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Sales Tip of the Week – Marketing Tactics

Filed under: Fun, General, Sales Tip

marketingLooking to add a few new marketing tactics to your current approach?  Advantages magazine has some tips on how to boost your companies visibility.

Reach out to people on LinkedIn; attend a networking event; start a blog; speak at association events; conduct a webinar or teleseminar about your products; set up a Facebook page or Instagram account to post pictures of your clients using your products. When people see you everywhere, they will say, “Wow! I see you everywhere. I should do business with you!”

6 Tips for Better E-Mail Marketing

Filed under: Tip of the Day, Uncategorized

E-mail MarketingNot long ago I got an e-mail from my personal e-mail service thanking me for 15 years of dedicated commitment to their product. “Has it been that long?” I thought. Wow, I’m old.

Needless to say that in those 15 years, I’ve seen my share of e-mails, especially the marketing ones that have seemingly been around for as long as the Internet. Each day for the past several years I can count on some kind of offer in my inbox — usually from Old Navy, Barnes & Noble or Men’s Wearhouse — and I’ve become quite adept at separating the wheat from the chaff. Ninety-nine percent of all marketing e-mails I get go right into the trash, so the ones that I do open really have to be good for me to get all the way through to a transaction.

And as more people become e-mail savvy like myself, this behavior is the rule, not the exception.

So how do you succeed with e-mail marketing? This month’s Advantages magazine article titled “Rules of Attraction: Get Them to Commit” is full of great tips and advice on how to not only succeed with e-mail marketing, but with blogs, videos and social media. Read this article now, and in the meantime here are 6 great tips for better e-mail marketing:

  1. Subject line is critical: either pique their interest or get right to the point.
  2. Have a clear call to action: make it obvious what you want them to do.
  3. Drop the jargon and corporate speak; be human.
  4. Never send an e-mail with a “do not reply” address. Make sure you give people a chance to respond.
  5. Include images, but not too many. When e-mails are too visually cluttered, people can’t absorb it all.
  6. Maintain good segmentation of your e-mail list, with different lists set up to meet the needs of different clients.

4 Tips for Creating Engaging Mobile Marketing

Filed under: Tip of the Day

QR CodeDid you know … advertisers and marketers are projected to spend $11.6 billion on mobile media in 2012, nearly double the $6.3 billion spent in 2011. Bottom line: Now is the time to take the step into mobile marketing.

For its June issue, Counselor magazine went in search of ways to target clients via the mobile realm. Looking to get into mobile marketing, but don’t know how? Then this article titled “A New Marketing Order” is for you!

And in the meantime, here are four tips on how to create engaging mobile and social media marketing that works:

  • Back Off
    In any campaign, clients want to be informed but not inundated. Eleven e-mails in a day is not likely to make them jump any faster. Spread out e-mails, social media posts and other electronic announcements.
  • Make it Compelling
    Yes, that new red pen your company is pushing may seem like the coolest thing going, but it’s likely just another product offering to a client. Tweeting about how a celebrity used it recently, for example, might be much more compelling than stating that it’s on sale.
  • Mix it Up
    Think tweets are cool? Great. Just make sure you don’t inundate clients with those alone. It’s crucial to connect with customers through many mobile marketing forms (Facebook, text messages, QR codes and the like) so that your message remains fresh.
  • Leverage Connections
    Mobile marketing doesn’t have to be just for pitching. Some distributors use sites like LinkedIn for recruiting or learning about clients moving to different companies. That’s as helpful to their companies, they say, as simply posting product information electronically. In addition, distributors should leverage certain mobile tools (texts, for example) that are more likely to be received in the business world where workers are often not paying for them, as opposed to the consumer world, where individuals are more wary of opening a text from an unknown sender that they then have to pay for.

Tip of the Day – Break Into New Markets

Filed under: Tip of the Day

MarketingHere are five steps to take to ensure your sales and marketing efforts to new markets will be successful.

STEP 1: Evaluate the Local Market
Before deciding on a specific new market to target, you have to be certain that It’s going to be worth your while, according to Ken Thoreson, president of consulting firm Acumen Management Group. “Number one, are there enough opportunities, enough companies in that market sector within your geographics?” he says. “For example, if I want to sell to chiropractors, are there going to be enough to go after? If I find there are only three companies in my territory, I may not want to go after them.”

STEP 2: It’s all About Research
Once you decide to go after a new market and have identified potential opportunities in your area, the next step is ramp up research efforts, according to Mark Ziskind, COO of Counselor Top 40 distributor Caliendo Savio Enterprises (asi/155807), who uses Counselor’s State of the Industry report (www.StateOfTheIndustry.com) to learn which industries are big purchasers. “We’ll look at that info and ask, “Is this consistent with our client list?” You then mirror that with your contacts and your geography,” he says.

STEP 3: Make In-Person Visits
Ziskind warns that you shouldn’t do all of your new market research remotely. “You might go visit them,” he says. “Talk to them and ask, “What would you like to see in a supplier?” Or, go to the kiosks in the mall and ask, “What makes you push one phone model over another?” All you need to do is stumble onto one gold nugget of information to get a better understanding of the tools you need to go to market.”

STEP 4: Get Specific Information
After you’ve gathered general data about a particular market, you’ll want to drill down to find out as much information as you can about specific company targets. Going to corporate websites and making calls can be your sources of information here, says Thoreson. “You can pick up the phone and just ask for sales, or ask the receptionist if he or she can mail you information about their company,” he says. “Typically, if you’re selling to small businesses, you can’t go online or to The Wall Street Journal for information, but if they have press releases on their website, read their latest press releases. All that kind of information can give insights.”

STEP 5: Make a Sales-Call Checklist
When you decide that you’re prepared enough to make that first sales call to a company within your new market, Thoreson suggests the following checklist for sales reps:

From Education Adviser, vol. 32

Tip of the Day – Create Business Buzz on the Web

Filed under: Tip of the Day

FacebookHere are some tips for starting to develop your online marketing strategy via social networking tools.

1. Use your real voice. That means dispatching with the bland corporate-speak, often used by public relations departments and executives, and going instead with a real voice – your own. Even then, there’s a balancing act. It’s OK to comment on things beyond the scope of your business or the industry, but be wary about offending potential clients – for the sole reason that you may end up losing a customer.

2. Realize social media goes beyond the typed word. Various forms of social media support photos, video and audio. Whatever your preferred means of communication, chances are there’s a social media tool that works with it.

3. You can supplement your regular advertising efforts at little to no cost. Most commonly used social media tools are free, so that’s a benefit. Whatever you’re paying for advertising or marketing, this won’t add to it. Perhaps it won’t replace it, but it might accentuate other marketing efforts at no cost. Most have a learning curve, but It’s not too steep.

4. Maximize your exposure. There are ways to make different social media communicate with each other in an automated fashion. For example, when using a WordPress.org blog, you can install plug-ins that can automatically post to Twitter with your new blog post headline and Web page link. Photo-sharing sites such as Flickr.com can tie in similarly with some social media. “We use Facebook and Twitter to promote the blog, but we also use the blog to promote Facebook and Twitter,” Shreve says. “It’s like a round robin of sorts.” Again, a commonsense way to view the myriad social media is simply as different means for saying the same thing. People get news from television, radio, newspapers, magazines, the Internet and their neighbors, friends and acquaintances. It’s just a question of which delivery method they choose.

From Education Adviser, vol. 32.

Tip of the Day – 4 Ways to Overcome Eco Objections

Filed under: Tip of the Day

Jennifer Chiu, product manager for Ash City (asi/37127), offers some smart talking points for distributors looking to sell their clients on green. “Clients need to understand the true essence of green products and also, from a business point of view, the marketing value of it,” she says.

Here are four talking points and details Chiu recommends sharing with clients to overcome objections:

  1. Remind clients that green is growing. “Industry leaders are committing to greener operations by purchasing most or all their energy needs via alternative energy sources and building facilities that are green,” she says.
  2. Explain that green is rapidly becoming a business standard. “Green is not a niche anymore,” she says. “It’s become a term to describe a brand’s or company’s philosophies. It has become a marketing tool and soon it will become the standard.”
  3. Highlight the importance of green to the average consumer. “We live in a world where green is part of our vocabulary,” she says. “For example, high fuel prices are constant reminders for green alternatives.” Leverage this common vocabulary and awareness with your client.
  4. Show examples and utilize market research to your advantage. “Retail brands are expecting to expand their product lines in organic cotton products by 33% in 2010, creating an estimated $5.3 billion market,” she says. Sharing this type of information is persuasive and establishes you as the expert, which is key to overcoming objections.

From WearableStyle, vol. 132

Tip of the Day – 5 Ways to Expand Marketing Efforts

Filed under: Tip of the Day

One of the most important ways to increase revenues immediately is to first fine-tune and increase your marketing efforts. After all, new business and new channels of revenue are the result of marketing campaigns that reveal new leads to call on. Whether it’s a new referral program a new online social network campaign or a new targeted print advertisement, distributors have to ramp up their marketing now to take advantage of an expanding market and new opportunities.

Here are five ways that you can expand your marketing efforts right now.

  1. Get organized. To effectively market to targeted audiences, distributors first need to get their lists and systems in good shape.“Coordinate, consolidate and clarify your many lists,” says Marsha Londe, owner of Tango Partners. “Identify your groups by business, title, or information that allows you to sort and target your audience. Once you’re organized, continually update. Then, you don’t have to go through this process again.

    “Don’t send a mailing without first confirming or correcting your contact information. If you miss the intended recipient, you’ve wasted time and money, and missed an opportunity.”

  2. Coordinate a targeted mail campaign. “Coordinate the product with the message and determine your packaging,” Londe says. “The most important element is that the product they select has to have a reason or a purpose. It has to complement or coordinate the messaging. Who’s the audience, what are the objectives, and what’s the budget and time frame?” 
  3. Fill the pipeline. Londe suggests that distributors plan out their next year’s worth of marketing efforts now. The reason? To fill your sales lead pipeline in case you run into a slow time.“Suddenly there can be lull in sales, and you don’t have anything in place because you haven’t planned,” Londe says. “If you plan ahead, come July or August, which is a really typically slow time, you can gear up for the holidays. When you’re going through next year’s Christmas list the December before, then you have one step out of the way. It’s organizing, sitting down with your team, and making a plan of what you’re going to do.”
  4. Get involved locally. While it’s a good idea to join the local chamber of commerce and make networking part of your new marketing efforts, just joining these organizations and showing up to meetings usually isn’t enough to get noticed.I joined a local chamber of commerce a couple of years ago, and nothing happened,” says John Zalepka, president of Corporate Brand Inc. (asi/168854). “I paid for a bold listing in the directory of all of the chamber members – still nothing. Then, I joined the golf committee. I attended a few early-morning meetings, where I met other local businesspeople with similar interests. Next thing I know, they needed a giveaway for the outing, and they had a $5,000 budget. This proves that sometimes, all you have to do is get involved.”
  5. Market yourself consistently. “Being busy is no excuse for not marketing yourself. Sure you’re busy now, but what’s your forecast for the slower months?” Zalepka says. “You need a pipeline of qualified prospects that you continually work until you convert them into clients. Pick up the telephone and call some people. Make the follow-up calls after meeting people at a networking event. Call your top 10 clients and ask them for a couple of referrals, then make those 20 calls another day. The bottom line is, do something everyday.”

From Education Adviser newsletter, vol. 30.

Tip of the Day – Ramp Up Marketing Efforts

Filed under: Tip of the Day

One of the most important ways to increase revenues immediately is to first fine-tune and increase your marketing efforts. After all, new business and new channels of revenue are the result of marketing campaigns that reveal new leads to call on. Whether it’s a new referral program, a new online social network campaign or a new targeted print advertisement, distributors have to ramp up their marketing now to take advantage of an expanding market and new opportunities.

Here, ad specialty distributors and business and management experts offer 10 ways that you can expand your marketing efforts right now.

  1. Follow your dollars. 
  2. Get organized. 
  3. Coordinate a targeted mail campaign. 
  4. Fill the pipeline.
  5. Update your website.
  6. Send out e-newsletters or e-mail specials. 
  7. Get involved locally.
  8. Position yourself as an expert within your organizations.
  9. Mention what you do to everyone. 
  10. Market yourself consistently.

For the complete Counselor article, click here.

Tip of the Day – Self-Promote With T-Shirts

Filed under: Tip of the Day

T-shirtTrying to come up with a fresh way to promote your business? Consider the branded T-shirt market, where novelty always sells. “The true definition of ‘novelty’ is something fresh, new and innovative,” says Michelle Swayze, marketing director for In Your Face Apparel (asi/62494). “Some may place the old-school mentality of novelty items being fad items that quickly pass away, but that’s just not true. A novelty item can stay fresh, new and innovative for some time.”

Novelty shirts are a great way to show clients who may have stopped spending that you’re still current, fun and capable of appealing to youthful clients who are driving much of the market today. “Customized T-shirts are a great way to get the foot in the door with your clients,” says Bayo Simmons, CEO of All Fashion Services (asi/37166).

Consider a self-promotion using novelty T-shirts with an innovative design that integrates your logo and brand colors. Novelty tees are big in summer, and with Labor Day and endless company picnics, outings and events, this is a great time to remind your clients about the quality and creativity of your products. It’s also just in time for back-to-school, and novelty tees are especially popular with the school-age crowd.

From WearableStyle, vol. 123

Tip of the Day – Where Demographics Matter

Filed under: Tip of the Day, Uncategorized

Here are 4 occasions where demographics matter:

  1. Incentives programs only work well when the reward is something an employee or customer desires. Understand the audience’s circumstances in life and their desires/needs. Then you can motivate them.
  2. Experiential promotions require face-to-face interaction with brand ambassadors. People connect to those with whom they identify. You must know who your audience will be before you can choose appropriate brand representatives.
  3. Apparel giveaways succeed when the selected garment fits the stylistic preferences, gender, age and environment of the recipients. Young female fashionistas living in Miami wouldn’t wear a fleece vest. Try a clingy baby tee instead.
  4. Cultural events frequently draw ethnic or community-centric crowds. It’s simply good manners to know the likes, dislikes, values and traditions of the cultural or ethnic group to which you’re marketing.

From May 2010 Advantages University.

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