New Offering, Now What? Educate. Promote. Partner.
My Dad’s birthday was last week. Earlier in the year we planned on getting together as a family for a special celebration. Our plans fell apart in March and we knew we would postpone the party. We still wanted to do something special for him on May 6. My sister had this fun idea to use a sign company to set up happy birthday signs on my parents' lawn. After several calls with no availability for three weeks, we decided to call a local printer and create a banner for him.
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign.
At the same time we were working on the birthday sign, there were several stories about higher-ed in-plants and PSPs creating new offerings. Graduations, holidays, and birthdays are events that people would, in normal circumstances, come together to celebrate. Since we’re social distancing, we can help people commemorate in a different way. As Albert Einstein said, “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” That opportunity is wide-format.
Recently, a hybrid company that provides commercial printing, direct marketing, and transaction mailing, leveraged its wide-format equipment to print yard signs. They were looking for diversification as well as a supplemental offering for their customers.
“The company is creative and not afraid to try different things, this fits their culture,” Matt Mahoney, marketing VP at Racami, shared with me. When the stay at home orders began in their state, they realized that people were looking for signage. Initially, the company was printing signage for local purposes and people would pick up orders from the business, since large signs and banners are expensive to package and ship. They started with a simple online storefront with templates to help their customers create personalized signs and quickly outgrew it. They are now enhancing their storefront since the business is growing — growing to the point where they are looking to start shipping signs profitably.
Let’s get it started.
When you decide to enter a new market or provide a new service, you need to promote and educate your customers. In the case of wide-format, basic marketing promotion includes displaying a variety of examples of beautiful signage on your website. Provide images of customer work on your site, show the impact of different sizes, locations, and color that will provide your customers with ideas. Educate them on the difference between indoor and outdoor signage. Promote the various media and substrates. Update your website with big, bold communications. And don’t stop with your customers. This is a perfect time to train your salespeople and CSRs. With any new service or capability, salespeople need to confidently present the value and benefit of the product or offering to prospects and customers and ask for referrals. Perhaps it’s a school administrator that can point parents, coaches and the school organizations to your website, promoting graduation banners, prom red carpets, and more. Your salespeople need to know who to talk with and why this sign is important to that person.
Lois Ritarossi, president of High Rock Strategies, mentioned that when she is talking to print salespeople, they are often frustrated that their company doesn’t provide enough marketing promotion to inform their customers about the company offerings. If you have wide-format capabilities, update your website and social pages today. Promote large beautiful banners that target schools, retail stores, restaurants, and health care facilities. They need signage and print materials to engage their customers. Provide your salespeople with the marketing tools and a new reason to reach out to your customers and prospects.
Let’s work together.
Signage and banners are good sales opportunities. (Wide-format has been a large growth segment for the past five years) And you if don’t have wide-format capabilities, consider partnering with a local PSP. I suggest that you find the right strategic partnerships to expand your capabilities and provide customers with new ideas. The current situation allows you to evaluate the wide-format opportunity. It also provides capabilities that can drive incremental revenue, engage and support your customers and support your community.
By the way, my Dad had a really nice birthday. I can envision a remote birthday celebration kit that includes; happy birthday outdoor signs, indoor banners for family Zoom call backdrops, balloons, t-shirts, and my favorite, cake. (Bakery partnerships, what could be better!)
Read how teachers, administrators, coaches, police officers, firefighters, and community leaders visited 220 high school seniors to provide their very own graduation parade.
How are your customers remotely celebrating this season?
Kimberly Meyers is the principal at Kimberly Meyers & Associates, a marketing consulting firm. Kimberly is a Marketing VP for hire. She develops marketing solutions based on strategic assessment of her client’s business, sales and marketing requirements. She lives by the philosophy of ensuring the appropriate message and content is delivered to the target audience – always, focusing on customer needs and satisfaction. Kimberly welcomes your connection at firstname.lastname@example.org.