Sparks May 2007 -

Sparks May 2007

In the News’s website design for Monroe Bank wins prestigious Maxi Award
Monroe Bank recently received a prestigious Maxi Award from the Indiana Bankers Association (IBA) for its website designed by Design & Marketing.

For 27 years, the IBA has recognized marketing and advertising excellence through the Maxi Awards. It is considered a high honor to receive a Maxi due to the intense nature of the competition, which covers marketing and advertising materials from websites to ads to annual reports.

The Maxi Awards are presented as part of the IBA’s annual Mega Conference. It has grown to become one of the largest state bankers association meetings in the country. Some 1,200 banking professionals from throughout the Midwest attend annually, an attendance rate on par with national banking association conferences.
Read the full press release

How to Get Great Customer Testimonials
“Prove it.”
Anyone can say they offer a quality product or service. But savvy consumers want proof. That means third-party endorsements. Since most small businesses are unlikely to get access to Oprah, that leaves gathering testimonials from best clients.

But, too often, testimonials consist of “You were great to work with—I’d do it again!” Compelling testimonials tell a story and prove what makes you unique.

Choose your best clients, preferably ones whose standing in the community will influence others.

Ask the three key questions: What was it like before you used our services? What was it like working with us? What specific results did you get from using our product/service? The answers are essential to creating a compelling testimonial.

Interview them in person or on the phone. This is much more effective and efficient than email. People will give you more material and you can point the conversation in the direction you want it to go.

Draft a written summary of their story and run it by your client for their approval.

Put your completed testimonials where prospects will see them. Websites, postcards, even business cards can incorporate testimonials, depending on the type of business.

Thank your clients. A handwritten note and small gift shows your appreciation for their helping your business.

Want more specifics? See the complete version our latest article, How to Get Great Testimonials.




This month’s winner: Dax Norton!
Dax wins a digital print featuring this one-of-a-kind design. Have a favorite quote or saying? Send it in! If your quote is chosen, you’ll receive a print of your custom design suitable for framing! Check out your competition here.

Client Spotlight

Make direct mail more effective
Many businesses send direct mail, whether postcards, coupon books, or brochures. Recent research shows these are far more effective when combined with other media.

According to the 23 May issue of PaperSpecs, Dannon, manufacturer of Activia yogurt, mailed coupons to three million yogurt buyers. These direct mail pieces were coordinated with television advertising, in-store sampling, and free-standing inserts. Participating retailers reported a 78% increase in Activia sales. The success of the campaign rested on its integrated approach.

The US Postal Service is cooperating by allowing much greater variation in the types of mail pieces allowed into its system. For instance, a beautiful Mardi Gras mask with die-cut holes for eyes that promoted a casino was considered the first “wearable mail” by the USPS.

The Postal Service also recognizes what they call the “Mail Moment—that very Sacred Moment ” when you interact with your mail. Far from being a joke, this is one of the most exciting parts of the day for some people.

Their research also shows that each household has a “CEO of the mail.” The CEO of the mail brings the mail in, sorts it, and delivers it to the right person. That means multiple people in one household (or organization, if you’re mailing B2B) can experience the Mail Moment. The question is, is your direct mail piece compelling enough to make the Moment sacred?

Want your marketing to be more effective? Contact us to learn how integrated print and web campaigns can boost your business.

Minority Report arrives
And from the Life Imitates Art newsdesk, the April issue of Graphic Design USA reports that a vision from the film Minority Report has come to fruition. In the film, the main character moves through a shopping mall. As he enters a Gap store, his retina is automatically scanned. A computerized voice then welcomes him by name and asks about his recent purchase.

Mini USA has taken us a step closer to that world. Certain Mini Coopers now come equipped with chips that contain personal information about their owners, such as the driver’s name, job, and favorite things about driving. When the cars pass Mini billboards, personalized messages appear on huge electronic screens, even addressing the driver by name.

As usual, this raises serious privacy issues. It also serves as a reminder of what we at consider to be “the dark side” of marketing. We encourage people to be very mindful of what personal data they disclose to any company, and always to scrutinize a company’s privacy policy.