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Coping in This Economy --Morgan

November 2008
THERE IS no doubt about it; the present economy has had a negative impact on how much print is being purchased by buying companies. At least, that’s what 75 percent of the participants in Print Buyers Online.com’s recent Quick Poll survey stated. So how can you, as a print supplier, keep the clients that you have while encouraging new business relationships? This article addresses several tactics that you can take to remain afloat in today’s troubled seas.

Go Beyond Demographics. It’s time to update your marketing plan. To uncover information that will help you put together a strong- er one, get to know your print buyers beyond the who, what and where. Most of your repeat clients will be more than willing to provide you with the information you seek, if you ask them the right questions. 

An easy way to get started is to sit down and come up with a brief survey that will capture the information you need to fine-tune your marketing efforts. Once you launch the questionnaire and compile the results, you will recognize buying trends. Only then will you know how to continue giving your customers what they want—and eliminating what they don’t.

To encourage the highest participation, don’t forget to provide your buyers with an incentive to participate. You’d be amazed by how many people complete our surveys when they are offered a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate. Another way to go is to purchase Starbucks Cards, which are available in $5 to $500 denominations and can be custom-designed to include your logo, contact information and message. So not only will you be providing incentive—you will be reinforcing your brand each time a recipient orders his or her morning café latte. 

A caveat to the above: If you launch a survey that rates your performance, quality of services, sales reps, etc., I recommend not providing an incentive. It could sway the results because people will be less likely to criticize your organization when they receive a gift.

Reward Your Referrals. People love to get recognized for their good deeds. A simple token of appreciation will encourage your satisfied clients to continue sending more people your way. And that is one heck of an ROI. 

But don’t forget to make it easy for people to help you. It is critical to make forwarding your information as simple as possible. This can be done through “forward to a friend” campaigns in weekly e-letters/e-zines or creating an area on your Website for a quick copy-and-paste section. The trick is to get people to pass on your information—and be able to have a warm referral instead of a cold call.

 

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