Dave Sarro is a successful entrepreneur and plays a key role in the promotional industry. As CEO of Promo Direct, he drives the company’s mission to provide quality and cost-effective promotional products to firms across the U.S.A. In this free-wheeling interview with Andrew H., Dave talks about his company and sheds some light on the promotional industry.
A.H.: It’s been more than 20 years since you founded Promo Direct. How has the journey been so far?
D.S.: The journey has been very satisfying. Over the years, Promo Direct has evolved and incorporated newer technologies. We have streamlined our processes and made them more efficient towards achieving our business goals and ensuring better customer satisfaction.
When I launched the company in 1991, I only had a handful of people to support me. Today, Promo Direct employs people worldwide, comprising skilled experts from the fields of marketing, product management, customer support and many others.
A.H.: What are the major differences between the promotional industry of today and that of 1991, when you started out?
D.S.: The evolution of the Internet has revolutionized the way our industry breathes and functions. Today, the success of a promotional product company depends on how well they are able to adapt to the online world. Back in the nineties, the Internet was still in an early stage and I had to rely on word of mouth to do business.
A.H.: What, according to you, are the major factors that favor promotional products over other forms of advertising?
D.S.: I am not aware of any other advertising channel that provides the amount of ROI that promotional products provide.
Our products are inexpensive and can be customized to represent a company. Businesses can imprint their logos on them to ensure high recall value for their brands.
Business gifts are never discarded and find pride of place on the recipients’ desk or wall, giving excellent visibility for brands.
A.H.: What are the major challenges faced by the promotional industry?
D.S.: At this time, I do not see any major challenges. However, I do believe that companies must be online in order to compete long-term as more business buyers buy online.
A.H.: Is Promo Direct undertaking any social initiatives?
D.S.: Promo Direct is a socially responsible company. We have an extensive range of eco-friendly products to help ensure minimal impact on the environment.
A lot of our clients belong to the educational and healthcare sectors. We will continue in our endeavor to provide products that will help spread awareness and aid in social causes. We have frequently offered products at discounted prices to support educational and health awareness issues.
Recently, we launched pink-themed products to help companies promote breast cancer awareness.
A.H.: What does the future hold for Promo Direct?
D.S.: Promo Direct continues to grow and I fully expect Promo Direct to be an industry leader for many years to come. My focus today is growth and profitability.