The Conduit Theory in Practice – Speaker Willie Brown

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Willie Brown, the former speaker of the California Assembly, never intended to have a political career when he was born. Brown was raised in a backwater town named Mineola, Texas, in 1934, a time when Texas and the South were not particularly conducive to the career dreams of African Americans. To find a better path, his family packed Brown on a train from Texas all the way to California. There, with the help of a professor, Brown found his calling at a state University and earned a law degree from the prestigious U.C. Hastings. However, he was yet to prove his greatest accomplishment.

In 1964, after a second try, Brown gained a seat in the California Assembly. There, he learned simply being unique didn’t get him much. He had to learn how to be a useful broker. In that respect, Brown quietly learned from his legislative tutors like Jesse Unruh and Philip Burton how to become a pivot point, a conduit between the many who want something and those with power. Positioning through legislative committees, Brown went from being a name in the Assembly to eventually to becoming its Speaker, one of the top five positions in state government. Brown held that chair for fifteen years, only to then retire and become the mayor of San Francisco in his later years.

Becoming A Conduit Point

For a business, Willie Brown’s story is an illustrative one; you don’t have to be biggest, most powerful player on the market to become instrumental. Brown, as an African American politician in the 1960s, was clearly not in the position to leapfrog right away to leadership or the Governor’s office. However, he did find a position that everyone needed and had to go through to get something. By identifying how and becoming a conduit point, Brown secured his future, which is what successful businesses do in their market.

A conduit point isn’t just limited to being between end retail customers and suppliers. Conduit businesses can easily do the same in the business-to-business market as well, often producing far greater revenues than they would on the retail side of things. However, positioning can be a challenge. One needs to see the entire market, not just a segment of it. Getting to the forest level instead of the weeds allows a business player to identify all the connection points and where being a conduit has the greatest potential for producing revenue. It also shows what is needed to be successful in that particular position. Sometimes some potential conduits are too challenging, and others may offer too little in reward for the effort. Picking the right market position takes some experience, which means a business needs to research well and study peers, suppliers, buyers, competitors, and middlemen. No one in a given market should be left out.

Willie Brown was an intensive study of his legislative peers, which is why he was able to position himself so well. He also took lessons from those more powerful than him rather than fighting them, using that knowledge to become one of the powerful ones himself. A growing business can learn a thing or two from his life example.


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Online Marketing With A Little Friendly Competition

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Sometimes it takes a little friendly competition to get your customers engaged. That’s why it’s so common to see freebies, giveaways, and contests posted online and in retail stores. The trick, of course, is finding a contest that your customers are interested in winning. You know your customers best. Selecting a contest to run can be fun for everyone, especially if you can find a way to get your employees excited, too.

Did You Know?

  • New campaigns acquire a 34% audience increase on average
  • One-third of contest entrants sign up to receive email updates from brands and partners
  • Running a mobile contest increases the number of entrants by eight times
  • Statistically, the best duration for a contest campaign is 25-60 days

Contest Ideas

One of the funniest and most entertaining ideas is to host a video contest. People are mad about videos these days, and they love to share them on Facebook and other social media sites. According to Social Media Examiner, one such contest by the snack company Doritos brought an immense return. The contest is called “Crash the Super Bowl” and asks customers to create commercials for their chips. Can you just imagine how much fun customers have creating these commercials? Let’s not even begin to discuss the fun of sharing the commercials on Facebook. So while your company may not be as big or popular as Doritos, you can see how this idea can go viral quickly.

Dunkin’ Donuts uses contests to tell customer stories on Twitter. They asked their customers to post how their coffee fits into their day. As you can imagine, many customers came back with responses to this request. Winners starred in their own Dunkin’ Donuts commercial, and these videos were shared on YouTube and Twitter.

Low-Tech Contests

Not all contests need to include high-tech prizes or competitions such as videos. You can ask your followers to compete in Throw Back Thursday competitions with snapshots of them using your products in a funny way or just sending in ideas for how they use your product or service. The goal is engaging as many current and potential customers in your brand, and just plain having fun. If the contest is easy to participate in and offers a prize that fits your niche audience, then you will get a better return. This method of building an audience and cementing relationships with your customers is a proven success. People just want to have fun, and they are busy and stressed. An excuse to join an engaging contest will get them excited.

Kissmetrics offers several ideas that you can adapt to your company to introduce giveaways and contests to your audience. They offer suggestions on how to set up the contest, and how to optimize it and promote it online. Part of the success of a contest is that it can result in user-generated content that you can use during and after the contest to promote your products and brand. Everyone wins because it is fun, engages your audience, and you can get increased traffic and sales as well as new, original content.

Contests are particularly useful during the stressful holiday season when everyone is shopping and spending money. You can offer free products to customers who win, or gift cards that they can use for holiday gifts.


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Why It’s Time To Start Paying Attention To Instagram

instagram

When it comes to social media marketing, there are a lot of people who will tell you that there are only two names that you have to concern yourself with: Facebook and Twitter. While the power of these two services as marketing channels is undeniably important, to say that you should ONLY focus on these two platforms is making a grave mistake – particularly concerning where we’re headed.

Case in point: Instagram may not have as many unique users as Facebook or Twitter, but the impressive growth it has shown in a relatively short period of time proves that it is more than worth your effort.

The Importance of Instagram: By the Numbers

Over the last five years alone, Instagram has quickly proven its worth against its larger brethren. Though the social networking site only had 90 million users in its earliest days, that number has since risen to 300 million monthly active users as of 2016.

What’s more than that, Instagram’s user base is incredibly engaged. Not only are these users responsible for sharing over 30 billion (that’s “billion,” with a “B”) photos to date, but more than 70 million photos are being shared every day.

That statistic alone makes Instagram the third most engaged social networking site on planet Earth today. In terms of using social media for effective marketing, “engagement” is pretty much the name of the game.

Instagram is also hugely beneficial for companies that want to increase brand awareness on a global scale. Studies estimate that as of right now, a full 70% of all Instagram users are located OUTSIDE of the United States. To top it off, there will be about 111.6 million American Instagram users by 2019. This means that not only will it allow you to reach a wider audience than ever before, but it will also still allow you to reach those ever-important local markets, too.

Perhaps the most impressive statistic to concern yourself with, though, has more to do with exactly who Instagram allows you to reach. As of 2016, Instagram is used by more Americans between the ages of 12 and 24 years old than any other social network, including Facebook and Twitter. So not only can you reach a larger audience, but you’re also reaching a younger one – particularly important for creating a loyal army of customers now who will be ready and willing to follow you for years to come.

The Bigger Picture

Statistics like these underline a few different things, all of which are crucial in terms of social media marketing. For starters, always be wary of someone who tells you that you only have to focus your efforts in one direction. “Never put all your eggs in one basket” is a mantra that very much applies in terms of social networking, especially because most businesses use at least two social networks every day, often more.

However, the real takeaway from this is that you should always be looking for the next big thing in terms of how and where you’re communicating with your audience. Imagine the results you would see today if you were able to get in on the Facebook revolution from the ground floor. Well, a similar opportunity is currently presenting itself to businesses everywhere in the form of Instagram. Ignoring it now means leaving a lot of money on the table later on.


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Moving On Is Not Giving Up

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No business professional in history has ever had a perfect record. Though you only set goals for you and your team with the absolute best of intentions, sometimes you may find yourself coming up short. Everyone from our parents to our teachers to our mentors has told us over and over again to “never give up, never surrender,” when sometimes, you have to do exactly that. The key to coming out all the better for it involves knowing how to identify that moment of surrender when it does arrive, and how to best handle what comes immediately after.

Look for the Signs

The best way to know when to move on from an objective in the world of business involves taking a moment to observe the world around you. How much time have you spent trying to accomplish this task? How much money have you expended trying to do this one particular thing? Would that time, money, and energy be better served if it were reallocated elsewhere within your organization?

At a certain point, you will start to feel diminishing returns. You’ve put your all into something and success is still just as far away as it was when you started. When you have that moment of clarity, the best thing you can do is look deep inside yourself. Do you really believe that you can pull off the challenge in front of you, or do you just hope that you can? If you fall into the latter category, it may be time to move on.

Moving On Doesn’t Mean You’ve Failed

The most important thing to understand about when you should move on from an objective you just can’t quite accomplish has to do with what happens next. If you set a goal for yourself and come up short of that mark, a lot of things have happened -but failure is not one of them.

You can choose to look at it that way if you’d like, but doing so actually limits the power of the moment you have in front of you. Maybe the objective you set wasn’t the right objective in the first place, and everything leading up to this point has been trying to tell you that. It’s a scenario you can see time and time again with some of the most successful companies in the history of business.

Apple, for example, had been set on releasing a smartphone for years – or at least a “smartphone” as per the definition of that term in 2005. Steve Jobs and his team tried, and tried and tried again, and eventually released something called the ROKR E1, a phone designed in conjunction with Motorola that was basically a regular phone with iTunes connectivity built in. The results were disastrous – a rare black mark on Apple’s otherwise top notch record. Jobs had set a goal for himself and had failed to accomplish it the way he wanted.

But instead of saying “Apple and phones are not meant for each other,” he thought differently. He realized that what he really failed to do was find the right hardware company to partner with to achieve this goal. He realized that by handling both the hardware and the software in-house, he could get at what he really wanted in the first place. Apple would go on to release the iPhone less than two years later and the rest, as they say, is history.

In the End

When you set goals for yourself, you always do so with the best of intentions. Remember that Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity was “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Sometimes, you need to know when to try harder and when to try something else. However, moving on doesn’t mean that you’re a failure – it just means that you’ve cleared away the cobwebs, reassessed your priorities, and are ready to redirect that energy into something much more positive and appropriate.


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Personal injury attorneys increase their business by marketing their brand consistently and effectively

Blue luxury branding design kit for hotel. Premium corporate ide

Blue luxury branding design kit for hotel. Premium corporate identity template. Business stationery mock-up and documentation with logo. Editable vector illustration: folder, envelope, cup, card, etc.

As a recent ruling by the Florida Bar against a south Florida lawyer shows, directly soliciting potential personal injury case victims to become clients will continue to be penalized here in the state of Florida.¹ This case is another reminder that in Florida (and most other states) personal injury attorneys must find other ways to capture potential business. But how do you get your name and the name of your law firm in front of someone in a timely manner once an accident and potential case occurs here in the West Palm Beach area?

You have to be “top of mind” within days, or even hours of the occurrence of the event. Word of mouth recommendations are of course very effective, but you rarely know when they will occur. Billboards and television ads have varying degrees of success, but are costly and also offer no guarantee.

The most cost effective and potentially consistent form of advertising for personal injury attorneys is the consistency of building your brand. None other than the American Bar Association itself stated as such in a recent article:

“…branding is not optional. Every law firm, practice group and individual lawyer has a brand. The question is whether the market dictates it or you control it yourself. Ideally, you want to control the message to the best of your ability. But it takes planning, strategy, implementation and ongoing monitoring to be truly effective.” http://www.americanbar.org/publications/law_practice_magazine/2013/november-december/marketing.html

Here is a primer on EXACTLY how you should do it. You may have done some or even most of these – but fill in the holes of what you are missing and see over time the positive effect it will have on your business.

Again, the real key to building your name recognition and referral network is: CONSISTENCY

Start: your Logo. If you do not have one, you need to create one. If you do have one, have a few people critique it. Does it convey the image you are trying to portray? If the answer is yes, then build or continue to build your image around it. If no, then get a new one. Do NOT be married to a logo that is not helping to bring business to your firm. Even if you are the one who created it. And do get professional help, like the award-winning Graphic Design work we offer you at Print It Plus. This is about growing your business, a.k.a bringing cases and money in your door. This is key to your firm’s future, so treat it as such.

In the 2nd part of this blog we will list all of the different ways you want to consider using to expose your brand to as many potential clients and referral partners as possible – in a way that builds value in your firm and does not cheapen it. Stationery, letterhead, business cards, thank you cards, holiday cards, promotional products, social media, other media marketing and of course your website done correctly and with the understanding that consistency can be the difference between long term growth and slow to no growth of your law firm.

At Print It Plus we can help you with all of your branding, marketing, commercial printing and advertising needs to help you convey the most powerful message consistently to help you grow your legal business, or any other business.

We also offer printing, mailing, direct mail campaigns, marketing collateral, variable data printing, promotional products, other business marketing and now secure web form services for offices.  It is our pleasure to service the entire Palm Beach County, Florida area and beyond including Royal Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Wellington, Loxahatchee, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter and Boca Raton.

Contact us today by calling us at (561) 790-0884, visiting our website at HTTP://WWW.PRINTITPLUS.COM or by emailing us at info@printitplus.com. We look forward to helping you CREATE INFINITE POSSIBILITIES this holiday season!

¹http://www.floridabar.org/DIVCOM/JN/jnnews01.nsf/8c9f13012b96736985256aa900624829/850ccf58a371d59685257fa00043a612!OpenDocument

 

Differences between business to business and business to consumer marketing in West Palm Beach

B2B vs B2C acronyms or abbreviation letters on a gold scale comp

As a multi-faceted printing company that also offers marketing, advertising, direct mail and website design services, many of our clients at Print It Plus are local and regional businesses. But we also have plenty of consumer clients who walk through our doors on a daily basis. Therefore we have an ample amount of experience with both types of clients throughout our almost 30 years in business.

An important question that our business clients often ask us is: “What are the differences between marketing our products and services to other businesses versus marketing them to consumers?”

Although there are plenty of similarities, there are certainly some key differences that you must recognize depending upon who your target audience is and what type or types of marketing and advertising media you plan to use to expose your brand to them

Here are a number of the key differences between business to business (B-to-B) and business to consumer (B-to-C) marketing:

 

  • Business to Business clients want to be educated on your products and services, while consumers are more concerned with being happy and having their needs met.

 

  • When marketing B to B, you can use “industry jargon” that your potential clients will understand and can catch their attention. On the other hand when marketing to consumers you have to keep the language focused on their needs/projects.

 

  • Business clients seek knowledge and more efficiency (driven by logic), while consumer clients are more likely looking for deals and emotional satisfaction.

 

  • Business clients also tend to like more explanation in their marketing materials, while consumer clients like more eye-catching, less wordy material – particularly for lower-priced, commodity-type products and services.

 

  • Business clients tend to want the sales and marketing team of the vendor to be at their beck and call, while consumers tend to care more about the product or service itself and less about the sales and marketing team behind it.

 

  • Business to business marketing people tend to have to deal with a much larger group of people to get approval for purchases, whereas business to consumer sales is usually to one person, or two people at most if an influencer is involved.

 

  • Business to business purchasers most often want to build a close relationship with a vendor and its products and/or services, whereas the average consumer is not as focused on building a relationship with the vendor.

 

  • The business to business buying cycle is usually much longer than the business to consumer sales cycle, therefore requiring more attention to detail and more time taken with building the relationship with the client. A business to business buying cycle can take months, even years, whereas a business to consumer sale can be over in seconds or just a few minutes.

 

  • SOCIAL MEDIA: social media content for business to business-focused marketing tends to require more involved, in-depth posts that consistently show the vendor is willing to cater to its clients. The business to consumer social marketer is much more focused on posts that highlight its products and services usefulness, conveying that message in a much more basic and obvious manner.

It is important to note that there are plenty of similarities between B2B and B2C marketing. The differences listed here are essential for professionals who work on either (or both) sides to understand to be as successful as possible. At the end of the day, no matter whether you sell business to business or business to consumer at your company, all marketing is P2P — person to person — despite the external differences.

To read the entire article: http://blog.hubspot.com/agency/differences-b2c-b2b-marketing

At Print It Plus we offer you a large variety of advertising and marketing services that we tailor to your needs, and your target audience. We work with you to help you build your brand and maximize brand awareness to give you the best Return on Investment (ROI) possible on your marketing efforts. In addition we are an award winning printer of both commercial and consumer print jobs with almost all of our work done in house in West Palm Beach, Royal Palm Beach, Wellington, Loxahatchee, Palm Beach Gardens and throughout the Palm Beach Gardens area.

Creating marketing and advertising campaigns with our clients is just another of the many high quality printing, mail, direct mail, marketing, advertising and website building services we offer at Print It Plus. Contact us at (561) 790-0884 or through our website at HTTP://WWW.PRINTITPLUS.COM to learn more about how we can help YOU to CREATE INFINITE POSSIBILITIES!

 

 

Print It Plus in Palm Beach Now Offering the Latest UV Coating System from Tec Lighting

Royal Palm Beach, FL – Print It Plus continues to upgrade its print production line of equipment to better serve its print clients in Palm Beach County, Florida by adding a state-of-the-art UV coating machine from Tech Lighting to its production floor.  This “TruCoat” UV Coating System machine applies a high gloss or a satin finish on digital printing in a way that older model UV coating machines could not. This new coating machine also speeds up production while maintaining the high quality and accuracy that clients have come to expect from Print It Plus.

Tec Lighting’s brochure for the TruCoat UV Coating System states “The Tec Lighting TruCoat was designed with your needs and desires as a main priority.  The TruCoat UV Coater gives the ability to Gloss and Satin coat almost any digital or offset printed sheet with ease. Print It Plus has upgraded this with an optional textured finish.  This system is also more efficient and environmentally-friendly than past models because it has virtually no waste – it is able to use up all the chemicals during the coating process.”

When you are looking for a printing company in Palm Beach County to execute all of your printing project needs including direct mail, EDDM, brochures, flyers, offset printing, Giclee printing or any other commercial print job, you want a printer who will get your job done fast, to your specifications, at a competitive price.  With the added ability to coat your digital printing, in addition to the flexibility to have your printing given a Gloss or Satin coat in either a smooth or textured finish quickly and with ease, Print It Plus again demonstrates why it should continue to be your first choice for almost any print job, website design, advertising or marketing program design you need.

“The high energy and resource efficiency of the Tec Lighting TruCoat make it the most environmentally friendly coater in its class.  The increases in capability and productivity are a great synergy for both the printer and their clients.”

The new Tec Lighting TruCoat UV Coating System is just one more of the many great reasons that Print It Plus should be YOUR choice for all of your print jobs in Palm Beach County, Florida.

For more information or to request a quote, go to http://www.printitplus.com.