Monday, September 30, 2013

Monday Marketing Moves

Every week gets started with a Monday and may I ask what are you doing to kick-start your week’s sales? Do you have a different weekly special?  What are you doing to tell the world about your special?

Is the only place a customer can find about your weekly (or daily) specials is after they come into your business?  At a minimum you can place a notice about your specials in your window or on an exterior a-frame sign.

You could have a coupon special printed and place them on cars in the common parking lot.  You could have a door hanger printer and have them or a flyer distributed in your local area neighborhood. You could also do a postcard using the US Post Office’s program called Every Door Direct Mail.

Every Door Direct Mail® from the U.S. Postal Service®, is designed to help you reach every home, every address, every time. Now it's even easier using their redesigned online tool!

You can map out a target area, select a delivery route and mailing drop off date, and pay online — all from your computer. And, you can create your mailings up to 30 days before you plan to mail them. Call Paula at MI Printing at 623.582.1302 if you need help or have postcard questions.

Keep in mind that you can use a PR release or an email to your list to explain and offer your weekly specials.  You do have an email list don’t you?

A good PR or email piece should have:
 A great headline – You have to get their attention
 A short and direct timely message
 An instantly clear story that is worth a reader's time
 An actually interesting story to share

Please keep in mind that you don’t have to reduce prices and give away the farm to draw people in.  You just have to tell a good story.  Is your latest item something that will save your customers time and money? Tell them about it.

Apple is a great example of a company that doesn’t run sales to draw in the crowds.  About every six months to a year they introduce an improved product and when they come out folks line up around the block to pay them full price.  Apple sold over nine million phones in just three days at their most recent release.

Having a weekly special every Monday is a good idea. Telling the local public and potential consumers about your special is even better!  When will you begin doing just that?

Do you need help with your next business printing job?  Call MI Printing at 623.582.1302 and let us be your local business printing resource.

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MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302

Friday, September 27, 2013

MI Printing Special: 15% Off Custom Carbonless Forms

15% Off Custom Carbonless Forms.  Please let us know what type of padding you expect for your forms.  For best results a PDF file is required for the customer supplied artwork. Please refer to this ad when calling. Offer expires October 15, 2013.

At MI Printing we can take care of all of your carbonless needs far beyond just carbonless forms.  These can be used for employment applications, order forms, job tickets, invoices, estimates or proposals. If needed, backside printing is available.

Need to know more about all the uses for carbonless forms contact us at MI Printing. 

We are ready to help just give us a call at 623.582.1302 for our current special pricing on carbonless forms.

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Phone: 623.582.1302

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Me Too, Me Too - Wrong!

Could you sum up your marketing efforts with the common phrase, Keeping Up With The Jones? Do you look at your competition and copy whatever they are doing? 

Although it’s vitally important to understand what your competition is doing, mimicking their marketing efforts does nothing but hurt you. 

Worrying about keeping up with your competitors actually puts your business farther behind because you’re executing tactics that worked for them months or even years ago.  And besides, wouldn’t you rather be on the leading edge of your industry instead of being a company that follows everyone else? 

On top of that, copying what another business is doing isn’t a guarantee that those same marketing tactics will work for you. And, you have NO idea whether those tactics even worked for that other company. For instance, it might appear that their Facebook page is successful because it has a ton of “likes”, but it might not be driving any new business. Be careful about determining whether something will work for your business based just on external indicators. 

Is what your competition doing increasing their traffic and profits? 

Don’t define your activities by what others are doing. That’s a following strategy. Chart your own course. Be the leader.  If you are listening to customers and making sure you are satisfying them, then you are the right track. 

Who are you trying to reach? In other words, who is your ideal customer? Avoid the temptation to say, “everyone is my ideal customer,” because they’re not. Get really specific and look at your best clients. What do they have in common? What are the characteristics that you look for when talking to prospects? Understanding your target market is critical to effective marketing. 

One of the best ways to make this happen is looking at who actually makes or influences the buying decision. From there, you look at what their needs or problems, what they’re trying to achieve, how they can be successful, and their budgets. 

Once you understand where your potential customer is spending time, you should also take the time to listen to your customers and target audience to better understand their needs and pain points. This will help you develop proper brand messaging that will strike a chord with your ideal buyer.   

The bottom line (and the effect on your bottom line) is that you need to make your marketing  decisions based on what makes sense for your brand, product or service . 

Do you need help with your next business printing job?  Call MI Printing at 623.582.1302 and let us be your local business printing resource. 

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MI Printing  
Phone: 623.582.1302 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Made In The USA – Hickory Brands Shoelaces

The Little Company That Could, Becomes a Bigger Company That Can!

From humble beginnings in 1923 as the Old Hickory Shoelace Company, Hickory Brands, Inc. and its 10-Seconds Division have consistently evolved into a leading manufacturer and supplier of foot care and athletic related products. They constantly strive to develop innovative designs in all of Their products keeping “fit and performance" as their goal while providing outstanding quality and reliable, responsive customer service. These guiding principles have allowed them to grow in sales and service to all 50 states in the U.S. and markets in Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and South America.

The 10~Seconds Division was originally created around the best recognized cleaners, polishes and accessory products for the shoe care industry. With the acquisition of Spectrum Sports and SecondWind companies they complimented their product offerings with a respected quality line of insoles designed to provide the ultimate in comfort and support. 10-Seconds insoles have become the premier choice among professional teams along with many colleges and universities.

Their knowledge has also allowed them to expand into several specialty markets providing “draw-cords' and other components to the apparel industry. Currently, their fastest growing market segment is the development of custom printed lanyards and laces for advertising, identification / security and many other applications.

Whether you are a consumer of their products, or one of their valued dealers and distributors, they sincerely thank you for allowing them to become your preferred supplier of quality and innovative products for shoes and feet! lf you are considering joining their 10-Seconds family, they welcome you and pledge their best possible service and commitment in providing outstanding quality to optimize your personal "fit and performance"!

Location:  429 27th Street North West • Hickory NC 28601 • 800-438-5777

Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm


Do you want your business printing made in the U.S.A.?  Then please contact MI Printing and tell us about your printing needs.  We are ready to listen and help your business succeed.

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MI Printing, LLC
Phone: 623.582.1302

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Are You Ready For Three of the Biggest Holidays?

Well, are you? Spaced out about a month apart over the next ninety days are three of the biggest holidays. This isn’t just for retail businesses. Everybody can benefit from the purchases and mad rush that surrounds these holiday celebrations.  It doesn’t matter if you are a restaurant, service business or a retailer, this is your busy season.  

OK, if you just do lawn care it may not seem like much of an opportunity. But even a lawn care business could branch out and offer decorating services to home owners, property managers and businesses to bring holiday displays to life on the lawns and buildings. You even get three chances from a Halloween theme, fall or harvest décor and of course there is the winter or Christmas displays to work with.

To see how holiday sales actually stack up here there are in reverse order from 2011 sales records.

7. Halloween

6. Father’s Day

5. Easter

4. Mother’s Day

3. Valentine’s Day

2. Thanksgiving

Share of holiday spending: 13.4 percent 2011 spending: $30.5 billion. 

What a feast! But cooking a delicious turkey and all the trimmings doesn’t come cheap, putting Thanksgiving in the No. 2 spot in terms of holiday spending.

1. Christmas

Share of holiday spending: 59.2 percent
2011 spending: $135.16 billion

Christmas is by far the largest holiday in terms of spending, which is why so many retailers rely on the fourth quarter retailing season to drive their earnings.

Is your business printing ready for the next ninety days? How about promotional gifts for your best and favorite customers?

You can start by contacting MI Printing for help with you next business flyer or brochure.  You can work with MI Printing to design your business printing needs. We look forward to helping with your business growth. Just give us a call at 623.582.1302.

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Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: and

Monday, September 23, 2013

Is Your Advertising Effective?

Every business wants to be better today than they were yesterday.  Your business is same, isn’t it? You want more customers, you want more sales and you want to be more profitable.  Most business try to achieve this with a combination of promotion, marketing and advertising.

But, how effective is your advertising.  Is the bottom line the only way to measure the effectiveness of your advertising. It may be the easiest metric to follow. You know the cost of the advertising and you can track the resulting income.

When you hold a sale that is based on getting a customer via a lowered price, the end result may be more customer traffic and more sales but a true reduction in the net profit.  So, should that be considered “effective advertising”?

Many people feel that a temporary dip in net profits is acceptable, if the end result is an increase in overall customer traffic that results from an advertisement bringing in new customers.  But, if your advertising is, in effect, training your customers to wait for you to run a sale price is that an effective advertisement?

The overall results from an advertisement aren't necessarily just sales. How many sales a given campaign generates? Is your sales team happy with the quality of leads that the advertising generates?  The end results could also be signups for your newsletter, sales appointments, requests for brochures or positive feedback from customers.

Before you move deeper into ad creation, always make sure you set goals for the individual campaigns first, so that you can measure the effect of any activity and see how it worked. In future, you will then be able to make a qualified decision whether to repeat it or not.

Now that we agree that advertising, promotion and marketing does have an effect and is necessary for a business to survive and prosper, how do you avoid those ads that don’t truly add to your business bottom line.

So how can you make sure that when customers get to any of your marketing materials, they will find what they are looking for?

• Speak the language of your customers – age, location, ethnicity and demographics
• Impress them with a message they can relate to
• Always have a clear “Call to Action” – tell the buyer what to do next – clearly!
• Use testimonials from real customers wherever you can

You can start by contacting MI Printing for help with you next business flyer or brochure.  You can work with MI Printing to design your business printing needs.  We look forward to helping with your business growth. Just give us a call at 623.582.1302.

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MI Printing 
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: and

Friday, September 20, 2013

MI Printing Special: 1000 #10 Business Envelopes

Business Envelopes, #10 White Envelopes 1000 for just $58.00 Black Ink on front from customer supplied art (PDF Format) plus Sales tax if applicable. To receive discount please mention this ad. Offer expires September 30, 2013.

Many times the first impression a person will have with your company is to handle and open correspondence that arrives in your company envelope.  There’s something about receiving a custom printed business envelope. You can feel the importance and significance of any document with the help of logo, printing and the quality of the paper.  In fact, correct envelope printing adds greatly to the image and credibility of a company.

While your letterheads are standards for businesses and companies, the envelopes that carry that important document can not be a poor quality product.

Business envelope printing is crucial because it contributes to the image of professionalism and reliability that a company projects. The image of a company can be picked up from the documents that they produce and use in communications with the public.

Your company's formality and credibility is also reflected in your envelopes.  Envelopes in fact, have the power to affect a response from the recipients whether its favorable or not.  Depending on the look, appearance, color and quality, your envelope can greatly influence the way your recipients think about you and your company's message.

Contact Matt or Paula at MI Printing for help with your professional quality business envelopes. 623-582-1302

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Promoting Your Customers A Real Win - Win

Does promoting your customers have a positive effect on your bottom line?  If you are a Business-To-Business business your actions can help your customers sell more and that leads directly to you selling more to them.

At the same time your support should lead to a very respectful relationship between your two companies.  If you have several business that buy from you and are competitors with each other, your promotions must be fair to both.  

In some cases companies offer co-op advertising that the customer company can spend as they see fit.  What we are talking about here goes beyond that type of thinking.  

Consider running you own ads that feature your customers products and services rather than selling your products.  If that seems crazy consider the effect it has on viewers that could potential customers.  Buying from your business will lead to your promoting these new potential customers.  This could be a unique opportunity for them.  Buying from and be promoted by a vendor is benefit that few vendors offer.

If you are looking for an example; A packaging company ads feature an actress with milk cartons of rival brands Nestle, Amul, Mother Dairy, Gagan and so on, all together. That begs the question, why?

How does a packaging company gain from pushing different brands? Tetra Pak believes the logic is simple: "Every carton that these companies sell is where we make money. Unless they grow, we will not grow."

The logic "to foster the customer's growth" is not restricted to the current ads. In fact, it's been the cornerstone of Tetra Pak's growth strategy for the past couple of years.

Business promotion is an integral part of any business's success, as it is through promotion that a business expands its customer/client base and opens new windows of opportunity. There are many ways to promote a business, and each varies in regards to time, labor and costs. Many business plans use a combination of methods, based on individual needs and circumstances. 

Develop relationships with your customers. Customers are people — not numbers — and it is important that you put consideration and effort into building personal relationships with them. 

Good ideas come from many places can you apply this to your business-to-business selling.

You can work with MI Printing to design your business printing needs.  We look forward to helping with your business growth.  Give us a call at 623.582.1302 and let’s talk.

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Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: and

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Made In The USA - MammaMichal

Today we feature an Arizona based made in the U.S.A. company. MammaMichal was started because they couldn't find truly all natural body care products, including at farmers markets. There is hardly any other company out there that makes freshly crafted body care products and avoids using any man made chemicals and preservatives. Thus they stepped up to fill the void.

Their products are made from pesticide & herbicide free freshly harvested flowers and herbs along with certified organic essential oils and other natural ingredients. The ingredients that are not homegrown are procured from our trusted and reputable vendors. Our labels disclose all of the ingredients, so you know exactly what you are pampering yourselves with. So browse around, check out the featured products and try us out. If you want a lotion, balm or salve custom made to your specs, do let us know and we'll be happy to accommodate!

MammaMichal's Freshly Made Body Care Products is husband and wife owned and operated. One of the famous sayings of the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, was: "Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food".

We took this inspirational saying to the next level and use the same health inducing natural ingredients to pamper and nurture our body from the outside (skin and lips) as well as within. We grow wonderful plants (flowers, herbs, fruit and vegetables) right here in our garden.

The mamma behind MammaMichal is a crunchy granola type mamma.

She's a work at home mom of 2 beautiful and amazing boys. Obviously being granola mom and all, she homebirthed unhindered, breastfed well beyond the recommended 6 months and home schools.

Her passions include caring for her children, home cooking (especially Italian and Mediterranean style), baking, researching/studying traditional medicine and working on MammaMichal.

Michal is also the group owner of Healing The Mind, Body & Soul, The Natural Way on cafe-mom.

MammaMichal's Freshly Made Body Care Products do NOT contain any alcohol, detergents, artificial color, fragrances, artificial synthetic preservatives or petrochemicals. NONE of our products or the ingredients they're made from has been tested on animals.

Contact: • 602.564.8921

Do you want your business printing made in the U.S.A.?  Then please contact MI Printing and tell us your printing needs.  Call 623.582.1302

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MI Printing, LLC
Phone: 623.582.1302

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Do Random Acts Of Business Kindness Work?

No matter what, marketing needs to be effective or it isn’t worth repeating. What is “kindness” and does it work beyond making you feel better about yourself.  Or, does doing an act of kindness with the expectation of a return for yourself ruin the very affect you are trying for? 

Kindness What if we compensated people for not only getting the job done, but by the level of which their kindness in the conduct fostered the outcome? What if kindness was not just part of a mission statement, but core of how business your business conducted?  

Win-Win The best business deals tend to be the ones where the party that is paying feels like it received full value from the purchase, and the party receiving the funds feels like it was fairly compensated for the product or service delivered. It's unfortunate when deals leave one party feeling like they either got screwed over or were taken advantage of. If you think there aren't millions of instances where the gap is far and deep between two parties on this notion of "win-win" you haven't spent any time in the office of a law firm that specializes in corporate litigation. 

Acceptance Sometimes it doesn't work out. It could be a big business deal or the engagement of an employee. It's easy to point the swords in or to point the fingers at someone else, it would be far better for both parties to simply accept the fact that it's not working (agree to disagree) and make it much easier on one another.  

Candid Conversations Imagine having kindness as the baseline, striving for a win-win and accepting that something simply didn't work out. Sadly, we live in a litigious society that encourages laying blame. Wouldn't it be more practical (and mutually beneficial) to have a candid conversation. Not one that points fingers or attempts to lay blame as if we're all trying to tip a scale in a preferable direction, but in one that simply enables both parties to find the time and space to have both a period of mourning and then recovery? Candid conversations are all-too-often discouraged because of the fear of litigation. It's too bad. 

Helping Others Whether it's putting the dishes away from a colleague who left their mug in the communal kitchen sink to staying late and helping out somebody on a project that has no bearing on your performance. We see many glimpses of this in our day to day lives. But, do we see those actions often enough?  

What if helping (one another, ourselves, our business, our community) was as common as holding the door open for somebody or saying, "bless you" when they sneeze? Practice Random Acts Of Kindness Daily! 

Inspired from a blog by Twist Image President, Mitch Joel, Brings You Digital Marketing And Media Hacking Insights And Provocations From His Always On / Always Connected World.    

You can work with MI Printing to design your business printing needs.  We look forward to helping with your business growth.  Give us a call at 623.582.1302 and let’s talk. 

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MI Printing  
Phone: 623.582.1302 
Email: and

Monday, September 16, 2013

Kindness Is The Basis For Recovery

In today’s socially wired world, positive word of mouth is an ever more prized commodity. Most companies solve problems when the fault lies with the company. For example, Ritz-Carlton Hotels are famous for making every problem into what the organization calls an “opportunity.” It’s based on the concept, introduced in Harvard Business Review some two decades ago, that “service recovery” — a company’s ability to respond quickly, decisively, and effectively to a service problem of its own making — is a powerful way to increase loyalty among existing customers.

Mistakes are a critical part of every business. Hard as they try, even the best businesses can’t prevent the occasional late flight, burned steak, or missed delivery. The fact is, in business, often performed in the customer’s presence, errors are inevitable.

But dissatisfied customers are not. While companies may not be able to prevent all problems, they can learn to recover from them. A good recovery can turn angry, frustrated customers into loyal ones. It can, in fact, create more goodwill than if things had gone smoothly in the first place. Consider how Club Med-Cancun, part of the Paris-based Club Mediterranée, recovered from a service nightmare and won the loyalty of one group of vacationers.

The vacationers had nothing but trouble getting from New York to their Mexican destination. The flight took off 6 hours late, made 2 unexpected stops, and circled for 30 minutes before it could land. Because of all the delays and mishaps, the plane was en route for 10 hours more than planned and ran out of food and drinks. It finally arrived at 2 o’clock in the morning, with a landing so rough that oxygen masks and luggage dropped from overhead. By the time the plane pulled up to the gate, the soured passengers were faint with hunger and convinced that their vacation was ruined before it had even started.

Silvio de Bortoli, the general manager of the Cancun resort and a legend throughout the organization for his ability to satisfy customers, got word of the horrendous flight and immediately created an antidote. He took half the staff to the airport, where they laid out a table of snacks and drinks and set up a stereo system to play lively music. As the guests filed through the gate, they received personal greetings, help with their bags, a sympathetic ear, and a chauffeured ride to the resort. Waiting for them at Club Med was a lavish banquet, complete with mariachi band and champagne. Moreover, the staff had rallied other guests to wait up and greet the newcomers, and the partying continued until sunrise. Many guests said it was the most fun they’d had since college.

Opportunities for service recovery abound. Any problem that employees who are close to the customer can discover and resolve is a chance to go beyond the call of duty and win a customer for life. Good recoveries from service problems do happen, but usually because some exceptional individual like de Bortoli takes the initiative to solve a customer’s problem. Companies should not depend on such rare instances of resourcefulness. They should take steps to ensure that everyone in the organization has the skill, motivation, and authority to make service recovery an integral part of operations.

Call MI Printing at 623.582.1302 and let us be your local business printing and promotion resource.

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Friday, September 13, 2013

One Great Deal on Post Cards

500 4X6 Post Cards on 14 pt cover stock, printed on two sides  from customer supplied - print ready art. Just $58.00 plus sales tax if applicable. Expires September 30, 2013.

Our digital printing presses allows us to make even short-runs of post cards a very cost effective marketing tool.  You can target a smaller group of potential customers and you can mail out your special price and sale notices quicker than ever before.

We can also do your long runs in many of the popular size Post Cards.  If you have a motel / hotel or tourist attraction we can help you with Post Cards that promote your location and even sell to your customers and let them help promote your business location.

Post Cards... For Sales and For Sale!

If you need help from start to finish MI Printing is here to help meet your Printing needs.

We are always your solution for fair prices and quick turn around.

Call us and let's talk about your post card needs at 623-582-1302

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MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: and

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Customer Loyalty

I’ve yet to hear a customer blurt out anything that sounds like this: “I just love that gorgeous silver Bank of America ATM at Main and 8th.  I’d follow it anywhere–if that machine ever pulls up roots and moves across town, I’m going with it.”

Of course not.  Loyalty to an ATM, no matter how efficient the machine may be, is a ludicrous concept.

I’d be the first to agree that customers do want efficient, ATM-like advances in the businesses they frequent. (It’s what's call “offloading the transactional,” and it’s central to building customer experiences that won’t drive away Millennials and other digitally-informed customers.) 

The problem is when you end up with your priorities screwed on backwards and try to get the efficiency tail to wag the loyalty dog.

Customer loyalty can almost never be based solely on efficiency and convenience, rather than on extraordinary customer service. (It doesn’t work to say “We won’t bother creating a remarkable customer experience. We’ll just make sure they can have it fast and error-free.”) 

Convenience may make a customer settle for you, but it won’t make a customer love you.  They may see you as Mr. Right-Now, but they're not going to take you home to meet the parents. 

Build customer loyalty like you build a great movie.
More likely, you’re going to build customer loyalty the way a great movie does. By being great.  (Not by making your tickets easier to buy than the tickets for other movies.) 

Being able to purchase tickets on online with your smartphone, print them out at home, find all nearby movies and showtimes and where films are showing in 3-D vs 2-D is all great.  Movie theaters, like other businesses, need to be offering their customers these conveniences, and they’re putting themselves at a ridiculous disadvantage if they don’t. (There’s probably no more reliable way, in fact, to kill your business than by burdening your customers with inefficient processes and outdated procedures.)

Yes,  people appreciated being able to research and buy the tickets online, but it’s not what they’re going to talk about.  Or what brings them back to see it again, this time with their friends. 

 Building customer loyalty is about moving customers.  Making them enjoy the experience.  Spinning a mighty good tale.

You can work with MI Printing to design your business printing needs.  We look forward to helping with your business growth.  Give us a call at 623.582.1302 and let’s talk.

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MI Printing 
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: and

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Made In The U.S.A. – Oral-B

Did you know the letter B in Oral-B stands for Brush.

The Oral-B brand is a worldwide leader in the over $5 billion brushing market. Part of the Procter & Gamble Company since 2006, the Oral-B brand includes manual and power toothbrushes for children and adults, oral irrigators, oral care centers and interdental products, such as dental floss. Oral-B toothbrushes are used by more dentists than any other brand worldwide.

Oral-B® and NASCAR driver #39 Ryan Newman, have teamed up to to celebrate the American workforce and American-built products, including the Oral-B Pro-Health® All-in-One manual toothbrush, which is built in Iowa City, Iowa. The first Oral-B manual toothbrush was assembled in the USA in 1949. Now, approximately one million toothbrushes are built every day at the Iowa City plant. 

Oral-B @OralB
Congrats to @RyanNewman39 on making the 2013 #NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup! #OralbUSA

Oral-B Manual Toothbrushes Have Been Built In The USA Since 1949

Oral-B's Iowa City plant is the largest toothbrush plant in the world. Approximately 1 million Oral-B manual toothbrushes are built at the plant by nearly 500 hardworking, committed people, including U.S. Veterans. These people take pride in building high-quality products that are engineered to perform and wanted to share their remarkable story with you. 

Oral-B's Twitter hashtag is #OralbUSA. 

Oral-B toothbrushes made in the USA include: Indicator, Complete Deep Clean, Complete Scope, Complete 5-Way Clean, 3DWhite Vivid. Pro-Health Gentle Clean, Pro-Health Superior Clean, Pro-Health Vitalizer, Pro-Health All-in-One, Pro-Health Clinical Pro-Flex.

Oral-B battery-powered toothbrushes are made in Germany.

Iowa Location: 1832 Lower Muscatine Rd, Iowa City, IA 52240 • 319-338-5411

Oral-B has a contact form on their website.


If what you buy and where it is made is important to you, check to see if MI Printing can help you with your printing needs?  Give us a call at 623.582.1302 and let’s find out!

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MI Printing 
Phone: 623.582.1302

In Memory of 9/11

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Will Corporate Thinking Bend Social Media’s Message?

Did you know that GE was co-founded by Thomas Edison? Much like Edison in his day, they are now acting as an early adopter when it comes to the most-important challenge for marketers today: figuring out social media. But although GE has jumped into new channels and platforms, like Instagram, Pinterest, Vine and BuzzFeed, don't think it's not giving deep thought to measurement.

"You can't work for GE and not think about ROI," said Linda Boff, exec director-global digital marketing and the boss of GE's ad efforts in all media.

These experiments, from the fun Pinterest boards allowing Edison to do his best Ryan Gosling impression (just check it out) to an Instagram feed full of what Ms. Boff calls "industrial bling," are typically low-cost -- but they result in a big emotional connection with GE's audience.

"We do a report every day. Our presence in social media early on has given us a consistent high net-positive sentiment," Ms. Boff said. "It's quite a treat. We see very low, if any, negative sentiment." She added that being in early makes it more likely GE will achieve high follower counts.

Besides excelling in social, GE is among the brands leading the charge on content marketing. Its Txchnologist is a tech Tumblr that's an interesting read in its own right, while GE Reports is a corporate newsroom that won't bore you to tears. The cumulative effect of these and the company's many other content hubs is that GE ends up feeling less like a 300,000-employee multinational conglomerate and more like a friend that just happens to be really, really smart. Which is kind of the guiding principle for all these experiments, according to Ms. Boff.

"What works for us," she said, "are programs where GE can behave the way a real person would behave, be as accessible as possible, and lean into the fact that we are a brand in motion."

You might ask who Is GE trying to reach.  Most companies feel social media reaches out to a very consumer based audience. Business to business and businesses trying to reach a small unique buyer group don’t use social media.  Will this effort by GE prove that you can create buzz that is effective in reaching or educating a demographic that is normally done by direct marketing means.

Will this effort in talking about GE in all of its glory affect what a consumer does when buying their next washer, dryer or refrigerator?  Is that GE’s overall goal.  Does talking about high tech in one area influence the buying public in others areas of that brand?  Will the education in the technology of the best in world class jet engines mean that is the brand you want in household appliances? Only time will tell.

Or will the telling fact be that other corporations adopt the same strategy for their products? Does this have a trickle down affect to how you will market your product or service?

You can work with MI Printing to design your business printing needs.  We look forward to helping with your business growth.  Give us a call at 623.582.1302 and let’s talk.

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MI Printing 
Phone: 623.582.1302
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Monday, September 9, 2013

Use Rolling Billboards To Promote Your Business

One of the most recognizable "traveling" advertisements has been on the road for almost sixty-five years. The Oscar Meyer Weinermobile first took to the streets of Chicago in 1936. Today, there are six high-tech Weinermobiles hot-dogging it around the country.  They currently have a Twitter promotion to “vote” for your favorite Weinermobile.

A custom vehicle is very expensive as a promotion for the typical business.  But if you drive back and forth to your business you can use a vehicle with a custom wrap to promote your business. You can wrap even just a section to get your message across and keep the cost down at the same time.

You can even use simple magnetic door signs to get your message out.  If you have a catchy web URL you can use just that to create interest in your service or products.

Don’t forget that you can offer bumper stickers to your customers as a rolling promotion on many vehicles.  In some cases your business could offer a discount on some purchases if they have a bumper sticker on their car.

There are companies that offer to print a rolling billboard on the side of trucks that also do deliveries or services and travel throughout the community.  They latest rend in this service is to use large video screens to get a special message across to the potential buyer or entertainment customer.  These are best when they can be stationary while they play your message.

Some people offer to tow small rolling billboards behind a car or pickup truck. These can be used during rush hour(s) to help remind large numbers of potential customers of your business.

A new and smaller trend is small billboards that are towed by bicycles in city center areas during times that the streets and common areas have excellent foot traffic. The advantage here, is the ease with which the bicycle can maneuver through traffic or move through areas that motor vehicles are not allowed. In addition bicycles move slower than vehicles so the ads can be read a bit easier.

While it may not be a truly “rolling” billboard don’t forget that the use a people powered sandwich boards are a good way to remind a passersby of your business.

They are services which offer to find folks who will let you wrap their private vehicles with your advertising message.  They are chosen by how they drive their cars each and how many people will be exposed to your message.  They will be both a wrap fee and a monthly expose charge.

In many areas you can arrange for ads on local transit buses and taxi cabs.  The ads can be posters on the inside as well as billboards on the exterior.

You can work with MI Printing to design your business printing needs.  We look forward to helping with your business growth.  Give us a call at 623.582.1302 and let’s talk.

Presented By
MI Printing 
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: and

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How Big Is Your Fan Base?

First, I guess we should define what we mean by a “fan base.” The dictionary says; Part of Speech: noun, Definition: the regular supporters and enthusiasts of a team, musician or musical group, entertainer, or other celebrity.  We all know that with celebrities it is a badge of honor and bragging rights to see who has the most Facebook likes or Twitter followers.

Drivers for NASCAR teams have large fan bases who’s numbers have a direct relationship to the amount that a driver can charge for advertising space on their cars.

Does it not follow that all businesses have a fan base?  The bigger than fan base the more customers that will patronize that given business in any one period of time.

What are you doing to enlarge the fan base of your business?  If you have a great product(s) and customer service that is world class it should follow that your customers themselves should be enlarging your fan base.  We would hope your business is doing what it needs to do to have happy, satisfied customers.  Word of mouth advertising should be creating a very positive buzz about your products and services.

But you can also use social media to help promote your business and enlarge your business fan base.  

Major corporations and the entertainment industry has begun to use creative ways to promote their brands and products by feeding information and specials to their fan bases in various types of social media.  

The ice cream treat Drumsticks was giving away limited amounts of product on their Facebook Fan Page.  Movie releases have used social media to arrange for Meet-Ups and special previews for fans as a way to create positive buzz about their up-coming movies. 7-Eleven stores gave out free Slurpees for its 85th birthday. Chick-fil-A offered free meals to guests who come dressed as cows on Fridays. That same day, Starbucks handed out its new Refreshers energy drink made from green coffee extract and fruit juice. And on Saturdays, Dippin' Dots stores gave out samples of new Dippin' Dot Clusterz. You might want to check these stores fan pages to see what they are up to now.

Behind all of these promos: social media. Marketers are convinced that it's the most effective way to get word out on promotions — particularly for free stuff.

It is not uncommon for local sports teams to tie performance based results to local store give a ways.  Here in the Phoenix metro area one deal ways from Papa Johns; when the DBacks win the following day you get 50% off on online orders with a special coupon code.

Using social media to expand fan bases is being used by the major retail players, have you applied it to your business yet?

You can work with MI Printing to design your business printing needs.  We look forward to helping with your business growth.  Give us a call at 623.582.1302 and let’s talk.

Presented By
MI Printing 
Phone: 623.582.1302
Email: and

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Americans Should Buy American

More U.S. manufacturing jobs not only reduce the unemployment rate, but also expand the tax base to pay promised benefits and reduce our national debt.

It is not only possible for manufacturing to lead the recovery of the U.S. with growth and hiring, it is a necessity. To help achieve a sustained economic recovery, our country needs a consumer-led commitment to buying American-made products, which supports American manufacturing jobs and employment.

In just the last 10 years the United States has lost out on approximately $2 trillion in cumulative trade deficits with China alone. Had that $2 trillion of forfeited production taken place in America, it would have generated — based on a conservative 30 percent tax rate — $600 billion of national revenue and created millions of jobs in the United States. And that is just getting us to a trade balance, so we can quickly dismiss accusations of protectionism.

First and foremost, consumers seek the best product at the best price. Country of origin is often an afterthought; only one in five Americans seriously considers it when making buying decisions, says America's Research Group.

The reality is that Americans probably underestimate the value of their buying decisions and how they can affect the nation's economy and future.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the "Made in USA" standard means that "all or virtually all" of the product was made in the United States.

This contributes to the 22 percent higher price tag of doing business in the United States, which almost equals the total cost of production in China, says a study by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)/Manufacturers Alliance.

Ultimately, this affects U.S. jobs, export potential and even research and development. Economist Joel Popkin notes that during the recession of the early 2000s, more than 3 million manufacturing jobs were lost.

Our huge trade deficit, because we're importing far more than we’re exporting, stifles potential economic growth. The answer to America’s economic problems is in our own backyard. The answer is: buy American. In doing so, we’ll reduce our trade deficit, support a higher tax base and achieve greater economic growth.

If what you buy and where it is made is important to you, check to see if MI Printing can help you with your printing needs?  Give us a call at 623.582.1302 and let’s find out!

Presented By
MI Printing 
Phone: 623.582.1302

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

There Is No Free Lunch… Not Always True

Before discussing the meaning of 'there's no such thing as a free lunch' it would be useful to go back to the days in which lunches were free. Free lunch was a commonplace term in the USA and, to a lesser extent in Britain, from the mid 19th century onward. It wasn't used to describe handouts of food to the poor and hungry though, it denoted the free food that American saloon keepers used to attract patrons.

The economic theory, and also the lay opinion, that whatever goods and services are provided, they must be paid for by someone - that is, you don't get something for nothing. The phrase is also known by the acronym of 'there ain't no such thing as a free lunch'.

You will find, however, that a free offer is a great stimulus to your business. A free ice cream cone can be a both a benefit and a draw to bring in new and existing customers.  You can of course tie the offer to a purchase or you can be brave and just offer a small cone with no strings attached.  Either way you will stimulate your business traffic.

You can use your blog or social networking to make your free offer so there will be little to no overhead for the advertising of the offer.  You will also train your customer base to look at your social media for special offers.

Using that type of social media response you can even target a slow afternoon or evening to attract customers. These offers can work for all types of businesses, not just the restaurant example we have given.

A dry cleaner could make an offer for a free shirt with a similar item.  A real estate sales person could offer a class on one of many aspects to selling or buying a new home. A travel agent might offer an incentive that they can arrange with a favorite vendor. Does the pet store you go to offer “free” treats for your pet?

Is Google’s Gmail free?  They place ads on your pages as a trade-off for their “free” email service.  They millions and millions of users taking them up on their free offer. 

Does an “all you can eat buffet” really make use of the “free” lunch thinking? If you have to buy a coupon that offers two for one pricing (also known as BOGO) really mean the second use is free?

The bottom line is always present… are you still profitable when you figure in the cost of your next free offer.  Does the customer bribe really work for your business and the overall way you do business?

What will you offer as a “free” incentive for your business next week?

You can work with MI Printing to design your business printing needs.  We look forward to helping with your business growth.  Give us a call at 623.582.1302 and let’s talk.

Presented By
MI Printing
Phone: 623.582.1302

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day September 2nd 2013

In the United States, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a celebration of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes an annual national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.

In many countries, the working classes sought to make May Day an official holiday, and their efforts largely succeeded. In the United States and Canada, however, the official holiday for workers is Labor Day in September. This day was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, who organized the first parade in New York City. After the Haymarket Massacre, US President Grover Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the affair. Thus, in 1887, it was established as an official holiday in September to support the Labor Day that the Knights favored.

The 2013 Labor Day celebrations may be a bit muted. While the economy appears to be recovering, jobs are far from plentiful.  Good middle class jobs just don’t pay as well or have the hours and benefits they did before.  Progress is being made and many indicators point to continued improvement.

Many of us will be out celebrating the end of the summer school holiday.  Here in the Phoenix metro area we know that a few days near 110 degrees are still possible. We face the month of September with nearly all days well over the century mark temperature wise. Here is a comment that seems to capture what most folks think of this holiday. Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day.  It would have been called Independence Day, but that holiday name was already taken.

The holiday often marks the return to school, although school starting times now vary. As times have changed the back to school timing has changed and many students have already spent two to three weeks in school when Labor Day rolls around.

The form for the celebration of Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday: A street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations", followed by a festival for the workers and their families. This became the pattern for Labor Day celebrations. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the civil significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the Labor movement.

When you think of business printing do you think of taking advantage of a reliable local source.  If not, why not?  Please contact MI Printing and tell us about your printing needs.  We are ready to listen and help.

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MI Printing, LLC
Phone: 623.582.1302