Category: Marketing Insights

What’s NFC and How Can I Use it in My Marketing?

Image courtesy of The Verge.

So, what exactly is NFC?

NFC stands for Near Field Communication, a short range wireless RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) communication technology which allows two devices to communicate and share information with one another once they are within a certain range. What’s especially cool about NFC technology is that there’s no need to download or launch an application to use it – bringing the NFC-equipped devices near one another automatically triggers the action.

But isn’t that a QR code?

The short answer? Not exactly.

Though QR codes and NFC can both be used to transfer data and link content wirelessly, there are some key factors that differentiate one from the other. Here’s an infographic from www.unitag.io which illustrates how you can tell them apart.

Infographic courtesy of www.unitag.io.

Then how does this apply to my marketing?

To unleash the full potential of what NFC technology has to offer, we’ve compiled a few simple ideas and benefits to using it in your future marketing campaigns.

  1. It works everywhere. That bus station in the middle of nowhere? NFC works there. How about that national park with spotty cell service? Yup, there, too. What’s truly remarkable about NFC technology is that it’s usable in environments where Bluetooth or service is of limited use.
  2. It allows you to tell a bigger story. Does your business’ product or service have more to it than can fit on an ad or shelf-talker? NFC might just be for you. A simple NFC tag embedded in a shelf-talker, POS display or packaging can deliver additional information – such as free recipes, loyalty discounts, video demonstrations or educational material – that can provide more context for customers and motivate them to act. 
  3. It takes the online offline (and vice versa). Roughly three quarters of Americans currently own smartphones, according to a 2017 study by the Pew Research Center. They don’t predict this will be slowing down anytime soon. As a marketer, it’s becoming increasingly important to build more integrated customer experiences that can bridge the virtual and physical worlds in a way that fits buyers’ lifestyles and captures their attention.
  4. It helps create tailored offerings for customers. As marketers, we all know that the most valuable currency we have is data. The more we know about the preferences, geography, income and purchasing habits of each target customer, the better we can reach them at the right time in the right place with the right offer. With NFC, a direct connection is initiated between individuals and marketers. As a result, we’re able to learn more about them and develop tailored offerings they value. 
  5. It hands the power over to consumers, but not entirely. It’s been said that the average American sees or hears more than 4,000 ads per day. In a world where each one of us is bombarded with unsolicited advertising, NFC technology gives users greater control over their interactions.

Interested to learn more about NFC? Visit our Print and NFC page on the Structural Graphics website to see examples of NFC campaigns our clients have created.

Contact us for more information on the technology, how we’ve implemented it and what we can do using NFC to help your business. The possibilities are endless.

You’re Not Making These Silly Print Marketing Mistakes…Are You?

Are you a marketer who regularly uses direct mail?

Here at Structural Graphics, we’re big proponents of print marketing and have applauded its ability to generate feedback, loyalty and, ultimately, sales. However, if you’re not using it properly, these pieces – and leads – can end up in the garbage.

To help you better succeed with your direct mail campaigns, we’ve compiled this list of common blunders that can hinder your prospects.

  1. An unclear message: Does your headline match your CTA? Do your graphics tie into your angle or story line? Is your copy clear, concise and appropriate for your audience?  
  2. Wrong audience: Do your research beforehand. Consider not only the age, location and interests of your target demographic, but also the appropriate time of year to contact them. For instance, tax season may not be the appropriate time to contact small business owners, and members of a senior housing community likely won’t respond to real estate marketing. 
  3. Being too self-indulgent: There’s a delicate balance between asserting your strengths and overindulging in them. Recipients don’t want front row tickets to the “Me Show”; they care about “What’s in it for me?” Great marketing always focuses on the recipients, not the business or agent reaching out. Highlight your brand’s value by showing how your product or service can help change people’s lives, making them easier or more fulfilling.
  4. No contact info: Print or digital, your marketing should always have the first and last name of someone for the recipient to contact. This simple touch point creates a connection between the consumer and your business, and saves them the hassle of having to go looking for someone to reach out to.

How to Drive Increased Marketing Results with Video in Print Advertising

You’ve heard it from us before: Video in Print delivers a powerful multi-sensory experience. Because Video in Print Advertising combines the added context and tactile engagement of print with the compelling motion and sound of video, it’s no wonder more and more marketers are using it to sell products and build trust with their customer base.

After all, as Seth Godin once said, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but the stories you tell.” So, why not make sure you’re telling the right one?

Consider these stats:

The top three most effective types of video content are: customer testimonials (51%); tutorial videos (50%) and demonstration videos (49%).Curata
Consider this a cheat sheet. Though video storytelling can be done in many ways, it’s important to be creative and allow your community of viewers, clients and potential customers to be a part of your brand’s story. Instead of giving them what you think they want, create video content that you know they will enjoy while still remaining true to your company and its values.

Companies who have integrated video into their marketing efforts enjoy 41% more web traffic from search than non-video users.SmallBizTrends
It’s not enough to create a video and post it to the web or include it in a Video in Print brochure. You have to nurture it. In marketing, where it’s historically difficult to track the success of campaigns, why not lead your audience to a specific landing page or encourage a clear call-to-action? Prioritize metadata, make sure to include appropriate tags and create enticing titles, too. Now, that’s a recipe for success.

Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it via text.Wirebuzz
We all know two things are generally better than one. But how about three? With Video in Print brochures, you’re engaging people’s sense of sight as well as their sense of touch and sound, giving them multiple touch-points and ways to engage with your brand.

90% of decision-makers say that product videos are helpful when deciding to purchase a product.Hubspot
Aside from reading reviews from other users on a specific company or product you’re looking to buy, people typically search for a related video. As consumers, people are interested in how a product works, how it looks or how it will make their lives easier.

5% of viewers will stop watching a video after 1 minute and 60% will stop watching after 2.Video Guru
The golden rule in video marketing: short and simple seals the deal (just don’t forget the Call to Action).

Clearly, using video has become a staple in marketing tactics. And, when it’s paired with a high-impact printed direct mail piece, it has double the impact. But, wait, what’s that? You aren’t implementing video yet? You want to expand the reach of your current video marketing efforts? Click here to get in touch.

In the meantime, take a look at our Video in Print offering on Structural Graphics and download our online ordering division, Red Paper Plane’s full Video in Print Catalog. With Video and Print combined, the possibilities are endless!

Let’s Get ‘Phygital’

Print and digital. Digital and print.

These two forms of marketing, once separate, are now (combined) the key to what could be a powerful integrated marketing strategy, especially as postal rates and paper costs continue to drive up companies’ budgets. While it’s instinctive that organizations looking to slash operational spend decrease print and postage costs, print is still preferred by 60 percent of customers.

How do you find perfect harmony between managing rising print and mail costs while still maintaining an excellent experience for the consumer?

The answer, according to Matt Swain from Broadridge, is choice.

He posits in this article that organizations are “in a position to create a more strategic alignment between their print and digital communications” by going “phygital” – combining print with digital.

 

As businesses look more favorably at incorporating integrated marketing campaigns into their strategic plans, many are redesigning their print communications in order for them to complement their digital counterparts. Part of this move includes bridging the gap with technology.

QR, AR, VR and more allow businesses to introduce themselves and their products in a “paperless” way. We’re seeing these technologies drive customer engagement and strengthen customer-business relationships. Plus, the use of this technology may qualify your business for an upfront 2 percent USPS postage promotion discount that is in effect for 2019. Not to mention, combined with a high-impact dimensional printed format, the engagement level of each marketing campaign which includes these technologies increases.

Popeyes is Offering Emotional Support (Chicken) this Holiday Season

A common topic of discussion in the news lately has surrounded the idea of allowing animals on airplanes to provide emotional support for travelers during the holiday season, as well as the restrictions for the types of animals that should be allowed. When GSD&M, Austin, TX had a buzz-worthy idea and design for a campaign for their client, Popeyes, to get holiday travelers talking (or should we say “squawking”) they contacted Blanks Printing, & Digital Solutions and the design and assembly teams at Structural Graphics to help bring this project to life!

The solution? “Emotional Support [Fried] Chicken”. For a limited time, those travelling in Terminal C of the Philadelphia Airport during the 2018 holiday season can now pick up the box which contains a 3-piece Chicken Tender combo meal from Popeyes.  Why the Philadelphia airport? Because it was named one of the most stressful airports in the United States.

“We know holiday travel can be frustrating, and there’s no better way to ease stress than with a box of delicious Popeyes fried chicken and a good laugh. We appreciate how comforting emotional support animals are and wanted to create our own version,” stated Popeyes CMO, Hope Diaz via news release.

The best part is, Popeyes is guaranteeing that their Emotional Support Chicken is “permitted to fly without any restrictions”, helping ease some of the worries for those crazed travelers this holiday season.

Blanks Printing & Digital Solutions, Dallas, TX printed this project on the new HP 12000 Digital press. Structural Graphics proudly engineered the design for function, created several rounds of full color test prototypes, and then hand assembled for the launch in the Philadelphia airport on Tuesday, December 18th.

The Story Behind DEPARTURES Magazine’s Audi Insert

How do you showcase a symphony of lights from a beloved brand using paper?

That was the riddle presented to Structural Graphics earlier this year when Audi of America’s agency of record, PHD Media, tapped Meredith Corporation to create a truly unique magazine insert in DEPARTURES Magazine. According to Don Stone, Meredith Corporations’ Senior Operations Manager and lead for this project, the Structural Graphics team “immediately came to mind.”

Not only did the insert need to excite and grab the attention of Audi’s target consumers; it also needed to highlight the “innovative and elegant” lighting experience of the new Audi A8.

“We designed the lighting package around the photography from Venables Bell & Partners, the creative agency for Audi,” said Ethan Goller, President of Structural Graphics. “We used 49 LEDs firing in exactly the same sequence as the A8.”

Readers of the magazine also receive a faux key fob, which has functioning lock and unlock buttons.

“By clicking the key fob lock or unlock button, you could experience the incredible A8 lighting sequence greeting you as you approach the car,” Goller said. “Great photography, combined with an elegant print treatment, high-end paper stocks and the lighting package we created, Departures Magazine gave the luxury and premium feel the Audi A8 demands.”

The record-breaking number of LED’s SG developed to mimic the Audi A8’s unique lighting design animation, along with producing the remote control faux key fob used to trigger the display lights is a one-of-a-kind experience that has never been done before.

Structural Graphics, which has been in the business for more than 42 years, is no stranger to using cutting-edge technology in its clients’ interactive print designs. In fact, this past summer, an ad in Instyle Magazine for Toyota created by Saatchi & Saatchi in partnership with Structural Graphics featured a heart rate monitor, sound module and pulsing lights. Another ground-breaking, never been done before technology.

Shin Wakabayashi, one of the paper engineers who worked on the Audi insert, talked about how he and his team help to enhance client print communications through the use of paper.

“Experimenting with it, whether it’s drawing on it or cutting into it or folding it, that’s when I start to see possibilities,” he said. “There’s a million different ways to create something, whether it’s flat or it’s dimensional. There’s a lot of shapes and forms and movements that you can make out of paper.”

2018 Trends: Print in a Digital World

Shame on you if you’re still thinking of print as “traditional” marketing!

Beyond the fact that print is not dead, we’re firm believers that paper and ink can be as limitless as your imagination. Nowadays, consumers can access bedtime stories by scanning wallpaper, quit smoking by way of virtual reality and track their heart rate just from touching a magazine ad.

As brands continue to rethink their marketing, it’s important not to count print (or paper) out just yet. For many, it can aid in creating multi-sensory experiences, bringing together craftsmanship, creativity and design in a way that resonates with consumers.

Taking inspiration from the trends mentioned in St. Joseph Communications’ Print in a Digital World 2018 report, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most innovative projects we’ve been a part of to show you just how interesting paper can be.

TREND 1: Art, not ads.

“From smartphones to desktops and tablets to wearables, we cannot escape real-time digital experiences. Real disruption goes beyond swipes and taps. It comes from creating a wider sensory and immersive experience.” – St. Joseph Communications

SONY

Sony chose our Magic Window design for a direct mail campaign. The results? The average time spent with this mailer – 41 minutes. The rate of recall among recipients – 90%. The average time this piece was retained by recipients – 4 months.

VELUX SKYLIGHTS

We worked with full service agency Wray Ward Marketing to promote the commercial use capabilities of their client VELUX Skylights. They wanted to portray that VELUX Skylights was superior to its competition. The design they chose to do this was our table tent video box. The video screen is contained within the box. When you open up the box, the piece stands and locks into place displaying the informational video front and center. The video box also included play/pause and volume controls.

TREND 2: Beyond the page.

“The emergence of new channels and technologies are creating new opportunities for marketers. Virtual reality and augmented reality are bridging the gap between print and digital like never before. Downloadable apps can be easily introduced to campaigns, while more sophisticated brands are integrating these technologies into their own mobile platforms.” – St. Joseph Communications

FOOD LION

Food Lion Grocery Stores used this press kit to deliver information about the new layout and new products offered at its stores. When you open up the press kit, a replica of the new store pops up in the middle of the kit with detailed information on the new layout laid out in the middle. Also upon opening, a sound chip was activated to deliver an auditory announcement of the new stores. Each panel featured colorful imagery and information about the exciting changes of the store, and the right-hand panel also featured additional tabs of information that could be easily pulled out. The locking mechanism on the inside allowed the panels to lock in place making this the perfect comprehensive press kit for Food Lion.

PORSCHE

We designed and produced this custom Virtual Reality Viewer for Porsche. They used it to give consumers an interactive experience with their brand.

 

 

STRYKER DIAGNOSTICS

Stryker Diagnostics, the makers of hip and knee medical devices, chose this V-Pop design as a tradeshow invitation. When you open the invitation, a postcard pops up in the center. The call to action on the postcard was to bring the postcard to the Stryker booth to experience a 3D demonstration of the hip and knee devices. When users held the postcard marker in front of the web cams set up at the Stryker kiosks they were able to view a live 360 degree 3D demonstration of these devices.

TREND 3: Far from traditional.

“Thinking of print as ‘traditional’ is an old way of thinking. Consumers can cook, monitor their own health, and connect physical and digital channels thanks to a printed piece. These are the types of interactions that are meaningful to consumers.” – St. Joseph Communications

TOYOTA

The request was for something that has “never been done before.” With an LCD heart monitor and two completely independent electronic units in one magazine unit, this spectacular for the Toyota Camry certainly meets the criteria.

Incorporating movement, interaction and technology, this first-of-its-kind Camry insert is the latest re-invention of what print can be.

NATIONWIDE INSURANCE

Nationwide Insurance used this pie box mailer to deliver information about CareMatters, its long-term care product, to agents nationwide. The outside of the box pie box featured a partial mylar window that allowed recipients to get a sneak peek inside the box. In this case, a piece of the pie. Inside the box was a double-layered pie made out of paper that delivered different information as you turned the upper layer of the pie. There was also a brochure and a web key inside the box that drove agents to a unique landing page, specific to their agency, where they could learn more about this product. This box was also the winner of a GDUSA American Package Design Award!

GOOGLE

When you’re the most widely used web-based search engine in the world, how do you communicate with your audience in a way that is equally as big? Google chose this puzzle piece mailer to introduce the features of Google Earth Pro, its 3D interactive globe. The pieces of the puzzle were mailed inside the envelope and recipients were asked to connect it all together. The results? A fully dimensional ball featuring the features and benefits of Google Earth Pro.

The Story Behind InStyle’s Toyota Ad

If you’re one of the 50,000 targeted subscribers who received the March issue of InStyle magazine, there may have been one spread in particular that stood out. And it wasn’t an article.

Rather, it was an ad. A Toyoto ad, to be precise, and it’s being touted as the first-of-its-kind magazine insert.

With a pulse reader, speaker and flashing lights, the insert, created by Saatchi & Saatchi in partnership with Structural Graphics, expertly uses sight, sound, smell and touch, to take readers in an extrasensory tour of Toyota’s 2018 Camry sedan. The insert not only marks the first time an LCD heart monitor has ever been put into a magazine, but also the first time two completely independent electronic units have been combined into a synchronized magazine unit.

“It was something brand new; completely undone ever before,” said Ethan Goller, President of Structural Graphics. “It was RND, new technology.”

According to Creative Director Erik Hluchan, the team at Structural Graphics was approached by Toyota’s agency of record, Saatchi & Saatchi with an idea to create a pop-up based on something they’d seen on the Internet. Together, with the help of Shin Wakabayashi, Paper Engineer, Noel Boland, Director of Design, and Goller, the team was able to engineer a clean, reliable pop-up experience that fit seamlessly into the magazine.

“It’s challenging when it goes into a magazine because of the way it’s treated,” Hluchan said. “Magazines are bent, they’re curved, they’re put into mailboxes, they’re rolled up sometimes. So you have to go through a lot of testing.”

The entire team worked tirelessly for months to turn this dream into a reality. And their testing really did pay off.

The insert helped the publication exceed its March budget, a sales rep. told AdWeek.

To interact with the insert, first, readers grip the door handles, placing their thumbs on clearly labeled, built-in sensors. As they open the “doors” to either side, they’re immediately met with a heart icon on the embedded LCD screen and then a pulse line. A beep keeps time with the pulse line. To fully immerse the reader into the scene, a subtle leather scent was also added.

“In today’s advertising environment, you really need to find ways to break through the clutter and engage consumers,” said CEO Mike Maguire. “This magazine spectacular certainly accomplishes this.”

The Power of Print Marketing

Written By Isabelle Bowden

The digital revolution has propelled society into a new era of engagement and creativity. This shift has significantly changed the marketing industry. Social media and technological innovation illustrate the power of digital marketing. However, in this fast-paced world of screens and computer chips, high-touch print collateral can, and does, have a surprisingly profound impact.

Interactive print marketing is a powerful tool which allows your brand or business to stand out from the competition. Various colors, dimensions, textures, and even lights, sounds, and video contribute to an effective multi-sensory experience with a lasting impact. Below are four reasons to choose print marketing for your next high-impact campaign:

  1. Effective recipient engagement

Paper has been a valuable resource since the earliest civilizations. The tactile fulfillment and sensory experience associated with print marketing is undeniably effective. The vast amount of online information dilutes the impact of digital messages. Standout from the digital clutter by choosing a dimensional print promotion from Structural Graphics!

  1. Creativity and personalization

With many options for print marketing, your business can stand out with unique and thoughtful designs. Think sizes, dimensions, finishes, and other fine details that will make your creation valuable. Visit Structural Graphics and Red Paper Plane to browse a variety of designs and examples.

  1. Promotes relationships

The value of a handwritten note is undeniable. This same value applies to print marketing which demonstrates an investment in business relations. Dedicating time and resources for print marketing will have more of a lasting impact than an email, already lost in the inbox. In fact, this 2018 FedEx survey reveals that “85% of participants said they were more likely to shop at a small business that had customer printed materials such as business cards, signs, and flyers.”

  1. A more established, unique brand/presence

Print marketing contributes to a more established and unique brand and/or presence in an industry. Consistent aesthetic elements on your print results in instant recognition! FedEx states that “80% of small business owners felt that professional printing services helped their business stand out from the competition.” Now is the time for your brand to be recognized!

Despite the growth of digital marketing, it is evident that print will continue to play a critical role in effective marketing mixes. Visit Structural Graphics online on our website or Youtube channel to learn about and see more of our work. We are constantly adding new designs, so make sure you check out all Structural Graphics has to offer. When it comes to dimensional print marketing, we are the 42 year leaders in the business, and we’re here to make your brand stand out!

Resources:

Fedex Office Survey Confirms that Consumers and Small Business Owners Prefer Print

This Book is a Planetarium (No, Really!)

Designer Kelli Anderson is known for her “disruptive” and extraordinarily creative designs.

A few years ago, she had the idea to create a book – made entirely out of paper – that would feature a pop-up pinhole camera. And that camera, she vowed, had to work. Kelli contacted Structural Graphics to help fine-tune the design and make it come to life. You can learn more about her piece, aptly titled This Book is a Camera, here.

Now, Kelli is back at it, again, with her most recent title: This Book is a Planetarium.

Inside this unique book are six interactive contraptions meant to answer the deceptively simple question: “How does it work?”. For instance, there’s a pop-up speaker which allows the reader to place his or her smartphone inside and project sound through the conical structure. Then there’s the pop-up guitar-like instrument (completed with a pick) that’s meant to show how a variety of sounds can be produced by amplifying string vibrations at varying speeds.

But perhaps the most exemplary part, and the piece for which the book got its name, is the pop-up planetarium. Taking advantage of light, this piece features die-cut holes formed into the patterns of the constellations of the night sky. Our team at Structural Graphics helped to make Kelli Anderson’s remarkable design production-ready. All the reader needs to do is slip his or her cell phone (in flashlight mode) beneath the planetarium and turn out the lights to see the constellations come to life.

To learn more about this project and see it in action, click here.