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March 2007
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May 2007

If your idea of Marketing Materials is Word and Kinkos.........

You can do better.  First off, you need better software.   Adobe Pagemaker is now InDesign.  There is a bit of a learning curve, but I've found the help system works quite well.   Word reminds me of the smart kid in class when you're doing a school project together.   "Here, give it to me", and they do something mysterious and give you back the results.   But its never what you really wanted.  InDesign gives you 100% control of exactly how your finished document will look.   And after it's printed, the difference is night and day. 

The next thing you need is Acrobat Professional.    Not the wanna be .pdf maker free software.  Why?  There is an option to create a .pdf with press quality output.   Which is a requirement for offset digital printing.Press

Did you know you can get 4 color off-set printing on 100# paper for the same cost or less than color copy machine printing on 24# paper at the corner store?   I've used two outfits with great success.  They are Imagers in Atlanta and Rastar in Salt Lake City.  You can email them what you want printed, they'll send back proofs and then send you the final prints. 

And that is the way to do it.

Practical Pricing

You see the product.  You like the product.  You want the product.  You want to sell the product.  You go to a 1/2 day boot camp to learn how much it costs.  I'm not making this up.Puzzled

I like flat pricing.   No surprises.  If you must sell something by usage package it in chunks.  Which is why I use Sprint for my cell phone.   If I go over my minutes, they sell me a small chunk of additional minutes at the same base price.    And they flat price my land line long distance.  (but not in Chicago, go figure)

You don't like surprises at the end of the month, why should your customers?

Blame the User

A lot of educational software companies are making a lot of money promising school districts they can help schools meet the mandates of "No Child Left Behind".   So Congress funded a large study to see if students who used this software did better than those who didn't.  No difference.  Oops!Education

Some of the software companies suggest that teachers are the problem, because they're not using the product correctly.  Now who's fault is that?

In marketing we own the entire customer experience.  And if they don't use it properly, we have to fix it right away.  Maybe it's training, how to guides, or changing the product.   And sometimes, no matter what, the product doesn't lead to predicted results.  In that case, figure out what it does do, and position the product crisply for that, or kill it.

But blaming the users?  That's just lazy.