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Monday, February 13, 2012

Update #5: Saturday Sessions at BTA Southeast



Final Update: BTA Southeast 2012
 
Guest Post:
Carl Little, VP of Dealer Sales, InkCycle, Inc.
Email: clittle at inkcycle dot com

The BTA Southeast Winter Break 2012 in Orlando have come to a close, and I've returned to the cold midwest - just in time for a snowstorm!  The event was educational, fun and was a great opportunity to network with dealers from across the country - as well as those in the Southeast.

On Saturday morning, we were joined by Martin Perry from In2Marketing.  He shared with us some startling numbers about internet usage:
  • Average US internet user views 2750 pages a month.
  • 24% of US adults have posted a comment on what they have bought.
  • One third of all adults spend at least 3 hours a day online.
  • Nine of ten people visit a social networking site monthly or more.
  • 78% of internet users conduct product research online.
  • Half of all internet users read blogs monthly.
  • US intenet users spend 30% more time on blogs and social networking than on email.
  • Twitter's user base generates 250 million tweets a day.
With those numbers, it seems that social and internet networking is an important part of gaining new business. 

But how do you transform social networking in business?  You have to participate in inbound marketing!  People will not meet with you until they know you and your services.  They need to read your blog to know that they need your services.  You also need to update your website regularly and make sure it's providing the information your future customer is really looking for.

Outbound marketing is all but dead now-a-days.  Customers do not want to be contacted, they want to contact you based on what they see and read about you.  That's why there are over 200 million people on the "no call list." 

So how do you reach those people?  Blogging, social media, free tools and program trials.  Be respectful and always verify that you have their permission to contact them.  That's why the website is a key way to gather information. 

Still not sure social media is for you?
  • Is your website a 24/7 sales and lead generation tool?  It can be.
  • Did you know that a website sees 55% more traffic if you blog regularly?
Wow!  Great information. 

Keith Kmetz at IDC was next.  He had lots of information about document processing.  Did you know that copiers are start to go away because of the cost, size, service and supply costs?  MFPs are taking over, which means there has to be somewhere to share and store those documents that are no longer being copied and distributed. 

Hardcopy device sales in the US have fallen to third place in overall shipments to Western Europe and Asia-Pacific, however, the US still leads in dollars shipped.  Color sales are 25% in the US, and it's a growing marke especially as the economy begins to improve.

Younger workers are changing our printing environment as they prefer to work in the "cloud" instead of printing.  Basically, document management has the potential to keep you in business, as companies move from print management to document management.  We have to keep ourselves emersed in our current customers' potential issues and problems to be sure we are ready to meet them when they are ready to make a move.  They need to know we can support them when they are comfortable moving into that consultative relationship, and away from just selling them supplies or printers.

-Carl



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