“Social media is not an extension of your brand, it is your brand,” said social media guru Corey Perlman in a keynote address at TRSA’s Fifth Annual Marketing & Sales Summit last month in Tampa, Florda. Perlman’s presentation, dubbed Social Selling: How Digital Marketing Can Strengthen Your Business, focused on why marketers must make social media a priority, drew more than 50 marketing and sales staff from the linen, uniform and facility services leaders from across North America.
As the owner of Impact Social Inc., Perlman has been at the forefront of digital marketing for more than a decade. An author, speaker, consultant and nationally recognized social media expert, Perlman shared his eight social-selling principles, including why you must prioritize your platform, and why doing good things also is good for business.
Perlman returned to the summit that afternoon to lead a digital-marketing master class. This hands-on interactive workshop had attendees evaluating their own social-media sites, based on the eight social-selling principles addressed during the morning session. “If you are looking for more engagement in your social media, talk about someone else, your teammates, your customers, your company partners,” Perlman advised in a key takeaway point that had attendees reviewing their company posts and rethinking their content-planning calendars.
Another popular conference session was dubbed Let’s Talk: Conversation Starters. In this workshop, attendees gathered in peer-led groups based on common interests. They engaged in open discussions on any of four topics: social media, the value of search engines in marketing, best practices for lead generation and how to grow market share for rental vs. direct-sale goods.
In addition, the summit included two panel discussions. Jeff Wile, the owner of Infinite Laundry, Coral Springs, FL, led the first session, titled, Developing a Marketing Strategy with Proven ROI. Jeff Peterson, sales manager, Spin Linen Management, Omaha, NE, also showcased a direct-mail gift box that Peterson and his team had sent to selected prospects. The campaign’s ROI far surpassed their goal of a 5:1 ratio of year-over-year revenue.
Mark Lewis, director of business development at Dempsey Uniform & Linen, Jessup, Pwennsylvania, also led a presentation on ideas for improving ROI by rolling out new products for a company’s portfolio. Lewis outlined the steps required to effectively research and present new products.
A second panel, facilitated by Ben Fox, director of sales and marketing, Alsco Uniforms, Salt Lake City, focused on aligning sales and marketing with service and operations. A mix of operators and suppliers, from marketing, sales and operations, shared ideas on how their companies can do more to align priorities among these groups. They discussed suggestions for improving communications, focus and teamwork. Ryan Matthews, Alsco Uniforms, the new chair of the TRSA’s Marketing & Sales Committee and a senior national sales manager at Alsco, reminded attendees that, “When working on the alignment of your company players, don’t leave out the customers’ point of view.”
Rounding out the conference was a “best of the best” competition, in which 19 attendees submitted one of their successful marketing promotions, campaigns, videos or sales hits. During networking breaks between sessions, attendees were shown each of the submissions with a short quote explaining the idea and visual of the success. At the end of the summit, attendees voted for their top choice. Zach Ostendorf, a videographer from CITY Laundering, Oelwein, IA, was the big winner with his “day in the life of route sales rep” video. Ostendorf went home with bragging rights, plus a $250 Amazon gift card.
Reflecting on the substance and value of the summit, Mark Crewes, Workwear Outfitters, Nashville, Tennessee, commented: “The entire day’s events were very well done. I would recommend attending future events and will encourage someone from our marketing department to also attend future sales and marketing summit meetings.”
Next year’s TRSA Marketing & Sales Summit will be held in Memphis, Tennessee, in October.