All marketing programs have a cycle. Dates and time lines that need to be adhered to in order to make sure that the overall plan is a success. It is all about developing a program that communicates the brand messaging and develops a strong call to action.

For many of my clients, this means developing a custom marketing piece that is unique to them and speaks directly to their brand and messaging. Custom usually equates to overseas and in today's market, that still mostly means Made in China.

As I tell my clients over and over again, if you want quality, but you want it at a lower price point, time lines need to be extended. That means being able to look 90-150 days into the future depending on the project.

Now comes the tricky part. . . Chinese New Year. For those people who live on a Lunar Calendar, it comes at the same time every year. However, to those of us in North America, we need to be cognisant that the date moves and that production SHUTS DOWN for upwards of 3 weeks per year.

This is something that people out West do not seem to grasp. People travel like it's American Thanksgiving, but stay for a longer period of time. It can take them upwards of 5 days to get home and 5-7 days to get back, if they do come back. Projects that arrive at the plant less than a month before Chinese New Year can almost be guaranteed to not ship until after people come back.

This can lead to real panic for those who have not planned accordingly. We tell our clients that we should have orders to China no later than the second week of November. There are moulds to be made, proofs to be sent and signed off upon, raw materials to be ordered and time allocated for production and shipping prior to Chinese New Year.

If you are currently dealing with people who do not regularly procure from Asia, don't. They will not have the expertise to drive the process, assure product quality, make sure that proper testing is done to meet North American safety standards and have no recourse with suppliers if there is a problem.

In today's world, where everyone thinks they can just go online and procure custom projects from overseas and have them arrive on time and right, they will eventually be sadly mistaken.

Let us be your experts to help you drive your marketing process, develop custom marketing pieces that dovetail with your brand and messaging and take care of your offshore procurement and development. We have nearly 20 years experience and we are hear to Get YOU Noticed! in a positive way.

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