Note to Label Converters: Segmentation marketing can be your #1 digital sales tool
Think back to the 1980s and 1990s. These were great years for pressure-sensitive label converters. PS was snapping up glue-applied market share at a rapid pace and packaging buyers were extremely loyal to their label vendors. These were the years when a printed label wasn’t considered a commodity. Labels were applied solutions, whether the final product was a mustard jar, a barcode on a shoebox or a combination-printed label on an upscale shampoo brand. Label converting companies didn’t need to focus on marketing due to the intrinsic market forces in place during these decades.
Times have changed. To remain competitive and capture new business, label converters need to pay attention to their messaging and how they’re branding themselves to their customers and prospects. Segmentation marketing can be a critical tool to have in your arsenal. The most successful converters in today’s marketplace are carrying out segmented marketing campaigns.
As an example, let’s say you sell labels into the consumer durables space. This is a market where label performance and functionality are paramount. Do you have someone in-house who’s well versed in substrates, inks or adhesives for this market? Do they understand the pain points of the durables customer? Do they read the right publications and attend trade shows in this space? Do they follow their customers on LinkedIn and pay attention to what they’re sharing? Make sure your customers and prospects know that. Call yourselves Consumer Durables Labeling Consultants. Fine tune your prospect database (yes, it takes time, but you’ll be able to use your segmented databases again and again. They’re the gifts that keep on giving.)
You can create a campaign that really speaks to these packaging buyers. Now that you’ve established yourself as a Consumer Durables Technical Label Specialist, tell your customers and prospects why this is the case. Talk about your technology, your in-house expertise and your partnerships with strategic suppliers. This is a space that’s currently being hugely impacted by trade imbalances. We’re seeing more companies move from off-shoring to re-shoring their manufacturing and they want to partner with U.S. label vendors.
Once you have some content in place, send out a newsletter to your consumer durables customers and prospects. This strategy will yield results in any end-use category you supply labels to food, beverage, household chemicals, pharma, transportation, and logistics. For companies that sell their labels via a distributor network, this is a critical way you can further support the efforts of your distributors.
In summary, here’s the formula for a strong segmented marketing campaign:
- Work on your database in that specific segment
- Develop content that speaks to packaging buyers within that segment – what are your strengths? Who are your in-house technical rock stars and what makes them so awesome? Maybe tie in some off-shoring/re-shoring market stats to let them know that you know how their market is changing (the U.S. Census Bureau is a great resource for those kinds of statistics)
- Lay out your content with accompanying graphics (i.e. your pictures of your labels!) in an e-Distribution newsletter template like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp
- Upload your database and press send
- Rinse and repeat.
It’s a competitive landscape for label converters and your prospects have to be reminded of what you do and how good you are at it. And then they need to be reminded again, and again, and again. It’s all about getting the conversation started and those golden moments when a prospect responds to one of these e-Distribution emails with a message like, “Hey, my company has a new project, can we talk?”
We at LPC work with label converters in creating these types of marketing campaigns in a variety of segments and we’d be happy to discuss that with you. If you’d like more information about the types of work we do, don’t hesitate to contact us.