Yes, We Do That

The Allied Group is New England's leading provider of Printing, Kitting, Mailing and Fulfillment services. Our blog authors have backgrounds in Sales, Marketing, IT, Production and Operations and post useful tips, trends, news and opinions in our industry and beyond. We know you'll find something you enjoy. Most of all, be sure to jump into the conversation!

Sports and/or Business

Sports and/or Business

Fresh off the weekend and the Superbowl being set, I found myself wondering many times about how the sport itself translates into a business. Of course there is strategy on the field and in the game plan, but is there strategic marketing going on as it relates to the overall goal of the team? I'm not talking simply about promotions. I'm wondering...are all teams trying to win? Does winning on the field = business success?

As a true New England sports fan, that has been/was always the knock on the Red Sox and Bruins. After Dan Duquette proudly proclaimed that "we spent more time in first place than any other team" it became clear that the ultimate goal may be to simply build a competitive team. They may not win it all, but they put butts in the seats and they "make it interesting" every year. And really, do we want to make the investment (financially, physically & mentally) to be a true contender?

You could say the same thing about business. We're brought in for our marketing consultancy services and to implement tactics like one to one communication and to redesign websites, but are we fundamentally willing to make the tough decisions? Are we willing and able to make the investment needed to field the best team possible?

"Strategy" is a word that's getting tossed around left and right in the boardroom and in the locker room. And I'm beginning to wonder if we've forgotten what it actually means. To be an elite 3 PL Provider or marketing communications company, we've got to actually put our money where our mouth is and make the move from pretender, to contender!

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The Season's First Snow.

The Season's First Snow.

Even the Scrooge probably has a little nervous excitement when he sees snow for the first time in the season. Weather (spelling intended) you're a child, child at heart or, conversely, you dwell in the practical reality of life, living and logistics, this day does bring with it an air of freshness and giddiness that, frankly, doesn't happen often (the only other day that does it for me is that first day that really feels like Spring).

This all comes with an opportunity. Sure, the first, and most obvious, is to simply enjoy. Soak it all in, but then leverage that into something more productive. The season's first snow should also come with some anxiety. Thanksgiving in 2 weeks, Christmas in 6 weeks, and only 7 weeks left in 2013!! Are you ready?

A holiday direct marketing campaign can be a great way to drive business for that last, all-important push to finish off 2013 strong. It could be very simple. Have you taken the time to thank your best customers yet this year? Marketing communication strategies don't have to be complicated. In fact, some of the most successful include lead generation methods that are staples of any good marketing plan. Remember, time is valuable over the next 7 weeks. It may be unrealistic to do an open house and expect a reasonable turn out when we've all got multiple commitments (personally and professionally). But a simple, well-designed direct mail effort is very reasonable and feasible to build and deploy in the next few weeks. We've got some great promotional product ideas and corporate gifts that would be perfect.

On this "special" day, use that little spring in your step as motivation to get a few things done that are on your list. Sure, you can check it twice but then remember how nice it will be to sit by the fire in that winter wonder land that will be here in a few weeks knowing that you did everything you could to finish the year strong. And just think, all that from a few simple snowflakes!

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Heading Down the Stretch

Heading Down the Stretch

In a lot of ways, the business cycle is very similar to the baseball season. A lot of strategizing, planning and building in the winter months - things sort of "spring" into action in April - it gets exciting in May, June and July, then everyone seems to fall into a dopey haze in August. Business slows down, play seems to slow down and everyone and everything seems to have a lethargic feel and tone to it. Then what happens?

 

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Spring Turns to Summer Turns to...

Spring Turns to Summer Turns to...

The Summer Slow Down! So, what are you going to do about it now?

If your business is like many, the summer does tend to have a significant impact on output and production. For some businesses, it probably has as much to do with a seasonal product or product line, but, for many, it has more to do with an overall more casual, relaxed attitude and vacations on top of other people's vacations combined with more vacations.

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What Is March Telling Us About Madness?

What Is March Telling Us About Madness?

I've been a basketball fan since I was a kid. And it has always been pretty clear to me that a lot of people who aren't basketball fans, do tend to enjoy March Madness. Maybe it's the competitiveness, or the bracketology, or the cinderella stories, or maybe just the chance to win a buck!

 

What has stood out to me over the last few years, however, is that the "hype" doesn't seem to be as great as it used to be. Is it me? This year's tournament, in particular, has more than its fair share of Cinderella stories. From Harvard to LaSalle, to Florida Gulf Coast and Wichita State who are both still in it. And teams like VCU, Butler, Baylor and George Mason still seem to carry that Cinderella aura even though they've managed to actually become somewhat regulars in The Dance.

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Top 5 2013 Super Bowl Ads

Top 5 2013 Super Bowl Ads

Well, being a Patriots fan, this year's Super Bowl took on a little bit of a different twist for me. Of course being a Patriots fan means that you actually expect them to be in the game...anything less is a disappointment. It's so much of a roller coaster that because they weren't in it, I kind of forgot it was even on. But, when I did settle in, looking forward to the commercials wound up being what piqued my interest the most.

So, for the 2013 Superbowl, I decided to publish my own list of the top 5. Here goes:

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Should Prayer be Allowed in School?

Should Prayer be Allowed in School?

Hopefully I touch a nerve with this one. Talk about an effective email subject line. It just came through my email and took me to a survey. Of course it was one of those surveys where I had to say "yes" to getting information on erectile dysfunction, Turbo Tax, the jelly of the month club and replacement windows. And because I was only interested in 3 out of the 4, I didn't qualify for the grand prize. But it did let me see the results...I'll share in a moment (I was surprised!)

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The 5 Deadly Sins of Presentations

Written By John Brien

 “The film is set in 1933, at the height of the Depression, in Winnipeg…Beer baroness Lady Port-Huntly announces a contest to find the ‘saddest music in the world’ as a way to promote her brew…. The self-styled Beer Queen of the Prairie invites musicians from around the world to compete for the $25,000 prize… She even has a slogan: ‘If you're sad and like beer, I'm your lady.’”

Jonathan Rosenbaum Review of The Saddest Music in the World

Okay, so you have to be something of a movie buff to know about The Saddest Music in the World and its director, Guy Maddin. Musicians representing various countries compete to deliver the “saddest” performance, with the winner(s) of each round sliding into a giant vat of beer (if only the contenders in American Idol had it so lucky).

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10 New Year's Marketing Communication Resolutions

10 New Year's Marketing Communication Resolutions

2013 is here! We made it through 12/21/12 and instead of preparing for basic survival, we're now focused on bathing ourselves in leads in 2013! Here are 10 ideas on how we can make our lead generation methods more successful this year:

10. I RESOLVE TO - START. This is funny to me because it is arguably the most important one on the list. In many ways, we've made this way too complicated. Focusing on perfection and analysis of end results without simly saying "something is better than nothing". Should I try one to one communications, or maybe some promotional imprinted produts, or maybe lead nurturing campaigns? All good ideas. I'm not advocating allocating budget dollars without rhyme or reason, I'm simply saying that in order to get results, you have to get started. So I resolve to "do" more in 2013.

 

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6 Brands That Will Likely Disappear in 2013

6 Brands That Will Likely Disappear in 2013

Written by Farnoosh Torabi | Yahoo Finance  - December 24th, 2012

What do JC Penney, Mitsubishi Motors and Martha Stewart Living magazine all have in common? Each has earned a spot on the list of brands that will likely disappear in 2013.


Financial news site 24/7 Wall St compiled the full list by scrutinizing American companies based on sales, customer base, market relevance and overall fiscal health.
 
Some predictions we made earlier this year have already panned out. Mobile carrier MetroPCS was acquired by Sprint, automaker American Suzuki went bankrup,t and Current TV announced it will be sold or go under, says 24/7 Wall St.’s Editor Doug McIntyre. “We stand by the overall accuracy of the list.”
 
Here are six more brands that the group predicts will likely to go bust in the New Year.

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