the Brand,” he shows you how to start, grow, maintain and troubleshoot a successful relationship between brand and consumer by sharing the secrets behind

establishing a mutually beneficial “romance.” Drawing on exclusive, in-depth interviews with managers of some of the world’s most iconic brands, Halloran shares the arsenal of classic and emerging marketing tools (think benefit laddering and word-of-mouth marketing) that make best-in-class brands successful. He also reveals what most marketers are missing in their quest to master new techniques such as social media and big data. Ultimately, “Romancing the Brand” provides marketers with a new roadmap for making brands strong, resilient and keeping consumers coming back for more. If you’re looking for an insightful guide to creating and maintaining a loyal following for your brand, this book is for you.

67 The percent of people who own a smartphone in the United States, according to the latest data from digital world measuring firm comScore. The numbers show that Android and iPhone combine for more than 93 percent of the U.S. market.

I know I am, but what are you? The last thing your brand needs is to get caught up in a game of “He Said/She Said” in the social media world, right? Yet, according to a report from Social Media Marketing University (SMMU), 55.5 percent of today’s brands do not have an effective strategy for dealing with negative comments on social networks. Just how bad is it? The report – “Turning Rage into Raves: How to Manage Complaints, Rants and Other Negative Posts in Social Media” – shows that 26.1 percent of respondents say their brand’s reputation has been tarnished because of negative social media posts, 15.2 percent have lost customers and 11.4 percent have lost revenue. The good news is that 24.5 percent are developing strategies for dealing with negative comments. printForum • May/June 2014


No attached

Social vs. Corporate – What site do your customers frequent?


acebook. Twitter. Pinterest. Instagram. Google+. Thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever to drive customers to your brand and build your audience. Or is it? No, that’s not a trick question. The inquiry is one that holds a legitimate place in the online-all-the-time, social media-centric world we live in today. And it’s a question that every brand must ask itself while placing a heavy emphasis on engaging with its customers and prospects on social media sites. You know the old saying in social media, right? “Don’t build a house on rented land.” That’s the advice Dan Grody tells his clients looking to take dead aim at owning the social media landscape. Grody, a partner with Tellem Grody Public Relations, likes to remind his clients that they don’t own social media – the Facebooks and Twitters of the world do.


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By Michael J. Pallerino

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No strings attached

“At the end of the day, you want to get people to your website and build your email database since you own that site. …It just seems crazy to rely only on social media for your web presence when you don’t own it.”

So, how you use social media depends on your organization and its eventual endgame. But as you build your overall strategy, Grody recommends employing a clear set of goals and putting extra emphasis on understanding why they are in place. “At the end of the day, you want to get people to your website and build your email database since you own that site. Everyone still needs a basic website. It just seems crazy to rely only on social media for your web presence when you don’t own it. Consumers will decide whether or not they will follow your company on social media.” The value of social sites is not to be taken lightly – they are an efficient way of showcasing a brand’s credibility – a means to remaining “trendy” and a method for demonstrating if your brand is gaining traction with consumers. Companies can use social to provide strong customer service and customer care, maximize brand awareness and increase visibility for their messaging, send their customers to the content they own, and drive email signups and engagement through activities such as contests.

– Dan Grody, Partner, Tellem Grody Public Relations

“You can and should invest in building other marketing channels, but if the traffic you acquire lands on an ineffective company website, you’re wasting much of the value in that traffic.” – Danny Maloney, CEO & Co-founder, Tailwind


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When brands use social media, they stare with wide-eyed wonder at key benefits such as customer acquisition and retention, increased online reputation and the ability to contribute to conversions. But Jean Doebey says that finalizing conversions and sales require the transition to a brand’s website. “The ideal situation is to combine the two,” says Doebey, CEO and founder of, which enables people and organizations to build their own micro-social networks atop and beyond traditional social platforms. “Available technologies now offer the opportunity to connect your social environments to your brand’s website. Ultimately, you want to send people to your website and have your social setting there, too.” Sending consumers to social sites offers brands a number of advantages in terms of customer acquisition and retention, conversions, and online reputation through customer advocacy and user generated experiences (UGX). It also can afford brands the opportunity to react to trending events and exhibit their social influence. The disadvantages of this approach include the limits on the amount of information that can be provided, the ability to carry out sales and

the question of discoverability through SEO as opposed to websites, which can be indexed by search engines. “The truth is, the approach a company adopts will depend greatly on the nature of the business or brand,” Doebey says. “The question is whether or not conversion and discoverability (through SEO) are issues for the brand. To seal a conversion, there must be a transition from social to a brand’s website. For that reason, a brand involved in e-commerce, for example, cannot rely solely on social. Equally, the absence of indexing by search engines from most social networks will impact a brand’s discoverability. But if a brand is not concerned with these factors, there would be less of a need for a strong company website. If their main focus was reputation management or engaging with consumers, a brand could conceivably operate primarily through social.”

Having your cake and … If you’re looking for a brand that has married the art of social and web marketing, Pepsi is your answer. The soft drink leader continues to show that it’s possible to humanize a brand through social media, tap into trending topics and increase social influence.

For example, its 2013 “Iconic Summer” fan engagement program gave fans a chance to earn prizes as well as gain access to music and entertainment events. The campaign also invited Pepsi loyalists to share their iconic summer moments through the brand’s various social media channels. The fan-submitted content was used at Pepsi events, and repurposed for TV, the web and social platforms. The Pepsi Pulse social-media dashboard also gave the brand a chance to interact with its fans on trending events, house engaging and entertaining brand-related news and features, and showcase user-generated content. “To take advantage of the benefits offered by social, companies must humanize their brand,” Doebey says. “By involving its employees and enabling them to post using their own avatar/ name/title and not the brand’s logo, a brand can recognize and respond to trending topics and develop its social influence. In doing so, it can shape the perceptions of its consumers, thereby opening up the opportunity to acquire and retain customers, manage its online reputation and potentially develop conversions.”

As long as the potential for social remains promising, the marketing world will debate whether it’s best to have a brand that provides relevant, educational content or to be the belle of the social media ball. “Being a social media darling isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” Doebey says. “It all depends on what a brand is trying to do on social. It’s a question of what they want to achieve. If the sole purpose of a brand’s social media campaign is to engage with consumers, then there’s nothing wrong with being a social media darling. If the objective is to educate people in order to get them to buy your product or service (i.e., conversion), it’s better to provide relevant content. However, if the goal is merely to raise brand awareness, then being a social media darling pays dividends. It can also help in terms of conversion, as the content you provide through social media can change how people perceive you. It can help you attract followers, gain credibility and ultimately increase a brand’s online reputation.” Where some brands hit the wall is when they try to engage customers through both social and website campaigns. For example, small business-

es are more likely to consider making their social channels their primary means of communication with customers. This can be a viable strategy, especially if you don’t have the resources to create and continuously improve a quality website. Danny Maloney says brands should have a website to anchor their social or other traffic. In the simplest form, they can be one page websites that explain who they are, what they offer, and include address and contact information for customers on the go, i.e., mobile, to find them. “That should be the bare minimum web presence for any small business,” says Maloney, CEO and co-founder of Tailwind, which delivers tools that help companies harness and make sense of social data. “Your website is your primary communication channel with your customers about your products, services or initiatives. It impacts how and when people will find you through search, social and other channels. For many businesses, it’s a key direct sales channel. You can and should invest in building other marketing channels, but if the traffic you acquire lands on an ineffective company website, you’re wasting much of the value in that traffic.”

TIPS TO BOOST YOUR CONSUMER ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY When it comes to social media, Jean Doebey, CEO and founder, of, offers five things every consumer engagement strategy should have: 5. Building and 1. Set clearly defined 2. Showcase 3. Actively participate 4. Empower advomaintaining trust – Don’t underescates – A sound goals that offer user-generated consumer engage– To successsome value to the content – In terms timate the social consumer – What of fostering a element of social ment strategy fully engage with relationship with media. Represenshould harness the consumers through is it that you want power of word-ofsocial media, you consumers to your fans, it’s imtatives that are must listen to what willing to interact mouth recommengain from talking portant that your dations. Give your your consumabout, or with you brand provides a and respond to ers have to say, in a social setting? platform for them consumers through ardent supporters to openly share your social sites the chance to avoid asking for ultimately will champion and information from their content. them that is not help humanize defend your brand your brand. across your social truly relevant and media networks. let them know they have a voice in your community.

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Making data



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irds on the wires. Who hasn’t seen a flock of birds perched together on a series of power lines? It’s a common visual element in cluttered urban and suburban landscapes worldwide (that most of us don’t notice).

Reading a newspaper one morning, musician Jarbas Agnelli had a different perspective. He saw a photograph of birds sitting on five parallel wires and thought that it looked like a musical score. The birds’ relation to each other spread out on the five wires suggested chords and a melody to the composer, so he sat down at his piano to see what the melody might sound like. The resulting tune was featured in an award-winning YouTube video, Birds on the Wires, which has been viewed by nearly a million people worldwide, and in a popular Brazilian TED talk.

Similarly, many of today’s successful companies are hearing music in the vast and cluttered landscape of data, where others are just hearing noise. In a world where Google routinely captures a petabyte (1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes) of information every hour, it’s becoming more of a challenge to listen carefully and separate the music from the noise. Perspective, once again, is the key. “Think like a marketer, not like a techie,” says Donald Hinman, SVP with Epsilon Data Services. Often referred to as “Dr. Data,” Hinman has a Ph.D. in Mass Communication Research and is a 35-year veteran in the field of data.

By Lorrie Bryan

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Making data sing

Organizations can suffer from analysis paralysis when there is too much data. The solution is to first have a clear understanding of your objectives.


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“Before you dive into Big Data, you need to be clear about your objectives,” Hinman says. “Make sure you know what you want to achieve, and determine if data will enable you to do a better job. It’s more important to understand marketing than to understand Hadoop (standard computing platform written in Java). Narrow your focus by asking the questions a marketer would ask: who, where, what. Who is my customer, where do I find him and what does he need that I can provide?”

Eliminating the noise By everyone’s measure, there is a loud crescendo cacophony of data circling the globe – more than we can effectively process in the foreseeable future. With the increased technical capability to gather and store data, the exploding amounts of data shared on the internet and faster processing times, you easily and quickly can collect vast amounts of structured statistical data (how many units purchased) and unstructured data (how those units were regarded) relating to your clients and potential clients. But just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Unfortunately, unimportant data

seems to be growing much faster than relevant data and drowning it out. (Do you really need to know what your client had for dinner last night?) Hinman says that when assessing data, you must examine it in terms of The Four Vs (see “Breaking down the Vs of Big Data,” page 13). “You can readily determine the volume, velocity and variety of data, but the more important question, and the more difficult to determine, is, ‘What is the value of the data? Is it worth looking at? What insights will it help you gain?’”

Fine-tuning Dan Soschin, VP of marketing at Ultimate Medical Academy in Tampa, Fla., says that having a clear objective is instrumental to success. From his perspective, Big Data enables more personalization for marketers to create better user experiences for future and existing customers. “This extends into all aspects of the customer lifecycle – advertising, acquisition, nurturing, selling, fulfillment, loyalty, and so on,” Soschin says. “More data points enable organizations to fine tune each of these experiences by better knowing their customers.”

“As a marketer, I endeavor to understand first what my objective is, then how I will measure my campaigns against that objective before I ever launch the campaign.” – Dan Soschin, VP of Marketing, Ultimate Medical Academy




Organizations can suffer from analysis paralysis when there is too much data. The solution is to first have a clear understanding of your objectives. “As a marketer, I endeavor to understand first what my objective is, then how I will measure my campaigns against that objective before I ever launch the campaign,” Soschin says. “In other words, I would not run an advertisement or marketing campaign without first knowing what my goal is and how to measure the results against that goal.”

Staying in tune At American Public University, data is used for more than analyzing purchasing patterns and refining marketing programs. It uses data to stay in tune with their students from enrollment through graduation and beyond. “We focus on the entire lifecycle of the student. We’re an online, data-driven university; we codify everything,” says Sebastian Diaz, AVP of Marketing Analytics and a former college professor of statistics. “What zip code students are from, how often they log on, when they log on – it all has value when it comes to ensuring the ongoing success of

our students, and that has huge implications for us. We care about what happens to our students after they enroll, so we use predictive analytics to identify and address potential problems that may prevent student success. We are proactive. We target at-risk students and then provide those students the added support they need to graduate.” The university’s endeavor to stay in tune with students has helped earn the school consistently high reviews and a No. 34 ranking on U.S. News’ “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.” Whether you need to fine-tune your marketing or stay more in tune with your clients, the right data used appropriately can transform meaningless prattle into a resounding melody. “All data is not necessarily useful,” Hinman says. “But data has the potential to help marketers make better decisions and faster decisions – you can react to changes in the marketplace much quicker than ever before. It gives marketers a good picture of what’s happened in the past, what’s happening right now, and if used optimally, it can give you great insights into what’s going to happen in the future.”

How much data? Google reportedly captures a petabyte (composed of customer transactions, photo uploads, social media posts, business statistics, and much more) every hour. One petabyte could hold approximately 20 million four-door filing cabinets full of text. It could hold 500 billion pages of standard printed text.


How fast is data coming at you? Increasingly faster with improved hardware and software technology. Data has a short shelf life – it must be captured while it’s timely and relevant.


Data includes both structured (columns of statistics) as well as unstructured information that can be derived from narrative texts like tweets and blogs. Analysis of language and narrative data is a growing field.


Not all data is significant for decision making. Big Data encompasses everything coming across the internet, but a large amount of that data has little importance to business or government.

printForum • May/June 2014



Interview with Lon Safko

Trending with ... Renowned innovator and bestselling author Lon Safko


sk Lon Safko, and he’ll tell you that the secret to success is easy – you have to see the world from a different perspective each and every day. When you have founded 14 successful companies, hold three U.S. patents and are in the Guinness Book of World Records, people tend to listen. Steve Jobs did. When Safko created the “First Computer To Save A Human Life,” Jobs coined it. That computer, along with 18 other inventions and more than 30,000 of his papers are in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. We sat down with Safko to get his take on how to win in the game of marketing.

What do you know about marketing today that the rest of us don’t? A lot of companies are making a mistake about how they market. If you call yourself a social media expert, you’re announcing to the world that you’ve been left behind. Social media is not a replacement for traditional marketing – it just requires a completely different set of rules to perform effectively. The difference between social media and traditional media is that we’ve moved from a one-way monologue to a two-way dialogue, and that has scared many marketing and advertising agencies, and internal marketing departments. The most successful marketers will realize that social media is simply another marketing tool – one that fuses all of the tools (traditional, social and digital) into one cohesive set of marketing tools.

What traits should every good marketer have? He must have insight, an innate understanding of what a customer wants, the ability to convert that to a need and the way to effectively communicate that need to arouse an action. I had the opportunity to work with (not for) Steve Jobs and Apple. Steve was an outstanding entrepreneur and an amazing marketer. He knew what people wanted, made it look as though they needed it, and then


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communicated that message more effectively than anyone I have ever known. Apple didn’t invent the first MP3 Player, but Steve knew how to take a technology – whether it was the Xerox Mac interface or an off the shelf MP3 Player – and make it sexy and functional. He made people think they needed it.

What’s the “secret sauce” when it comes to branding?

If you’re competing in a commodity market, compete on quality, functionality, ease of use or just because it’s sexier. But never compete on price.

I’m going to go old school and say consistency. You must have consistency in your images, colors, music and/or sound (that “signature” tone a Mac makes when starting up), and repetition. McDonald’s Golden Arches. Mercedes’ propeller. Apple’s apple. The chili in Chili’s. All of these iconic brands are immediately recognizable because of consistency.

What’s the best piece of marketing advice you ever received? It was more of “learned it the hard way” piece of advice: never compete on price, not even if you’re a commodity with a ton of competition. I once ran an Apple retail store that had one direct competitor – another Apple store in an

adjacent town. People would sit with me for two to three hours, get a written price quote, and then go buy it from my competitor. We would continually undercut each other’s prices. This went on until we both went out of business two years later. If you don’t have any competition, price and quality doesn’t matter. If you’re competing in a commodity market, compete on quality, functionality, ease of use or just because it’s sexier. But never compete on price.

What’s the one thing every marketer should learn in 2014? The ability to fuse. In my latest book, “The Fusion Marketing Bible,” I talk about traditional marketing, digital marketing (Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing or pay-per-click, Really Simple Syndication, etc.) and social media marketing. They are all just different tools, used a different way, to market your products or services. But they must be fused, integrated and combined. The smart companies are starting to figure this out. In five years, there will be no more social media experts or agencies specializing in social media. We will all go back to just marketing.

Before You


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