An Inexpensive, Yet Invaluable, Marketing Tool


OK, first the disclaimer: What I am about to write about is one marketing tool that I recommend often and enthusiastically that I have not put into use for my own company in any kind of effective manner.

That fact notwithstanding, I firmly believe that customer testimonials are one of the most powerful marketing tools available to any business. Nothing says “success” like a customer willing to put into words how much what you offer worked for them!

To this end, I encourage every business to solicit testimonials from their customers on a regular basis. This can be done in several ways:

  • comment area in a post-transaction questionnaire
  • online survey
  • direct request for a testimonial
  • use an unsolicited thank you letter or e-mail

Also, don’t limit yourself to written testimonials. Audio recordings and/or videos of your customers touting your products and services are great additions to a website.

Whether written, audio or vide. testimonials should be published on your website, brochures, marketing collateral, the destination for a QR code, maybe even your outgoing phone message.

The only caveat to testimonials is to make sure that you have permission to publish it from the person giving it, especially if you’re using their name and/or company name.

Deliver What You Promise


We’ve all heard the phrase under promise and over deliver. I am a personal fan of that saying. I heartily believe that you should deliver at least to the level you promised. When possible, promise to do what you know can be done and is expected; then go all out to make sure what you deliver goes above and beyond those expectations.

A prime example of under delivery on promises happens at trade shows every day. How often have you requested information, a sample or to schedule with promises of post-show follow-up only to have nothing happen?

Whether it’s caused by the hiring of local temps instead of having actual company employees, of not having an organizational system in place, or just being overwhelmed with booth visitors, things fall through the cracks. One thing I know about those cracks, they make great fishing holes for the companies who do deliver on their promises.

The bad example: I attended one of my industry trade shows in August. I saw an item that I wanted to show some of my clients to use as their holiday gifts. This particular supplier was running a special promotion for promotional products distributors on this product to help promote this new product in their line and get holiday gift sales going. They had a large sign up in their booth advertising this special with several samples of the finished product. They were not able to take orders on the floor and did not have any flyers for attendees to take with them. They promised to send information about the special via e-mail if a business card is left. It’s now 6 weeks later – still no e-mail from them. I was planning to use this item as my client thank you gift this year. I just ordered my holiday gift item from a different supplier.

The good example: At the same trade show, one of the suppliers was running a drawing for an iPad using one of their products as the entry ticket. They were drawing tickets the second day and the crowd around their booth was amazing. I used my phone to take video, but I’m only 5′ 4″ and there were a lot of tall people in front of me. My video didn’t show a lot. I noticed that the guy running the supplier booth was having someone take video from a great angle. I explained that I would like to blog about the product and was wondering if I could get a copy of his video to use. It was waiting in my e-mail box when I got back to San Diego that night. I drove home from Long Beach – he had to pack up his booth and get himself to the airport for a flight back to Pennsylvania and he still managed to send me a copy of the video. (Watch for it in an upcoming blog.)  WOW!!!!

If you can run  your business like that – whether at a trade show or on a day-to-day basis, your business will be a winner!

A New Take on a Best-Seller – the “Starbucks” Mug


You know the cup I’m talking about – it’s shaped like the  hot cups at Starbucks, but it’s ceramic and has a silicon lid. It’s been around for about 18 months now, and is one of our best-selling mug styles.

So what’s new about it? Color.

With the variety of cup colors (white, brown, black, and red) and the wider variety of silicon lid colors ( a dozen at last check), we can find a cup and lid combo that will match or complement your logo color(s)!

For more information on these mugs, go to:
A great choice for business holiday gifts.