How One Distributor Channels His Inner Consultant for Print and Promo Sales Success
If you ask Isaac Ormond of InfoProducts Corp., a distributor based in Sumter, S.C., he’d tell you that he’s really more of a consultant than a salesperson. That’s because when his clients come to him with an idea, he doesn’t want to just choose the first option on the table. He wants to tailor a promotion to achieve the maximum brand visibility and longevity possible.
Part of that means integrating print and promotional products whenever he can—a best-of-both-worlds approach that leaves a lasting impression on the end-user. Here, Ormond shares one example.
Print+Promo Marketing: Is there a campaign you’ve worked on that effectively blended both print and promotional products?
Isaac Ormond: To give you an example, we worked with a local bank. The marketing department purchased folders from us that were done through more of the print side of our company, but also inside of those, we had different promotional products that were integrated into them. So, before, they would have been buying that somewhere else, and we brought it all in one, and we made that sort of a kitted project.
PPM: That combination of print and promo, how do you think it solves a need better than one or the other?
IO: Really, with the print side of it, I feel like the people who have dealt with print for forever haven’t necessarily looked into the promotional industry. I don’t know if that’s an age thing or what. But we have essentially tried to bring those two together, and it really allows for—the promotional side is not only just giveaways. There are different events that we’re able to integrate that in with.
PPM: Did you hit any snags when you were working on that project with the bank?
IO: Not really, no.
PPM: That’s always good. After this past year, it seemed like people were running into just about every problem they could imagine.
IO: And that’s the thing, too. We’re thankful that we’ve had our print customers, because we had a good year this year, better than we anticipated. On the promotional side of our business, we still did very well. My businesses probably sped up. If I had to get as close as possible, I’d say my business is at 60% print and 40% promo. It’s probably gone [from when I started] from 80/20 to 60/40. Thankfully we had the 60% of print that didn’t really slow down this year when a lot of promotional products did slow down. And a lot of our business dealt with annual meetings, larger conferences, different things like that that just really didn’t go on this year. So that business just slipped away a little bit in some instances, not in all.
PPM: What advice would you give distributors looking to do something similar to that project you did with the bank?
IO: I take everything on a case-by-case basis. You see this a lot in promotional, [someone] will give a price range, ‘Hey, give me an item from $1 to $3.’ You have to look past that and figure out, No. 1, is there something else out there? This is where being a consultant really comes into play. Is there something else out there that maybe does cost a little bit more in the long run, but can it provide a much better perceived value than this one-off item? And that’s where we can integrate some of the print and promo together that’s going to create more value. In the long run, what we tell a lot of people is, you can spend a dollar on something, and if half the people you gave it to throw it away, what’s the point in doing that? Let’s get something that the people are going to use, the brand is going to be seen, because in the end that’s what we’re here to do.