WebbMason Debuts on Tampa Bay Business Journal List of 25 Largest Commercial Printers

December 9, 2013


By Mark Smith, Vice President of Sales, Florida

As the executive in charge of sales and operations in Florida, I am thrilled that WebbMason recently debuted on the Tampa Bay Business Journal List of 25 Largest Commercial Printers in the Tampa area. More than 90 companies were surveyed for the annual feature that ranks commercial printers by number of full-time employees working in Tampa area offices. Ranking among the top 25 employers in the Tampa commercial printing community is an important milestone and honor for WebbMason. Attracting and retaining clients requires a talented team that represents our company well, from sales through delivery and every step in between. Making this list is a validation of WebbMason’s values and value.Tampa Bay Business Journal

WebbMason has experienced steady growth since opening our Largo office in 2006. We have expanded our presence to include a 10,000 sq. ft. climate controlled distribution center where we offer warehousing and kitting and assembly services. We count among our clients some of the most best known companies in the Tampa area. These include Bloomin’ Brands, one of the world’s largest casual dining companies and whose portfolio of companies include Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar; PODS Enterprises, Inc., which revolutionized the moving and storage business with its self-service container service; financial services giant, Raymond James; and, World of Beer, an operator of 50 beer-centric taverns in 14 states. If you believe, as I do, that you are known by the company you keep, I’d say WebbMason has established itself as an integral part of the local business community.

WebbMason’s broad range of services is a major differentiator and a primary reason for the company’s success. The scope and quality of our offerings is why more than 1,200 clients in healthcare, hospitality, financial services, manufacturing, technology and other major industries have selected us for printing and a full range of multichannel offline and digital marketing services, including copywriting, graphic design, brand identity, web design and development, search engine marketing/search engine optimization, email marketing, social media management, promotional items, and tradeshow provisioning and support.

Clients choose and stay with us in no small part because of our dedicated, skilled people. WebbMason looks forward to continued business growth in Tampa and throughout Florida.

 

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A Second Helping of Thanksgiving

December 2, 2013


By Doug Traxler, Chief Development Officer and Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing

I am fresh from a long Thanksgiving weekend spent with family and friends, and hope that you also enjoyed time with people you care about. The WebbMason team continues to give thanks this morning. I am not just referring to the leftover turkey sandwiches many of us packed for lunch today. We are starting the new week with some great news: WebbMason once again topped the charts of Print Solutions magazine’s annual Leading Distributors issue in several categories based on 2012 revenue. Print Solutions is published by the Print Services and Distribution Association (PSDA), an industry group whose members comprise a broad network of supply chain partners representing approximately 1,000 companies with more than $5 billion in combined annual sales. In other words, PSDA represents the best of the best in the commercial printing and marketing services industry.

WebbMason placed first in the Commercial Printing category and is the second largest distributor across all categories. WebbMason also finished among the Top 10 in the Marketing and Creative Services and Technology Services categories. You can access the 2013 Leading Distributors issue of Print Solutions here.

Among all PSDA members nationwide, WebbMason is the:

– #1 Seller of Commercial Printing
Print Solutions Aug 13 cover

– #2 Distributor across all categories

– #2 Seller of Direct Mail

– #2 Seller of Labels and Tags

– #2 Seller of Promotional Products

– #2 Seller of Traditional Products

– #5 Seller of Marketing and Creative Services

– #9 Seller of Technology Services

WebbMason is proud to once again secure sales leadership positions in every applicable category. Given the number and quality of fellow PSDA members considered for the annual survey, WebbMason’s performance is a significant accomplishment. Our success is the result of hard work from every member of the WebbMason team; clients who truly partner with us; and our commitment to innovation in services, products and technology.

WebbMason’s investments over the past several years succeeded in transforming the company into a complete marketing services and technology provider. Interactive services and our marketing management software – MarketingBench – are WebbMason’s fastest growing offerings. Adoption by traditional print and promo clients has been terrific. We are their comprehensive, multichannel marketing resource. And interactive services such as web design and development have been a major point of entry for new clients.

In closing, if you are a WebbMason client, thank you for your business; if you are a colleague, thank you for your contributions; if you are a partner, thank you for helping us become the top distributor in the country. And thanks to everyone for reading.


Franchises Using Integrated Marketing Achieve Higher ROI

February 13, 2013

by Doug Traxler

Integrated marketing is complex—but so is running a franchise. Combining the two? Sounds like a potential nightmare. However, iWebbMason Integrated Marketingntegrated marketing can play an essential role in every business, as companies that implement and execute integrated marketing have been shown to achieve a 50% higher ROI. (Source: Gartner)

Last year, a popular franchise reached out to WebbMason for marketing assistance. After some research, WebbMason suggested an integrated marketing approach that blended both print and non-print marketing methods, including  (in simplest terms) personalized QR codes on all direct mail pieces, personalized landing pages, automated reminders and follow-up notices, customized registration and opt-in for newsletters, social media pages, an analytics dashboard and email marketing. This approach enabled the franchise to organize and quickly respond to leads, while also increasing attendance in the organization’s long-term programs.

The results were a dream come true for both the franchise and WebbMason, as the campaign generated a 39.2% conversion rate, 65% higher than the year before, along with a 28% spike in the franchise’s Facebook fans. The good news does not stop there. This November, WebbMason won an award for this campaign during the EventTech conference in New York City.

From New York to Las Vegas, WebbMason’s interactive services are appearing all over the US. On February 18-19, they will be showcased at the IFA Conference at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. On display at booth #271, WebbMason will present popular tools for many franchise owners, including the new user interface capabilities for its MarketingBench™ distributed marketing management platform.

According to Jeff Elgin’s article, “5 Franchise Marketing Essentials,” on entrepreneur.com, a franchise marketing plan must: drive consumers, involve the franchisees, get the splits right (marketing funding dollars), be well-documented and validate well. To summarize, marketing must bring people through the door—whether it is from a direct mail piece, a landing page, a personalized coupon or a promotional product. Since they work closely with customers, the opinions from the franchisees must always be taken into account. Elgin, CEO of FranChoice, notes that a marketing plan “is no small matter, since your livelihood will rely on the success of the marketing program in driving customers to your business.”

Sure, integrated marketing is complex—but it doesn’t have to be frightening. By integrating print, web, digital, social and other applications, your franchise can create powerful campaigns while reaching, engaging and growing customer relationships and achieving a ROI. From website strategies to email marketing, you can deliver timely, relevant, and compelling integrated marketing programs that resonate with customers across any channel they touch. All of your campaigns and programs will point in the same direction and will work in harmony to reach your goals. An effective interactive plan designed specifically for your franchise can not only meet your needs… it could be a great way to build support for your franchisees as well.


United States Postal Service Gives Stamp of Approval to Integrated Marketing

November 12, 2012

Since Benjamin Franklin appointed the first Postmaster General in 1775, the United States Postal Service has grown to better serve a growing population through new technologies. In 1918, scheduled airmail service began to provide faster mailing across the entire country. In 1994, the Postal Service launched its public Internet site to create an online presence during the rise of Internet use. In 2013, the United States Postal Service will take its first steps towards integrated marketing. Image

Fiscal Year 2012 was challenging for the USPS and Fiscal Year 2013 will be just as difficult. The use of email and online services has provided more efficient communication. Today’s market needs require on-demand service, which is a setback to what has become known as “snail-mail”. But with every challenge there is a solution. Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahue emphasizes that, “Our industry is fundamentally strong and has a bright future. Mail remains an incredibly effective and important part of marketing America’s products and service.” The USPS’ focus remains on delivering mail. But in order to sustain a strong market presence, the industry must adapt with innovation.

On October 29, 2012 the USPS released its full calendar of promotions for 2013. The promotions offer discounts by integrating mail with mobile and innovative technologies.

The new offers indicate a clear drive to make print an integral component of a direct marketing mix by making it interactive. The Postal Service’s integration is a validation of the ongoing transition and value of integrated marketing. The marketing world is constantly evolving, forcing companies to adapt accordingly. The interactive approach is an adaptation to an increasingly sophisticated population. Allowing people to store coupons via mobile is a direct response to the rise of the mobile platform. Integrated marketing channels offer more positive results that not even a centuries-old direct mail provider could avoid.

The integrated marketing examples below from the Postal Service’s 2013 Promotional Calendar validate everything we do at WebbMason. Our customers are experiencing this integrated approach because we understand that the addition of new marketing channels serves up the right communication for the right audience. Today, the American audience thrives on mobile and interactive communication. The United States Postal Service was strictly involved with direct mail but people’s needs have changed. In order to regain their status, they had to realize print is not enough. Today is a digital age, but a print and technologic mix will provide the greatest results. WebbMason’s success has been dependent on our ability to recognize this need for integration. The Postal Service’s direction is validation of a solution near and dear to the heart of WebbMason. We have taken the right steps in moving toward an interactive and integrated marketing approach for our customers and ourselves.

Sample Offers from the Postal Service’s 2013 Promotional Calendar:

Mobile Coupon and Click-to-Call | Dates: March 1 – April 30

Discount: 2% of eligible postage

Mobile Coupon: The physical mailpiece must be a coupon using print-to-mobile technologies (such as QR codes) that allow the recipient to store the coupon on a mobile device. The discount must be offered only to mailpiece recipients, and the coupon must be redeemable as either a physical document or from a mobile device.

Click-to-Call:The physical mailpiece must use print-to-mobile technologies (such as QR codes) that links directly to a mobile optimized website with a “click-to-call” link or brings up a phone number automatically in the users’ phone.

Emerging Technology | Dates: August 1 – September 30

Discount: 2% of eligible postage

Augmented Reality: The mailpiece must support an augmented reality experience that is facilitated by a mobile device or computer. The augmented reality experience must combine real and virtual, be interactive in real time, and register in 3-D.

Authentication: The mailpiece must integrate the attributes of physical mail, including delivery to a physical address, with mobile technology that allows a user to complete authentication for customers, prospects, or mail recipients. Prior approval from the USPS program office is required for this option.


WebbMason’s Doug Traxler Creates the Complete Solution for Customers in Print + Promo Magazine

November 1, 2012

In Elise Hacking Carr’s Print + Promo article “Perfect Pair?” she states that just as Hall & Oates, Laverne & Shirley, and wine and cheese (although she did forget about Ben & Jerry…) make the perfect pair, so do print and promotional products. Sure, online marketing is on the rise and cannot be understated, but as WebbMason’s Doug Traxler says, online marketing functions most effectively while also using print and promo.

Print and promotional items can illuminate and stabilize a company’s brand. While using digital marketing is valuable, this type of marketing is not necessarily permanent. By incorporating print and promotional products in the marketing mix, a customer can feel, see, trust, and truly experience a company’s brand.

I recently discovered a report, done by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), which concluded that print and promotional items create the most positive attitudes toward an advertisement and a product. This study, “Promotional Products—The Key Ingredient to Integrated Marketing,” also says that print and promo are not only the most credible, but also create the highest intent of purchase. Print is the highest; promotional products come in a close second.

PPAI’s research is supported by the 2011 Estimate of Promotional Products Distributor Sales (sponsored by Promotional Products Association International). Sales figures reflect an increase of 7.02 percent in distributor revenues from 2010 to 2011. This means that the promotional product industry revenue is over $17.7 billion. Fun fact: the top three promotional products are wearables, writing instruments and bags.

With such high statistical evidence in favor of promotional products, it might be hard to think that print’s stats could come close. However, Bob Schwei, a 10-year print expert who works at iPROMOTEu in Mass., believes that print is a whopping six times larger than promotional products. Are we shocked? Absolutely not.

WebbMason’s Doug Traxler, executive vice president, sales and marketing, says that promotional products are a vital part of a company’s overall brand strategy. Companies are “recognizing that promotional products are a way to really differentiate their outreach or their brand-building efforts.” Doug Traxler founded WebbMason’s Washington, D.C. office in 1995, the company’s first regional sales office. Traxler admits that products like newspapers and magazines are “choking for air,” but he still believes that it is an exciting time to be in the graphics market by using outreach marketing, retail, direct mail and direct marketing.

Traxler makes a great point: print, promo, and digital marketing create the “complete solution for customers.” “With the computer revolution 20 years ago, everybody said that was going to kill paper and all it did was explode the use of paper. The Internet is the same. These transactions that are happening in digital form are creating paper touch points at various places along the conversation.”

Print and promo certainly do make a great pair; however, it might be worthwhile for a company to think of it more as a three-legged stool. Print, promo and digital work equally hard reinforcing and supporting a company’s brand. Maybe we have more of an Athos, Aramis and Porthos on our hands…


WebbMason Webinar Encourages Companies to Develop a Social Media Policy

October 31, 2012

“It’s not wise to violate rules until you know how to observe them,” said writer T.S. Eliot. A century later, his quote is being used during a social media webinar—three words Eliot couldn’t even dream of.

Last Wednesday, October 24th, WebbMason held its third social media webinar, How to Develop a Social Media Policy and Why. Mandi Frishman and Josh Jordan led the social media policy discussion.  Frishman and Jordan urged companies to recognize the importance of a policy—a few simple pages will not only protect employees, but will also protect the brand.

With social media constantly updating and changing, Frishman and Jordan encouraged companies to frequently update the policy as well. Creating a clear and solid social media policy is the first step, but having a communal understanding by all employees is the next.

This June, Barrett Tryon, a multimedia journalist at the Colorado Springs Gazette, was put on administrative leave without pay for posting this link and quote on his personal Facebook account from the Los Angeles Times. This report was about the Gazette’s parent company, Freedom Communications, being acquired by a company in Boston. Apparently, Tryon was in violation of Freedom’s social media policy and was confronted by his boss only about an hour after posting. Carmen Boles, his boss, claimed that an editor would know nothing about the intentions of a new company, and the information did not meet their standards of factual information. Tryon fought back, saying he was simply relaying news on his personal account, and was instantly put on administrative leave. After going to the press and getting national recognition, Freedom Communications, who should maybe consider changing their name, offered Tryon his job back. He declined. In an interview with Indy, Tryon said, “I hope that the takeaway is that people realize that, if you do have a social-media policy in place, it’s important that you know what it is, and how it can be interpreted or misinterpreted.”

Tryon says it best himself—a solid and clear social media policy is crucial for every company. So, how does a company efficiently develop a policy? Frishman and Jordan advise companies to align resources and build consensuses. Make sure to cover all sides and analyze where your company needs the most help. Frishman and Jordan note that a social media policy not only creates a chance to provide direction, but also elevates the expenses of a possible lawsuit.

Social media should be a tool that enhances, not harms, your company. The Internet is forever, and utilizing a policy can produce and preserve a positive social media identity—for now, and the future. While our generation pulls quotes from literature, like T.S. Eliot’s, the next generations will be quoting social media sites.

The fourth and final WebbMason webinar for this series, Social Media: Engagement and Measurement, will be on November 28th.

WebbMason has services that can help create or revamp your company’s social media policy and identity. WebbMason’s Social Media Services include social media strategy and policy development, content creation, and social media interaction management through blogs, major social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube.


PSDA Rankings Affirm WebbMason’s Continuing Market Leadership

October 1, 2012

WebbMason once again topped the charts of Print Solutions magazine annual rankings in several categories based on 2011 revenue. The magazine is published by the Print Services and Distribution Association (PSDA), an industry group whose members comprise a broad network of supply chain partners representing nearly 1,000 companies with combined annual revenue of more than $5 billion in combined annual sales.

Among PSDA nearly 1,000 members nationwide, WebbMason is:

  • The #1 Seller of Commercial Printing
  • The #2 Distributor across all categories with $92.5M in sales
  • The #2 Seller of Labels and Tags
  • The #3 Seller of Promotional Products
  • The #3 Seller of Paper-Based Forms

While we’re thrilled to be among the best of the best, what’s truly important are the reasons that underlie WebbMason’s success: customer-centricity, innovation, and value.

The Marketing Innovation Center™ @ WebbMason is a perfect example of market leadership and the company’s investment in people, processes and technology to bring to market top-quality products and services that are surpassed only by the value they deliver.

The Marketing Innovation Center™ @ WebbMason

As an integrated marketing solutions and services company, WebbMason understands that today’s marketing channels have their own set of rules. Each one demands special technology and expertise. Those discrepancies make it harder for marketers to develop solutions across disciplines. The Marketing Innovation Center @ WebbMason defies this trend. It breaks down barriers between marketing silos to facilitate understanding and synchronicity across them. The employees who workin the Marketing Innovation Center @ WebbMason drive our integrated marketing and web strategies effort, as we continually aim to become an extension of our clients’ marketing teams. The business cards found in this space say “WebbMason,” but these employees really wear the same color jerseys as our clients.

Another proof point of our innovation is MarketingBench™, WebbMason’s on-demand digital marketing management system, allows sales and marketing teams, local and remote employees, channel partners, franchisees and business partners to have fast and easy access to an entire brand library – or only appropriate portions. MarketingBench streamlines the acquisition, customization, and delivery of promo, print, and other materials and is used by 1.5 million users at more than 800 companies to streamline ordering, centralize procurement, track marketing and print materials in real time, and create documents online 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Perhaps the most important number of all is 315. That’s the number of dedicated WebbMason employees working in offices across the country. At the end of the day, it’s their expertise and commitment that WebbMason a success by ensuring that our clients are successful. Yay Team, WebbMason!

 

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