Multi-Channel Marketing

					           G r a p h i c           C o m m u n i c a t i o n                   I n s t i t u t e




     Multi-Channel Marketing
       How to Create, Design and Implement a
Multi-Channel Marketing Campaign from Start to Finish

                         A white paper
                                prepared for

                          RICOH USA


                                        by


                        Professor Michael Blum
                  Graphic Communication Department
                       Cal Poly State University
                      San Luis Obispo CA 93407




           Cal Poly State University • San Luis Obispo, CA 93407 • Phone 805.756.2645 • Fax 805.756.2733
 U
          NDERSTANDING MULTI-CHANNEL MARKETING TODAY HAS BECOME A
          requirement for printers, publishers, advertising professionals, and the clients they
          serve. It begins with the data: having a good system to manage information about
 customers and prospects including their buying habits and preferences. Examining the data
 stored about customers can help in developing a marketing concept which is personalized. That
 personalized content can be incorporated into print and on-line marketing channels which help
 reinforce each other.

 This paper is designed as a step-by-step instruction guide to help you understand the basic steps
 in multi-channel marketing, using examples of how to do this along the way.


Managing the Data
 Database management is a critical part of any multi-channel marketing effort. The data may be
 provided to your or your customer in a variety of formats and may need to be consolidated and
 organized in order to make it truly useful. Combining information from a variety of databases
 helps leverage the information to provide new uses for it.

 In its simplest form a database is merely a structured collection of information organized into
 one or more tables, each of which should ideally describe one entity — for example one table for
 customers, one for products, one for orders, etc.

 Each table is divided into fields and records which may easily be visualized as a series of rows and
 columns similar to a spreadsheet. Fields provide a label for each column of data — for example
 name, size, part number, etc., while records contain the actual data. A single record typically
 consists of multiple fields.

 A flat file or database consists of just one table while a relational database consists of multiple
 tables which are related to each other through a key field, often something like a phone number,
 customer ID, SKU, or similar unique identifier. Relational databases are more difficult to work
 with and understand but they provide some important benefits including better data integrity
 and improved efficiency.

 What software should be used to manage the data?
 Although spreadsheets are mainly designed for working with numbers, they are also commonly
 used to manage data, especially mailing lists. Spreadsheets are especially useful for transferring
 data between different programs, particularly when using the Comma Separated Values (CSV)
 format. CSV files usually contain a header row listing the names of each field; each subsequent
 line in the file is a single record and ends with a return. Field values are separated by commas.




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There are several inherent problems in trying to manage data in a spreadsheet: if a cell is deleted
and the user permits the program to shift other cells either up or to the left, the data will change
and become corrupted. The result of this problem could easily be a mailer sent to a list of
recipients with last names changed to city names. Another problem has to do with incorrectly
sorting spreadsheet rows or columns. Again the result of this could easily be corrupted data.
Spreadsheets additionally have limited numbers of rows and columns available to the user which
can be a problem in larger projects.

                   Shifted cells can change data




                                             Incorrect sorting can change data




As a result of the various limitations to spreadsheets, database software is preferred for multi-
channel marketing work. Two database management programs which are popular today are
Microsoft Access (part of Office for Windows) and the user-friendly program FileMaker Pro
(available for both Windows and Macintosh). This type of software makes it easy to manage
data, allows it to be imported from a variety of sources, and exported for use in other ways.

An example database for Mooncents Coffee
Let’s assume that we are in the process of preparing a multi-
channel marketing campaign for Mooncents Coffee (an imaginary
new competitor to Starbuck’s). With FileMaker Pro we can
quickly create a flat database to manage the company’s coffee club
members by simply creating a new database and adding fields
for whatever information we wish to track. In addition to the
basics such as first and last name, address, phone number, e-mail
and age it might be helpful to track which customers prefer fat-
free beverages or like caffeine; we can also track how long they’ve
been a member of the coffee club. The more fields we can track
the better because these can be used to create highly personalized
communications which can target each customer one-to-one.




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This system can be made more robust by adding additional tables and creating relationships
between them — in other words expanding our basic flat file into a relational database. With
a relational structure, once we capture a customer’s name or address or the various flavors of
coffee sold by Mooncents or any other information, that should never need to be re-entered,
regardless of how we use it in the future. The various tables relate to each other through key
fields.




The data to fill in the individual records for all of these fields can be gathered and input in a
variety of ways as our system develops. Some, such as store information or coffee types, can
simply be entered into the database by employees. The database can be kept more accurate if it
is designed to automatically validate the information as it is entered. For example we can require
that only numeric data is entered where appropriate, that certain fields must always be filled in,
or that some fields contain unique data that is not used in other records (such as a customer ID
or store name).




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Capturing data from web sites
In addition to manual data entry, web-enabled data entry can be used so that customers are
able to fill out forms on-line. FileMaker Pro provides a variety of methods to allow web entry of
data, ranging from “Instant Web Publishing” which can be enabled with 3 clicks; a PHP solution
deployed on a FileMaker server and which is made easy through the use of a “site wizard”; and
various custom web publishing approaches which require programming in order to implement.
For more information on how to do this, see: http://www.filemaker.com/products/filemaker-
pro/web-publishing.html

Customer data might be available from a variety of internal and external sources including
commercially available lists. All of these sources may be integrated into the database by
importing them. Often the data to be imported is saved in the CSV format. Care must be taken
when importing records to be sure that the imported data properly aligns with the existing
records. For example in our Mooncents Coffee database the first field might be called “First
Name” but we may wish to import records from a purchased list in which the third field is called
“FNAME”. These represent the same data but the name and ordering are different, so we must
properly map the import process in order to avoid corrupting our data by getting records out of
order.




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Cleansing the data
The more information that can be aggregated about each customer, the more valuable the
database grows for use in multi-channel marketing. But it is also common to find that some
data is inaccurate and this can cause unnecessary costs and potentially hurt the relationship
with customers. The data can be cleansed manually by reviewing each record and comparing it
with others, for example to look for duplicate or undeliverable addresses. This process can be
sped up through scripting and other automated tools. FileMaker Pro’s scripting utility known as
ScriptMaker, can automate nearly every operation in FileMaker Pro.

For example, if you look closely at the data below on the left, it will appear that there could be
duplicates records which would cause unnecessary mailers to be sent to the same household. But
it takes careful analysis to determine which are really duplicates and which aren’t. For example
it might seem that Eric & Susan Clark should get only one mailer since they share the same
last name, live on the same street and in the same city. But their street address is different. Sue
Cochrane & Wyatt Rogers live at the same address and street, but their city is different, so they
each need their own mailer. And finally, Daniel & Sequoia Diringer share the same last name,
address, street, and city, and can safely be counted as a duplicate which needs to be cleansed
from the database. Using ScriptMaker, the process of making these decisions can be automated.




In addition to using FileMaker Pro or other database tools to clean the data, there are on-line
services and specialized software tools designed to clean lists and eliminate duplicates, including
making sure that e-mail addresses are properly formatted for delivery and that postal mailing
addresses are correct and will be processed correctly.




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Once the data has been entered, it can be viewed and edited on a web page or through the
FileMaker Pro application’s interface. FileMaker Pro allows easy creation of customized layouts,
reports, graphs and charts to display the data as desired.




The layout options in FileMaker Pro and similar database software provide a rich palette of tools
to directly create personalized communications including print and PDF documents as well as
personalized e-mail. These documents can easily alternate between static text and field data as
desired, although they lack the flexibility, productivity, and power of specialized software, such
as Printable’s FusionPro Desktop, which is designed specifically to create VDP documents.




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Creating a Personalized VDP Brochure
 One of the first steps in creating a personalized Variable Data Publishing brochure is to carefully
 examine any databases provided to you in order to determine which fields are available to
 help in creating a compelling personalized message. Based on the available fields, the message
 desired, the budget, available images, and press limitations, an effective design concept can be
 developed. In looking at the fields available above in our sample database, note that in addition
 to the basic information about each person, we also know their preferences for caffeinated
 beverages, whether they like fat-free beverages, their age, gender, when they joined the
 Mooncents Coffee Club, the date of their last visit, and how long they have been a member. We
 can select from these fields to create the concept for a variable data brochure which is highly
 personalized without being obvious about it.

 Transparent personalization
 Inserting a first or last name in a document is easy but is not always the most effective way to
 convey a message. A more effective approach, known as transparent personalization, involves
 selecting text and graphics that enhances the message by personalizing them to the interests
 of the recipient based on the information in the database. In this way, the message can be
 personalized using images and text that represent previous orders, favorite colors, hobbies, or
 any other information that can be gleaned from the database.

 In our example of the Mooncents Coffee club, we will make use of the recipient’s name and
 city to personalize the message, but will also note how long they have been a member; we will
 display an image of coffee either with cream or without cream, depending on their expressed
 preference for beverages; and we will offer various coupons to them, some static (everyone
 receiving the same coupon) and others personalized based on preferences expressed for caffeine
 or fat-free beverages. We will also add custom text based on the age of the recipient and a
 warning of risks associated with caffeine based on their gender. In addition to these personalized
 elements, our design concept will include some static text and images which will be the same
 for all recipients. The amount of variation in the finished product may be limited by the output
 device — some digital presses print more efficiently with fewer variable elements on the page or
 may limit the variable elements to certain parts of the page. The graphic designer should take
 this into account for best results.




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VDP Workflow
The following basic workflow stages are involved in nearly all VDP production projects,
although their order may vary.
•	   Examine available databases and images
•	   Clean up the data
•	   Filter, sort & export records as needed
•	   Create a marketing concept which incorporates the data
•	   Account for press limitations in the concept
•	   Adjust photos including cropping, retouching, & sizing
•	   Find or create any needed illustrations
•	   Create page layouts
•	   Import data, build rules, and assemble variable document
•	   Proof finished documents on screen
•	   Transfer files and submit for output
•	   Check printed sheets
•	   Bind and process to meet postal requirements
•	   Convert & save for future use



Exporting the Records
When exporting the records, it is important to include all fields which may be needed for
production. In a relational database, some of the required fields may be located in a related table
— these fields must be exported as part of the process in order to be able to use them. While the
data may reside in a relational database, in order to make use of it most VDP software requires it
to be converted to a flat file and saved in a compatible format such as CSV.




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Preparing photos and illustrations
The VDP software will determine what file formats are compatible. In the case of Printable’s
FusionPro, a wide variety of popular illustration and photo formats are supported, including
native Photoshop and Illustrator. An important consideration is the final size, resolution, and
cropping of the images. Most VDP software provides controls which allow the user to crop and
scale images automatically as pages are created. However, this can result in unpredictable results




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and ineffective use of some images if the cropping is less than ideal. In order to prevent this and
for best results, variable photos and illustrations should be sized, cropped, and rotated in their
native applications so they are completely ready to be placed into the appropriate windows in the
page layout application. This may involve a little more work up front but can result in a better
finished product.

A tip in preparing images with Adobe Photoshop is to use the Cropping Tool with preset
dimensions which agree with the final size on the page layout. For our Mooncents Coffee
brochure, we would like to vary the image of a cup of coffee so that one version includes a
creamer and the other does not. The layout calls for the variable images to be 4.5” x 3.75” at 300
pixels per inch — therefore each image is opened in Photoshop, cropped to these exact numbers
and saved for later use in the variable document. This can quickly be done with the Cropping
Tool using the desired preset dimensions.




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Layout the pages
Printable’s FusionPro supports working with both Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress for
creating page layouts. Static elements can be properly positioned and all field and rule
placeholders can be identified on the page layout before proceeding. Our example VDP
brochure contains text fields which vary in context and rules which generate variable text and
images as noted below. All other elements on the page are static and remain the same for each
recipient. For example, each brochure has text that features different aspects of Mooncents
Coffee. All recipients get the text “live music” while the text for fat-free beverages, caffeine,
and age are determined by rules which evaluate the appropriate field value for each recipient
and determine the appropriate text to include. Similarly, all recipients get a coupon for a
free biscotti and $1.00 off any coffee while the coupons relating to fatfree and caffeine are
determined by rules which evaluate the appropriate field values for each recipient and determine
the appropriate image to include in the layout. These decisions would be made taking into
consideration the available field data, the business requirements, graphic design, and other
factors.
 Mooncents Coffee Mailer Layout
                                                              Fields

                                                                                 Special offers for NAME, loyal XX-month member of Mooncents Coffee Club



  Dear NAME,                                  FEATURING       Rules                                                      caffeine coupon rule
  Thank you for your support of
  Mooncents Coffee! You have now
  been a XX-month member of our               live music
  exclusive Coffee Club. This mailing
  and the inclosed special offers are
  our way to thank you for being a            fat rule
  loyal customer.                                                          fatfree coupon rule
       Your Name,
       General Manager
                                              caffeine rule
       Mooncents, CITYNAME                                                                             mf notice rule
                                              age rule                 Mooncents Coffee
                                                                       15000 Dryroast Drive                                                                US Postage
                                                                       Mooncents, Washington 54321                                                            PAID
                                                                                                                                                            Bulk Mail
                                                                                                                                                            Permit 17




                                                              Fields
                                                                                                NAME
                                        fatfree foto rule                                       ADDRESS
                                                                                                CITY, STATE ZIP




Duplex Printing on the Docucolor 2060
In Acrobat choose Compose from the
FusionPro menu or select its icon on the
FusionPro menubar or Steps. In the Input tab,
set the Record Range as follows:

Moocents Coffee Mailers, From: 1 to 5
GrC Prospect Mailers, From: 1 to 10




When Composition is done,View As PDF and
carefully examine the results. Be sure you have
the correct number of pages (including fronts                                                                                                                           12
and backs: 10 pages for the Mooncents Mailer
As the layout is built, the designer identifies any text or graphic frames which will contain
variable data using the appropriate palette in FusionPro and exports the finished layout
document as a PDF so it can be opened in Adobe Acrobat Pro where the variable data is to be
merged.




Use FusionPro to build a VDP document in Acrobat
Printable’s FusionPro provides a handy Steps palette for creating VDP documents in Adobe
Acrobat Pro. While these steps will usually be followed in order, the user is free to complete
them in any order that makes sense.




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After the flat data file is imported from the database or spreadsheet, text and image resources
are imported into the job. At that point rules can be built to determine when variable text and
graphics will appear in the document. There are a variety of ways to build the rules, but the
process is the same regardless: determine the possible field options and the associated text or
image to be used. In our example, those customers who prefer caffeinated beverages will receive
a coupon for a free espresso and those who don’t will receive a coupon for a decaf beverage. The
appropriate rule links to the correct image in each case.




More complex rules can take into account nearly any condition based on information stored
in the database. In our example, we would like to have different text appear based on the age of
each customer — FusionPro makes it easy to build a rule for this.




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This example publication requires 7 rules to provide the degree of transparent personalization
desired for an effective part of a multi-channel marketing effort.




After the rules have been built, the variable text and graphic elements are added to the pages,
either as text fields, text rules, or graphic rules. A variable text editor is used to select text frames
and add fields and rules as well as to add character and paragraph formatting to these as desired.




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To add graphic rules, the appropriate frames are drawn or they are simply selected if they were
created in the original page layout application and properly exported as variable graphic frames.
Any selected frame can have a graphic rule applied to it as well as a variety of options for scaling,
positioning and cropping of the images. If the images were carefully sized and cropped in
Photoshop to a standard frame size, these options won’t need to be selected as the graphic rules
are applied.




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Preview and compose
At this stage all static text and graphics should be in place as well as all variable text and
graphics. However, prior to printing, the files should be previewed and validated. Unlike
conventional graphic design, VDP design needs to account for long or short records, as these
might create poor line breaks, text overflowing, and other problems. Ideally, each record
should be validated on screen prior to printing. With long print runs, this may be impractical.
Fortunately, Printable’s FusionPro provides an option to preview the longest and shortest record
for any field to see the effects of the record’s particular data on the resulting output.




If problems show up during Preview, the layout can be adjusted as needed to resolve these. The
composition stage processes the entire data file and results in a finished file ready for output.
There are a variety of output formats possible — be sure to check with those responsible for
the actual output to determine the preferred output format. Composition can also include
imposition which makes optimum use of the press sheet by placing multiple images on one sheet
in such a way that everything will be in the correct position after finishing operations. Printable’s
FusionPro provides an imposition utility.




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After composition our example VDP job is complete and each flyer has been personalized.




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Personalized images
The automated creation of photographic images which incorporate personalized text elements
has become relatively easy with new software packages designed exclusively for this purpose.
The resulting images can be very creative and eye-catching and can enhance multi-channel
marketing efforts. The software used to create such images can work independently of VDP
page layout software or can be integrated with it. If the personalized images are created
independently, a careful naming system is required in order to merge each personalized image
with the correct record for the finished publication.

Printable’s FusionPro Expression provides a means of integrating the personalized images with
completed VDP pages. Like other similar products, the user has two basic approaches to follow:
select from pre-designed templates or create a custom image template from scratch. Creating
custom templates can be time-consuming and typically requires experience with Photoshop in
order to create effective templates.

Using pre-defined templates requires that an appropriate template be selected and added to
the FusionPro project. The desired fields can be added to the personalized image template and
merging with the variable data is completed on the fly as pages are composed. The result is an
additional element of a multi-channel marketing campaign which is very likely to grab the
attention of the reader. Personalized images can be used with VDP printed brochures, e-mail
marketing, and PURLs.




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QR Codes
A rapidly growing system for connecting print to on-line resources is the QR code (Quick
Response code). Publishers and marketers around the world are using QR codes to add value,
track responses, and generate revenue. Incorporating a QR code in a printed publication gives
the reader an opportunity to snap a picture of the code with a cel phone application which can
then link to a URL, phone number, map, video, or other on-line content. Current research shows
that when given a choice, a majority of users prefer using a QR code compared with manually
entering a URL.

In order to add a QR code to a multi-channel marketing campaign, you must create the
destination link. This might involve obtaining an appropriate web address, creating a video, a
web landing page, or other desired content which supports the multi-channel campaign. The
content must be uploaded to the desired server address. The current version of Printable’s
FusionPro supports the creation of QR codes as part of a variable data publication. Analytics
software from a variety of sources provides instant tracking of the responses. A good example of
a tracking system is Google Analytics: http://www.google.com/analytics. Adding QR codes can
provide a powerful link to other channels in a marketing campaign.

                                   Mooncents Coffee Club



                       Scan this code
                       for a free cup
                         of coffee!




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E-mail marketing
 E-mail marketing is commonly done through either a specialized program designed for this
 purpose or a web-based solution (commonly known as a hosted solution, cloud computing, or
 SaaS — software as a service).

 A relational database may still be used to manage the data, import it from multiple sources
 including web forms, and to cleanse the data as needed to make it more useful. Some database
 software, such as FileMaker Pro, includes e-mail capabilities which allow the user to generate
 and send mass e-mail blasts which are completely personalized using the available fields in the
 database.

 Most commercial e-mail marketing solutions provide at least the following functions:
 •	   e-mail list management
 •	   creation of HTML e-mail and access to e-mail templates
 •	   bulk e-mail sending
 •	   campaign tracking and management
 A full list of e-mail marketing features and a comparison of popular solutions can be found at

 http://email-marketing-service-review.toptenreviews.com

 http://www.email-marketing-options.com

 E-mail marketing is a form of permission-based marketing in which messages are sent only to
 those who sign up for them. To insure that this is the case the leading solution providers have
 strict anti-spam policies.

 Any e-mail marketing campaign must follow certain legal requirements spelled out by the
 Federal Trade Commission through a law known as the CAN-SPAM Act. CAN-SPAM is a law
 that sets the rules and requirements for commercial e-mail messages, gives recipients the right to
 opt-out, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

 The basic requirements of CAN-SPAM are:
 •	   don’t use false or misleading header information (“From” & “Reply-To” must be real)
 •	   don’t use deceptive subject lines
 •	   identify the message as an ad
 •	   tell recipients where you’re located (include a valid physical address or PO Box)
 •	   tell recipients how to opt-out of receiving future e-mail from you
 •	   honor opt-out requests promptly (within at least 10 days)
 •	   monitor what others are doing on your behalf (you may be liable for e-mail marketing
      complaints related to what a company you hire does for you)




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 Some e-mail marketing solutions are closely integrated with other products. For example,
 Printable offers a personalized e-mail marketing option to its product line through ExactTarget
 which in turn can integrate an e-mail campaign with Twitter, Facebook and other social media
 channels.

 Communications via e-mail must be carefully written to be useful. Most people receive too
 much e-mail and only read and respond to messages which are relevant, brief, to the point, and
 compelling. Before sending bulk e-mail it is important to edit messages to keep them concise,
 written using short sentences and with bullet points. When someone opens the message they
 should be able to grasp what it is about within 10 seconds or less.

 E-mail marketing can provide an important marketing channel which can also direct customers
 to a company web site, PURL (Personalized URL), blog, twitter feed, Facebook page, etc.,
 helping leverage the potential of the other channels.


PURLs
 PURLs are useful to direct a customer or prospect to a
 personalized web site or landing page where customized
 information can be displayed. Most system which
 generate PURLs provide tracking tools to let you instantly
 learn the response rates and improve your marketing
 plan based on customer behavior. PURLs can be included
 in printed VDP mailers as well as personalized e-mail
 messages.

 Printable offers FusionPro Links which is a hosted
 solution for creating and managing PURLs to work in
 concert with its other personalized communications.
 An advantage of such solutions is that they eliminate
 one of the major problems with direct mail marketing
 — the lack of ability to quickly determine response rates
 and therefore the effectiveness of the campaign. Response management tools provide instant
 tracking of users who have clicked on a PURL and provide detailed reporting and statistical
 data on activities on the personalized microsites. This provides the ability to make changes to a
 campaign while it is progress.

 Typically a graphic designer will create effective landing pages that support the marketing
 campaign and build these using software such as Adobe Dreamweaver. FusionPro Links allows
 the user to import CSV and similar data formats and generate PURLs, linking these to the
 appropriate web design. The personalized links can then be exported for use in other parts of
 the campaign, such as print and e-mail marketing. FusionPro Links also supports the ability to
 incorporate microsite surveys to gather information during the campaign’s duration.




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Social media marketing
 Social media marketing can significantly enhance the other channels of customer
 communication and interaction. These channels are relatively easy to set up, but do require staff
 time to monitor and manage them effectively. Four popular examples are Facebook, Twitter,
 YouTube, and blogging. There are many other social media channels; for a comprehensive list
 see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites

 Facebook
 Facebook is one of the most popular and important social media channels. A business can
 maintain a professional presence on Facebook by creating an Official Facebook fan page and
 adding Facebook links to company web sites, blogs, and e-mails in order to make it easy for
 customers and prospects to follow their page on Facebook.

 To get started, navigate to http://www.facebook.com and create a personal account (or login
 using an existing personal account). Create an Official Facebook page for the desired business or
 service: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php




 Only an authorized representative of the business can create an Official Page. That individual
 can then authorize additional people to update and help manage the company’s fan page. Next,




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post appropriate information you wish to disseminate, including the latest news, products,
and offers as well links to other media channels your company supports. To make it easy for
customers and prospects to “follow you” on Facebook, add a badge with a link to your Official
Page to your various other marketing channels. Information on linking badges can be found at
http://www.facebook.com/badges




Once at least 30 people are following your Official Page, Facebook provides free access to an
analytics tool called Facebook Insights which provides daily and historical data and graphs
summarizing information about fans, including demographics, interactions, page views, click-
throughs, etc.

Another method to generate traffic to your Official Facebook Page is through Facebook Ads
which is described in more detail at http://www.facebook.com/advertising

Recent research has shown that the most common reason people become fans of Facebook
pages is to receive discounts and promotions. Accordingly, to continue to generate traffic and
leverage other multi-channel marketing efforts, worthwhile content should be regularly posted
on Facebook.




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Twitter
Twitter allows users to quickly publish updates with microblog posts of up to 140 characters.
Creating and updating a Twitter account is easy to do. Begin by navigating to www.twitter.com
and set up a new account, and then enter a post you wish to publish. Because of the brevity of
Twitter posts, long URLs are discouraged. Instead, create a web address and associated content
to which you wish to drive traffic. Then go to http://tinyurl.com and enter the full URL; the site
generates a shortened URL suitable for posting on Twitter; copy this shortened URL and paste it
into your post to link to coupons, special offers, or any other type of content you wish to publish.
To make it easy for others to follow you on Twitter, post a link to your account using the format:
www.twitter.com/mooncents. To enhance this with an icon to your web site or e-mail, go to
http://twitter.com/goodies/buttons where you can select an icon and copy the associated code to
past into your web site or e-mail.




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YouTube
In order to have a presence
on www.youtube.com, an
account must be created and
relevant video clips must be
posted. Additional traffic can
be generated by effectively
describing and tagging the
video clips and providing
links to them through other
channels such as blogs, web
sites, e-mail blasts, and Twitter
and Facebook posts. Youtube
also has available a program of
paid advertising which can be used to effectively increase your other multi-channel marketing
efforts: http://www.youtube.com/advertise




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 Blogging
 A well-crafted and updated blog (short for web log) can provide a forum for timely information
 and updates about products or services you wish to promote. It can also be an integral part of
 a cross-media marking strategy. Begin by selecting from the various hosting providers such
 as http://wordpress.com, http://www.blogger.com or http://www.typepad.com, then create a
 free account. Select an appropriate graphic theme and make selections about your blog such as
 whether anyone can post to it, whether you wish to allow your site feed to be posted on other
 web sites, and whether you want the ability to moderate comments. For a commercial blog, the
 ability to moderate comments is essential; as with any public forum, some type of review and
 filtering process needs to be used so that counter-productive or offensive posts are not allowed.

 Recommendations for business blogs:
 •	   create a company policy for blogging
 •	   tie your blogging into a marketing strategy
 •	   incorporate your personal perspective
 •	   don’t make this just a sales tool — comment about the marketplace in general
 •	   add useful links, including those to other marketing channels your company provides
 •	   comment on posts from your readers to make it a public conversation
 •	   only post when you have something interesting and worthwhile to add

Conclusions
 From print, to e-mail, to PURLs, to the latest social media — there are many ways to reach
 current and prospective customers today. Each of these channels requires appropriate staffing
 and attention to detail in order to be effective. Each channel can reinforce the others and
 together they can provide a synergy which is greater than the sum of the parts.




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