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The Push and Pull of the Market

(October 2006) posted on Fri Nov 03, 2006

Discover Marketing tools that will help you effectively promote your business and increase job orders from existing and potential customers.

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By Gordon Roberts

The person who suggested the idea was one of the salespeople who spent most of his time pitching this same idea to his potential customers. He, of all people, knew how effective his products were as marketing tools, and it seemed like a good idea to suggest using the products to advertise the capabilities of pad printing.

The pull marketing strategy is about bringing the customers to you. Think of ways to take what you know best and turn it into new awareness and sales for your products. In the apparel world, I tell my customers to set up an old press and be ready to print a simple, but effective, two- or three-color logo job on any type of garment. The design should be snappy or amusing and show customers what you can do for them. If you can't come up with a design that people want to display on their garments, then you are in the wrong business.

Eliminate your overstock by printing some T-shirts that feature your snappy design and include them with every order that you send to customers. I guarantee your customers' employees will fight over the T-shirts. Everyone loves a free T-shirt! And they're akin to free billboards running around town doing errands and advertising your business. The same goes for real-estate signage. Print some signs and place them in every major intersection in your town. See whether that will generate any business, even over the course of a weekend. It works for house sales, so why not for print sales? The possibilities are endless.

Don't forget that screen printers are uniquely qualified to market their own products. I dug into my pocket and showed my screen-printing friend my key ring. Along with the car and house keys, the key ring also had attached to it fobs with the name of the salesman that sold a car to me, a plastic magnifying loop that displayed the name of my ink sales rep, and a miniature printed circuit board that spells the name of an etch-resist ink that probably isn't even made anymore. Each of these promotional items is attached to the key ring, which advertises a pad-printing company. Then I pointed to the T-shirt my friend was wearing, which advertised a successful Fox TV show. The show is so successful that it doesn't need the plug!

By the way, immediately after the pad-printing company mailed the key rings, it noticed a double-digit increase in business over the previous month's mailing. As noted by one of our great late-20th-century philosophers, whose wisdom happened to be emblazoned on my friend's T-shirt, "DOH!"


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