Industry Insights

The Next Big Huge New Thing in Marketing!

The following article was posted on April 1st, otherwise known as April Fool’s Day. We decided to celebrate April Fool’s this year by having a little fun at our own expense. Sadly, we don’t actually know much about Social Faxing. Whatever the real next big huge new thing in marketing turns out to be, though, we promise that we’ll figure out how optimize it through exceptional design and practical strategies.

We’re honored to share today’s special guest post from renowned marketing industry thought-leader, Lirpa Sloof.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably sick of hearing about all of this so-called “social media” and “interactive marketing.” And don’t even get me started on “websites.” Tell me this: When was the last time a website arrived unexpectedly in your office? Exactly! Over-rated, if you ask me.

Make More Noise

Low Distraction Quotient? Lame.The truth is that these old-fashioned marketing communication tactics simply don’t work anymore because they have a low Distraction Quotient™ (DQ). We live in a world filled with noise and distraction. If you want your brand to cut through the din, you need to make more noise and be a bigger distraction. You need to up your DQ. Do you really think a potential customer is going to notice that tweet you just sent? Did your tweet make a disconcerting series of beeps, hums, and screeches? (I’m seriously asking about this. I don’t totally understand how Twitter works.) If you dropped your tweet from eye level, could it break someone’s toe? I’m guessing that it couldn’t, and I doubt an email newsletter would do much damage, either.

So where does that leave us? Well, what would you say if I told you that the solution to all of your marketing problems is probably already in your office (buried beneath a pile of broken keyboards and holiday decorations in the storage closet)? No. Not that zip drive or the unopened box of jewel cases. I’m talking about … the fax machine.

Fast Fax Facts

Think I’m crazy? Let’s look at some numbers:

  1. Last year alone, my office received 13 total faxes, and, of those 13, only 6 were left sitting on the fax machine print-out tray and completely ignored for the entire year. 6!! That’s less than half!!
  2. In a comparison of faxes, social media messages, emails, and websites, 87% of people surveyed said faxes consistently made the most noise. (Source: “The 2012 Quiet Office Review,” by Cube Farm Magazine)
  3. 100% of all the fax machines in my office also work as a printer/copier/scanner. Is email a printer/copier/scanner? No. It isn’t. Email can’t do any of those things. You’re losing money every time you send an email that isn’t also a printer/copier/scanner.

The Dawn of the Social Faxing Era

It's time to take faxing out of the fax room.Faxing has been around for a long time, but I’m not talking about the old-fashioned style of “standing in front of the fax machine, pressing ‘9’ to get a dial tone, and politely asking someone to let you know when the confirmation arrives.” I’m talking about something new, something edgy, something that will break some marketing toes. I’m talking about Social Faxing, and I’m capitalizing “Social Faxing” on purpose because it’s that revolutionary.

Social Faxing combines the fax machine platform with popular social engagement practices like “connecting” and “communicating.” Most importantly — using the latest in Social Faxing accessory-wear, like the FaxPack Backpack™ and the Cable Cozy™ — Social Faxing is now totally mobile. Take your fax machine with you to your next business meeting and you’ll wonder why you ever thought a smartphone was cool.

Once you start Social Faxing, I personally guarantee that no one will be able to ignore you ever again. But don’t take my word for it. Read what my clients have to say about Social Faxing:

“Every time I send someone a fax, it’s like my flattened, disembodied hand is slowly reaching out to them through the machine. I’ve never felt so close to my customers.” — G. Plimpton, Vice President of Global Sales at Milaraspa Pharmaceuticals

“The results speak for themselves. We’ve had several recent meetings with the legal departments of clients we haven’t heard from in years.” — Name Withheld

These individuals have benefited greatly from my expert consulting services, but there are things you can do today to start leveraging the true, toe-breaking potential of Social Faxing.

5 Ways to Start Getting Noticed With Social Faxing

Live-Fax an Event

Smartphones and tablets are great for playing your kid’s video games, but if you truly want everyone’s attention at your next big industry event, you’re going to need something with maximum Distraction Quotient. Who’s going to notice someone tweeting on a tiny black rectangle when someone else is lugging 18 pounds of fax machine marketing muscle. Attending a conference with a colleague? Imagine the fun you’ll have faxing witty comments back and forth to one another. Just make sure you scout the room early to find all of the necessary outlets, and don’t forget your paper reams!

Fax Your Website

Be honest: How many hours a day do you spend sitting silently at your desk, waiting for someone to come visit your website? Believe me, I’ve been there. It’s not as fun as it sounds. You’ve tried some seo, some ppc, you even tried Google+, and still … crickets. With Social Faxing, it’s time to turn the tables on all of those people that didn’t visit your website. They don’t want to come? Fine. Print out your website and fax it to them! You don’t need to worry about a mobile website when your customers can just fold up your site and put it in their pocket. What’s more responsive that that?

Omni-Cross-Channel Faximization

Just because Social Faxing is the best marketing tactic, doesn’t mean its the only marketing tactic. If your boss insists that you utilize a range of channels to connect with customers, consider this approach: Fax QR codes to all of your customers. Once your customers scan the codes and arrive at a mobile PURL site, present them with an offer/registration form and a nice, big button that forwards their form data to their email address in the form of a PDF. Once they’ve had a chance to embed their personalized PDF into a PowerPoint document and print it out from a desktop computer, your customers can then easily fax the offer registration data back to you! To fully optimize your customer’s experience, be sure to fax any form validation errors back to them in a timely fashion.

Stamps and Emoticon Stickers

Fax Coversheet #Hastag StampWant to take your Social Faxing to the next level? If you really want to look like you know what you’re doing, purchase Social Faxing stamps and emoticon stickers. Everyone loves receiving a fax message with a “silly face with tongue sticking out” sticker, and no one will be able deny your authority on a subject once you’ve placed the “#HASHTAG” stamp on your social fax.

Start a Flog

I’ve read that blogs provide an excellent way to communicate with your audience, but, let’s be honest, nobody likes the word “blog.” Do you realize that people who write blogs are called “bloggers”? Yikes! A fax blog, or “flog,” has all of the upside of a blog without being called a blog. Don’t like to type? No problem. Your customers will appreciate your daily hand-written flog posts, and they won’t have to deal with the hassle of reading your content on an insufferably bright computer screen.

The Future is Now, and You’re Way Behind

Despite all of this compelling information, some of you may still be questioning how a technology that’s been around for so long could be the future of marketing. After all, the modern fax machine traces its roots all the way back to 1843, doesn’t it? You’re absolutely correct. It does. Which means that, if you’re not currently utilizing Social Faxing as the foundation of your marketing communication strategy, you’re already 170 years behind everyone else. It’s time to catch up. It’s time to embrace Social Faxing.

About the Author

About the Author: Lirpa SloofLirpa Sloof is the only world-renowned expert on Social Faxing. He is also the author of three award-winning books: The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest, The Ballad of Sidd Finch, and, most recently, Social Faxing is for Dummies. Lirpa will be the keynote speaker at SoFax, the Social Faxing Society’s annual conference, which was supposed to be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but now – due to the unfortunate fact that the Halifax Chamber of Commerce declined to host the event– will likely be held in Des Moines sometime between Memorial Day and next Thanksgiving. Let us know if you’re interested in attending, and we’ll fax you the deets.

Need help getting started with Social Faxing?
Contact Olive & Company.

To be completely honest, we don't know much about Social Faxing, but we do provide a full suite of marketing communication design services for our clients: Brand design and strategy, web design and development, email marketing design, print collateral design, content strategy, digital strategy, and more. Contact us today to find out how Olive & Company can help you reach your marketing communications goals.

Happy April 1st, everybody!