Yesterday there was press release in our local paper about a HVAC contractor receiving a customer service award. J & J Mechanical, Inc received a customer satisfaction rating of 99.8 percent for the second quarter of 2009. The customer service award doesn't surprise me. We have printed some of J & J's marketing materials and what I have found out is that these guys do a lot of things right. They send newsletters, run seasonal promotions, and use direct mail effectively. And here, with this award, is a perfect example how they use press releases as part of an integrated marketing strategy.
So how can you use "awards" as part of your marketing plan?
First of all, to win an award, you have to enter or be nominated for the award. In some cases, it may take a lot of work putting together your entry submission package. You may have to spend a great deal of time answering questions or submitting samples of your work.
So why should you put in the effort?
- Customers want to be associated with a winning company
- It may sway prospects to choose you instead of the competition
- It builds credibility
- It improves employee morale
- It helps attract quality employees
How can you market your awards?
- Display in a prominent place – Put them in a place for employees and customers to see every day. Use a nice wall frame, counter stand or door sticker.
- Use "Award Winning" – Use these words in your brochures, website and press releases.
- Put the award logo to work – Be sure to use the award logo on marketing collateral, like business cards, letterhead and direct mail pieces.
- Email marketing – The award story is great material for your regular email newsletter. You are using one aren't you?
- Press release – Certainly use old media newspaper press releases, but don't forget the new media of Twitter and Facebook.
Awards can be a part of your annual marketing strategy. It will take some pre-planning but it offers diversity from traditional marketing methods. If you would like more creative marketing ideas, visit www.AdvantagePrint24.com and www.OBXadvantage.com .
Advantage Printing is a commercial print & marketing services provider serving small and mid-sized businesses, nonprofits and churches.
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