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Cuesta Survey Gets Results

Executing a complex community survey is a challenge. Getting it into the hands of community members, generating excitement and interest, and getting those surveys returned and tabulated can be a daunting task.

That was just the job Stephan Gunsaulus, Cuesta’s Director of Marketing and Communications, was ready to tackle. Cuesta College was looking for an effective way to reach out to residents of San Luis Obispo County to provide input for the 2011-2016 Educational Master Plan. As an accomplished marketing veteran, Stephan knew an integrated approach, utilizing both print and digital delivery, would be needed. The question was how to execute such a strategy. Much to his delight, Casey literally walked in the door with the answer; Casey's new "cross-media" marketing solution.

Topics: Consultative Services Cross-Media Marketing Email Marketing Marketing Strategy Tips & Tricks Case Studies

Humanizing Your Marketing Efforts with Humor

If you've been keeping up on the midterm elections, you might've noticed that several of the political candidates this year have tried to use humor, in some form or another, in their political ads. From Terry Lynn's “Really” ad to Mitch McConnell's “What Rhymes with Alison Lundergan Grimes?” it seems that serious politicians everywhere have been trying to wisecrack their way into the poll booth. So why have serious politicians professing to have serious stands on serious issues taken such a frivolous approach to campaigning?

The answer is simple, really: the ads are an attempt to humanize the candidate and relate to the constituency. By showing their audience that they're human — that they laugh too, that they like to have fun and poke fun — they're shaking off the image of the power-hungry bureaucrat  who's only interest is self-gain and power, and they're building affinity towards an otherwise dry topic.

Topics: Marketing

Seeing the Whole Picture: Thinking Outside the Box

“Think Outside the Box” is likely one of the most over-used and cliché marketing terms still in use today. Just hearing someone say it can elicit groans from other marketers and suspicion from prospects, but there is a perfectly valid reason for the excessive popularity of the term. It embodies the idea that to get the most out of your marketing efforts, you need to see the whole picture.

Topics: Marketing

Increase Conversions With Consistent Experiences

Have you ever walked into a room and suddenly felt like you took a wrong turn? You try to retrace your steps back to familiar territory to figure out where you went wrong, and what you should do next. At this point you might ask a passer by for directions, or phone a friend to relay the experience and get your bearings.

Topics: Marketing

Timing: Your #1 Marketing Edge

Did you ever remember to send someone a birthday card — the day AFTER their birthday? Chances are you shrugged your shoulders and thought “too late now.” Perhaps you made a resolution to add their birthday to your Google calendar so you wouldn't forget next time. Then you might've posted birthday wishes on their Facebook timeline along with all their other “friends.” After all, it was probably Facebook that reminded you of their birthday in the first place.

This is a perfect example of how poor timing can dilute the sentiment of your message. Had you remembered to send that birthday card on time, you would have entrenched yourself in the halls of best friends and endearment. Instead, you got “liked” on Facebook.

Topics: Marketing

Personalization: It's Not Who You Know, But What You Know About Who

For all the talk about how creepy and stalker-like marketing personalization has become, the simple fact is that it has been around long enough to establish itself as an expected component in modern marketing communications. Even in an age where social media and government spying has made audiences wary of how their personal data is used by companies and marketers alike, lack of personalization is often viewed as a “snub” and can make a company feel “out of touch.”

Don't believe me? When's the last time you've opened a letter addressed to “Current Resident?”

Topics: Marketing

Make it a Sizzlin’ Summer

USPS offers incentives to help boost direct mail marketing

Do you need to breathe new life and SAVE MONEY on your direct mail initiatives? Well, YOU CAN!  The following programs from the USPS are designed to help you make good use of this important marketing channel.

Topics: Direct Mail Mailing Marketing Money Saving Tips Print Marketing QR Codes Search Engine Optimization

No Respect? Why Print Remains a Force to be Reckoned With

Let’s face it, print has become the Rodney Dangerfield of marketing channels – it gets no respect. Sure, website analytics, Email best-practices, and emerging channels like mobile and social are glitzy and exciting, but are they really better than direct mail? After all, shouldn’t the most important measurement of the success of a marketing channel be based on recipient preference?

According to a recent study by Chief Marketing Magazine, consumers say they like print. While the focus of marketers has been on digital marketing channels, “old school, expensive” printed direct mail has been under the radar getting the job done. According to the study, 6/10 Americans (and 7/10 Canadians) enjoy getting direct mail to learn about new products. This preference toward direct mail spans all industry categories and age groups, including the tech-savvy generation of 18-35 year-olds.

Topics: Direct Mail General Info Mailing Marketing Print Marketing

The Power of Listening: Happier Customers

So lately I've been in the market for a new computer to replace the aging desktop I'm writing this article on now, and to expedite the process I installed a Newegg app on my Android phone. The app had this neat “Wish List” feature where I could put items in a wish list rather than in a cart, so that I can view, compare, and edit later on. After a few days of use I started to think that this was a pretty nice app. It had all the features that the full-blown web site has, but organized in a way that was easy to use and understand on a mobile device.

Topics: Marketing Customer Relationship Management

“Moneyball” Lessons for Marketers, Printers, Publishers, (and everybody else)



It’s not too often that a Sunday afternoon at the movie theater results in a business epiphany. But that’s exactly what happened to me at a recent viewing of Brad Pitt’s latest blockbuster, “Moneyball”. “Moneyball” is a dramatization of Michael Lewis’ 2003 best-selling book of the same name, which presented an inside look at the inner-workings of the Oakland Athletics font-office operations and the team’s General Manager, Billy Beane. The A’s, despite being one of the most cash-strapped organizations in the Major Leagues, were one the winningest teams in baseball in the early 2000s.

In his book, Lewis detailed the unconventional methods by which Beane assembled his rosters in those years. While other teams focused on more qualitative methods of player evaluation (“the ball really pops of his bat”, “he’s got a good ballplayer’s body”) and filled their front offices with scouts and ex-ballplayers, Beane surrounded himself with statisticians and economists. Beane and his cohorts sought to exploit market inefficiencies in player evaluation through advanced statistical analysis to find and sign undervalued players in order to allow themselves to be competitive within their (relatively) severe budgetary constraints. In 2002, the A’s supplemented their core of MVP shortstop Miguel Tejada, third-baseman Eric Chavez, and the terrific “Big 3” starting rotation of Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito, with a brand of low-risk baseball that placed high-value on performance metrics such as on-base percentage and slugging percentage. That year, the A’s amateur draft strategy also reflected a similar philosophy and focused primarily on statistical analysis and undervalued college-level players. Beane’s strategy worked wonders; the A’s won 103 games (costing an average of $388,349 per win, whereas the New York Yankees would pay more than $1.2 million for each of their 103 wins that season) and enjoyed another trip to the post-season.

Topics: General Info Marketing Marketing Strategy Opinion Business call to action ROI