marketing-to-millinnials-megaphoneMillennials. Generation Y.

The ones born in the 80s and the 90s.

The so-called digital natives.

They may not be the richest, but they have the most discretionary income. They have influence over older generations.  They advise their parents on the purchase of technology like phones, computers and entertainment devices.

So they’re attractive to marketers.

But they’re also highly aware of marketing messages – and cynical about them.

Which means marketing to millennials is no easy challenge.

Why are millennials different?

Some say millennials are really different. Others say it’s simply what each ‘younger generation’ is like, until it grows and matures. For marketers, this may not really be the issue. The issue is to understand them and market to them.

So here are the commonly cited characteristics of the millennials.

They grew up with technology. They don’t remember a time before computers, the internet and smartphones. They live on social media. They share everything.

Actually, the truth is a little more complex, as this infographic about millennials shows.

They certainly seem to be connected. But it’s not all social media. Much of that online time is browsing news or researching work or study issues. And they don’t want to do everything online.


It’s also true that they share. A report by Boston Consulting Group says more than half ‘are willing to share their brand preferences on social media, compared with 31 percent of baby boomers‘.  Many also have their own blogs and personal pages. From a marketing perspective, social media is word-of-mouth on speed.

They think short-term rather than long-term. They want everything now. They don’t save for the future.

This seems to be at least partly true. One study shows that ‘millennials love to travel, buy clothes and dine out with friends’ more so than any other generation‘.

What’s more, their average debt is higher than their average annual income. And one in four is living at home with parents.  (Maybe this is fueling disposable income? Maybe it’s a response to unaffordable housing and little job security?)

They want to make a difference.  They’re idealistic rather than money-driven. They search for meaning in their jobs and their lives.

This is difficult to assess with hard data. But it does appear that experience is more important for this generation.

So what does all this mean for marketers?

Marketing to Millennials – Content

If you want to engage millennials, build your content around these factors.


This generation is very aware of spin and how things can be manipulated.  If the message and the reality don’t match up, they’ll notice.


Millennial cynicism offers an opportunity to delight by living up to the values you promote.  That’s part of the authenticity.

How do you align your brand with millennial values?  It’s interesting to note that male millennials and female millennials have really different values. So think about your gender targeting when you develop your campaign.




Story has always been important, but for millennials, it’s huge. It’s part of that search for meaning and authenticity.

Interactivity and participation

‘Interactive’ doesn’t mean online.  It means the millennials want to be involved. They want a voice. They create content. They share it.  The recent Apple shot on iPhone 6 campaign is a great example.


Redshift and Bite also note the ‘rising popularity of visual-based interaction‘. It’s not just actions that speak louder than words. Pictures do too. Whether they’re photos or videos. Whether they’re online or in print. Make your images resonate.

Marketing to Millenials – Channels

It’s no surprise that for these switched-on digital natives, online is important.

But marketers must realise that online is not the only place to go.  For millennials, multi-channel works.  So don’t dismiss print out of hand. Just make it work with digital.

One effective approach is print materials to drive millennials online where they can interact.

An astonishing 75% of millennials have purchased something in response to direct mail.  


Print gives authenticity, especially if personalised or well targeted. Remember, this generation didn’t get a lot of letters when they were growing up. They appreciate something physical, addressed to them.  It’s real. Authentic. Combine that with a step where they can follow up in their digital space, interact and share. Now you’re pushing lots of buttons.

Millennials are also the only generation to rank mail as their “preferred” source of coupons.

  • Mail (61%, versus the 51% overall average of all generations)
  • Newspapers (52%, equal to the overall average)
  • Internet: download (47%, versus the 30% average)
  • Internet: print at home (42%, versus the 34% average)
  • Smartphones (39%, versus the 20% average)

Remember, we’re talking a savvy generation, quite capable of looking around for the best price. (And carrying a lot of debt, so keen on a bargain.) The old-fashioned coupon is still an effective marketing tool.

Another important channel is word-of-mouth.  More from Boston Consulting Group on that:

 Millennials are around 2.5 times more likely than boomers to at least occasionally share a social-media link that references a brand or product and to follow brands on Twitter. They are also far more likely than boomers to support their favorite brands online: 52 percent said that they post likes of a brand on social media such as Facebook, and 21 percent reported that they do so “every time” or “almost every time.” Also, 39 percent said that they post reviews of brands or products, 27 percent reported that they reference a brand in blog posts, and 26 percent said that they answer satisfaction surveys on mobile devices.

The word-of-mouth may now be online sharing, but the basic concept is the same. And if your campaign lets them interact, participate and create, they’re even more likely to share.


So what’s the ideal campaign when marketing to millennials?  Here’s one suggestion.

Develop an authentic message.

Promote it via traditional channels.

Use those channels to refer millennials online, where they can engage with your message.

Let them add their own angle and share with their own network.

Because one final thing about millennials is this – they trust their own network over experts!

Print Marketing ROI – How to Measure and Improve It
By admin on Friday, July 24th, 2015

print-marketing-roiDo you measure your print marketing ROI?

How do you track which business comes from print?

Are you happy with your results?

Whatever your current approach to tracking your print marketing, we hope this article gives you some tips and ideas on how to improve.

Comparing print marketing ROI to other marketing channels

There’s a great deal of press around the death of newspapers and magazines.  There are multiple reports about how spend on digital marketing is increasing every year. All this leads to the impression that print marketing doesn’t work any more. But there’s a body of research which shows differently.

One research study from 2014 compared 10 advertising campaigns across newspapers, magazines, TV, radio and online.

Amazingly, the two print media delivered better ROI than online, TV or radio!

It’s key here to distinguish between reach and ROI. It doesn’t matter how many people experience your ad, it’s how many respond to it.  And print has a couple of key advantages:

  • It endures longer. (Even a daily newspaper lasts longer than a TV commercial!)
  • It has a physical presence, which can trigger followup later.

This factsheet from the Value of Paper and Print lists some other research showing strong results for print marketing.

They also have a case study from Kenbrock about how print drives ROI for their flooring products.

“Our website is an important tool delivering an extensive overview of our wide range of products, particularly to commercial clients and architects, but our retail domestic customers need quality tactile reinforcement.”

“They come to the stores to touch and feel the products. When they leave with one of our detailed printed brochures they feel they are taking the whole experience home with them”.

Calculating print marketing ROI

The calculation for ROI is straightforward in itself. Total revenue divided by total costs.  The challenge is ensuring you capture all the revenue and all the costs.

Let’s look at costs first, since these are relatively easy.  The table below shows the main costs you need to consider for various kinds of print marketing.


Tracking revenue from your print can be more difficult.

When a customer clicks on an online ad to get to your website, it’s easy to track where they came from.

When a customer walks into your store or calls your number, how do you know whether they saw a print ad?  Or which one?

And what about the people who saw your ad, then searched for you online?

Here are some of the commonest ways to improve tracking of results from print marketing campaigns. Most of them have some margin of error, but they’re better than not tracking at all.

Change in revenue

If your business levels are relatively steady, then you run a print campaign and sales go up, you can attribute the extra sales to your print campaign.

Just be sure there are no other factors influencing the change in your sales. Maybe your business fluctuates with the season (eg flowers or jewellery at Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day) or the weather (garden equipment). Maybe the competitor coffee shop in the next street closed for renovations.  Or a strong Aussie dollar means more holidayers are going overseas, so your outback tours are less popular.

Asking your customers how they found you

Another simple method, but not the most robust one.  Asking works best if you have a small team who can be trained to ask, and who will record the answers. Beware, customers may not know, or may not answer honestly.

This method may also be unsuitable if customers are in a hurry, or have to queue. Anything which slows down your ability to service them is a problem in this scenario.

Coupons, codewords, incentives and competitions

Include an offer or incentive in your print marketing pieces.  Then track redemptions.  If you use different codes for each print channel, you can compare performance across these channels as well.

One risk here is that too many ‘offers’ may cheapen your brand. Discounting may not be a good long term strategy. You could offer entry into a competition.  If your product has reasonable margin, you could offer a giveaway.

Use unique response channels

If you’re advertising in 3 magazines and on 2 radio staions, use 5 different phone numbers. It’s easy to route them all to the same end point, and the systems which do this will track how many calls came from each number originally. Especially effective if you use 1300 or 1800 numbers displayed prominently. Most customers won’t even notice the different numbers.

You can apply the same principle to reply paid addresses or PO boxes.

There is some extra overhead cost involved in setting this kind of tracking up. On the other hand, you get reliable information, which helps you know which channels are performing. So you can spend your future marketing budget more wisely and increase ROI over time. The cost is actually an investment for the future.

Use URLs, PURLs or QR codes to drive and track web traffic from print marketing

Urls or web addresses are like phone numbers – you can redirect a lot of them to one place! Use one for each channel and see where your traffic is coming from.  You need to keep them easy and relevant to you and your campaign, though. For example, if Xpadite were promoting our custom packaging capabilities, we could have urls such as:

  • xpadite.com.au/custompack
  • xpadite.com.au/brandedpack
  • xpadite.com.au/mypackaging
  • xpadite.com.au/custombox

This article gives more information, including links to how to set up your tracking.

QR (Quick Response) codes work the same way, but they’re used more with mobiles. With a QR code, the user doesn’t have to type a url on a small screen.

PURLs, or personalised urls, are often used with direct mail. This means you can track not just the channel but the individual as well. Examples might be:

  • xpadite.com.au/packaging-for-daren
  • xpadite.com.au/packaging-for-andrew

and so on.

Remember print marketing ROI is not always immediate

80% plus of email response comes within 24 hours. If you’re advertising in a monthly magazine, response obviously takes longer. But beware – it may takes much longer than a month! Many magazines are passed on from one reader to another. Many lie around in hairdressers, doctors’ waiting rooms and other places for many months.

The bulk of your response is still likely to be within a couple of months, but it does mean you need to be careful if you’re recycling phone numbers or URLs. Otherwise you’ll dirty up your data and your print marketing ROI calculations will go haywire.

What about print in multi-channel marketing campaigns?

Multi-channel marketing campaigns are becoming more and more common – and they’re often hard to measure!

Dependent on the channels you’re using, the best option is probably some split testing.

If your campaign has enough geographic reach, try adding print in one location but not another. So for example, an insurance company might run a campaign with TV advertising in NSW and Victoria, plus letterbox catalogues in NSW and Queensland. When the results come in, they can analyse the increased revenue from each of the three states to see what the best combination of channel is.

print-marketing-roi-multi-channel-exampleHere’s some example numbers to demonstrate. These are totally made up, but they illustrate one important point.

Better sales does not necessarily mean better ROI.

Compare the results for Victoria and Queensland.  There was more sales uplift in Victoria, but a better return on investment (marketing investment) in Queensland. So which was better value for money?

Of course it depends on your business objectives, but the company made a greater profit on the campaign in Queensland ($25,000) than in Victoria ($20,000).

This shows why return on investment is such an important measure.

Tips to improve your print marketing ROI

By now you should be convinced that print marketing can work, or at least prepared to give it a try.  The next question is, how do you make it work better? Here’s some ideas.

Great creative is essential.

Have a brainstorm in the office, or download our collection of great print marketing ideas to get your imagination flowing.

Print with multisensory appeal can help as well.

Target as closely as you can.

  • For letterbox media, select suburbs with demographics or lifestyles which match your ideal customer.
  • For direct mail, investigate potential lists and use ones with good selection criteria.
  • For magazines and newspapers, consider the readership

Have a clear call to action

A reason to respond. A clear and obvious way to respond. Make this stand out with contrasting colours, borders, large font or other methods.

But don’t have too many response options. Harvard Business Review explains why choice isn’t always better.

Consider the position of advertising in magazines and newspapers

  • FHRHP – First half, right hand page is generally considered best
  • Cover positions (front and back) also generate better response, but they are more expensive.  Experiment to find the best ROI for you and your product.
  • Frequency matters. For large format ads, four times seems to be optimum. For smaller ads, it might be as much as seven.
  • Try unusual ad sizes and formats to stand out better. Multiple right hand full pages one after the other revealing a story. A strip along the bottom of the page.

Test, test and test again

Testing is the R&D of marketing. It allows you to see what works and what doesn’t.  So whatever you do, test it!

Good luck everyone with measuring and improving your print marketing ROI!


Australian E-Commerce: building future growth
By admin on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

What’s happening in Australian e-commerce right now?  What will the future look like?  A couple of recent reports have set us wondering.

  • australian-ecommerce-future-growth-imageAccording to eWay research, Australians spent $4.37 billion online between January and March 2015. That’s a 22% increase from 2014.
  • In May, PureProfile surveyed 1,000 online shoppers across Australia and New Zealand.  They found that 29% had given up on online retail altogether, thanks to poor shopping experiences.
  • AT Kearney’s Global Retail E-Commerce Index 2015 shows Australia in the top ten countries for e-commerce.

But Australia has slipped one place in these rankings, from number 9 to number 10.

So what’s happening?  Australian e-commerce is growing. But maybe it’s not growing as fast as it should. And maybe the issues are more complicated than GST-free competition from overseas sites.

What’s driving Australian e-commerce growth? And what’s holding it back?

83% of respondents in the PureProfile survey value the convenience of online shopping.

That’s not surprising, given the pressure of modern life.  Interestingly, the 6pm to 9pm timeslot is the best time for sales.  Fully 20% of all transactions take place in those three hours.   It seems people get home from work and spend a bit of time in the evening looking for all the things they don’t have time to shop for during the day.

So they’re looking for convenience and speed.  But they’re not finding it.

  • 45% have abandoned a purchase due to difficulties with the site.
  • 47% have gone to a second site to purchase
  • 29% have given up on online shopping altogether

And they’re spending a massive 15.5 minutes on average browsing an online site to find the item they want.

What can Australian e-commerce sites do to improve customer experience?

1. Implement effective search

42% of survey respondents said online search options did not match their criteria.

If your site has more than a handful of products, consider implementing search.  Exactly what your site search will look like depends on your business but consider the following points:

  • Make your search easily visible and the same on all pages
  • Make sure your product data is strong enough to support search.  If you have categories, is every item in a category? Do you need some items to be in two or more categories? For example, if you’re selling jewellery you might have earrings, necklaces, rings and sets, but you might also want ‘gifts for her’ or ‘gifts under $100″ or categories for special occasions such as weddings or prom nights.
  • Consider other criteria people might search on.  Size, for clothing.  Price range. Current availability.

Get more e-commerce search tips here.

2. Make sure your checkout service is easy to understand

australian-e-commerce-buy-keyboard57% want an easier checkout process. Consider these questions

  • Is it easy to see and change what’s in your cart?  At all times?
  • Is the ‘checkout’ button available from every page?
  • Do customers need to create an account or is there a ‘quick checkout’ option if they prefer that?

Remember, you know your site so well you don’t even notice the problems.  It never hurts to get a complete novice to test your checkout service, while you sit quietly by and watch.

Get more ideas about checkout practices here.

3. Provide on-site assistance

34% say online service doesn’t match that in-store.  43% prefer in-store service.

What can you do to give better customer service on your site?

  • Anticipate common questions and answer them upfront.  Delivery times and costs.  Returns policy.  For clothing, how to measure your size and get a good fit.
  • A good FAQ page can be helpful too.
  • Have a clearly visible enquiry email.  Send all enquirers an auto-response confirming you have their enquiry and telling them when they can expect a full response.  Then make sure you do it!
  • Include a phone number, preferably toll-free.  If it’s not manned 24×7, say when it is available.  (And remember, 20% of transactions take place between 6pm and 9pm.  Sound like an opportunity for a call centre in Perth!)
  • What about online chat?  This is the equivalent of having a sales assistant onsite.  It also lets people ask questions anonymously, which increases comfort levels.  And it’s a great source of customer insights!

More ideas for online customer service here.

4. Offer same-day delivery options and free returns

67% of men and 79% of women surveyed wanted at least one of these options for their online shopping.

Same day delivery is important for gifts and other time-sensitive purchases. You need a cut-off time, of course.  If someone makes a purchase at 8pm it’s unlikely you’ll deliver it the same night, but if they order at 10am, perhaps you can.  Just make sure your cut-off time (and any location limitations) are clearly available on your website.

Remember, same-day delivery doesn’t have to be the only option you offer.  It’s quite OK to charge extra, as long as you’re clear about it.  For the majority of purchases where an extra day or two doesn’t matter, a slower delivery system can be a lot cheaper for you and help you remain competitive.

As for returns, Paypal Australia have recently launched a ‘free returns shipping’ service for purchases made via Paypal.  if you aren’t offering free returns for all orders, but you do take Paypal as a payment method, this could be one place to start.

Or you could investigate AfterPay, a Sydney-based startup which allows customers to pay after they have received their order.  Another way of reducing perceived risk from purchasing online.

5. Take opportunities to upsell, cross-sell and repeat sell to your customers

But don’t annoy them all the time with pop-up ads! That was the number one hate of online shoppers surveyed – 42% of them want fewer pop-ups.  Try some of these ideas instead to keep your Australian e-commerce site growing!

And while Xpadite don’t design, implement or improve e-commerce websites, if you want to review your e-commerce fulfilment operations, we’re always happy to have a no-obligation discussion.


product-sample-selectionCarefully targeted and planned product sampling can deliver fantastic results for a whole range of physical products.  Why?

  • It puts your product literally in the hands of the customer.  It’s more immediate and ‘real’ than any advertising campaign can be, so it gets immediate cut-through.
  • It lets your target market ‘try before you buy’. So they can experience your product fully.
  • It’s the ultimate ‘guarantee’. In essence, product sampling says, ‘We know this is so good that once you’ve tried it, you’ll be happy to pay the price we charge for more.’  It shows your confidence in your product’s value for money.

But successful product sampling means much more than just standing on a street corner, or in the shopping centre, handing out freebies to whoever comes past.  You want your samples to reach the right target market, at a time when they can appreciate them.

Some careful thought will make your product sampling campaigns as successful and cost-effective as possible.  Here’s a list of questions to consider.

What will your sample look like?

This may sound obvious, but you need to think about how the sample reflects your goals right from the start.

Which variety of your product?

You’re promoting shampoos.  Or beauty creams. Or health bars.  You have a product range.  Should you sample your new ‘flavours’, or should you focus on your top-selling core product?

The answer depends on your goals. If you want to increase market share, it’s probably better to go with the core product.  If you want to extend your range or increase awareness of new ‘flavours’, try those.  But you may not get quite so much conversion.

Full size or trial size?

A full size package is easier operationally.  There’s no need to design and produce a sample size.  On the other hand, it will almost certainly cost more to ship.  A full size sample also provides lots of uses to the recipient, so it will take longer before they convert to a sale.


If you opt for a trial size, will you replicate the full size packaging, or will you go with a cheaper option?  (For example, foil packs versus a bottle.)

Cost is obviously one factor in this decision. Against that, a cheaper package may affect the product experience. And what if your packaging shape is a key part of your brand? In that case, simplified packaging may affect brand awareness and uptake.

Xpadite can help you assess custom packaging options for sample product sizes.

Should anything else be included with the sample?

Here are some options to consider.

  • Coupons. One piece of research done for the US Postal Service found that 89% of consumers said that an accompanying coupon would increase the value of a mailed sample box.  A coupon also offers an incentive for sales conversion.  If you do decide to use a coupon, you need to minimise the chance of it getting lost before it’s redeemed.  You could attach it to the product sample, or give it a magnetic strip to hold it on the fridge, for example.
  • Brochures. If you have a wide product range, this gives you the chance to promote more items.  On the other hand, it may dilute the power of your offer if the range is too wide.
  • Multiple samples.  What if you’re introducing several new flavours, colours or formulations?  Consider adding a feedback form with an incentive to complete it, and now you get some hands-on market research.
  • Competition entries or similar.  This can be another great way to collect consumer information and product feedback.

In this campaign, product sampling by direct mail was combined with a competition to collect further information and a discount voucher to encourage purchase.  You can bet those vouchers were individually tracked too, so the competition data and the purchase behaviour could be linked.




How will you reach your target market?

As we said above, standing on a corner handing thing out to passers-by is not targeted product sampling!  But what are your other options?

Letterbox drops

If you’re a local retailer trying to promote business, this can work really well.  (In this scenario, a coupon is a great way to get people into your store rather than wherever they normally shop.)

If you’re the product manufacturer or distributor rather than a retailer, you can still use letterbox drops for product sampling.  You should be clear on the demographic characteristics of your core market.  Target suburbs which match this profile.

Addressed mailing lists

You may have your own lists of existing customers, or of those who have responded to competitions.

There are many third party lists available where you can select on criteria including gender, age, household income and interests.

Collecting requests for product sampling via online or social media

As Australians move to the web, this has become more and more popular.  A properly promoted sample offer can help you build a list for future marketing as well as for your sample campaign.

This is also a great option if you have a range of different samples on offer – flavours, scents, lipstick colours or so on.  Each individual can request what best suits them.

But beware of people who just want ‘freebies’.  You may want to set some criteria for who can apply.  You will almost certainly need to limit the number of times you send samples to any one address.

Fulfilment for this kind of campaign needs to be looked at carefully too.  Ideally, you want to send samples out the same day they are requested so that they arrive quickly and reinforce good feelings about your brand.  This may affect operational cost though, since fulfilment is lots of small jobs rather than one large one.  It’s also harder to predict total levels of demand.  You’ll need to work closely with your fulfilment supplier – we know this from experience!

Include samples with e-commerce orders

This one works for both e-commerce pureplays and any other retailer who has an ecommerce site.

  • If you don’t tell customers you’re going to send something, then it’s a great way to exceed expectations.
  • If you do tell customers, give them some choice of samples and you get lots of ideas for how to extend your product range.

You may want to set a minimum order value to keep this offer viable.

It can be also be a great way to dispose of unsold stock if you have made some poor purchase decisions in the past.

How will you measure success?

It’s important to know what you are trying to achieve – and to set a baseline before you start!

Most companies have an idea what current sales are, so if you just want more sales, the task is relatively easy.  But what if you’re more interested in new customers? Or increased brand awareness?  Decide how you’re going to measure, then measure both before and after the product sampling campaign, using the same method.  Otherwise how will you know the level of impact you achieved?

So next time  you’re thinking of using samples, ask yourself the questions above. They should help you design a cut-through, effective campaign.  And of course you can always talk to Xpadite, both for ideas and for assistance with your fulfilment.

Multi Sensory Marketing: Ideas and Examples for Print
By admin on Wednesday, May 27th, 2015


What is multi-sensory marketing anyway?

There’s been a bit of buzz around multi-sensory marketing in the early part of 2015.  So we thought it was time to take a look.

Essentially, it’s marketing which appeals to more than one sense.  Human beings are intensely visual, so most advertising and promotion is highly visual too. But Gemma Calvert and Dr Abhishek Pathak, of the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight, claim in a recent issue of Admap that visual alone simply doesn’t work any more.

The average adult is exposed to more than 200 advertising messages a day, so people simply ignore most of that.  But sound, smell, taste and touch have a greater influence than people realise.  If your marketing includes sensory triggers, you can connect at a subconscious level.

How can you implement multi sensory marketing effectively?

We’ve put together some ideas and example campaign to help you engage senses other than sight.  You’ll notice that our showcase is based on print.  Not only is print what we know best, it’s also a great vehicle for smell, taste and touch.  These three senses are difficult to engage in online marketing, so print and offline have a natural advantage.  But let’s start with….


Sound is probably the second most used sense in marketing.  Think radio, which is pure sound. TV is of course audio-visual.  In fact, think how often ‘multimedia’ actually means just audio and visual, with no concern for the other three senses.

The classic example of sound in advertising is the jingle.  ‘I love Aeroplane Jelly’.  There are also catchphrases like Tony the Tiger’s roaring pronunciation of ‘Frrrrrrrrosties!

But what about sound in print?

The traditional answer would be to leverage the sound of the paper or other printed material.  So potato chips and corn chips are in crackly bags because this means consumers perceive them as ‘crunchier’.

Modern technology offers more options.  We’ve all seen the greetings cards which play a song when opened.  The same technology can be used in marketing.  One campaign embedded sound chips in a postcard, so when you drove you could hear a mosquito in the car with you. The result – an 80% increase in sales!


Print is by its very nature tactile, but we wanted to find some examples which went beyond the basics.  How about these?

This  Dove Scratch Card direct mail campaign in Canada was designed to show women how other products might damage their skin.

We’ve also seen good use of scratch cards in loyalty programs in Australia.  Members who have to scratch to reveal what offer they’ve won are more likely to convert to purchasers than those who simply receive a discount offer.

multi-sensory-marketing-beer-bubble-poppingLubriderm took another approach.  They used two different grades of paper to demonstrate how use of Lubriderm could improve the feel of your skin.  The ad increased sales by 16%.  Watch the Lubriderm video here.

One more way of using touch, this time in marketing aimed at a more male-skewed demographic.  The beer drinker.  It’s a completely unrelated product category, yet the message is still about pampering yourself! 

multi-sensory-marketing-spread-the-warmthOur last example for ‘touch’ makes use of thermodynamic ink. This campaign encourages readers to ‘Spread the Warmth’ almost literally.  Their finders light up a gloomy black and white picture with a warm orange glow. It’s also worth noting how cleverly the sensory marketing points are linked the services charity Age UK offers.


Smell is probably the most emotive of all senses, so it’s surprising that it isn’t used more in advertising.

Smell is often associated with food.  One notable Australian campaign was the launch of Heston for Coles Lemon Myrtle Hot Cross Buns in Easter last year. Full page ads in weekend newspapers invited users to rub and release the scent of buns.

Here’s a non-food example which we love.  (And which gives us a chance to play you a cute cat video and claim it’s all about business!)

Cats can’t resist catnip paper, and that’s what this direct mail relied upon.



Tasty print advertising?  Well, you need to choose your paper carefully, but that’s exactly what Fanta did for this campaign.

If your budget doesn’t stretch to something like this, you might want to try direct mail samples.  Something simpler than the Royal Mail chocolate letter, which explained quite how wonderful direct mail is.

Three of the best truly multi-sensory marketing campaigns

What about a business card which tell people whether they need your services?


Or Snoop Dogg’s smokable songbook?


Or finally, the awe-inspiring edible cookbook.  A combination of touch, smell and taste almost beyond belief!


So there you have it.  Multi sensory marketing campaigns can be as simple as scented paper, or as complex as baking a lasagne book.  Whatever your idea, why not talk to Xpadite about how to turn the vision into reality.


Parcel Delivery: Innovation from New and Old Players
By admin on Thursday, May 14th, 2015

parcel-delivery-innovationIt’s no secret that Australia Post makes more out of parcel delivery than it does out of letter delivery.  StarTrack and StarTrack Courier (the rebranded Messenger Post) have grown strongly over recent years.

But Australia Post is not the only option for parcel delivery.

Courier companies have existed for a long time.  They tend to be more expensive, but they operate door-to-door.  Now, the growth in parcel delivery means new entrants and new services being trialled.  So the future may look very different.

Much of the growth in parcel delivery has been driven by the developing e-commerce market, one of Xpadite’s core client groups. So we thought we’d take a look at what’s happening now and what might happen in the future.

Parcel Delivery to Your Car

Where do you want your parcels delivered?  What if there’s no one at your home address during the day? Your business address may be a good alternative for small items, but if you commute by public transport, you probably don’t want to take a dozen bottles of wine back home with you. And if you work on the road, the office may not make sense anyway.

Now Amazon, Audi and DHL have teamed up to test delivery to your vehicle rather than to a fixed address.

The service depends on the ‘Internet of Things’ – you need an internet-enabled car.  You also need to be a member of Amazon Prime.  And the trial is currently limited to Munich.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You enter the car details as the shipping address.  This includes the approximate location and a time window for delivery.
  2. The car communicates with the DHL delivery agent via a smartphone app which provides its exact loction.
  3. The agent also gets a digital access code to open the boot.
  4. Your parcel is delivered into the boot, and as soon as the boot is closed again, the code expires.
  5. Closing the boot also triggers a delivery confirmation to DHL and an email to you.

Actually, Volvo trialled a similar car delivery solution at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2014.  Here’s their video.

Amazon’s trial is limited to people in Munich who both have an internet-connected Audi and belong to Amazon Prime.  The question is, how many of these people are there, and how many want delivery to their cars?  Only time will tell, but if the numbers add up, it should be easy to extend the service.

One stumbling block to this service is that it will take a long time to become universal. Many cars currently on the road simply don’t have the required internet connections.  So any business is still going to need a back-up delivery option for some years to come.

A New Option for Door-to-Door Parcel Delivery

While courier services have always been door-to-door, it’s not part of the standard parcel delivery model.  Consumers usually have to go the Post Office to send their parcels.  If you’re a small e-commerce operation you may do this too – until you’re big enough to hand over distribution to someone like Xpadite.  Or you may pay more for couriers who come to your door.

Now Uber, better known as taxi industry challengers, are rolling out ‘Uber Rush’.  It makes sense.  If a driver can take a person from A to B like a taxi, why not take a parcel?

So who’s the Uber Rush customer?

This US reviewer of Uber Rush is an urban professional who needs something she forgot in a hurry.  And for her the cost was ‘a totally reasonable price to pay for the convenience’.

But what if you’re an e-commerce business?  It’s important to realise the impact Uber’s ‘surge’ pricing model might have on your business.  You’ll face different costs for each and every delivery – and that’s a logistical and financial nightmare!  How do you quote delivery on your website? Plus, what happens if the recipient isn’t there when Uber deliver?

Maybe this isn’t the ideal service for e-commerce, but it could have a positive impact after all.

The increased competition in parcel delivery may drive Australia Post to lift their game.  One apparently simple suggestion is to use their current postal delivery network better.  So your postie might pick up parcels as well as deliver them to you!


Who’d have thought parcel delivery could be so innovative?

But while changes are coming, if distribution is important to your business, it’s wise to be a little careful.  A tried and tested reliable option may be less sexy, but it’s also less risky.  And no one wants to be the business which doesn’t deliver!


At Xpadite we’re interested in drink packaging design because we do a lot of packaging and fulfilment for beverage clients.  Here are some of the most innovative ideas we’ve seen recently – along with some ideas on how to adapt them.

64% of consumers say they’ve tried something new because the packaging caught their eye.

Whether you sell drinks or something else entirely, we hope you find inspiration.

1. For the love of tea

‘Te quiero.’  In Spanish, it means ‘I love you’.  It’s used not just for your lover, but for family and friends as well.  It also sounds exactly the same as ‘té quiero’ – with an acute accent.  ‘I love tea’.



What else could you put inside a flower-opening package?  Gift items like jewellery, chocolates, luxury toiletries and fragrances spring to mind.

2. Flowers and Bubbly  – Turning Drink Packaging Design Upside Down

More romantic packaging design for Cava sparkling wine.  Simple, imaginative and effective.  Also great fun.


If you’re selling Australian product anywhere in the northern hemisphere, you could adapt this idea.


3. Practical Drink Packaging for Out and About

While we’re turning things upside down, what about this drink packaging design?  Is it a glass?  Is it a bottle?  It’s both!!

It’s a bottlass.  Great idea, but it needs a better name.

4. Improving the Product with Great Packaging Design

Why is wine stored horizontally?  Traditionally, this keeps the cork moist and prevents oxidation.  This packaging for Quartz champagne makes it hard to stand the bottle upright.  What’s more, it builds on the brand name and it makes the product stand out on the shelf.



Look at the easy-carry handle too.  If your product is heavy or bulky, that’s a feature you might like to consider.

5. Packing in extra value

Serious wine drinkers might also like this packaging – the wine comes with its own paper for tasting notes.


Don’t limit yourself to tasting notes.  That piece of paper could be any number of things.

  • A promotional offer or something to drive buyers to your website or collect contact details.
  • Information about other products in the range.
  • How the purchaser should store or care for the product.
  • Recipe ideas for a gourmet vinegar or condiment.

Try this for any product which comes in a bottle or which has a long narrow handle you can wrap paper around.

Don’t forget, our fulfilment team can help with assembling this for delivery to retail stores too!

6. Getting the Most Out of Packaging

Casual drinkers also want to squeeze every last drop of enjoyment out of their wine.  Here’s one way to do it:



7. Great Packaging Design Takeaways

There’s a lot of wine in this packaging showcase – we don’t know if that makes you happy or sad!  But this final drink packaging design lets you share how you feel.

These ’emotion cups’ from were a limited edition souvenir for take-out coffee shop Gawatt.  If we had one, we’d keep it!

Key elements here are interactivity, emotion and fun!  What can you do to add those to your packaging?


We hope this gives you some inspiration.  And if you’d like some creative packaging design and solutions specifically for your product, why not contact Xpadite?

Sustainable Printing
By admin on Monday, April 20th, 2015

 Forget CMYK – Let’s talk GREEN!

With Earth Day just around the corner,sustainable-printing-image it’s time to take a look at sustainable printing.

According to one study, 82% of today’s consumers are interested in buying and using environmentally friendly products and services. Your company may also be targeting sustainability. So what can you do about it when you use print?

Is Print Less Sustainable than Electronic Media?

‘Save the trees’ is often interpreted as ‘Go green, go electronic.’ But the truth isn’t quite so simple.

  • US research has found that 70% of toxic waste in landfills is from electronic items.
  • Servers storing and distributing digital information use at least 2% of the country’s total energy. It could be as much as 10% by 2020.
  • 30 minutes of reading the newspaper online has about the same environmental impact as a printed edition.
  • Paper is the most recycled resource on the planet.

All industries have an environmental impact. Printing is far from the worst environmental offender.

All the same, there are plenty of opportunities to move to more sustainable printing. Here are some key points.

The Role of Paper in Sustainable Printing.

Using recycled paper is the first ‘sustainable’ solution which springs to mind. But for print marketing, there is often not a suitable recycled paper option.

A better solution may be to insist on paper certified to meet environmental standards. This helps support sustainable forestry practices.

Papermaking creates the need for a dependable supply of responsibly grown wood fiber. The reliable income landowners receive for trees grown on their land encourages them to maintain, renew and manage this valuable resource sustainably. This is an especially important consideration in places facing economic pressures to convert forestland to non-forest uses.

World Business Council for Sustainable Development and NCASI

There are two main environmental standards which apply to paper in Australia:

FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). This certification has 3 categories:

  • FSC 100% Containing nothing but fibre from FSC certified forests..
  • FSC Mix The timber or fibre in the product is a mixture of two or more of the following
    • Timber or fibre from an FSC-certified forest
    • Reclaimed timber or fibre
    • Timber or fibre from other controlled sources
  • FSC Recycled All the timber or fibre in the product is reclaimed material. At least 85% is post-consumer recycled material.

AFS – Australian Forestry Standard

AFS oversee the Australian Standard® for Chain of custody for certified wood and forest products (AS4707). They also oversee the PEFC Standard 2002:2010 Chain of custody of forest based products in Australia. (The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is an international non-profit, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting sustainable forest management

Think About Ink!

Paper may create more volume of waste, but ink waste can be more toxic! Inks are often made from chemicals which have environmental impact both during production and later when disposed of. Consider specifying soy or vegetable-based inks in your print projects instead.

Look at your font choices too! Lighter fonts use less ink than bold ones. They’re also often fine and elegant.

Sustainable Printing Processes

Unless you have huge volumes of print, sustainability can be less about materials and more about processes. What’s going on when the printer is actually producing your project? What about waste, recycling, power efficiency, water use and so on?

The Australian printing industry has its own Sustainable Green Print Certification Program for printers and related suppliers.

  • Level 1 covers record-keeping, compliance and cleaner production practices and waste management, including recycling. It includes a simple environmental management system (EMS) that is your pathway to environmental sustainability.
  • Level 2 introduces additional levels of management and control including the tracking of waste streams, a focus on energy consumption and the carbon footprint. Companies must set KPIs to address waste, recycling, energy, water, incident management, storage and handling of printing chemicals, energy and air emissions.
  • Level 3 means the company is ready for the ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Standard) certification, recognised globally.

Xpadite’s supplier network includes many certified suppliers, so if this is a requirement for you we can fulfil it easily.

Planning Your Projects to Support Sustainable Printing

What about simple, practical options you can look at yourself?

1. Consider the size of your printed piece.

  • Smaller items take less resources.
  • They’re also usually cheaper and more energy-efficient to mail and ship.
  • Unusual shapes and sizes may even help your printed material stand out and get a better marketing result.

2. Consider print quantities.

You don’t want to run out, but you don’t want too much left over to store either!

3. Batch your print jobs.

Another way to make printing efficient is to produce several pieces at the same time, to a common standard. A single A2 plate can print 4 A4 leaflets with one print run. That’s a much lower environmental cost than 4 separate short runs.

It’s much cheaper for you too!

4. Don’t forget packaging.

Packaging is one area where you really can use recycled materials.

Packaging has to protect as well as display. Cardboard boxes and cartons can be made from fully recycled materials.

Here’s a couple of examples:

sustainable-printing-light-bulb-packaging  Reduced packaging, recycled packaging, yet still protective and functional. And it gets the message across!






Joolz make prams. They print instructions on their packaging to recycle it into something else





One final point – make sure you tell your clients and target market about your sustainable printing efforts. It may or may not make them like you better, but it’s unlikely to turn anyone off! So you have nothing to lose!

12 Tips to Improve Direct Mail Response Rates
By admin on Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

direct-mail-response-rates-handsDirect mail was the first major direct marketing channel – and after all these decades it’s still going strong.  It also lends itself to measurement and testing, which means there’s lots of opportunity to learn from experience.  There’s a good body of knowledge about what works and how to improve direct mail response rates.

Of course, every product, every market and every campaign has its own flavour, but these tips are a good place to start if you want to improve your results.

Starter Tips for Better Direct Mail Response Rates

1. Start with the basics.

Make sure you include the three things recipients need so they can respond .

  • An offer you want them to respond to.
  • A reason why they should accept the offer.
  • Show them how to respond to the offer.

2. Make it easy to respond.

Make sure details of how to respond are on every single page, or every single piece if your mailing has multiple pieces.

Give people a choice of how to respond.  Include at least two of the following

  • A response or order form within the mailer.
  • A phone number. Use a toll-free number if you can.  Make it clear when that number will be manned!
  • A web address.  A page directly relevant to the offer you have mailed, or even better, a PURL (personalised url) for each recipient.
  • An email address.
  • An SMS service
  • A QR code

3. Make the offer as attractive as possible.

Please note the ‘usually’ in all the points below. Wherever you can, test in your own market, for your own product or service.

  • An offer with a time limit usually outperforms an offer with no time limit.
  • An offer with a free gift usually outperforms a discount offer.
  • Prize draws usually increase order volume, especially for impulse items.  (But customers may not be loyal).
  • A ‘try one, get one free’ offer can increase response rates dramatically.

Content Tips to Drive Direct Mail Response Rates

4. Engage emotion first, reason second.

You have a few seconds to catch people’s attention.  That’s an emotional task.  Only once you have their attention and a willingness to buy, use reason to help them justify their desire.

Benefits are emotional, features are not.  So this also means you focus on benefits, not features.  How does your offer help the prospect do one of the following?

  • save money
  • make money
  • save time
  • achieve more
  • feel better about themselves
  • have fun
  • impress their friends
  • care for their loved ones

5. Focus on the Most Important Content

Most readers will scan rather then read every word. So focus on the content with the most impact. Here’s what the average reader looks at on a page, in order:

  • Pictures or illustrations
  • Headlines
  • Charts or graphs
  • Captions
  • Body copy

So work on content in that order.

6. Personalise as much as you can.

It’s not just the name and address.  What else can you personalise?

Different images for different demographics or psychographics.  Maps to your nearest location.  Details of previous transactions with  you.

Formatting Tips for Better Direct Mail Response Rates

7. Envelopes usually outperform self-mailers.

They’re harder to throw away as people just want to check what’s inside first.

Anything which makes your envelope stand out more or look more personal also helps – a different colour or a handwritten address, for example.

8. Larger response forms often lead to a higher response.

They’re more visible.  They create more sense of expectation.

9. More is more.

If you’ve ever received a mailing from Reader’s Digest about one of their prize draws, you’ll know how many pieces there are in it.  Letters, certificates, stickers, response forms, envelopes.  There’s a reason they do it.  Over years of testing different formats, they’ve found this gives the best return on investment.

  • Testing shows that four page letters often get better responses than two page letters.  Hard copy mail which people can consume at leisure allows for a longer attention span than email!
  • Scratchies, stickers and peel-off windows all encourage interactivity.
  • Psychological studies show we work harder to keep something we have than to get something we don’t.  So a free gift which we might miss out on by not responding is seriously hard to ignore.

Processes to Improve Direct Mail Response Rates

10. Test, test and test again.  Then test some more!

Test everything – headlines, formats, copy, images, offers, lists, frequency – everything you can think of!  Just don’t test it all at once, or you won’t know what made a difference!

Testing is the R&D of marketing. The more you test, the more your direct mail response rates will increase.

11. Keep your data quality good!

If you’re using internal data, keep it clean and up-to-date.

If you’re using third-party lists, de-duplicate.  There’s no point in sending someone two copies of the same mailing piece.

12. Integrate direct mail with other marketing channels for even better response rates.

TV, radio, magazine and newspaper advertising, outdoor, telemarketing, email, online and social – all these channels and more have a part to play. Adding them together can increase return on investment by as much as 20%.


We hope some of these tips help you take another look at your direct mail campaigns – and we’d love to know how you get on!

The Xpadite team are currently working on a longer white paper exploring direct mail response rates, with further tips, case studies and more detailed commentary.  We’re expecting to publish in April 2015 – if you’d like to pre-order a copy, just drop us a line and we’ll send you the files as soon as they’re ready.


Catalogue Marketing in a Digital World
By admin on Thursday, March 12th, 2015

catalogue-marketing-cataloguesWith the rise and rise of internet shopping, is catalogue marketing still relevant?  The experts say yes, but you have to be smarter about it.  Don’t just print a catalogue and blast it out to everyone you can.

We look at some facts and figures, plus practical tips and real-life tales.  Can this information help you improve your catalogue marketing results?

Why is Catalogue Marketing still relevant?

Catalogues have Reach.

Catalogues reach 18.3 million Australians every week.  That’s 30% more than TV.

Catalogues are well accepted.

Consumers like catalogues and flyers because they are:

  • easier to refer to later (72%)
  • often informative (48%)
  • easier to understand. (42%)

The 40+ demographic finds them highly relevant.  Younger consumers see catalogues as entertaining, but even in this age group, 28-30% rank them as the medium most likely to influence purchase.

Catalogues are easy to use.  They’re portable.  They’re trusted.  And they’re durable!  Over 70% of consumers keep catalogues in their home for  more than a month.  A third keep them for up to a year.

Catalogues work as part of a multi-channel approach.

According to consultants Kurt Salmon, ‘some 58% of online shoppers say they browse catalogs for ideas, and 31% have a retailer’s catalog with them when they make a purchase online’.  Land’s End found an even bigger impact.  They asked online purchasers if they had looked at a catalogue before buying.  An astonishing 75% said yes.

Other statistics from Kurt Salmon’s research support the use of catalogues.

  • The average order size is around 6% bigger for catalogue-driven sales compared to online.
  • Retention of Internet-only customers was 13% to 32% lower than for catalogue buyers.
  • Multi-channel customers ranked best for both average order size and retention rate.

Note also the following comment in Nordstrom’s annual report. (Xpadite emphasis.)

 Customers who have a multichannel relationship with Nordstrom spend four times as much with us as those who do not.”

Which industry sectors should use Catalogue Marketing?

Roy Morgan research finds consumers rate catalogues as the medium most likely to influence purchases for:

  • alcoholic beverages
  • childrens wear
  • clothing and fashion
  • cosmetics and toiletries
  • groceries
  • small electrical appliances
  • toys.

Catalogue marketing is also the second most influential channel for:

  • books
  • car parts and accessories
  • CDs and DVDs
  • computers and peripherals
  • home entertainment and electronics
  • home interiors and furnishings
  • large appliances (kitchen / laundry)
  • mobile phones and phone providers.

And it ranks third for

  • real estate
  • home improvements and renovations.

If any of these are you, catalogues should be part of your marketing mix!

Other sectors where catalogue marketing has grown in recent years include:

  • pharmacy
  • take-away
  • outdoor.

How should I structure my Catalogue Marketing?

The answer depends on your market and your brand.  The only way to be sure is to test different options.  Fortunately, testing catalogue marketing tests is relatively easy.

Here are some common considerations.

  • How often should we send catalogues?

Supermarkets send out price and offer-focused catalogues constantly.  Fashion retailers may opt for twice a year to reflect seasonal lines.

  • Should we include our entire product range or just some of it?

FAO Schwarz replaced their (northern hemisphere) spring catalogue with a teaser to drive website traffic.  (After testing, of course!)  This gave huge cost savings without hurting revenue.  They kept the Christmas catalogue full-range, however.  Undoubtably competition is fiercer at Christmas.

  • Should we send the same catalogue to everyone?  Should we segment or personalise?

If you’re sending to past customers, investigate your purchase data to help you decide.  It probably doesn’t make much sense to segment for fashion, but what about separate catalogues for dog owners and cat owners?

You could also send smaller catalogues to past customers with a lower total spend. Or to those who have not purchased in the last 12 or 24 months.

Another option is a customised first page with targeted special offers. Include these as an inserted letter to control cost.

  • How much space should we devote to each product in the catalogue?
  • Should we include non-product (but related) material in the catalogue?

The Williams-Sonoma product range is focused on cookware and entertaining.  Their catalogue has changed a lot over time – 11% more pages, with fewer products covered in more detail.  They’ve also introduced extra content such as recipes to make a ‘more compelling story’.  Direct-to-consumer sales have increased!

catalogue-marketing-anthropologieWhat about a store like Anthropologie?  Catalogues are their principal form of advertising.

‘We don’t call it a catalog; we call it a journal,‘ said Susy Korb, chief marketing officer of Anthropologie, whose materials show women wearing dresses in fields, on beaches and ‘where the rolling heather meets the broad, brisk sky,’ as one recent spread detailed.

‘Of course we’re trying to sell clothes and accessories,’ Ms. Korb said, ‘but it’s more to inspire and engage.’

Controlling Print and Distribution Costs

Printing and distribution are the largest costs in catalogue marketing.  But remember, these ‘costs’ are actually an investment.  Your primary goal should not be to cut cost, but to increase overall return.

Product photography, paper stock, level of personalisation, whether to include price offers – all of these should reflect your brand position and your target market.  If you’re making changes to control cost, it’s always worth testing before you roll out.

Some ‘tweaks’ will have little impact on cost.  Others may be really effective.  As print and fulfilment specialists, this is one area Xpadite can help.  Here are a few ideas to start you thinking.

  • A standard size mailing may be cheaper, but will it lose stand-out value and result in lower sales?
  • Are your catalogues near a postal weight-break? If so, a small change in the number of pages or a slight variation of paper stock could change costs significantly.
  • If you are personalising, can you get 80% of the benefit by personalising only one or two pages, which you insert into an envelope with the catalogue?
  • Most catalogues are distributed via direct mail – either addressed mail to a subscriber list or as an unaddressed ‘letterbox drop’.  Consider using other distribution methods including:
    • via stores and outlets
    • inclusion with orders. This is especially good for e-commerce operations, as it gives them a ‘real world’ presence.

Does your catalogue marketing need review? If you’d like to discuss your situation in detail, just contact us.