From the long workday commute to chauffeuring kids to various extracurricular activities, Americans are a nation of drivers—which is good news for distributors. Because a car is a substantial purchase, automotive businesses need to make sure all print collateral highlights their integrity and conveys that they are worth the investment. But these companies have to manage a variety of different concerns, and print is only a small slice of their marketing pie chart.
Christine Fischer, director of automotive programs for American Solutions for Business (ASB), Glenwood, Minn., is familiar with the selling opportunities that this sector presents. Read on as she discusses a particularly successful promotion handled by an ASB representative.
Describe a promotion that you consider one of your best.
Christine Fischer: Last year, one of our new clients, an automotive auction company with locations across the country, was looking for ideas for their Oktoberfest celebration. Their promotional products needs most often involve giveaways to valued customers. Oktoberfest is one of their biggest events of the year; they throw a huge party for customers that includes a free meal and prizes. Almost all of the client’s locations participate in Oktoberfest.
What items were featured in this promotion, and what influenced that decision?
CF: We provided several ideas to the client, including beer steins, bead necklaces, sunglasses, Bavarian Bert stress relievers and T-shirts.
How was this a profitable promotion for your company? For your client?
CF: The event involved a large order for over a dozen locations [that were] all buying together. This allowed us to drive down the cost of goods and widen our margin while maintaining great pricing for the client. The perceived value of the promotional products by the end-user was very high, making it profitable for the client.
Did you encounter any challenges with this particular promotion? If so, how did you overcome them?
CF: Initially, the client had chosen another distributor to work with for this event, but shortly before the T-shirts were to be done, the distributor claimed they misquoted the job and it would be at a significantly higher cost. Our client told us if we could produce the T-shirts at the previous distributor’s originally quoted price, the job was ours. We were able to find a better quality T-shirt for a lower price point and meet the client’s expectations on pricing.
Do you have any advice for your peers attempting a similar promotion in the automotive market?
CF: Our client is always so impressed with our level of customer service. Pricing, good ideas and product quality will always be important, but it’s our commitment to the client’s satisfaction that keeps the requests rolling in.