Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Creative Ways To Distribute Promotional Imprinted Products

How many times have you seen a clever marketing idea & said to yourself: I wish I had thought of that? Well, here are five concepts that my customers & I collaborated on. 

Be careful, coming up with an idea is buying the cart before the horse. Before you even think of one, the first step is to know your target audience......who they are, where they are & what their needs are.

Promotional custom products are a must for any growing or established business, but sometimes the way they are handed out will give it the extra impact you are looking for. It may be that one creative step that will make someone really notice you & call them to action. It will make you stand out among your competition, that's for sure.

  • I mentioned in a previous article (Customized Promotional Items That Are Walking Billboards,dated 10/18/2010) how one of my customers goes to local soccer practices & matches & high school football games when it rains. He hands out plastic ponchos with his company name on them. Next to the players, he's the most popular person there. He's sought after--people stand in line to get one. The best thing is, these ponchos fold up into feather weight, compact bundles & can easily be toted to the next rainy outdoor event. And his name will again be seen.  
  • Another customer, an auto dealership, bought plastic piggy banks with their logo & name on them to distribute among people who walked onto the lot. They put a coupon in each bank & ten displayed them throughout the dealership. Some coupons were for maintenance of the car & other were for discounts in the parts department. You couldn't tell ahead of time what the coupon was for until you randomly picked your bank. A couple of the banks contained coupons for a free Bluetooth system.
  • A chain of gyms bought beach balls with their logo vividly displayed & on hot summer days when the beaches were crowded, they had employees go to various ones in Los Angeles county. The employees stood either on a rise above the beach or on the pier & threw the balls out at the crowd. People clamored to get them & for the rest of that day & for weeks after, the gym's logo bounced along the Pacific coastline in LA.
  •  A health insurance company had 8" X 11" plastic envelopes imprinted with their company name & all their contact information. Also, imprinted on the flap: "With Our Compliments--Keep For All Your Medical Records & Receipts". When prospective clients came into their office or when an agent went to call on someone at their home, they gave them one of the envelopes filled with their brochure & pamphlets. This is such smart marketing......everyone can use this & it's a convenient way to keep all medical records in one place. Every time someone uses the envelope, the insurance company's name is right there before them.
  • This winter, a seminar was held for high school juniors about finding the right college for them, how to maneuver websites for financial aid & advise on how to prepare for the college experience. Since there was a lot of information being thrown at them, they were told not to take notes. They could miss something important as they were writing or typing or worse, later misinterpet what was actually said. At the end of the lecture, flash drives with uploaded information from the seminar & links to all the necessary websites were passed out to all who attended. Of course the flash drives had the sponsoring company's name on them.
Don't have the time or the budget to get creative with your campaign? That's alright too. The bottom line is that you have promotional imprinted products at your disposal to distribute among your targeted audience at all times. You've heard the saying......"out of sight, out of mind......don't let that be you.

Invest in customized promotional items that represent your company while being useful to your client or prospect. And once you have them, use them! So many customers keep them in a store room waiting for that special occasion or customer to give them to.  That defeats the purpose--no one will know about you unless you invite the public to rummage through your storage closet.

The whole idea is to get your company name out there & to be recognized. Pens travel from hand-to-hand like a dollar bill does, t-shirts are walking billboards & will go wherever your customer goes, shopping bags are seen by 100's of people monthly as they are used in grocery stores. Letter openers, note pads & stress relievers are only a few of the items that are used regularly by people & every time they're used--your name & logo is in front of them.

Be creative & have fun with your promotions. Good luck next time you hand them out.
Ronni Sherman

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cost Of Advertising With Promotional Wholesale Products vs Traditional Forms Of Advertisements

Business travelers were randomly surveyed at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport for a study on the impact, exposure & influence of promotional imprinted products.

  • 71% of those surveyed reported they had received promotional items in the last 12 months.
  • 33/7% of this group had the item with them.
  • 76% of the participants could recall the name of the advertiser on the promotional products they had received in the last year.
  • 53.5% of the travelers could recall the name of an advertiser they had seen in a magazine or newspaper the previous week.
  • 73% of those who used the promotional product that they received stated that they used it at least once a week.
  • 45.2% used it at least once a day
Compare these numbers--76% knew the name of the advertiser on the marketing item they received during the past 12 months, yet only 53.5% could remember an advertisement they had just seen last week. That's a huge difference & considering how expensive printed advertising is, this makes the impact of custom promotional products even bigger.

Think about this for a minute......your company is in Los Angeles & you just bought 500 pens for .40 each. That's a total of $200 plus shipping & in some cases a one-time set-up fee might be added for around $40. Remember that business traveler at the airport in Dallas? So for under $300 your logo can travel the country or world. 

Keep in mind that pen is being seen by more people than just the recipient. And what's more important, that pen may not stay in the recipient's hand but end up in someone else's pocket or purse. Multiply that one exposure by 500, the number of pens purchased. Now how much do you think a full-color ad that's 1/4 or 1/8 of a page in a magazine costs?

What happens to the magazine when you're done reading it? Most likely it will get thrown out. You write with a pen once, are you going to throw it out?  Noooo, you'll probably be writing with it for at least 4 - 7 months.

How many of you sit & watch the advertisements on TV that interrupt the program you were watching? Isn't that the time to switch to another station, surf the channels or get up & leave the room to do a quick task that can be done during those 3 to 5 minutes? And now with Tebo & the ability to record programs to view later, you can skip all the advertisements.

The price comparison reveals that customized promotional items are more cost efficient than the other traditional forms of advertising. There is a significant saving on the repeat impression of the advertisement on the promotional product against a printed, radio or TV advertisement.

There is a promotional item that will fit your budget & get you noticed.
Ronni Sherman

Monday, April 11, 2011

Non-Woven Bags As Promotional Wholesale Products

In my article, CUSTOMIZED PROMOTIONAL ITEMS GET YOU NOTICED, dated 6/21/2010, I cited the following paragraph:

The Advertising Specialty Institute conducted a survey & reported that people who received promotional items kept them for an average of 7 - 9 months. This provides repeated & consistent exposure to your company.
Have you given a bag to your customer lately? Chances are he'll use it more then ten times a month & it will be seen monthly by 1038 people. That's just one bag......now multiply that by the number of bags you ordered & then gave out in that one month.
I feel these facts about marketing products are so very important & therefore, bear repeating.  Every business owner should be aware of them so they can understand just how effective promotional imprinted products are.

So let's talk about bags. They are one of the largest, most purchased items in the ad specialties industry. In recent years, with consumers focusing on being more environmentally-friendly, their usage has skyrocketed. The non-woven, polypropylene totes are everywhere, used over & over again. It's the one product you can never have enough of. They're recyclable, reusable, eco-friendly, water resistant & can be washed.

All positive, right? Here's the biggest plus for you......these non-woven bags have a huge imprint area. You can blowup your logo so it really pops & can be recognized from a distance or you can add all the information you want about your business. These should be given out to everyone you come into contact with because wherever they go shopping, they're taking your company right along with them!

The newest non-woven bags are now laminated, displaying a multi-color pattern or design covering the entire bag. These really stand out & will highlight your business when your logo & company name is imprinted on them.

I realize many businesses have stayed away from purchasing bags as promotional custom products because they think the cost is high. It doesn't have to be--like with anything else, there's always good deals to be found & these totes are no exception.

Here are three tips to find bargain-priced bags & promote your company for less:

1. Last year's style may be this year's hot deal. Just as in retail, styles & trends in bags are changing. Suppliers often put a certain style or color on special to make room for a slightly modified look. Since bags really never go out of style or change drastically, you are not sacrificing anything by putting your logo on the hot tote from last year. But these specials are good only as long as there is stock, so if you want to go this route, contact  your advertising specialty vendor as soon as possible.

2. Find a trusted vendor who deals with customized promotional items & build a relationship with him. Ask him to notify you when the non-woven bags go on sale--whether it's a close-out or a monthly special. Vendors, like myself, get emails, ads & fliers from the companies they deal with of upcoming promotions. As soon as you call them, they will most likely be able to find you a special price on a variety of bags.

3. If you have a deadline, allow for enough time to receive the totes. Rush charges as well as 2 & 3 day shipping can add hefty fees to the price of the totes. Overnight shipping could double the cost.

Santa Monica, CA just passed a law that will ban the use of plastic bags & there will be a .10 charge for every paper bag used. More & more cities, across the nation, will be adopting this policy. Be one of the first to jump on the band wagon & start handing out the logical solution to plastic & paper bags. Buying these non-woven, polypropylene totes & effectively displaying your company name on them is a promotional strategy that is priceless.

Have fun with your name. Make it stand out, be creative.
Ronni Sherman