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Plant Tours Open Doors —Sherburne

May 2007
SINCE MY columns in PRINTING IMPRESSIONS started about a year ago, we have discussed different ways you can improve the marketing of your business—driving an associated increase in sales. One thing we haven’t talked about that can be important in the marketing mix is your facility. Do you ever think about your facility as a marketing tool?

Sure, it is important to ensure that the operation is clean and inviting, and that the reception staff is friendly and considerate. And, it is always nice to display awards, recognition and samples of your work. But how else can you leverage that investment as a marketing tool?

I recently paid a visit to Daytona Beach, FL-based DME, and that visit sparked this line of thinking for me. A visit to DME’s plant certainly does not disappoint. First of all, it is quite large, occupying six buildings on an 11-acre campus with total space of 120,000 square feet under the corporate roof.

When you enter the lobby, which is a fairly small space with a significant portion of its available wall space devoted to recognition of employees, the receptionist has you sign in and takes your photo. She then creates a badge that includes the photo, as well as some barcoded information. So far, so good. Many companies do this for security reasons. But DME takes this utilitarian tool a giant step further.

Our group of three was hosted by DME’s own Alin Jacobs. As he took us through the lobby door into the building to begin our tour, our first stop was in front of a flat-panel display equipped with a reader that read the encoded information on the badge and brought up a world map, highlighting the area the visitor was from (in this case, the group leader was from Glasgow, Scotland) and also highlighted other countries and regions DME visitors have hailed from.

Customize, Open Eyes

This was the beginning of a very unique, personalized tour. After all, DME is in the business of producing personalized communications, and what better way to show the technology in action than to turn the entire tour into a demonstration of the power of one-to-one communications?

Next we entered a small room with a larger flat-panel display on the wall, and had the first encounter with the video host who we would interact with throughout the tour. Jacobs explained that the video host, Tim in this case, was the equivalent of your best sales rep on his or her best day—and Tim never has an off day, at least in his video version.

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