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Get Your Employees On Twitter

No business would survive if it were not filled with dedicated, persevering employees who understand the mission of the company. Regardless of the industry, they are the backbone of any successful business.

When it comes to social media marketing companies, however, employees have a slightly different role. They are very visible and engage in their own social media circles, which can at times be very large. Your employees can all be brand ambassadors. Have your employees get on Twitter and engage with industry professionals, potential clients, and other businesses.

The more engagement your employees participate in, the higher their number of followers. Twitter is unlike Facebook in that you can just accrue friends because you will already know a good deal of people using it. You have to do a little legwork to get Twitter followers. And if it’s done right, the followers your employees can acquire will be relevant people to your work and they will actively engage in conversation about your industry and new trends. And your employees should be Tweeting links to new blog posts that go up on your company blog, linking to new videos or podcasts, or any new content at all. Use Twitter, and your multiple employee accounts to build a strong network.

With great power, of course, comes great responsibility. And not just for Spiderman. Make sure all of your employees take care of their social media accounts and keep them clean and professional. Understand that irresponsible social media accounts can be very bad PR for your company.

Don’t be afraid to be personal as well! Connect with friends and share personal interests. You may have the same interests as your followers which could act as excellent conversation starters as well!

Twitter can be a very important tool for companies. Having a genuine, unforced interaction between employees, the company and followers can create a positive and connected network. There is value in promotion that isn’t directly from the brand. Having ambassadors to the brand is a successful strategy for you to promote the company and the mission.

Google+ For Business

Google Logo

Just when you were ready to label yourself a social media master, Google had to go and change things up! Past the rapid expansions of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn, rises a new social media monster. Its name is Google , and it requires a whole new set of strategies, tactics and ideas to tame it.

Google offers some features that surpass those of the social platforms you have come to learn. What it does is provide ways for businesses to network and communicate using a simple interface and powerful tools.

First, there is Hangout. Hangout is a way for you and up to ten of your friends to video conference at the same time. There are plenty of creative ways for this feature to be utilized. Organize online casino a video conference with partners from all over. Or you can use it one-on-one for just catching up with one client. Or maybe the boss (oh yeah, that”s me!) is on vacation? Keep him in dgfev online casino the loop and log some face time.

Circles is a very smart feature integrated by Google . This takes care of one of the inherent Facebook problems, which is the inability to separate work and play. Now, you can create circles of friends, and post status messages to only certain circles. What you say to your weekend friends might be different from what you share with your business associates. From a sales perspective, you can organize clients, prospects, leads, and more. Send the right message to the right audience, every time. No wasted recipients.

Huddle is another new feature of Google . This can be used as an inter-office tool for communicating and sharing ideas, deadlines and more. Huddle is a group-messaging system that allows for conversation to take place between everyone in a circle. This can be a great forum for brainstorming.

Google is going to take time to get used to. There is no question about that. But the unique nature of the features provided will make the workplace a more streamlined environment.

Case Study: Goodway Group of Massachusetts

Goodway Group Logo

One of the companies profiled in Business Transformation: A New Path to Profit for the Printing Industry is Goodway Group of Massachusetts.

Now, you may say that I am biased because of their proximity to my hometown, but I swear that’s not it! I just truly think that they are an inspiring story.

In the book, I had the chance to devote a good amount of space to presenting the transformation that their business has gone through over the years. I was able to share the internal decisions and changes that happened inside their organization. Well, I am quite happy to say that during that time of transformation, Goodway Group found benefits with interlinkONE’s software.

Here is a sample of that part of the story:

Based in Burlington, Massachusetts (with sister locations near Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.), the Goodway Group has transformed over the past 15 years from a traditional offset printer into providing online collateral management, inventory management, and one-to-one multi-channel campaigns for clients. As an early adopter of black & white digital printing technology for producing variable content, the Goodway Group saw a natural progression to expand its services by adding digital color and leading variable data publishing technology.

The company provides these services to organizations in the pharmaceutical, automotive, and software industries that want to reduce printed inventory and have more effective marketing programs. interlinkONE is an integral enabler for Goodway Group to provide these services.

By using interlinkONE’s Web storefront and order management components, Goodway Group is able to handle a wide array of job types, from direct mail to complex kits that include promotional items and require multiple recipients. The company can also track inventory of all print and non-print items through the solution, as well as perform fulfillment functions necessary for complex orders. It has also been successful with providing multi-channel communication campaigns to clients by using personalized URLs, personalized e-mails, printed collateral, and up to nine different customer touchpoints through interlinkONE.

Qualified leads can be placed into different priority buckets, and hot leads are forwarded directly to a client’s salesperson for immediate follow-up. Noel Doherty, President and CEO of Goodway Group of Massachusetts, says that “Some campaigns have been so successful that the response has been too great for a client’s sales force to handle.”

The company also uses interlinkONE internally to manage its inventory and projects. From Doherty’s perspective, interlinkONE “just makes doing business simpler, and allows employees and customers from all over the country access information in real time.

Five Must-Haves for Your Corporate Website

Your corporate website is the ultimate tool to get all of your company’s information out to your prospects. This is a long standing idea, and it has become an essential part of what your company offers, in terms of marketing.

But you need more than just information. There are five elements that every successful website should have. And I am going to tell you what they are.

1. Blogs

Having a blog is like killing multiple birds with the same stone. First, it is a great avenue for your business to create content and push it out through your site. You can give practical applications to your services and products, or you can use it to give a voice to your employees to talk about industry trends or topical news stories. This increases search engine optimization. Google loves well-written, relevant content. Blogs are a necessity for your website.

2. Email Sign Up

Your website can be a tool for you to compile a loyal following of your content. Create a way for people to sign up and offer their email to your company. You can compile a database of email addresses, and send out a monthly eNewsletter, which can be made from the most important recycled blog posts from the past month. This way, you can be absolutely sure that you are reaching a consistent audience, and you can tailor your content to effectively connect with your email database.

3. Calls To Action

A call to action is basically a request to “do something” on your website. It could be a button asking to donate, register, click for information or whatever you might want a reader to do. These can be incredibly powerful tools for you to harness. Having a concise number of calls to action can amplify their importance. Offering freebies or incentives in exchange for your audience clicking on your calls to action can increase the amount of information you can give out, and it can also be a gauge for the amount of interest generated by those calls.

4. Social Media Friendly

Link your website to all of your social networks. Integrate your various online platforms, and have all of the social media badges in one place. Make it easy for users to follow you on Twitter and like you on Facebook. Use every available channel to promote yourself, and provide those channels for your audience. Let your message resonate on more than one site that your followers spend time on. They should see posts from you on Facebook, read tweets, see links to YouTube videos, and all of these should drive traffic back to your site.

5. Easily Updated

There is no sense in making a fantastic website if it is too difficult to make changes. Odds are that you will be changing around content on your website on a somewhat regular basis.  Using user-friendly web platforms, like WordPress, make website management easy for all of your staff members to use.  The easier it is to maintain, the better off you are.  Team members can participate in blog efforts, make sure to update information on services and more.

They are five simple tips, but your website quality will improve and so will your search results. Your site will become a more comprehensive reflection of your business.


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5 Habits of Successful Service Providers

Business Transformation: A New Path to Profit for the Printing Industry -- by interlinkONE

In today”s world of marketing and communications, consumers are demanding relevant information more than ever before from the companies that they are interested in (“I don”t have time to read all of this!”).

Many businesses are thus devoting resources to new technologies and to creating strategies that will help them solve that need. However, marketing departments often do not have the necessary time to do all of that successfully. Thus, this is one of the reasons why service providers have a great opportunity to increase the value that they offer their clients.

In my book, Business Transformation: A The learners permit is conducted on a computer monitor where 40multi-choice questions are selected at random from a bank of over1250. New Path to Profit for the Printing Industry, I presented multiple case studies on companies that have been able to grow their business by offering marketing services.

While many other printers have found those stories to be encouraging and inspiring, they are absolutely looking for the steps that they can take to walk down that path on their own.

Here are 5 activities that I”ve seen from companies that have successfully transitioned from only offering traditional services to more complete marketing solutions:

  • Analyzed customers and the business environment to identify the right target markets
  • Researched the specific opportunities to better and more profitably meet customer needs in the identified segments
  • Developed product and service offerings that met customer needs
  • Identified the right tools to effectively transform their business
  • Redefined their market position and clearly articulated their unique value proposition

While traditional print will always be an important requirement for offset and short run on-demand printing will remain strong, PSPs need to be prepared to participate in the more lucrative marketing value chain by providing an array of services in the marketing process—from campaign inception to program execution to mailing and fulfillment.

[Event] The Importance of Integrated Marketing

IABC/Arkansas Summer Camp 11 Graphic -- interlinkONE's CEO John Foley, Jr. is speaking on Integrated Multi-Channel Marketing, Friday June 24

Today, I am traveling to Arkansas to catch up with the great folks from CustomXM! Tomorrow, Thursday June 23rd, I’ll be participating in CustomXM’s Lunch & Learn! I am absolutely looking forward to spending some time with my buddy Paul Strack, as well meeting his employees and customers.

While I haven’t spent a lot of time in Arkansas before, I’m really hoping the folks here like me. Here’s one important reason why: I’m not going home after the Lunch & Learn! In fact, I’ll actually be speaking at another event in this state on Friday, June 24th.

On Friday, I have the privilege of having a part in the IABC/Arkansas Summer Camp 2011 event.

During that event, I’ll also be talking about the importance of integrated marketing, especially when messages are distributed through multiple channels. To do this effectively, it involves the integration of Websites, telephone, email, texting, trade shows, print, social media, and other available channels to present relevant messages.

I know — that isn’t always as easy as it sounds 🙂 But it can be done effectively! If you attend this event, I promise that I’ll show you how.

Transitioning into a Marketing Services Provider

While there are certainly different schools of thoughts on whether printers should try to re-position themselves as marketing services providers, I don’t think that anyone could argue this point: the worlds of marketing and communications have changed dramatically! Channels such as social networks and mobile continue to change the way we all search, find, and consume information.

With that being said, many printers have taken steps to adjust their business accordingly.

Last week, we discussed the question “What does it mean to be a marketing services provider?”. Today, I’m going to answer another important question regarding the MSP discussion.

Question: How can a printer be successful as marketing services provider?

Here are my thoughts regarding that question:

There are a number of specific tactics that they need to do… but here are some of the most crucial steps in my mind.

  • Put on your marketing hat! Start living in the world that your customers do… Subscribe for marketing magazines and newsletters. Attending marketing-focused webinars, conferences, and trade shows. This will help you to be better equipped for understanding your customer’s challenges beyond the production of a printed piece.
  • Build Up Your Team: I am not saying that you need to hire an entire new staff. But to succeed, you must get your employees on board with the transition. You should provide education and other training on why your company is changing, how you will do it, and what it will take internally and externally. You need to increase the resources and investment that you spend on your own marketing efforts. In some cases, that may mean that you need to hire someone with a marketing background, as opposed to a traditional print focus. Provide help for your sales staff! They will need to change from selling commodity-based items to selling solutions.
  • Write the Business Plan and Marketing Plan – In many cases, becoming a marketing services provider is very similar to starting a new business. Take the time to build strategies and plans that will support this. Create financial projections. Identify the right resources. By doing this work ahead of time, the actual transition will be much smoother.

    Learn More about John Foley, Jr.'s book - Business Transformation: A New Path to Profit for the Printing Industry
    Learn more about John’s Book Today!

Defining the Title of Marketing Services Provider

Throughout my book, Business Transformation: A New Path to Profit for the Printing Industry, I had the opportunity to provide case studies of companies that were traditionally considered printers, but that have transitioned their business to offer additional solutions to their clients. In some of these case studies, the companies have embraced being labeled as “marketing services providers” (MSP). However, there are others that have decided to stay away from that description. Within the entire print industry, I think that you’ll find a similar divide regarding that label. Some feel that the term MSP has no place; others have chosen to utilize it. But what does being an MSP actually mean? Over the next couple of weeks, I will seek to provide answers to many of the questions regarding the marketing services provider shift that are still currently out there. Whether you agree or not, I hope that you enjoy them!

Question: What does the title marketing service provider actually mean?

When I say that term, here is what I have in mind: A marketing services provider participates in the more lucrative and more profitable marketing value chain (including print and other channels) by providing an array of services related to the marketing process, from campaign inception to program execution. Marketing services providers also understand that to participate in the value chain, they must generate good data and relevant messaging via the right channel(s). Marketing services providers know that success links to the creation of one-to-one communications that are based on a deep understanding of the customer’s

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needs. As a result, marketing services providers are implementing the infrastructure (technical,

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sales, and consultative skills) that will allow them to effectively develop solutions for efficient communications.


Learn More about John Foley, Jr.'s book - Business Transformation: A New Path to Profit for the Printing Industry Learn more about John’s Book Today!

Printers that Are Looking for a New Path to Profit

Recently, I had the chance to publish a book about a subject that I am quite passionate about — the printing industry!

There is no doubt that the worlds of marketing and communications are changing faster than at any point before in history. Channels such as mobile and social networks are increasingly playing a role in our our daily actions.

Is there still a place for print, mail, and fulfillment?

I think so! And in my book, “Business Transformation: A New Path to Profit for the Printing Industry“, I provide strategies, plans, and tactics for service providers to help them grow their business during these changing times.

What else can you find in my book? This video provides the answers:

Making Money with Value-Added Services

What They Think recently published a new video from the interlinkONE Educational Series. In the most recent video, I had the chance to talk with Cary Sherburne about ways that print, mail, and fulfillment service providers can grow their business. We discuss items such

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  • Order Entry and Collection
  • Inventory Management
  • Fulfillment and Warehouse Management
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Marketing Automation
  • And more!

Click here to view the video >>