To the New World
Full speed ahead
The biggest part of being able to sail across an enormous ocean is, of course, the actual sailing. Similarly, a distributor should remember the best way to survive a recession is to not neglect salesmanship. Though cutting expenses has been the go-to survival strategy for many companies, Rago cautioned against it, saying it could lead to a slippery slope of diminishing growth that will continue “until there’s really not a viable business left.” He added, “You always have to work on the ‘money-in’ side of the equation.”
To keep sales up, Rago emphasized the importance of marketing efforts, and strongly warned against scaling back such endeavors, since it affects a business’s income levels. He also encouraged keeping track of ROI on marketing and eliminating campaigns that either have poor yields or are untraceable.
Rago’s advice on marketing is wise for any company, but it holds additional weight for those in the promotional products industry. As marketing tools, promotional products are known to have a low cost-per-impression, making them a good way for companies outside the industry to keep up their marketing efforts without heavy spending, which means potentially more selling opportunities for distributors during the recession.
“The best approach to take is to educate your customers on the cost-per-
impression of promotional products,” said Mark Holland, vice president of marketing for Corvest. The key lesson? Simply put, promotional items are more cost-
effective than the other, more traditional avenues such as radio, television and print. “Distributors should be able to educate their customers on that, and if so, they can pry some budget dollars away from other advertising vehicles,” he concluded. $$