Could You Be a Marketing Agent?
Proforma's annual meeting was held in July, and I took the opportunity as a visitor to audit a few educational sessions. Proforma does a nice job with its meetings, and all of the sessions were well attended. One of the titles that intrigued me was How to Become a Marketing Agent.
The session was led by Mike Paulus, Proforma's chief marketing officer, who has many years of experience in the marketing field.
According to Paulus, there is no secret formula for achieving marketing success. In fact, distributors have some advantages over traditional marketing agencies, including access to products. Distributors have the ability to take concepts from a client and present actual product samples, including printed materials.
Marketing support can be strategic for planning, sales, research, positioning and branding. It can also be tactical in terms of providing support materials and programs. Distributors can choose where they fit and partner with local and regional resources—such as marketing agencies, freelance copywriters and graphic artists—for the rest.
The key is to gain access to the right people on the client's team. Then, research the project—e.g., find out the background for a trade show. Finally, create a detailed presentation with samples of products and printing suggested for the project.
Large distributors, such as Proforma, have programs to help their members get started. But, independent distributors might start by supplying materials to a local marketing agency for some projects.
Marketing is time-consuming and may not be for every distributor. But, those who embrace the concept may find it a profitable enterprise.