By Michele Stilwell, Director of Marketing and Accounting at MEDiAHEAD.

Networking - Relationship First. Business Second.I have some thoughts about networking the right way. My goal has always been to focus on the relationship first and business second.

When you’re at a networking event, I wouldn’t recommend handing someone your business card without actually engaging with them first. Your business card is not the important part of the interaction… it’s simply a tool. Face-to-face conversation means everything. Getting to know someone by putting time and effort into the relationship means so much for everyone involved. Find things you have in common, and then make the effort to reach out and set up a time for lunch or coffee.

It’s so worth keeping in touch with people you truly care about! This is a story about how a networking connection turned into a friendship that turned into a business opportunity. And the order matters.

Never underestimate the power of networking and maintaining relationships.

Attending networking events isn’t really my favorite thing to do; however I do attend them. Often, when I get there, I realize “wow, this isn’t so bad.”

My story starts with a networking event about seven years ago. I was sitting at a table and a gentleman came and sat next to me. He leaned over and said, “I really don’t like attending networking events.” I agreed with him and ever since we’ve stayed in touch.

We agreed to have lunch monthly to talk about our careers, dogs and families while sharing social connections.

The goal was to get to know each other without the pressure of ulterior motives. To build that strong professional connection. And it didn’t hurt that we were both in sales, had similar professional contacts and could share war stories.

As this relationship has evolved over the years, he’s moved up in the world.

My friend has an important role with a fantastic company in the Kansas City area. When we met for our next regularly scheduled lunch, he said, “We need a portal!” I thought that was a fantastic idea, and I knew the perfect company that could help. <wink wink> As a result, MEDiAHEAD is in the process of creating a portal for his company, and I still get to have lunch and talk about all the great things going on with his career, dog and family.

Never underestimate the power of a relationships or networking events because they can always develop into something more. And it takes time to do it properly.

At MEDiAHEAD, we want to be part of your trusted network. If you’ve worked with us in the past, you know that we genuinely care about our customers. The relationship is the glue that makes things last. If you don’t have that kind of trusted relationship in the world of printing, let’s talk!

By LeRay Warrior, Principal at MEDiAHEAD.

Marketing a company is often a complex process that involves many moving parts. However, it doesn’t always have to be this way.

Here at MEDiAHEAD we’ve been helping our clients consolidate and centralize the marketing process for over 15 years with our tailored online portals. But what exactly are online portals, and how can they dramatically improve the marketing process?

What is an Online Marketing Portal?

As a company grows, so do the marketing and sales departments. Marketing teams located in different regions can often begin to diverge from agreed branding guidelines. And last-minute customizations to print runs have to pass through several hands before being approved. After a while, even the simplest of tasks such as finding the latest version of a sales brochure can become unnecessarily difficult.

An online marketing portal provides an online media warehouse for all of your marketing materials in one handy, central location.

Not only will all employees know where the latest versions of marketing materials are, but businesses can track every penny spent on developing and printing marketing campaigns.

But the benefits to switching to an online marketing portal don’t end there.

What are the Advantages of Moving to an Online Marketing Portal?

Time

An online marketing portal will save you time.Perhaps one of the biggest savings afforded by an online marketing portal is time.

By streamlining all marketing assets into one online repository, undertakings such as customizations or updating of information can all be handled in a matter of a few clicks and will instantaneously take effect across the whole organization. There will no longer be any guessing as to where the latest version of a file is when using a searchable online media warehouse.

Integration with suppliers can make last-minute print orders a cinch. Furthermore, Field reps and sales agents don’t have to worry about liaising with their local marketing department to print the latest needed materials.

Cost Reductions

Have you ever authorized a huge print run of marketing materials only for the information contained within those documents to become obsolete a few months later? Let’s face it, no company wants to get stuck with thousands of flyers or brochures they can no longer use.

With an online portal you can order what you need, when you need it, reducing costs and unnecessary waste.

What’s more, you can set budget restraints on individuals, departments, or divisions to ensure they stay within their allocated budget. Employees can see their spend in real-time, allowing them to make informed choices with their assigned resources.

Improved Return on Investment (ROI)

Online portals produce fully-customizable reports, meaning ROI suddenly becomes easier to measure. By running cost reports against campaign performance you can immediately identify high-performing marketing properties and those that are hurting the bottom line.

By using reports on usage trends and inventory costs, companies can also utilize that information to make some serious savings; leading to further increases in ROI.

Increased Flexibility

Browser-based marketing portals give employees the opportunity to log in from anywhere in the world to access marketing materials. Sales reps who’ve managed to secure last-minute meetings with potential clients no longer have to worry about getting marketing information together. It’s all there, ready to go on one easy-to-navigate platform.

Leaning on a trade show to give you a discounted stand rate but sweating under the pressure of getting marketing assets printed in time? With an online portal, materials can be sent for print and turned around within 24-48 hours. Allowing you to secure the best possible deals on expos, trade shows, and industry forums.

Increased Control Over Branding

Regional variations are a necessity for most businesses’ marketing assets. A message crafted for inhabitants of New York is not going to have the same impact in California or Kansas City. However, maintaining a consistent look and feel across marketing materials is important.

Online portals give management teams the ability to approve materials, ensuring controlled versioning for regional and strategic partners. With a consistent look across all products and materials, changes can be made much quicker and disseminated across the company in an instant.

We are Experts at Creating Online Marketing Solutions

Idea, Planning, Strategy, SuccessAs mentioned, we have well over a decade of experience in delivering game-changing online marketing portals to our clients. We’ve used that expertise to help clients deliver marketing campaigns they could only dream of previously.

After a successful installation, targeted cross-media campaigns can be launched with a few clicks of a mouse. Companies can place orders with a variety of vendors across the country all in one place; and they can print what they need, when they need it, instead of running up huge print overages or costly small print runs.

Management can use the portal to ensure brand guidelines are being adhered to and there’s no more time wasted on collateral, proofing, editing, or searching for the latest version of important marketing assets.

If you feel that your company could benefit from a streamlined, centralized, and fully-functional online marketing portal then don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Take advantage of the following benefits:

  • 24/7 access to all sales and marketing collateral wherever employees are based

  • Create and customize all documents in one location

  • Monitor all orders and materials company-wide to make sure they adhere to brand guidelines

  • Keep better track of marketing spend and determine ROI of campaigns

  • Track and manage inventory of all sales and marketing assets

  • Set budget allocations on individual, departmental, and divisional levels with real-time spend analysis

  • Save time and money on printing costs by only ordering what you need, when you need it

  • Launch campaigns across various media formats with regional versioning from within one central hub

  • Gain access to additional marketing lists and segment them for targeting within the portal

By Michele Stilwell, Director of Marketing and Accounting at MEDiAHEAD

Populous LogoPopulous is an architectural design firm here in Kansas City. They are well respected and have done projects all over the world. We appreciate one of the statements on their home page, “We design the places where people love to be together.” They have a passion for their work, and we really enjoy working with them.

When we first met with the Chief Marketing Officer of Populous, one of their designers was in the room. We asked him for a business card. The designer said that unfortunately, it had been four weeks, and he still didn’t have a business card. We told them we could fix that. And that’s how the relationship started!

Today, Populous employees have the ability to go to their online, customized portal to order business cards.

Populous - Unique Business CardsSomething unique we are doing for them… they can choose any one of the photos of Populous projects for the back of their business cards! If they upload a hundred project photos, they can have one hundred different business card backs in their 250 business card order. It’s a fun way for their employees to give a personal touch to the sales and marketing process. And all they have to do is log into their portal to order. It’s that simple.

Once ordered, their new business cards will get to them within 2 – 3 days after they approve them in our system. What an improvement over the 4+ weeks it used to take to get business cards!

We love what we do at MEDiAHEAD and no project is too big or too small.

When faced with a challenge, we tackle it head on and always come up with a solution. Often, it’s a customized solution that ends up being the right answer for each and every client. Let us help you streamline and standardize your processes, get faster turn times, and manage your brand consistency and content. Most of all save, you can save your organization time and money.

At MEDiAHEAD, the customer comes first. Give us a chance to show you. Find out more about us in more stories on our blog: https://mymediahead.com/blog