As little as ten years ago, customers were limited to print, TV, and radio as communication outlets to the masses. With the growing application of wireless and Internet technologies, communication options now include PDAs, electronic billboards, blimps, cell phones, iPODs, and even display screens on gas station pumps. Your customer base is trying to leverage technology to effectively target more defined audiences with updated information and promotional communications. More than ever, the use of multimedia and cross-media strategies is critical to the success of business communications.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Frank Defino Jr., VP/partner of Tukaiz—pronounced "too-kays." When I received Defino’s perspective, I knew that I was talking to a marketing service provider who views the market as more than just a printing channel. He has a clear understanding of the business communications infrastructure and technology leadership.
According to Defino, "To effectively deliver the right portfolio, you need to be the technology leader." This company realizes the need to invest in disruptive technologies early in the development cycle. It was an early adapter of digital color printing and one of the initial HP Indigo sites dating back to 1994. Tukaiz had a digital photography studio before the market realized the full potential of the technology. It was one of the first to recognize the implications of the Internet and created an interactive media center. Defino states, "With technology moving so quickly in our industry, we need to continually educate and show our customers the magnitude of what can be done to meet their needs."
Defino also clearly understands that marketing and promotion are critical to maximizing Tukaiz’s ROI. Through the effective use of digital technology, Tukaiz demonstrates that it has the solutions to address the problems of target clients. It wants to establish a strong positive reputation and is doing that by creating a high volume of mental and physical prospect intersections and instilling the right business image. In short, Tukaiz leads its customers by example.
Tukaiz: The History
Based in Franklin Park, IL, Tukaiz is a family owned and operated supplier of quality marketing communication products and services. Frank Defino Sr. purchased the firm in 1963. Today, he and his children are co-owners and operate the business together. The two-person company was founded by a father and son with the surname of Kirchner, hence the two Ks for Kirchner and Kirchner, spelled out as "too-kays." The father passed away soon after. Out of respect for the family, as well as name uniqueness and recognition in the marketplace at the time, the name Tukaiz lives on.
Tukaiz is a leader in establishing an innovative approach to media development. The company owns six buildings and over 100,000 square feet of production capacity on three acres of property. Tukaiz employs leading artists and craftsmen and blends that with investments in the best hardware and software solutions in the graphic communications market. They enable their clients to achieve complete media flexibility, from design and capture to print and Internet. In the past three years, Tukaiz experienced high double-digit revenue growth. Although Defino attributes this success to a strong focus on delivering the right products, services, and solutions, he also views customer education and marketing awareness as critical elements.
When I spoke with Defino, it was clear that he closely analyzes and develops solid marketing strategies. His original strategy started with effective market positioning From its humble beginnings in prepress manufacturing, Tukaiz organized its business around three key strategic high-technology services—imaging, print, and interactive.
Market Positioning via the Web
When logging on to the Tukaiz Web site, the company’s message is clear. In a matter of 30 seconds, the site visitor can discern who Tukaiz is, what value-added products and services the company delivers, and how it differentiates itself. It is also important to note that Tukaiz’s Web site was completely developed and designed in-house, which further sets the company apart from its competition. Tukaiz also handles all of its creative and marketing materials production in-house.
According to its Web site, Tukaiz is currently the largest HP Indigo digital printer of variable data and the 16th largest prepress provider in the U.S. It is a provider focusing on the delivery of variable data services, Web-to-print, image retouching and enhancement, offset and large format printing, data management and mining, Web site development, e-learning, and interactive services.
Tukaiz created a Web page with words that convinced potential clients to keep reading, form trust, and take action. In addition to learning about Tukaiz on its site, the visitor can launch demonstrations of Web-to-print, picture personalization, digital asset management, and an anatomy of a marketing campaign.
Marketing statistics indicate that it takes at least seven contacts—public speaking, writing, phone, fax, email, direct mail, or in person—for a potential customer to begin to understand how a problem-solving and value-adding vendor can help them. Even after the first seven, many more contacts may be needed to develop the relationship to the point where prospects are ready to buy.
As Tukaiz developed its direct mail program, the focus was on a campaign that kept the company name in the front of the prospect’s mind. Tukaiz based their campaign on a calendar with a follow-up postcard linking to the monthly calendar image.
Tukaiz demonstrates just how easy it is to personalize a calendar at www.tukaizcalendars.com. Web-based orders come in and keep—especially around the holidays—the company’s HP Indigo presses busy.
The campaign, which won numerous awards for best direct marketing and self-promotion, captures the recipient’s attention using variable imaging software from DirectSmile. According to Defino, Tukaiz is one of DirectSmile’s largest users. Tukaiz demonstrates the effectiveness of the technology in campaigns like its calendars and other mailers with personalized URLs (pURL). In some instances, the pURL links to a flash site with a voice-over welcoming the prospect using his or her name.
Tukaiz’s direct marketing campaigns are designed to demonstrate just how far a marketer can take technology to enhance customer communications. Tukaiz is seeing the benefits of delivering a multi-touch campaign with a consistent and repetitive strategic message. New business is coming in sooner rather than later.
Adding Trade Shows to the Mix
Defino is also a believer of that old industry phrase, "Trade shows work. They mean business." According to Defino, "If you select the right trade shows, they provide an opportunity for a face-to-face encounter that can position our company in the market." Effective use of trade shows puts a face with the Tukaiz brand and enhanced sales.
Tukaiz is careful about selecting the right shows. They lean toward target markets that buy specialty items. The initial focus is calendars, which allows for a dialogue with prospects that lead to other marketing opportunities. Tukaiz also promotes its variable data and customization capabilities at trade shows.
Tukaiz’s value proposition is simple: "Everyone needs calendars. Your life revolves around them, and your clients’ lives revolve around them. What better gift for a client than one that is useful, something they need? These calendars have a proven track record of success in personalization, gift-giving, customer retention, and new business development programs. But it’s more than a calendar ... it’s a marketing initiative. You’re giving a gift that is extremely useful, personalized, and constantly reinforces your brand at the same time."
Trade shows are a good marketing investment for Tukaiz. They provide an effective experiential environment to reach business-to-business prospects.
Leading by Example
Tukaiz demonstrates true leadership by example. To reach customers and prospects with an effective presentation of your capabilities, you must use the tools that you are selling to customers and prospects to promote yourself. If you think you can add value by helping customers utilize an array of different media types to reach their target audiences more effectively, then use those tools and techniques to promote your business as well. Targeted advertising, participation in the right trade shows, high-quality direct mail, good public relations, and an easy-to-find Web site are the keys to building market awareness in a multi-channel world-for you and your customers. With three consecutive years of high double-digit revenue growth, Tukaiz proves that good marketing means good business!