The Times They Are A Changing
This past Friday we launched a new feature on the FreePromoTips Facebook Page called "Happy Hour Friday (Because It's 5 O'clock Somewhere)." Each Friday we encourage industry people to post anything they want there. It can be serious, funny, videos, insightful quotes, business horror stories, supplier promotions ... whatever! The best post wins an iTunes card.
In the end, a post by Mark Flyten from Image Builders in Minnesota was our first Happy Hour Friday winner. Mark shared a marketing focused rewrite of Bob Dylan's classic song, "The Times They Are A Changing." Understanding that we are living in a season of change is something we will continue to address and Mark's post gives us the opportunity to do it again. Thanks and congratulations Mark!
Change is something that many of us have a hard time with. And times they are a changing for our industry. In fact, I truly believe the way our industry operates now is fast becoming obsolete. That may sound harsh, but please hear me out.
Our industry is faced with many challenges. Legislation and product safety issues create new obstacles to overcome. The long-standing supplier/distributor relationship that has been the cornerstone of how we do business is in jeopardy. Overseas factories are courting the larger accounts to sell them direct. Distributors will continue to go direct to the factories when it best suits their needs. End-user buyers often shop online where they can find a cheaper price from a company who can operate on a tighter margin than the "promotional consultant" with a family to feed and overhead to meet.
In an economy that is being crushed by outrageous fuel prices and tighter budgets, sometimes it is all about price. While many of us built our businesses on relationships, creativity and quality service, it's painful to think that these things may not mean so much in this new economy.