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March 30, 2006

Field Marketing: enhance the impact with promotions

There's a comprehensive article by Robert McLuhan on field marketing that's worth bookmarking. Running from the definition (a field marketer is a person who interacts with staff and customers to raise a brand's profile and win sales) to why field marketing should not be ignored (people like to deal with other people directly; word of mouth importance; easy to quantify results), McLuhan then addresses how to market in the field most effectively.

One method is by use of promotional items along with consumer education. He offers the example of a home printer manufacturer that sent field marketing staff into outlets where they took digital photos of shoppers. The pictures were printed out to demonstrate the quality of the home printer as well as to teach how to use memory cards. Finally, the "photos were framed and given to the shoppers as a lasting reminder. The result was a sales lift of nearly 35%, and goodwill was generated for the brand."

framed.jpg


Other electronic consumer goods companies are using the same type of demonstrations with gift idea, but not always limiting their field marketing to retail outlets. For instance, "Panasonic [is] showing cameras and peripherals to European business travellers at airports."

A final reason to incorporate promotionals in your field marketing? "Industry figures showing that the awareness generated by experiential marketing lasts longer than other channels, decaying by only 5% a week, compared with 15% for TV advertising."

Posted by farfromboring at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)

Relevancy in Promotions

Just as in every other aspect of marketing, identifying the needs of the client and addressing those needs specifically with promotional products will bring the best response and the best long-term ROI.

In a Business Week article, Chris Baggott, co-founder and chief marketing officer of ExactTarget, an e-mail marketing firm based in Indianapolis, said:

…one of our clients is a small music promoter. They've done detailed analysis of their customers, so they know what music they like and what concerts they attend. I happen to be on their list, and I notice that I may not hear from them for months. Then, in the space of one week I may get two or three e-mails from them. But you know what? I open every one of them because I know they're targeting me specifically and they'll have something I will be interested in.

I go to a couple of shows off those e-mails every year that I probably otherwise would not attend, except for the fact that they're notifying me. So, those e-mails become very valuable to me.


So the message here is: make it meaningful and people will respond. If you're a garden supplies wholesaler, this simple flower pot-shaped key tag is an easily affordable promotional item. With your buyer's store information preprinted, the tag can be given to their customers by the retailers upon purchase.

Posted by farfromboring at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

March 28, 2006

Making Promotions Personal

Shippers and retailers of California fruit (peaches, plums and nectarines) are getting personal.

As part of its marketing strategy, the California Tree Fruit Agreement (CTFA) offers point-of-sale materials (print-ready photos and logos) which speak directly to the consumer. The promo materials for the “Are You a Cruncher, Leaner or In-Betweener” are based on CTFA market research findings as to consumer preference for fruit ripeness. Colorful print posters feature tips on how shoppers can choose the best piece of fruit.


Table tents are the first promotional product to be used and they offer a unique opportunity to:

table-tents


1.get your print material in front of an in-store customer who's ready to buy and is looking for information; and

2.get your information in front of a captive audience in a completely different location, when you distribute the ad (with special incentive offer) to restaurants and other venues around town.

Give the off-site audience something to take home, such as a kiss cut business card magnet with 3 tear off coupons and one magnet for ad copy. You'll be on their fridge and in their face: a very personal place to be.

Posted by farfromboring at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2006

Promotions Keep National Minor League Baseball Alive

The National Sports Services (NSS), a sports consulting and development firm, announced findings of a recent marketing study in which the most effective promotions in filling stadiums for minor league ball games include unusual give-aways such as:

* Garden gnomes
* Flip flops
* Lunchboxes
* Mr. Potato Heads

While outrageous events, promotions and giveaways are not the norm for every minor league game or team, the NSS report shows that more than 30 percent of minor league baseball patrons spend little time actually watching the game, leaving team management with the opportunity to meet that need for ancillary entertainment in numerous ways.

"The role marketing and entertainment play in keeping fans coming back is not to be underestimated," said Jamie Duklas, Director of Business Development for NSS. "Many teams talked about the desire to stay conservative, but our research shows teams can offer fans new and creative entertainment options while being conservative and keeping the game as the focal point."

retro-lunch-box


Get as much mileage – and customer interaction – as possible from your promotional product, whether you're promoting a ball game or a fund-raiser. For example, if you use the retro lunchbox as your giveaway, the entire evening theme can be retro (best bobbysocker-costume wins; "Happy Days" music, etc). You choose the lunchbox image, so you choose the theme.

Posted by farfromboring at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)

March 24, 2006

Promotionals: They're All About Relationships

At CAAMP's annual trade show held last month Charlotte, N.C., the Carolinas Association of Advertising and Marketing Professionals had over 100 exhibitors (members of the promotional products industry) presenting products, in addition to holding an awards ceremony and member appreciation party.

Why all the fuss? Organizer Mary Elizabeth Murphy, the managing director of S.T.A.R. Resources (www.starresources.biz), was simply getting industry members to practice what they sell.

"Starting, building and strengthening relationships are part of our lives every day,” says Murphy. "There are social relationships and business relationships. Wherever two human beings come together, there is a relationship. Creating and maintaining good relationships is crucial to the professional world today, and that’s what this event was organized to reflect."


Professionals in fields as diverse as medicine, real estate, law, finance and education are similar in that they are all multi-tasking experts, often asked to appear as speakers and guest lecturers. A gift sure to be appreciated is a flash memory pen with laser pointer. A sleek package with 128 MB of memory, it's perceived as being a tool used only by people who are at the top of their game, successful and sought after.

And there's just no better way of building or maintaining a relationship than giving a sincere compliment.

Posted by farfromboring at 12:42 PM | Comments (0)

March 23, 2006

Great Promotions Need to be Remembered

One of the largest regional tire distributors in the U.S., Reliable Tire is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and will kick off the year-long celebration on April 1, according to an article in Modern Tire Dealer. Aimed at over 4,000 dealers and their sales staffs, the promotions include giveaways ranging from cash, and Visa debit cards to apparel, tires, large-screen TVs, trips to races and a $50,000 premium SUV grand prize. National consumer promotions will be underway as well.

Sounds expensive, but Reliable's Chief Operating Officer David Long says it's worth it: “I know this year’s celebration events and promotions will capture the attention of many more dealers and help them to get acquainted with the great services and programs we offer.”

He's probably right. In a Bridgestone survey featured on ModernTireDealerCom, 60% of tire retailers agreed that incentives, such as a free bike, television or iPod, really help sell tires to their customers, and a further 20% agreed that the promotional products may not be the deciding factor, but certainly bring customers in.
The only problem with cash and other consumable incentives is that, well, they're consumable. Once they're gone, so is the memory of who gave the gift. Instead of debit cards, useful industry-related promotionals like a compact key chain tire gauge with light and extra-large easy-to-read LCD display might be money better spent.

Posted by farfromboring at 01:49 PM | Comments (0)

March 22, 2006

Do It Like Ford: Target Women With Promotionals

Ford Motor Company developed an elaborate marketing campaign designed to sway women, because when it comes to household purse strings "women are the ones holding the bag."

In a recent press release, Michael Silverstein, principal at Boston Consulting Group and author of 'Trading Up: The New American Luxury', says: "Women drive close to 75 percent of durable goods purchases at the household level. They are both the contributors to income growth and the definitive allocators of spending. They can buy a new car, or they can invest in a new kitchen."

If your company doesn't yet target the "power of the purse" with gifts and promotional items, the return on your campaign dollar may not be as high as it could be.

A jumper cable is a useful product that can be used in both business-to-consumer or business-to-business promotions. The trick here is simply in the presentation: it's got to be skewed slightly when the recipient is a woman, i.e., stressing the convenience of having the cables at hand plus the fact that there's an instruction label and vinyl carrying case. Men would likely be more interested the numbers: it's an 8 guage, 400 amp clamp, 12 ft. jumper cable.

Posted by farfromboring at 02:30 PM | Comments (0)

March 20, 2006

Reward Your Call to Action with a Unique Promotion Gift

At trade shows, on your web site (you have one, right?), and in your direct mailings, what's your call to action?

Have prospects hand over contact information easily with an urgent call, like this one in an article by William Siebler, that reads:

Get a customized and guaranteed online marketing strategy for your business. Your first consultation is 100% free – but I can only do a few of these each month so claim yours now!

Invite prospects at every expo you attend to register for a door prize. Ask trade show attendees to complete your survey in exchange for a gift. You can even draw people into your booth by holding a sudoku tournament – with those who play entering a draw for a grand prize. And make sure those prizes and gifts are memorable!

An address book, bound in top-grade leather, is an excellent promotional gift item choice, in that it's a long-lasting product and becomes more valuable to the recipient over time as names, addresses and telephone numbers are added (your own, of course, being attractively imprinted for all time).

On a completely different note, but just as personal and with a high usability factor, is lip balm on a leash. (Really.) From Leashables, it's tea tree SPF 15 lip balm in a re-usable holder attached to a hand-sewn leash, which you can clip to your key-chain, zipper-pull or purse.

Posted by farfromboring at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

Promotional Products Boost Telemarketing Sales Success

Telemarketing is estimated by the Direct Marketing Association to become a $480 billion business by 2009. Citing a 2005 sales leap in b-to-b telemarketing (from some $220 billion to $268 billion) as well as a rise in business to consumer telemarketing revenues to over $212 billion (from $182 billion), this method of advertising your products or services should very definitely not be ignored.

Closing numbers are proven to increase when product literature is sent before the sales call is made. There are several methods you can choose from: pre-printed brochures or custom pocket-sized information cards that fold to the size of a credit card; and if you need large amounts of printed masters (after which you do small imprint runs on a copier as needed), the bulletins from Iron Mountain on 60 lb. stock are just the thing.

When the print material is coupled with a colorful (and/or humorous and/or useful) inserts that tie to the envelope message—such as a key tag sand timer insert with an urgent envelope imperative: Open Now – Time's Running Out—you've got a solid foundation on which to base your telemarketing campaign.

Posted by farfromboring at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2006

Pet Shop Retailers and Care Providers: April is Your Promotional Month

April is a great promotional opportunity for anyone in the pet business, because it's National Pet First Aid Awareness Month. From veterinarians to retailers to breeders to pet product wholesalers and manufacturers, it's an important advertising occasion which should be taken full advantage of.

The theme, First Aid, can be applied in many directions, starting of course with first aid kits. Designed and approved by veterinarians, the kits are valued gifts for any pet owner. Another connection to the first aid theme would be education as to pet care, like Pet First Aid, a handbook and reference guide, or a more in-depth pet-specific reference book Cats For Dummies, which contains complete instructions for the care, feeding, behavior, grooming, health, and aging of cats.

Suppliers to animal shelters, zoos, animal hospitals and veterinarians may find that the well-stocked Redi-Medic with its 49 pieces might be a valuable promotional item, as it can serve medical professionals in transit or in the field in an emergency situation.

A successful marketing campaign needs to have its target audience carefully researched and just as carefully segmented (ie., pet owner vs pet care professional). In this way, the promotional product makes the most effective impact and you get the best return on your advertising dollar.

Posted by farfromboring at 03:58 PM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2006

Best Dental Practice Promotionals Make You Smile

Most people would rather see their lawyer than their dentist – so practitioners just starting have or those wishing to expand their practices face more than the usual customer resistance.

Of course, promotional products alone won't erase the negative perception most people have of dentists; however, a good staff of caring professionals who spend time with their patients, making them as comfortable as possible, can certainly increase word-of-mouth referrals through the use of gifts.

One item that is of daily use is dental floss, and before you start yawning, you need to see Fara Floss from the Goofy Group. The silliness of the refillable floss dispenser is a projection of the comfortable atmosphere of your office and the personal rapport you and your staff are endeavoring to develop. It's also a very attractive item for children to see and with which to develop a long-term relationship.

Tooth-shaped magnetic acrylic mirror note holders are another favorite with dentists, orthodontists, dental labs and periodontists. They're shatterproof, so are completely safe for school lockers, refrigerators and filing cabinets.

As a matter of fact, toothpaste, dental floss or tooth whitener manufacturers use products such as these as well in their own campaigns. Because of their emphasis on health and hygiene, they're also perfect promotional items for school and sports fund raisers.

Posted by farfromboring at 12:14 PM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2006

Sharable promotions: spread the goodwill (and company logo)

Service companies such as office equipment repair, snow-removal contractors, printing businesses and moving and painting firms, do well with sharable promotional products.

They can be used as a gesture of appreciation (thank you for choosing us), and then serve as a reminder—to the entire staff--to recommend or use your services next time too.

Bubblegum.jpg


These gifts typically include candies, nuts or gourmet food -– but the real benefit comes with the packaging. Gumball machines, for example, are great promotional items that everyone in the recipient office can see, enjoy and use—providing a constant and convenient visual reminder of your company. Whether you choose the traditional or jukebox design, gumball machines are bright, feel-good displays and if you are able to have them placed in a high-traffic area (such a reception room or hallway), people from outside the company can see your logo and contact information.

The reusable nature of popcorn tins will help keep your corporate name in view long after the popcorn has been shared by all. Two and 3.5 gallon popcorn tins provide a great snack for weight-conscious office-workers, and the sturdy tin (with your slogan and contact information) can be used for other treats or a dried flower display later on.

Posted by farfromboring at 01:09 PM | Comments (0)

March 09, 2006

Teens and Credit: a promotion made in heaven

Here's a great promotion story: a credit union partnered with a high school marketing program, by which the school acquired a credit union branch, run by students (who were trained by the credit union). The class was responsible to bring in customers by using promotions – and they did just that with fliers, prizes and even food gifts for every new account holder.

calculator


This is an interesting case study on so many levels, it's hard to know where to start. Through educating students about financial responsibility (and providing possible career opportunities)—both good deeds in terms of community perception—the credit union's school partnership is also attracting a segment of society not usually even aware of banks or credit unions, financing or responsible credit use. The high level of interaction between the professional organization and students as customers and as employees will go a long way to building lifelong customer loyalty.

Promotional items were invaluable to the success of the partnership: printed pamphlets were distributed:
• describing the venture;
• addressing confidentiality concerns—especially worrisome to teachers; and,
• providing teen-friendly "how-to" material about managing money, loans and credit.

Gifts were given to new-account holders—not a new idea, by any means, but when you're dealing with freebie-loving adolescent students, you'd be sure to make a hit with promotional items such as bright crayon-shaped banks, translucent calculators, and a line of quality cotton t-shirts.

crayon-bank

Posted by farfromboring at 12:56 PM | Comments (0)

Doctor-direct promotional items that meet PhRMA requirements

Pharmaceutical drug sales reps need to have a wide selection of memorable promotional items in order to comply with Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) guidelines, while still getting the impact and memorable effect (and orders!) they're after.

Promotions aimed at doctors is bigger than just big business. It's enormous business, as these 2003 figures show:

Celebrex
$2.6 billion: Sales
$483 million: Cost of promotions aimed at doctors
Vioxx
$1.8 billion: Sales
$499.8 million: Cost of promotions aimed at doctors
Bextra
$935 million: Sales
$395.6 million: Cost of promotions aimed at doctors
Source: IMS Health, IMS National Sales Perspectives TM, 2/2005 and the Wall Street Journal
Article except from The San Francisco Chronicle

PhRMA limitations on promotional items are three-prong: there's a price cap (less than $100); the product must be beneficial to patients in some way; and it must directly enhance the practice of
medicine.

soap


A laser-engraved stainless steel soap dispenser easily meets PhRMA requirements and also marketing needs on all levels: extremely ad budget-friendly at less than $10 per unit; highly useful; good value perception; great staying power. Hand sanitizer gels are also excellent as promotional items on all counts, and they have the added factor of convenience. You can use them anywhere – in the doctor's office, at the nurse's desk, in the reception area, mobile units, and so on.

From stethoscopes to calculators that assess everything from BMI to dosage to risk ratios, http://FarFromBoring.com has the perfect promotional products for your campaign.

Posted by farfromboring at 12:50 PM | Comments (0)

March 08, 2006

Happy Mother of the Bride

A proud mother of the bride called me with a clever idea. Her daughter is Leslie and her son-in-law to be is Sean. She wanted to created a koozie with the SNL like logo as a give away at the bridal shower. After many back and forths on the artwork, we came up with a design that everyone liked.

Samantha, Just wanted to thank you for all the time you spent
helping design the perfect koosie. They are perfect. I sent a
couple to my daughter and her fiance' as a surprise and they LOVE
them Thank you again. Carolyn

For this and other great event give-aways, please call Samantha at 561-999-9097 http://FarFromBoring.com

Posted by samantha at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

250+ million advertisers waiting your logo

Americans love their cars, and the independence they represent. There are well over 250 million cars in the United States, each viewed as an extension of the owner's home and imprinted with a personal statement of style. Cars are used to make public opinions too: from personalized plates to bumper stickers and window shades, you know if you're tailgating and that the End of World is coming next week. (Again.)


Car dealerships certainly take advantage of this traveling form of free advertising, but anyone can offer automotive-related promotional items: a car window decal can be used to promote regionally specific causes (think animal shelters) by a local veterinarian's office. Unlike bumper stickers, the decals have ultra-removable adhesives—which may make them more attractive to fussy auto owners.

window-shade


Window shades in UV resistant nylon are even better in that they're larger and can carry a design and/or message along with company name and contact information. An eye-catching corporate logo or large print for quick identification by passing drivers is better than too much detail, but must be balanced with the artwork or personal statement so that it's esthetically pleasing to the eye.

Posted by farfromboring at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)

Using Promotional Giveaways for Non-Profit Fundraisers

Non-profit organizations rely on successful fundraising not just to survive but also to branch out with new services and programs, becoming more useful to those they already serve and increasing the number of those they assist.


Approaches to non-profit fundraising most often include direct mail campaigns and hosted events where donations are collected. In both approaches, promotional items are crucial to attracting attention, breaking down resistance and ultimately, obtaining contributions.


One affordable promotional item, which nicely dovetails into the unique, useful and high visibility categories, is a mouse pad with built-in solar calculator. The imprint area is large, which allows for not only your business name, contact information and logo or slogan but also reminders of annual fund-raising events and/or a "Wish List" of items needed other than cash.


With several base colors from which to choose (including black, gray, red, royal, and white), in-person gifts may be selected according to color preference by the recipient. This seemingly small opportunity of personalizing a promotional item actually has two effects:


1. it increases the chance that the person may feel obliged to contribute to your cause (or even up the ante); and

2. it's more likely that your organization will be later remembered in a positive light, which may lead to future donations.

Posted by farfromboring at 11:26 AM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2006

Mailing these Promotional Giveaways can Save Lives

Because direct mail response rates increase by some 400% with the use of promotional products, carefully considered giveaways should always be included. Health and safety—especially when kids are involved—are topics everyone's interested in, and promotional mailings that address these through giveaways are certain to create interest.

Affordable and useful, with a good branding value because they'll be placed where they can be seen easily and repeatedly, Babysitter Post-Ups for new residents and babysitters fit the bill. They're emergency mini-poster reference cards with ample space provided to list all the children's names, ages, doctor and medical information, along with important phone numbers for the mom, dad and other emergency contacts and services. Adhesive backing keeps the Post-Up in plain view and at a cost starting at 34 cents each, you just can't do better staying power for your advertising budget.

Similarly, Emergency Guide Post-Ups keep emergency and important phone numbers at hand, listing personal contacts, as well as police, fire, hospital, doctors and utility companies. Again the cost can't be beat and the view factor is high.

Guide wheels are simple to use (and easy to mail) and if you choose one with nutrition information, it's sure to be consulted frequently. Nutrition-by-the-Numbers is a guide wheel with choice of nutrition by the numbers information on various vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, proteins and counts of elements in 48 different foods groups.

Imprinted with a "We Care About You" message, any industry can potentially profit from using these promotional items.

Posted by farfromboring at 12:00 PM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2006

Work it or lose it: promotions get referrals

Jeff Hoang, creator and designer of ReferNet.net, an online networking site for real estate and financial services professionals, says "you don't get referrals off the bat. You have to really work the relationship."

Since referrals are the lifeblood of the industry, it's good advice to heed. And one proven method of "working the relationship" is to attend numerous real estate industry events and tradeshows, memorable promotional giveaways in hand.

A t-shirt may not sound like a resoundingly unique gift – but what about one that's shrink-wrapped to the shape of a house? The House Compressed Tee comes with a full color insert card to display your custom graphic (and company tagline below). Lightweight for shipping and carrying around to shows, the tees are made for long-lasting comfort from high-quality 100% cotton.

real estate promotional products


Another useful promotional item, for job or home use, is a key rock. These are plastic spare key holders shaped like rocks and are even easier than t-shirts to carry for distribution at industry events. Plus, they have guaranteed word-of-mouth advertising value: pet rocks are out; key rocks rock!

In a similar vein of useful but unusual is the plastic business card, with one end serrated so that it can serve as a miniature ice scraper. Great, inexpensive seasonal hand-outs that can last forever.

Posted by farfromboring at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)

March 02, 2006

Fishing with Promotionals for the Teen Market

Teens are big spenders, directly buying in excess of $150 billion in goods and services annually and influencing (read: forcing) their parents to buy even more, according to an ICR 2005 survey.

Fashion and tech industries take full advantage of targeted marketing, but this demographic is diverse in and passionate about its interests. Think of the kid next door who owns fish, for example. It's not just a goldfish in a bowl anymore – teen tropical fish hobbyists are loading up on big-ticket items like saltwater aquariums and breeding tanks and are easily conversant as to the pros and cons of such accessory items as Vortex Diatom Filters, Mag Drive Pumps, Eclipse Hoods, Python Water Changer and Eheim Sludge Extractor.

aquarium-calendar


Pet shop owners and suppliers would stand to benefit from increased real-time sales plus long-term brand loyalty by using related promotional gifts such as an Aquarium wall calendar or fish-print ball cap. Of course, not every teen is enamored by cold-blooded aquatic vertebrates, so the ever-useful doggie Poopie Scoopies and Ferret Bentcils should also be stocked up on and used as advertising fodder.

Posted by farfromboring at 01:16 PM | Comments (0)

March 01, 2006

Online Marketers and Promotional Items

If you order products online frequently, yet hardly ever receive anything in the box besides the product which you paid for, you're not alone.

Online marketers tend to forego promotional gifts, and may be losing more than outright sales. They may be losing the goodwill that builds a relationship of gold: the repeat customer.

It's an oversight that's easily rectified since gifts complementary to your business or product line are readily available and can be extremely affordable, especially when purchased in bulk.

Look for items your customers will make use of often. For instance, if you sell vitamins, include a pill dispenser with every first-time order, your company name and contact information imprinted on the cover. For repeat customers, who've already received the first gift, why not add a portable pill box like this High Caliber Line with medical history card and carabiner top? It's easy to clip on to a keychain or belt loop and is rather unique as well as being useful.

If you sell books online, you can even target your promotional items to each purchase, instead of sending the same gift to everyone. Anyone buying a book on gardening or environmental issues, for example, would receive a bookmark made from recycled plastic and newspaper.

It's relevancy and individuality here that's making the good impression. Because bookmarks are relatively inexpensive (although obviously useful), they are not perceived as gifts of value. However, when you match the content of the bookmark to the subject matter of an individual customer's purchase, a strong and positive impact can still be made.

It's the thought that counts.

Posted by farfromboring at 12:31 PM | Comments (0)

St. Patrick's Day Promotional Items

Looking for some fun ways to motivate your emplyees? Why not celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Here are some great St. Patrick's Day promotional item.


midnitesnax-022206-stpattysafe.jpg

For more information about these items or other promotional items check us out at http://FarFromBoring.com or contact Samantha@http://FarFromBoring.com 561-999-9097

Posted by samantha at 09:45 AM | Comments (0)