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Distributor Fuels Ideas To The Energy Market

Proforma Design ManagementGeorge Klare, owner of Proforma Design Management (asi/491109), sees great marketing opportunities in the oil and gas industries. Why? "It's definitely one of the Cinderella stories of the promotional marketplace," Klare says. "These clients never ask for price. They just want it done."

Klare says the best time to approach these types of firms is in the weeks leading up to spring, as companies prepare their teams for more outdoor work. With that in mind, Klare recently partnered with supplier KTI Networks (asi/63776) to design custom USB drives that resemble a key piece of oil and gas drilling equipment. The drives were pitched as a promotional item for on-site drillers. "KTI came up with an idea to create a 3-D USB that's an actual scaled-down, engineered model of a bit," Klare says.

Klare and KTI also decided to place needed engineering files directly on the USB drives to make them even more functional. "We're loading the data onto the drives and sending them out to locations that would use a particular bit," he says. "This data includes an initial company overview, bit information and success stories with details. Each time new technology enters the field, we would provide a newer-model USB with that information on it, as well."

According to Bert Martinez, a marketing and business expert, Klare came through with functional marketing. "What better way to get your prospects to know, like and trust you?" asks Martinez. "You're delivering real, tangible, useful information that you know your client is going to turn to time and time again. Every time they use that USB drive, they are going to think of your brand."

Martinez also notes that the best marketers tie their brands to positive feelings, something Klare clearly understands. "This kind of functional marketing delivers on these elements," Martinez says. "By providing this kind of information, you are perceived as the go-to expert in your client's eyes."

The end-buyer in the oil and gas industry – a company that is currently valued at $350 million, according to Klare – loved the USB idea. "We sent out several of them to each district office to make sure it was something they were going to like," he says. "The initial order was for 250. We shipped those out to them, and they called us immediately and said, ‘We want to run another 1,000 of these right away.' " Klare says the products are going to 10 to 20 locations around the U.S. and Canada, and to several other locations from there.

Martinez believes the staff at Proforma Design Management specifically demonstrated its knowledge of its client's market and how to reach prospects. "All successful campaigns begin with having a clear understanding of who your audience is, what their needs are, where they live or hang out and when to best reach them," he says. "Klare clearly understands his clients." Martinez recommends emulating this strategy if you want to increase your brand awareness, improve the know, like and trust element, and be seen as a quality provider and creative consultant.