This week I attended AMSP’s 2014 Mid-Winter Conference. Tiny background on AMSP: the largest association of mailing companies, printing companies and fulfillment companies in the US.
There were a lot of great presentations and panel discussions throughout the conference and a good time was had by all. However, I feel like the most important part of these conferences, aside from the networking, is what you take away and implement. Here are the biggest takeaways that I saw:
1. Mailers and printers are way behind when it comes to content marketing, SEO and social media. There is a lot of opportunity to beat out competition in the search engines and social space. Mike Volpe from HubSpot gave a great presentation on how content marketing will help you attract new clients that are already looking for the services we provide. John Foley Jr. also chimed in on the topic and delivered some fantastic content.
Takeaway: Start blogging and creating other forms of helpful content that your target audience is interested in and share it on social media.
2. Industry leaders are crushing it. Andy Paparozzi from the NAPL showed us the amount of growth industry leaders have seen over the last decade compared to the rest of the industry. Leaders have growth by over 30% while everyone else has seen a slight decline in business.
Takeaway: start following the leaders. Emulate changes they are making, whether it be marketing initiatives or service offerings they are adopting.
3. Starting now is better than never…or even tomorrow. Companies that are leading the way are early adopters of new technology, new services and are proactive in trying new things. If you are too slow to adopt, you may be left behind forever.
Takeaway: Take action today. Find incremental changes you can make to start moving you forward. You’ll make mistakes along the way, but those will ultimately lead you to success.
4. There’s no one right answer or magic bullet. Different companies are finding success taking different paths and routes. Transforming your traditional business into a marketing service provider doesn’t happen overnight and it won’t be easy. You’ll make mistakes, and you’ll find some early wins. Don’t let anyone tell you the best path to take.
Takeaway: Do your best to identify what makes the most sense for your company and start moving toward that. Trust the process and trust your decision to move in that new direction. 3 years ago, we made the decision to invest in inbound marketing for ourselves and start providing that service for our clients. That’s not the only path, but it has been successful for us. (and it was fun to speak on the panel about our transformation)
5. Direct mail and print are not dead. Although the industries have taken some major hits and have gone through massive changes, there is still giant opportunity to combine offline channels with new technology, including mobile websites, landing pages, pURLs and QR Codes.
Takeaway: Start finding a way to make yourself more valuable to customers by leveraging technology. If your customer is printing and/or mailing a piece, try adding a well designed QR code and driving it to a mobile website. Test to see if it boosts their response rate. Nothing is dead if you use the channel correctly. Start leveraging your channels in smarter ways.
There was a lot discussed at the conference, but for me, these were the top takeaways. Here at TMR Direct, we’re looking forward to taking all the great nuggets of information, along with these takeaways and working to improve even more. We’ve seen tremendous results by being early adopters in this industry in leveraging inbound marketing to help us grow as well as using inbound marketing to help our clients grow. We’re excited about the next few years!
Did you attend the conference? What was your biggest takeaway?