Mad but funny customer reviews from the corners of the internet.

“I cannot recommend The Martin Print Blog highly enough. I would gladly sell my house and all my belongings to help support this Blog. I’ve never bothered to read any of it, but I do love the parrot at the top. More please!”
Old Bert, 2016.


Mad but funny customer reviews from the corners of the internet.It can be a tough task trying to attract online reviews for your business.

Well, favourable reviews at least.

People love an opportunity to complain as loudly as possible if anything should go wrong, but they rarely show the same levels of passion when everything goes right.
That’s just not quite as interesting, is it?

Online reviews are particularly important for businesses trying to generate online sales in which the product or service can’t really be viewed prior to payment.
So, a lot of your potential customers are going to be actively looking out for your reviews to gather an accurate idea of what exactly they’re really buying.

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to generate some very nice reviews and testimonials from clients who were thrilled with their print and design goodies from Martin Print.
Thanks again if you were one of the happy customers who left us a nice message or review on our Facebook wall or anywhere else 🙂

However, it’s also very possible to attract strange, bizarre, and downright silly reviews from people with way too much time on their hands!

Here are some of the funniest gems that I’ve come across on my travels across the web…


Continue reading “WE ARE NOT IMPRESSED”

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Why 12 Million Australians prefer Catalogues to the Internet….and quick tips on designing YOUR Business Catalogue.

Why 12 Million Australian consumers prefer Catalogues to the Internet….and quick tips on designing YOUR Business Catalogue.Would your customers prefer to browse your website or your catalogue?

Ah, no contest, the internet wins at everything in the digital age, right?
Online shopping, online banking, online dating…
I’m pretty sure that if somebody out there developed an online tool which claimed to brush your teeth in the morning, we would all have thrown our real toothbrushes away by the end of the week.

But hang on a minute.
When it comes to certain categories of products, it turns out that the majority of Australian consumers still find the Catalogue to be the most useful media of all, with the poor old internet having to make do with second place.
And 12 million Aussies surely can’t be wrong…

A recent survey from Roy Morgan Research reveals that over 12 million Australians still find Catalogues to be the number one go-to media when shopping for a range of product categories including groceries, alcoholic beverages, children’s wear, toys, cosmetics and toiletries, and clothes and fashion.

Some consumers still prefer to flick through the glossy pages of a real catalogue instead of having to navigate their way through a business website.The most popular product category for catalogue-browsers is Groceries, with 49% of the surveyed consumers declaring that catalogues are the most useful medium for grocery shopping.
Only 20% claimed to prefer the internet for this category.

Alcoholic Beverage shoppers also showed a surprisingly high preference for the catalogue (42% of consumers chose catalogues, 22% chose the internet), as did Children’s Wear shoppers (40% catalogues vs 25% internet) and Toy shoppers (39% catalogues vs 31% internet.)

Nowadays, we may sometimes assume that the internet is perceived as the one-stop solution to everything, but it’s interesting to see that so many Australians still prefer a physical and reassuringly traditional form of printed marketing.
It appears that a big chunk of your consumers would still rather sit in comfort and flick through the glossy pages of a real catalogue instead of having to navigate their way through the menus and buttons and pop-up windows and error messages of a website.

So, what do you need to consider when planning out the design of your own Business Catalogue?
Here are some quick tips and pointers to help you get started…

Continue reading “THE MOST USEFUL MEDIA OF ALL?”

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How the three latest Facebook updates could impact your Business Page.

How the three latest Facebook updates could impact the post reach and referral traffic from your Business Page.The latest updates from Facebook could potentially see a further decline in your post reach and referral traffic.

But what exactly are these three brand new updates and what do they mean for your Facebook Business Page?

There was definitely a sinking feeling down at Smokey Joe’s Business Bar when we first heard the announcement on new updates from Facebook which will change how content is delivered to the user’s news feed.

Even before we’d heard any of the details, we instinctively knew that it was going to be bad news for Business Page owners.
It always is.
I can’t remember the last announcement from Facebook which included any good news for Business Pages.

One business owner in the bar was still happy to admit that he was intrigued, though.
“I’ll be fascinated to see how they can make my post visibility go any lower than it already is!” he howled.

As the details were slowly revealed to us, it unfortunately looked as if our instincts had been right.
It certainly punctured the mood in the bar.
Such a shame after the pirate-themed Karaoke competition had gone down so well, too.

The new updates were officially unveiled in a new Facebook Blog post written by Product Manager Max Eulenstein and User Experience Researcher Lauren Scissors.

Most of the big changes relate to balancing the news feed content between posts from personal friends and ‘pages’.
As you can probably already imagine, it’s the ‘pages’ which are now walking away with a tougher deal and less visibility.

So let’s take a closer look at each of the three new updates in turn…


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Why Dean Salakas from The Party People turned down a $400,000 investment from the TV Sharks.

BRAVING THE SHARK TANK! Why Dean Salakas from The Party People turned down a $400,000 investment from the TV Sharks.

You may have seen Dean Salakas from The Party People on your TV screens last week, as he was brave enough to venture into the Shark Tank on Channel Ten’s hit show.
Martin Print Blog caught up with Dean after the show for an exclusive chat in which the Chief Party Dude reveals why he has no regrets about turning his back on a $400,000 investment from the TV Sharks…


It’s probably not every day that one of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs offers to invest $400,000 into your business on a hit TV show.
But what if the proposed deal just wasn’t quite right for you?

That was the dilemma faced by Dean Salakas during his pitch last week on Channel Ten’s Shark Tank.
Yet he’s walked away from the Sharks feeling more positive about the future than ever before…

Dean Salakas – co-founder of The Party People.Dean and Peter Salakas are the brothers behind the continuing success story of The Party People.

From small family business roots, The Party People has ballooned into Australia’s number one supplier of party accessories, with a thriving online shop and two retail stores in New South Wales.
The business provides everything you’ll ever need for the ultimate Aussie party including decorations, themed party supplies, costumes, balloons, novelties, confectionery, catering supplies, and baking products.

The Salakas brothers now plan to make the party even bigger by eventually rolling out more stores right across Australia, and it was this plan that inspired Dean’s trip to the Shark Tank.

Down at Smokey Joe’s Business Bar, I caught up with Dean Salakas after his appearance on the hit TV show to discuss how the Chief Party Dude felt about pitching to the Sharks…

Continue reading “BRAVING THE ‘SHARK TANK’!”

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The Top 10 Strangest Job Interview Questions – and Answers! – of 2015.

The ten strangest job interviews to be asked by business owners in 2015.Have you ever asked a slightly bizarre question to a potential future employee during the interview process?

Or have you ever been at the receiving end of a seemingly nutty question in the past?

Read on to discover the official Top 10 Weirdest Job Interview Questions of 2015, along with several of my favourite answers from the poor confused prospects…

Down at Smokey Joe’s Business Bar this week, a small group of entrepreneurial spirits were having a brief discussion on the types of questions they regularly ask when interviewing candidates.

It’s perhaps a very telling sign that the most popular interview question of all is apparently a desperate cry of “When can you start?!”

Peculiar questions are becoming more and more popular with interviewers who feel that a surprising question can reveal more about the candidate’s character.However, it’s fair to say that the ‘peculiar’ interview question is now being thrown into the mix more commonly than ever before.
Long gone are the days when nearly every interviewer on the planet would just churn out the same old tired and clichéd questions, such as;
Why do you want to work here?
What’s your biggest weakness?
Where do you see yourself in five years time?

We’re now far more likely to think a little more creatively, probe a little deeper, and throw an occasional wacky curveball at the prospect to see if it might reveal a little more of the candidate’s true character.

But do we always get it right?

The job listings website Glassdoor has compiled the definitive list of the most oddball interview questions of 2015, after rifling through tens of thousands of interview questions recently shared by job candidates.
Here are those top ten nuttiest questions, along with some of the most interesting responses…

But are these curious questions a sign of inspirational genius at work, or a sign of a company losing the plot?
You decide…

Continue reading “ASK A SILLY QUESTION…”

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Your customers are ready to talk…but is YOUR business ready to listen?

A new report reveals just how much a typical consumer is itching to speak to you and your business on the telephone.
But how many businesses are choosing to hang up on this golden opportunity?
Here’s how to make the right call for your business and your customers…

PICK UP THE TELEPHONE! Your customers are ready to talk…but is YOUR business ready to listen?Ring ring!
Down in the local coffee shop, my brief lunchtime chat with fellow business owner Donald was interrupted by the sound of a ringing mobile phone.

It was Donald’s mobile phone. I noticed with silent approval that he’d opted for the more traditional ringing effect over a silly novelty ringtone.
Bit of a shame that our own conversation had been temporarily interrupted.
Or had it?

Ring ring!
Donald just continued with our own conversation as if he was completely oblivious to the sound emanating from his device. He never even raised an eyebrow.

“Yes Martin, it’s worrying,” he was saying.
“The business just seems to be slowing down at the moment. Not many email enquiries at all today. I may as well just take the rest of the day off and go fishing.”

Ring ring!
Well, I had to say something.
“Are you not going to answer that, Donald? It might be important.”

“What? Ah no, it’s fine, don’t worry about it. If it’s important, they can always call back. Fabulous coffee, isn’t it?”

If Donald’s business was backed up by an office full of employees poised to handle customer calls, I could perfectly understand his relaxed attitude to answering the telephone.

But Donald is the owner of a very small business, and his own mobile phone number is the only one advertised on his business cards and promotional leaflets.

“To be honest” he continued, “I wish more people would just send me an email, it’s so much easier…”

Continue reading “PICK UP THE TELEPHONE!”

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But could we business owners be the worst offenders of all?

How to deal with late invoice payments from your customers. But could business owners be the biggest offenders of all?Hands up who enjoys hassling customers about late payments?

Hmm. It’s all gone very quiet.
It’s perhaps fair to assume that dealing with overdue payments is not exactly one of the biggest pleasures of running your own business.

But here’s a controversial suggestion;
Are small business owners amongst the biggest culprits of all when it comes to failing to pay suppliers on time?

In just a moment, I’ll reveal the facts and figures from a recent report which indicates that small business owners are just as likely to be the perpetrators as they are the victims.

I’ll also be taking a look at some quick tips and pointers on how you can increase your chances of actually getting paid on time for your hard work!

But first, I just want to tell you about Wonky Simon, my old entrepreneurial friend who supplies products and services to other businesses.
Last time I bumped into him whilst queuing down in the Sweet Pastry Shop, he was ranting and raving about how overdue payments were crippling his cashflow.

“How hard can it be for people to just pay for something on time like they agreed?” he wailed.
“I’m sick of wasting my time on chasing up money that should already be rightfully mine. And now I’ve been forced to put some of my future plans on hold because I’m still waiting for my own customers to pay up! It’s a ridiculous situation!”

I can see his point. Very clearly, in fact.
Wonky Simon’s payments for his latest custom projects from Martin Print have just gone overdue.
His order included Transparent PVC Business Cards, Brochures, and, ironically enough, Invoice Books!

I was going to bring this up with him, but I could tell he was already having a bad day.
I knew he would get the polite email reminder tomorrow anyway.

But whilst small business owners can be hugely impacted by the hassle of late payments, a recent report from Vistr reveals that we’re also amongst the biggest offenders…


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The Official Best and Worst Words to Use in Your Email Subject Lines.

Revealed! The best and worst words you can use in the Subject Lines of your business marketing emails.Hurry! Click to Open!
Don’t Miss Out!
Please Open Me! Pleeeease!

I’m sure you’ll have come across plenty of Emails in your own inbox which already reek of desperation before you’ve even clicked on them to see what further horrors await inside the main content.

In fact, unless you’re feeling particularly bored or downright reckless, you probably won’t even bother taking that extra step to open up the email.
A badly-worded subject line is far more likely to get your trigger finger pointing straight at the Trash Bin.

But how much thought and consideration do you give to the Subject Lines of your own Business Marketing Emails?

You may have just invested a huge amount of time and brainpower in perfecting the content of your latest mind-blowing email.
But it could be at serious risk of getting completely ignored by the majority of your recipients if it was let down by a poor and hastily-composed Subject Line.

I do wonder how many sensational emails have sadly remained largely unread – just because they were given a dreadful Subject Line which they truly didn’t deserve…

Those crucial few words that pop up on the Inbox screens of your recipients are perhaps the most important words of all to get right.
A poor choice of Subject Line can result in your emails getting dismissed without even getting opened.
There’s very little point in composing amazing content for the inside of your email if you’re only going to slap on a lousy Subject Line to represent the outside of your email.

Let’s take a look at some of the Best and Worst Words you can possibly use in a Subject Line, along with some quick tips and pointers on Creating Killer Subject Lines for Your Marketing Emails…


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Why smaller Australian Businesses have an edge over the Global Corporate Giants.

Are you a small local Australian business? The encouraging findings from a new report reveal that you have a very powerful ally who could help you to fight back against the corporate companies; The Australian consumer.In the ongoing battle between smaller local businesses and giant international corporate companies, it can often seem as if the odds are stacked heavily against the smaller business owner.

But let’s never forget who ultimately came out victorious in the battle between David and Goliath.
(Spoiler alert! It was David.)

And if you’re beginning to feel like a downtrodden local Australian business owner who’s losing the fight against the heavyweight competition, you may be interested in taking a look at these statistics below.

The encouraging findings from The 2015 Westpac Australia Day Report reveal that smaller local businesses have a secret and very powerful ally who could help them to win the war;
The Australian consumer.

Down at Smokey Joe’s Business Bar, there’s a guy called Frank who’s always ranting and raving about his corporate rivals and how much custom they’re stealing from his local business.

Just last night, he was angrily complaining about how these bigger companies have slashed their prices even further and tempted away some more of Frank’s previously loyal long-term clients.

I can often see his point.
Realistically, corporate companies are a major threat, and there’s no point in denying this.
Some consumers are always going to be driven into a buying decision on price alone.

But is this threat always quite as big as we fear?
And could our complaining friend Frank be re-focusing his efforts into something more productive which might help his business become a serious contender again?

Continue reading “PROUD TO BE LOCAL?”

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This is NOT a Blog article about predictions for new business trends in 2015.

Looking ahead to new marketing trends and developments in 2015? Here’s what your business should really be considering in the new year ahead.If you’re an avid reader of Business Blogs, I expect you’ll have already skimmed through a whole stack of new articles and posts which make earnest predictions on the new trends you can expect to see in 2015.

Don’t panic. This is NOT yet another one of those crystal-ball articles.

Well, okay, I will be passing on a tiny slice of good news and a tiny slice of bad news about the year ahead for your business.

But I’d mainly like to put forward the suggestion that we shouldn’t be getting too concerned about the shape of the future, as we’ve already seen it.

Here are the points you should really be considering in 2015…

I got thinking about this topic during the Annual New Year’s Bash down at Smokey Joe’s Business Bar.
After several exotic cocktails too many, the evening usually drifts into a chaotic guessing game about what lies in store for us all during the year ahead.

This is the point when all the far-sighted entrepreneurs gather round a table and make their confident predictions about the new marketing trends, new developments, new gadgets, and new strategies that we’ll need to take into account if we don’t want to get left behind in the future.

It’s the highlight of the evening for some of us.
Smokey Joe used to have a Crystal Ball prop which he would place on the table for extra effect, but it got smashed during a clumsy fall from one of the wannabe fortune-tellers back in 1997.

Continue reading “THE FUTURE IS YESTERDAY”

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