Promotional Products Speak for Your Company

Posted on September 20, 2016

put your logo on your trade show give aways

Attend any trade show and you are bound to walk away with a bag full of loot. The goodies range from cheap pens to nice ball capsThere are Post-It note pads, rulers, letter openers, paperclip holders and a myriad of other products.

So many logoed cheap items end up in the trash can of hotel rooms and never even make it home from the showThen, there are the practical items of high quality that actually serve a useful purposeThe latest promotional trend is the cellphone holder as shown This practical device cradles your cell phone on your desk allowing you to see texts as they arrive without picking it upIt forces the user to look at the logo of the company each time their phone lights upSubliminal messaging at its finest.

If you end up going the cheap route on a promotional product you are basically making your company look cheap You do not want promotional products to reflect badly upon your company as it is counter-productive and leaves people with a bad image of your company or worse yet, no image as the items ends up in the trash.

Another favorite practical promotional product is the envelope openerIt is of high quality and includes a business card from the person who gave it away Her name and the company name are seen every single business day since not a day goes by without mail to be opened The one shown is a nice heavy duty plastic version that will last for years While many people give away letter openers, may buy the cheapest, most inexpensive version on the market These are usually so small they are hard to hold in your hand and frustrating to use and end up in the garbage like other cheap items Not that there is anything wrong with cheap but there are just so many varieties given away at trade shows that it’s not practical to keep them unless you have a lot of desk space available.

The baseball cap is probably the most coveted of giveaway items However, think about what the goal of the giveaway is Are you giving them the hat simply to have something to give away or do you actually want them to wear it? Look at the two hats shown in the photo The one on the left is a high quality Flex Fit hat The material is good and the color stands out This is a hat that anyone would be proud to wear The hat on the right is of such low quality that even the manufacturer doesn’t attach their name to it It is not a hat that most people would want to wear Spend the money on a good quality premium gift and it will be used day in and day out

13 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Trade Shows

Posted on August 26, 2016

Before you hit the road to attend your next event, remember this advice.

1. Make sure you attend the right one. First, spend some time checking out the trade show’s website. What companies are going to be there? Will there be any potential affiliates? Cross-reference your list of potential affiliates with the list of attendees. Will you find the vendors that you are looking for?

2. Register in advance. Shows have different policies and pricing structures; you may be able to save money by registering early. Some shows are only for the trade.  Some vendors may have extra passes depending upon what your spending with them. If you call ahead of time, you may be able to schedule an appointment with a company or affiliate that is attending the show.

3. Stay at the hotel associated with the event. It’s usually more expensive, but most of the vendors and attendees will be staying there because it’s convenient. And after the day’s events, they’ll all be meeting in the lounge for a cocktail.

4. Make a plan. The worst way to go to a trade show is unprepared. You need a goal and objectives! So arrive early and get your hands on a map, the shows app and a directory. Then map out which booths you are going to hit and in what order, because trade shows are massive, and you can’t afford to needlessly tire yourself out. Start walking the floor as soon as possible. Vendors are eager to make sales immediately. Once you’ve visited the companies or affiliates on your list, feel free to walk the floor at your leisure. Walk with others who can introduce you to their contacts. (Warm intro’s – leads)

marketing materials for trade shows

Trade Show Marketing Materials

5. Dress the part. People will take you more seriously if you dress appropriately. If the trade show was about sporting equipment and fitness, you don’t need a suit. For other industries, a sport coat is more appropriate. Don’t be that guy or girl that ends up on a FaceBook post for looking out of place.

6. Bring two pairs of comfortable shoes and wear them on alternate days. Like I said, walking the floor will exhaust you.

7. Bring business cards and your rack cards with you everywhere. You could meet an important contact anywhere – like the lobby, at the bar, or even riding the elevator. You never know, so be prepared. Also know your pitch (Elevator pitch) by heart. It will keep you from being caught off guard.

Trade Show Booth

8. Pick up a copy of every piece of literature that is available. This will help you later during the follow up stage.

9. Avoid approaching booths when they are packed. If you approach when it’s busy, the chances of you getting to the right person are slim. You can plan on hitting most booths on the second day for that reason. But don’t wait until the third day, because some companies will be exhausted or have taken off by then.

10. Wait for the salespeople/owner to engage you. Approaching a booth can be intimidating, because it feels a bit like you’re walking into someone else’s living room. What has worked well is simply observing what’s going on around you and waiting for a salesperson to come to you. (They will.) When someone approaches you, compliment him/her on the company’s product or service and ask questions like, “Can you show me how this works?” Be genuine in trying to get a dialogue going. Eventually, the salesperson will ask you what you do. At that point, you should introduce yourself as you normally would.

11. Always make sure to get a card. It’s not enough to give someone your information. If you work a trade show hard, you could walk away with dozens of cards. That’s why trade shows are powerful. Also make relationship that will carry over into the months and years to follow. Write notes immediately to remind you what you spoke about. Use the 2 pocket system.

12. Follow up. Once you have someone’s card, you must follow up. All of your efforts will have been for naught if you don’t. I recommend waiting at least a week to do so. (Phone/Email/Digital PDF file/Hand Written Note/Thank You Gift)

13. Take it seriously. You are spending a lot of time and money. When you go to a show, You are working. Act appropriately you are representing your company and your Brand. You will be tired. So go to bed early.  LOL…

In conclusion, when attending a trade show – if you make the most of it – it is the number one way to get to know another company. After all, there are no gatekeepers.

Trade Show Booth, total packages

Create-A-Card, Inc Trade Show Booth

Happy Prospecting….

Using Images for Marketing

Posted on August 24, 2016

Photos bring power to your advertising and marketing campaigns.  Humans are very visual and can process a photo much faster than reading text.  For instance, we could say that a Big Mac has two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese and pickles on a sesame seed bun but it just doesn’t have the same brain effect as showing you this photo of a Big Mac.

Photo courtesy of McDonalds, Inc

Seeing a photo like this can actually make you crave a Big Mac and become hungry where it is unlikely the text description above would have the same effect. Could you imagine describing an Antique Rolls Royce without using an image of the vehicle? It just wouldn’t work for you.

With social media at an all-time high, using photos to quickly capture a viewer’s attention and it’s just smart marketing.  A photo can actually be used to draw a viewer in to read your message or offer.  If you simply use readers will probably just scroll right past your post.  Even a simple logo is better than text alone.

Here are some tips for using photos on social media:

#1 – Use high quality images that focus on the message you are trying to deliver.

#2 – Take you own photos!  Don’t steal from someone else’s website.  It is bad manners

to do so without permission and stolen photos could be copyrighted.

#3 – Obtain a subscription to a site that sells high quality stock images like Shutterstock

or iStock.  You will have access to millions of images.

#4 – Use the proper size photo so it doesn’t get cropped by the dimensions

allowed by social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Facebook.

#5 – Use photos that have lots of color or something unique that draws the eye.

#6 – Be tasteful in your selection.  While Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s might use scantily clad

women in its efforts to sell burgers, featuring a lot of bare skin could backfire and

cause a negative connotation of your business.

Summary

Social media offers a free platform for marketing your business.  Make the most of it by using visual elements such as photos, videos, info-graphics and even memes.  Make your posts pop with vivid colors of interesting things that capture the eye and demand attention.

Mobile Marketing – Pokémon Style

Posted on August 9, 2016

Pokémon GO is sweeping the world and seemingly dividing the world into two groups.  There are those that play with a passion and view catching the “prizes” as serious business and then there are those who don’t quite get it who are left scratching their heads wondering why people are wasting so much time.

Whether you play the game or not, it does teach and inspire thoughts about mobile apps.  Let us share with you some information about what we can learn from watching millions of seemingly normal people chase imaginary objects.  The concept itself may seem ridiculous to some, but to those who find the marketing value in the Pokémon GO app, it’s a goldmine of information provided.

The Game Embraces Mobile Technology

Playing the game relies on having a mobile device.  You have seemingly normal, intelligent, well-educated men, women and children chasing things you can’t see in the real world but by simply owning a mobile device, you can “see” these objects that don’t really exist and chase them.  Having a mobile friendly website and mobile apps has become a necessity now as people are becoming more and more connected with their mobile devices.  So much so, that data access by mobile device is more common than a desktop device for most people.  Are you on the mobile bandwagon?

There’s An App For That

Pokémon GO is a gaming app.  Nevertheless, it is an app.  While you might have no interest in developing a game, is there some type of app you could create that would make it easier for your customers to do business with you?  Explore the possibilities of what an app could do for your own business.  Can you cut costs?  Can you generate sales?  There is an app for almost everything you can think of today.  Step back and think about what your own clients might want an app to do.

Playing With Friends

People aren’t just playing Pokémon GO on their own. They are going out “hunting” in large groups.  On a recent hot summer night, a crowd estimated at 1500 people scoured a park in 90-degree weather late at night on a Tuesday night.  They are sharing the captures of their hunts on social media. They are talking about it over coffee.  Imagine if you created an app that linked you directly to your customers through the phone right in their pocket.  Imagine if you could send an offer just for them but allow them to push it on to their own friends.  Make it even easier for them by including a “share” button so they can share your offers with their friends on their social media pages with the tap of a button.

Here In the Real World

If you can create promotions that drive and motivate people to show up at your own events like seminars, special “invitation only” sales and other events you can make your customers feel personally connected to you through such invitations. You can make them show up to pick-up a tangible item at your business. Many businesses are receiving an influx in business right now from people entering their business locations simply to find imaginary items such as balls.  If people will fan out across town looking for imaginary balls, it’s almost a given that they would come into your business looking for whatever you offered them.

Summary

You might not be a fan of the Pokémon GO app and you might think that playing the game is a waste of time and that’s okay.  However, if you miss the bigger picture of the possibilities for your own business, you might be missing out on the world of mobile marketing.

The Importance of Attractive Collateral at Tradeshows

Posted on August 4, 2015

We all know what it’s like to be at a trade show: There are tons of people milling about the exhibition hall, networking and checking out the latest products, service and demos.

Trade shows are the perfect opportunity to create business, make sales and gain exposure for your brand. But with so many companies on hand—and all of them trying to get attendees to stop by their booth—it can be hard to get noticed amongst scores of other similar companies.

Tradeshow Marketing Booth for Transportation IndustryIn order to stick out, your marketing materials and branding have got to be attractive. After all, humans are very visual creatures. We can’t help but like that which pleases our eyes.

As the owner of a business in the transportation industry, you might not have any flashy trade show materials… yet. Let us help you make sure you’re ready to dazzle as trade show season approaches.

From tablecloths to retractable banners with signage to entire booths, we at Create-A-Card are uniquely positioned to help you with your entire tradeshow presentation. With nearly three decades of experience designing marketing collateral for businesses in all areas of transportation—from tour companies to black car companies to luxury ground transportation services—we can help create the materials needed to make your brand shine.

In a trade show environment, you have to first attract potential customers to your booth. You can do that with flashy displays and attractive branding. You’ve then got to clearly and concisely communicate your value proposition, which can be accomplished through targeted literature. Finally, you need to help keep your business fresh in their minds with promotional giveawayschotskies and eBlasts.

If that sounds like a heavy undertaking, you’ve come to the right place. We can help take care of all the heavy lifting for you. That way, when you find yourself on the floor behind your booth, all you’ll have to worry about is telling your brand’s story. We’ll do the rest. View our 20 page brochure by clicking here.

Need Specialized Marketing Materials? Create-a-Card’s Got You Covered

Posted on June 22, 2015

When it comes to your collateral marketing campaigns, sometimes you’ve got to go the extra mile. At Create-A-Card, we strive to be a one-stop shop for transportation companies seeking to bolster their marketing efforts. If you’ve been in business for five, ten or even twenty years, it might be time for you to freshen things up and put your brand out there a little more. It might be time to rev the engines and shift into high gear. Our 20 page brochure is a click away…

Let us help you take your transportation business to the next level. With nearly 30 years of experience in the industry, we know what works. Sometimes, standard marketing materials don’t cut it. That’s why we proudly offer a variety of robust products, including:

· Mini marketing kits: Small and to the point, this option helps create a professional impact in a pint-sized punch. Your kit will include brochures, rack cards, business cards and more.

· Large marketing kits: Bigger occasions call for larger marketing materials. This sized kit is ideally designed for presentations.

· Presentation folders: These 9” x 12” folders are the perfect place to store your marketing collateral and are certain to complement your marketing kits.

We understand that marketing might not be second nature to you. And that’s why we’ll take care of the marketing grunt work so you can focus on what you do best: safely moving your customers from one location to another.

Give us a call and tell us your story and who you’re trying to reach. We’ll tell you what products work best and our art department will get to work right away on proofs, ensuring the consistency of your brand along the way. The best part? We’ll turn something around within a short period of time, so you’ll be able to start your new campaign quickly.

If you’re looking for specialized, advanced marketing materials, click here to get in touch with us. Our staff is looking forward to helping you create the specialized collateral you need to grow your business.

In the Transportation Industry? Distinguish Your Brand with Customized Collateral

Posted on June 12, 2015

In the ground transportation business, it can be tough to find loyal customers because, most of the time, people are just worried about getting from Point A to Point B as inexpensively as possible.

Because of this, gaining customers can be hard. And if you do reel them in, keeping them baited can be just as daunting, especially since many will only care about how much your services cost. So before they decide to take their business elsewhere, how can you keep you them?

One way to differentiate your transportation company from your competitors is by launching a diverse, targeted collateral marketing campaign—one with branded business cards, post cards, brochures and more. In doing so, you help build brand awareness and put your company’s name in the minds of people who will one day need your services.

But you’re in the business of getting people from one place to another place—you’re not a marketer.

Don’t sweat it.

Angel Limo Brochure (PDF)With nearly three decades of experience providing luxury ground transportation services, tour companies and black car services with high-quality marketing collateral, we at Create-A-Card know the transportation industry inside and out. As members of many organizations and associations — like the National Limousine Association, the Minority Limousine Operators of America and the Greater California LiveryAssociation, to name a few—we follow all of the trends and latest happenings of the industry and know what marketing strategies work.

Whether you’re looking to re-brand your company, spread the word about what kind of services you offer or just get your logo out there, we’re confident that we’ll help find the solution you’re looking for to grow your business. Download our current brochure (PDF).

In this industry, it’s tough to keep loyalty. Let us help you get more people to know your brand and that you’re out there to help better their lives.

We look forward to helping you tell your story, so contact us today.

The Way to a Customer’s Heart is Through Their Smartphone…

Posted on August 2, 2012

A recent article in Travel Weekly, the largest of the travel trade publications, discusses travel bookings made via smartphone.

According to the article by Danny King, new research suggests that U.S. travel bookings through smartphones may have doubled in the past year, as more travelers buy the devices and more suppliers and travel intermediaries produce a broader range of travel apps.

Almost 40% of the smartphone users surveyed by Atmosphere Research Group said that they intended to use their mobile device to book a hotel stay, while 27% indicated a willingness to use their mobile devices to buy airline tickets.

“More than a third of online travelers are interested in actually sealing the deal [through mobile devices],” said Jeffrey Breen, president and co-founder of Atmosphere Research Group. “Those numbers are only going to increase.”

The article clearly points out that the survey indicated that smartphone owners are still more likely to use the devices to perform same-day travel activities, including restaurant reservations and buying theatre tickets.  We are sure that “ground transportation” was not included in the survey – as an industry, we need a concerted effort to build more visibility in the travel trade press.

Why? At stake is what’s expected to be a growing chunk of the expanding U.S. online travel market.  Annual U.S. online leisure bookings, which account for about 40% of total bookings, will jump to about $124 billion in 2012, from $109 billion last year, another industry research company, PhoCusWright, predicted in a report released last November.

The takeaway of this article is that suppliers – including ground transportation/limo companies have a real opportunity to boost reservations through mobile devices by appealing to their loyalty members (you do have a frequent ride program, right?) and having a smartphone booking application readily available to provide to your customers.

There are a ton of surprises to come with new technologies that are coming to market and there is going to be a tremendous effect on operators and other travel vendors as time goes on.  “Disruptive technologies” are changing behaviors and preferences for both the leisure and corporate traveler and those companies that embrace technology will be far better off in the future.

Please visit www.thelimousineapp.com to see the smartphone app that is available to operators.

Industry’s Powerhouse Marketing Company, Create-A-Card, Inc. becomes the largest full-service traditional and digital marketing company with its acquisition of Innovative Marketing Concepts

Posted on March 7, 2012

[March 7, 2012, St. James, NY] — Create-A-Card, Inc.’s Founder and President, Arthur Messina announced today that his company has acquired its long-time competitor, Innovative Marketing Concepts (IMC).  This acquisition enables Create-A-Card to further advance its position as the pinnacle of global marketing in the chauffeured transportation industry.

According to Mr. Messina, the acquisition will fuel what has already been exceptional business growth in revenue and market share. “This acquisition is just a part of Create-A-Card’s continuing expansion,” he said.  “With the technology and creative talent of our team, Create-A-Card, delivers the full spectrum of marketing services and support – from corporate identity development and public relations, to cutting edge digital projects and social media.

Already positioned to lead the industry in innovation, Create-A-Card will provide the companies’ combined customers a wider range of services and value.  Create-A-Card brings superior strengths and assets that you won’t find available at any other company.  According to Messina, “This is a great opportunity to leverage our market position to address customer needs in new service segments and technologies. By focusing purely on the delivery of marketing services to the chauffeured transportation industry and always delivering expert advice, this acquisition is a strategic move that we believe will position Create-A-Card for additional expansion and sustained growth.”

IMC brings world-class marketing people and an established client base to Create-A-Card, Inc. and the acquisition assures their clients that they are in excellent hands.  More importantly, Messina believes that combining the resources of both companies will provide an important strategic fit. “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with such a high quality organization. We look forward to the positive sales and earnings contributions that this acquisition affords now and in the years ahead,” said Messina.  IMC feels that that this acquisition is in the best interest of their clients and feels that they will have the opportunity to be working with a superb organization.

About Create-A-Card, Inc. Create-A-Card, Inc. has, under the leadership of Arthur Messina, evolved from a specialized printing company in 1986 into what is, today, the industry’s leading full-service marketing strategy and solutions provider. For over two decades, Mr. Messina has taken a leadership position in ground transportation and has built a reputation as an industry innovator and the preferred partner for market-leading transportation companies.

For more information, please visit the www.createacardinc.com company website, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, or contact Arthur Messina @ 631-584-2273.

Recent Statistics on Social Media Adoption

Posted on March 6, 2012

Here are a few reasons why you should invest heavily in social media:

Mass adoption of social media: Nearly 80% of all active U.S. Internet users regularly visit social media sites (Nielsen). And while consumers spend 25% of their Internet time on social sites, Facebook has become the most visited website in the world. Your customers are there.

Social media benefits businesses: Among marketers who include social media as part of their overall strategy, 97% agree that it provides benefits and value to their business (eMarketer).

Social media improves branding: In a survey of more than 700 marketers, 88% of respondents found that social media helps grow brand awareness. Social media also benefited marketers by allowing them to engage in dialogue (85%) and increase sales and partnerships (58%). An additional 41% of marketers said it helped reduce costs (Wildfire Interactive).

These stats are just a sample of the power of social media.