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June 20, 2005

Promotional Calendars

Calendars' high visibility and personal value help advertisers reap year-round profits.

Not a day goes by without most people taking a quick glance at a calendar. For this reason, among others, manufacturers say that calendars are one of the most valuable promotional items on the market today.

According to Mike McKew, sales manager at PlannerStore, Lewiston, Maine, visibility, the ability to be personalized and economic value make calendars the items of choice for advertisers. "Planners are in front of the customer 365 days a year, and personalizing them with a recepient's name usually adds value," he said. McKew added that when comparing unit costs of planners to the amount of time that they are viewed, "the cost per exposure is quite low."

"People usually ask for 'their' calendar, so it is clear that the repeat factor on calendars is better than most items," added Phil Martin, national sales manager at Warwick Publishing, St. Charles, Ill.

Gene Raltz, sales manager at Pacific Western Sales, Brea, Calif., said that calendar sales remain strong because of their pervasiveness. "Many suppliers are now venturing into the calendar arena due to the products' repeat nature, and we encourage distributors to do the same," he said.

McKew said that PlannerStore has seen an increase in calendar sales within recent years, due in part to the combining of brands. "Adding the Letts of London and Day-Timer brands to our existing lines now gives distributors a one-stop shop for dated products," he said.

Martin said that Warwick Publishing has seen "an up-tick in calendar sales as more salespeople rediscover the benefits of calendar advertising."
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As for calendars' usefulness within various markets, McKew said that virtually every market can use them. "With the variety of styles that we carry, there probably is no market that we cannot relate to and customize a planner to fit its needs," he said.

Along with advertising, manufacturers agreed that calendars can be used as giveaways, employee recognition items and greeting cards. "Our high-end planners in the Letts of London and Day-Timer lines are excellent for employee recognition gifts," McKew said. "The quality of the cover material, along with personalization options, makes them welcomed items."

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A New Day

As times change, so do calendars. "There are now magnetic calendars, calendars for computer monitors and keyboards, and calendars with a single page for each date," Raltz pointed out. "We even had a request for a smaller version of a desk calendar that would fit inside a woman's purse."

Raltz also noted that custom calendars are increasing in popularity. "Our new custom jewel case calendar can feature 12 pictures and is printed on card stock, then inserted into a CD jewel case," he explained.

Warwick Publishing's most popular calendars are pressure-sensitive; Pacific Western Sales gets the most requests for its wall-hanging appointment calendars; and the Sun Graphix professional planner is PlannerStore's top seller, according to the manufacturers.

While Martin said that Warwick Publishing's line of calendars has remained largely unchanged for more than 75 years, the company has "tweaked imprinting processes and sped up delivery times." In addition, he said that Warwick is venturing into multi-color printing and customization.

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As for PlannerStore, McKew said that the company has added the renowned Farmers' Almanac to its product line this year. "The Farmers' Almanac will be a big hit with companies in the agricultural market and will also serve well as a handout for financial institutions."

By Cynthia T. Graham


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Posted by farfromboring at June 20, 2005 10:07 PM

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