Marketing Planning Step-by-Step, Pt. 4 – Putting Your Plan Into Action

Keyboard with Action Key

For the past several months we have detailed the steps involved in putting together a great marketing plan – from understanding the realities of your marketplace, to defining the specifics of your business.  Now it’s time to put that plan into action.  And even more importantly, to remember that this is not the end, but the beginning of consistent and persistent review of how things are going and what needs to change.

You’ve done all the ground work and have the best possible understanding of your current business environment.  Now, how are you going to get the word out to the world – and most importantly, to your targeted market?  Your action plan for implementation needs to include at least 5 crucial factors:

  • Media plan – What are the most effective channels for communicating your message? Will you use traditional advertising channels like television, radio or print aTeamwork puzzle piecesdvertising?  Will you utilize some of the web-based outlets like Google, Facebook, or ads on some of the other social media applications?  Are there pertinent publications in your area that could be useful for you?  What about networking in your local community or joining your local Chamber of Commerce?  It’s time to figure out what mix of media communications will work best for you.  (And of course, it’s my job to remind you that promotional products are the key to having your contacts remember you,  no matter how you plan to advertise your business.)
  • Budget – Be sure you have a clear understanding of what it will cost to use your chosen communication channels. Don’t just look at the bottom line when doing this analysis, but also consider the cost per impression – how much exposure to your specific target market(s) will you get for each dollar spent?  And, be sure to measure the effectiveness of those impressions by reviewing the return you get back on your investment in terms of actual collected sales dollars.  Measure your ROI to help with the development of future budget plans.
  • Schedule / Tracking – Use a calendar or scheduling tool so that you know what to expect when. Know when your chosen publications need to have your materials and your payments, and know when they will actually be published.  Write down and plan for upcoming events like trade shows, expos, community fairs, etc.  (And don’t forget to order your promotional items at least a few weeks ahead of the time that you actually need them.  It’s always to good to have them on hand.)  Leave room for some flexibility, too.  You want to be able to respond to last minute opportunities if they will serve you and your market well.
  • Assignments – If you’re fortunate enough to have co-workers to help you implement your action plan, utilize them, or call on other professionals that you can trust and rely on to help with items that are outside of your area of expertise. In-house, or out-sourced, make sure that the assignments for each individual are clearly delineated with specific deadlines, as well as a follow up procedure to keep everyone accountable for their tasks.
  • Evaluation – This is the part of your plan that will keep it current. Set up a system that works for you, and review the return on investment for all of your activities on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.  Keep your eye on the earlier-defined factors in your marketplace and the local political environment, and make adjustments in your plan to reflect major shifts.  If you’re not seeing the results you want from your actions, make a change.  We’ve all heard the definition of insanity, and we cannot afford to get caught in that trap with our businesses.

Your marketing plan is meant to be a living, changing document.  Nothing iMoney fallings engraved in stone, and even if “we’ve always done it this way”, that doesn’t mean we have to keep doing it that way.  That said, fear of change is very real for most people, so be sensible and patient with yourself.  Make changes that reflect your business realities, and if they don’t work out, then make more changes!

I’ll be happy to send you an outline of the basic ingredients for a successful plan which have been detailed in these 4 blog posts.  Enter your contact information on the left side of the screen to get signed up for our newsletter.  If you’re already a newsletter subscriber, then visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AndradePromo, “Like” our page and leave a comment with your email address.  Or just email us at info@andrade-promotions.com and we’ll be happy to forward it to you.

Marketing Planning Step-by-Step, Pt 3 – Goals and Strategies

Businessman at desk

In the 2nd part of this series we reviewed the realities of your business environment – political, economic, social, technological, and your own business’ strengths and weaknesses.  This month it’s time to use all of that information to set some workable goals and plan the most effective strategies for making your business successful.

A few months ago we covered the components of creating really useful goals for your business.  Don’t forget to keep them “S.M.A.R.T.” –

  • Specific – Give yourself as many details as possible. Notreviewing-2 just “I want to increase sales”, but “I want to increase sales of blue widgets in the state of Kansas to owners of Chihuahua dogs.”
  • Measurable – How will you know if you’ve met your goal if there isn’t a way to evaluate your accomplishment? So with your widget sales goal mentioned above add a condition like “by 15% over 2015 totals”.
  • Attainable – Is this a goal that is possible for you to achieve? If the sale of widgets  depends  on face-to-face interaction with your customers, is it possible for you to meet this 15% increase?
  • Realistic – Similar to “attainable”, is it realistic to expect that you will be able to strive for this goal? This is more about your own, personal drive, motivation and other conflicting interests.  Keep it real!
  • Time-Bound – Another important factor for measuring your accomplishment of a goal is to give yourself a time frame within which to get it done. You can set very short-term goals (hourly, daily, weekly) or longer term goals (monthly, quarterly, annually, or longer).  Just specify the time frame that works for you and your business.

For more details about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, look back at our December 2015 blog post.

Next you need to set specific strategies for how your business is going to operate.  Old school marketing training still applies as it’s still important to address the 7 P’s:

  • Product – What are you selling? This can be a tangible product or an intangible service.hands-typing-7
  • Pricing – Are you going to compete to offer the lowest price, or charge more and sell the idea of the greater value that you have to offer, or find a completely different pricing model? Any of these answers, or a different one,  could be right for you.
  • Place / Distribution – Where will you conduct business? Do you have a brick and mortar storefront or office, or is your business entirely on-line?  Perhaps you work out of a local coffee shop, or your home, or your vehicle.
  • Promotion / Communications – How will you get the word out about your business? Do you have a web page, a business page on Facebook or other social media?  Are you going to hire a publicist or issue press releases?  What will help your customers remember you best?  (FYI – Your promotional products professional can really help you with this part of your strategy!)
  • People – Who will help you with your business? Will you hire employees and sales people, look for unpaid interns, or work with independent contractors?  Be sure to get professional advice about compensation for the people who work with you.
  • Processes – How do things get done in your business? Do you need a system for processing and tracking orders?  What about handling billing and payments?  How is the product or service actually delivered to your clients?
  • Physical Evidence – What impact does your business leave behind; what change do you effect? How does your work make things better for the clients who work with you?

Whew!  We’re almost there.  In the next, and final, part of the series we’ll talk about setting up a plan of action and implementing the steps of that plan in a way that will work for you.

As before, if you would like to get started on your own right away, I’ll be happy to send you an outline of the basic ingredients for a successful plan.  You can enter your contact information on the left side of the screen to get signed up for our newsletter.  If you’re already a newsletter subscriber, then visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AndradePromo, “Like” our page and leave a comment with your email address.  Or just email us at info@andrade-promotions.com and we’ll be happy to forward it to you.

Marketing Planning Step-by-Step Part 2 – Understanding The Realities of Your Business Environment

Business Technology silhouette

Last month we set the stage for creating your marketing plan by looking at the trends in your market, identifying your specific market segments and targets, and analyzing where you stand in relation to your competition. This month we want to get a handle on the realities of your business environment – political, economic, social, technological, and your own business’ strengths and weaknesses.

OK, time for some acronyms. Business Technology silhouetteThe first one you may find quite appropriate at this point in the process – P.E.S.T. analysis. Not because I’m pestering you to get this done, not because this part of your marketing planning is like an annoying mosquito, but because it will help you remember to review the impact of the larger business environment on your marketing plan. Be sure to consider these components:

  • Political and legal challenges – What is going on at a local, state, and national level in terms of legislation that could have an impact on your business?
  • Economic factors – What is the state of the economy, particularly in the area where you are doing business, and how does that play into your marketing strategy?
  • Social issues and attitudes – What are the social norms in your area? Are changing attitudes having an impact on your business? Can you take advantage of the changes or the status quo?
  • Technological factors – Does the constant flow of new technology impact your business? How do you keep up or reach beyond this new-age reality?

Businessman at deskOnce you’ve taken the time to review the larger environmental factors that impact your business through the P.E.S.T. analysis, it’s time to turn your examination internally and look at your own strengths and weaknesses. And of course, it’s time for another acronym – the S.W.O.T. analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Be honest with yourself and take inventory of your own business-related strengths and weaknesses. That will give you an idea of where you can most effectively focus your own personal efforts, and what aspects of your business you might want to consider outsourcing. And use this deeply personal introspection to help you uncover opportunities where you can take the best advantage, as well as to be aware of the threats that are waiting to derail you.

Next month we’ll get even more specific and start to hone in on the tactical elements of your marketing plan. As before, if you would like to get started on your own right away, I’ll be happy to send you an outline of the basic ingredients for a successful plan.   Just enter your contact information on the left side of the screen to get signed up for our newsletter. If you’re already a newsletter subscriber, then visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AndradePromo, “Like” our page and leave a comment with your email address. Or just email us at info@andrade-promotions.com and we’ll be happy to forward it to you.

Marketing Planning Step-by-Step: Part 1 Understanding Your Market and the Competition

Marketing funnel

You know it’s important to have a plan – otherwise you wouldn’t have read even this far.  As we begin this journey through the components that come together to make up your marketing plan, I first want to give credit for the majority of the information in this series to Cliff Quicksell, the marketing guru and mentor to many of us in the promotional products industry. You can learn more about Cliff at his website: www.cliffquicksell.com.

Road map with arrowsWhen creating or updating your marketing plan, it’s helpful to start with a few questions…

  • Would you embark on a journey without a map? Bake a cake without a recipe? Build a house without a plan?
  • What if you had no GPS and a bridge was out, where would you go?
  • What is the next turn in your business, where do you go, how will you get there?
  • What are the road conditions? Does it matter?

Step one then, is to know your starting point. You need to understand the market within which you are working. What are the trends that impact your business? Of all the possible purMarketing funnelchasers of your product or service, which ones will you target? Will you focus on specific businesses, industries, or segments of the population? Or, will you work across industries and set your sights on purchasers that work in common fields, like human resources or manufacturing, or individuals with common interests, like car fans or cat owners?

Once you have your target market clearly defined, the next step in the process is to know your competition. Of course, consider those businesses that are in the same industry as yours, but also think of other avenues that challenge your current practices. Avoid the trap of the buggy makers in the last century who didn’t prepare for the rapid rise of the automobile industry. In today’s world all business owners need to evaluate the impact of the latest technology as well as the known competitors in the market.

In the coming months, we’ll look at the additional analyses and strategies to be completed in the preparation of your marketing plan. If you would like to get started on your own right away, I’ll be happy to send you an outline of the basic ingredients for a successful plan. You go to the home page of our website – www.andrade-promotions.net – and enter your contact information on the left side of the screen to get signed up for our newsletter. If you’re already a newsletter subscriber, then visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AndradePromo, “Like” our page and leave a comment with your email address. Or just email us at info@andrade-promotions.com and we’ll be happy to forward it to you.

 

Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

trophy

In our personal life we may call them “resolutions”. In busticky-notes-to-do-listsiness we talk about setting goals. In either case, it is important to follow these S.M.A.R.T. guidelines to make your goals as realistic and attainable as possible. The acronym S.M.A.R.T. can be detailed as follows.

Specific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal, you must answer the six “W” questions:
“Who” is involved?
“What” do I want to accomplish?
“Where” – identify a location
“When” – establish a time frame
“Which” – identify requirements and constraints
“Why” – specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing this goal.
EXAMPLE: A general goal would be “Get in shape.” But a specific goal would say, “I will join a health club in my neighborhood by the 2nd week of January, and work out 3 days a week in order to lower my cholesterol numbers by 5% .”

Measurable: Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement, that spurs you on to the continued effort required to reach your goal. To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as:
How much? How many?
How will I know when it is accomplished?

Attainable: When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals. You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.

Realistic: To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress. A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labor of love. Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past, or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.

Timely or Time-Bound: A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10 lbs., when do you want to lose it by? “Someday” won’t work. But if you anchor it within a time frame, “by May 1st”, then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.
T can also stand for “Tangible” – A goal is tangible when you can experience it with one of the senses, that is, taste, touch, smell, sight or hearing. When your goal is tangible you have a better chance of making it specific and measurable, and thus attainable.

Write down your goals – post them in a prominent, visible trophylocation – and review your progress frequently. Once a month is not too often! The key to success is consistent review and truthful analysis. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall short of your goals! That just means that you stretched yourself. When you do review your progress, give yourself lots of credit for the progress you actually made. Post a comment to share how you approach goal-setting for your organization or for your personal life.

5 Ways to Save on Your Next Promotional Products Order

Face in the crowd

We’ve all heard the expression “You need to spend money to make money”, and that’s never more true than when we’re talking about marketing for our business. At the same time, there are ways to maximize your return on investment just by being a little more prudent when planning your next marketing project. Here are five tips for saving money when investing in promotional purchases.

 

  1. Start Early – I always recommend that we start to talk about items for your event at least 4 weeks before you need to have them on hand. The first week we’ll be determining the producFace with Postitst that works best for you and getting your logo and other imprint information ready to fit the size that’s available on the product itself. Most of our suppliers in the industry work on a 5 to 7 working day production schedule, but they need a couple of extra days if you want to see a proof of how the image will look. Never skip the proofing step if you don’t have to! It helps to ensure that we are all working with the same ideas in mind. Finally, don’t forget shipping. When possible, I try to work with local suppliers, but quite often the item you settle on may have to come from somewhere else in the country or even from overseas. Leave plenty of time for the least expensive shipping method to help save money. Overnight or expedited shipping can cost more than the product itself!

 

  1. Multi-purpose – While minimum purchase quantities required are getting smaller every day, it’s still true in this industry that the larger quantity purchase you make, the less each Person with boxesitem you buy will cost. So, when you’re thinking about an event where you know you’ll need 250 items, also consider if you could utilize the same product for a future event. Maybe buy 500 or 1,000 items now to save later. That way you won’t run into the repeat set up charge, the additional shipping cost, or the higher cost for the smaller quantity purchased.

 

  1. Focus on the Message, not the Product – The most common question I’m asked is “What’s the newest, latest, greatest promotional item out there?” After I’ve attended one ofImagine rock the many trade shows each year, I can always give you a few new ideas. That doesn’t mean that those new products will express your particular message as well as the tried and true ones you’ve been using all along. Sometimes the new items will be exactly the right thing, but more often than not consistency is the key. Why give your clients a “selfie-stick” if you’re trying to sell plumbing services?

 

  1. Plan for (at least) 3 Tiers of Contact – This is especially true for trade shows where you know you will have those attendees who are only interested in what you have to give away for Rushing crowdfree, not in you, not in your product or service. We affectionately call them the “scoopers” as we watch them scoop up any free goodies off your display and go on their merry way. However, these people even show up in day-to-day business. I had a contact who has since retired, that I would stop in to visit occasionally and his first words to me were always “What’s free today?” Always have something really inexpensive ready for these people – I often recommend hard candy, but even small toys will work. Don’t invest more than a few dollars in this tier of contact, but also don’t ignore them completely. There’s a remote chance that they might eventually become more serious about what you have to offer.

 

The second tier of contacts are the people who actually stop to chat with you and act interested in what you have to offer, the ones who stop in to browse through your store. They might not have an immediate need for your product or service, but they take the time to understand what that is. They may also know some other contacts that could be even more important to you in the long run. Have something of value to offer to these people, something that will help them to remember you positively and will trigger that memory when they need you. Items that stay on the desk, in the work vehicle, or near the phone are particularly useful at this level.

 

Invest your maximum marketing budget in real, sincere clients or prospects. These are the people who take the time to set an appointment, to ask you for a quote, and to seriously consider working Face in the crowdwith you. These are the contacts that you want to provide with a memorable item that they will keep, perhaps even something personalized especially for them. This is where it makes sense to spend the majority of your money. Don’t waste it on the first tier who may never come back.

 

  1. Use a Pro – I don’t try to do my own electrical work; I don’t do my own taxes; I don’t cut my own hair! I may be capable of tackling any of these jobs, but the time it takes, and the Smiling successful peopleadditional expense (and possible embarrassment) I incur for making mistakes just aren’t worth it. Rely on a Promotional Products Professional to help with all of your marketing needs. We know the suppliers to work with who will provide a quality product with an attractive and well-placed imprint, and who will turn the project around within the time frame you need. Many of us are Marketing professionals who can help you with messaging for your event and branding for your business. We can help you come up with ideas and approaches that you might never think of on your own. Ask your sales person if they have any industry certifications – that means they’ve taken the time to get some education to help you more effectively. Ask if they are up to date on product safety regulations to help you avoid potential recall situations and the bad publicity that comes with them.

Saving money is important to all of us. It doesn’t always mean finding something on-line that’s a little less per piece than what I can do for you. It always means finding the right product, at the right time, in the right quantity, to send the right message, done the right way. And that’s how we help to Simplify Your Marketing!

Betsy Andrade is the founder and owner of Andrade Promotions, an iPROMOTEu affiliate promotional marketing organization. Contact Andrade Promotions for marketing consultation, project planning, and promotional marketing items – www.andrade-promotions.com – We Simplify Your Marketing!

How Marketing Can Contribute to Revenue Generation

Dollar Arrows Upward

by Glenn Gow, originally published 7/30/15

Dollar Arrows UpwardDo you look at Marketing as a cost center or as a revenue center? If you said “cost center,” you’re missing out on a big opportunity. Don’t feel bad, though; for a long time, Marketing has been seen as just that—a necessary but costly part of doing business.

Revenue? How could Marketing actually contribute to that?

But things are changing, and fast. Buyers are much more self-educated than they were 10 years ago (or even 10 months ago). They’ve studied up, they’re Internet savvy, and they’re turning to social media and communities, including LinkedIn and Twitter, to see what people are saying about brands.

They’re so knowledgeable, in fact, that many business buyers have already made a decision about what they’re going to buy even before talking to a vendor.

Sales needs to adapt in response if it’s going to be on equal footing with the buyer. Luckily, Marketing has a wealth of knowledge at its disposal to help Sales do just that.

Marketing can enable sales reps to be as educated as buyers are so that Sales knows exactly where the buyers are and can help them move forward in their journey toward a buy.

In short, Marketing can help sales reps to better do their job and, in turn, it can actually have an impact on revenue generation.

Make a culture shift

When computer animation came on the scene, it was initially met with skepticism by traditional animators. “Why mess with a good thing?” they said. “That isn’t going to last.” Over time, however, the ease of use and the value of computer animation gave it an edge of traditional animation, and now it’s the industry standard.

Before you can use marketing to generate revenue, you’ll need to bring about a similar shift in culture. Marketing needs to be seen as an equal partner to Sales. Easier said than done, however: You’re fighting with decades of commonly held beliefs. Sales needs to be made aware of the dramatic shift in buyer aptitude, and Marketing needs to step in and do some of the heavy lifting.

You’ll be better able to integrate your sales and marketing organizations if you do the following:

  • Stop working in silos: Sales and Marketing fuMarketing Generates Revenuelfill unique roles, and you can’t have one without the other. But there’s no need for them to exist in separate organizational silos. You need to break down the barriers between the two to facilitate the free-flowing exchange of information between the two teams.
  • Get buy-in: More likely than not, you will get pushback from Sales. The viewpoint that Sales and Marketing are distant cousins has long been ingrained in many a sales rep’s mind, and they will probably be resistant to the idea. You will need to convince Sales of the valuable information that Marketing can provide.
  • Demonstrate Marketing’s value: Marketing is home to a wealth of information on the buyer that could benefit Sales. If you’re having a hard time getting buy-in from Sales, unearth some of the data you’ve collected on buyers and prove just how valuable that information really is.

Educate sales reps

What do you do when you’re interested in a particular brand? You probably visit that brand’s Facebook page, for example. You likely ask people about said brand on message boards or read reviews about their products on sites like Amazon. Needless to say, you don’t just take a brand’s claims at face value. Neither do your buyers.

Whether your sales reps are social media savvy or living-in-the-90s Luddites, it’s Marketing’s job to educate them, to provide them with enough info so that they are at least as knowledgeable as the buyer. That way, when leads come in, Sales will be better equipped to guide buyers through their journey.

Educating your sales reps will be easier if you do the following:

  1.  Listen: It’s Marketing’s job to gain insight on buyers, and the number of channels available to do so is increasing every day. Marketing needs to be where the customers are (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter, message boards) and monitoring their activity on a regular basis to collect quality data.
  2. Mine your data: Sales won’t benefit from Marketing if you feed them endless amounts of unsorted data. Provide them with a clear, easy-to-follow overview of buyer sentiment by sorting through the data and filtering the information that would help guide buyers on their journey.
  3. Provide some guidance: Once you’ve gathered all the necessary data and filtered it down to the most relevant information, Marketing’s job is to provide Sales with that information and help Sales understand what it all means. For example, if a buyer voices frustration about a product on Twitter, Marketing would let sales reps know and help them be prepared to respond to those concerns, even if that means sales reps’ logging on to Twitter themselves.

* * *

Take the proper steps, integrate both teams, and Marketing can have a direct impact on revenue generation. Complete synergy won’t happen overnight; however, by providing valuable information and getting sales reps up to speed with buyers, reps will be better equipped to guide buyers on their journey. Make that process smooth enough, and Marketing will be seen as a key player in revenue generation.

Do you still see marketing as a cost center?

This article was inspired by my Moneyball for Marketing podcast featuring Karen Walker, senior VP of marketing at Cisco.
Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2015/28155/how-marketing-can-contribute-to-revenue-generation-infographic#ixzz3hO5OqLOu

 

Glenn Gow is an expert in marketing technology, an advisory board member, author, speaker, podcast host, and the CEO of Crimson Marketing. Follow his insights on marketing technology at the Crimson Marketing Technology Blog and read his book, Moneyball for Marketing: How Brilliant Marketers Use Big Data and Marketing Technology to Win.

Branding 101: Let’s Talk Logos

Lets Talk Logos

I’ve been asked to review a number of prospective logos lately, and I always appreciate a client who looks to a professional for some input before making a choice just based on personal preference.  A consultant who knows some of the details about printing on promotional items versus printing on paper or publishing electronically will be able to give you some helpful and cost-saving pointers.

The following article recently appeared on one of my industry resource sites, and it offers some great insight into logo development.  Thank you to Mathew Barnes from SAGE for this article that was published originally on April 2, 2015.

Branding_101 A logo is often a company’s first impression and it can impact a customer’s perception, purchase decisions and overall attitude toward your company. A logo is a symbol or graphic element that represents your business. Your logo should tell a story about your company and portray your brand’s personality.  Not sure what your brand’s personality is? Take this free online quiz to determine yours.

Some companies may think they’re not big enough to need a logo, or that their customers know who they are just by their company name, but every company needs a logo.  Having a logo makes your company seem bigger and more established, helps attract more business, conveys that you’re a reputable business, and gives your clients a sense of stability and confidence in doing business with you.
So what makes a good logo?

A good logo is unique. The belief, “imitation is the best form of flattery,” doesn’t apply to branding.  In fact, it’s illegal.  Make sure your logo is thoughtful and unique to your company.  Having an original and cleverly designed logo will help you stand out among the masses. (Notice the arrow between the E and x in the FedEx logo?)   

fedex

A good logo is simple.  You want your logo to be interesting, but you don’t want people to have to sit and stare to understand it.

nike 

A good logo is memorable.  Your audience should see a glimpse of your logo and instantly recognize your brand. 

target

A good logo is timeless.  Focus less on current trends and more on ensuring your logo is the embodiment of your brand’s personality.  

mcd

A good logo is relevant.  Your logo should stay true to what your company represents and it should be relevant to the industry.  The promotional products industry is fun, there’s no reason your logo can’t be, too. Take this Toys”R”Us logo for example, it appeals to its target  demographics – kids.  

toys

Color is key. Color plays a huge role in how your brand is perceived .  Here are the personalities specific colors portray.

Color meanings

What makes a bad logo? 

If you can’t tell what a logo is or what it says, then it is ineffective. 

Font Party

fontparty

Color madness  

color_madness Raster vs. vector

rastervsvector

Looks just like…

looks_just_like...

Need help with your logo? Whether you need a custom logo designed from scratch or just want a few adjustments made to your existing logo, Andrade Promotions can connect you with professional graphic designers who are prepared to amaze you (without breaking the bank, I might add). Click here to learn more about the services that Andrade Promotions provides.

~Betsy Andrade, Andrade Promotions

“What do you mean, I can’t have it tomorrow?”

Time image

Every once in a while I receive that phone call or email that goes something like this: “Hi, Betsy – I just realized that we have a company event next weekend. I’m going to need 250 widgets with our new logo on them right away. Let me know what you can find for me, and oh, by the way, we need them to be as inexpensive as possible. My assistant found something like what we want on-line for $0.50 each – can you match that price?”

Oh, boy! After I take a deep breath, the answer usually boils down to: “Quality, Timing, and Pricing – You can have 2 out of 3.” Let’s see if I can take a little of the mystery out of the ordering process so you’ll understand why it’s a challenge to get all three at once.

Quality: Looking on line, you can find some great promoQuality testingtional products out there, and it may be tempting to do the research and ordering yourself. But you usually have a few other priorities to handle during your day. When you rely on your promotional products professional to handle the research and ordering, you benefit from their experience in the industry and their connections to the suppliers with the best reputation for quality, reliability and service. And, you end up with a few extra hours to get your real work taken care of.

Time imageTiming: Production standards in the industry have gone from 10 – 15 working days just a few years ago to 5 – 7 working days today. Even faster production times are often available for an additional “rush” charge. Suppliers, however, are located throughout the continental United States as well as internationally. It’s important to remember to add shipping time into the calculation. When you have to expedite shipping as well as production, it’s even more expensive – sometimes exponentially more.

Pricing: So, it only makes Coinssense that if you’re going to receive a good quality product that will represent you and your company well, and you’re going to receive the product in time for that last-minute event, then the price is going to reflect that. If price is the most important factor in your decision, then either the quality or the delivery time will have to give.

Oh, and a great way of mitigating these issues all together is to involve your promotional products consultant from the beginning of the planning process. Give me a call and we can plan out your marketing and event calendar for the year. Last minute events may still pop up from time-to-time, but the more we know in advance, the better we can meet your needs. Let us help you Simplify Your Marketing!

Betsy Andrade is the founder and owner of Andrade Promotions, an iPROMOTEu affiliate promotional marketing organization. Contact Andrade Promotions for marketing consultation, project planning, and promotional marketing items – www.andrade-promotions.net– We Simplify Your Marketing!

Express Your Appreciation!

Express Your Appreciation!

EmployeeMotivation

It’s unfortunate but true; we often forget the unsung heroes in our businesses and within our strategic partners’ businesses that are deep in the trenches everyday making it happen.

The secretaries, office managers, artists, shipping clerks, even the people some would consider in the lowliest of positions do the things that need to be done to make the work flow as effortlessly as possible to ensure that we are perceived in a favorable light by our clients – our ultimate employer.

I would ask you to take a moment to look around and think about where you would be without your great strategic suppliers or strategic distributors and more importantly the core, the people that work there. I for one know I would be nothing without them. In fact, I (or you) are only as good as the weakest link in the entire chain.

When was the last time you picked up the phone to thank that customer service person or artist for an incredible job – do you realize what impact it would have on them? The people on the front lines often take the arrows that are meant for us and they do it most of the time willingly when they are appreciated.

Take the time to develop an appreciation plan for your staff and for others you encounter, i.e. client staff and supplier staff. Often times a simple phone call will make the difference in someone’s day – plan to make two calls a day like that would be over 400 calls a year – they’re worth it – because they matter too. If everyone did this …imagine the possibilities!

…it’s completely your choice!

Blog by Cliff Quicksell, MAS+

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