January 23, 2012

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Spreading the Word

Article

Spreading the Word

Old and New Marketing Methods Attract Consumers

Marie Mischel

January 23, 2012

Whether it's stamped on a postcard, plastered across a truck or posted on the latest social media site, Utah’s marketing companies offer unique solutions for companies to spread the word about their products and services. We profile three Utah-based marketing companies that are using vastly different techniques to reach audiences in every business sector. BlūFrog New Media Marketing As one of the newest kids on the block, BlūFrog New Media Marketing began in 2007 as a full-service marketing company but now focuses on social media. “Marketing is important because your customers are out there; they’re looking for products and services, and when they do, if they can’t find yours, they’ll never spend their money with you,” says Derek Clair, BlūFrog’s founder and CEO. Before spending money, consumers commonly turn to the Internet to find a marketplace. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, in particular, are becoming a staple in big-brand commercials, Clair says. “A lot of the reason is when consumers gather in places in the volumes that they do on social media (250 million active users on Facebook) the conversation has started. It’s good to be there and it’s good to be talking and engaging with your customers. If it’s simply for the presence, that’s good, but to really engage and become an active member of the community is what Blū Frog does.” Social media is particularly effective for business-to-consumer companies, Clair says. Using social media, a company can let its customers know about a new product or draw people to the location with discounts, such as a restaurant tweeting its daily specials. Blū Frog and other new media marketing companies can help a business develop a marketing campaign analyzing its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats with regard to its social media presence, and then determine objectives. On the social media site, whether it’s Facebook or LinkedIn or another site, “We’re going to focus on being present, being engaged.” Queen of Wraps While BlūFrog rides the Web, Queen of Wraps rides on trucks and vans with vehicle wraps and vinyl graphics. “With this type of marketing, you see something go down the road … it’s hard to avoid,” says Heather Griffith Barber, national director of sales. “With wraps we get you noticed, create excitement and make you money.” The sister company to Visible Marketing, which Griffith Barber’s brother started, offers large format printing. And about four years ago, Queen of Wraps became its own entity. Since then, “Business is booming,” Griffith Barber says. “Especially in this economy, people are looking for ways to market [that gives them something tangible]. That’s what makes these vehicle wraps so great. They’re going to last three to five years and you can put them on any type of vehicle.” Griffith Barber acknowledges that “anyone can throw a wrap on,” but not everyone can create a design that generates sales. “A lot of times what people think looks good might not necessarily work,” she says. However, the graphic designers at Queen of Wraps can generate an effective design. Once a design is created, the vehicle is in the shop between 24 and 48 hours while the wrap is applied. About 80 percent of the company’s work is from referrals or repeat customers, Griffith Barber says. “What I think is driving that is the quality of our work. We’re getting the repeat customers from four years ago who are upgrading their vehicles, replacing fleet vehicles or whatever, and they keep coming back with more and more vehicles.” Sendsations Power Marketing The oldest and most traditional of the three companies profiled here, Sendsations Power Marketing has been helping its clients build relationships through postcards for 25 years. “We were the ones who actually invented the recipe card in this format as an advertising tool,” says Leslie Nelson, Sendsations’ president. The postcards contain something like a recipe or an inspirational quote, and each postcard is part of a 12-month campaign to keep a client’s name in front of a customer. “The recipe postcards are our biggest seller because people don’t just throw those away,” Nelson says. Most of Sendsations’ clientele provide a service with a long buy cycle, so “what you’re trying to do is build a relationship; that’s what we really help people with. We have over 50 years worth of full-year marketing campaigns that are designed to be sent to someone, and that person then will keep the postcard because it has something on it that they find interesting or useful,” she says. Sendsations will also mail the postcards for their clients. “It really helps their business because they have consistent marketing, and then when it is time for somebody to move or refinance or whatever, not only do they have a warm friendly feeling about this person, because they’ve been sending them these thoughtful gifts in the mail, but they also know that they have their act together because they’re consistent,” she says. “It’s two messages there that are very, very powerful because people like doing business with people they like and trust.”
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