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A Publication Powered by Rider Dickerson

Engaging Marketing Minds

Vol 6, Issue 1, March/April 2016

Market research in the modern landscape








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.

Up Front

THE FEEL Publisher’s Letter


he gut feeling is something we have all had at different times in our lives. Typically though, it is not some sort of “out of the blue” feeling or random spark of genius that provides this sudden inspiration. No, while we call it a “gut feeling,” the reality is that it comes from something that probably took a lot of time, effort, and pain. Gut feelings don’t just show up unannounced. You must be extremely connected to your endeavor and have a great understanding of your environment. In fact, it is most likely not the gut that provides you with the insight to make a decision, but the way in which you sense things. We can go through the WHILE WE CALL IT facts about why print is such A “GUT FEELING,” an amazing mechanism. THE REALITY IS THAT Print affords you more time IT COMES FROM with your clients. It has a staying power that the SOMETHING THAT digital world cannot match. PROBABLY TOOK A However, most importantly, LOT OF TIME, EFFORT, you can touch it, and when AND PAIN. we touch something, we start to connect with it. If you want your clients to connect more to your world and vice versa, print offers you the chance. Using print takes a bit more time, but anything worthwhile must be nurtured. Hence, your understanding and gut feel for your marketplace is likely to be your most worthwhile endeavor. Our cover feature, “Drilling Down,” explores the importance of market research in today’s business climate, and why you can’t afford to build a mousetrap without knowing if there are any mice. PUBLISHER

Bill Barta President & CEO Rider Dickerson MANAGING EDITOR

Dean Petrulakis Senior Vice President Business Development Rider Dickerson

Using proper research techniques will deepen your feel and delineate you from the competition. In our second feature, “Following instinct,” we delve into the intricacies of what forms your intuition and how you should make decisions based on your experience, your knowledge and, maybe, a little bit of your gut instinct, too. In addition, this issue also includes a survey which reveals that print publications are among the key ways companies attract buyers. So, enjoy and use your instinct. Warmest regards,

BILL BARTA President & CEO Rider Dickerson

In This Issue


Brandon Clark


Conduit Inc. printForum is published bimonthly by Rider Dickerson, copyright 2016. All rights reserved. For more information, contact 312-676-4119

DEAN PETRULAKIS Senior Vice President Business Development Rider Dickerson

03 Publisher’s letter The Feel 04 The Inbox

06 Drilling down Market research in the modern landscape By Michael J. Pallerino 10 Following instinct Striking a balance between intuition and data By Charles Lunan 14 Trending with... Creative Director Robyn Frey 15 It’s a print thing Survey shows publications are among key ways companies attract buyers


Printed on 100# MPC Silk Text



The Inbox

What’s on your floor?


hen it comes to buying print, one of the most important factors buyers have is the iron on the floor. According to “The New Print Buyers: Who They Are, What They Want and What You Should Do” by industry experts and consultants Margie Dana and John Zarwan, 73 percent of print buyers say equipment matters. In addition, the study found that only 13 percent of print buyers want their printers to “just print.” The study polled 315 print buying and marketing professionals in corporations and creative agencies across the United States and Canada.

Book Rec

Friend & Foe: When to Cooperate, When to Compete, and How to Succeed at Both By Adam Galinsky and Maurice Schweitzer hat does it take to succeed? Start the debates. While some argue that pursuing self-interest is the best way to get ahead, others claim that we are most successful when we collaborate with others. In Friend and Foe, researchers Galinsky and Schweitzer explain why this debate misses the mark. Rather than being hardwired to compete or cooperate, the authors say we have evolved to do both. In every relationship, from co-workers to friends, to spouses and siblings, we are both friends and foes. It is only by learning how to strike the right balance between




these two forces that we can improve our long-term relationships and get more of what we want. Drawing on original, cutting edge research from their own labs and from across the world of social sciences, Galinsky and Schweitzer show how to maximize success in work and in life by deftly navigating the tension between cooperation and competition. They offer insights and advice ranging from how to gain power and keep it, how to build trust and repair trust once it’s broken, and how to diffuse workplace conflict and bias. In today’s competitive landscape, Friend and Foe may be your guide to when to cooperate as a friend and when to compete as a foe. At the very least, it will demonstrate how to be better at both.

The percent of companies that rate their content as somewhat or very effective, according to Contently’s “Content Marketing 2016: Staffing, Measurement, and Effectiveness Across the Industry” study. The report, which queried 632 executives across the country, also shows that 32 percent say lead conversion is the most popular metric for measuring content marketing success.



Content needs are exploding as we move to a world of precision marketing and 24/7 engagement. Getting the right message, to the right person, at the right time has never been easier.”

– Alison Lewis, chief marketing officer at Johnson & Johnson, on the continued importance of aligning content strategies with business goals







Market research in the modern landscape BY MICHAEL J. PALLERINO

im Beach loves to talk shop. And when the conversation turns to entrepreneurship and market research and why the dialog with your customers must constantly stay open, Beach relishes at the chance to discuss the art of market research – an exercise he admittedly says is a never-ending endeavor. This is where Beach excels. At age 25, he started the American Computer Experience and grew the company with no capital infusion to $12 million in annual revenue and more than 700 employees. At the time, American Computer Experience was the world’s largest technology training company for children and fostered partnerships with Microsoft, Intel, Lego, NASA, among others. After Beach sold the business, he ventured into the academic world, clocking in as the top ranked business school professor for 12 semesters running while at Georgia State University. These days, he rules the airwaves with his School for Startups Radio, which can be heard on 12 AM/ FM stations and scores of internet platforms. Among his many guests are “Shark Tank” judges and winners, billionaires, bestselling authors and countless entrepreneurs. a

Simply put: You cannot afford to build a mousetrap without knowing if there are any mice.




Give a listen, and one of the themes that runs through all of his guests’ success stories is their ability to deftly identify the trends and challenges that define their marketplaces. The foundation is simple, really. Success finds those companies that can find a good idea or run a good business better than anybody else. “If you sit around and wait to be hit with a lightning bolt of creativity, it’s just not going to happen,” says Beach, who also is the bestselling author of “School for Startups.” “I don’t believe in creativity – at least not when it comes to being an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship has nothing to do with creativity. Most of us are not creative people. Creative people end up in the arts. Ninety-three percent of businesses around the world are copies of existing businesses.” One of the keys to building a successful and sustainable enterprise is being able to keep your finger on the pulse of your market. Enter market research. When it comes to the strategy, this much we know: Real market research – the kind that successful companies conduct every day – requires taking the time to uncover trends in your marketplace and finding out why they are there. Simply put: You cannot afford to build a mousetrap without knowing if there are any mice. “I think one of the most important things you can do with your market research today is to think way outside of the box,” Beach says. “It’s about calling people that you would think would never give you help. Start locally by calling your direct competitors – the people right down the street. Pretend you are a customer and find out everything there is to know. Ask what a good customer should know about the market and their business. Ask why you should do business with them.” Next, Beach recommends expanding your research nationally to get the vibe on what the market looks like for similar companies in other areas. What are their customers looking for and how are they meeting those demands? “Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” he says. “Entrepreneurs love to talk about their business. They love to share best practices.”




I think one of the most important things you can do with your market research today is to think way outside of the box.” – JIM BEACH, RADIO HOST OF SCHOOL FOR STARTUPS RADIO

ALWAYS BE RESEARCHING Somewhere between Houston and Boise, Idaho – and all stops in between, the entrepreneur in John Loud kept fighting to get out. In the early to mid ’90s, Loud, owner and president of LOUD Security Systems in Kennesaw, Ga., was traveling the world as a flight attendant at Delta Airlines, while also working on securing his pilot’s license. His original plan was to become a commercial airline pilot. But there were other entrepreneurial pursuits to follow, namely the security business. So, during every stop he made, Loud reached out to local security firm owners to pick their brains on the trends and challenges driving the industry. In June 1995, he left the friendly skies behind, secured a $20,000 loan and set up an office in his basement. “When you’re an entrepreneur, you have to have the right attitude,” Loud says. “You have to sit down and look at how you go from here to there. When I started, I didn’t know how any of this worked. I didn’t know anything about the security business. I didn’t even own an alarm system. It’s about connecting with the right people to share best practices. ‘How do you find and hire the right people? What’s the best software to use?’ Our R&D process is pretty straightforward – ‘Rip-off & Duplicate.’” The takeaway from Loud’s story is that the key to successful market research is to always be researching. The companies that do it right know that market research builds a foundation that fosters a culture of success. “That culture you create is the best element

for success,” Loud says. “This has really helped us maintain and grow our business. That ‘give-get’ philosophy we have in the community is an important part of our success.” When done thoroughly, the art of market research continues to work for LOUD. Twenty years later, the company has become one of the premiere names in the metro Atlanta security market.

LOADING YOUR TOOLBOX – CRAFTING YOUR STRATEGY One of the biggest tools in your market research toolbox is the other players’ in your market. Along with identifying whom the competition is, it is critical to find out what makes each one stand out. Ask the following questions: • What are their strengths and weaknesses? • Where are they located in comparison to you? • What types of customers do they cater to more? • How do they choose one provider over another? • What are the keys to success? • What buying factors make the most difference? Price? Product features? Customer service? Support?

connection enabled you to build the foundation of understanding, trust and rapport required for getting and keeping customer relationships. But technology has changed the way we interact and relate with one another. “There’s less face-to-face time,” Alacqua says. “There’s even less time to talk on the phone, which can make it harder to learn what your customers want and need, and harder to keep a solid foundation of trust that means you understand them and what their challenges are all about.” That’s why market research is no longer a one and done proposition. Every small business must build an ongoing approach to connecting with customers and staying in touch with their changing wants and needs. “Building a customer intelligence system is easier and so much more cost-effective today because of the many online survey alternatives available to small businesses,” Alacqua says. “A solid system of intelligence gathering about your customers and prospects will guide your development of solutions to meet needs, and also enable you to create the exact messaging to effectively position and connect with them.”

Building a customer intelligence system is easier and so much more cost-effective today because of the many online survey alternatives available to small businesses.” – PAT ALACQUA, FOUNDER, BLUE MAGNET PARTNERS

“When you’re analyzing the data and conducting your research in your marketplace, it is imperative that you look for the holes,” Beach says. “If everybody has the same answer, you’ll want to go in the opposite direction. You want to be the person who stands out and who can define your services.” The most important thing to remember – “If your message sounds like everybody else, you are everybody else,” Beach says.

RESEARCH, AND THEN KEEP RESEARCHING... Pat Alacqua, founder of Blue Magnet Partners, which provides entrepreneurial companies with problem-solving support and resources, says it was much easier in the past to get enough face-to-face time with customers to get to know them. That




Striking a balance between intuition and data BY CHARLES LUNAN

merican business lore is rife with anecdotes of the entrepreneur who followed his gut and – against all the odds and naysayers – built a multi-million dollar brand. But if gut instincts – or intuition – are so critical to achieving the American dream, you may have to ask why half of all new small businesses fail within five years and three quarters of venture-capital backed startups never return capital to their investors?




The reason is that despite overwhelming evidence that outcomes improve when decision-makers engage in a more deliberative, data-driven process, we continue to base our decisions largely on quick, automatic and intuitive processes commonly referred to as “gut instinct.” Given the highly competitive and fast-moving nature of the marketplace, this should surprise no one. Marketers often have to make decisions on the fly, particularly online, where opportunities may only last a few hours. This makes it essential for marketers to recognize when they’re acting on gut instinct, how reliable it is and when they should supplement their intuition with a more deliberative decision-making process.




In their 2004 paper – “When Should I Trust My Gut?” – Eugene Sadler-Smith and Erella Shefy noted that intuition comes from knowing and sensing. The former, or “intuition-as-expertise,” comes from knowledge and experience, and can improve with time. The latter, or intuition-as-feeling, is driven by emotions such as fear that may be irrational and hard to control. While instinct may tell you the growing availability of data analytics are diminishing the role of intuition, Sadler-Smith and Shefy argue intuition provides “mental shortcuts” executives can use to quickly process a growing torrent of data and make decisions more efficiently. This may explain why CEOs and successful entrepreneurs continue to list “good instincts” as one of their top reasons for their success. But not everyone should trust their instincts, says Paul Schwada, a managing partner at Locomotive Solutions and author of “8 Blocks: The Critical Realities for Growing Any Business.” “Even those with good instincts – which isn’t really some inherent magic, but is usually the product of years of experience and careful analysis of what works and why – they can’t trust their gut all the time or entirely,” says Schwada, who suggests everyone develop a framework within which they can evaluate the accuracy and usefulness of their instincts. “When we’re thinking about growth, especially, we are tempted by the gut, such as, “I just feel like we need to get to $20 million,” Schwada says. “A framework can force us to consider the critical angles – why we might need that, what it might look like, how we might accomplish it. It helps validate good instinct. It also shows us where we really need more data, and which data represents critical assumptions, meaning we have to make sure the data is correct and its subsequent insights are valid.”

Striking the optimal balance between intuition and data is one of the greatest challenges facing marketers, says Lindsay Pedersen, a principal of LCP Consulting. “Creative evaluation is a subtle blend of art and science, heart and mind,” says Pedersen, who earned her marketing chops as a brand manager at data-driven Clorox. “This delicate, yet critical balance is not often taught. Thus, it’s a topic I’m often quizzed about.” To help her clients navigate the creative review process, Pedersen has developed a three-step HOPE (Heart. On Point. Execution.) Framework. In the first step, Pedersen urges clients to record their immediate gut reaction to the creative. In the second step, she advises laying the creative aside to spend 10 to 15 minutes reviewing the objectives of the campaign. Next, she recommends taking a second look at the creative to see if it is “On Point.” Ask if it embodies the brand’s personality and tone, and fulfills the directive laid out in the creative brief.




“It’s imperative at this point to be analytical,” Pedersen says. “No emotional reactions allowed; make a purely objective assessment.” In the final step, Pedersen advises the client to imagine “Execution” of the campaign to see what practical issues might emerge with logo colors, trademarks and packaging design. This can be the most time-consuming step. “Your thinking must be granular and precise to avoid embarrassing – and costly – missteps,” Pedersen says.

It was customer segmentation and customer life cycle analysis that saved direct marketer Harry & David from extinction after more than a century of selling fruit baskets.

When sales plummeted in the wake of the 2008-09 recession, executives knew in their gut the company could do a better job converting customers who only shopped Harry & David once a year into repeat customers. So they brought in a new marketing chief to shift the company’s focus from products and distribution channels to customers. By connecting data stranded in various company silos with an SAS-powered data analytics platform, Harry & David was able to take its data analytics to a new level. Along the way, the company learned how to convert a worthwhile percentage of customers acquired via social media discounts into repeat customers, despite the conventional wisdom that such customers were “one and done prospects” not worth pursuing.

Gonzalez and her team spend much of the fourth quarter “running on gut instinct” to make hundreds of decisions needed to get stores open in time for the holidays. But when the holiday rush ends in January, they crunch the data from their newest surveys, review external research and attend industry conferences to see where their instincts may have fallen short. “We are feeding ourselves, so that later in the year we can trust our instincts even more.”

In the first three years after emerging from a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Harry & David grew the number of most valuable and loyal customers in its database by 10 percent, customer retention 14 percent, sales per customer 7 percent and profits 20 percent.

Global fashion and other consumer brands seek out The Lion’esque Group for help setting up pop-up shops in Manhattan, Los Angeles and other fashion hotspots to get access to founder and CEO Melissa Gonzalez’s renowned merchandising instincts. Those “instincts,” it turns out, are being continually honed with data collected from consumer surveys Lion’esque conducts at every store it helps open – a number that now exceeds 100.




Interview with Robyn Frey

Trending with...


Creative Director

Robyn Frey

alk into Robyn Frey’s office, and what you see may surprise you. A fire hydrant. A sombrero. Godzilla. They’re all a part of the creative genius at work. Now president and creative director of BolchalkFReY in Tucson, Ariz., Frey headed out west after graduating from the University of Georgia with a BA in Graphic Design. These days, she spends her time listening to her clients’ needs and working out ways to help them achieve their goals. If she’s not at a client meeting, she’s working with her talented creative department to brainstorm and execute designs that are visually impactful and appeal to the client’s target market. Here are her insights on what to expect from the creative world in 2016.

Define the trends that are happening on the graphic and marketing sides today.

There will be an ongoing trend toward hand-drawn lettering with more emphasis on creative and expressive typography on the design side, as well as flat design in logo and web site development. In addition, you will see the use of brighter and bolder colors that bring back the use of modern retro design and visual styles, (’60s to ’90s) reminding the consumer of their youth. Traditional illustration will experience a comeback, due to graphic artists’ reluctance to fall back on stock images that are often over-used in many designs. On the marketing side, we see trends continuing to evolve in the digital world. The number of options and advances in technology is constantly growing and changing.

What’s the biggest area every designer should focus on this year?

Graphic designers should focus on keeping the message clean, clear and concise, making sure the content for their designs is accessible across all formats. Focus should be on creating messages that are engaging,




direct and to the point. Short equals sweet, since the consumer’s attention span continues to shrink. Designers are lucky enough to go to work every day at something that doesn’t feel like work. Enjoy it, and remember to color outside the lines.

How important is it for designers to continue to learn and understand the language of business and marketing?

The business of marketing and the forms marketing can take are constantly changing and developing. It’s very important to stay ahead of the curve. Marketing and business work in tandem to create success. You need an understanding of both in order to knock it out of the park.

What role will design continue to play in this?

It will always play a major role in telling a client’s story through visual inventiveness paired with images and words that create an emotion. Design excellence is essential for building a successful brand. Outstanding design is at the core of every brand’s voice. As a brand, you should tell your target who you are and what you are

all about. Artful crafting of each and every word, design or image connected with your brand helps build that voice. Make sure your designs enable the brand to say the right things, say it at the right time, and say it to the right people.

What advice do you think is critical to success in 2016?

Don’t get locked into one way of doing something. Be open to ideas from alternative sources. Seek out what’s old, what’s new, what’s different. Learn how to be a good listener. Learn how to ask the right questions. Zig when everyone else zags. Care about your community, shop local, don’t drink too much coffee and have fun.



Before You Go

SURVEY SHOWS PUBLICATIONS ARE AMONG KEY WAYS COMPANIES ATTRACT BUYERS ooking for ways to generate more leads? According to Eccolo Media’s “B2B Technology Content Survey,” customer magazines and publications are among the valuable ways companies explain to buyers how their products and solutions can solve their problems. The survey queried 100-plus influencers, including C-level executives, managers, directors, vice presidents and developers from mid-market to small businesses. Here’s a look at some of the ways they are consuming and evaluating product and service purchases:

57% Product brochures/ data sheets


52% White papers


42% Case studies/ success stories

35% Video/ multimedia files

42% Competitive vendor worksheets


Customer magazines/ publications

35% Detailed technology guides




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March/ April 2016  
March/ April 2016