SMI is benefiting from a weak economy. With another 159,000 jobs cut in the American workforce in September 2008, it's a wonder SMI is experiencing one of its biggest quarters on record. The client base for SMI has expanded from sports and entertainment venues to leaders in the Home Improvement and Satellite TV industries. This holiday season, SMI will be unveiling their new "Event Marketing" program where they will have a major presence in some of the country's largest retailers.
"We are obviously very excited about what the future has 'in store' forus," Doug Ascher, SMI Director of Operations, says with a smile on his face. He is obviously using a play on words, as this November, SMI will be partnering with the U.S.'s biggest retailer. "We will literally be taking our marketing campaigns and products INTO the stores. Due to the foot traffic in the retail stores, our clients are going to get 5 times the recognition they get from our 'B2B Loyalty Card' program. We expect to increase our clients' business by around 300% of what we are currently doing due to this new event model. At the same time, we won't be abandoning our current B2B Loyalty Card programs."
Doug Ascher was asked why he thinks SMI has been able to grow despite the issues in the economy that are causing most companies in the marketing and sales industry to scramble for profits. In a recent report published on BusinessWeek's website, Louis Lavelle reports in a recent article titled, "Help Wanted: Job ads way down," that online job ads for "Marketing" are down 34% and for "Business Management" openings, there has been a 61.2% shrink in openings.
"There are 2 reasons for our continued growth. Our clients need results and we are a results-based company. Traditional marketing is on its heels right now due to high costs and low return rates. The future of advertising was supposed to be 'on-line click' advertising. According to most reports, the rate-of-return is around a measly .2%. That's only one-fifth of a percentage point. We've been telling our clients for years that the best way to get customers is to give them an incentive to use you and then, once you have an incentive for the customer, get it in front of them as quick and efficiently as possible. That's what we've done for years and what we'll continue to do in the future."
Doug goes on to describe the second reason for SMI's success,and as you hear him talk, you can tell why clients are lining up to be represented by members of the SMI team. "It's all about sales and communication skills. Ask any Director of Marketing or Sales of any professional sports franchise and they will tell you the same thing; it's about putting people in the seats. Our Management Trainees are taught this from day one. We attract people that have a very clear goal of moving up in their career. Some people want to sit behind a desk, look busy, put in just enough work to not get fired, and leave the building at 5 pm sharp every day, and unfortunately for them, this is not going to be that place. By surrounding ourselves with ambitious, hard-working, and driven team members, we don't have to deal with people not being on the same page as us. We have a 100% promotion from within policy, so all our growth has come from people that know our philosophies and work ethic. Our training program is hard, very hard, but that's why we develop such great managers and team members. Let's face it, a lot of people would love to manage one of our offices, but don't want to do what it takes to get there. Hey, I'd love to be the most muscular guy on the beach, but if I am not willing to go to the gym 7 days a week or stop eating ice cream, then I can't complain when I don't have sick pack abs. It's not what you want out of life, it's what are you willing to do to get it. Our team members are the key to our growth and deserve all the credit. Their hard work and perseverance are what separates us from everyone else."
After talking to Doug, there's no doubt that no matter which direction the economy goes, there's only one place SMI is going, and that is "Up." Combine a great marketing plan with a second-to-none work ethic, and you can see why expectations are higher than ever at SMI.