What’s The Big Idea? Product platform technologies bring creative concepts to light

Perhaps you were not aware, but your company has a Bright Ideas Department. It’s open for business every minute of every day.

If this comes as a revelation, chances are you’ve seen good ideas come and go. So many times – including right here in our own promotional products industry – creative juices go sour under the weight of everyday routines and entrenched processes.

Creativity in the digital world doesn’t consist solely of artistic acumen. Creativity involves an understanding of available tools and the ability to leverage those tools as we respond to the needs of current and future customers. Just like those keyboard shortcuts you were so excited to find in Photoshop a few years back, think about all the features available to you in a platform such as DistributorCentral. Include these tools in your latest creative efforts and make good things happen.

Time to put the Bright Ideas Department to work:

Present products however you want. DistributorCentral provides a variety of tools to showcase your products and services in ways that align with your needs and those of your customers. Get creative with robust product emails, create quotes in a flash or quickly launch a custom informational page on your website. Need more? Launch an entire website around a specific product line, theme, event or customer!

Expand to new markets. Technology allows distributors to tap into new and existing markets on a continual or as-needed basis. Be thinking about how to take advantage of the situation. “We have seen distributors launch a custom niche website in one day and shortly thereafter that new site is generating considerable leads and conversions,” said David Shultz, VP at DistributorCentral. “Say your region is experiencing unseasonably cold weather and you want to launch a custom website to promote products for heating and repair companies. We provide the tools to do so quickly and easily and in your own way.”

Make messages connect with new buyers. Think outside the box when seeking specific customer segments and develop marketing and web initiatives to address their specific needs. Find a schedule of major events in your area and figure out who is in charge. Follow events and organizations on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and get a sense of what would appeal to them. Create a custom catalog on your website featuring sports calendars or products that would appeal to attendees. DistributorCentral’s “featured product block” is one of the most popular tools within our website platform. It allows you to add a product to your website in seconds. Had success with direct mail? Design a flyer and mail it to prospective clients. Technology allows you to get in front of customers in an instant.

No ordinary websites, please! How many times have you stumbled across a home page that looks like a product catalog has exploded? The new era of websites is all about clean lines and subtle designs. Don’t be shy about getting professional graphic design help to create a website that will make a lasting impression. Leverage fresh content by mixing educational information with product ideas. Take advantage of social media plugins to harness the power of these powerful platforms. The more creative and informative the more likely your customers will post/pin/tweet pages or products from your website. Leverage integration with Google Analytics to see which pages or creative approaches are seeing the most visits. Make changes often to ensure fresh and relevant content on your website.

Let’s go shopping. Leveraging technology and e-commerce as a “tool” to help you meet the ever-changing needs and expectations of your customers in an increasingly efficient manner. Why not be creative in how you approach online shopping tools? Promote its ease, convenience and tracking. Go after repeat customers. Send them an order reminder with a link back to your website to enable reordering with the click of a button.

Present specials and discounts in real time. Specials, discounts, and promotions should be offered when the time’s right and not depend on waiting for special announcements or pricing updates from your vendors. That’s the beauty of working from a product platform where you control your own data. Coupon codes and free shipping have become ubiquitous within the retail world and so too are they becoming common in the promotional products industry. Play them up!

DistributorCentral offers a robust discount tool that allows you to offer specific discounts based on codes you send out in email blasts. Take advantage by playing up free shipping, referral discounts and more on social media. Post a code for free shipping that customers can use seconds after it goes live on your website, blog or Facebook page.