Post-Show Followup Techniques You Will Want to “Borrow”

ThinkstockPhotos-857037440.jpgTrade shows are one of the most exhausting, yet exhilarating, ways to spend your marketing dollars. You not only get to meet with your customers face-to-face, but you can also see what your competitors are up to, get great ideas for the future, and generally feed off the energy on the show floor. However, if you’re not using the time after you return to the office effectively, you may be wasting much of the goodwill that you created at the show. Here are some great tips and techniques from marketers that will help you knock your post-show communication out of the park.

Capture Contacts Logically

Before you even start to pull together samples and brochures for your event, you need to determine the best way to capture contacts for later follow-up. This could be anything from a name badge scanner provided by the event coordinators to the low-tech solution of a giveaway fishbowl where contacts drop in their business cards. Simply gathering the information isn’t enough, you need a solid plan in place of how you’re going to get these new names and their requests into an actionable marketing database.

Create a Specific CTA

Your call to action is just that: a way to encourage your audience to take a specific action that leads to your desired result. Starting with the end in mind allows you to craft a campaign where each step builds towards the logical conclusion — your customer placing an order or asking for a demo. The first step may be a quick email, while the next step could include mailing a sample with a custom printed letter. A final step of a phone call or postcard a few weeks after the show proves to your audience that you’re committed to meeting (and exceeding!) their expectations.

Sort and Assign Leads

If you’re using an automated solution for capturing leads, you may wish to begin immediately by sending an email as soon as you return from the show. If this isn’t possible due to volume, go through your lists and segment your leads into hot, warm, and cold. If you’re able to immediately assign the hot leads to a team member to call and can convert them to customers, great! Most people spend a day or two regrouping after a show, so timing is everything. Call too soon, and you’re likely to get a voicemail recording which is generally a dead end. Call too long after the show, and people have forgotten all about you. This is one of the reasons that a branded, high-quality print piece is a fantastic followup. If you start your print project quickly, your materials can be there soon after your prospects are back in the office.

Nurture Your Prospects

Create a formal and ongoing communication strategy that allows you to continue the conversation with your various audiences. Some people may be very interested in your products or services, but perhaps they don’t have the budget to start a project immediately. Others may be lukewarm in their interest levels, but you can see how you’re adding value to their organization. What’s important is that you tailor your messaging to your audience to convert as many as possible into customers.

Now that you know the basics of trade show and event follow-up, you’re ready to hit the road. You will see the true benefits of growing your audience and communicating effectively with all the new customers and sales coming your way!

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Small Business Marketing Ideas

CREATIVE AND COST-EFFECTIVE WAYS TO MARKET A SMALL BUSINESS

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Here are a few creative and cost-effective ways to market a small business:

  • Consider a door hanger or recurring postcard campaign to all residents in an X-mile radius of your business. Consider highlighting lesser-known products, offering an exclusive discount, or inviting them to a free hands-on training event.
  • Build relationships and get involved in your community through charity events, sponsoring local sports teams, volunteering at fundraisers, or donating your time or services to local non-profits.
  • Develop a customer loyalty program with a variety of special promotions and incentives that would appeal to your particular customer base, such as birthday discounts, a reward punch card, free shipping, monthly discounts, free upgrades, and more.
  • Engage with your audience on social media. Post information on new products, link to interesting industry news bits, and encourage customer conversations.
  • Become an industry expert. Create a blog or newsletter with a customer Q&A section and offer helpful tips and tricks that will make people think of you next time they are ready to purchase.
  • Create a monthly contest. For example, encourage visitors to guess how many jelly beans are in a jar for a chance to win a [fill in the blank].
  • Create a customer referral program. For example, provide custom-printed referral cards that provide an exclusive discount to new customers. Also, reward existing customers based on how many new customers they recruit.
  • Build your customer testimonials and reviews. Request customer reviews, and make sure you respond to all reviews, positive or negative.

If you’d like help creating marketing materials to grow your business, give us a call or visit us online today at http://www.sjprinter.com!

Thank You Labels

LABELS MAY BE SMALL, BUT THEY’RE BIG FOR BUSINESS

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Labels may be small, but they are big for business, especially when you use them to say thanks and show customers they are appreciated.

Thank you labels are a great way to show your appreciation with all outgoing envelopes, invoices, packages, postcards, receipts, and more.

Thank you labels can easily serve a dual purpose. For example, in addition to a thank you message, you may also consider offering a promo code for a discount on their next purchase. Or, thank you labels can be designed to thank customers for their loyalty and remind them of an upcoming customer appreciation event.

The creative design options for thank you labels are endless. They are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and finishes, such as an embossed logo, foil finish, creative die-cut shape, or more.

The simple act of saying thanks can leave a valuable, lasting impression that helps customers remember you for future business. Order thank you labels today!

Why Establishing Your Brand as an Authority is a Top Goal

ThinkstockPhotos-809785742With every piece of marketing collateral you create, you’re essentially trying to accomplish two key goals. Yes, you’re always trying to inform members of your audience about the products or services that you offer – or the ones that you’re about to launch. But at the same time, you need to do something much more powerful. Something that, if executed correctly, can help guarantee that yours is a brand with the ability to stand the test of time.

You need to establish your brand as an authority – not just in the context of what you have to offer, but within the larger sense of the industry that you’re operating in. If this isn’t already one of your top goals, it should be for a number of essential reasons.

The Power of Brand Authority

To better understand the importance of brand authority, consider the following two statistics. According to one study, 45% of your brand’s image (meaning what people think and feel when they encounter it) can ultimately be attributed to both what you say and how you say it. More importantly, the same study revealed that 54% of people don’t trust brands at all.

The most critical thing to understand about this is that brand authority is not something that you can give yourself. The majority of people who don’t trust brands don’t do so because the brands told them not to – it’s because those brands failed to live up to their promises one too many times. It’s because they didn’t have anything to offer beyond a sales pitch. It’s because those brands weren’t able to connect with their audience in an emotional, raw, and ultimately genuine way.

Because those brands failed to understand that brand authority really has to do with your larger reputation – it’s that kernel of trust that you don’t give yourself, but that others give to you.

It’s also not something that you’re going to be able to build in a day. It’s less the product of one major move and more about a series of smaller ones. It’s something that grows slowly, every time you choose to partner with a charity on community outreach or make your presence known at some type of local event. It’s something that grows inside your audience every time they see a piece of collateral that isn’t just a product spec sheet, but that offers true insight and information in a way that helps them even if they don’t make a sale.

When built properly over time, it’s also something that makes it easier than ever to not only keep the customers you already have satisfied but to bring new ones into the fold as well. This will invariably translate into a sense of “when the time comes and I do choose to make a purchase with this particular brand, I can rest easy knowing that it is money well spent.”

In the End

Ultimately, establishing your brand as an authority should be a top goal because it allows you to become more than just the products you sell or the services you provide. When your customers have a question, they come to you for the answer. When they want to learn more about a related topic, their first thought is to go to you for the education they seek. When you do launch a new product or service, they’re interested in what you have to offer because there is a level of trust that exists between you that they don’t have in other relationships.

This is why brand authority is so important – because it lets you become more than “just another company” and provides you with a level of authenticity that can take a standard audience and turn them into a loyal army of passionate advocates before you know it.

Win Customers With Colorful Packaging

ADD SOME COLOR COMMENTARY

When you consider the packaging that you will use for your clients’ products, remember that color is one of your channels that communicates instantly. There are thousands of shades of each color, and picking the ones that evoke the emotions you want can help you forge a connection with the consumer. Here are a few tips to help you get what you want.

Ask yourself which one color gets your message across.

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Red is vital and exciting. Green can communicate healthfulness or sustainability. Pink can be girly or comforting. In some cases, such as a label for strawberry ice cream, the color associations are obvious. For other products, choose colors based on the mood you think fits the brand. For example, an outdoor recreation store wouldn’t print their hangtags or envelopes in purple since purple doesn’t really evoke the feeling of the outdoors. Instead, they would choose colors that would get the message across while also fitting in with the company colors. And, remember not to overuse color. Too many trying to shout at once just turns into noise. Pick a dominant one, then accent with others.

Always plan a family of products and marketing assets in advance.

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Think in terms of how these items will look together. If you have multiple flavors of ice cream labels, for example, plan how all of the different flavors will look lined up next to each other. Creating a unified look will allow customers to identify which products come from your brand. While allowing each product or flavor to be easily distinguished from the others, the use of a strong overall palette will help build your brand.

Always do a color-accurate printed proof.

Inks respond differently to different surfaces. To ensure that your assets will look exactly as you want them to, have a color-accurate proof made before doing your entire run. Even if you have printed that color in the past, testing it first can lead to better outcomes.

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Always consider how things will look and how they will make your customers feel. By keeping these vital color rules in mind, you can create packaging, brochures and other assets that make your brand attractive to consumers and easily recognized.

You Shouldn’t Fear Your Competitors. You Should Learn From Them.

ThinkstockPhotos-504013680.jpgAs is true in most industries, there are days where it probably seems like every time you turn around you’ve got some new competitor to deal with. Your market space was already a tight one – now you’ve got to worry just as much about the companies that are vying for the same market as you do about the market itself.

For as frustrating as this can be, however, it also represents a fantastic opportunity that is just waiting to be taken advantage of if you really know what you’re doing.

At the end of the day, you shouldn’t actually fear your competitors at all. You should see them as a source of education and inspiration.

The Canary in the Coal Mine

One of the biggest reasons why you should try to learn from your competitors instead of fear them has to do with the fact that you’re trying to accomplish the same goal. You just have two completely different approaches about how to best do that. You’re still operating in the same industry, and you’re still trying to reach the same basic audience. From a marketing perspective alone, this is much more exciting than you probably realize.

Remember that success in marketing comes down to knowing as much about your audience as possible to get the right message in front of the right people at the right time. When your closest competitor launches a particularly successful marketing campaign, sit back and ask yourself “why?” Dive deep into exactly what they did and how they did it. What language choices did they make? What print avenues did they explore? What part of their timing played a roll in their success? Did they do anything particularly noteworthy in terms of font or other design selection?

The same is true when your competitor’s campaigns fail, too. Why did your competitor’s campaign fail to strike a chord with your audience? What mistake did they make? What incorrect information were they working from? How can you avoid this problem yourself?

From a certain point of view, it’s almost like you get to naturally A/B test every campaign that you run without spending additional money because you’ve always got someone trying to hit targets that are very similar to yours. Pay attention to what they’re doing and see what works and what doesn’t. Then, figure out how to adapt this information to your own efforts. Rest assured, they’re probably looking at you in the same way.

You’re All in this Together

An even more important reason why you shouldn’t fear your competitors is also a simple one: you’re truly all in this together. Think about it like this: the audience that you’re trying to serve and the audience that your closest competitors are trying to serve are one in the same. You’ve both pledged to make the lives of these people better through your products and services. Make no mistake, this is a terrific situation to be in for everyone involved.

For starters, competition is healthy. Every time your closest competitor hits a home run with a new product launch or marketing campaign, it shouldn’t make you depressed – it should make you want to wake up tomorrow morning and try that much harder.

Your audience will absolutely benefit from this healthy sense of competition and that is an incredibly important position to be in for all of you.

Co-Branding Marketing Partnerships

Market_Image_335.jpgAN ESSENTIAL MARKETING TOOL FOR BUSINESSES WHO WANT TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE

Building smart relationships have always made good business sense, and now it’s more important than ever, and the opportunities are everywhere (if you look for and manage them correctly).

Using the power of co-branded marketing partnerships to gain exposure and utilize new distribution channels is not only smart, but it’s also an essential marketing tool for businesses who want to remain competitive and stand apart from their competition.

A unique example of a co-branding partnership is Uber and Spotify. Music-streaming app Spotify partnered with ride-hailing app Uber to create “soundtrack for your ride.” Uber and Spotify offer very different products. However, they share a very similar goal: to gain more users.

Here are a few tips to consider for selecting an ideal partnership:

  • Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and choose a partner that will excite your audience and give you a competitive edge over your competition.
  • Create a partnership that is mutually beneficial for both parties, ensuring you both fill gaps and needs for the other’s business.
  • Establish common goals and detailed terms of who is doing what to benefit both organizations mutually. Define the tasks you will perform and have your partner do the same. From this, you can each be accountable to yourselves, to each other, and to the business.
  • Identify and utilize the strengths of each partner. Bringing out and using the strengths of the individuals within the partnership will add to the motivation, the energy, and the odds of long-term success.

If you’d like ideas on how to promote a co-branded marketing partnership, give us a call today at 856.429.0715. Our team of experts would love to help.