Promotional products distributors are faced with brutal competition; especially from big companies that sell online, who sometimes have such low prices that make it impossible for them to even come close. Besides the price-driven online companies, there are many distributors that are willing to cut down prices in an attempt to compete.  Unfortunately, if you’re a small promo business, you don’t stand a chance of growing your business if you try to outdo those guys on price.

However, there is a whole other market that prefers to work with a boutique-type distributor business. Not everyone is looking to buy the cheapest with disregard of all other factors; nor are they looking to order online.  This is the segment you must focus on in order to grow your business; the target audience you must identify and pursue

DIY buyers of promotional products tend to be less demanding about the quality of the products they get, and more focused on paying less.  Sophisticated buyers, on the other hand, are interested in discussing their projects, and also want assistance in varying degrees. They’ll have questions and concerns about the customization and quality of the reproduction of their logo. They might want custom packaging or drop shipping to various locations. They will often have questions about the product’s quality and production timelines. They are looking for a company that will give them personalized attention, and they can turn to it at a moment’s notice, without concerns of being misunderstood.

 

Not all buyers want to buy online, nor are focused on finding the cheapest price

 

Buyers Who Prefer Personal Attention

1. The Brand Conscious

Those businesses that take their brand seriously and have well-defined brand guidelines, who want to deal with a provider with whom they can discuss those, to ensure that the products printing will meet their brand standards to a T.

 

2. Corporate Clients and Large Organizations

There are buyers whose organization’s purchasing process requires a purchase order, several layers of approvals, or processing an invoice. For these types of companies purchasing online is just not possible.

 

3. The Delegators

These are the buyers who are not sure what they want or how to get it, and they just wish to discuss the project as a whole with someone who will listen and assist them in making the right product decisions, as well as help throughout the purchasing process.

 

Where Do You Find These Types of Clients?

The question really is, can they find you? In today’s marketplace, the consumer is in charge.  He/she prefers to be the one to find you, on their own time and their own terms. So you must make yourself findable…you need to be where they spend their time: online.

Technology plays a major part in our daily lives. It has totally changed the way we communicate, as well as the way we evaluate and make purchasing decisions; both at home and at work. When any of the three types of buyers mentioned above is working on a project that requires branded merchandise, if they don’t have  a provider they trust, they will go online to search for that small company where there is a human with expertise on the subject, so they can have an intelligent conversation that will allow them to move their project forward.

 

Getting on With the Program

The real issue is that few distributors take the time and effort to build their online presence. They have no plan in place to show up in searches or drive attention to their business online in any way. They think that’s not necessary, or too expensive;  something only the giant companies with deep pockets can afford. However, they could easily own the local search results on a shoestring budget. Basic but strategic online marketing systems, executed on a regular basis, will start producing quality leads faster than they think. This is an investment that would more than pay for itself time and again.

But there is so much information (misinformation, bad information…) that it can be confusing to know where to start. If you would like to discuss your online marketing and explore how you might be able to improve or implement online marketing systems for your business, feel free to get in touch here to set a time to talk.

We’d love to hear from you and help you out!