It takes money to make money is an adage we hear everyday in the business world. So, when it comes to getting promotional items, you’ve got to budget for it. Or do you?
There are several ways you can save money on your promotional item order. If you are planning to kick off a campaign, create an item to woo existing customers or create an exciting event giveaway there may just be a way to pinch a penny or two.
PUT OUT FOR BID
You may have a company that you’ve always dealt with and if that is the case, you may want to stick with them. However, if you aren’t privy to a certain promotional company, then perhaps you will want to put out your order for a bid, and take the lowest price or best deal. If companies know they are being pitted against one another, they may give you a discount or throw in extras for free. This method can help you save money as otherwise, you’d juts be paying standard catalog rates.
BUY IN BULK
You may or may not have the budget to do this, but the more items you buy, usually the lesser the cost per item. If you are the type of person to buy a little at a time, in the long run you will be essentially be spending more money. So, look at the rates for higher volume and see how you can save.
This does not work for all types of companies or items, but in the non-profit, education and media sectors, this idea can work great. For event marketing, often times t-shirts are big giveaways. But, t-shirts are also a little bit more costly than an ink pen. So, if you can sell sponsorship on the back of a t-shirt, you can have those shirts paid for while still advertising your event. In addition to selling sponsorship to outside companies, many times the promotional company themselves will kick in part of the money if their logo or name can be on the shirts or other item. Radio stations are known to do this. Aside from items for specific events, you sometimes see this practice done on uniforms, such as little league teams or community sport teams. So, if you have an event coming up or just are planning to create some promotional items, it won’t hurt to ask clients or neighboring businesses to help underwrite the costs- after all, the promo item also will promote them.
DO IT YOURSELF
Another great way to cut down on the cost of promotional items is to do it yourself. Many times when placing an order, you will have to pay a set-up fee for the printing (usually a one-time fee), then pay for the actual printing and of course the items. But perhaps you can do part of this yourself. If you are working with a local printer, you could possibly provide the items yourself to be printed. For example, if you see a great close-out deal on t-shirts or plain coffee mugs at one of those warehouse stores, you could get a great bargain- much cheaper than buying them from the printer. So, you will only have to pay the printer for the cost of printing and not for the items.
One of the ideas we listed above was to put promotional companies against one another to drive down your cost. However, staying with the same company can also save you money. Many times there is a one-time set-up cost, especially with making screens for t-shirts. If you keep changing companies, that fee will always be added. As long as your logo stays the same, you will never have to pay that fee again at the same company, which could have you hundreds. In addition, many companies will throw their loyal customers a bone every now and then. Keep that in mind.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/44056
Service Marketing – A Relationship Building Approach
by Ram Balaji
Here is an attempt to bring out some of the do’s and dont’s of any marketing activity. In today’s run-up to become a successful market leader of any product or service, how service marketing helps build the business and the relationship you can establish over a longer period of time.
Can we imagine a place in the world today without a marketing activity. It looks remote. When we all move from one place to the other, we need an interactive or a Communicative Response System (CRS) to facilitate a marketing activity and enable the market to respond. When this Communicative Response System (CRS) eventually reaches a market, there are buyers and sellers waiting to respond.
Marketing is not today what it used to be years ago. It started as a barter and has reached a currency world with a variety of geographical segments and demographics. Marketing in simple terms is a distribution of products and services of a company in order to realize a value in form or in kind. While it is true, marketing today encompasses a wide range of activities including relationship building.
Relationship building is key to the success of any service organization. A marketing activity does not end with a buy or a sale. Today, it requires establishing and building capabilities to create retention. From the company’s point of view, identifying and understanding the requirements of the customer in clear terms is the first step in the process of starting a relationship building exercise.
Private banking sector, for instance, in India has undergone a tremendous change in the last 5-6 years. From being a lending institution, private banking has spread its wings to include services such as insurance, risk-management, asset-management as the core activities. The bottom-line is your capability to build, develop and maintain a relationship that is long-standing and mutually beneficial. Because, the chances of succeeding service marketing or any type of marketing for that matter, depends firstly on the extent of proximity you could establish with the company.
Service marketing is gaining prominence in all sectors. BPOs, Call Centers are making huge money in contrast to the product marketing. The top 5 factors influencing relationship building exercise to succeed in service marketing are
1. Be customer-centric. Put the customer first and for a moment put yourself in the customers’ place.
2. Identify and understand what customer wants in terms of products and services and the value that you could create to your customer by offering your services.
3. Consistent follow-up with the customer to demonstrate the extent of interest and seriousness and also the capabilities that you have developed over a period of time, for instance, your client base.
4. Respond in time to the requirements of your customer and focus on feedback evaluation to check and ensure you did not deviate anything from the specifications.
5. Share your success with your friends and colleagues to create in a way your brand image and stay on to receive feedback and suggestions from them.