Bidding 101

How much should you charge for the equipment, installation services and programming in your job bids?

Happy New Year From CustomRetailer's President

One of the best ways to build a more profitable and sustainable business is by increasing customer loyalty by building relationships. As a company, we value communication with our customers who are our readers and advertisers.

Improve Marketing ROI

Generally speaking, marketing ROI (return on investment) is a process of continuously improving marketing performance and profitability by applying deeper insights to maximize the effectiveness of strategic and tactical decisions.

Your Social Connection

Like everything else in our world, marketing is changing, and if you're stuck in old patterns and methods, you may be taking your business down a destructive path. Today it's all about engaging and interacting with your customers—both existing and potential—and cutting through the clutter caused by the overstimulation of marketing messages over the last several years. In order to get their attention, and keep it, you must do something different.

Back to Basics

Our economic woes have hit the reset button on how potential customers research, make purchasing decisions and spend their hard-earned dollars.

Using Social Media
 To Be More Profitable

Traditional media is an instrument of communication such as newspapers, magazines, radio and television. Following that line of thought, social media is a social instrument of communication.

All Access Marketing For Growth

The talking heads say that the recession is over. However, the economy has yet to recover, and it may take a good bit longer than anticipated for that to happen. Often one of the first things to go in a bad economy—or at the very least have its budget slashed—is marketing and advertising.

What’s Your Plan for Success in 2010?

During the height of the housing market, it seemed like all of us in the custom installation industry had the wind at our backs, filling our "sails" in a way that accelerated dealers and manufacturers alike to record profits

A Letter from CTPG's President

Smart marketers know that clear brand association and leadership come through communication.  That’s why I want to take this opportunity to tell you all about the investments our company is making to support our industry with new and enhanced media and event opportunities.

prevailing over the big box

Years ago, there was an office supply store on every single street corner in America. Today, a few big-box stores, like Staples and Office Depot, have taken over and all the mom-and-pop stores are out of business. A few of the mom-and-pop stores moved upscale, so the very well-to-do can get personalized stationery and other specialized paper products at very high prices. The last 10 years, the custom business has done very well; new businesses have continued to open and the introduction of flat panels has created a whole new business for the middle- to upper-income families. But it might be time for the

Resurrecting Audio

Watch the demographics; they are shifting and so, ironically, is the ability of mature listeners to detect and appreciate superior sound quality. (It’s ironic because older people generally lose high-end frequency hearing. However, in this case, that is compensated for by attentive, so-called, “active” listening.) For years, we have been promoting hidden custom sound and we have at the same time been “dumbing down” the quality of sound via the iPod craze. The marketplace bought into it, largely because time has become a very limited commodity. People work longer hours, they commute longer, they have the kids’ ballgames to go to, and the “Crack”

My New Year’s Resolutions

When I got my assignment for this month’s column, I groaned. “We want you to write about New Year’s resolutions.” Jeez. I stopped making New Years resolutions years ago. It seemed they never lasted more than a week. “I’m going to go to the gym.” “I’m going to write a book.” “I’m going to learn to dance.” Blah, blah, blah. So it might surprise you to see the list below—eight resolutions I plan to invoke from high atop a mountain in the Tetons on midnight December 31st. What’s changed you ask? I’m not really sure, but this year feels different. Maybe I’m just getting

Tough Economy Yet?

As I am flipping through my DirecTV news channels, I can’t help but notice the trend in today’s business news. News anchors and analysts can’t stop talking about how the slow housing market and increasing gas prices have dramatically affected our economy. As we begin 2008, some economists and business experts predict that conditions are growing even worse. A variety of factors contributed to the housing slump and the spike in gas prices, the majority of which are beyond our control. However, I firmly believe we have control over the future of the custom electronics industry, regardless of conditions in the rest of the