Monday, September 15, 2014

How to Create Effective Printed Marketing Materials

Printed Marketing materials usually create the first impression a potential client sees. With the fast pace of business, it is difficult to get appointments and make presentations in front of clients. It is very important that your marketing materials represent you well in your absence. The key to an effective marketing campaign is to clearly define its purpose and the audience it’s intended for. Your message needs to be simple and straight-forward. Keep your message short and to the point; the more you try to say, the less they will remember. There are three major elements of any marketing campaign: the style of collateral, the copy, and the graphic design.

Your budget can determine which communication tools you would like to use; a brochure, a booklet, a rack card etc. A marketing brochure can be of many sizes and shapes, or fold in many different ways. Choosing the type of brochure depends on the message, the industry you are in, how much information you need to fit in, and who your clients are.

The words and phrases are an important element of the overall design and creativity of your printed piece. For your message to be successful and stand out in the crowd, it needs to be creative, easy to understand, and brief. Focus on your clients’ needs rather than explaining what your product does. You will connect deeper with your audience if you address their needs instead of focusing on you or your product. Prepare, write, read, correct, and rewrite again…

Graphic design is the final step in this process. Most often, the graphic designers are also commissioned with the task of writing and copyrighting text. Although the text and graphics go hand-in-hand, they will be much more effective if they are done by two different professionals. At the end of the day, it all comes to dollars and sense. The more dollars you spend, the more sense it will make! A solid design starts with great copy.

Remember, if the clients don’t like your marketing materials, they may decide they know all they need to know about you. Great marketing materials will open doors for you to meet clients and present your materials!

Monday, September 1, 2014

What is 3D Printing?

Perhaps you’ve heard of three-dimensional (3D) printing, but are not sure what it really is. It is a process of creating or duplicating a three dimensional object by attaching thin layers of material together. 3D printing is also called “additive manufacturing,” which is a more accurate name for it. This emerging technology can use over 100 different materials to manufacture a 3D object. Most of the common materials are plastic, metal, and nylon.

3D printing was originally developed for the space program. Today, many companies are testing the possibilities. Currently there are many different 3D printers on the market. You can buy one for less than $1000. The less expensive machines are small and use plastic. The smaller the printer the more limited you are as to the size of the objects you can reproduce.

You must have a CAD design of a three dimensional object before you can proceed to manufacture it using a 3D printer. Another option would be to scan an existing object and create a replica. The process is more of a custom manufacturing of objects. 3D Printers are not fast and they are not meant to produce more than a few copies. In addition to standard objects, they can also produce moving parts.

Quick prototypes, manufacturing parts, or making body parts are some of the applications for these printers. 3D printers are hitting every market in all shapes and sizes today, but their real strength for a particular application is yet to be found!

Direct Mail 101: “Where Do I Start?”

  It can seem overwhelming when starting a new direct mail campaign, where should you start, and does direct mail even work anymore? Don’t w...