Understand your customer then strike with surgical marketing

Visibility of your product or service and effectiveness of the message are two utmost essential considerations of any marketing campaign.  The wider is the visibility and the higher is the rate of effectiveness, the greater is the chance for your marketing success.

It will not take long through your planning stage to realize that all of the effective methods (TV, Radio, Print, Internet, and Promotional Merchandising) of communicating your message out to a large group of people does not come cheap. Cutting down the venues of advertising down to today’s popular choices such as Internet, TV, and Promotional Merchandising can save a bundle, however that’s not where the real savings are.

Possibly, if you are a large company, you can afford firing your message out everywhere, no matter what the cost is. Eventually, if you stick at it for a long enough time, your message (good or bad) will be imprinted in everyone’s mind for immediate brand/service recognition. Now everyone knows what your message is and what you are selling; is anyone buying?

After spending millions of dollars on trying to advertise a product or service, it is very easy to end up with nothing to show for in the end. It is the opinion of the author that many managers or owners do not realize is that your marketing company does not necessarily care about or truly understand your brand, product or service.  The marketing company cares about creating a nice package to deliver a message to your potential customer, however only you – the service/product owner can understand and communicate who that potential customer is. If for any reason there is no clear understanding about who your customer is, there should not be any marketing campaign.

Understand who your customer is and what his needs are. Grasp what can turn the customer’s attention on by understanding what your product or service does for your customer, and why your customer is interested in your product or service. After the true nature, form, and definition of your customer start to appear, and you begin to understand what specifically needs to be targeted with your marketing campaign, you are ready to work with a marketing company to help you along. It is creative and artistic help that you will be seeking; the guidance must come from you.

The marketing campaign does not have to be an all out war; the war can be won with surgical strikes. Not only surgical marketing can be cheaper, it can be much more effective.

The better you know the customer’s characteristics, the better the chances of success. Starting out with a less expensive Internet marketing is a great choice for building a custom visual and/or textual message and measuring effectiveness with reporting tools. If that goes well, Promotional Merchandising in shows, fairs, and/or competitions brings a personal touch with lots of one-on-one interactions with your customer. Finally, if there is significant justification, go for the gold via wide print and TV advertising with a honed and customer personalized message.

Understanding your customer is just like understanding the battlefield, knowing where your allies are, and where your enemies are. Once you have that kind of understanding, you are prepared to start the battle with your best troops from the marketing company, however do not forget who the commander-in-chief is. Finally, take the win with effective surgical strikes instead of all out expensive and dragged out war.

No more printing of product catalogs; it is a digital age, act accordingly!


Many companies spend thousands of dollars on great looking product catalogs with hi-resolution pictures and wealth of information about their products. These catalogs are made with a nice feel heavy stock paper and its glossy pages make the text and products stand out. The catalogs still tend to be a top choice for presenting products for many companies.

Even with a large movement for ecological awareness, sustainability, and paper-free initiatives, it may still make business sense to continue to print the catalogs to impress the customer or to leave behind reference material.

Since many companies print product catalogs, your potential or current customers may have tons of catalogs from various companies and a dozen re-visioned catalogs from yours.  It goes without saying that placing a burden on your customer to keep the catalogs in order, and most importantly manually searching for your specific catalog for ordering is not desirable. There must be an alternative!

There are many flaws in the printed catalog approach. While you catalog may look great and present the information on the pages in the most effective manner, there are some significant issues:

  • Slow search – One has to use the Index or flip through the pages to find the product or required information
  • Expensive revisioning – Fixing a typo, pricing, or incorrect information means re-printing another version
  • Limited usefulness and staying power – Your customer may not use your catalog for anything else other than looking up your product (explained later)

Your product catalog is already available in the PDF format, if it is not, you should have a PDF version of you catalog as soon as possible. Even if your catalog is loaded with pictures and data, the PDF file should not exceed a couple of hundred of megabytes.  Once your catalog is converted to a most widely used format in the world, many benefits are quickly realized:

  • Fast search – Type in your search keyword, and you will be immediately taken to the text or shown where the match was found
  • No cost revisioning – Change the data in your publishing application and recreate a revisioned PDF document

The PDF catalog enables the ultimate flexibility. One of the most important ones is being able to store your catalog on the USB flash drive. Why is it the most important? Customer staying power and usefulness! When your catalog is provided on the flash drive, your potential customer or established customer may use the flash drive for day-to-day computing tasks as well as seeing your catalog when the flash drive is used.

Fast product searches, inexpensive revisioning, and staying on top on the catalog heap are all great reasons to switch from the conventional product catalog to an electronic one stored on the USB flash drive.

What about the price, you say? Depending on the print quantity, the price per a 90 page catalog can range from $10 to under $3.  The pricing for the USB flash drives with the digital catalog pre-load is very competitive – expect to pay $7 to $3.5 depending on your order quantity.  When the shipping price of the catalog is considered, the final price for your electronic catalog can be less, while the effectiveness can be substantially higher.

The conventional printed catalogs are beautiful to look at; however once the shine fades away the electronic catalog stored on the flash drive offers too many benefits to continue to overlook. Consider the effectiveness and the staying power of your catalog before you hit Print.

Cost of promoting with USB flash drives

There are numerous sites that sell USB flash drives for the promotional market. You don’t have to look closely to notice that all of them guarantee the lowest price. Another gimmick is to use a certain percentage by which a store will beat the competitor’s price. These are fancy marketing tools that are utilized to instill a level of confidence in the client; however is there any substance behind the “hype”?

Product marketing is a game of dollars; a company that can use large marketing dollars most effectively usually wins the largest market share and sells the most product. However, many promotional product purchasers neglect a simple fact of economics – a company that spends large amount of dollars on marketing, hiring staff, and other significant day-to-day expenses must get it back somehow.

How do companies recover the operational costs? In the promotional product world, that means raising the price of the product. Do you feel like an economics detective? Go to any large promotional product website and compare the prices of these large stores to a site such as ours. You will be surprised at a price difference.

Recalling an actual customer conversation, I was told that our prices are so low in comparison to other promotional site that it was scary! Unfortunately, the customer was referring to to an uneasy feeling about purchasing the same product, but for a significantly lower price.

A very low price may actually frighten customers into not buying the product.  People may naturally feel that a low price means low quality product or inferior service. In order to dispell this belief, a company may actually need to start a marketing campaign that lets everyone know that these prices are factory direct, wholesale, or without a middleman. The marketing campaing will in-turn raise the operational costs, and ultematey raise the price. Now the circle is complete!

Believe it or not, we like to keep it simple. Being a small company, we sell quality products at very low prices. The product comes directly from one of our contracted factories, and we pass the savings to you. Everything is checked for quality before it’s shipped and we are always here to help and follow-up with you.

Don’t be fooled by slogans, gimmicks, and hype. Do a straight price comparison; contact the seller to ensure that price checks-out by asking to generate an official quotation. Spend a few minutes to do research; it may pay back in thousands!