Straight from the horse’s mouth

As you know, we’re coming into “County Show Season”, which means that lots of our clients are getting in touch for stands, brochures and promotional giveaways.

And there was one client in particular that I sat down with to talk about the work he needed us to do in the next few weeks.

After we’d finished talking about his requirements, and got his order in, we carried on “talking shop”, sharing some business strategies and tactics.

One of the things we were talking about is the importance of working out WHY customers keep coming back to you, because the better your understanding of why people buy from you, the easier it is for you to ensure that it’s part of your proposition.

Anyway, for him, he considered Expert Print Management his ‘go to business for print’ because we removed the hassle for him saving him a lot of time, and above all, he trusted in our ability to make it happen.

This was useful feedback, which I’ll be using in my marketing going forward to make sure I communicate the most powerful benefits of working with us.

But I just wanted to share the exercise with you, as it’s well worth you sitting down with some of your best customers to understand WHY they keep buying from you time and time again.

All too often, we can be guilty of assuming what the benefits of our product are, but by getting it straight from the horse’s mouth, we’ve got cold, hard evidence that this is a motivational factor in purchasing decisions.

So, why not give it a go this week?

As it is Exhibition Season, I put a quick blog post together about how to maximise your return from exhibitions. If you’re exhibiting in the next few months, it’s well worth a read – click HERE to read it now.

He’s already back

He's already back

We’ve all had more than our fair share of PPI calls.

But you know why we still get them?

Because they work.

And for the next 18 months, as we count down towards the August 2019 deadline, there’s going to be another massive push on it.

The man leading that push?

None other than the Terminator and former Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It might seem like an utterly bizarre combination, but the fact of the matter is that Schwarzenegger’s role in the PPI campaigns has already had a big impact in the past.

In the first half of 2017, hundreds of thousands more complaints were made, coinciding with Arnie’s first advertising campaign.

So now he’s back, as he always promised he would be.

The fact of the matter is that celebrity endorsement works – using a face that people recognise, like and/or trust will have a big impact on the success of your product or service.

Granted, we don’t all have the budget to hire an Arnie, but the principle is still absolutely valid – who is liked or trusted by your audience, and how can you use that fact to promote your product or service?

Press Release – Business is booming and an office move too!

Paul Youngs

Expert Print Management feel very positive in the current economic climate as they see their business figures increase 70% this month compared with last year, proving that print still has a place in the market place.

Paul Youngs
Paul Youngs, Managing Director

Paul Youngs, Managing Director, said, "Despite the negative stories relating to Brexit coming from the media, we're having a great year".

The demise of the printing industry has been predicted many times over the years, and with marketing budgets from many companies heading towards digital solutions, this has always been perceived as a threat to the print industry.  However, in reality this has not been the case, as many marketers appreciate that a mix of print and digital compliment each other and generate better results. Furthermore, the arrival of GDPR could rejuvenate the industry yet again, as marketeers find it harder to get their product in front of people.

The company who have been in business for 7 years have just moved to a new office in St Georges Street, which places them nicely in the creative quarter of the city.  Paul added "We look forward to finding new ways to help customers facing GDPR challenges and identifying how they can be supported through print".

Expert Print Management sources the vast majority of print within the UK – most of it within a 50 mile radius of Norwich – keeping business in the region.

Promotional products, supplied through the Expert Branding arm of the business, are traditionally sourced from Asia however an ever-growing list of British made products are becoming available.

Existing clients include marketing agencies and designers and increasingly marketing departments of medium sized businesses throughout the UK who have a regular requirement for print.

Business is booming - Norwich Castle 'Keep Sakes'
Norwich Castle 'Keep Sakes'
©Mark Ivan Benfield

Expert Print Management have recently been involved in local campaigns including: Norwich Castle Keep Giving campaign which they have supported in providing a large part of the portfolio including their Keep Sakes range, as well as supporting them as a corporate partner giving future support to the Gateway to Medieval England project. The company has also supported the ‘Just Dual it’ campaign and the GoGoHares merchandise portfolio for Break Charity.

Paul finished with "Our positive start to the year galvanises my belief that the economy is stabilising and businesses are beginning to return to a range of strategies including traditional marketing material that have stood the test of time".

Contact Paul Youngs, Managing Director

T 01603 397704   E paul@expertprintmanagement.co.uk

ADDRESS 17-19 St Georges Street, Norwich NR3 1AB

www.expertprintmanagement.co.uk

How To Avoid Wasting Thousands Of Pounds At Exhibitions

Exhibition Banner

(Whilst Still Attending Them And Maximising Your Return On Investment)

I’ve been in business for longer than I’d care to admit.

And in that time, I’ve been involved in A LOT of exhibitions, for my own business and for my clients. 

Whatever anyone says, and however popular online marketing has become, exhibitions still have their place – there’s nothing quite like talking face-to-face with your prospects, and there most likely never will be.

But having said all that, there is a RIGHT way and a WRONG way to do exhibitions.

Each year, when I go to Excel or Olympia, I see hundreds of businesses throwing thousands of pounds out of the window because they just aren’t maximising their investment.

With that in mind, I thought I’d just put a quick article together that ‘peels back the curtain’, and gives you six of the most important things to consider when it comes to exhibiting at trade shows and exhibitions:

Have A Clear Goal

I’ll start with the most important: have a clear goal of what you want to achieve.

Are you there to generate leads, or are you there to make sales?

Most businesses either just try and make sales, or they’ll kind of do a ‘halfway house’ of both, and generally speaking, the results are pretty mediocre.

For most businesses – particularly those in the B2B space – lead generation is the name of the game, which is why it’s vital to leave the show having added a considerable amount of data to your list, which you can follow up on post show.

Work out a compelling ‘lead bait’ that compels your prospects to hand over their information, and make sure your team is focused on getting as many names as possible.

But remember, data’s just data unless it’s the right data, which is why it’s worth spending some time thinking about who your ideal customer is and then choosing a lead bait that is highly likely to appeal to them.

Make Your Stand Inviting And Eyecatching

 An expo is a pretty unique opportunity to have real-life, face-to-face conversations with people who can buy your product, so it’s vital that you have as many conversations as possible.

But you can’t have those conversations if no one visits your stand, which is why your stand has to be the honey that attracts the bees (your prospects).

What does your stand look like?  Does it stand out?  Does it have a clear headline, and display benefits?

Most businesses don’t give this any thought, and they just use their logo as a headline, which – in my view – is downright criminal.

Remember – no one cares about your logo.  They care about what you can do for them, which is why you’ve got to communicate a powerful benefit as early on in the attraction process as possible.

Network, Network, Network.  And Then Network Some More.

One of the things I wish I’d realised sooner is that there is often as much value in walking around the show and talking to other exhibitors as there is in talking to prospects at your stand.

In other words, you need to do both.

The more relationships you can build with businesses that also target your audience, the more potential there is for joint ventures, reciprocal marketing opportunities and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Remember: you’re there to build the list, but if you can make friends with people who’ve already got the list, then that’s a very smart use of time.

Plan Your Follow Up In Advance

What’s going to happen to all the leads you get at the show?  Are they going to sit, gathering dust in your office?  Or can you put them into a pre-prepared follow up sequence, or allocate time to give them a call?

The only way you’ll know if the show has been a success is by measuring your return on investment, and you can’t do that unless you’re organised.

One word of caution here though: leads don’t always convert straight away, so just because they haven’t bought in 90 days, it doesn’t mean that the show’s been a waste of time.

That’s why it’s crucial to have an organised CRM or database, that helps you track where new business has come from, even if the initial contact was at that trade show 12 months ago.

Get Something In Their Hands

Shows are all about attention, and it’s pretty much the scarcest resource.

Even if you tick all the right boxes with your lead bait and stand design, the truth is that you won’t get a monopoly on your prospects’ time.

That’s why you need to make sure you give them something physical to take away – a brochure, a leaflet, a promotional giveaway or something else printed – that they can reference when they’re back in the office.

It’s All About Activity At Exhibitions

The more you do at a show, the better return you’re likely to get.

Are you sitting shyly at your stand, hoping for the best?  Or are you out in the main walkway, handing out flyers and asking people to come in and enter your competition?

Define the amount of leads you want to generate before the show starts, and then work towards that target, doing the activity necessary to help you get to that figure.

Business owners that don’t have good shows are often the ones who just don’t do anything, and then moan that no one came and bought off them.

Right, that’s it – if you’d like any more help with getting your exhibitions right, don’t hesitate to get in touch by by dropping us a message, and if you’d like us to help you get your print sorted ahead of the event, then we’d be delighted – call us on 01603 397704 and get the ball rolling.

Messy Desk

Messy Desk

We’re moving offices next week.

Which – as anyone who’s ever done it knows – is a PAIN.

The computers have got to be moved, the phone lines transferred over, utilities switched, stationery and contact details updated, the list goes on…

But anyway, I’ll stop moaning – after all, the sun’s out, the snow’s gone and spring definitely feels like it’s on the way.

One of the interesting things about packing up and moving out has been how much stuff we’ve accumulated.

It’s a lot of stuff.

But what’s pretty instructive is that when packing up the desk, going through files, and consigning as much stuff to the bin as possible, I’ve ended up with a small pile of marketing.

Whether it’s brochures, calendars or sales letters, they’ve all found their way onto my desk, and some of them have been there for three months or more.

Now, apart from suggesting that I need to keep my desk tidier, this highlights something important for all of us marketing in the 21st century:

We value physical stuff. We’re more likely to consume it, and we hold onto it.

So sending physical stuff out gives you way more chance of grabbing your prospects’ attention, and if you’ve got that, then everything else is a whole lot easier.

And as online marketing continues to rise in popularity, the amount of people doing offline marketing diminishes.

Which means that when you send something physical out, your competition is likely to keep shrinking, giving your marketing a much better chance of getting read and getting acted upon.

So next time you’re planning on sending out some marketing, why not do something physical and get your prospects’ attention?

 

Image: Designed by Freepik

As keen as

Colmans Mustard

You’ve almost certainly heard the gloomy news: Colman’s Mustard is leaving Norwich.

After 160 years, the Unilever-owned condiment maker is heading off to Burton upon Trent .

And it’s a seriously sad day.

So sad in fact, that some Norwich natives simply can’t allow mustard making to disappear from the city and a crowd funding campaign has been set up by local entrepreneur, Robert Ashton to create a new mustard brand produced in Norwich – called, well.. Norwich Mustard.

Obviously it’s disappointing all round, with jobs lost, and an iconic part of our city being taken away, but at the same time, the uproar that’s taken place, and the efforts to resolve the situation actually provide some really useful lessons for all of us involved in branding and marketing.

You see, what Colman’s has done over the last couple of centuries is developed a seriously strong affinity with a group of people.

So much so, that when we lost it, we felt like some part of us was lost too.

It’d be the same if Guinness ever left Dublin.

Or if the Nike head office moved out of Portland.

Residents of Norwich, Dublin and Portland all feel like they own part of the brands that their locations are famous for, which increases loyalty.

You can’t imagine pubs struggling to sell Guinness in Dublin, or scores of people walking around Portland in Adidas trainers.

And the same has been true of Norwich, and Colman’s.

Make your customers feel an affinity with your brand, by building a strong connection and relationship with them, and you’re more likely to create long-term revenue streams.

Ham and Norwich Mustard sandwich, anyone?


Read more about The Mustard Revolution: The Life of Jeremiah James Colman here

Not hugely productive

Queens Road in the Snow

So, unless you’ve only just woken up, you’ll know that Norwich is on shutdown because of the snow.

The transport links are in turmoil, cars are stuck on roads and everything is pretty chaotic.

It doesn’t look like it’ll be a hugely productive day in Norfolk.

And as usual, there’s already been the point made that countries all over the world are able to take this amount of snow in their stride, and carry on, and the question’s been asked: why can’t we?

In essence, the answer is simple: we could set ourselves up to be prepared for these sorts of conditions.

– We could invest in more snowploughs.

– We could get in more salt and grit.

– We could encourage people to invest in snowchains.

The list goes on.

But the point is that although we could do all of those things, the more pertinent question is whether it is WORTH us doing all those things.

After all, weather is very rarely an issue in the UK.

Most years, we have no issues whatsoever, and therefore, in most years, a substantial investment into equipment and infrastructure to combat snow would be unneeded and unused.

So, would it be a prudent investment? Probably not.

There is a point here, beyond me just waxing lyrical about snow: just because you CAN do something in your marketing, it doesn’t mean you should.

The advent of the Internet and social media has resulted in more choice for advertising and marketing than ever before.

There are more social networks than you can shake a stick at, and for the business owner, more and more options for the investment of your marketing budget.

But just because you could invest in all of these new medias, it doesn’t mean you should.

Instead, it’s vital for us all to decide whether we’re likely to get the return we want, and then decide whether it’s worth investing.

Derby Days

Mick McCarthy

I was at the East Anglian Derby on Sunday.

I go to Carrow Road most weeks, but there’s a little bit of extra spice in the air when the Tractor Boys come to town.

If you didn’t see it, it was a great game, with the main talking point being Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy’s reaction to a dramatic 89th minute goal for his side.

With just one minute left on the clock, Luke Chambers grabbed the goal that put McCarthy’s men in front, and Mick just went berserk.

And during his celebrations, he appeared to aim some choice language towards his own fans.

Yes, you read that right – his OWN fans.

Now the subtext is that McCarthy’s been getting some grief off the Ipswich supporters of late, but regardless, this isn’t a smart move from him.

And in fact, there’s a wider lesson, that all of us in business would do well to heed:

Your relationship with your audience is the MOST important thing.

Build a rock solid relationship with the people who you serve – whether they’re paying clients or not – and you’ll always have more chance of getting meetings, generating leads and making sales.

But be disagreeable like Mick, and fail to build those relationships with your audience, and you’ll find yourself running out of good will pretty quickly.

Oh, and thankfully, Mick’s celebrations were short-lived too – when we equalised in the 95th minute!


We help our clients get a lot of direct mail out the door, and in every single case, direct mail works better when it’s sent to people you have a relationship with.

That’s why it’s so vital to nurture those relationships – if you don’t, then your letter doesn’t get read, and you don’t make the sale.

Press Release – New Account Manager

Nadine McGonagle

Expert Print Management has further expanded operations by appointing Nadine McGonagle as Account Manager, as the company continues to attract new business from outside of the region.

The Norwich based print management company, now in its 7th year in business, supplies print, promotional products and banner stands to businesses throughout the UK and is targeting 30% growth for 2018.

The recent addition of a dedicated website, expertbranding.co.uk  for it’s range of promotional products has resulted in a significant increase in orders in that particular area.

For further information about Expert Print Management please call Nadine or Claire on 01603 397704 or visit www.expertprintmanagement.co.uk

IKEA’s Best Performing Marketing Tool

IKEA Catalogue

And it’s printed!

Earlier this week I watched a programme on TV called Flatpack Empire. It was an interesting ‘behind the scenes’ look at the Swedish furniture chain IKEA and the production of the IKEA catalogue.

It’s a massive business with some huge numbers;

  • €38.3 billion in sales
  • 2.3 billion website visits
  • 936 million store visitors
  • 194,000 co-workers
  • 403 stores worldwide

 

The IKEA Catalogue

But the figure that struck me was the  210 million print run of the 2018 edition catalogue ; now 210 million catalogues at 328 pages that’s a lot of print!

Since 2004 the IKEA catalogue has been considered the companies main marketing tool and 70% of the marketing budget is allocated to its production.

It’s 9 months in production, and the photo studio for shooting the catalogue images is one of the biggest in Europe, covering a massive 8,000sqm in IKEA’s home town, Älmhult.

The importance of the catalogue cannot be understated though (so important that the cover design must first get approval from IKEA’s ‘catalogue council’ before it can be sent for print) as the publication of the catalogue always leads to a jump in profits.

In 2015 IKEA produced an advert to present the KIEA catalogue in a manner that mimicked Apple’s promotional style.

The BookBook advert made me smile then and still makes me smile today!

 

One more IKEA stat for you:
Selling one billion meatballs from their restaurants globally every year, helps to make IKEA the 10th largest food retailer in the world!