Comment February 2018

Stay on the ball.

A few weeks into 2018 and most New Year’s resolutions will already have fallen by the wayside. And while nobody really cares if you’re back on the biscuits as opposed to eating superfoods, from a business point of view it will pay to stick to your plans. The first resolution for companies, according to a number of sources: devise (or review) a social media strategy.

Our industry – certainly the B2B side of it – has been slow on the uptake so far, but using social media as a sales and marketing tool makes perfect sense, says Jennifer Rae Schulman.

So does being on-board with mobile commerce trends, explains OPI’s Michelle Sturman. Again, too many resellers are still dragging their feet instead of jumping on the m-commerce bandwagon, arguably because there’s simply no demand from their customer base. That will change and probably quicker than those operators sitting on the fence will be able to catch up with.

On a more upbeat note, the European Office Products Awards (EOPA) are nearly upon us again, rewarding all that is good and innovative about our industry. With all the change and progress in mind, I was wondering how the shortlist this year compares to the one we had back in 2002 for the very first EOPA.

The categories have evolved for starters, of course. There’s no sign of Retailer of the Year now – there simply wouldn’t be enough entries that make the cut for a shortlist (so any retailers that are shortlisted for Reseller of the Year – hats off to them), but there is a Video of the Year (unheard of as a marketing vehicle 17 years ago) and several marketing campaigns indeed are social media-based.

As for the shortlisted companies, how the mighty have shifted. Office Depot and Staples were the darlings of award ceremonies in the noughties, with Amazon not even on the radar.

There are some perennials across the channels that are just as prominent today as they were 17 years ago. ACCO Brands, Integra Business Solutions, Quantore… Because they’ve seen what’s happening in the industry, anticipated trends and changes and reacted to them – in time. They were – and are – on the ball.

Have a good month.