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Data Science—Marketing’s Best Kept Secret

              The marketers of today know the importance of engaging consumers through personalized messaging with the right touch points.  Still, it becomes difficult to cut through the noise of instant email and piles of direct mail.  With companies locking in on the necessity of reaching their customers with as much personal detail as possible, how does a brand continue to stand out?  That’s where the secret of data science comes in, and marketers are beginning to use this lucrative resource to restructure entire advertising and marketing campaigns. 

              Data science is a vastly growing field that continues to expand as trillions of bytes of consumer data are collected every day.  At its core, data science takes numbers and gives them meaning.  This meaning can predict buyer behavior, and in turn influence marketing campaigns and major business decisions to maximize return on investment.  Digital Shuffle, CCG’s agency partner, has created a data science platform built on cloud-first native operations utilizing Python and enterprise business intelligence to benefit our CCG customers from the ground up.  The beauty of this proprietary platform is that it uses your existing data.

              Customer Analytics are our passion.  Digital Shuffle uses three distinct behavioral models to help marketers make informed decisions about their marketing campaigns.  These include customer churn, associate rules mining, and customer lifetime value.  Digital Shuffle collects data from our clients existing customer relationship management (CRM) software and analyzes it to create the three behavioral models.  The agency then puts the results into a digestible form for the client, replacing the need for them to have their own analyst. 

              By definition, customer churn is when a business loses a customer for any reason.  Churn can be passive or active.  An example of passive churn would be consumer turnover due to a membership expiring that the consumer never reactivated.  Active churn would be if a consumer left one company for another because they liked a competitor’s product better.  The churn behavioral model assigns a quantitative value to the likelihood of a consumer leaving the company.  The results of this type of assessment allow the client to make big picture decisions based on numbers and facts rather than assumptions. 

              Associate rules mining is a model that predicts consumer behavior as it tracks consumer movements to forecast what a consumer will do next.  The model can track purchasing habits of each individual consumer.  For example, when a retailer collects purchasing data from consumers, the model can surmise that whenever a certain customer buys a shirt, they will also buy matching pants.  With this information, the model establishes association rules which allow the company to tailor a campaign, incentive, or discount to encourage the consumer to continue this purchasing habit. 

              Finally, customer lifetime value assesses a consumers’ value to a company by ranking them based on the revenue a customer will generate for a business throughout the lifespan of their relationship.  With these consumer segments created, a company can modify its marketing campaigns and offers based on a consumer’s ranked value.  For example, a business could offer high value customers incentives such as referral codes and cashback offers.  Or it could use loyalty programs to entice lower value customers, who are more likely to leave, to re-establish allegiance to the company.

              Digital Shuffle recently completed an in-depth data science effort with a customer in the transportation industry. The customer operates in both B2B and B2C markets across the U.S., providing testing and certification that verifies the technical knowledge of service professionals in a variety of disciplines. With more than 50 different certification tests, millions of database records, and over a quarter million active professionals, the customer was keen to have Digital Shuffle dive deep into their customer analytics.

              Although the customer actively communicates with their consumers via omni-channel communications, the concept of using artificial intelligence and proprietary algorithms to identify purchasing patterns and probabilities within their consumer data was very exciting. Digital Shuffle’s data science platform allows customers to identify and slice their consumer population based on location, age, education level, employer types, years of certification, number of certifications, purchase behavior, and more, to allow for ultra-personalized targeting in marketing efforts. 

              Digital Shuffle began by creating a customer churn model, specifically designed to mitigate customer churn occurring from non-recertification (a professional certification is valid for a period of 5 years, then a recertification test must be taken to keep certifications up to date).  Digital Shuffle analyzed a data set comprised of 43,108 unique individuals that had pending certifications expiring in 2021.  The model was able to predict that 12,435 of those individuals were in a “high churn” category, 25,168 were in the “moderate” risk of churn category, and 16,697 were in the “low-risk” category. Accordingly, Digital Shuffle created a series of multi-touch, multi-channel communications with varying incentives (relative to churn probability).  The following explains the paths taken to market to each churn category:

              Low Risk of Churn: Multi-touch email communications deployed over a 45-day period, focused on communicating when it was time for renewal, why renewal is important, and where to renew.

              Moderate Risk of Churn: Multi-touch email and direct mail campaigns deployed over a 45-day period, focused on communicating that it was time for renewal, why renewal was important, a variable incentive to renew, and where to renew.

              High Risk of Churn: Multi-touch email and direct mail campaigns deployed over a 30-day period, focused on communicating it was time for renewal, where to renew, why renewal is important, an increased variable incentive to renew, and why other similar professionals would choose to renew.

              A parallel effort was executed to incorporate an associate rules mining model, also known as “cross-sell/up-sell”.  Data science provides answers to the question, “When a customer previously purchased X, what are they most likely to do next, and when are they likely to do it?”  Armed with this information, Digital Shuffle executed a series of omni-channel print/web/email campaigns to suggest subsequent certifications to take the next step on the professional’s career path. Leveraging the power of data science, Digital Shuffle created completely unique suggestions for over 200,000 individuals, all completely tailored to the unique purchasing habits of each individual.

              Data science has completely changed the way Digital Shuffle’s customers identify, understand, and engage their past, current, and prospective consumers. The ability to leverage extremely complex algorithms and artificial intelligence to visualize and predict consumer behavior is revolutionary. The days of basic demographic, geographic, and psychographic data are truly in the rear-view mirror. Interested in learning more? Visit DigitalShuffle.com, or contact your CCG rep to schedule a discovery call.  

By Marley Niesz

Holiday Gift Giving!

It may only be September, but it’s already time to think about holiday gift giving!  Show your appreciation for a client, team member, or mentor with these excellent corporate gift ideas.  Gift sets are huge again for the holiday season, and with themes such as movie night and gardening, there is a kit for every interest.  Dress up every day use items such as speakers, blankets, or backpacks with full color imprint to keep your brand shining in the cold, winter months.  Be sure to get your orders in now before the next holiday party—items are selling fast!  Contact your CCG representative today for the perfect corporate gift for everyone in your network. 

By Marley Niesz

Branded Cold Weather Apparel is Going Fast!

Don’t be left out in the cold with these apparel options!  Winter is coming and apparel supplies are low—the time to order is now.  CCG has a great range of cold-weather clothing options with full color screen printing.  Great for employee anniversary gifts or new hire onboarding, there is something for everyone.  Apparel continues to have the highest impressions per minute of any promo category so represent your brand well.  Contact your CCG rep ASAP to get samples and pricing on company apparel—inventory will go fast!

By Marley Niesz

Get Back to Business with Outdoor Fun!

Get back to business with these fun, outdoor promo products!  Summertime is here, and it’s the season of outdoor office parties, summer conferences, employee gifts, and more.  CCG offers full color imprinting on a wide range of products designed to wow any recipient.  From tumblers and coolies to durable Adirondack chairs, we have promotional products to fit all your needs.  Reach out to your CCG representative to get your hands on these hot, new summer products!

Sunscreen:

https://www.ccgpromofactory.com/:quicksearch.htm?quicksearchbox=UBKGT-AYRZV

Block out harmful sun rays with this 2 oz. SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion with Carabiner.

Cornhole:

https://www.ccgpromofactory.com/:quicksearch.htm?quicksearchbox=NNCCU-UQPQR

Regulation Cornhole Set includes two scoring platforms and 2 sets of 4 throwing bags. The entire 2ft by 4ft landing surface of the scoring platform can be fully imprinted. Available in natural wood, white and black.   

Cooler:

https://www.ccgpromofactory.com/p/TGFPZ-XPFGP/igloo-akita-collapse-and-cool-cooler—ice-blue

Igloo® collapsible cooler with 24 can capacity, leak-resistant antimicrobial lining, adjustable shoulder strap.

Coolie:

https://www.ccgpromofactory.com/:quicksearch.htm?quicksearchbox=OSDSC-VJCCP

This Scuba Coolie is perfect for fitting bottles and narrow cans. 1/8″ high density foam will keep any drink cool and is perfect for advertising at any event. Available with a full color imprint.

Pickleball:

https://www.ccgpromofactory.com/:quicksearch.htm?quicksearchbox=SGJZA-VXWGQ

There’s a reason why Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America! This set has everything you need—2 wooden paddles, 2 high-visibility Pickleballs, all packed in a mesh case.

Adirondak:

https://www.ccgpromofactory.com/:quicksearch.htm?quicksearchbox=MSKHC-CYNBQ

Chill out in beach style with this folding Adirondack chair. 40″ x 28″ x 35.5″ chairs are crafted from natural fir, with namesake wide armrests, and a tall, slatted backrest.

By Marley Niesz

#GotYourBack: A CCG Story

              What makes a company valuable?  What sets it apart from the competition?  How do we attract and keep loyal and dedicated employees? As a CCG employee myself, with less than a year into my career, I mulled over these questions as I admired CCG’s senior employees who have spent decades with the company.  While I already know the value CCG provides to its customers, I wanted to sit down with our most senior team members and listen to their stories. 

“Our capabilities allow for a lot of flexibility with different jobs.”

-Patrick McInerny

              Patrick McInerny, Bindery Supervisor at CCG, tells the story of getting his first job here. He quickly proved himself as a conscientious employee and soon was afforded opportunities for growth within the company.  Although he started out in shipping, Patrick realized his affinity for working with machines and began putting in overtime working in the bindery.  A fast learner, at the age of 24, he was put into a management position in the bindery.  When CCG acquired another company, it changed the type of work the company was producing and he made the decision to seek a new opportunity elsewhere.  Although he had positive experiences with his new company, when Randy Sparrow, CCG’s Chief of Operations, called on him to come back to CCG, he accepted and is still here today. When asked about his loyalty to CCG, Patrick explained that his reasons range from fairness to flexibility and growth. “CCG treats its employees fairly. There is always work to be done and opportunities to grow.  We have a wide range of machines: 7 to 8 folders, stitchers, and a Hunkler with in line folding just to name a few. Our capabilities allow for a lot of flexibility with different jobs,” said Patrick.

“Our customers become part of our family.” -Patty Bennett

              Patty Bennett, CCG’s Billing Administrator, spoke highly of the support and encouragement she has received over the years from her mentors at CCG.  Patty began her career at CCG in the accounting department, and after six years had acquired the knowledge and skillset to be promoted to Billing Administrator.  The mentorship and support of her supervisors and colleagues fosters a family atmosphere within the company, according to Patty.  As an employee-owned company, CCG has a culture of accountability to its customers and between employees.  The overall desire is to see each other do well while doing what is best for the customers. 

“We haven’t been around this long by accident.” -Bob Bahm

              This June, estimator Bob Bahm, will celebrate 31 years with Corporate Communications Group.  He talked to me about the company’s shared values of mutual respect and loyalty.  Bob recalled a time when he and a coworker got into a disagreement.  Discouraged by the situation, but encouraged to work it out, they composed themselves and resumed the process of listening to each other’s side. Together, they resolved the issue.  This example highlights the idea of mutual respect and trust between coworkers, as well as CCG’s motto “#GotYourBack”.  The #GotYourBack motto transcends the company culture inside our walls out to our customers as well.  As Bob said, “We haven’t been around this long by accident. Printing companies have to change with the times and be forward thinking. It is this mindset, from our leadership and employees, that allows us to serve and meet the needs of our customers.” 

“The level of reliability and service that we bring to our clients would be impossible to match by any other company.” -Kevin Dunn

              In speaking with my coworkers about the company, one of my favorite parts was hearing stories of CCG employees coming together in support of each other and to help our customers.  Senior Account Executive Kevin Dunn, who has been with the company for 39 years, shared a great example of this.  One of Kevin’s customers needed a 24-hour turnaround on a significantly large print job.  He was awarded the project on a Friday and the customer needed delivery the next day!  Management huddled and came out with a request for the needed employees who would be critical to completing and delivering the job within the 24-hour turn time — asking if they would be willing to work the hours and times required to help make this happen. Kevin was touched to see the number of employees who turned out and worked with dedication to get the job done.  This is just one example of CCG employees having each other’s backs and putting the customer first.  As Kevin said, “The level of reliability and service that we bring to our clients would be impossible to match by any other company.”  Patty Bennett reiterated CCG’s dependability and dedication to its customers, saying “CCG has always produced the highest quality work. Servicing the customer needs is a priority and a must and CCG will go the extra mile to meet the customer’s schedule. Our customers become part of our family.” 

“CCG is truly a one-stop shop, with a variety of turnkey solutions for our clients.” -Bill Giles

              One of our most seasoned employees is Bill Giles, who has been with the company since 1982.  Bill has seen the company grow and change over the years, while thriving through several mergers and acquisitions.  Aside from CCG’s ability to change, adapt, and adopt new technology, one of the company’s best features is its wide array of marketing solutions.  As Bill explained to me, CCG is truly a one-stop shop, with a variety of turnkey solutions for our clients.  This intrigued me when I was first introduced to the company, but it has proven true.  I love being able to offer my customers a solution for every one of their marketing issues.  CCG prides itself on being dependable and available for all our customers’ needs.  #GotYourBack is more than just a moto, it becomes part of every interaction with our customers and with each other. 

              By Marley Niesz

Gear Up for the New Trend of Outdoor Tradeshows with These 10 Tips

As warmer weather approaches, outdoor tradeshows are gearing up to be in full swing!  Stay ahead of the curve with CCG’s top 10 tradeshow tips to help your brand take center stage at your next tradeshow appearance:

  1. Invite Attendees—Print and mailSave the Date” communications and post on social media to create awareness of the show and maximize attendance.
  2. Get Noticed with Grand Format—Capture the attention of attendees from the start.  Colorful tents, banners, 3D displays, and feather flags work wonderfully for immediate brand recognition. 
  3. The Swag—People LOVE free stuff!  Organize giveaways and hand out branded goodies to attendees to support brand recognition after the show. 
  4. Registrant Giveaway—Send branded kits to key prospects who have pre-registered to attend the event.  Offer special incentives to visit your exhibit or booth while creating an opportunity to spread brand awareness.
  5. PPE—Make your visitors feel safe!  Offer branded masks, antimicrobial products, and hand sanitizing stations at your booth as well as social distancing signage. 
  6. Staff—Have enough staff to allow for breaks and maintain a rested, engaged crew.
  7. Weather—Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Sunscreen is a great giveaway in the summer.
  8. Hydrate—Make sure you have enough water and snacks for staff to keep up the energy.
  9. Power—Add a charging station to your booth to make it a popular destination.
  10. Have Fun!—Make the day memorable and you’ll be guaranteed to score some new customers! 

By Marley Niesz

The Psychology of Colors and Their Usage in Major Brands

              Target® red, Tiffany® blue, and Barbie® pink are some of the many shades made famous by their corporate brands.  Did you know that a brand can trademark a color?  Turns out they can!  A brand can legally register to trademark their brand color(s) to prevent any other similar business from stealing their signature color.  As an integral part of print, packaging, and design, it’s no surprise that brand recognition and awareness revolve around color.  Take Coca-Cola® for example, whose shade of red is so recognizable that most could identify it without the logo being present.  The development of brand standards is much more complex than the average consumer might think.  The colors and shades are chosen with purpose to evoke thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of the brand and product itself.  This is called color theory, and it is an important facet of marketing.  

              Think of something as simple as a business card.  Did you know that a person is ten times more likely to hold on to a business card that is printed in multiple colors than a card printed in a single color?  Talk about capturing attention!  It takes about a nanosecond for a consumer to form a judgement about a color, and in judging color, they are judging your brand as well.  In fact, a study done by the Seoul International Color Expo found that 85% of consumers make a purchase based on the color of the product and packaging.  Because of this, marketers choose specific colors and pairings to influence mood and product perception.

              As an overarching theme, warm colors like red and yellow are flashy, energetic, and inspiring.  In contrast, cool colors such as blue or purple are more calm, reserved, and subdued.  Brands use color to evoke these desired feelings in their customers.  Marketers design their logos to reflect the same.

              Let’s take Target as an example.  Red is bold and energetic, easily capturing the attention of consumers in a shopping center or even on the highway.  It contrasts beautifully with white, which conveys style and elegance.  These colors are perfect representations of Target’s brand and image.  To customers, Target is peppy and fun, a perfect fit for the everyday bustling family.  But Target has also entered the affordable luxury market, offering modern fashion lines and home décor lines designed by famous influencers.  The white and red logo balances these initiatives perfectly. 

              Another example of excellent color usage in branding is John Deere®.  Their classic shade of green is recognizable anywhere.  Green signifies growth and nature, an obvious choice for the farm machinery industry.  Furthermore, green also represents stability and endurance.  This points to John Deere’s reliability and durability, important facets in the world of manufacturing.  Just like Target, John Deere’s brand image is constantly reinforced by its use of color.

              CCG created a comprehensive guide on choosing the best color for your product packaging.  Check it out for an in-depth analysis of major colors and their value in branding, and talk to your CCG rep to make your brand shine with color today!

By Marley Niesz

Get Ready for Earth Day with CCG!

Although Earth Day occurs just once each year, sustainability is relevant 365 days a year!  Did you know the printing industry plants 4 times more trees than they harvest each year for the production of paper? And did you know that not only can you be environmentally conscious with your print marketing decisions, but you can do the same with branded promotional products and packaging?

Marketers now have access to responsibly sourced promo products and innovative paper packaging to represent their brand and follow through on their commitment to our environment.  The use of paper packaging instead of plastic is nothing short of sustainability brilliance, considering that 75% of paper packaging is recycled. And here at CCG we encourage our clients to choose gifts and branded merchandise such as recyclable totes for shopping or reusable water bottles made from recycled products.  Responsibly sourced notebooks, backpacks, apparel, and more are all available through our promotion’s division.  Gift guilt-free with regard to the environment with thoughtful, sustainable products sourced from CCG!  

Through your marketing, your organization can encourage your consumers to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. This is especially important and fitting as Earth Day approaches.  Check out these special eco-friendly products available through your CCG representative!

By Marley Niesz