2014 was a great year for innovations and new opportunities here at Maple Ridge Farms. We introduced handy new marketing tools and expanded our product line, all while maintaining the same great service you’ve come to expect from us. Here are a couple of things you may have missed:
This time of the season gets hectic for everyone, customers, distributors, and suppliers alike, and as part of the Promotional Products industry, we all get asked these questions every day: “Is there still time to place an order?” and “What’s my cut-off for holiday shipping?”
The answers are simple: “Yes!” and “There isn’t one!” respectively. And here are a few reasons why those are our answers here at Maple Ridge Farms:
Last minute ordering
If you have seen a trend towards later ordering of holiday gifts with your clients, you are not alone. Our experience shows that people are choosing to place holiday orders later every year. In 1999 50% of our holiday gift orders were placed after Nov. 8. In 2013 the half way cut off was November 15. How can you partner with suppliers to secure these late season orders?
We all want to do business with ethically, socially, and environmentally responsible companies. Not only is it the right thing to do, it is good business! Doing business with responsible companies leads to higher standards in safety, quality and integrity of products, ensuring satisfied customers and employees.
With the hectic schedule that most of us endure during the holiday rush, many people do not have the opportunity to take the time to hand-deliver gifts to their customers, employees, and other business associates – although they wish they could! Have you ever come into the holiday rush season and realized that your conference room is bursting at the seams with gifts that need to be delivered or shipped? Do your customers depend upon you to ship their gifts to their clients?
Take a moment and check in with your supplier! Some, like the team here at Maple Ridge Farms, offer to individually ship gifts directly to the recipients, saving both you and your customer time and money. If you haven’t taken advantage of this service from Maple Ridge Farms, here are a few reasons to give it some thought…
It’s an unfortunate fact that many buyers don’t realize that they can order their holiday food gifts from you as a distributor—they just don’t know that it’s a service you offer. This can send them straight into the arms of the retail market, where they can find inexpensive holiday gifts. Don’t lose hope! There are ways to combat the direct-sellers:
Are you using video to get the word out about what you have to offer? Here are some compelling statistics to think about when marketing promotional products or other business needs: According to comScore, which measures online engagement and use, 90% of online shoppers said that they find video helpful in making buying decisions. The average user spends 16 minutes and 49 seconds watching online video ads every month. Forbes reports that 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week, and 65% have visited a vendor’s website after watching a video.
Our industry is brimming with creative people, and there are some fun and interesting videos out there. Free PromoTips regularly shares supplier spotlights and product videos, and who hasn’t enjoyed Promo Marketings video battles? Many suppliers are on the ball and offer a multitude of product videos.
There seems to be 2 schools of thought from the distributor’s perspective on how these videos are best delivered: branded with the supplier’s name, or unbranded. Dale Denham wrote an interesting blog article on this topic which sparked active discussions on social media.
Recognizing that both schools of thought have credibility we decided to offer both options: unbranded and branded videos. Our unbranded videos show the benefits of sending food gifts to their clients and employees and are hosted on sites that do not reference the brand Maple Ridge Farms. The end message on all these videos is “Contact your promotional product professional today.” These videos are hosted on Food Gifts YouTube site.
Since we started over 35 years ago we have only sold through the promotional products industry. Some distributors wish to bank upon our outstanding reputation for providing high quality food gifts and outstanding service. So we offer the same video, with the same message, followed by the Maple Ridge Farm’s logo. We have hosted these on Vimeo and well as a separate Maple Ridge Farms YouTube channel.
Take your pick on what works for you as a distributor. Most videos are between 30 and 40 seconds in length, and all focus on the benefits of giving food gifts. Click here for a full listing of our videos with links. This list is also available on our Distributors only section of the Maple Ridge Farms website.
We hope that you will find our videos share worthy, and they bring awareness to what you as a distributor can offer your clients. We would love to hear from you for additional video ideas. In the meantime, take a look at what we have to offer, and pass on the word that you are the best source for your clients’ food gifts!
We are widely known for our delicious gourmet food, but what many customers don’t realize is that we also offer specialty products such as gluten free items, kosher, healthy options and custom gifts that pretty much cover whatever you envision. One of our key principals is that we are the make it happen team!” What this means is if you have a request, we will find a way to fill it!
It’s that time again! With autumn quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about holiday orders.
“What?” your client says. “But it’s only September! We’ve got three months to go!”
“Ah, yes,” you reply, “but there is no better time than now to start ordering your holiday gifts!”
Here are a few reasons why:
A powerful tool in your selling arsenal is catalogs. According to the Direct Marketing Association, roughly 12.5 billion catalogs are printed and mailed each year in the retail sector. They are an integral part of any marketing campaign—not just for direct-sellers, but also for promotional products!
Don Edwards, a veteran distributor with 50 years of experience in the promotional products industry and $75,000 in food gift sales annually, practices the “three-foot rule”: when he is within three feet of a client, he provides them with a Maple Ridge Farms catalog. This doesn’t apply only to food gifts, of course—if you feel that a particular supplier or type or product would suit your client well, be sure to get that catalog into their hands.
Here’s why it’s to your advantage to include catalogs in your marketing plan: