Jay Leno to Speak at Pack Expo- Chicago

lenoIt was announced on March 18th, that Jay Leno will be a part of the Pack Expo International as a part of the Lecture series. The event that runs in Chicago November 2-5, 2014 will be one for the books now that recently retired late-night comedian will be there to liven things up a bit. PMMI, who puts on the event expects the Chicago expo to attract 2,000 exhibitors to a 1.1 million square foot space. The popularity and success of the events can be attributed to the way PMMI has centered their approach on customer needs and preferences. Adding a legend like Leno can’t hurt popularity either. Sunrise Packaging is excited to exhibit at this event, as it will be our first time as more than just a spectator!

Also new to the Pack Expo International show is the co-location of Pharma Expo, which is an exciting development that opens the door to new business networking opportunities in automation developments, secure clean room packaging, as well as marketing kits and sales materials. Mark your calendar!

Large Cigar-Style Box

This custom cigar-style box is a project we did a while ago. Brought up yesterday by our twitter machine @SunpackDotCom, I was inspired to post this quick video showing the package in total. This cigar-style box served as a marketing kit for Shasta. A textured navy blue paper serves as the turned wrap with the Shasta logo screen printed on the surface. Pull apart the Velcro closure and you find high quality die-cut foam customized to perfectly fit featured soda cans. This custom box for a marketing package is exactly what we love to produce here at Sunrise Packaging, because they add value to your brand message and accelerate sales in profound way.

Connect Social Media Efforts with Packaging

I think we can all agree that social media is an easy and effective way to interact with your consumers and build that relationship. However, sometimes there can be a missing link between this awesome virtual tool and the literal interaction your customer has with your product. Here are some things that can make that connection:

– Smack it right on the package! Sometimes consumers won’t bother to search for you facebook or twitter after they have purchased your product. Make it obvious that your out there, even give an incentive for “liking” you!

– Use QR codes. We love QR codes at Sunrise Packaging, mostly because not a lot of people know who we are. We like to throw a QR code on our business cards and products that will bring consumers right to our site with a thorough explanation of what we’re all about.social media

– Ask for feedback because if you’re customers are anything like me, once you ask the question you’d better be ready to listen. And that can be a great thing for businesses! However, if you never ask for feedback you will never know how to better serve.

-Create an app. Anything that will make it easier for customers to choose you, or at least maintain that connection.

Manufacturers Benefit from Social Media

social media marketingSince technology has changed the way consumers make purchasing decisions, it has also changed the way brokers and manufacturers do business. The internet is constantly at our fingertips whether on our computers at work or home, on our cell phones and other devices. This form of communication has taken over the way we communicate in our personal and professional roles, and social media outlets take the cake. Whether it is Facebook,, Twitter, or LinkedIn, these networks make tremendous impact on business communication. Due to this focus shift, manufacturers need to change their marketing approach as well. The end goal of all marketing is to connect with customers in order to increase sales and business opportunities. While manufacturers deal with organizations, sales come from customers. Manufacturers need to go where the people and connect with them, and social media is a great way to do this on a large scale. Using social media, manufacturers must build a stronger online presence by doing the following; getting found and connecting with new customers, showcasing products and services, establishing their credibility as an organization, and drive website traffic for customers to learn more about their business.

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Business to Business Marketing

A new study from the Content Marketing Institute shows that content marketing is now becoming a key element in business to business (B2B) marketing. This organization is the leading global content marketing education and training organization. The Content Marketing Institute teaches enterprise brands how to attract and retain customers through a variety of marketing channels. They found that regardless of the company size, 9 out of 10 business organizations now market with content. B2B organizations are using an average of 12 common tactics, the most popular being; social media, articles on their website, eNewsletters, and blogs. What has changed in this year is the more frequent use of social media. The use of social media for these organizations has and continues to grow with 87% of B2B marketers using social media to distribute business content- this has increased 13% from the previous year with the most popular social media channels being LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

Learn more about Content Marketing

Small Business Battle: Facebook vs. Twitter

When deciding whether Facebook or Twitter is a better option for your small business do not go looking for answers from other companies, look at your company. The first thing you should take into consideration is who is your target audience. Comparing the environments of Facebook and Twitter and where your target audience is spending its time is how you will decide how much time to engage in what social media outlet.

When you look at the environment of Facebook and Twitter they are very different, yet allowing people to do basically the same thing, communicate. Both enabling people to share information, build relationships, and engage in discussions. By doing your research, you are able to find out where your audience spends time online. Are your customers on Facebook or Twitter? What social media sites are  your competitors on? Facebook is like a newspaper. Twitter is more like the highlights of the stories so you do not have to read the whole thing.

Understanding the needs, wants, and expectations of your target audience is the next step. Facebook is a place to build relationships with customers and Twitter allows you to share quick tidbits with them.

So when deciding what social media outlet best fits your small business needs, it is a tough decision. Look within your company and what your target audience wants. Then go from there.

Mistakes Small Businesses Make With Social Media

Small Businesses are tempting to keep up with the latest craze, social media. There are currently 900 million active Facebook users, 200 million active Twitter users and latest social media tools hitting the market, such as Pinterest. As small businesses start to dive into the social media world, there are a few mistakes they are making.

Social media outlets are not the place to hard sell. Simple as that. Marketing budgets for small businesses are typically small, so using a social media site to not sell can be confusing to most. Only 5-10% of your social media activity should be devoted to self-promotional. Social media is there to build business relationships and show that you are a company that can be trusted. Social media and marketing are in fact similar, yet should be both used for different purposes.

Social media is all about connecting. You cannot connect with someone if all you do is spend time talking about yourself. Engaging in communication with your social media followers is what is important. Showing you care about their opinion and how they feel is what matters.

New social media networks appear everyday. It is important for small businesses to realize that they do not need to join every site. Limiting your social media outreach to websites that compliment your products/services is important. Focusing on a few sites is more effective than joining every site available. Neglected social media websites can reflect poorly on a small business.

Small businesses also have to realize that big brands have the time, resources, and money to run their social media websites as if it was their number one priority. Using the resources available and the time a small business can engage followers in others ways than large businesses do.

Social media is not free. Sure it is free to join just about every social media website, but the time and effort put into keeping up with the website comes at a price. Coming up with a social media plan can save money and allocate social media websites that work for a small business. 

 

Source: mashable.com

Being an Authentic Brand on Social Media via Mashable

Today’s blog post comes via Mashable writer Valerie Beckingham. Beckingham explains to readers the importance of your social media efforts as a brand and why it is important to keep your social media efforts authentic.

If you want your brand’s social media efforts to come across as authentic, you need to know what you stand for and what’s meaningful to you. In other words, authentic social communication requires you to be honest about what your brand represents, what you have to offer, where your weaknesses are, and what’s really important to your audience.

If you’re not listening and engaging in a candid manner, you run the risk of having a message that doesn’t resonate, or worse, creates a backlash, calling into question not just what you’re trying to say via social media, but across all outbound communication channels. For a brand, that’s bad news. Here are four tips for keeping your social-media outreach authentic.

1. Focus On The Individual

Your people are your greatest asset when it comes to social media because they offer a real human perspective rather than a pre-packaged marketing message. The problem is social media can get stripped of its authenticity by strict brand guidelines that mandate an omniscient company voice. Instead, imbue your social channels with the many unique individuals who work for the company.

Think of your audience in the same way. Don’t assume that they are a homogenous mass. This will help you develop a social communications plan that takes into consideration whether this audience is just getting to know your brand or if they are loyal followers. As individuals, we speak differently to different people. Remember that a brand is no different.

2. Listen Up!

It’s impossible to tap into sentiment without a system for listening. As brand communicators, we need to constantly have an ear out for changes in the consumer landscape and be tuned into what’s important to our audience.

For example, a key group influencing the tech industry is millennials, which loosely includes consumers born between 1980 and 2000. You might think you already know it all when it comes to millennials: that they’re all rebels, that their values are vastly different from their parents, and that they’re obsessed with changing the world. In reality, when you listen to young people today through research, you find that they defy those traditional stereotypes. Today’s millennials actually admit they love their parents and list them as friends on Facebook. They have no strong desire to leave home. They’re not even skewed liberal. This new generation is also questioning consumerism more than ever before, and they’ve proven to have very little brand loyalty. Most importantly, they’re currently defining what is real, cool, and interesting. That’s why listening is crucial.

3. Keep It Real

Today’s millennials are not just good at figuring out what’s authentic, they can also spot what is inauthentic from a mile away. Having grown up in the Internet age, they expect brands to talk to them with a real voice, and they’re not afraid to engage them in a public forum.

One great example of authenticity in action is a program recently run by airline KLM. KLM kicked off their social media program by asking, “What do we know to be true about how people interact with our brand?” The conclusion: people waste a lot of time in airports.

Starting with that simple truth, KLM set their campaign up for authentic direct-to-consumer engagement. They decided to surprise passengers that mentioned their KLM flight via Twitter or Foursquare. The teams used social media profiles to learn a little more about these travelers, enabling them to respond with appropriate perks such as a travel book for the hopelessly lost or a sports watch for the casual runner. These random acts of kindness took a little more effort than generic communications, but the response was rewarding. Travelers were only too happy to share their KLM experiences online with others. And let’s face it, what’s more authentic than consumers speaking on behalf of your brand? So don’t be afraid to change your message to suit your audience’s real needs and desires. Then reap the rewards.

4. Follow This Guiding Principle

Given the speed of social media, your message can go from trusted to falling out of favor in the blink of an eye, and it could all hinge on what you say next. That’s why the number one thing you can do to ensure authenticity and trust when connecting with fans, customers, and partners is to think about what your message means to them.

Source: Mashable

Twitter Brand Pages to Add More Changes this Year

Twitter brand pages may see some changes as a report from AdAge.com suggests. The brand pages were launched in December but Twitter hopes to add to those experiences with e-commerce, contests and sweepstakes. E-commerce capability may soon be coming to bridge the gap between Tweets and sales to help companies determine the actual value of Twitter as a social media marketing tool.

The report states that Twitter is underway to develop a new series of features for brand pages that will allow businesses to customize their brand pages. Some potential additions include e-commerce capability, contests and other elements that can lead to direct conversation from Twitter.

The report by AdAge suggests that the commerce-friendly components of brand pages will look like regular Tweets and will appear within the timeline of any businesses using the site for marketing. the commerce options are more likely to be given special treatment within the timeline, but will still be held to a limit of 140 characters as users add videos and other visual content to their pages.

The report was just released so there is little known so far about the potential feature actually being implemented as of now. However, Twitter has been telling its clients a roll out this year is to be expected.

“Brafton recently reported that Twitter’s growth has placed it above the 500 million-user mark, and it’s likely that it will surpass the 1 billion point at some time in the next year and a half” (Brafton). Twitter’s revenue is expected to reach $259.9 million this year, up from $139.5 million in 2011, according to eMarketer.

Source: Brafton, AdAge

B2B Companies Embrace Social Media in 2011

In 2011, the use of social media platforms for business-to-business companies became more important in the marketing mix than it has in previous years. For many B2B companies, social media can seem to be a daunting endeavor, but with knowledge of how to enter the world of social media,  social media can bring success. In this past year, many B2B companies have started to engage in social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and have found that these sites are generating success for their companies.

“Leveraging social media for branding and awareness-building can help humanize B2B companies, establish them as thought leaders, and offer new touchpoints for connecting with customers and prospects,” said Kimberly Maul, eMarketer writer/analyst and author of the new report, “B2B Social Media: A Growing Focus for Marketers.”

Knowing which social media sites to use and which ones will bring more success for your company can be understood by knowing who you want to reach via social media. Social networking site, LinkedIn, is used more as a professional networking site for B2B companies and is seen as a way to generate more effective leads and other sites Twitter and Facebook are Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, are helping B2B firms reach customers in new ways. In a web survey conducted by iTracks, survey respondents often site Linked In as the top social media site for B2B marketers while putting Facebok and Twitter above as the business minded social network. According to Sagefrog Marketing Group, by the summer of 2011, 58% of US B2B marketers that were engaging in social media used LinkedIn, compared to 50% for Facebook and 43% for Twitter.

There is no doubt that social media is an effective tool for any B2B company and that the use and understanding of social networking sites will remain important for B2B companies in their marketing mix in 2012.

Source: eMarketer.com