Well now that I have your attention…

I was just reflecting back to when I was the Information Manager for a major renovation firm. “Was”, being that, one I worked myself out of a job and two it was the best thing that ever happened. Now I manage my own business, doing what I love most, being a photographer, but I digress.

I was thinking about showrooms for businesses. You know, all those huge rooms filled with product and fancy displays that tie up companies’ profits in the name of marketing and potential sales.

The big thing with the company I was with at the time was to have showrooms, lots of them. The problem was they, the showrooms, for the better part remained empty of the multitudes. Empty perhaps because of the distance potential clients needed to travel was one of the reasons I perceived, but there were others. Nevertheless, the costs were still there. Costs to staff the showrooms, cost of products for display, heat and hydro and space rental too.

As cities expand so do the areas of coverage companies need to service as their client base expands in the never-ending cycle of survival.

That is where, in my opinion, and based on extensive research, that sound VISUAL marketing options come into play. As I grew within the company, I began to study the costs involved in not only having, but also maintaining one showroom, let alone many. I also started to realize that the potential clients, I met in person or talked to over the telephone, had forearmed themselves with knowledge about their desires/needs on the internet prior to contacting us. They had done their homework in advance. The days of the large showrooms filled with the dreams businesses offer was numbered.

I analyzed then and still strongly believe to this day that for many companies to survive financially and still maintain a visual presence they must open their eyes to reality and see that the future is friendly, to coin a phrase. There is away to reach a vast market at the same time, be cost efficient. That is where virtual showrooms come into play.

As I researched the topic, I was able to conclude that while a company would initially pay a seemingly hefty sum to set up and establish one, the savings in the end would be astronomical. In the case of a renovation firm, as an example, that services from Lions Bay to Hope BC, a distance of about 100 miles and all areas in between, a virtual showroom would make a very sound investment, from a financial as well as a logistical standpoint.

Imagine, if you will, maintaining a singular showroom in your head office in City A. However, you have potential clients who desire to have your services in City B and City C but they do not want to travel the distance. Therefore, you set up small, by appointment only, boutiques in B and C and yes, even D, E, and points beyond as well, because you want to expand your market and increase your client base. Your presence is now coming too the communities, but so are the costs to you as your bottom line veers dangerously towards the red. Overhead is eating up your profits.

A virtual showroom viewable by virtually anyone, as computers become more the norm, right next to eating and breathing and that daily cup of coffee, or two is the answer your quest. One showroom in reality, perhaps two in strategic locations, for those clients who still want to touch and feel before the big purchase and a singular virtual showroom open 24/7 to the world and you have marketing at its most efficient.

Now you may ask how that affects me. “I do not have a large company, nor do I have an advertising budget to match.” Well guess what, neither do I, but I do have my virtual showroom and I am advertising my expertise, it is this blog. Cheaper then a web site, twice as much fun and it is open 24/7 for your viewing pleasure.

Blogging for companies large and small has to be one of the most cost-effective ways to market their services. With some common sense advice and information about you, your company, including some good, well thought out visuals and your showroom is open for business. Later when you are ready, open that bricks and mortar showroom if that is your goal, as an extension of your online presence and keep the profits in your pocket, not in someone else’s.

If you are reading this then you know what I mean by 24/7 availability, so what are you waiting for. And if you’re not sure how to or what to do to get your online presence setup and running correctly , there are some very sound online experts in your area that are willing to assist at reasonable fees, after all that is their job. Your company will still reap the benefits due to you having made a sound and cost efficient marketing decision, your client base grows and your profits margins as well.


Digg!

Allan Herman, Creative Visual Marketing Services Inc. (CVM Inc.)

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