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A Publication Powered by Rider Dickerson

Engaging Marketing Minds

Vol 5, Issue 5, September/October 2015

INSIDE Impact Trending with Ray Makela The social media conundrum


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publisher’s letter

Bathwater T Bill Barta

Dean Petrulakis

he idea that a given market is considered “buyer friendly” versus “seller friendly” is prevalent these days. If a market is saturated with supply, it is believed that buyers have all the leverage. In turn, many businesses invite competition, and then feel the pressure to lower prices. Certainly, it’s easy to color a market toward the buyer, but that mindset is not healthy for the business overall. Data may tell us that pricing is low and that the number of substitute products and services is high, but giving way to those variables distracts us from connecting with clients on a differentiated level. Our contention is that if we simply defer to the metrics of a business We are not saying that environment, we are not creating value. More specifically, value is created you throw the baby out through a deep level of understanding of a community and by entrenching with the bathwater and yourself and your company within it. disregard the pricing We are not saying that you throw the baby out with the bathwater and within a market. We disregard the pricing within a market. We believe that over the long term, believe that over the sustainability is rooted in your brand’s relationship to your clients. Just belong term, sustainability cause you may have to sell certain products at lower levels, doesn’t mean you toss aside the opportunities that may not be explicitly clear right now. is rooted in your brand’s When you have a deeper relationship with your clients, you become relationship to your clients. a trusted voice in their world. The sale of a lower priced product without a focus on building trust defines your brand at a level that can prove to be unrecoverable. Consequently, the sale of a lower priced product, coupled with trust, sets you up for an impactful future. Our cover story, “Back in the Saddle,” examines why it’s important to embrace the lessons learned from the missteps that happen along the way and what future disciplines they can help you make. Our second feature, “Impact,” takes a hard look at the art of going deeper than data and exploring the benefits of a more intimate engagement with your market. We hope that some of the lessons inside can help you strengthen the relationships and commitments you are building with your customers. Enjoy this issue,

Bill Barta President & CEO Rider Dickerson

CONTENTS

03

Publisher’s Letter

04 The Inbox

Bathwater

10

06

Back in the Saddle Tolerating failure and winning against all odds

14

Impact

Trending with...

Going deeper than data

Sales thought leader Ray Makela

Printed on 100# MPC Silk Text

Dean Petrulakis Senior Vice President Business Development Rider Dickerson

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The social media conundrum ROI: The biggest challenge for marketers

Publisher

Bill Barta, President & CEO, Rider Dickerson

Managing Editor

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

Art Direction

Brent Cashman Editorial and Creative Direction: Conduit Inc. - www.Conduit-Inc.com printForum is published bimonthly by Rider Dickerson, copyright 2015. All rights reserved For more information contact dpetrulakis@riderdickerson.com 312-676-4119 printForum • September/October 2015

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The

Inbox

Click me mobile D

on’t look now, but mobile clicks account for almost 40 percent of all email clicks, according to analysis by Yesmail Interactive. Because mobile devices are becoming indispensable, marketers are starting to effectively adjust by incorporating responsive design in their emails, building adaptive landing pages or optimizing the mobile path-to-purchase. Just how prevalent is the trend? Mobile conversion rates (purchases resulting from an email click) grew by 70 percent, while desktop conversion rates declined by 4 percent, the survey found.

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Better and Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas By Jeremy Gutsche Have any great ideas that are just within your grasp? Come on, we all do. In a world of chaos and change, there has to be something you’re overlooking. If you knew the answer, you’d be a better innovator, better manager and better investor. In his book, Better and Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas, Jeremy Gutsche offers insights into overcoming the neurological traps blocking your success. It shows you the six patterns of opportunity, including Convergence, Divergence, Cyclicality, Redirection, Reduction and Acceleration.

Each pattern is a repeatable shortcut that has created fortunes for ex-criminals, reclusive billionaires, disruptive CEOs and ordinary people who unexpectedly made it big. In his research, Gutsche, founder and CEO of TrendHunter.com, unveils what actually causes opportunity and offers tactics that will help you out-innovate, outsmart and outmaneuver your competitors. Better and Faster promises to help put your company on the fast track for innovation and opportunity.

Understanding today’s consumer behavior Ask any marketer, and he will tell you that having a deep understanding of the dynamic consumer is essential to unlocking the potential of marketing in an increasingly connected world. According to Millward Brown Digital’s “Getting Digital Right” study, which polled 400 U.S. marketers spanning brands, media companies and agencies, it is essential that marketers adopt behavioral research advancements as pillars of their insights toolkit. Here’s a look at which research tools they are using to influence their marketing decisions:

[67%]

Consumer behavior insights

[61%]

Audience measurement

[39%]

Brand tracking

[30%]

Marketing mix modeling

[29%]

Creative testing

You have to wrap yourself around the customer journey. Customers do their homework. They expect you to do yours: What do you know about me?” – GE SVP & CMO Beth Comstock on the importance of customer centricity

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I

t happens. But not to you, right? Not now. Not here. Not with everybody looking and waiting and depending on every move, every step you take. This part of the process wasn’t in the plans. It wasn’t what you, your team or your customers had in mind when the first discussions about the whole deal went down. But guess what? It did happen. It was you. It is now. Here. And there isn’t a person in the room who isn’t looking at you for the next move. Failure is simultaneously our biggest fear and our greatest teacher. And contrary to popular opinion, failure is not the opposite of success – it is a milestone on the journey to success. It is a steppingstone that points the way forward. More specifically, failure signals that we are out of our comfort zone and learning as a result of it.

Mistakes are the portal of discovery. – James Joyce

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Back in the saddle Grace Daly knows about failure. As the host of ShopTalk 360, a popular podcast, and author of a leadership book series, she extols the virtues of learning from the trials and tribulations that occur in our daily lives. “Tolerating failure is an essential key to success,” Daly says. “The only way to achieve our ultimate desired result in any endeavor is through trial and error. Failure is simply a trial and error process with varying degrees of risks and results. People who are afraid of failure will always stay in what they feel is their ‘safe’ zone. There, they will never be able to embrace the possibility or actuality of how success can be achieved.” You know the drill by now. The greatest lesson you can learn is not to repeat the same mistake twice. You’ve heard it over and over again. You’re only human. You’re going to make mistakes from time to time. To err is human, and all the rest. But as Daly, and the scores of other experts say, it’s not enough to just memorize these leadership proverbs; you actually have to act upon them. “Overcoming business failure is all based on your bounce-back stamina. What’s yours? At the end of the day, remember; it’s just business. Learn from it, grow from it and continue to be fiscally responsible. If you are fortunate enough to have your health and your loved ones, infinite possibilities and growth exist for everything else.” If you’re looking for an “I-just-made-a-mistake-and-Icannot-get-up” refresher course, Daly offers these simple steps. Start by changing your perception of the whole “failure” mindset by thinking of it as a live experiment. This will help encourage creativity and open up untapped resources. Next, remember that everybody has to work through these trial-and-error processes – business and personal. It is a part of life and, honestly, there are no shortcuts. We only hear about the success stories, not the stumbles along the way.

It’s a cultural thing Tell me if you’ve seen this before. Your employee comes into your office with a look that says

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The new toy in your leadership toolbox is to be tolerant of failure and not to tolerate negative attitudes around failure.

September/October 2015 • printForum

everything behind him has gone up in flames, and that you missed the fire. Things happen that fast. Your only course of action when failure occurs is to assess the situation, develop a game plan that can extinguish the flames, and then work to find where the system broke down. The moral to the whole story – and your real takeaway – is to build a culture where mistakes are embraced as opportunities, where people can openly talk about where they can improve and avoid a lasting negative impression. That’s what Maxine Attong preaches on every mountaintop. “I am big on providing safe environments in which these discussions can occur,” says Attong, author of “Lead Your Team to Win: Achieve Optimal Performance By Providing A Safe Space For Employees.” “When humans feel unsafe, we fight, take flight or freeze. When we feel safe, we slow down, listen and understand.” Attong believes the motive for the discussion must be clearly stated, so that the employees know it is not a time for blame-andshame sessions, but to seek improvements in their ability to deal with future situations. “Leaders need to be consistent in our treatment of failure, regardless of the size of the problem and who is at fault. Build a healthy culture around failure, where failure is seen as a learning opportunity for everyone. This increases the level of honesty about failures and promotes individual responsibility.”


“I am big on providing safe environments in which these discussions can occur. When humans feel unsafe, we fight, take flight or freeze. When we feel safe, we slow down, listen and understand.” – Maxine Attong, Author, “Lead Your Team to Win”

The new toy in your leadership toolbox is to be tolerant of failure and not to tolerate negative attitudes around failure. “I have to mentally prepare myself to deal with people who lament, ‘Why me?’ or deny their role in the event or pass the buck when things fail,” Attong says. “I am immediately ready to work with the individual who accepts personal responsibility for the misstep and is willing to work to make amends.” If you want to write down your new mantra, Attong offers this: There are three lessons every person should take away from tolerating failure: • I am not a failure. I have the ability to overcome this. • I will take personal responsibility for my role in this and make amends. • There is a lot to learn from failure. It could make me a winner. “I only consider a situation too big to overcome when, at an individual level, there is no learning from the situation, no change in thinking or belief systems,” Attong says. “If there were no lessons learned, then regardless of the success trajectory, the person has failed.”

1. The environment You must create a safe, flourishing work environment that promotes creativity and healthy risk. Reward and celebrate your team for their suggestions and efforts – not only their successes. Try to limit the use of the word “failure.” It implies a complete, dead stop. Nobody wants to be associated with that, so why create that negative energy? Instead, try to use the terminology “trial and error.”

2. Listen and learn Make time to listen to your team. Very often, I’ve seen business owners or senior management completely outsource to consultants for a new set of eyes, instead of tapping the resources within – those who intimately know the company culture and what clients need.

3. Track your progress Have a formal process to track ideas and programs. Have fun with it by making it into a contest where you discuss progress as often as you like (monthly, quarterly, etc.). It’s important to follow through and take action, so that your team knows any viable suggestions will be tested and engaged with.

4. Avoid he said, she said Taking a 20,000-foot assessment of what went wrong in any situation should not be a blameand-shame session. Seek input on how to deal with the issue(s) moving forward and look for ways to avoid the proverbial “same mistake twice.”

5. Be consistent If you’re going to meet the prospects of failure head on, be consistent in how you treat it, regardless of the size of the problem and who is at fault. The key is to build a healthy culture around failure – one where missteps are seen as learning opportunities for everyone. This increases and promotes individual responsibility around failure.

Sources: Grace Daly, host of ShopTalk 360, and Maxine Attong, author, “Lead Your Team to Win”

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W

ith a few clicks, the right data-software combo can readily tell you who your best customer is and what products

or services he has bought from you in the past. A couple of more clicks, and you can predict with great accuracy what they’re likely to buy from you in the future, how much and how often. With a few more strategic clicks, you can capture and analyze data that then

Going deeper than data By Lorrie Bryan

helps you create a tailored, automated marketing plan that provides your customer with engaging messaging that’s personalized for increased relevance and effectiveness. You don’t even have to pick up a phone and call him.

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Impact But you can click-click-click until your fingers ache; search the expansive internet heavens; gaze intently into your super-duper, 32-inch, professional-grade, ultra-high-definition monitor; crank up the latest Voice of the Customer program; dive into social media; and still not understand your customers sufficiently. If you really want to know what keeps your best customers up at night, what’s on their wish lists, and what you can do to help their businesses succeed and their dreams come true, try an old-fashioned, pre-information-age practice. It’s called conversing, personal interaction and visiting – and it can make a deep impact.

Vis-à-vis visits

“We go directly to our customers and see their actual situation and needs first-hand. Then we can propose changes and solutions that more than satisfy them.” – David Stevens, Senior VP, American Mitsuba Corp.

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says Anna Liotta, author of “Unlocking Generational Codes.” “Provide them with information to do their own research and product comparisons. Don’t waste time schmoozing and trying to develop a relationship initially. Be direct and cut to the chase – show them where the value lies.” “Nobody is going to buy from you solely because they like you,” Kapelianis says. “You have to demonstrate how you can add value.”

“Businesses don’t have relationships with businesses – people have relationships with people.”

As Dimitri Kapelianis, an associate marketing professor at the University of New Mexico, points out, – Dimitri Kapelianis, Associate Marketing Professor, B2B marketing almost is University of New Mexico a misnomer. “Businesses don’t have relationships with businesses – people have relationships with Board games people. If your product is not a commodity, Many companies are finding that developyou need to have dedicated account maning a Customer Advisory Board (CAB) proagers working with your best customers, gram is a great way to foster relationships actively nurturing the relationships, looking and make an impact with top customers. A for unique opportunities to create value and CAB also can yield tremendous insights for making certain that these customers are both the host company and the participatexceedingly satisfied.” ing customers. Sometimes referred to as an Kapelianis says that it’s not enough to executive advisory council, customer summit know your industry and your company. You or best customer panel, a CAB essentially is must know the key people personally and visit a strategy-level focus group. with them on a regular basis. You must be able “It’s an opportunity for a CEO and executo anticipate their problems and offer unique tive staff to meet with a dozen key leaders solutions. Be proactive, rather than reactive. and decision makers representing some of If all you are doing is waiting for an invitheir best customers to talk about trends tation to bid, it’s almost too late. “You’re then and drivers shaping their customers’ busijust a commodity, and if that is the case, then nesses, and how the host company can you better have the lowest price,” says Kapehelp these customers achieve their busilianis, who teaches graduate-level marketing ness goals,” says Mike Gospe, who has strategy classes. facilitated and assisted more than 100 But building an authentic relationship businesses with CABs since 2002. “There takes time, and disingenuous schmoozing acare many names for a Customer Advisory tually can hamper the process. Increasingly, Board, but they all share the same objecGen Xers are moving into decision-making tive – to forge a tighter bond with a set roles, and they are especially skeptical of marof strategic customers and invite them keting speak. They prefer a more direct apto help shape your company’s vision and proach to communication. strategic direction.” “Gen Xers don’t like canned, overly Limited to primarily Fortune 500 compackaged corporate messaging and apprepanies a decade ago, CABs have grown in ciate the facts relative to the bottom line,” popularity in recent years. “Now, large and


smaller B2B companies are investing in a CAB program,” says Gospe, founder of KickStart Alliance, a team of senior marketing and sales consultants. And here’s the best part. A CAB is not just a marketing tool or special marketing project. “The implications of what is learned will need to cascade through marketing, sales, operations, engineering, customer support, etc.,” Gospe says. “A commitment to a CAB must be companywide, ongoing and linked directly to a company’s annual planning process.”

San-gen-shugi: The Three Realities Principal Building deep relationships with key customers is inherently a companywide endeavor for many successful companies. David Stevens, senior VP of American Mitsuba Corp., says that Mitsuba builds authentic customer relationships and loyalty by practicing ancient Japanese business principles that promote direct observation and contact. “When a customer requests anything, we take it seriously,” Stevens says. “Usually we meet face to face with the customer for any significant request. We frequently have customers visit us in our plants, so they can better understand what makes us tick and see how good we are.” Mitsuba and other JapaneseAmerican companies (Toshiba, Takata, Honda) practice San-genshugi in many elements of their business management. “San” means three, “gen” means what you actually see in front of you and “shugi” means principles. Stevens says that San-GenShugi has three elements. This means you go to the actual site (genba), see the actual thing or condition (genbutsu) with your own eyes, to understand and respond to the actual situation (genjitsu).” This is the most valid method to conduct situation analysis and respond appropriately, instead of depending on reports and comments from other people. “We go directly to our customers and see their actual situation and needs first hand,” Stevens says. “Then we can propose changes and solutions that more than satisfy them.”

Building an authentic relationship takes time, and disingenuous schmoozing actually can hamper the process.

Eye to eye, heart to heart Eye contact has a fundamental role in human social interaction. When you make eye contact while conversing, heartbeat rates actually increase revealing a physiological connection between you and the person you’re having a conversation with. Can the impact of a quickening heart be replicated with clickthru? Not likely. So why not make plans to actually sit down and visit with your best customers?

Create a Customer Advisory Board and invite your best customers to join Look for opportunities to visit with your best customer at his place of business Invite your best customers to visit your facility and show them how you operate Provide your best customers with valuable content on an ongoing basis Customize your products or services to add unique value for your best customers Be responsive and readily available to your best customers Offer remarkable customer service that exceeds their expectations Anticipate their needs and be solution oriented rather than product oriented Know their industries, know their companies and understand what is important to them personally Be authentic, take a genuine interest in your customers, and facilitate their success

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Q&A:

Interview with Ray Makela

Trending with ... Sales thought leader Ray Makela on winning the sales & marketing relationship

R

ay Makela knows sales. With more than 20 years of management, consulting and sales experience, the managing director of the Sales Readiness Group (SRG) has an up-closeand-personal look at how the process works from all sides. Today, Makela is an industry thought leader who frequently writes on best practices for coaching and developing sales teams. As SRG’s sales leader, he serves as a senior facilitator on sales management, coaching, negotiation and sales training workshops. Here are his thoughts on how to keep your sales and marketing teams on top of their games.

What is the new mantra for today’s sales process? It’s really all about the customer today. Because so much of the buyers’ journeys have been completed before you talk to a salesperson, you must work harder to connect with your customers, understand their unique needs, differentiate yourself and position your solutions as the best option. That means doing a better job of pre-call research, asking relevant questions, offering content and insights relevant to your customers and, ultimately, giving them a reason to move forward in the relationship.

What is the best way to motivate your sales team? Sales professionals are motivated by different things – what motivates one person may not be valuable to another. Some are motivated by doing a great job, while others thrive on recognition. Some love being part of a great team, while others value autonomy. The key is to understand the motivators for each member of your team, and then tailor your communications and feedback accordingly.

How is the relationship between sales and marketing today? I love that they are becoming better aligned. I’m a big fan of the new “Smarketing” movement. This suggests that marketing and sales are collaborating and analyzing the customer together. We’ve all heard the complaints that sales doesn’t follow up on the leads that marketing gives, and that marketing provides bad or dead leads. Working together helps

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There are no magic bullets here, but sales and marketing can work much more closely and effectively together, if they understand the opportunity and make it a priority. remove some of the finger pointing. There should only be one view of what good customers look like – and that should be from the company perspective.

What is the best way to fortify this relationship? There are a couple of ways. They can collaborate on the content provided through video, blogs, white papers, etc. Because sales is becoming more engaged in the content marketing aspect of the buyers’ journey, they must understand what content is available and

where it comes into play during the sales cycle. You can’t just send links to generic resources. At the end of the day, the sales rep who adds insights and engages more with the customer will typically win the deal. Another way is by leveraging the technology that allows both groups to see the same view of the customer. Sales should see how the lead was scored and what their interactions were like before they became a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). And marketing should understand which leads are converting to actual proposals and customers, so that they can validate their assumptions and improve the marketing engine. The days of “dumping” leads into the funnel and letting sales figure out what to do with them is over. It’s about having a common view of the customers’ journeys at each stage.

What are the biggest takeaways for which every marketing/sales team should strive? There are no magic bullets here, but sales and marketing can work much more closely and effectively together if they understand the opportunity and make it a priority. First, they must engage in open communication and collaboration through recurring meetings to discuss what’s working, what needs to be improved and how they can work better to achieve the organizational objectives. Next, they should share customer feedback. Both parties should keep a close ear out for the voice of the customer. By listening to the customer and working together, you will get to the right answer. Finally, they must strive for continuous improvement. Today’s customers are changing. The sales process is becoming more complex, and new technology and tools threaten to disrupt our industry at every turn. Successful organizations will be those that are nimble enough to listen, adapt and continuously evolve as the environment changes. Doing otherwise will ensure a slow, painful slip into irrelevance.


Before You

The social media conundrum ROI: The biggest challenge for marketers No matter how hard they try, marketers still say measuring ROI is the biggest challenge they face with their social media efforts, according to Simply Measured’s “2015 Social Media Marketing Trends.” The survey, which polled 600 marketers from across the country, asked for them to name the three most challenging aspects of their social campaigns. Here’s a look at some of the biggest obstacles they cited:

Go

60

%

Measuring ROI

50

%

Tying social activities to business outcomes

48

%

Developing a social media strategy

40

%

Securing enough internal resources

32

%

Tracking results in a centralized dashboard

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