More and more, books are a becoming a key marketing tool, reaching targeted audiences with information relevant to their needs, interests, and lifestyles. Leading marketers are turning to books as a unique and enduring medium to deliver messages in a way that communicates value and brand relevance.

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Books Are Marketing Tools: A monthly look at how businesses use books

This Month: Investors in Books; Books as Holiday Gifts
Investment Firms Use Books to Promote Services and Brand Image: Myriad of books and services available make the process easier than ever

It takes more than dollar signs to attract today's savvy consumer to a company and its services. A book is an excellent vehicle to inform current and potential clients about a firm's expertise, and one that leaves a lasting impression on the reader. A book is a proven means of giving your message the impact and staying power that is so important in today's competitive marketplace. A book can also be an excellent additional revenue stream, especially for those who conduct seminars or speaking engagements.

Values-Based Financial Planning: The Art of Creating an Inspiring Financial Strategy asks the question, "What would your life be like if you had a financial strategy based on what was truly important to you, where your investments and insurance programs were working in harmony to achieve your goals?"

As experts in their field, investment firms and other providers of financial services have valuable knowledge and resources to share with clients, colleagues, and the public in general. Especially these days, after two years of a sluggish market, consumers very well may need some explanations about what's going on, and some advice about how to make the best of trying times.

There are numerous options for using books as marketing tools today, partly because of the vast number of books constantly being written and published on every imaginable topic. Many publishers are eager to provide companies with books at very reasonable prices that can be customized with company logos and other personalization. A company may also choose to write and publish their own book, using the various ghost-writing, editing, design, and book production services available today.

Going Out On Top: The Easy-To-Understand Guide for a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous Retirement is a simple, easy-to-understand holistic guide to retirement. Addresses the specific needs and problems of professionals and business owners facing retirement.

How are books used by investment firms?

1. Attract new business - Books can be used as a promotional item, and depending on the size and value, can be given away at events or via direct mail. For more expensive books, consider a "bounce back" offer that requires customers to answer a questionnaire, visit the office, or show some other sign of interest in order to receive a book

2. Customer goodwill - Send books to existing and potential customers as a gift or public service. The book should have prominent mention of the investment firm on the cover, either printed directly or added with a sticker, but must also offer the reader real entertainment and/or educational value

3. Customer education - A book can be given to new customers to educate them about the services they are newly involved with, or to inspire them to try new services. Primers, workbooks, journals, and books of helpful hints are some of the many kinds of books customers will find useful.

4. Branding - Publish and distribute a book about your company history, to mark a milestone, or to explain its services and benefits. A book can certainly tell a company's story more completely than a newspaper ad or radio spot.

5. Customer loyalty - Reward customer loyalty with one of the kinds of books mentioned above. As stated previously, a book is perceived as an object of permanence, and may have more impact than the gift of a pen, calendar, or some easily discarded item.

One of the mistakes some companies make is to distribute a book that doesn't feature their identity prominently enough. Consider ideas like bookmarks, stickers, business cards, and special inserts to give the reader reminders of where the book is from and who they should contact.

12 Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money - Everyone hopes to accumulate a financially stable future, but they often defeat their own purpose. This book identifies 12 things that can be changed.

Here are some of the book topics that have been used by investment firms: * How to read mutual funds & stock reports * Retirement planning and investing * Using money wisely; 50 simple things you can do... * Specific target audiences: women, students, singles, elderly * Values-oriented aspects of finance: spirituality; environment; world peace * Write & publish a book specific to your company's services (eg. "Create Family Value," a book to encourage customers to create a family-wide financial plan.

Since 1988, Jenkins Group Inc. has assisted companies and professionals in producing high quality publications that deliver the results they need. Books can be an affordable long-term solution to enhance the branding of a practice, products, and services. Call Jenkins Group toll free at (800)706-4636, email, or visit for more information. Timeless Wisdom is a powerful collection of 100 of the wisest, wittiest and most inspirational quotes of all time!

Say it with flowers? Saying it with a book can say so much more...
Books make great holiday gifts for businesses, mainly because people love to receive them. Why? Because books are meaningful; they have substance. Giving the gift of a book carries weight because of its permanence and usefulness. People appreciate receiving books because of the words within them and the emotions those words convey. Forrest Gump's mother said life is like a box of chocolates, but the mysteries contained inside a book are far more interesting - and much less fattening.

Books also work well as gifts from businesses because of how easily they can be customized and personalized - from a simple signature and inscription, to printing the company name and logo on the cover and elsewhere in the book. Books also make great additions to gift baskets, bringing an extra touch of class to the usual fruit, coffee, or candy selection. Last year the Italian jewelry company Bulgari made headlines when they hired famed British novelist Faye Weldon to write a fiction novel with their jewelry as a main character. The high-society thriller, The Bulgari Connection, was originally intended as a gift for customers and associates, but it was so well-received that the company decided to also allow it to be published for the general book trade, and a whole new category of corporate books was born.

Books work so well as gifts because of the myriad of topics, styles, prices and sizes available. If it exists in the human imagination, there's a book about it - or at least there's a writer who can expertly create one. Typically, there are many options within a topic to choose from, be it hardcover or paperback, simple or elegant, thick or thin. Books are also ideal for the wide array of sentiments that can be expressed. A picture is worth a thousand words, but a thousand words can express a whole lot of emotion and get a very large and meaningful message across. Say it with flowers? Saying it with a book can say so much more.

World Trivia is a thick little volume full of little known facts of culture, politics and geography from around the world.

What kinds of books work well as corporate gifts?

1. Simple pleasures - Books about food, coffee, tea, wine, pets or family can be packaged with appropriate food, drink, or decorative items

2. Trivia or games - Books that can be put right to use as entertainment give immediate pleasure and add to holiday festivities

3. Corporate culture and humor - Books with characters and attitudes like Dilbert can express solidarity to employees

4. Holiday theme books - Folklore, songs, and decorating ideas for the holidays show thoughtfulness about the holiday and offer something useful

5. Scrapbooks; photo albums; journals - These can be put to immediate use and inspire family interaction and sharing

6. Coffee table books - Large format books are impressive and express large themes and emotions such as patriotism or spirituality, or give a dramatic look at a product, place or people.

America Wide: In God We Trust is a selection of images from all fifty states in panoramic format: deserts and mountains, ancient forests, rolling pastures and idyllic homesteads.

How to customize books for gifts

There are many options for customizing books, and which method is chosen is typically dependant on the quantity of books to be used. For large numbers of books, the most effective means of personalization is custom printing, whereby the company name, logo, and contact information can be added in various places on the cover and within to reinforce the recipient's awareness of the company that gave them the book. For smaller quantities that don't require a new printing, customized stickers with company info can be added to the books. For hardcover books, customized jackets can be printed and put in place. Other options include paper banners wrapped around the existing cover, inserted business cards, bookmarks or brochures - even a CDRom attached inside the cover. These customized options allow different messages to be used on the same books for different occasions. One other option: you can do it the old-fashioned way, and hand-sign a personalized inscription inside each book.

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Since 1988, Jenkins Group Inc. has assisted companies and professionals in producing high quality publications that deliver the results they need. Books can be an affordable long-term solution to enhance the branding of a practice, products, and services. Call Jenkins Group toll free at (800)706-4636, email, or visit the website for more information.