Print It Plus education, part 1: a series about vehicle wraps, and what you should look for in a quality wrap in south Florida

Print It Plus van - left side

One of the most important things that we do with our clients is share our knowledge with them. Not only what products and services we offer, but also how we create them. We want our clients to understand the high quality of workmanship that goes into their finished products.

The Print It Plus commitment to high quality starts from the moment you contact us. It starts with your initial interaction with our sales team, continues as you work with our design team, and right through the work of our production team (and installation team, if it is a vehicle wrap, decal or signage you have purchased from us). Even after your product has been delivered, our customer service people are here to work with you and continue to build on our client/vendor relationship with you.

We apply these same high standards to any new products or services that we consider adding to our arsenal. For example, when we decided to add Vehicle Wraps, Truck Wraps, Car Wraps, Decals and to the Print It Plus product line a few years ago, we did not just buy the vinyl print machine, obtain the materials and say “here we go!” and start rolling out vehicles with wraps on them. Not by a long shot.

No Pressure Roof Cleaning

We do an extensive amount of research – not only to determine if it is a viable market for us to enter but also what is required to offer the finest finished product in the market. In the case of vehicle wraps and decals, we determined they were strong compliments to our current product lines. Furthermore, we determined that we already possessed the capability to do the work in house with printing machines we were already considering adding and some additional training. That is how we decided to add vehicle wraps, truck wraps, car wraps, boat wraps, decals and decorations to our product line a few years ago.

Then you add the most important element to the mix – how do we make sure to create and install a top-quality vehicle wrap or decal each and every time we do one. We strive to always deliver the highest quality of finished product. An integral part of our research into whether or not we would add these or any other product or service to our product line is whether we could deliver the best quality product available on the market.

Print It Plus SmartCar - left front side profile

Part 2 of this 5-part series will give you the details about what goes into making the highest quality, longest lasting vehicle wraps and decals available to you on the market today. Why is this important? Because when you drive off in your newly-wrapped vehicle we want you to know unequivocally your vehicle has the highest quality wrap that will still look great and be intact years down the road.

At Print It Plus we only offer the highest quality printing, marketing, advertising and branding products and services available to our clients. In addition to offering the best vehicle wraps in the industry, we offer custom design and production for all of your marketing pieces including on posters, banners, signs, brochures and all printed materials.

We also offer direct mail, banners, business stationery and business cards, invitations, marketing collateral, variable data printing, promotional products, banners and website development.  It is our pleasure to service the entire Palm Beach County, Florida area and beyond including Royal Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Wellington, Loxahatchee, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter and Boca Raton. Ask about our free pick-up and delivery for your commercial address throughout the county on your order, as well!

To talk with our account team or to place an order, contact us today by calling us at (561) 790-0884. You can also visit our website at HTTPS://PRINTITPLUS.COM or email us at info@printitplus.com. We look forward to helping you CREATE INFINITE POSSIBILITIES throughout this new year of 2018 and well into the future!

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The truth about direct mail marketing campaigns – still effective after all of these years; and yes, even to millennials

Direct mail marketing - to millennials

There has been quite a backlash from The New York Times blockbuster article last weekend claiming that social media giant sites Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others routinely look the other way (some would say even encourage) when fake and paid-for profiles make up a significant portion of a member’s group of followers. Part of the narrative is that internet marketing numbers have been over-hyped from the beginning, and that this latest expose should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the history of online marketing.

The overstating of subscriber and follower numbers and impact is a reminder that there are other, often more reliable forms of marketing that are available to your business. With the right advisor to guide you while also helping you to create, design and execute a highly effective Direct Mail marketing campaign, you can reap significant financial benefits from your marketing budget. In the West Palm Beach market, Print It Plus is one of the very few printing, branding, advertising and marketing companies that has the expertise in all of those areas to help you maximize your return on investment on your direct mail campaign.

Is it true that direct mail can still be an effective and cost-effective marketing tool for your business? Yes. And do not take our word for it. There have been numerous studies conducted by well-respected companies in recent years highlighting that even millennials – yes, millennials! – read and utilize information and coupons they receive in their physical mailboxes. How attracted to direct mail are millennials?

Recent studies report the following data:

A study cited in a 2013 article in Compu-Mail shows:

And here are additional statistics cited from another recent article on Digitaldogdirect.com:

  • 90% of Millennials said they would prefer postal delivery over email when receiving promotional items. (Source)
  • 82 percent of Millennials read direct mail from retail brands and more than half (54 percent) look forward to receiving hard-copy retail catalogs in the mail. (Source)
  • 73% of Millennials use direct mail coupons when making purchases. (Source)
  • 63% of Millennials who responded to a direct mail piece within the past three months made a purchase. (Source)
  • 90 percent of Millennials think direct mail advertising is reliable. (Source)
  • Those ages 18 to 21 read mailings immediately 62 percent of the time. (Source)
  • 25% of Millennials consider reading direct mail a leisure activity. (Source)
  • 80% of Millennials want brands to entertain them, and they find direct mail entertaining. (Source)

 

The bottom line is that a well-strategized plan using Direct Mail and/or Every Door Direct Mail campaigns will get your business a significant amount of exposure to potential customers, even when they are millennials.

At Print It Plus we can help you with all of your marketing ideas, including showing you how to incorporate a powerful direct mail campaign into your plan for 2018. In addition to our knowledge of every door direct mail (EDDM) and all other aspects of direct mail, we offer custom design and production for all of your marketing pieces including on vehicle wraps, posters, banners, signs and all printed materials. We also offer mailing, branding, business stationery and business cards, marketing collateral, variable data printing, promotional products, websites and secure web form services for medical offices.  It is our pleasure to service the entire Palm Beach County, Florida area and beyond including Royal Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Wellington, Loxahatchee, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter and Boca Raton. Ask about our free pick-up and delivery throughout the county on your order, as well!

To talk with our account team, one of our designers or to place an order, contact us today by calling us at (561) 790-0884. You can also visit our website at HTTP://WWW.PRINTITPLUS.COM or email us at info@printitplus.com. We look forward to helping you CREATE INFINITE POSSIBILITIES throughout this new year of 2018 and well into the future!

 

Here are links to the two articles mentioned above:

Here are links to four other articles with more data which further supports millennials’ attraction for and significant usage of direct mail.

Print It Plus Celebrates 30-year Anniversary in Palm Beach County!

30 year Logo

We are proud to announce that 2018 marks its 30th year in business in Palm Beach County! Founded in 1988 by David and Kimberly Leland, Print It Plus has come a long way in 30 years – while never losing sight of our mission to bring high-quality, locally-based products and services to the Palm Beach County business community.

“Honestly, our 30 years in business here in Royal Palm Beach has been an amazing experience,” Kimberly said in a recent interview. “Not only is this a wonderful community, but we have really enjoyed working with individuals and businesses in helping to better this community. Helping local businesses grow and become successful has been very rewarding for us personally as well as professionally.”

We officially opened the doors to Print It Plus in October of 1988 in the same location where our business still resides today – 11420 Okeechobee Boulevard near the heart of the Village of Royal Palm Beach.

“Back when we started we were a two-person operation: I was out on the road during the day, while Kimberly waited on customers here at the shop,” David reminisced. “At night, I would run the printing presses while Kimberly did the typesetting. Our 3 kids would be doing the homework, eating their dinner or watching TV in the back. When they were old enough they would help us with some of the work.”

“As area residents, as well as local small business owners, Kim and I are extremely proud to be celebrating this milestone of 30 years,” said David. “We’re proud to say we’ve grown and evolved as technology has changed, and we look forward to serving this wonderful community well into the future.”

He continued, “We have gone through good times and bad, including one of the worst economic downturns of our lives (the Recession from 2008-2010) – and we survived because we have built such a foundation in this community of not only volunteering and supporting our community and it showed that it supported us during the hard times or we probably would not have survived like so many other businesses didn’t. It is nice that we are still getting the support from our local Village, and our local businesses”

We credit our team’s commitment to offering the highest quality and best customer service on a daily basis to continue building on our company’s winning formula. Today, Print It Plus employs local experts and has expanded its product and service offerings to include vehicle wraps, graphic design, branding, website, multi-media marketing, advertising, promotional products and of course, printing – most of which are produced onsite or sourced locally.

“We give tours of our operation, and people are always amazed to see what goes into creating great printed and branded products,” said Vice President Kimberly Leland. “It takes a combination of excellent customer service, designers, as well as, state-of-the-art equipment.”

Come in any time during business hours and we will be happy to work with you to create a winning marketing strategy, and/or take you on a guided tour of our facility. We specialize in turning your printing, branding, marketing and advertising ideas into profitable solutions for your company.

Print It Plus will help you grow your company by finding the best marketing and advertising products and services for your situation in Palm Beach County – from Royal Palm Beach to Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, Loxahatchee and everywhere in between. We provide virtually any product or service imaginable to communicate with your clients, employees, stockholders, and vendors.  We are experts at corporate identity pieces, branding, marketing, printing and design. For more information about Print It Plus, contact Kimberly Leland at kim@printitplus.com, by calling (561) 790-0884, or go to our website at www.printitplus.com.

We wish all of you a happy and prosperous 2018!

The time is here to get your holiday cards – and save money with our Print It Plus October special!

hope-peace-joy this Holiday season

October is not only the time of fall, pumpkins and Halloween. It is also the time of year for people to pick out holiday cards to send to customers, vendors, family, and friends alike. You want to find that card which expresses the beauty and elegance of this time of year while also showing those that you care about the most how happy you are to have them in your personal life or working with your business.

Print It Plus is the place to come to find, choose and send out the perfect card this holiday season. With almost three decades in the business of holiday card offering and mailing, we know how to help you find the right card to convey your message with just the right touch – and you do not even have to come into our office to make your selection!

Go right to the page on our website https://printitplus.com/printing/holiday-cards to go right to our holiday card page. On that page you will be able to choose from over 30 million beautiful images from our online collection, or we can custom print any design using photographs of your company or family to create a more personalized look. Your creative possibilities are almost infinite!

If you want to take a more hands on approach, you can come into our conveniently-located Royal Palm Beach location right on Okeechobee Blvd. just west of 441 and browse through our many catalogs to select from extensive choices of extremely elegant holiday cards. One of our expert designers will be happy to work with you and help you pick that perfect design for this holiday season.

Furthermore, if you already have a design we can custom design or print from your design with our quality multi-faceted printing processes that will ensure your piece is delivered as vibrant and sharp as you imagine. Add our cutting-edge Spot UV coating to impress your recipients. Come on in see and feel the difference… and take your cards and other printed materials to a whole different level!

And why wait for the December holidays? If you are the type of person who likes to send cards for weddings, birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving or any other special announcement, we are here to help you. Do you need your cards or other printing fast? Call us directly at (561) 790-0884 or go to https://printitplus.com/printing/premium and you can get a rush delivery on your order.

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

And during this month of October we are offering the following SPECIAL – Place your Holiday Card order through our website, use the return address on the holiday cards is printed FOR FREE. That is equal to at least a $20 savings on your order! All you have to do is place your order before the end of the month.

At Print It Plus we can help you with all of your Holiday, Wedding and Post card design, printing, addressing and mailing in addition to any other printing, advertising, direct mail, medical office, vehicle wraps, banners and corporate gift ideas now, and throughout the whole year. This is our 29th year proudly serving  the entire Palm Beach County, Florida area and beyond including Royal Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Wellington, Loxahatchee, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter and Boca Raton.

Contact us today by calling us at (561) 790-0884, visiting our website at HTTP://WWW.PRINTITPLUS.COM or by emailing us at info@printitplus.com. We look forward to helping you CREATE INFINITE POSSIBILITIES this holiday season!

How to successfully advertise your new mall location – a wall at the mall by Print It Plus that will catch everyone’s eye!

Master Pierce - wall at the mall 1

How do you make the difficult transition from a store front location in a mall that you have established over the span of almost 10 years, to a completely different location on the other side of the mall, without missing out on valuable potential customers? That is the tricky situation recently faced by long-time The Mall at Wellington Green tenant Master Pierce.

 

This successful professional body piercing store has recently had to move its location at the Mall at Wellington Green – and with the help of Print It Plus and their versatile wrapping capabilities, you will have no doubt where they are now. And thanks to this cutting-edge technology that is most often seen stylishly wrapped around vehicles, you can now cover a variety of many different surfaces even an otherwise plain wall at the mall pop out to all those who walk near it.

 

Relocating a store, even within the same mall, can be a dangerous proposition for a business with an established location. There are many variables to consider. And if you do not devise a successful strategy that clearly broadcasts the move and how to easily find your new location to every current and potential future client – it could mean the very survival of your business.

 

Not only must your clients know that you have moved AND are still open for business… but they must also know exactly how to find your new location as quickly and easily as possible. This eye-catching, unique wall covering is a great way to shout “WE ARE HERE!” in a big, bold, unique way that draws everyone to it who sees it.

 

Do you need to get more walk-in traffic into your store? Then a wall covering from Print It Plus that you help to create is a wonderful advertising tool for capturing people’s attention and draw them in.  These beautiful coverings are made with only high-quality material, so they are durable and UV-resistant.

Master Pierce - wall at the mall CLOSE UP

Print It Plus can cover practically any wall you want. Whatever the size of your wall, we can make it stand out and look amazing, which will draw more customers into your store. We also use this wrapping process to wrap any vehicle you want.

 

If you have a fleet of trucks or cars or buses or boats – or just your own vehicle. We can wrap the entire vehicle, or just put on a really cool looking set of decals.

 

And like all of our products and services you know that you are getting top quality workmanship, award-winning design and exceptional customer service from a company located right here in the West Palm Beach area with an almost 30-year track record of producing award-winning a wide variety of advertising, marketing and printing products. You can count on Print It Plus to make the look of your wall (and/or vehicles) exceed even your own vision.

 

At Print It Plus we help our clients with all of your branding, marketing and advertising needs including creating an eye-catching wall covering to help you convey the most powerful message consistently to help expand your company’s brand awareness and promote your business.

 

We also offer printing, mailing, direct mail campaigns, marketing collateral, variable data printing, promotional products and now secure web form services for medical offices.  It is our pleasure to service the entire Palm Beach County, Florida area and beyond including Royal Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Wellington, Loxahatchee, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter and Boca Raton.

 

Contact us today by calling us at (561) 790-0884, visiting our website at HTTP://WWW.PRINTITPLUS.COM or by emailing us at info@printitplus.com.

How to Combine Your Passion and Profession to Make Your Life Purposeful

passion

You have likely heard the adage, “Choose a profession you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Although the thought of this has merit, sometimes, if a person’s passion isn’t something they can easily transform into a money-making endeavor, it can be a little unrealistic. Thankfully, there is more than one way to combine your passion with your profession to create a purposeful life.

Use Your Passion to Generate Income

We all seem to know at least one person who bought a professional camera and began making money by becoming a photographer. Their profession, of course, was combined with their passion for photography and is now generating income. Another good example of this is someone whose passion is music. They have many options when it comes to transforming that into a career. They can become a music teacher at a school, play an instrument in their local orchestra, give private lessons, or even play at places of worship, parties or weddings as a way to produce an income. These are just a few examples of passions perfectly suited for generating income. There are countless others, and we can all agree that “it’s a beautiful thing when a career and passion come together.” If you have a passion like this, congrats! Unfortunately, not all passions are equally conducive when it comes to generating income. There isn’t an obvious way to create a career out of every passion.

What to Do When Your Passion Doesn’t Easily Translate to a Profession

Let’s consider an example of a passion that would be less than ideal as a career. This could include being passionate about running, biking, or being focused on giving to the homeless, third world countries, or charities. Often, these are hobbies/passions that are practiced alongside a career and don’t ever become the career itself. Of course, there are some ways to use these passions to generate income. However, it’s not easy to make money working for a charity or by giving to the homeless. It’s also hard to get someone to pay you to cycle or run. That doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to live out your passion, though. You just might have to get creative with how you go about doing it.

Companies That Have Successfully Combined Their Passion & Profession:

An excellent example of this principle in action is the TOMS Company, which has been in business for going on eleven years. The concept they came up with was revolutionary at the time. When they began, TOMS was virtually the only company doing something like this. (There are more now.) TOMS started by selling shoes and advertising a one-for-one system. Their customers bought a pair of shoes from them, and then TOMS donated a pair to a needy child. Therefore, every customer got to get in on the giving action. Customers loved the product but liked the fact that their purchase helped a child in need even more. Today, TOMS has branched out to sell coffee, bags, and eyewear along with their shoes. As of January 2016, TOMS has given away more than 60 million pairs of shoes. TOMS is an excellent example of how you can combine your passion, in this case, helping children in need, with a profession that began selling shoes in a unique way.

How to Get Started

TOMS showcases an ideal strategy to combine your passion and profession. Of course, you don’t have to sell shoes to give back. You can also use the assets you acquire through doing business to give back. The idea isn’t to get this perfect. It’s to attempt to combine your passion with your profession in some way so that you will live purposefully. Remember, starting somewhere will get you where you want to go quicker than sitting still!


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How QR Codes Can Add to the Print Experience: Best Practices You Need to Know

qr

For years, marketers have been looking for better ways to achieve cross-media marketing. In other words, they’ve been searching for solutions that let them enjoy the benefits of both print and digital channels. Many have turned to QR codes to do precisely that. By including a QR code on a piece of print marketing, you can deliver the same message in the same way, but with a mechanism that varies depending on the preferences of the user.

It’s important to understand, however, that “using a QR code” and “using a QR code properly” are NOT the same thing. When done correctly, a QR code can add to the print experience in a number of important ways. If you want to unlock the full benefits of cross-media marketing that you desire, you’ll need to keep a few key things in mind.

It All Comes Down to Purpose

QR codes are not a novelty anymore. There was a period just a few short years ago where simply including a QR code on a flyer or even a billboard was enough to get users to stop and take notice. Those days are gone, however, as the technology itself has become yet another ubiquitous part of daily life. Because of this, you can no longer get away with using a QR code just because you want to or just because many of those in your target audience now own smartphones.

If your QR code doesn’t serve a purpose, meaning it doesn’t add to the user experience you’re trying to create, it has no business being a part of your print materials. This emphasis on purpose extends to just about every decision you make in the world of marketing in general. Never take a step simply because you feel like you should, or because a study told you that everyone else is taking it. Take a step because it’s the right thing to do for the goal you’re trying to accomplish.

QR Codes Are Not an Invitation for Mystery

Along those same lines, don’t include a QR code in a piece of print marketing WITHOUT also telling your audience what they stand to gain by pulling their smartphone out of their pocket. Again: a QR code is not some irresistible riddle that users are waiting with baited breath to try to solve. Don’t assume someone will scan it just because it’s there. If your QR code redirects to a page that allows the user access to an exclusive 40% off coupon, include a call-to-action on the print material itself that says, “Scan Here to Get 40% Off Your Next Order.”

Design is Important

If someone tries to scan your QR code and it doesn’t immediately work, chances are high they’re not going to try again. When designing your print materials, remember that QR codes that are a high contrast against a lighter colored background tend to work correctly more often than not. Keep this in mind when making design choices moving forward.

QR codes are still an excellent way to have your cake and eat it too! You get to enjoy all of the benefits that only print marketing offers, while still embracing digital marketing at the same time. A poorly designed, poorly executed QR code will do a lot more harm than good, which is why it’s always important to make choices that help ADD to the print experience instead of accidentally taking away from it.


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Are You Measuring Marketing Success Based on these Core Metrics?

measuring

The ultimate success of your marketing campaigns comes down to a whole lot more than just how many total sales you’ve made, or how much revenue you’re bringing in each year. Remember, that one small move in one part of your campaign will have a ripple effect that adjusts everything around it. If you want to see how your campaigns are doing, there are a few core metrics you can employ that will tell you exactly that.

Qualified Leads

If you’re only measuring the success of your campaign based on the number of leads you’re bringing in, you’re missing the target but hitting the tree, so to speak. Leads are one thing – qualified leads are something else entirely. Anyone can bring in a lead, but that doesn’t mean the lead will ever make a sale. Generally speaking, the most successful campaigns may not bring in a massive number of leads, but they’ll have a higher percentage of qualified leads than you’ll get from the old “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” method.

Customer Acquisition Cost

Also commonly referred to as CAC, customer acquisition cost is one of those core metrics that will never go out of style. In essence, it tells you how much money you’re spending to bring in one new customer. This metric takes into account not only the cost of your campaign materials and distribution, but also things like salaries, overhead, and more. Let’s say it costs you $1000 to bring in one new customer. That may not be a lot, but if the average value of each customer is only $800, you have a problem. For the best results, your CAC should always be lower than another important metric, your CLV or “customer lifetime value.”

Website Metrics

In 2017, and in the future, the chances are high that regardless of how you’re executing your marketing campaign, your website will play a big role in it. As a digital calling card for your business, it will be many people’s first point of contact – even if they eventually carry out the rest of their relationship over the phone or in person. Because of this, the two core metrics you’ll want to look at to determine how your campaign is doing are “time spent on site” and “bounce rate.”

“Time spent on site” will show you how valuable people think your website is. Essentially, it will clue you in on whether people feel that your website has something of value to offer based on the promise they received from your marketing collateral. If “time spent on site” is low, chances are there’s a discrepancy between what you say you offer and what you actually do.

Bounce rate is similar – if someone gets to your homepage and leaves a few seconds later, there is a problem somewhere that needs to be corrected as soon as possible.

These are just a few of the core metrics that you can use to judge the overall success of your marketing campaign. Also remember that if you make a change to your marketing efforts, regardless of how big or how small, these numbers should react accordingly. As a result, they can be a great way to track in real-time how well that great new idea you had worked – or how much work is still left to be done, depending on the situation. These are all numbers you need to keep an active eye on moving forward, both in short and long-term intervals.


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2017 Price Change Information: USPS Marketing Mail and What You Need to Know

usps

A new year always brings with it a variety of different changes, and it seems that 2017 will be no exception, as far as the United States Postal Service is concerned. Anyone who relies on the USPS for their direct mail marketing activities would do well to sit up and take notice, especially with regards to the price change information and other news that has recently been announced.

What’s In a Name?

According to PitneyBowes.com, the USPS “Standard Mail” tier will be rebranded as USPS Marketing Mail in 2017. Additionally, what was previously known as “Alternate Postage” will now be called “Share Mail.” Pricing structures have been changed (and arguably, simplified) accordingly.

When the new branding goes into effect, letters that are 3.5 ounces in size or less will cost $0.284 – a reduction from the current $0.290 pricing structure. Flat rates for items that are four ounces or less, on the other hand, will actually increase to $0.555 from the current rate of $0.546 that is expiring. It’s important to note that these rates are for the USPS Marketing Mail items that are processed through non-automation means.

Other Upcoming USPS Changes

The USPS also announced a number of other changes, particularly to items that fall into the presorted mail category. Overall, people can expect a price decrease on average of about 0.25%, though it’s important to note that certain types of items will actually increase in price at the same time.

One change that marketers will no doubt be happy about is the fact that presorted First Class Mail will see a significant price reduction. Starting at the end of January, sending 3.5-ounce materials will now cost the same price as a one-ounce letter. Up until these changes go into effect, the pricing category ranged from one to two ounces, not 3.5 ounces.

Those First Class letters up to one ounce will now cost you $0.49 as opposed to the current $0.47. Flat rates up to one ounce will increase to $0.98 from $0.94, while First Class Mail parcels will allow you to pay one price ($2.67) for any item up to four ounces in size. Each additional ounce will cost you $0.21, which is actually one of the few categories of pricing that will remain unchanged in the new year.

Changes Behind the Scenes in 2017

It’s also important to note a significant change in the way these types of items are processed. Items that used to fall under the 3-Digit and AADC categories are being combined with First-Class Mail Presorted Automation Letters and USPS Marketing Mail Automation Letters. Ultimately, this won’t really change the price that you can expect to pay when you send your marketing materials out into the world, but in theory, it should make them easier to process and send out once they’ve made their way into the hands of the United States Postal Service.

All of these changes will go into effect on January 22, 2017. Until then, the current pricing structure will still apply. As marketing budgets get tighter than ever during a period where direct mail marketing has never been more important, it’s always essential to stay as up-to-date as possible on any and all USPS pricing changes to help make sure you’re getting the most out of your hard-earned (marketing) dollar.


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A Business Perspective on Apple’s Latest MacBook Event

mac

If you’re interested in the tech world at all, you’re no doubt aware that Apple recently announced the 2016 MacBook Pro – something the company is calling “the best laptop ever made.” Indeed, it’s a unit with a technical specification sheet that can’t help but impress. Objectively, it likely will go down in history as the best laptop the company has released to date. However, some users are suggesting that Apple may be losing the balance between “user experience” and “marketing” in a way that is a bit unfavorable to their end goals.

The 2016 MacBook Pro

The new MacBooks don’t have a standard USB port at all, getting rid of them in favor of the new (and admittedly superior) USB-C. This is a great step towards a much more productive future, but it’s at the expense of the fact that we’re not quite at that future just yet. Case in point: the new iPhone 7 does not have a USB-C port at all. Instead, it uses Apple’s proprietary lightning cable.

This means that if you own both devices and just want to do something as simple as charge your iPhone with your MacBook, you need to purchase an external adapter. To be clear, this is not “the end of the world.” The MacBook Pro is still powerful; it can still be used with the brand new iPhone. However, what used to be a one-step process now requires two, as well as a purchase of additional hardware. This is contrary to the popular mantra of “design for the user experience first, marketing second.” This is the very same mantra Apple built its reputation on.

What Would Steve Jobs Say About All This?

Never one to shy away from “rattling a few cages,” this is one particular case where we don’t actually have to wonder what Steve Jobs may have thought about the steps that modern day Apple just took with the MacBook. He may have actually said it himself, in an interview conducted in the 1990s.

In an interview for the PBS documentary “Triumph of the Nerds,” Steve Jobs talked about how important sales and marketing people are to an organization, but how it’s equally important to keep them separate from the product development process. His argument was that all too often, products go from offering a great, easy experience to being “great and easy… to market.” Innovation, usability, and the overall experience tend to suffer as a result.

In that interview, Jobs said:

“… the people who make the company more successful are the sales and marketing people, and they end up running the companies. And the ‘product people’ get run out of the decision-making forums. The companies forget how to make great products. The product sensibility and product genius that brought them to this monopolistic position gets rotted out by people running these companies who have no conception of a good product vs. a bad product.”
Contrary to popular belief, Steve Jobs didn’t hold an “anti-marketing” stance at all. He supported marketers, and with good reason. Under his watch his own marketing team created some of the most successful campaigns of all time. What Jobs was warning against was the idea that you should always design a product or service for the customer first, and then turn it over to the marketing people to do what they do. When marketing is considered an extension of the product development phase, the positive qualities that brought you to your current position in the first place are often lost.


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