PODi, the Digital Printing Initiative, the leading research and educational association for the industry, has released a new analysis of vertical markets that will help anyone selling digital print solutions to be more successful. At the core of the new research is the link between vertical market challenges and solutions, which is explored in this series of Vertical Solution Maps. These Maps show how to take a common marketing objective (like fundraising, encouraging repeat business or obtaining new customers) in a specific vertical market, identify the challenges and then provide winning solutions with digital printing. Solutions employ a full range of tools, including relevant 1:1 direct marketing, integrated cross-media, new media (like social and mobile), and collateral management. The proof comes from more than 470 PODi digital printing case studies – the largest collection in the world. Vertical Solution Maps cover 7 vertical markets, 33 objectives, 55 marketing challenges, and give 74 solutions for successful outcomes.
The research, conducted by PODi Affiliate Caslon & Company, provides print and marketing service providers with real-life, vertical-specific examples of successful digital printing solutions they can share with their customers in Education, Retail, Automotive, Insurance and Healthcare, Financial Services, Travel and Entertainment, and Not-for-Profit markets. The Vertical Solution Maps are designed to be used as sales tools and customer incentives. “This is exactly the kind of industry information our sales reps need to engage in solution selling conversations with potential clients,” says Crystal Uppercue, Marketing Manager at EU Services.
In addition to the Vertical Solution Maps, Caslon is writing a series of white papers which examine each vertical market, objectives, challenges, and corresponding solutions. The first paper, Fundraising Solutions for the Education Market guides marketing and development professionals at educational institutions through solutions that address their key challenges, like increasing alumni participation, number of donors and amount of donations while reducing administrative costs. It reviews the needs of K-12 schools, public colleges and private universities as they look for donations to annual funds, endowments, building development and scholarship programs. According to the Council for Aid to Education's annual Voluntary Support of Education Survey, in the 2009-2010 fiscal year donors demonstrated their commitment to higher education with $28 billion in private support. As states cut funding, private support becomes even more vital.
The study investigates a number of different challenges faced by fundraisers. For instance, how can the amount of donations be increased? One solution is to customize your marketing message based on donor history. LaSalle Academy, a college preparatory school, personalized its direct mail messaging to alumni with their name, class year, and a representative photo from the decade of their graduation. They acknowledged past donations, or encouraged potential donors to reconnect with their alma mater. Even this simple personalization resulted in a 67% increase in the amount of the average donation. Another solution is to offer a compelling incentive, like The Citadel’s Brigadier Foundation did. They received a 22.75% response rate to their offer of a unique personalized poster, and ultimately generated $208,000 for their athletic scholarship fund.