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Posts Tagged ‘BtoB Online Marketing’

Author: Meagan Hollman

Mobile devices are quickly sweeping the world. Of those who own mobile phones in America, more than half (53%) of those are smart phones. With every change in the communications industry, the advertising industry has had to adapt or die. Most recently, online marketing companies are worried that the global sweep of mobile devices will destroy their business. Due to the smaller screens, lack of advertising room, and entire medium shift, digital marketing companies in Utah and the rest of the world will have to reevaluate the advertising experience of their constituency.

The troubles of adapting to new media have proved difficult so far. As with any disruption of paradigm, agencies have had to dramatically alter their paradigms. Companies like Facebook and Google, whose revenue is made primarily from online advertising, have already held multiple conferences concerning this shift to mobile internet access. To someone outside of the industry, making the shift from monitors and computers to pads and smartphones may sound negligible. However, even subtle changes in communication forum (which this case is not) can destroy the potential of entire conglomerates. Even more dramatically, some market critics are wondering if this shift will kill online marketing. As apocalyptic as this may sound, the answer is surely not as hopeless. Within and without Utah’s borders, new online marketing strategies are being developed to combat the trouble of creating a new advertising experience.

Since smaller screens are not fit for advertising banners and pop-ups have quickly become a disrespected form of advertising, new models must be invented. Some of the new ideas include personalization: ad agencies, with the search history and page views of favorite websites, customize a set of suggested types of advertisements for each group of people. Apps are another media which could be used by companies to urge customers into their service. For example, Amazon has an app which can scan items and give you their comparative online prices. Amazon and even local companies in Utah are formulated clever ways to utilize apps and turn the mobile revolution in their favor. 

Adapting has never been an issue for Utah’s online marketing agencies. After all, the shift to online business didn’t abolish the industry or even cripple it. In fact, online marketing is now more advanced and more utilized every day. Agencies who haven’t adapted have fallen into the oblivion of irrelevance. Those agencies who have survived have done so willingly and have flourished because of it. This new revolution of media offers just that opportunity for new agencies to emerge.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/online-promotion-articles/the-times-they-are-a-changing-6222878.html

 

Author: Samuel Hargis

Preflight for Graphic Design and Prepress, an Application or Process?

Designers and prepress operators often think of Preflight as an application. An application that runs on files to verify files and identify potential problems. I have trained hundreds of operators in how to prepare First Time Right Postscript and PDF files. That’s the first thing that I set folks straight on.
Preflight is a process. It’s a process of going through every predictable problem that can happen with your printing job. If you think it’s a software that you run and that’s it, you are not going to be able to produce First Time Right PDF files. There are many, many things that software cannot even check for, and things unique to YOUR jobs, customers, company that are important. Things that MUST be checked to ensure success and accuracy.

50% of commercial printing is headed for a delay or additional costs:

Publishers and printers regularly report more than 50 percent of the digital files they receive are improperly prepared to spec. Thus, these files will need preflight & then repair to go forward. This may be done by a publisher, printer, or kicked back to the graphic designer. At stake is the budget and schedule of the print project. Now, think about that… 50% of commercial printing projects are destined for a delay in schedule or additional costs when submitted!
A graphic design project may be made for print, web, and or video. Depending on the type of media, documents must be prepared exactly to specifications based on final output media. Common file flaws include fonts not embedded or supplied, color space(CMYK vs. RGB, or inappropriate use of Pantone or specialty colors), and resolution conflicts. These are some of the many things that can be identified quickly by Preflight tools. A Preflight tool is utility software that is specially suited to help identify these file issues.

Preflight Software, helpful, required, but not a Whole Solution:

So there are tools that help. But what about things you have to identify by visual inspection? What about bleed and trim margins, placement and position, checking dates on event ads and coupon ads. What about checking every full page ad that is a repeat to be sure that the folio (page number) is deleted or updated. What about copy flow from 2 successive documents in a publication. These are all things that must be checked visually by a human. So, if you want to be a top notch designer or prepress operator, there is a list of important Preflight items that you, the human, must check. I always advise people to develop and update THEIR LIST every time a mistake is found or caught. Use the list as a checklist often enough that it becomes completely automatic to you as you prepare and process graphics files. If you get burned on a project, think of making that a part of your preflight checklist. An example or beginning preflight checklist can be found at this URL, review it and use it as a starting point.
http://prepressforum.com/preflight/job_planning.html

Preflighting Applications, Help, and History of Preflight:

I once read an article that stated Preflight Applications were invented in the 1990’s. Actually, preflight applications are nothing new at all. The early layout applications like Quark Xpress, Aldus PageMaker, Adobe Photoshop, Ready Set Go, were the first preflight applications. Preflight applications were invented in the 80’s, and have been improved upon and developed since. Today there is a Free Preflight Tool available called FreeFlight™ at the URL below, you can download the software free and get free help and support.
http://FREE-PREFLIGHT.com

There is also an online community at PREPRESSFORUM.COM that has extensive and free, user to user support. I help folks there most every day and the site is chock full of great insider tips, tricks, problems and solutions. I would encourage any designer, publisher, or printer to join and participate, teach or learn. All experience levels are welcome to post and answer questions at this site.

Examples of First Preflight Software Tools:

Example (A) PageMaker has a links palette that scanned through the document providing a report about images linked/missing, RGB/CMYK, Tiff/EPS, etc. This was a preflight results report covering the main document AND many support document files combined. Thus Pagemaker was a preflight tool that could report on files originating from other applications, like scans. It would give the user a list of confirmations and or problems identified that was to be used to repair and prepare files prior to output.

Example (B) Quark Xpress has had a usage palette, when called, it scans through the open document providing detailed reports about fonts used/missing, images used/missing/modified, image types, image colors, image paths. This was a preflight results report covering the open document AND many support document files combined. Thus Quark Xpress was a preflight tool that could report on files originating in other applications, like scans. It would give the user a list of confirmations and or problems identified that was to be used to repair and prepare files prior to output. Additionally Quark Xpress may have started collect for output, a feature mentioned in other patents from the 1990’s regarding preflight software invention.

Example© Adobe Photoshop was used to inspect and verify images. Back in the day, a user would grab all the Tiffs and Eps placed into a job. The selected files drag & dropped onto Adobe Photoshop would automatically open and display the color space in the title bar of each file, CMYK/RGB/Grayscale etc. Thus Adobe PhotoShop was a preflight tool that could report on files originating from other applications. An operator could open the Image size palette and verify resolution before closing each document. Thus a semi-automatic preflight of graphic images was performed. So, yes, Adobe Photoshop was and still is a preflight application and a file repair application that could inspect and identify problems in files which it did not originate.

Preflighting, Today’s Hottest Current Applications:
QuarkXpress 6.5, QuarkXpress 7, Adobe InDesign CS2, these applications have built in preflight function these days. Unlike all other preflight software, these are native function that is fast and effective. Best of all, they come at no additional cost to the designer, publisher, or printer. These are built into both of today’s most common preflight applications.
However, there’s a few very critical holes in the built in preflight of these applications. No need to worry, there’s a FREE preflight application caller FreeFlight™ that has been recently released to address this. The application is a free download from a Quark Xtension and Adobe Plug-In developer site . FreeFlight is a must have tool that supplements the use of QuarkXpress and Adobe InDesign CS2 built in preflight. You can download and read about FreeFlight™ at this URL. http://FREE-PREFLIGHT.com
“Preflighting” as a printing term came to popularity in the 1990s as printers and service bureaus ensured that problematic files would be caught and fixed before they found their way into CTF (Computer to Film) workflow. In this century the term has evolved into other variations, like post-flight, indicating when in the workflow the file is actually verified. To Preflight is proactive quality control, Postflight is reactive quality control. Preflight is good manufacturing process, Postflight is not. This may be a nice topic for later. Take my word on it and avoid Postflight workflow schemes. Real craftsmen and professionals find and fix all problems at the earliest possible point. Many of these tools below are actually post-flight oriented tools.

Preflighting, The Older Expensive Applications for the job at hand:
Markzware FlightCheck Classic: This preflight software is developed by Markzware Software. Markzware’s FlightCheck Classic is a standalone application that scans, verifies and collects each job for output. Currently available as version 5.8 (6.0 was due out this fall), Although it was the gold standard for years and is still a great tool, the software is not staying current with releases of software. Example Quark Xpress 7. Markzware’s FlightCheck Classic will preflight a wide range of digital file formats, including PDF documents and those created in most popular native application programs (QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign, PageMaker, etc.). Ground Controls enable users to highlight potential problems, out of more than 150 choices, for which to search. Single-user licenses for Windows and Mac users are available for about $400. This software is no longer recommended because development does not stay current with the support of new application versions that it’s users face every day like Quark Xpress 7.

http://www.markzware.com
Markzware FlightCheck Collect!: This preflight software deemed the “lite” version of Markzware’s FlightCheck Classic, FlightCheck Collect! inspects for common file problems, like improperly assigned color space, missing fonts and image or resolution conflicts. Once preflighted, the application can then collect the document, including images, extensions and screen and printer fonts, for output. Markzware offers Windows and Mac versions for around $180. This software is no longer recommended because development does not stay current with the support of new application versions that it’s users face every day like Quark Xpress 7.
http://www.markzware.com

Markzware HawkEye: This preflight software from Markzware is HawkEye, a preflighting tool designed specifically for designers and content creators. It runs as a plug-in to most popular desktop publishing applications like QuarkXPress, Illustrator, Acrobat, FreeHand and more. Before content is created, designers can create specifications (known as TrueFileSpecifications) for each job they plan to create. For example, an art director can choose the color schema or font set to use. If the designer mistakenly places an element into the document that doesn’t meet the TrueFileSpecifications, he or she is immediately alerted to the discrepancy. Users can also choose to forbid saving or printing a file that is in a “failed” or “unfixed” state, helping to better manage revisions, versions and cut down on consumable waste. This product from Markzware was advertised and was on a seybold Hot Picks 2002 but may have been pulled or may have never made it to market, unable to confirm at Markzware’s site?
http://www.markzware.com

PDF/X-1 Verifier 2.0: This preflight software developed for the DDAP (Digital Distribution of Advertising for Publication association, www.ddap.org), this application verifies the integrity of PDF/X-1a files, the professional format of choice for print advertising. This application is suited for both digital ad designers as well as file recipients like publishers, prepress suppliers and printers. It offers pass-fail results or more comprehensive preflight reports. DDAP members can purchase single-seat licenses for about $95; non-members pay about $125.
http://www.ddap.org

Apago PDF/X-1 CheckUp: This preflight software developed by Apago offers PDF/X-1 CheckUp 2.5, a plug-in to Adobe Acrobat that preflights and produces PDF/X files. It supports both ISO (International Standards Organization) PDF/X-1:2001 and PDF/X-1a:2001 standards. Mac and Windows versions are available for Acrobat 4.0.5 and 5.0, for about $250ea.
http://www.apagoinc.com

Enfocus PitStop Professional: This preflight software developed by Enfocus Software, PitStop Pro preflights and edits PDF documents. It checks for 140 potential problems and offers 70 automated correction features. After running the document through preflight, users can edit existing objects and text, or add new elements. It’s also equipped to re-map color space or tag/detag images with ICC (International Color Consortium) profiles. The software comes with several common PDF profiles to select according to a file’s final destination. Windows and Mac versions of PitStop Professional are available for about $550. Enfocus Pitstop is a great tool for repairing bad PDF files. However, it is not recommended as a Preflight solution. Since the PDF is the end result, to check a PDF files is really Postflight, a good preflight workflow is about making good PDF in the first place.
http://www.enfocus.com

Extensis Preflight Pro: This preflight software is developed by Extensis, Preflight Pro inspects entire folders of native application documents created in popular desktop publishing applications like QuarkXPress, Acrobat, Illustrator, PageMaker, Photoshop and FreeHand. Following preflight inspection, the software then collects the job for output. Mac version is available for about $400.
http://www.extensis.com

TIFF/IT-P1 Checker: This preflight software developed for DDAP by Congruent Development, TIFF/IT-P1 Checker is a bundle of software tools, that includes TIFF/IT-P1 Preflight. Suited for both digital ad and packaging designers, it also represents a low-cost tool for any manufacturing partner that receives a large number of TIFF/IT-P1 files. It’s available in both Mac and Windows versions and costs about $100 for DDAP members, $180 for non-members.
http://www.ddap.org

Asura & Solvero: This preflight software created by OneVision Software AG, Asura eliminates frequently occurring production problems in PDF, EPS and PostScript files, with the help of hot-folder specifications. Asura preflights incoming files, while Solvero automatically repairs common problems. The system keeps a log of all changes made to a file. According to the developer, this coupled solution is most popular among newspaper publishers, which receive a wide range of digital file formats.
http://www.onevision.com

AdCheck: This preflight software developed by Total Integration, AdCheck 2.1 allows users to open and view production-image format files, including TIFF/IT, CT, HC and LW, using a standard Mac workstation. Its Show Info prompt provides detailed information about the file, including size and colors used.
http://www.totalint.com

Markzware MarkzNet: This preflight software developed by Markzware, MarkzNet is not an out-of-the-box preflighting solution. Rather, it’s a blend of the company’s popular FlightCheck technology with systems integration. For high-volume production environments, MarkzNet provides a Web-based portal into a company’s production workflow. Customers submit files with drag-and-drop simplicity. Files are automatically inspected for flaws or conflicts with the recipient’s specifications and either pass or fail. Failed files are rejected and both recipient and sender are immediately alerted to the problem. If the file passes, it’s automatically forwarded to the next stage of production for a truly seamless digital workflow. This software is not recommended because it is a web based tool and has proved to be really slow and not productive to many users.

http://www.markzware.com
Preflight Online: This preflight software developed from a partnership between Extensis and WAM!NET, Preflight Online is a Web-based solution for printers and publishers that need a custom-branded solution for receiving digital files from customers and advertisers. It accepts a wide range of file formats, including EPS, native Quark and Adobe PDF, preflights them and forwards files that pass directly to the recipient’s FTP server. There’s a one-time admin charge, as well as a monthly subscription fee that’s based on the customer’s actual inspection traffic. This software is not recommended because it is a web based tool and has proved to be really slow and not productive to many users.
http://www.extensis.com http://workspace.wamnet.com

TIFF/ITeyes: This preflight software developed by Rorke Data, enables users to view the complete data in TIFF/IT-P1 files, the widely adopted accredited standard for digital ad exchange. Users can measure X-Y coordinates, as well as CMYK values. http://www.rorke.com
SpeedFlow Check: This preflight software developed by OneVision, SpeedFlow Check is one component of a suite of tools that preflights, edits and imposes PDF, EPS and PostScript files. Files that pass SpeedFlow Check inspection are saved in PostScript or PDF form (depending on the manufacturer’s or publisher’s workflow) and sent to a hot-folder on the server. Problems may be fixed manually in SpeedFlow Edit and electronically routed to SpeedFlow Impose for impositioning.
http://www.onevision.com

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/advertising-articles/preflight-for-graphic-design-and-prepress-an-application-or-process-75990.html

About the Author

© Samuel Hargis 2012—Freelance Custom Software DeveloperQuarkXpress Xtensions and Adobe InDesign Plug-Ins—for years, the author has provided development, consulting, and technical guidance to many of the largest, most successful printing and publishing companies in the graphic arts. Also has trained hundreds of designers, publishers and printers in PDF workflow, Font Management, and PrePress Preflight process automation. The author runs a free prepress support community.Software-Robotics Plug-Ins, XtensionsPrepress Forum, Computer to Plate

Author: Tim Hawthorne

Direct response is all about getting consumers to take action. Pick up the phone, visit a website, respond to an ad on a mobile phone — these are all responses that direct marketers focus on as they develop campaigns. It just makes sense that quick response (QR) codes would have a place in a DR marketer’s toolkit.

First developed in Japan in 1994, these high-density, two-dimensional graphic images are basically just barcodes comprised of digital squares instead of bars. The composite of these ‘squares,’ often looking like crossword puzzles on steroids, come together to create codes, which, in turn, house the data that are scanned by mobile devices. The devices quickly scan and digest the code’s information block, translating it into hyperlinks or text information.

QR codes are being used across a wide variety of advertising mediums — from magazine ads to television to billboards. They allow for easy tracking of offline marketing efforts, provide a new channel for direct sales, and help stretch advertising dollars. Using QR codes, for example, marketers can cultivate a bigger pool of VIP customers (who take the time to scan the codes into their phones) and educate consumers in ways that billboards or magazine ads or 30-second TV spots cannot, while increasing brand awareness.

QR codes are also good at getting consumers involved in key issues. To gain public support for the restoration of the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of the 2010 oil spill, for example, the Women of the Storm club in New Orleans launched a ‘Be the One’ campaign, based on QR codes that sent consumers to a mobile website where they could watch a video and sign a petition in support of Gulf restoration.

Retailers have also caught onto the value of QR codes. Macy’s has integrated the codes into its holiday advertising campaign and its spring fashion promotion. The ‘Macy’s Backstage Pass’ campaign delivers consumer-oriented video content (including fashion advice, tips, trends and inspirations) according to Marketing Daily. Customers who scan the QR codes gain access to 30-second films showcasing Macy’s celebrity designer partners.

The list of QR code users goes on: Best Buy uses them in its offline ads and in-store displays (once scanned, the codes send consumers to the retailer’s mobile product pages), while clothing retailer Lacoste offers a discount to customers who scan its QR codes, play an online arcade game, and then register after playing.

Simple and affordable to set up and administer, the QR code’s low barrier to entry makes these mechanisms attractive across a wide swath of advertisers. To ensure that your own campaign yields the best results, follow these three tips:

1. Define your goals first. Do you want to get more people to your firm’s website? Provide an instructional video? Give certain customers an inside, VIP look at new offerings? Collect registration information? Whittle it down to one or two specific goals and your odds for success will rise exponentially.

2. Focus on the call to action. Much like you would do with a DRTV campaign, develop a well-defined call to action (CTA) to support the goals you’ve identified. That CTA will reside next to the code itself and should be short and to the point. For example: ‘Scan this code to see our newest attraction,’ or ‘Scan this code for a special discount.’

3. Create a compelling landing page. The mobile landing page that consumers see when they scan the QR code should relate directly to the first two steps. Create a dedicated site that only QR code users can access and make sure the site functions well on all mobile handsets.

When assessing the campaign’s success, focus on the length of engagement time generated by the QR code. If consumers are spending several minutes (or more) on the page you’ve directed them to, you have a successful campaign on your hands. If not, it’s time to revisit your campaign, check your code’s scanability (an issue caused by the many different scanning apps and phones currently in use), re-craft your CTA, and try again.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/branding-articles/deciphering-the-qr-code-5941089.html

About the Author

Author of over 200 published articles, Tim Hawthorne is Founder, Chairman and CEO of Hawthorne Direct, a full service DRTV and New Media ad agency founded in 1986. Since then, Hawthorne has produced or managed over 800 Direct Response TV campaigns for clients such as Apple, Braun, Nikon,Time-Life, Nissan, Oreck, Bose, and Feed the Children, Tim is a co-founder of the Electronic Retailing Association, has delivered over 100 speeches worldwide and is the author of the definitive DRTV book The Complete Guide to Infomercial Marketing. A cum laude graduate of Harvard, Tim was honored with the prestigious ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) in 2006.

Author: Linda Mentzer

White papers are a highly effective platform to convey the right mix of technical and marketing information to knowledgeable customers who make the final decision. A well written white paper educates your customer, differentiates your product and brings you closer to a sale with a self selected and interested audience.

For decision makers, white papers are the shortest and most efficient solution to evaluate a product and view independent research/surveys that support the products credibility. Decision makers look to white papers to answer the question – How will your product help solve my business needs.

A white paper (also known as an issues paper, position paper or thought leadership paper) frames certain issues that are of interest to a specific industry. White papers…

  • Educate
  • Clarify the broad outlines of an issue/topic to non-specialists
  • Summarize the implications of new business development
  • State specific approaches to a particular issue or market
  • Introduce a new opinion/way of thinking to business

White Paper matters!

If you have the ability to create white papers that help your customers and prospects, and also get you leads and build credibility and trust, then white paper still matters. There are so many firms for whom whitepaper still proves itself empirically (downloads, time spent on page, repeat visitor of page) as a great way to educate less-ready leads and tell them about an emerging space, technology or service.

Battle-Proving Stats

As per latest trends:

  • 54% indicate white papers are still the most important content to help make purchase decisions, greatly exceeding all other content such as analyst reports, webinars, user events and case studies.
  • 41% indicate white papers as extremely important in influencing purchases.
  • 70% of IT buyers used white papers to get information on enterprise technology solutions in the past three months.
  • 77% of respondents responsible for either making b2b technology purchase or influencing purchasing decisions read at least one white paper in the first six months of 2011, with 84% rating white papers as moderately to extremely influential when making final purchasing decisions, and 89% passing along to others.

So, are these trends indicating a death of white papers? The answer is, white papers are and have been one of the top forms of lead generation. Here we go with some of the proved reasons:

Reason 1 – They are viral by nature. People pass them around, post them and email them to other people. Yes, you can do that with a link also, but there is something powerful about a packaged and polished PDF.

Reason 2 – Even the ones that suck, people still save them, people print them, people study them, and people use them to make decisions.

Reason 3 – And if you are talking about the future, then don’t forget about the IPad and the Kindle. People still love reading a good quality content. The white paper may change names (i.e. eBook) or access requirements, but it will never die.

So forget about the speculation, the reality is that white paper still rank as the first or second most powerful tools available to marketers. They still represent a concise and portable argument on a particular topic and can be tremendous lead generators.

References:

www.esalesdata.com

www.tomgoodfellow.co.uk

http://www.focus.com

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/branding-articles/top-3-reasons-white-paper-is-not-dead-5927941.html

About the Author

Linda Mentzer is a published author and senior marketing manager for an information management company that has helped sell thousands of software products on a global scale. With over 11 years of experience in electronic marketing techniques, Linda has authored articles for several leading business journals, worldwide.

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