By
avanti printing
January
27, 2011
  Holidays abound throughout the calendar year, and if your business is only taking advantage of the Christmas holiday season to send greeting cards, then you are missing many opportunities!  Take out your calendar and use other holiday opportunities to reach out to current and potential customers. There are a few guidelines, however, to ensure you avoid alienating customers during holidays. Although holiday cards should feature your company’s name and logo, you don’t want customers to view your business as using these holidays just to advertise and send them junk mail. You want your greeting cards to remain tasteful, like your business, so customers enjoy receiving these holiday greetings. • Don’t Sound Like a Commercial – It’s important to use the holiday as an opportunity to wish your current and potential customers good wishes without peppering the sentiment with your company’s name. For instance, writing a 4th of July message might read, “We wish you a spectacular 4th of July filled with fireworks, family and fun! Sincerely, Morris Landscaping.” You don’t need to include a company bio and repeatedly insert your company’s name. Less is more when writing holiday cards. • Individualize Your Greeting Cards – Although most businesses will buy holiday cards in bulk, taking the time to individualize the cards will go a long way with your customers. Obviously, if you have a large mailing list consisting of hundreds or thousands of current and potential customers, choose a select group that you really want to reach out to, whether it’s a new customer or established one. That way, you help promote loyalty among your customers and will impress them because no matter how large your customer base gets, you still remember individual customers. • Choose Stylish Greeting Cards – Setting a budget for sending holiday cards is expected, but don’t choose a holiday card just because it’s a great deal. Instead, choose the most stylish holiday card that complements your company’s brand and style within your pre-determined budget. This might even mean ordering semi-custom holiday cards, but the end result will be worth it when you get the positive feedback from new and old customers alike. When you’re sending holiday cards, remember to keep the tone neutral, especially when sending holiday cards during the Christmas season. It’s important to send a general message of “season’s greetings” because this type of message has universal appeal.
By
avanti printing
December
29, 2010
Although the economic climate this past year has been a struggle for both consumers and businesses trying to stay afloat, 2013 bodes well, according to newly published reports and several economic changes occurring in 2013.  These reports are good news for businesses and should help lead America to economic recovery. Proposed Tax Cuts Means More Spending Money The government instituted tax cuts for 2013, including a cut in employees’ Social Security taxes, meaning consumers will be taking home more money in each paycheck this coming year. More money in consumers’ pockets typically promotes a rise in consumer spending, benefits businesses, and helps the economy recover more swiftly. According to economists, consumers are boosting their spending habits at a faster pace now than compared to the past four years. Venture Capitalists Have Money to Invest Although the venture capital dried up like Death Valley after the 2007 financial crisis, a survey conducted by the National Venture Capital Association with the Dow Jones VentureSource claims that venture capitalists will focus their funds in 2013 on tech start-ups. The survey also shows that venture capitalists are positive about economic growth overall, with 51 percent expecting investments to increase for 2013. When investors are willing to back new businesses, this often helps propel economic growth, meaning 2013 is looking up for many industries. Consumer and Investment Spending Set to Increase The 2013 economy is set to support increased consumer and investment spending, meaning businesses will benefit from both. The sectors predicted to explode in 2012 include digital and internet media aimed at the consumer, including cloud computing. Stocks are also on the rise, which promotes active investment from both brokers and individual investors, which also helps boost a sagging economy. How Businesses Benefit Businesses that take advantage of all the positive changes will likely see growth in 2013. The tax cuts and increased consumer spending, coupled with venture capitalist interest and higher stock prices, should help boost the economy in 2013 – which will help existing grow as well. Remembering that consumers are starting to spend more, focusing your printed marketing materials on attracting budget-conscious consumers will help grow your business in 2013.
By
avanti printing
July
15, 2010
The first step towards advertising your business is to create marketing materials to promote your business. Once this is done, however, what is the next step towards distributing them to the right places for maximum exposure? Here are the top three places to hand out your marketing materials. Industry Conventions Attend as many industry conventions that relate to your business that come to your surrounding area, as well as a few national conventions. Industry conventions are perfect for handing out marketing materials because your target demographic will be attending since most conventions are arranged to attract like-minded customers to like-minded businesses. For example, if you operate a catering business, you’ll want to sign up for hospitality conventions, as well as wedding conventions, because all of those people attending will likely need a caterer at some point. You can also make valuable contacts with other vendors who might complement your business. You should always be armed with plenty of marketing materials, even at national conventions, because you never know who might need your services or be able to recommend them to a friend who happens to live in your business location. It’s also a great way to expand your clientele base if your business can operate electronically and serve clients remotely. Sponsor Booths at Local Festivals Get your community behind your business by purchasing booth space at local festivals. Usually, these fees go towards the community itself or a worthwhile charity, either of which will endear you to the attendees. Festivals attract a wide variety of people, and you can easily hand out your marketing materials along with a coupon and even complementary product samples – which could garner a lot of positive publicity and new business. Team Up With Other Businesses Use contacts you make with other vendors at these conventions and festivals and create a team feeling, where complimentary businesses promote each other’s marketing materials to customers. If you team up with two other businesses, for example, your name gets recommended to two additional customer bases. By offering incentives and package deals to customers for using all three businesses, for example, your marketing materials will make it into the hands of more potential customers. Don’t let your printed marketing materials gather dust! Get out there and hand out your marketing materials in places where your customers are most likely to frequent, and you’ll see your business increase.
By
avanti printing
June
24, 2010
Marketing materials aren’t difficult to create.  However, creating a marketing campaign around marketing materials that not only stands out to potential customers, but garners new business, take special talent. Businesses are started everyday, but becoming a brand name often eludes many business owners. It’s important to study successful brands, like Pepsi and Ford, to determine that these companies didn’t just wake up one morning and start a brilliant marketing campaign, but studied their demographic in order to discover the best way to position their brand for success. Positioning your business for success by transforming it into a brand name is difficult and revolves around the marketing campaign and promotional materials you create. Follow these tips for creating sensational promotional materials that will separate your brand from competitors.
  • Why Does Your Business Matter? Your promotional materials must answer the timeless question that is at the foundation of every customer’s decision to purchase with you or not: so what?  Your promotional materials must answer this question in a way that is unique, creative and makes sense to potential customers. Telling customers why they should buy from your business inherently answer other questions, including why your business is better than your competitors and why your product or service is the number one choice. Catchy taglines, slogans and logos are great and definitely an important part of your promotional materials because they’ll help customers remember your business, but if you succeed in answer the “so what” question, your business will be on its way up.
  • Choose Substance and Style – It’s important to create stylish promotional materials that feature catchy logos and clever taglines, but you can’t let fabulous graphics detract from the substance of your message. Those businesses that succeed in creating both stylish graphics and meaningful content tend to succeed winning customers.
  • Write Promotional Materials From the Heart – Customers will notice if your promotional materials sound hollow and generic, but they’ll also sit up and notice your business if the promotional materials sound heartfelt and genuine. Tap into your own excitement regarding your product or service and use it to create promotional materials that speak to your customers. You might make a list of your favorite aspects of the product or service you’re selling or have a brainstorming session with others who share your passion to come up with genuine ideas that will help sell your business.
Don’t forget to have fun when creating your marketing campaign. Customers respond to heartfelt, creative company messages, which will help them to remember your brand over others.
By
avanti printing
June
22, 2010
Usually, during a recession, businesses are forced to lower prices in order to stay in business and keep customers coming. There is a trick to doing this, however, without sounding like you’re begging for business. You don’t want your customers to think that your lower prices or big sale is the result of the recession because it will make your business seem unstable. Customers are often feeling unstable themselves during a recession, so they naturally flock to businesses that appear recession-proof. Also, a recession is usually a scary time for many people, and associating your business with a bad economy could also lead them to check out your competition. Here are some ideas on promoting your new, lower pricing without raising eyebrows among your customers.
  • Choose Your Sale Wording Carefully – Businesses have sales everyday, whether there is a recession or not.  Choose your wording carefully when advertising your sale so that customers assume this sale was always part of the plan. You can call it an annual, semi-annual, anniversary or overstock sale – whatever gets customers in the door without thinking your business is suffering from the recession.
  • Encourage Customers to Save Money With You – Everyone is budget-conscious during a recession, so advertising your product or service as a budget-friendly solution to a particular problem is perfectly acceptable. You don’t, however, want to tie in your budget-friendly business with the recession and make people feel that they must take advantage to avoid financial problems. Instead, capitalize on the high value for a low price and customers will naturally look to your business during the recession.
  • Stay Positive – Many ad slogans businesses come up with use a do or die attitude in their wording. Customers don’t want to be threatened or scared into buying from your business, especially during a recession. Avoid using drastic language and fear tactics, such as “Take advantage of this once in a lifetime deal or you’ll regret it.” This simply pressures customers and will ultimately send them to your competitors who don’t threaten them. When customers purchase from your business willingly instead of under duress, they are more likely to tell others about your business and return for more in the future.
You want to not only attract new customers, but keep the ones you already have by being positive and showing them you appreciate their business. You might even title your sale “Customer Appreciation” and no one will suspect that it’s related to the recession.
By
avanti printing
June
15, 2010
The recession touches all businesses, from sole proprietors to large corporations.  In addition to downsizing, advertising and marketing budgets usually find themselves on the chopping block. Why is it that everyone, from CEOs to small business owners, seems to be in agreement that scaling back on expenses during this recession means cutting advertising and marketing? Typically, when business owners review their expenses with the purpose of reducing them to help keep the business afloat during hard times, money spent on marketing and advertising is often deemed irresponsible and is quickly cut from the budget. Marketing and advertising, however, are vital to a business remaining successful, especially during a recession. Here are a few budgeting tips for smart marketing during a recession.
  • You Need Customers to Maintain Your Business – Without customers to purchase your product or service, your business will ultimately fail. People still make purchases during a recession; they are just more careful what they spend their money on. Although advertising your business is no guarantee it will succeed, if you want them to spend their money at your business and you have a valuable product or service to sell, marketing is the only way potential customers will learn about your business. Once you have some satisfied customers, remember that marketing plus word of mouth advertising will help increase your business.
  • No Advertising Means No Customers – Remember that budgeting for marketing and advertising is essential for getting the word out about your business and attracting customers. Although keeping current customers happy and returning is important, don’t think that you can stay afloat during a recession relying on this group alone or counting on the fact that they will advertise for you. Cutting your marketing and advertising budget to rely on your customers to give you free promotion is much riskier than advertising to a large group of potential customers. You need new customers throughout the recession and beyond in order to have a successful business.
Trimming your company’s expenses can still mean reducing your marketing budget, as long as you are still able to advertise and promote your product or service. You can successfully advertise your business on a budget, such as sending out informative and catchy flyers to current and potential customers. The important thing to remember is that budgeting funds for marketing, even if it’s bare bones advertising, will help keep your business visible to customers.
By
avanti printing
June
10, 2010
The soft economy has impacted everyone, ranging from wealthy executives down to blue collar workers, and unemployment has hit an all-time high. With all the effects of this recession impacting small and big businesses, is it possible to earn a profit in this dismal economic climate? It’s not only possible but attainable if you’re smart about your marketing materials! It’s hard enough for businesses to succeed in a healthy economy, let alone in a recession, but your business can be profitable. To keep your business afloat and earning a profit, consider implementing these five marketing strategies specifically suited to recession-proofing your business.
  1. Join Forces – Smart marketing during a recession means you think outside the proverbial box for cost-effective solutions. A great way to promote your business during a recession is to join forces with other businesses that complement yours (meaning they won’t take your clients). For example, if you operate a catering company, you might team up with a wedding planner or an event planner and send business each other’s way. You can also team up and send out joint marketing materials, share the cost, and reach out to both sets of customers.
  2. Keep Your Message Light and Fun – According to customer service expert Dr. David Freemantle, the most successful companies are usually the most likeable. Businesses who display an upbeat, lighthearted and fun message connect with a wider group of people and are more likely to attract old and new customers. People naturally tighten up their spending during a recession, but your message can help inspire people to loosen up the purse strings for your business.
  3. Don’t Cut Your Marketing Budget – Instead of cutting your marketing budget and reducing your marketing materials, maintain your marketing budget and trim the fat in other areas of your business. The only way to successfully gain new customers is to market your business. According to McGraw-Hill Research, out of 600 businesses studied, those who maintained their marketing budget saw a 25 percent sales growth versus those who trimmed or cut their marketing budgets, so don’t be afraid to spend money on marketing materials.
  4. The Importance of a Personal Touch – If you want to inspire customer loyalty, give your business the personal touch by showing customer appreciation any way you can. Depending on the type of business you operate, you can have customer appreciation sales or discounts, send birthday cards or include a gift with purchase. Personalize as much correspondence as possible so that customers know you care about them and your business.
  5. Show-off Your Business – Don’t let your customers forget why your product or service is an invaluable part of their lives (or should be). Remember that your customers, even the most loyal ones, are probably on a stricter budget, so give them good reason to purchase your product or service. Showcase the inherent benefits of your product or service so that customers have a valid reason to purchase from your business.
Using these five marketing strategies during the recession to boost your marketing materials and make them relevant in today’s atmosphere will help sell your product or service to more customers.
By
avanti printing
June
8, 2010
If it’s time for new promotional materials or revamping your existing promotional materials, pay close attention to the language you’re using to promote your business. Many businesses fall into the same trap of using language that detracts from your business, instead of drawing positive attention towards it There are five key phrases to avoid when developing your promotional materials to ensure that your message is getting across to customers as you intend, instead of scaring them away with phrases that are a big no-no in marketing.
  1. “We are One of the Best” – Never state in your promotional materials that you and your competitors are “the best.” This type of statement says that your business is good, but not the best, making customers think otherwise about purchasing your product or service. You need to tell your customers that your business is the best choice, meaning your business is superior.
  2. “In Spite of What You’ve Heard…” – You don’t want to introduce doubt into your promotional materials. If “popular belief” believes that you business is less than fantastic, why are they wrong? You want to appear confident in your business, and if, for any reason, there is negative connotations associated with your product or service, don’t mention these in your promotional materials! Instead, list your positive qualities.
  3. “If You’re Not Happy With Your Purchase…” – Avoid using negative words, meaning any variation of “no,” in your promotional materials. Your message needs to remain upbeat. There’s nothing wrong with assuring customers that your product or service is guaranteed, but you need to convey this in a positive manner. You can simply say, “We guarantee your satisfaction or your money back!”
  4. “Our Hard-Working Employees” – You don’t want to use your employees, no matter how valuable they are and how well they perform their duties, as promotional fodder. Employees are people just like your customers, and displaying them could come off as a put down, which potential customers will notice.
  5. “Business A is Better Than Business B” – Most people don’t respond well to mud slinging, whether it’s in the political arena or the business arena, so avoid it. There’s nothing wrong with establishing your business as the best option for a particular product or service, but you should avoid specifically comparing your business to another one.
Simply rewording existing phrases to comply with the above suggestions or crafting new ones will help ensure your promotional materials help your business succeed with customers.
By
avanti printing
June
4, 2010
Halfway through the year, have your marketing materials lived up to your expectations?  If the results have not been as stellar as you had hoped, try these three ideas to give your marketing materials new life.
  • Have a Big Sale – Despite the slow signs of recovery, the soft economy won’t just disappear overnight. This is the time to take advantage of the recession by staging a giant sale using marketing materials. It’s still vital that you don’t position your sale as recession-inspired, but use the excuse of frugality to inspire old and new customers to shop your business. Your marketing materials should be positive and should not mention the recession specifically (because this isn’t being positive). Instead, list the great qualities of your product or service, as well as the big advantage customers have taking advantage of this incredible sale.
  • Create or Update Your Website – Don’t let your website falter or become outdated. Most people check out businesses online, so seeing an updated, stylish and informative website increases your chances of securing new clientele for your business. We live in technologically-hyper times, and you need to jump on this bandwagon with both feet. Include your URL on all your marketing materials. You can include short pod casts on your website that inform clients about items related to your business and will help promote your business online. Social media is also taking off, so create a FaceBook page and get on Twitter and watch fans of your business accumulate. You might even develop a short DVD that is informative and entertaining, meaning customers will learn about your business in an innovative and memorable way.
  • Spread a Little Sunshine – No matter how dismal the economy and state of the world seems to many people, marketing materials are trending to the positive. People want to see marketing materials that spread a little sunshine during dark times, instead of reminding them about reality. Choosing bold, happy colors and including an upbeat message will go a long way towards securing new business because you’re helping people be positive. When customers feel happy receiving your marketing materials, they are much more likely to continue that happy feeling by purchasing your product or service, which makes you happy too!
Although the recession is real and is affecting businesses everywhere, taking advantage of these three marketing strategies will help your business be recession-proof.
By
avanti printing
March
24, 2010
istock_000009225185xsmall It’s time to set up that big printing job you need for your small business. Where do you turn for the best quality and service?  Of course, you could set up a print job with a leading online printing company, but you have a much better chance of getting the job done right the first time with a local printer. That’s why you should turn to an Orange County printing service. Southern California printing businesses have all the state-of-the-art tools you need to get the best results for whatever printing job you need. Brochures? Piece of cake. Business cards? Easy. Catalogues? No problem. And though you can also find these services online, here is why you should use a local Orange County printing service: Hardcopy Proof With an online service, you can get a screenshot proof, but you still don’t know how the product will actually look or feel. With a Southern California printing service, you can get a proof in hand to make corrections and improvements before the final job is completed. Costs the Same Online printing services like to say they will do things cheaper, but do they really? Free business cards aren’t free – not when they come with an unwanted advertisement. And full cost printing and shipping for average orders like business cards or brochures is actually the same cost if you choose a local Orange County printing service. Better Quality Your online choices are usually limited, but this is not the case with a local printer. You get the widest choices available for paper quality, ink quality, and the latest printing technology available. Best Customer Service Your local Southern California printing company can discuss your printing job with you whenever you want. It’s difficult to get a substitution or a particular addition to your print order when all you have is menu options on a computer screen. Come in and talk to your local printer. We can help you realize your printing concept, offer advice and suggestions for making your print job the best possible, and provide you with the best customer service not found through a computer. Your business deserves the most professional looking printed materials. Why put your printing fate in a faceless and unfeeling online printing service? Trust your local Southern California printing company to get the job done right, on your terms, and done with the most professionalism you can find in any printer.