IMITATION KILLED THE COPYCAT

Are you learning from brilliant business ideas or are you just trying to copy them?


COPYCAT! Are you learning from brilliant business ideas or are you just trying to copy them?Nobody likes a copycat.

But are you taking true inspiration from the cream of cracking business marketing, or are you simply delivering a weaker imitation?

I know a business owner who goes by the nickname of Tigger.
Last night, he was brave enough to stand up in the middle of Smokey Joe’s Business Bar and make the following insightful announcement;

“I only ever learn from the very best of the very best! I take a promising idea from an experienced professional and I turn it into a genius concept for my own business!”

I suspect that Tigger may have had a few drinks before making this announcement, although I still think he wholeheartedly believed in his own words.

The irony is that less than five minutes earlier, somebody else had stood up in the middle of the bar and said the exact same words to rapturous applause from Smokey Joe’s crowd.
When Tigger had come along shortly afterwards and just copied every single word already spoken, the response from the crowd was more a sense of muted bafflement.

In truth, Tigger doesn’t really learn from others.
He’s just a Copycat who tries to shoehorn other people’s ideas into his own business marketing without stopping to think if they will work or they will fit.

And the problem with a copy is that it’s never quite the same quality as the original…

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IMAGINATIVE INK

10 creative ways to stamp your mark on promotional business material.


IMAGINATIVE INK: 10 creative ways to stamp your mark on promotional business material.Printed business marketing comes in all different shapes, sizes, and formats.

But when you’re holding your own Custom-Designed Stamp in your hand, you suddenly have the power to become even more experimental and adventurous with your choice of materials.

Now you can stamp your mark and your unique business designs onto practically any surface or slice of business content, without having to worry about committing to a big new order from your favourite printing company.

Self-Inking Stamps are becoming increasingly popular with business owners who are seeking a quick and convenient way to stamp their logo and contact details onto a wide range of different materials including envelopes, menus, stationery, cards, tags, packaging, and several billion other surfaces just crying out to be stamped!

Nowadays, it’s become equally convenient to inject healthy dollops of vivid colour into your stamping, thanks to the growing range of high-quality Multi-Colour Self-Inking Stamps.

Meanwhile, advanced Stamping Enthusiasts can use separate ink pads and speciality inks to create some truly stunning effects with Traditional Hand-Style Stamps.

A huge choice of the very best Custom Stamps are now available to order directly from the Martin Print website, and please feel free to drop me a line if you require any specific advice or guidance on choosing the perfect style of Stamp for your business.

Need a little inspiration?
Here are ten of my own favourite examples of Businesses Getting Creative with their Custom Stamp Marketing

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THIS OFFER MUST END AT MIDNIGHT

Why you could lose out on BIG results by not setting deadlines in your business marketing.


Why you could lose out on BIG results by not setting deadlines in your business marketing.Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!
You only have the rest of your life to read this Blog article!
Act NOW before it’s too late!

Hmm.
No, wait, that doesn’t quite work, does it?
I think we may possibly require something that creates just a little more urgency…

But are you creating urgency in your own business marketing by setting out clear and genuine deadlines?

There was definitely a degree of urgency in Old Bert’s behaviour today.
He’d just heard that the local Sweet Pastry Shop was offering half-price Banana Nut Muffins until 2pm this afternoon.

Old Bert is not one to miss out on a good bargain.
I’ve never seen him move so fast in all my life.
He raced out of the Martin Print office so quickly that I didn’t get the chance to tell him that the offer was actually running yesterday.
I really don’t think I want to be here when he gets back…

But it’s fair to say that owners of smaller businesses can often have a relaxed attitude to setting deadlines and expiration dates for offers.

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RIPPING DIRECT MAIL

10 incredible Direct Mail Designs that make your mailbox go POP!


10 creative examples of the very best Direct Mail marketing campaigns which generated a buzz for business.When was the last time you received something interesting in the mail?

Yep, I’m sure that at least 90% of your mail is likely to be fairly boring.
It’s hard to drum up too much enthusiasm for bills, invoices, statements, and cheaply produced flyers for the next Neighbourhood Watch Meeting.

But this also means that your own gorgeously-produced slice of Direct Mail is even more likely to leap out and demand attention in the average Aussie mailbox.

There’s certainly more scope to make a lasting impression in a physical bundle of mail.
Most marketing messages are now communicated online, but nobody really gets excited when glancing at that long list of new emails on a screen.
You can’t touch or feel a virtual message in Cyberspace.

However, the very best examples of real physical Direct Mail can make much more of an immediate sensory connection with your recipient.
Your prospective clients can touch it, or perhaps open it, unfold it, run a finger across the glossy surface or embossed text, and just generally interact with your marketing on a physical level.

Old Bert, our resident caretaker, may be the grumpiest and most cynical man on the planet, but even he admits to getting a little bit excited when he’s surprised by something new and different arriving through the letterbox.

He definitely doesn’t get that same feeling when encouraged to click and open an email.
Mind you, in fairness, I don’t think he’s quite figured out how to actually open an email yet, but he’s working on it.

A good piece of Direct Mail could be anything from a traditional Post Card with a beautiful design to a more complex project in an utterly unique custom shape.

So, have you ever been tempted to produce a stunning Direct Mail promotion which is guaranteed to arrive through the letterboxes of your client list with a memorable BANG?

Here are ten of my favourite examples of creative Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns which may provide some inspiration for your next delivery…

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THE UNFOLDING SHAPE OF BUSINESS CARDS

10 creative Folded Business Card designs that demand attention.


10 creative Folded Business Card designs that demand attention.Could your Business Cards fold up into a truly stylish and memorable experience for your recipients?

We’re all familiar with the traditional dimensions of a standard Business Card.
But you don’t necessarily have to restrict your creativity by cramming your design onto a card that is exactly the same shape and size as everybody else’s card.

A custom-designed Folded Business Card can open up a whole new arena of imaginative possibilities which aren’t limited in any way by pesky standard specifications…

A huge amount of brand new Business Cards are regularly exchanged down at Smokey Joe’s Business Bar every day.
That’s hardly a great surprise.
After all, Smokey Joe’s Business Bar is the number one meeting place for the finest entrepreneurs in town.
(Well, that’s what it says on the sign on the front door, anyway.)

Whilst I’m watching these business owners proudly pass around the latest versions of their freshly-printed masterpieces, I’m surprised to see that the overwhelming majority of these cards still conform to the traditional rules.

It’s such a rare delight to see a folded Business Card design which bends out or pops up into an utterly unique shape and often reflects the nature of the business in some way.
And it’s exactly this type of card which is always destined to burn a longer-lasting reminder of your business into the heads and hearts of your recipients.

If you’re after a professional approach to folded Business Card design, the Martin Print team are always on hand to brainstorm new ideas and get your uniquely shaped cards rolling into production.

But in the meantime, here are ten creative examples of folded Business Cards which genuinely stand out from the pack…


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GET ATTENTION, QUICK!

Just how long exactly is the average attention span of your potential business customers?


Just how long is the exact average attention span of your potential business customers?A quiet evening down at Smokey Joe’s Business Bar was pierced by the following question from a fellow business owner standing right beside me.

“Hey Martin!” he began.
“You might know the answer to this one. It’s probably relevant to your field of expertise.
“A few of us were having a good healthy debate a little earlier about the average attention span of a potential customer.

“One guy was trying to say that business marketing needs to grab attention within just a couple of minutes, as the average attention span of a consumer isn’t much longer than that.
“I argued that business marketing needs to make a point within seconds rather than whole minutes. The average human attention span must surely be getting shorter and shorter every year, don’t you think?

“So what exactly is the average attention span of our potential business customers these days, Martin?
“Martin? Martin, are you even listening to me?”

At least that’s what I think he said.
To be honest, I became distracted after the first few words.
A dog had just wandered into the bar dressed up in a Superman costume and it was now trying to liberate some left-over nibbles from a recently vacated table nearby.

In fairness though, a lot of people would have found their attention wandering even without the surprise super-dog incident.

Here’s the shocking truth of the matter.
The average attention span of a human being is now a paltry 8 seconds.

Even more incredibly, that’s now one second less than a goldfish!
So, if you’re promoting your business to the goldfish market, you have one extra second to play with.
Otherwise, you need to grab that crucial attention within an average of just 8 tiny seconds.

But how exactly can you capture attention in such a relatively short window of time?

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DIY – PIMP YOUR OWN BUSINESS CARDS!

How to add cool finishing touches to your own Business Cards without paying for extra printing costs.


DIY GUIDE TO PIMPING YOUR BUSINESS CARDS. How to add cool finishing touches to your own Business Cards without paying for extra printing costs.Fancy owning a really cool and distinctive set of Business Cards?

Of course you do.
Not many people purposefully choose a cold and boring Business Card to represent the quality of their services.
A bland Business Card is likely to be totally ignored, dismissed, and ultimately tossed in the bin.

However, a genuinely creative, beautiful, interesting, or surprising Business Card is far more likely to make a truly memorable impression and be kept by your recipients for future reference.

Most reputable print and design companies will offer a big choice of finishing options, extra textures, and luxurious upgrades for your Business Cards, but you’ll obviously need to be prepared to pay a little more.

So how about going down the DIY route and having a go at adding some of these extra touches yourself without shelling out for extra costs?

Here’s a quick guide to pimping your own Business Cards with Gilded Edges, Self-Embossing, Wax Seals, and much more…

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YOUR BUSINESS IS AWESOME!

But how many of your prospective customers will walk away without ever discovering the truth?


Your business is excellent! But are you explaining this in the right way to your potential customers?“I know that I run a truly outstanding business!
But why am I finding it so hard to convince my potential customers of this?
Most of them just seem to go with cheaper prices and lower quality elsewhere without ever even realising what they missed out on!
What am I doing wrong?”

It’s a common cry for help.
This particular one came from a business owner called Alex who was venting his feelings in my direction this week down at Smokey Joe’s Business Bar.
A bit weird and unexpected, really.
I’d only asked him if he had any loose change for the jukebox.
But there you go.

Here’s the thing.
I know Alex runs an amazing business.
His products and services are genuinely excellent. He puts his closest competitors to shame. He should rightly be hailed as the number one name in his field.

He should also be charging a lot more to reflect the quality of his services.
And the customers should be battering down his door to pay him this money!

But that’s just not happening.
Alex just doesn’t seem to be convincing his potential clients that his business is awesome.
Why?

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THE MOST USEFUL MEDIA OF ALL?

Why 12 Million Australians prefer Catalogues to the Internet….and quick tips on designing YOUR Business Catalogue.


Why 12 Million Australian consumers prefer Catalogues to the Internet….and quick tips on designing YOUR Business Catalogue.Would your customers prefer to browse your website or your catalogue?

Ah, no contest, the internet wins at everything in the digital age, right?
Online shopping, online banking, online dating…
I’m pretty sure that if somebody out there developed an online tool which claimed to brush your teeth in the morning, we would all have thrown our real toothbrushes away by the end of the week.

But hang on a minute.
When it comes to certain categories of products, it turns out that the majority of Australian consumers still find the Catalogue to be the most useful media of all, with the poor old internet having to make do with second place.
And 12 million Aussies surely can’t be wrong…

A recent survey from Roy Morgan Research reveals that over 12 million Australians still find Catalogues to be the number one go-to media when shopping for a range of product categories including groceries, alcoholic beverages, children’s wear, toys, cosmetics and toiletries, and clothes and fashion.

Some consumers still prefer to flick through the glossy pages of a real catalogue instead of having to navigate their way through a business website.The most popular product category for catalogue-browsers is Groceries, with 49% of the surveyed consumers declaring that catalogues are the most useful medium for grocery shopping.
Only 20% claimed to prefer the internet for this category.

Alcoholic Beverage shoppers also showed a surprisingly high preference for the catalogue (42% of consumers chose catalogues, 22% chose the internet), as did Children’s Wear shoppers (40% catalogues vs 25% internet) and Toy shoppers (39% catalogues vs 31% internet.)

Nowadays, we may sometimes assume that the internet is perceived as the one-stop solution to everything, but it’s interesting to see that so many Australians still prefer a physical and reassuringly traditional form of printed marketing.
It appears that a big chunk of your consumers would still rather sit in comfort and flick through the glossy pages of a real catalogue instead of having to navigate their way through the menus and buttons and pop-up windows and error messages of a website.

So, what do you need to consider when planning out the design of your own Business Catalogue?
Here are some quick tips and pointers to help you get started…


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FREE GIFT INSIDE!

How promotional gifts can pull in far more business than a discount.


FREE GIFT INSIDE! How promotional gifts can pull in far more business than a discount.MONEY OFF!
FREE GIFTS!

Here are two marketing strategies which have the potential to secure a sale or perhaps even encourage future custom.

But which one works best?

Here’s why I believe that free promotional gifts are of significantly more value than discounts, and are far more likely to generate bigger business…

I was thinking about this today after Old Bert returned from the shops with his choice of breakfast cereal.
He’d apparently been torn between two very similar types of cereal, and it had taken him several hours to reach his final buying decision.

One of the cereals offered a small discount on his next box.
The other cereal offered an enticing free gift inside the current box.

After putting himself through prolonged mental torture, Old Bert ultimately decided to buy the cereal with the free gift.
I’m not entirely sure how much use he’s really going to get out of that little wind-up jumping frog, but it was interesting to see that in this case, the ‘free gift’ won out over the ‘discount’.

Hmm.
Maybe I should be giving you a slightly more persuasive and sensible argument which is not entirely based around Old Bert’s peculiar buying decisions…

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