Did You Know… PIP Triad Can Help with Your Trade Show Displays?

We understand that most businesses are on a tight budget, but there are a number of different trade show booth options to give off the best impression to customers while not breaking the bank. When creating a display, it’s often important to go for quality to ensure that the booth lasts a long time. Even with a small display, having a quality design allows businesses to build on it later. With these displays, trade show attendees can have a clear visual of what represents a company and what message is being communicated.

For businesses that want to change out display content, consider using retractable banner or spider signs which give presenters the opportunity to change out the graphic without any other equipment or tools. LED Backlit Displays offer the same convenience.

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Curved Arise Murals make a big impression, provide a solid backdrop, or stage as we like to call it, for the services and products you are presenting. Available in 10 or 20 feet by about 7.5 feet tall, the full color printed substrate is stretched over a light weight metal frame that pops up like a tent! Each 10′ mural also comes with a 3ft oval counter that is custom wrapped as well and acts as travel storage for the entire setup! Some businesses ad features such as spot lighting, digital screens, and smaller attachments to hold materials such as brochures and other handouts.

Floor graphics are another option to consider. Add another dimension to your booth with temporary surface decals that remove easily, or custom printed floor mats, you could really reel in attendees!

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And there are always over hangs, banners, flags and other versatile signage that you may want to have handy for those really big shows!

Still hesitating about investing in Trade Shows? Take a moment to read this article on the importance of Trade Shows and Trade Show Marketing from adcamo.com

Trade Shows and Their Importance in Trade Marketing
If you are looking for a platform for your trade marketing strategy, you cannot afford to overlook trade shows. Exhibiting these products at a trade show can be a great way to get them in front of current and potential supply chain customers. More importantly, they offer a great way to create a first impression about your company to sub-distributors, distributors, and wholesalers. With the right pitch and talent, you can not only get promising leads but also turn them into partners in your supply chain structure.

These trade shows can be valuable in most industries and fields of work, and for a variety of trade marketing strategies. In general, a national trade show can attract as many as 1,000 exhibitors and 10,000 attendees, with around 200 visitors per day. If you focus on only sales calls, it would be next to impossible to have this kind of audience reach.

If you are still not convinced about trade shows as an important element of your marketing strategy, here are some reasons why you should consider them.

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The vast potential for sales leads

One of the biggest reasons for a presence in trade shows is the potential for sales leads. As mentioned earlier, hundreds of customers come to these shows and, depending on the show you are part of, a majority of them could be part of your target audience. The very presence of these customers in a trade show means that they are interested, and you have the chance to convert this interest into a promising and qualified lead. The right marketing message and pitch can help draw more prospective customers for your supply chain than the most complex sales call campaign.

The opportunity to grow your network

A good trade marketing strategy involves using your network to your advantage, and trade shows give you the chance to develop and strengthen this network. These trade shows offer an invaluable opportunity to network with potential supply chain entities as well as other businesses within your industries. Over time, networking within your industry can open new opportunities for your business too.

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Increasing awareness about your business

The reasons given above mention marketing pitches and networking, but neither of them work well if your business lacks brand recognition. By displaying your products and brand in trade shows, you can create awareness about them as well as generate interest among customers. A good tradeshow marketing strategy can get people talking about your people within the industry and even on social media.

A chance to gauge the competition

At the end of the day, a trade show is not just about one business. It is a platform for many businesses to display themselves and their products. If the show caters to a specific industry, as many of them do, then many of the businesses you see in trade shows are probably your competitors. You get to see what they are up to and the products they have to offer. This sort of opportunity to assess competitors up front is rare, and must be used.

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Did You Know… Signage Can React to Arriving Trains?!

Talk about interactive signage!!

To introduce a new hair product, this environment-sensitive ad in a Stockholm subway station gives commuters a mind-blowing special effect… it’s entertaining and lets you know when a train is pulling in! Digital screens on the platform were equipped with ultra sonic sensors that monitor the train’s arrival verses nearby movement – that way, the ad will only pick up on the train’s motion, not the people walking around it…

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Blowin’ in the wind: Stockholm subway digital signage reacts to passing trains

A digital signage display on a Swedish subway platform reacts to passing trains, showing an ad with a model whose hair blows around her face when trains zip by, according to Mashable and The Huffington Post.

The digital out-of-home project is an ad for a line of pharmacy chain hair care products with the tagline “Make your hair come alive,” according to Mashable. The subway platform ads in Stockholm were outfitted with ultrasonic sensors that detected oncoming trains, the site said. The ad featured a model with a lush mane, and when the train came, her hair flapped in the wind and she struggled to keep it in place.

“We needed to build a device that could be calibrated to sense the arrival of the train and not react to passing passengers,” the production company Stopp Family, which designed the ad, wrote on its website, according to HuffPo. “Using an ultra sonic sensor, connected to a Raspberry Pi and a local network socket, we connected our device to the screens computer where the film could be activated by the passing trains.”

Watch the ad in motion below:

Apotek Hjärtat – Blowing in The Wind from Ourwork on Vimeo.

Just imaging the possibilities! We’ve seen billboards that react to incoming airline flight, what other capabilities could signage behold?!

Did You Know… “Windows Vista” Has A Completely Different Meaning in Latvia?

Coke-global-marketing (This article originally published at ClickZ)

Avoid These 6 Mistakes in Global Marketing

It’s exciting to take a business onto the international stage, targeting global customers and new opportunities. However, in your hurry to reach them before your competitor does, it’s all too easy to overlook some of the finer points of internationalization.

Unfortunately, it’s these same details that can make or break an overseas campaign. Even some of the largest brands have discovered this to their cost.

Looking at what they did wrong and what others have done right can be useful when it comes to reviewing your own global marketing strategy.

Mistake #1: Failure to Adapt to Local Markets

The most successful global businesses understand the importance of being relevant to their local markets.

That’s why you can now buy a KFC rice bucket in Singapore. Likewise, you’ll find pasta dishes on the McDonald’s menu in Italy and the chain has now opened the first of a planned 500 or so meat-free restaurants in India.

You don’t need to be in the restaurant business to see the benefit of appealing to local culture, while avoiding marketing angles that might offend local values and religious beliefs.

Mistake #2: Brand Names That Don’t Translate

The public loves to laugh at brand names that mean something unflattering or off-color when translated. Japanese sports drink Pocari Sweat is just one of many casualties of this.

Similarly, the scenic connotations of Microsoft’s Vista made quite a different impact in Latvia. Here the word equates to “hen” and is also used to refer to a dowdy woman.

The difficulty with this is it’s often not obvious to non-native speakers of that language and by the time the mistake has been caught, there’s already an expensive marketing campaign underway.

Mistake #3: Keyword Translation Issues

The right keywords mean search traffic will be well matched to your service or product, and more likely to buy. However, a dictionary or Web translation won’t always provide the best word for a specific product.

Regional usage where different countries share a language can also be a problem. Orange juice brand Tropicana ran into this challenge when marketing “jugo de china.” While the term had been correct for their orange juice campaign in Puerto Rico, it fell flat with Cubans in Florida. To them, it meant “juice from China.”

On top of using keyword research tools with country and language filters, it’s always a good strategy to double-check with a native speaker that you’ve found the best choice.

Mistake #4: Not Treating Local Markets as Separate Campaigns

A monolingual Twitter or Facebook account is simply not enough to connect with worldwide customers, still less to make them feel valued.

Instead, tailor each campaign for its target country or region. That means not only publishing content in the language of that audience but keeping it relevant to their interests. Creating separate social media accounts and using the market’s own preferred platforms is the best way to do this.

These might include Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest – all now major networks worldwide. Video also has an almost universal appeal, although Youku Tudou and 56.com are alternatives to YouTube if marketing to China.

Regional social networks can also play a key role. For example, companies are using messaging service LINE to reach out to its users in Japan: a number that had reached 47 million registered users by August 2013. Given their worldwide success, it’s no surprise to learn that Coca-Cola is one of the global businesses that was quick to get on board.

Mistake #5: Insufficient Research Into Local Culture

Creating a campaign that attracts attention begins with thorough research into cultural preferences. For instance, the colorful and visually exciting campaigns that create a buzz in Asia often need a redesign to appeal to Western markets.

Regional differences can also affect conversion rates. For example, while Germans will happily buy consumer electronics online, a 2012 Accenture study showed that a significant majority of Russians, Chinese, and Japanese shoppers prefer to visit a retail store.

Payment preferences also need consideration. Not all countries have high usage of credit cards. Some, such as Canadians, prefer to use debit cards. Others prefer to buy with checks or via online services such as PayPal.

Mistake #6: Failure to Adapt for Mobile

With mobile devices now so much a part of our lives, no online business can afford to neglect its mobile presence.

To avoid having a mobile-unfriendly site that sends potential customers to your competitors, get up to speed on the best way to meet the needs of mobile users. These include responsive design elements, large tap targets, and keeping the bandwidth load light. Keep up to date too with voice search trends.

The term “mobile” covers a broad range of devices and different platforms such as Android, iOS, and Windows. Test your site across as many of these as possible.

Pay attention to regional differences and changing trends now and you will lay a firm foundation for future success with international customers.

Did You Know… 67% of Consumers Say They Are More Likely to Purchase from a Mobile-friendly Website?

Yet another marketing service we at PIP Triad have had our eye on…

How to decide between a responsive website or a native mobile app…

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Many business owners and entrepreneurs struggle with whether they should design a responsive website that works across devices or focus exclusively on building a native mobile app. It’s a difficult choice to make since both options present advantages and disadvantages that must be taken into consideration when moving forward.

As of last year, apps from retail businesses took up to 27 percent of consumer’s time, which sheds lights on how critical a mobile app can be to reaching your customers where they are active online. At the same time, 67 percent of consumers say they are more likely to purchase from a mobile-friendly website than they are from a website not optimized for devices other than desktop.

If your company can afford it, it’s highly recommended that you build both a responsive site and a native mobile app in order to help your business work towards capturing the attention of your entire mobile audience. The native mobile app will provide a mobile centric experience for your existing and most loyal customers, while your responsive website can help provide an optimized experience to new and old visitors browsing your website or discovering it for the very first time.

Unfortunately, most companies can’t afford to do both, which is why it’s important to understand the advantages of both options when addressing your company’s mobile priorities.

Responsive design isn’t a cure-all

Responsive Web design is certainly the most affordable option for your business as compared to the development of a mobile app. Take into consideration the initial costs of redesigning your website to be mobile friendly, then the cost of occasional upkeep and upgrades.

If visibility in the search engines is an increasingly important part of your strategy to grow your business, then a responsive website is critical in helping grow traffic to your website. A mobile app lives in a closed environment and cannot be indexed by the search engines, which requires driving traffic to this app through alternate methods.

BBC Responsive Design How to decide between a responsive website or a native mobile app

Depending on your designer and the size of your website, a responsive Web design often takes far less time to create then does a mobile app since there’s no app store approval or extensive guidelines to follow as compared to what Google Play, the Apple app store and the Windows Phone app store require for launching an app.

If the goal of your destination online is to be universally accessible from any device, then responsive design is the solution. A mobile app is designed for a unique experience; exclusive to the operating system it lives on, which means it isn’t a one size fits all fix.

However, don’t think of responsive design as the easy way out when it comes to optimizing your website across mobile devices. Although a responsive website optimizes your experience, it doesn’t incorporate all the smart phone features like the camera or GPS that a native mobile app can.

A mobile app will provide users with unique functionality and speed that can’t be achieve with a responsive website, but can be experienced on the operating system you choose to design your app on.

It’s better than not having a mobile-friendly version of your website, but it’s not the finally solution for your customer’s experience with your business on mobile. Again, the choice between responsive and a mobile app depends on what your goals are for mobile.

Consult analytics to inform your native mobile app

A mobile app offers a compelling, unique and mobile specific experience for your customers, which is one of the main reasons why your company should consider designing an app over worrying about making your existing website mobile-friendly.

First and foremost, if you have existing data to analyze than it is important to use your analytics tools like Google Analytics or Omniture to see what mobile devices are used the most to visit your website in the past few months. This can help inform what operating system you decide to design your app on.

Google Analytics Referral Traffic How to decide between a responsive website or a native mobile app

Whether you decide to go with iOS, Android, Windows Phone or another less popular operating system, it’s essential to match the features of the operating system with the type of app you’re looking to create whether it’s an ecommerce store, a content focused website etc.

Besides being able to utilize more of the features incorporated in a mobile device into the experience, a mobile app often has access to more data from a user and therefore, can provide a more personalized experience.

This personalization through data could play out in the types of push notifications an app sends you, product recommendations, suggested content to view or other specific user-driven actions. When a user makes a profile on an app, it makes gathering data about a person and their online habits much easier for a business and much quicker and smoother for the user continually using this app to shop, find events to attend, listen to music and perform other tasks.

As of now, a native mobile app offers the best user experience for a person on a mobile device since there are still limitations to how HTML 5 can be parsed on mobile.

As the complexity of the responsive website increases, the more likely the user experience will begin to suffer. A native mobile app offers the best user experience to your audience, taking advantage of the phone’s functions and the expectations of customers using these devices.

Lastly, in-app purchasing drives 76 percent of all app marketplace revenues to date since once it is setup, it’s particularly easy for users to make a purchase with pre-entered credit card information.

This is best suited if your app will offer micro-purchases, which our low price point products or services within the app, like buying virtual goods, membership to the premium version of the app or access to additional content.

This article was originally published at thenextweb.com.

Did You Know… LinkedIn Can Play a Vital Role in Your Marketing Strategy?

We have highlighted various features of the professional social network, LinkedIn, that work in the individual’s advantage and featured ways employers can use the network to recruit new help. But we haven’t spoken much on how LinkedIn can have an impact on your company, something we’re currently focusing on at PIP Triad. This article from M2.com is a short and sweet outline of what we’ve discovered so far about using LinkedIn in our Marketing Strategy

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Five Tips for a Great LinkedIn Marketing Strategy

LinkedIn can provide excellent opportunities for businesses to connect with prospects and increase their outreach. But very often B2B companies are uncertain about the right way to organize their LinkedIn strategy. Ben Hollom came across some tips on how to make this task simpler on Business2Community…

1. The most important thing to watch out for is your personal and company page information. In the digital world, a profile page is the equivalent to a business card; it often determines the first impression. This is why it´s important to include details that reveal your company in its best light.

2. Using Showcase Pages can be an excellent way to improve a brand´s presentation on the social network. These pages were introduced several months ago and have been enjoying increasing popularity among business users. LinkedIn allows every company to create up to ten Showcase Pages, where they can present individual products or services.

3. Keyword optimisation is also crucial. Do this by including relevant keywords in the information about your business, including a list of your company´s specialties. This will help the page rank better in search engines and will help users find you a lot more easily, Business2Community claims.

4. One of the most vital aspects of any brand´s social media presence is content. The importance of having fresh and relevant content posted on your social channels cannot be overstated. This can be achieved by sharing content relevant to the brand and the industry, such as blog posts from the company website, whitepapers and eBooks. If you need help generating this content, call M2 Bespoke – we are content specialists and can provide you with all kinds of tailored content to suit your needs.

Do you plan on using any of this advice to improve your LinkedIn presence?

Image: Twin Design / Shutterstock.com

By |March 17th, 2014

Did You Know… Visual Presence Really CAN Make the Difference

In the spirit of March Madness…

Mashable and Capital One Spark have been running a similar bracket-style challenge to determine America’s Most Social Small Business, consisting of four rounds. On March 18th, the final winner will recieve a feature profile on Mashable! You can follow along with the hashtag #SocialSmallBiz

The challenge is currently on round three this week which focused on how each brand utilizes visuals storytelling in their social efforts — “everything from the images they post on TwitterFacebook and Instagram to the videos on their YouTube channels and their pinboards on Pinterest and quirky content on Tumblr. Visuals are an integral piece of the puzzle when it comes to a quality presence on social media, making this round a key determinate of which businesses are truly the most socially savvy.”

Here are the Final Four…

Blue Bottle Coffee stands out for their commendable effort with creativity and cohesive brand identity in its use of imagery that goes far beyond simply beautiful photos of morning lattes. Blue Bottle’s hand-drawn style images are utilized on a variety of platforms. The company’s blog is chock full of visually heavy content. On Instagram, the brand hosts contests and giveaways to gain traction among its followers, features customers in the store, gives behind-the-counter glimpses into the company’s culture, includes videos — and of course, there’s plenty of artfully crafted images of Blue Bottle products.

Blue Bottle’s visual strategy perfectly captures the artsy vibe of a bustling coffee shop. “We’re careful to make sure that our imagery, just like the experience of our social media, is an extension of our retail stores’ elegance,” the company tells Mashable. “The goal is to put forward an experience that’s equivalent to conversing with a friendly, knowledgeable, and humble barista in one of our cafes. In some ways, their professionalism makes it easy for us on social. We’re just copycats.” With the perfect mix of subtle product promotion and aesthetically gorgeous imagery, Blue Bottle progresses on to the final round.

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Sevenly has an overall visual strategy and strong presence on a variety of platforms, including InstagramTumblrYouTube and Pinterest, featuring cool how-tos, Sevenly product art and logos, behind-the-scenes glimpses of photo shoots,inspirational messagestime-lapse videos, photos and videos showcasing the various charitable causes the brand donates to, and even giving shout-outs to other companies that work with charities. Sevenly engages its audience in conversation via imagery, asking followers on Instagram for their opinions on which charitable causes mean the most to them, since Sevenly works with a new cause each week. On YouTube, Sevenly further delves into its cause-oriented mission and “People Matter” mantra.

A spokesperson for Sevenly says, “Imagery is very important for a business like Sevenly that runs a new campaign every week. Every Monday we start from scratch and inform and educate our audience about the cause we’re supporting. As an ecommerce only business, it’s also very important to show our customers our products, especially since our line of cause apparel changes every week.”

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Beekman 1802 has a gorgeous Instagram stream that showcases life on their farm. Scroll through and you’ll get a sense of the beautiful simplicity of farm life, complete with plenty of “aww”-inducing animal shots. Beekman promotes user engagement on Pinterest with challenges, product posts and behind-the-scenes looks into daily life on the Beekman farm. They feature a number of videos on YouTube, giving more behind-the-scenes looks as “just for fun” videos such as this blooper reel.

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Plated‘s reveals expertly executed visuals, with a strong YouTube and Pinterest presence and beautiful Instagram images. The brand does a great job with community challenges, incorporating the hashtag #platedpics with giveaways and contests to encourage user engagement. Plated goes beyond the typical “food porn” visual strategy (though there are plenty of mouthwatering images on all its social accounts) to give insight into company culture and includes YouTube videos featuring cooking “tips and tricks,” recipe ideas and more. It positions itself as a lifestyle brand, rather than simply a food provider. It’s clear that Plated employs a customer-oriented strategy — not only do they post images, but they also ask for fan and follower feedback and suggestions.

We try to express to our clients how much of an impact social media can make on their business success. We hope this helps point out some of the tactics being used and how they are working for these companies. Check out Mashable’s article, America’s Most Social Small Business, to read more about the contest and how these brands were chosen against their components!

Did You Know… PIP Triad Now Offers Reflective Vehicle Decals?!

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You can’t miss the newly wrapped PIP Triad delivery van roaming round Greensboro and the Piedmont Triad! Not only do we hope to attract attention with the bright colors, this van showcases yet another print innovation taken on by the Production Team at PIP Printing and Marketing Services of the Triad – Reflective Decals!
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Once the body of the van was completely wrapped in our standard self-adhesive vinyl substrate, each of our PIP Triad logos, social media icons, and contact text were contour
cut out of a special material, 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material, then applied over top of the wrapped surface. Like our standard vinyl wrap, this material is self-adhesive, however, unlike any vehicle wrap material we’ve ever used, this product reflects any light that hits it as the van travels through town. Our contact information can now be visible day or night! And, just to throw in another trick, we applied our website in reverse  on the hood so that drivers in front of our van can read it through their rear view mirror!
Visit www.piptriadsigns.com to view other PIP Triad signage installations. Call us today to ask about your options!!
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