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3D Digital Signage – 2018’s breakout retail buying trend

3D Digital Signage is the most sought after solution by retail marketers in this year, followed by Digital Billboards and Video Walls.

The findings have been revealed ahead of the Digital Signage and Interactive Solutions Summit, which takes place in September.

Delegates registering to attend the event are asked which products and services they need to invest in during 2018 and beyond.

A significant 57% are looking to invest in 3D Digital Signage solutions, with 35.7%% sourcing Digital Billboards.

Just behind were Mobile/Interactivity (35.7%), Video Walls (35%) and Content Design & Aesthetics (29%).

“It’s no surprise that 3D Digital Signage solutions top the list of areas our delegates were most interested in,” said Digital Signage and Interactive Solutions Summit Event Manager Jessica Deluca. “But the full table provides a valuable insight into signage trends within the retail sector.”

% of delegates at the Digital Signage and Interactive Solutions Summit sourcing specific products & services (Top 10):

3D Digital Signage – 57.1%
Digital Billboards – 35.7%
Mobile/Interactivity – 35.7%
Video Walls – 35.7%
Content Design and Aesthetics – 28.6%
Menu Boards – 28.6%
Wayfinding – 28.6%
Cloud-Based Digital Signage – 21.4%
Content Management – 21.4%
Internet of Things – 21.4%

To find out more about the Digital Signage and Interactive Solutions Summit, visit https://forumevents.co.uk/events/digital-signage-interactive-solutions-summit.

GUEST BLOG: Inbound vs outbound marketing

Brandon Miller from Lead Forensics takes a look…

Inbound marketing was once neatly described by dot com millionaire Seth Godin, as “permission marketing”. It is based on tactics that pull potential customers in to the business, rather than ones that push to get in front of them.

The easiest way to think of it, is like this – if potential buyers find a business, it’s inbound marketing. On the other hand, if a business finds the clients, it’s outbound marketing.

The reason inbound marketing is such a big deal and its use has been steadily on the rise, is the major shift that has been seen in customer behavior.

As usual, consumers were first to start changing their habits. This can be seen, for example, in the growth of social media and how it is used and the popularity of e-commerce. In the B2B world, things have been a little slower to progress but buyer behavior has also evolved. Modern buyers will head online, use social media platforms and research all sources open to them, to find the information they need.

Which has led many marketers to question whether outbound tactics are actually necessary, or should just be skipped altogether. But rather than worrying about whether an activity falls under the umbrella of inbound or outbound, it’s better to consider them both and work out which will be best for marketing your particular goods and services.

When are inbound methods most effective?

Inbound marketing methods can be summarised as:

  • Content marketing – any content you produce that is meant for potential buyers
  • SEO – used to help people find your content
  • Social media – use to help spread your content

Compared to outbound tactics, these techniques generally cost less to do. They can also be more accurately targeted, meaning they should result in a better return on investment.

A certain level of investment will still need to be made upfront, such as to fund the creation of high quality content. That doesn’t come cheap, but once created the content will become a lasting asset that can be used again and again.

Now compare this with a print ad placed in a trade magazine. Once the ad has run and the next issue is out, its impact is over.

Inbound tactics are particularly useful for businesses who:

  • have a lot of information to share
  • have lower marketing budgets (obviously, if you have bigger budgets you will profit even more)
  • are looking for higher quality leads
  • want to establish themselves as experts or thought leaders within their industry sector

Another benefit of inbound marketing, is that you can be up and running fast. It can be as simple as setting up a company blog, uploading some interesting content and sharing it via social media. Plus helping it get found on search engines with a little SEO push, or some sponsored social media posts.

The whole process isn’t particularly hard to implement and in the long run, there is a lot more you can do. For example, you could start building a database by encouraging website visitors to hand over their email address in exchange for downloading some interesting and valuable content. This information can then be used for future email marketing campaigns and the process of nurturing contacts along and turning them into prospects.

One of the biggest benefits of inbound versus outbound marketing, lies in the analytics. It is much easier and a lot more accurate to monitor and measure inbound marketing tactics. Of course, some outbound methods, such as digital ads, can also provide good stats. But in general, if an activity isn’t conducted online it is almost impossible to know with any accuracy what its impact has been.

In summary, inbound is basically a completely different way of marketing. It is about informing, educating (and sometimes just entertaining) a target audience – one you’d like to form a relationship with, stay in touch with and see returning to your content, time and time again.

Which outbound methods no longer work as well?

While print ads, billboards, banner ads, TV and radio ads, print direct-mail, email blasts, event sponsorships and big trade shows were traditionally all mainstays of a business marketing plan, they are no longer as effective as they once were.

Remember the Yellow Pages? The concept worked at the time because it was the only place where people could quickly and easily access a wide range of business details. The books no longer exist, because thanks to the internet, we don’t need them. All the information we want and more, is now available online.

People are still looking for the products and services they need, just in different places. The key challenge for marketers, is how to make them find you.

There are a couple of hybrids, which blur the boundaries between inbound and outbound marketing and can work really well if used in the right circumstances:

Pay-per-click (PPC)

Pay-per-click advertising shows ads to people browsing the web, who express a specific interest, or meet a stipulated demographic. The key to using these types of ads effectively, is to be very targeted. One issue to bear in mind however, is that it is getting more and more difficult to generate results, with tools such as ad blockers getting in the way.

Account based marketing (ABM)

Account based marketing is about pushing messages out, but in a well-researched and highly targeted way. In fact, the messages are so well targeted that the content is produced purely for the intended recipient.

It will be developed for a specific, target account and then distributed across various channels, with the aim of getting it in front of them. Again, if used intelligently this can work well, particularly when the target is a larger corporation.

How to choose between inbound and outbound

The main thing to recognize, is that the buyer journey is no longer linear and marketers need to stay on top of the new trends and developments.

We all encounter different brand messages all the time, which reach us via a variety of channels. It will take multiple touchpoints with a potential customer before a sale is made.

Start by looking at your marketing mix with an open mind, a calculator and some common sense. Use the methods that fit best with your culture, your business model and most importantly, which will attract the clients you want to work with.

When using inbound marketing tactics, you will typically work with a far smaller audience than for outbound and your success will come down to the quality of your content. It is how you will attract quality leads, who you then turn into quality customers.

Less is always more, so focus on the quality of your methods to attract the clients you really want.

To find out more about Lead Forensics, visit https://www.leadforensics.com

UK consumers ‘demanding more detailed, personalised answers from brands’

Ninety-four per cent of UK consumers say personalised answers will make them more loyal – with 84% switching to competitors if responses disappoint, according to Eptica research.

Despite this, brands are failing to deliver the information that consumers need – 86% say they are unhappy with the responses they receive across every channel, while 70% complain that they get inconsistent answers between channels.

Those are the headline findings of the 2018 Eptica Knowledge Management Study, which found that consumers have rising expectations when it comes to getting information and answers from brands – and that companies are struggling to meet their needs:

  • 91% of consumers say they are annoyed when questions aren’t answered satisfactorily
  • 88% want greater transparency from brands
  • 75% say customer service agents don’t have the information needed to answer their queries
  • 65% have more complex, detailed questions compared to 5 years ago

“The power of knowledge has never been more important to brands, it is essential for deploying artificial intelligence and Natural Language Processing to automate customer engagement as well as to empower agents,” said Olivier Njamfa, CEO and Co-Founder at Eptica. “As our research shows, not meeting customer expectations will directly impact your bottom line. Companies need to take a holistic approach to customer service knowledge, using AI to make their knowledge work for them, ensuring that consumers get the right answers, whether via self-service, a chatbot, or even the phone.”

With websites often the first point of call for information, consumers want to be able to find answers quickly and with minimum effort. Over nine in ten (91%) become frustrated if they cannot rapidly find an answer online. 90% want to be able to find the answer without searching through multiple locations or leaving the page they are on to find it, showing the need for effective web self-service solutions. 65% of consumers say they’ll pick up the phone if they can’t get an online answer, adding to their frustration, and also increasing costs for the brand.

A full report, including the study results, graphics and best practice recommendations for brands to transform how they use knowledge within customer experience is available at https://www.eptica.com/kmbl.

Email Marketing

Do you provide Email Marketing solutions? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Digital Marketing Briefing we’ll be shining the spotlight on different parts of the print and marketing sectors – and in April we’ll be focussing on Email Marketing.

It’s all part of our new ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help marketing industry professionals find the best products and services available today.

So, if you specialise in Email Marketing solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Lisa Carter on lisa.carter@mimrammedia.com.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

April – Email Marketing

May – Digital Printing

June – Social Media

July – Brand Monitoring

August – Web Analytics

September – Conversion Rate Optimisation

October – Lead Generation & Tracking

November – Brochure Printing

December – Creative & Design

For more information on any of the above topics, contact Lisa Carter on lisa.carter@mimrammedia.com.

Digital Marketing Solutions Summit

Network your way to success at the Digital Marketing Solutions Summit

The Digital Marketing Solutions Summit will provide you with a rare full working day of networking, learning and connection building.

Taking place on May 15th at the Hilton London Canary Wharf, this unique event will enable you to lay the groundwork for your organisation’s digital marketing strategy for the rest of 2018 and beyond.

And what’s more, the Digital Marketing Solutions Summit is completely FREE to attend as our VIP guest – benefits include:

– A personalised itinerary of meetings with solution providers who match your project requirements
– Attendance to a series of seminar sessions hosted by industry thought leaders
– Informal networking with peers
– Lunch and refreshments provided throughout the day

You’ll be joining 65 other senior marketing professionals, with our already registered delegates representing Balfour Beatty, Bella Italia, Betway, Blackberry, BNP Paribas, Celebrity Cruises, Dennis Publishing, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser, Huawei Technologies, Lidl, M&G Investments, NCP, No1 Lounges, Princess Cruises, Rothschild Private Wealth, Southern Housing Group, The Eyelash Design Company, The New World Trading Company, The Shard, Travel Republic, Visit Britain and many more.

Register for your free place here.

Or for more information, contact Camilla Watkiss on 01992 376727 / c.watkiss@forumevents.co.uk.

Digital Signage

Buyers and suppliers converge at the Digital Signage & Interactive Solutions Summit

Registration is now open for VIP delegate spaces or supplier stands at the Digital Signage & Interactive Solutions Summit, which takes place on September 17th & 18th 2018 at the Radisson Blu London Stansted.

The Summit is a highly focused event that brings advertising and marketing professionals together for one-to-one business meetings, interactive seminars and valuable networking opportunities.

Throughout this two-day event delegates will meet with credible solution providers who will be able to talk through projects, concerns and obstacles, offering the best advice as well cost saving solutions.

Attendees will also learn about the latest digital signage trends in educational seminar sessions led by some of the industry’s leading lights.

Jessica Deluca, Event Manager at Forum Events, said: “As an advertising or marketing professional we know your time is precious, valuable and limited. You tell us who you want to meet. We handle all the details.

“Digital Signage & Interactive Solutions Summit is also a tremendous opportunity to learn new skills and network with peers – we look forward to welcoming everyone on the day.”

To secure a complimentary delegate place or to find out about attending as a supplier, call Jessica Deluca at j.deluca@forumevents.co.uk, or call 01992 374090

For more information, visit www.forumevents.co.uk/events/digital-signage-interactive-solutions-summit.

GUEST BLOG: Digital Marketing – The best academic routes to success

By James Potten, Managing Director of RED Academy

Education Secretary Damian Hinds recently spoke about the university fee system and the necessity of increasing variety in tuition rates across the UK.

His revised plan places an emphasis on how degree courses could benefit a student’s future career. He said that a combination of three things should determine tuition costs: the cost [to the university] to put it on, the benefit to the student and the benefit to our country and our economy.

There has also been an emphasis on the career strategy guidance and encouraging more schools and businesses to work together to better prepare students for the workforce after they leave school. While this looks like a promising move for current students, what about those who have already finished school and are looking to break into sectors like digital marketing? Often, this requires specialist knowledge and industry experience but without this first-hand insight at school, what can we do to help students fill the gaps?

Weigh up all the options

In the digital marketing world, there are many alternatives to fill gaps in learning, like work experience, sandwich courses, apprenticeships, and part-time and full-time alternative study options focus on real-world experience. In a poll from The Independent, 58 per cent of employers rated work experience as their most looked for qualification, with personality coming in second at 48 per cent. Time and time again work experience is proven to outweigh grades and a university degree during a job search in terms of value. By gaining hands-on work experience, students are better able to acclimate to work situations and, typically, have more success in the beginning of a new job or task. In a similar way, apprenticeships or courses that incorporate real-world experience are shown to develop work readiness and tend to yield a faster return on investment for both employers and employees.

Employers tend to see students that undertook an apprenticeship as delivering higher quality work more quickly than say students who have graduated without experiencing placements; it is for these reasons that the government aims to increase apprenticeships by 50,000 a year.

Sandwich and degree alternative courses are also a good way for students to gain the necessary background, while still maintaining classroom learning. By being placed in a work environment, students are allowed to make important networking connections, build social capital, and improve self-confidence through accomplishment. These environments also provide students with a safe place to make mistakes and to fail, which is often where true learning happens. According to one study, “employers view part-time study as a good model to develop work readiness” and “part-time students, including young students, do achieve a more favourable labour market outcomes at least in the first few months”.

Some options for part-time courses and other courses that incorporate real-world experience, specialise in short-term, highly focused courses, which allow students to work towards certifications while building real skills to help get them hired.

When it comes to digital marketing or digital design, to succeed students will often need a broad skillset and an understanding deep enough to put these skills into action.. While there is plenty of content out there covering the basics, being able to put this into practice and work on projects with support from industry experts and real clients is where real experience can be gained. Look for courses and projects where you can put theory to the test and take part in activities in an agency-style or work place environment.

With only about 50 per cent of UK students choosing to go to university, there are many alternative opportunities gaining traction each year. By combining real world knowledge and classroom instruction, typically lead by working professionals, students can not only increase their chances of landing a job that they can excel at, but refrain from taking on thousands of pounds of student debt.

The restructuring called for by Damian Hinds is necessary and will mostly likely help future, and current students, however it leaves out students trying to enter into industries that benefit from additional experience and training. For those students, it is up to them to find alternative opportunities that work within their own lives, while helping them to move forward in their careers. In order to succeed in a more digital and technical industry, people need to have the necessary training and background to adequately perform at a high level. Alternatives like apprenticeships, work experience, sandwich courses and part-time courses could help people bridge the learning gap, while allowing them to remain fiscally responsible.

www.redacademy.com

NME

NME pulls the plug after 66-year print run

Iconic music mag NME will cease its 66-year print run, with the Friday 9th March issue being its last ever going to print.

Parent company Time Inc has blamed the decision to close the title on increasing production costs and a ‘tough’ print advertising market, with a new aim of expanding NME’s digital offering and increasing online readership.

The NME switched from a newstand mag to a free sheet back in 2015 in a bid to increase it’s print circulation and win back commercial partners.

“The print re-invention has helped us to attract a range of cover stars that the previous paid-for magazine could only have dreamed of,” said Paul Cheal, Time Inc UK Group Managing Director for Music. “At the same time, we have also faced increasing production costs and a very tough print advertising market. Unfortunately we have now reached a point where the free weekly magazine is no longer financially viable.

“It is in the digital space where effort and investment will focus to secure a strong future for this famous brand.”

Time Inc has said that it will continue to publish special one-off print versions of the magazine and will continue to explore ‘other opportunities to bring its best class music journalism to market in print’.

Print Machine

Print Services: 2018 buying trends revealed

Digital Print (Colour), Brochure Printing and Banners & Posters top the list of solutions the UK’s leading print marketing professionals are sourcing in 2018.

The findings have been revealed following the Print & Digital Innovations Summit, which took place in November.

Delegates who attended the event were asked which areas they needed to invest in during 2018 and beyond.

A sizeable 70% are looking to invest in Digital Print (Colour) services, with 65% sourcing Brochure Printing solutions and 60% looking for Banner & Poster printing.

Just behind were Creative & Design Services (55%) and Digital Print (Large Format) at 52%. Direct Mail services remain in high demand, with 50% of delegates expressing their interest.

“It’s probably no surprise that Digital, Brochure and Banner printing top the list of areas our delegates were most interested in,” said Print & Digital Innovations Summit Event Manager Sam Walker. “But the full table provides a valuable insight into trends within the print sector.”

% of delegates at the Print & Digital Innovations Summit sourcing certain products & solutions (Top 10):

Digital Print – Colour – 70%
Brochure Printing – 65%
Banners & Posters – 60%
Creative & Design – 55%
Digital Print – Large Format – 52%
Direct Mail Print – 50%
Print on Demand – 45%
Exterior & Interior Signage – 43%
Interactive Marketing Campaigns – 37%
Packaging & Labels – 35%

For more information about the next Print & Digital Innovations Summit, which takes place on November 22nd 2018, click here.

James Jarvis

5 minutes with… James Jarvis, Antalis

We talk to James Jarvis, Channel Director at paper and packaging specialist Antalis, about the print market’s biggest challenges, opportunities and predictions for the future…

Tell us about your company, products and services.

Antalis is Europe’s leading paper, packaging and visual communications merchant (and number two worldwide). We work in close partnership with the leading manufacturers from around the world to ensure we can offer customers the best and latest products and technologies, first.

Alongside providing customers with access to a leading product portfolio, we build relationships by sharing best practice expertise and learning. It’s crucial that we arm customers with the knowledge and support they need to enhance and expand their proposition in a constantly evolving print landscape. With this in mind, our Antalis Academy – the first facility of its kind in the sector – has quickly become a centre of excellence, providing a broad range of advice and training through the provision of practical workshops, seminars and webinars. Now with more than 30 courses available – all led by independent experts – the Academy has expanded to include a host of new subject areas that cover business skills such as social media training and sales techniques.

We also offer additional support in the form of a free Smart Audit, where our experts will review your current materials and procedures and suggest improvements. Also our dedicated Connect team of paper consultants had been set up to provide tailored advice for all types of printing jobs. These facilities and services have been created to demonstrate our commitment to help our customers remain competitive and stand out from the crowd. Antalis takes this approach because we think we will only thrive if our customers thrive.

What have been the biggest challenges the print industry has faced over the past 12 months?
Against the backdrop of an increasing emphasis on digital media, traditional parts of the print and paper industry are still in decline – we are continuing to see a decreased demand for high print volumes which, in turn, means reduced overall paper volumes. However that is not to say the market is staid; as we continue to see pockets of growth in new applications, markets and sectors. With this, the challenge is for customers to be able to be agile and adapt their offer to align with these new trends.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?
There is a real opportunity in the marketing and creative sectors. With people receiving so many digital communications each day, digital fatigue has begun to set in and marketers are coming to recognise the benefits of a tangible, paper-based item as a way to create stand out. That’s why, although print runs are generally getting shorter, customers are increasingly willing to spend more to create bespoke, aspirational concepts in order to achieve cut-through – offering a perfect opportunity for printers to upsell premium, custom and bespoke options. Aligned to this, printers are now able to cost-effectively create variable data campaigns on speciality materials, and in short-runs, for highly targeted and impactful holistic marketing campaigns which can deliver a higher return on investment.

This in turn means there is a real benefit for customers to partner with a consultant who can provide a tailored approach and recommendations on individual projects.

What is the biggest priority for the print industry in 2018?
For us, the biggest priority for printers lies in progression and growth; whether that’s by embracing new innovation, diversifying into new markets or honing their current proposition.

We see it is an incredibly exciting time to be in the industry as we continue to witness a determinable shift away from standard to creative, personalised and often bespoke concepts, reaffirming the importance of print and paper amid the digital landscape. However, in order to unlock this opportunity printers must remain innovative and creative.

That’s why, at Antalis, we are constantly working to bring print service providers the newest, most exciting products first, designed to help them delight customers and, in turn, create stand-out. It’s crucial that we capitalise on new growth areas as more customers seek to broaden their services and diversify into new markets, and Antalis’ Academy is in place to help do just that.

The time is now for printers to take advantage of stand-alone printed communications or print within multi-channel campaigns and we encourage them to look to inspire and advise their customers on the endless possibilities that paper based communication can bring.

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2018?
As digital printing is able to better meet demand for personalisation, it will continue to grow in prominence this year. Printers are now able to cost-effectively create variable data campaigns on speciality materials, and in short-runs, for highly targeted and impactful marketing. We therefore expect to see an increasing trend for small print runs and, as such, we offer a split pack service whereby customers can purchase our creative papers in smaller qualities at a minimum of 25 sheets.

What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?
There’s lots of innovative products set to make an impact this year, including PowerCoat® Alive – an advanced paper range featuring integrated NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. It works in conjunction with smartphones and other devices to display a programmed web-link direct from the paper and is an excellent example of multi-channel communication at its best.

It truly bridges the gap between printed and online communication in a way which far surpasses what QR codes have done in the past.

It will enable businesses to obtain data via a dedicated analytics platform in order to measure the impact of their campaigns and better understand customer behaviour. In an age where data is king, this approach to paper communications can provide an extremely useful commercial tool.

In 2020 we’ll all be talking about…?
How our industry is always changing. I think the future is bright for the print and paper market. There’s no doubt that there are challenges ahead, as with any market, but print and paper is alive, kicking and full of potential. The industry is continually evolving and there are huge opportunities to embrace new technologies, enter new markets and build new revenue streams. I’m confident this will still be the case in 2020!

Which person in, or associated with, the print industry would you most like to meet?
Timon Colegrove of Hunts Printers. He is mad about print and transfers that feeling constantly to everyone he meets. He’s passionate about training and education in our industry but is also very forward thinking and is constantly pushing the boundary of how print fits into a modern world of multichannel communication. I think the way he constantly tries new ideas is great!

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
The constant opportunity I see all around us

And what’s the most challenging?
My boss

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
1. Never give up; there’s always a way
2. Reach out – more brains are better than one
3. Don’t go out with her!