How One Distributor Met the Challenge of 'Wowing' the Customer
What does it mean to “wow” a customer? Is it the first impression? Is it creating a promotion that they think about or use long after the event? Is it going above and beyond to make sure you reach the goal? It can be all of the above, actually. Brad Dalton, vice president of sales for MDX Print, Hendersonville, Tennessee, remembers a trade show promotion he did where his primary instruction was to “wow” people. He thinks he did just that.
Print+Promo Marketing: When did you first start selling print and promotional products together, and why was this the right move?
Brad Dalton: I started selling print and promotional products together five years ago. The financial customers we service started transitioning into digital material. MDX transitioned into promotional products along with the printed materials the customer was still using.
PPM: Can you tell me about a promotional campaign you’ve worked on that blended both print and promotional products?
BD: One of my customers was sponsoring a large trade show in southern Florida. I was given a budget and a date, and told to “wow” them. I was able to source many fun and useful promotional items. We also blended printed fliers, badges [and] displays with the theme of the trade show. I received pictures during the trade show and a call afterwards stating that this show was the best they had ever had!
PPM: How did you choose the collection of products used for this application?
BD: I was able to work with trusted suppliers I have built relationships with over the years to choose products.
PPM: How did this particular combination of print and promotional products specifically solve the customer’s needs?
BD: The customer wanted to reach every demographic of customer, and having tangible and fun items to give away worked for their campaign. The print design was a hit also. We incorporated bright colors and fun designs in the printed materials.
PPM: Did you run into any roadblocks working on this campaign? If so, how did you overcome them?
BD: Inventory was the main roadblock for this campaign. Our suppliers went above and beyond to move production schedules around, and we had all items delivered ahead of time.
PPM: What advice would you give distributors looking to work on a similar project?
BD: Find suppliers that you can grow with. I have built relationships with our reps that will send me ideas, but also tell me when they cannot make something happen. Inventory has been another issue the past two years. Always check inventory before committing.
PPM: Is there anything else you’d like to add that we haven’t discussed?
BD: We have a family-owned business, so I have grown up in this industry, and love every aspect of my career. Print and promo is amazing! The work we do in the background [to keep] the customer happy is the best payoff.