Monday, December 21, 2009

CUSTOM PLUSH TOYS - No Re-Quote Necessary

On December 18, 2009 the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted to extend the 1 year STAY on 3rd Party Independent Product Testing and General Certificates of Compliance (GCC) required to be performed and provided as part of the 2007 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) law. The STAY of enforcement on this component of the law is in effect until February 10, 2011.


Artistic Toy focuses on product safety from concept design through final production. If you need higher levels of assurance to protect your stakeholders we will provide separate price quotations for 3rd party safety testing and GCC's.

See for more important news on safety testing procedures, sample reports, and FAQ's.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Due to the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) scheduled expiration of the one year STAY ending on February 9, 2010, Artistic Toy has included Independent Product Safety Testing as part of all product price quotations after December 16, 2007. All custom toy products quoted and ordered after this date will be manufactured after the February 10, 2010 effective date. The further implementation of the CPSIA law will require third party testing for a large spectrum of promotional products.

DELIVERY REMINDER: Due to the Chinese New Year all custom plush toy orders received and approved on or before January 29, 2010 will deliver standard by sea to customers in April 2010. (See article Key Decision Dates to Navigate the Beginning of your 2010 Sales Cycle for details on Chinese New Year.)

We are notifying all customers who have open price quotations for Custom Plush Toys to check back in with clients to see if the project quoted is expected to be in the purchase plan for 2010. If the Custom Toy project is a 2010 possibility, we recommend that our distributor customer's contact us ( or 888-288-TOYS) to request a re-quote immediately, so that all the required independent safety testing costs can be confirmed and communicated back to the client for inclusion in the final purchase decision.

All open price quotes or pending orders including Artistic Toy stock inventory product line will not need to be re-quoted for Independent Safety Testing. Products manufactured before February 10, 2010 will not require the Independent Product Safety Testing; however, do still require compliance with all other toy and CPSC product safety standards. During 2010 clients can expect to see a gradual increase in stock inventory product prices as older inventory is depleted, and new inventory is manufactured with the required third party safety testing costs.

Independent Product Safety Testing procedures and costs vary due to the complexity of the product design and could range from $500 to $2,500 based on the components of the product. (See article CPSIA “STAY” or “GONE” for more details on how to approach safety testing with your client.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


One major pain point that could cause frustration for salespeople in 2010 is the February 10, 2010 CPSIA “STAY” or “GONE” decision by the CPC. Many manufacturers and distributors will be lobbying for the CPSIA "STAY" extension that is expiring in February. Every industry discussion group I have attended indicates that the STAY will be GONE effective 2/10/10, which means the full requirements of the law will go into effect.

All Children’s and Child Care products manufactured after 2/10/10 will require an independent laboratory safety report before it is distributed. Products distributed without approved safety reports will be subject to substantial fines. This is important to salespeople who are thinking about selling stuffed plush toys this year. While your target market is clearly designed to reach audiences over 12 years old, the CPSIA may not support that decision if your promotional strategy looks like duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a Children’s Product or Childcare item.

Here are a few of things to expect from your trusted industry suppliers:
  1. Increase minimum order quantities to offset the fixed cost of safety testing.
  2. Safety testing now a standard component of product unit cost.
  3. Separate line item analysis for toy safety testing.
  4. Manage product safety from design to delivery including coordination with testing laboratories.
In order to battle this frustration, Artistic Toy will assist salespeople with strategies and case studies to look beyond the plush toy product and see into the exciting world of Character Marketing (TM). A Character Marketing (TM) campaign will provide salespeople the unique selling proposition to provide reasons to increase order sizes and further substantiating the testing costs. Challenge yourself to have a forward thinking approach to the fact that the STAY is GONE. You can seize this opportunity to discretely raise the bar for your client's advertising campaign. Instead of facing this challenge as a road block, use it as a tool to increase the purchase decision beyond a singular product and look at the broader campaign.

While facing the new safety requirements you should also be aware of some of the other challenges that will arise:
  1. Increased delivery timing because more samples and approvals will need to be received before products are moved into production.
  2. Toy Safety testing is required to be performed by an accredited laboratory.
  3. Every product component must be individually evaluated for testing creating a variable price structure for independent toy testing. On average, prepare your client for spending approximately $1,000 to $2,000 for this testing.
  4. Pricing for testing varies significantly between accredited safety laboratories.
  5. Work with a supplier that understands the testing requirements and the design elements of your product so they can explain to your client's legal departments the requirements and negotiate with testing laboratories so you are not overcharged or delayed in production timing.
This is your opportunity to expand your client relationship and dig deeper into their business strategy. Call Artistic Toy if you need help developing a program that quacks as loud as AFLAC and won’t be stopped by CPSIA.

Key Decision Dates to Navigate the Beginning of your 2010 Sales Cycle

Whether you are an industry veteran or newcomer, this is the time of year that suppliers talk about the impact of Chinese New Year on product delivery. The recognition that that world tilts off its axis for about 30 days can be an uneasy time for those of us in the Western Hemisphere. It never fails that the biggest clients always want to push up against the Chinese New Year and demand orders placed in December deliver before the end of February. We have always advocated on our client’s behalf to encourage the factory to rush the production or stop the workers from going home; however, it is a battle we have yet to win.

There seems to be an inevitable cycle of misunderstanding, frustration, and then remorse with salespeople and clients. In order to better equip you for the beginning of your 2010 selling season, we want to arm you with critical facts and important information about several key dates. You might want to print this out and put these dates and topical discussion points in your sales toolbox to battle the frustrations.

The annual frustration point to address is the February 14, 2010: Chinese New Year. We are fortunate to work in an industry where our clients are not dying on tables. Help yourself avoid remorse by being honest with your deadlines and work with your supply partner as if they have a vested interest in your success. If you don’t feel that way, get away while you can. The other pain staking truth is yes, it is going to cost more. The amazing thing is clients remain loyal and pay more for problem solvers. If your client has an important business problem to solve or key objective to meet in Q1, they will approve the resources necessary to get the work done.

Before you get approval to enlist herculean resources, you should know more about Chinese New Year and critical dates. Artistic Toy’s stuffed plush toy factories will be operating on the following holiday schedule:
  • Saturday, January 30, 2010
The last of all the managers and employees will have left the factory to visit their families in different provinces far from the factory’s city.
  • Saturday, February 14, 2010
February 14, 2010 marks the first day of the Chinese Year 4,707. You may have wondered why Chinese people live longer than other cultures. It’s because on the Chinese New Year, everyone becomes one year older. There is also an old Chinese secret you should know about. The New Year starts on a different day each year and is shorter than our 365-day year. So the year of the Tiger starts on February, 14 2010 and ends on February 2, 2011, while the following year of the Rabbit begins on February 3, 2011 and ends on January 27, 2012.
  • Saturday, February 27, 2010
All of the factory employees, who are likely to return to the factory in 2010, have arrived and are ready to resume production. It’s helpful to know that the Chinese New Year has significant cultural and economic implications on the workers and the factories. A growing percentage of factory workers do not return to the factory after the holiday season every year. So while a majority of the factory is back in operation by the end of February, you can expect to see a slower production line because some of your workforce has not returned and some of the workforce will be new and inexperienced.
  • Saturday, March 20, 2010
This is the expected sailing date for the first container leaving after the Chinese New Year holiday. When the factory closes its doors for a month they clean everything off the production line. In the perfect scenario your order molds, proofs, and fabric are all complete and sitting there ready to start production on February 27.

This Chinese New Year calendar can be a big frustration point for some clients; however, if you can communicate clearly the key decision dates below you will reclaim your prowess as the go-to product and campaign planning advisor. Encourage your clients to make quick decisions and get approvals back to you to achieve the following results:

Key Decision Dates

While these key dates are helpful, it’s also good to offer your clients alternatives like a partial order delivery by air freight or an alternative product from our stock plush toy line. Let’s challenge ourselves and our customer service team members to think creatively and provide positive energy into the process we know will consume many as the limitations prevail.

Friday, October 16, 2009

20 Years and Still Having Fun...

This past month Artistic Toy celebrated a very important moment in history. The first employee to cross the 20 year anniversary with the Company.

This is monumental for a small business that has operated under a new name and new management for only 4 years.

Helen Haring of Easton, PA started working for Art's Toy Manufacturing, Inc. in 1989. She has served in many exciting roles including switchboard operator, new employee liaison, quality control inspector, production manager, box packer, t-shirt imprinter, sewer, and product assembler.

Helen has set a standard for hard work and quality control at Artistic Toy. She will not allow anything pass through her department unless she would feel comfortable giving the product to her grandchildren or other members of her family. Helen has an attention to detail and relentless pursuit for efficiency that cannot be touched by anyone. With Helen on our team, we never worry that a rush job or big order will not ship on time.

We asked Helen what was her secret to working 20 years at the same place and she replied without hesitation, "You gotta love what you do!" Helen's simple and yet profound advice inspires all of us find what we love to do and have fun doing it.

Helen has helped me realize that we have more than special plush toy products that needed to be promoted. Some of our greatest treasures are right inside our office doors and if we don't take the time celebrate, we will miss what is truly remarkable about our business. Thank you Helen for all your hard work and inspiration.

Jim Socci

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sperm Plush Toy Triggers 7% Duty & CPSIA Exclusion

The U.S. Customs TEAM 717 has determined that they will re-classify some of Artistic Toy's plush toys as NON-Toys because they don't meet the the US Custom's definition of a toy. Our salespeople and customers need to be aware of this because it triggers a 7% duty to be paid on non-toys. The Consumer Product Commission (CPC) and the Promotional Products Industry need to be aware of this due to manufacturers getting conflicting messages from different government agencies. At the same time, more evaluation is required by manufactureres to stay in compliance.

Artistic Toy follows the basic classification guideline that all their products qualify under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act's (CPSIA) definition of Children's Toys; "a consumer product designed or intended by the manufacturer for a child up to 12 years of age for use by the child when the child plays"

U.S. Customs uses a general rule of thumb to define toys. "A toy must bring amusement to children or adults to be classified as a toy for US customs importing."

When U.S. Customs, determines that an Artistic Toy plush toy is a NON-TOY then a 7% duty is due. The new Customs reclassification will also trigger Artistic Toy to examine the NON-TOY classification and see if it will provide relief from the CPSIA law.

There could be some potentially good news for customers because it was assumed all Artistic Toy products were Children Toys and would require CPSIA enforcement. Upon further review by U.S. Customs, it was found not all of the products are considered toys. This non-toy ruling triggers some discussion and possible exclusion from the CPSIA regulations.

Below are some products examined by US Customs:

1. Sperm Toy - RULED NON-TOY - Subject to 7% Duty. Customs believes this product will sit on someone's desk, deemed miscellaneous textile product (6307.90.9889 HARM Code), and will not provided amusement of children or adults.

2. Baby Paper - RULED NON-TOY - Subject to 7% Duty. Deemed to be miscellaneous textile product because they couldn’t readily see it as a toy and how it would be played with by infants.

3. Boobie Blanket- RULED TOY - NO DUTY - After physical examination determined that duck head on blanket qualifies product to be toy.

In the case of the Baby Paper and the Boobie Blanket products examined by U.S. Customs clients will be need to comply with both regulations(7% Duty + CPSIA). According to U.S. Customs the Boobie Blanket qualifies as a Toy because the duck head is seen as a toy a child would play with. You might be confused right now; however, could find it encouraging to know that there is a Ruling Database that can be researched and appealed for US customs decisions. Although you should be aware the appeal process can be long and costly.

The client who ordered the Sperm will be unhappy to know they now have a 7% duty to pay; however, they will have a favorable argument to exclude their product CPSIA's regulations because it would fall outside of the scope of the law. (i.e. Children's Product, Children's Toy, Child Care Article)

Monday, August 17, 2009

"Cause".... It Works!!!

The holiday season is coming and your client wants to put together a marketing campaign that transcends community involvement. Take a look at how a national retailer built a cause promotion using a variety of soft stuffed plush toys to help the community, attract shoppers, and increase register sales.

This is a great concept targeting a $5.00 price point that generates a lot of support from customers. This plush toy program has helped contributed to over $126 million raised for children across the country.

See Kohl's website for more details on the program.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Free Custom Toy Winner - August 10

This week's InstaQuote winner of the FREE CUSTOM Toy prototype is Cecil Bryan from FEA Merchandise. Cecil has a good lead on a 5" mouse that he thinks could turn into some recurring business. We will start creating the pattern, picking the fabric, and perfecting this character.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Character Starts Now!!!

Artistic Toy launched a new program to "Help Build Character". Every week through the month of August Artistic Toy will be reviewing submissions through it's InstaQuote(TM) system and award 1 FREE custom plush toy prototype each week.

The special program is designed to help salespeople present new marketing ideas to clients and understand why Character Marketing is a superior marketing medium that big and small businesses can utilize to capture market share and make an impact on their audience.

The Monday August 3, 2009 FREE Custom Toy Winner is Karen Hahn from General Advertising Products.

The challenge will be to further develop a mattress character. We all know how important the Sheep is for Serta, so now we are going to see what we can do spark brand recognition for this mattress company.

If you have an idea for a Character please check out our videos and templates on this webpage. Also Submit your ideas via InstaQuote before this Friday (8/7) to be eligible to win next week's FREE Custom Plush Toy sample.

Artistic Toy's New Friends

Our REFER A FRIEND program is off to a great start. I would like to take a minute to thank the people who think well enough of Artistic Toy to recommend friends to start doing business with us. It's these type of people and comments that get me excited about what we do every day.

Please enjoy these gracious comments from our friends:

Becky Moore (Impressionable Solutions) REFERS Julie Kneubuehl (Amazing Promotions)

Here's an email from Artistic Toy/ASI#37122 you might enjoy. I ordered a sample from them for a marketing idea this past March & it was really cute. It was the Baseball Bear Mailer. With all of my marketing talk, this Baseball Bear is one of the neatest ideas I've come across and I hope to use it as a marketing tool eventually. Anyway, I know you can order samples if you'd like. I don't know if there's a fee for all the samples but my Baseball Bear is more elaborate in it's functionality. They have some links on ideas for marketing using the toys. Click on the Breast Cancer Bear & see this adorable pink bear for an October Breast Cancer Awareness idea. I would schedule a mammogram just to get this pink bear!

There's an idea for a school fundraiser that you might like to look at. Anyway, check it out. I've spent some time on their website & they have some cool ideas. When I ordered my Baseball Bear Mailer, they were very helpful over the phone. My sample baseball bear even has our company logo printed on the bear's shirt! How cool is that? There was a cost for my sample bear but it is the coolest bear I have! They also have a refer a friend program & you can get that same bear that I paid for - for free! I hope you get a chance to check their ideas out. - Becky

Linda Mangun (Peak Promotions - Aubrey, TX ) REFERS Shari Ave (Peak Promotions - McKinney, TX)

Jim - I started her by sending her the Fireman flyer and she has already sent it to 3 fire departments. Yeah!
We signed her up for your mailings and I told her you are a marketing genius and will help her sell.

If you have a good friend in the business please check out our REFER A FRIEND program by clicking here.

Thank you,


Monday, June 1, 2009

PROMOTIONS EAST 2009 - Panel Discussion Delivers Great Value

Here are 15 key takeaways from five industry leaders to help recharge and motivate your current strategies :
1. Focus on "OAR MTV" in your Client Meetings (Outcome, Assess Value, ROI, Message, Target, Vehicle)
2. Challenge clients to redirect spending. ("What's your ROI on your Newspaper Advertisement")
3. Know What You Do for a Living. ("I help clients attract customers and retain employees.")
4. Overcome the NO Budget Objection. ("Can You Explain to Me Your Objective Again.")
5. Use LinkedIn to research prospects, find shared connections, setup breakfast meetings, and receive introductions.
6. Don't put up road blocks when working with self motivated salespeople.
7. Keep in Touch with Clients... There is no substitute for Belly-to-Belly Meetings.
8. Believe in what You do and use more promotional products in your business.
9. Always take advantage of opportunities to mentor people in the industry.
10. PPAI Studies - Now More Than Ever
11. Hot Industries to Call On: Healthcare, Software, Training and Education, and research Venture Capital companies that are looking to market themselves.
12. Stay focused on your plan.
13. It's not an objection, it's a fact as they see it.
14. Promotional products work so well, they won't let doctors use them.
15. Get Back to the Fundamentals like Direct Mail and Making Phone Calls.

Sherri Lennarson, MAS (Bankers Advertising Company) moderated a panel discussion that provided solid strategies to succeed in any economy with the contributions from a well prepared group of panelists. Joe Scott, MAS (Scott & Associates), Fred Snyder, MAS (Geiger), and Kippie Helzel (CPS/Keystone Line) shared her thoughts and spoke on behalf of Julie Levi (Progressive Promotions).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Artistic Toy Kirby Bear Meets Larry King Live

I recently learned that the Caylee Marie Anthony Foundation chose our 8" Kirby Brown Bear with imprinted t-shirt (S2158) to comfort families and children in distressed situations.

You can view the 2 minute segment from CNN's Larry King Live interview that explains the purpose of the foundation and how the bear will be used.

This is a testament to how a stuffed toy can outperform other forms of advertising and promotional marketing pieces. The creative team at Barker Specialty understands how to develop a cause promotion that serves a greater purpose. Not only will it help the foundation fulfill its mission to prevent child abduction through the creation of awareness of child safety measures, but will also provide support to families and law enforcement during child recovery efforts. This cause promotion assists in the well-being of children that need comfort and support during difficult and stressful times.

You can support the foundation by clicking here to donate. To learn more about the Caylee Bear Program click here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Toys Touching Lives

Carol Floyd, Blake Advertising Inc. (ASI/141075) used our 8" White Rabbit plush toy (S2041) in 100 Easter baskets in celebration for The Lovelady Center in Birmingham, Alabama. The pictures of the children with rabbits and baskets tell a wonderful story.

We are happy to hear and see the success of the event. It was a pleasure working with you.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Artistic Toy To The Rescue...

Here is an actual, dyed in the wool, success story from Jeff Hamilton in Southern California on how a Patriot Vendor, Artistic Toy, got him out of a very tight spot:

My client had ordered 750 - 8" custom stuffed bears back in the beginning of December for an event that began this past Sunday,March 15th. After multiple assurances from the initial vendor, we were informed on Friday, March 6th at 2:35 PM PST that their order was not going to make it in time for their event.

We called Jim Socci at Artistic Toys at 6:30 AM PST on the morning of Monday, March 9th. Jim and his crew pulled a miracle out of thin air. Not only did they deliver the bears on the morning of Thursday, March 12th, the client was elated with the new choice of bear provided versus their initial selection.

Our advice is, if you're doing stuffed animals, there is only one choice, Artistic Toys. Thanks again, Patriot vendor, Artistic Toys.

Jeff Hamilton
American Solutions for Business

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Character Matters

The last 3 weeks, Artistic Toy has been busy building character with its first Character Marketing Sales Team. The team consists of 23 top salespeople working together to implement Artistic Toy’s Character Marketing Sales Playbook. After three weeks of 1 hour web conferences over 70% of the team members are joined to a private Facebook group where they share ideas, case studies, proposals, prospecting campaigns, and presentations. In addition to sharing and learning, the team members have developed several proposals to introduce characters into existing and new client promotional marketing campaigns.
Character Marketing is a philosophy that leads to success, best stated by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Sow a thought and you reap an action;
Sow an act and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit and you reap a character;
Sow a character and you reap a destiny."

While discussing the BINGO sheet (One Page Business Plan) with Jim Nixson, The Vernon Company, he realized the opportunities are abundant with characters in marketing and it would be nearly impossible to exhaust them all.

Leon Davidson, Promoshop – Sacramento, said he has worked with a large university for the last 10 years and he always knew there was an opportunity to develop a plush toy mascot for them, but he just needed some help to get the proposal together.

Walker-Clay Inc. - Amanda Clay is literally going to the bank with a proposal to help her bank client energize a savings program for children.

Cary Romanoff, Ice Box Promotions, is thinking about ways to make their very own “Ping” the penguin a hot character to draw more attention to their brand through the use of a stuffed plush toy miniature.

Ted Davies, Paradigm Partners, reports an opportunity to make a bear an important game piece in a grocery store promotion.

Win Oppel, Ad-Merica, is discussing ways to expand a regional utility company’s energy conservation program with a custom plush toy replica of a character in a coloring book currently being used in their marketing.

Sherrie Rhoads, Success Promotions, Inc, received an email from a hotel client inquiring about plush toys with a Caribbean theme for their children's amenity program and to sell in their retail shops. While responding to her client’s request she asked some key questions and made a recommendation to consider branding themselves with their very own plush toy character that a guest cannot find anywhere else to act as a powerful reminder of the resort. This recommendation landed her an appointment with the General Manager of the Hotel.

Even in the doom and gloom of the economic crisis, this cast of characters has realized that it’s their Character that will pull them through. The team has proven that it doesn’t matter if your client is in a serious business or fun business you can find ways to use characters as powerful marketing tools that can be used in any and all industries.

Monday, February 9, 2009

350 Chef Bear Mailers Sent to Clients

Artistic Toy launched a trial campaign late last year and early this year to all the people that attended the Cliff Quicksell webinar or pre-registered to see us at the ASI Orlando Tradeshow to receive box mailer to 10 clients or prospects for FREE.

The mailer is being being shipped today (Feb 9) to over 350 distributor sales people's clients. We are very excited to learn about the results of this mailer.

It would be our intention that our participants would secure lots of plush toy orders from this mailer; however, our measurement is also on how many:

1. Phone Calls that New Prospects Take from You
2. Appointments You Make with Prospects / Customers
3. Presentation/Proposals Given
4. Quote Requests
5. New Orders (T-Shirts, Bears, Mugs, etc)

Please send us an email or leave a comment on our blog to let us know what reaction or benefits you are getting from the mail campaign.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Giving Campaign Featured In Counselor PromoGram

Supplier Orchestrates Toy Giveaway

Just because the holidays are over doesn't mean the giving season is. Artistic Toy (asi/37122) is looking to counteract the negative perceptions of the economy and spread the word on product safety by orchestrating a massive toy giveaway over the next 30 days. "We got a lot of good inventory, it's been here too long, and we want to move it," says Artistic Toy president Jim Socci. "And I want to build relationships with distributors. It's really been a lot of intensive thinking about the best way to inspire and spark people to use promotional products. The best way I knew was to get products into people's hands. And if we can do that at little or no cost, and we can bring a lot of joy into the community, it's going to be a phenomenal result."

Artistic Toy is hoping to donate tens of thousands of stuffed animal plush toys to non profit and community organizations. The Allentown, PA-based supplier is relying on distributors to get the word out – and help earn themselves some much needed promotion and goodwill through the campaign. "We want to encourage and promote our distributors to get out there to make some phone calls," Socci says, noting that a wide selection of toys will be available with no set up charges or extra accessory costs for imprints.

Socci says that a key reason behind the campaign is to help clear up the increasing concerns about toy safety, particularly in the wake of last year's passing of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Through the giveaway and its products, Socci hopes to show what it means to be compliant, as Artistic Toy has tried to achieve under the new provisions. "There are requirements and deadlines that are rapidly approaching for compliance," he says. "We want to be on the forefront of that."

To that end, the company will also host a free Webinar on the subject on January 30 at 2:00 pm EST. Socci says the session will demonstrate the steps it takes to become compliant and how the changes could affect the industry. "Many people haven't heard the word yet or haven't had the time to realize that it's not just toys that are going to be impacted," he says. "Toys are the number one thing that people are concerned about for a while now. But it's also children's products. I have a suspicion that distributors and salespeople aren't there yet and don't understand that."

To read more visit Global Giving Campaign

Monday, January 12, 2009

Artistic Toy Launches Free Global Giving Campaign

Artistic Toy recognizes the need to promote safety of its products and the value of working with qualified marketing and product experts to ensure that safety and security of everyone's prosterity is protected.

We have launched a global initiative to give away products to promote toy safety and our distributor partners.

To learn more...

  1. Read Full Press Release
  2. Signup for Free Webinar: CPSIA - Distributor's Responsibilities
  3. Place Toy Order Request
  4. Read our Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest and assistance in this very important initiative

Saturday, January 3, 2009

10 New Maxims of Marketing from Bobby Lehew

I just attended the first day of ASI Orlando Show education seminars and wanted to share with you key marketing maxims taken from Bobby Lehew's seminar on Marketing in a Web 2.0 World: How Small Business Can be Heard in a Big Way. Bobby's zigging an zagging style of chasing rabbits through the fast pace world of promotional products marketing was a refreshing addition to practical marketing tips and tactics.

Top 10 Take Aways:

1. You are who Google says you are
2. You are what you publish
3. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of Advertising (founder of Facebook)
4. Today's Toys are tomorrow Tools
5. Fresh Content is King
6. People Still Buy From People they Know and Like
7. It's not about having a website, it's about your web presence.
8. Publish customer case studies and don't worry if your competitors watch
9. Become a contributor of something helpful to your network.
10. Interactive Web Marketing is a Lifestyle, don't expect to be good at it overnight.

These great maxims and much more were shared in this very exciting session. No matter if you are an esteemed "pencil" salesman or looking to build tangible marketing solutions with custom plush toys you need to establish your web presence. I highly recommend Bobby's seminar. After you attend, I would be surprised if you couldn't write 2 new job descriptions for people in your organization. You might be surprised at the number of inexpensive or free resources to boost your web presence.

Nice work Bobby!!!