Marketing Like A Drug Dealer

 

Marketing is a tough gig when there are thousands of competitors online and sometimes dozens of local competitors to contend with in your marketplace. You have to stand out from your competitors. Your product and service has to be so good that people want to come back over and over. However, you have to entice them to initially come to you and then get them hooked. Then you have a loyal client for years to come as long as you provide a quality product or service. It sounds a little like a drug dealer, doesn’t it?

Marketing Like A Drug DealerWell, that’s okay as long as you’re not offering drugs. One other thing a drug dealer does is to let others sample their “product.” They are banking on their product being so good that the person will be back with money the next time. Transfer this practice over to legitimate business practice and you have coupons or free samples. Let’s take an ice cream shop, for instance. Most ice cream shops have little taster spoons which they will scoop a sample of a flavor for you to try before you buy. Once you taste it, you are hooked and you fork over the cash. Restaurants are prime businesses for this practice. Offer coupons for a free appetizer and watch how people come with their whole family or a group of friends. There’s a pretty high probability that these patrons will be buying other items such as drinks, entrees, desserts, or other appetizers. Therefore, your “free” coupon actually yielded a paying customer or most often customers. Another common occurrence would be free wine tasting by wine shops or wineries. You try; you like; you buy. What a simple concept. Spend a little on free giveaways and make a bundle on new purchases.

Give your business a long hard thought about what you can offer for free that will not only attract new clients, but will also spur further or future purchases. Something about your business has that ability to hook people. For Perfect Imprints, it is our graphic design. We have an unrivaled graphics department that can design anything from t-shirts to business cards to billboards. We offer 30 minutes of free graphic design with any purchase of promotional products for all online orders. This is often needed to convert logos over to a print ready format.

So go ahead and be like a dealer and watch your business grow. You won’t have to be continually looking over your shoulder for undercover po pos, but do look for increased sales. You can have almost an immediate response for this as long as you get the word out about your free samples.

Comparing Apples to Apples With Your Marketing

 

When marketing your company, there are literally thousands of concepts, products, and mediums you can use. There is video, web marketing, full color printing, promotional products, billboards and other signage, text message marketing, and email marketing. With each of these marketing mediums, there are thousands of companies that offer the services, however, not all of them are equals. You can’t compare apples to oranges.

Let’s take promotional product distributors, for example. There are thousands of distributors who all have access to the same promo items as every other distributor. We all deal with the same factories, of which there are around 4000. However, that doesn’t make us all equals. The majority of distributors just “dabble” in promotional items for extra money. Because many of these distributors only do this on a part-time basis, their knowledge is limited. Our company, Perfect Imprints has been doing this full-time for over 12 years and our employees are highly trained in marketing tactics, graphic design, and promotional products application for business and marketing. We regularly attend educational seminars, read trade journals, stay current with the most popular trends, and most importantly have learned from past mistakes. We know what works and what doesn’t work.

To distribute promotional items, there’s a lot more than simply calling the factory and placing an order. There is a lot of setup process and research involved prior to placing the order for the physical products. However, most of these part-time distributorships don’t have the expertise to properly take care of their client’s needs. The most important step is the graphic design aspect. The graphic design is foundation of the whole process. With a poor design, the printed product will be poor, as will the outcome of your marketing campaign. On the hand, though, a nice, clean and effective layout will sell your brand and help your overall campaign become more successful.

Another important step is to choose the right product for your purpose. Pictures can be deceiving in catalogs and on websites. Not to mention, there are sometimes hundreds or even thousands of very similar items, so the specific item you are ordering may not be the suitable product for your intended purpose. This is where an experienced and knowledgeable distributor comes in handy. Because of our years of experience, we are familiar with thousands of products and have been exposed to even more than that. We know when certain products won’t be a good fit for your campaign and we can make recommendations for other products. If we don’t know the answer, we know how to do the thorough research to get the answers for you.

As an experienced distributor, we have already made the mistakes of using factories with inferior products or inferior printing processes. We have a database of around a million products. Many are poor design or cheap in quality and we know which ones to avoid. We have filtered our databases to only allow for top notch quality products and reputable factories. We have developed great relationships with many great factories in which we can get special privileges and pricing that other distributors can’t get. That, of course, passes benefit to our clients.

As you can see, our experience translates to success for your marketing campaigns. We don’t treat any order as “just an order.” We treat all of our orders as investments for our clients. We thrive on making your promotional investments a success. Because, after all, when you are successful, you’ll come back to us over and over again. Together, we make each other successful. Talk to you Soon!

What is the Most Stolen Item From All Businesses?

 

promotional pensOut of the thousands of business types in the world, we all have at least 1 thing in common. We all have one product that is stolen more than any other from each of our businesses. This holds true from plumbers to retail stores to banks to restaurants and any other businesses who deal face to face with customers.  This Klepto-friendly item is a simple pen. How many times have on of your clients needed to sign a credit card receipt or work order and you handed them a pen and then they walked off with it. Then you don’t realize it until they are gone. It happens all the time and I’m sure that you even walked off with someone’s pen before. I know I have several times. I actually ended up with a really nice high dollar one time from “accidentally” walking off with it. No really it was accidental.

So, since this act of kleptomania happens so often, why would you buy blank pens from an office supply store for this? Why not buy promotional pens so that people are walking away with a marketing piece with your contact info? I have clients that have bought pens and those pens end up in some odd places all over town. I have seen some of my client’s pens at gas stations and restaurants even though they never gave any pens to them. But, likely an employee snagged a pen, brought it to work and left it there or a previous recipient signed their credit card slip and left their pen there. It’s cheap advertising. Your pens end up all over town with your business name and phone number. Pens are still the most used promotional product that you can buy.

I would warn you, though, to not buy pens that are too cheap. Buy a pen that has a good feel and writes well. If you do this, people will keep them. I get promotional pens given to me all the time and I’m quick to throw them away to reduce clutter if it is too cheap of a pen. I want a pen that works and not one that skips or one that is too lightweight or not one that even looks cheap.

If you have pens in your office supplies budget anyway, why not spend a little more money and get pens that work well and actually market your business. Promotional pens get around the block a few times and are a great inexpensive investment. By doing this, the money spent no longer is an expense, but it becomes an investment.

Help, I Can’t Afford To Advertise

 

I often talk to small business owners and many of them say, “I can’t afford to do any marketing.” And then I respond by saying, “Are you kidding me? How can you afford not to?” This is about the point that I would ask if they pay for phone service or electricity for their business and I get a reply of, “Of course.” You need marketing and advertising just as you need electricity and phone service. Marketing is not quite as cut and dry as the necessity of power and phone; however, it is just as real.

Marketing is one of those mandatory business investments if you want to succeed and grow. Notice that I said a business investment and not a business expense. I don’t care that the IRS classifies marketing as an expense, because it is an investment. Now hear me out because marketing can be an expense if you are the type that just shells out money to various marketing schemes without tracking the results. For instance, if you continually spend money on a newspaper ad and never get any response, should you continue to print that ad? Absolutely NOT! That’s when it becomes an expense.

So how do you know if your marketing is working? Well, that can be tricky sometimes, because it’s not always feasible to get a straight answer about how a customer heard about you. I know in my business I most often receive vague responses such as I found you online. Well most of my marketing is “online” so that doesn’t help me much. I want to know specifically where online; however, most customers can’t tell me because they have been to hundreds of web pages already that day. So a great trick is to use a unique tracking code or coupon code that the customer has to use in order to receive some sort of discount or special gift. At the end of the month, I tally up all the sales and profits tracked to that unique coupon code and I can determine if my marketing is making money or losing money. If it’s making money, then my next step to increase that advertising. If it’s not making money, I will analyze the ad and determine whether or not it could be improved. If not, I stop wasting money on it.

There is sometimes an initial period of trial an error with many forms of advertising to find out how to best reach your intended audience. After all, many businesses have a certain type, genre, class, or age group of people that makes up the bulk of their business. In order to have the most success from the start, it’s best to determine who you want to target and develop an effective ad or campaign that will capture their attention. The important factor often comes down to design. Shell out some dough and have a well designed ad. It’s a great investment to spend several hundred dollars on an ad that is not only visually appealing but also effective. Effective = $$$, resulting in a well spent investment.

The Other Day I Was Drinking and Driving

 

Whenever you want to put out a product that has your business name on it, you should always think it through thoroughly. You should always think about how your customers and potential customers will view them. You have to put aside your knowledge of your specific industry jargon and think like a customer. In a way you have to dumb down your thinking, because in most cases, your customers don’t know nearly as much about what you are selling or offering as you do. Design is one of the most important factors for any marketing piece. It doesn’t matter if you are thinking about business cards, brochures, banners, promotional products, newspaper ads, posters, or a new logo design, you should always have a layout that is both visually appealing AND effective. Both must be present for it to work. Your small investment in graphic design will pay off big dividends over a poorly designed ad.
Design of Pepsi Max Bottle
Now, this isn’t necessarily graphic design, but it is a form of design. I needed a little pick-me-up a few days ago, so I stopped at a convenient store and bought a Pepsi Max. They have a fair amount of caffeine in them, and that is just what I needed on that particular evening. So at first I didn’t really think anything about it until I pull into my kids school and I’m taking a drink and notice that people are staring at me. Then it dawns on me that this bottle looks just like a beer. So there are now several of my kids parents who now think that I go around drinking and driving. As I thought more about this scenario, I started thinking about how often I pass by police officers, Sheriff deputies, and State Troopers. What are the chances that they mistake this bottle as a beer? Drinking from that bottle just made me a bit self-conscious while driving. At home or work, it wouldn’t be a big deal.

The above story is just a real life example of how you have to think about your design. In this case, it was the design of a bottle. In the case of most day-to-day business applications, it would deal with graphic design. Make sure you have professional designs on all of your business literature and giveaways. Your business image is extremely important for the success of your business and that is one area that you should not be cheap.