Thank You For a Great Year!

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I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to thank all of the people who made this such a successful year for Lev Promotions (103% revenue growth over 2009!), so here goes:

To my clients, who:  trust me to choose the right promotional product for their specific need; put together marketing campaigns for them that they may not always understand, but usually come to appreciate for their success; who stay with me even when we don’t quite hit the mark; don’t look at catalogs or online sites as anything other than a stepping stone to creative brainstorming sessions.

To my suppliers, who: deliver the quality I seek on time or ahead of time allowing me to stand behind my guarantees to my clients with absolute peace of mind; help me with ideas when I’ve hit a creative block; who understand that a good promotion is not necessarily about selling their product line, but about selling the right item for the right reason.

To my referral sources who put their reputations on the line by referring me to their business associates, friends, and family. I appreciate your faith in me and your willingness to endorse my products, services, and especially me personally!

My Mastermind group for sharing your expertise with me whenever the need is there. Your insights, experience and downright silliness makes my work and my life easier and more fun!

To all of you, a very Happy Thanksgiving. May 2011 bring you all the best of health, happiness and success!

The First Step to Good Marketing

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People don’t often realize that there is very little they do throughout the business day that is not marketing related. From the way we answer the phone, to our online reputation, to the quality of our products/services, to, well, just about everything – it is all marketing related.

Coming from a hospitality management background, I understand the full impact that customer service (great, good, and bad) can have on a business. Now that I am in marketing, I firmly believe (and often say) that customer service is any business’ #1 marketing tool. If your customer service is great, your word-of-mouth referrals will grow exponentially and you will not need to spend extra time, effort and resources on marketing. If, on the other hand, your customer service is horrible, there is no amount of time, effort or money you can pour into any marketing that will keep your business afloat. You will be spending everything you have just to bring in new customers while being unable to keep existing ones coming back.

What does that mean? The best first step to a successful marketing program is to have good (or great) customer service. That doesn’t mean that the customer is always right – it just means doing right by the customer.

Setting Realistic Marketing Goal Deadlines

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It’s the time of year that I am doing a lot of work with clients preparing and/or reviewing their 2011 marketing plans. I have noticed a trend this year among many of my clients  to set marketing goal deadlines that are overly ambitious or downright unreachable. Although the goals themselves are perfectly reasonable, it is the short timelines they are setting to achieve them that may end up causing discouragement or even financial disaster.

Because many of my clients are seeing an uptick in business this year, especially over the last few years of economic constriction, they are overly optimistic about the length of time it will take for their projected growth to occur. The fact is that, with proper guidance, planning and strategic implementation, their businesses will probably be able to achieve the goals they’ve set; but not within the designated timeframe.

We all need to take a step back and realize that very few, if an, marketing efforts show results overnight; even if we need those results yesterday. Look at what you want to accomplish, consider what method(s) you will use to get your message out to your target market, what will it take to produce your message and get it out there, and then build in time to allow for a response.

So take the time to set reasonable deadlines for your marketing goals. If you take all the steps and allow time for the implementation of each one along the way, you will see results.