This collection of promotional marketing articles represents some of my best "CrooksView Digest" thinking. If you like my thinking and concepts as they pertain to advertising and promotional marketing, then consider signing up for my free "CrooksView Creative Digest" newsletter. Better yet, consider the benefit of putting me to work on your promotional marketing project.
Promotional Marketing/Creative/Advertising Articles
• Building Your Business: Repurposing: Expand Your Market By Developing New Use of Assets
• Promotional Marketing: Extreme Sampling: Avoid Pitfalls That Will Doom Your Promotion
Develop an Extreme Sampling protocol and avoid pitfalls that will doom your promotion and make you look like an idiot.
• Promotional Marketing: Turn A Sponsorship Into a Powerful Promotion
Simply sponsoring and event often doesn't provide the measurable return a sponsor is after. This article sheds light on how to take a sponsorship a step further to be truly effective. You'll also discover a new use for toilet paper.
• Promotional Marketing: Effective Goody-Bag Marketing
Most companies slap their logo, phone number and website on some cheap do-dad, donate it to a goody-bag and pat themselves on the back for a job well done. Truth is, they just wasted a powerful promotional opportunity. Want better, more effective results from your goody-bag donations? Read this.
• Promotional Marketing: The Ingraining Technique, The Soul of an Effective Promotion.
Whether you’re a national brand or a local business, you can ingrain yourself into peoples’ lives by focusing on what they need, want, desire or care about. Develop concepts and ideas that will embrace your target — and they will embrace you back.
• Promotional Marketing: Stealth Marketing: A Twist On The Willy Wonka Approach
Are you wasting money promoting your promotion? Imagine if it were possible to put more of your promotional budget to work actually creating word of mouth and possibly free media exposure. This article explores a concept that if not taken too literally, can open your eyes to new ways to cost effectively promote your business — without increasing your promotional marketing budget.
• Trade Show Tactics: Effective Use of Postcards As Tradeshow Handouts
You've tried handing out every cheap do-dad and trinket you can find under $1 and still, your return on investment sucks.
For starters, it's probably not the products fault. It may no even be your fault. If you were sold a product without an effective methodology or idea to go with it, you got shortchanged. To prove the power of an idea over a product, let's hand out postcards at your next trade show. This article is an eye opener.
• Promotional Marketing: Marketing Lessons Mom Packed In My Lunch
Growing up I ate a lot of sack lunches at school. Not too long ago, I analyzed my childhood lunch experiences and found that my Mom had packed a whole lot more than lunch in my lunch box.
• Sales: Using Promotional Products as Retail Babysitters
In retail sales, children can be your worst nightmare, sabatoging the sale and generally making for an anti-productive sales atmosphere. But with a little thought and the right promotional products to serve as Retail Babysitters, children can actually become an asset as you use them to leverage favor — and sales with the parents.
• Creativity:The Adventure of Creative Problem-Solving
Creative problem-solving is all about HOW you think about your problem. This article illustrates by entertaining examples how you can,utilize creative problem -solving in your everday life.Fact is, you probably have.
• Target Marketng: How To Target Left-Handed Buyers of Blue Four-Door Fords®.
How do you target a market as specific as left-handed buyers of blue 4-door Fords? First ask yourself, “Who has access to those I want to reach?” The answer is the opportunity I call, “Reciprocal Partnership Marketing (RPM).
• Effective Promotion: Call Me When Your Dog Gets Too Tall.
As marketers and businesses seek to promote themselves, their products or events, they need to think through the promotional products they use in the promotion. A product that may seem like a sure-fire hit ... may actually turn into a public relations problem. (You thought I was going to say "nightmare".)
• Effective Promotion: "You Want Me To Put My Logo ... Where?!"
Placement of your logo on promotional marketing items should be given as much thought as is given to selection of the item itself.
• Tradeshow Tatics: How A Paper Airplane Can Stop Traffic.
Too often, tradeshow exhibitors believe that handing some cheap do-dad to everyone who walks by their booth is effectively promoting their business. Key words in that sentence are, “everyone who walks by.” Here's how a paper airplane can stop traffic.
• Promotional Marketing:5 Surprising Benefits of Waterless Tattoos.
Eliminating the need for kids to use their spit to apply these temporary tattoos is just the beginning!
• Promotional Marketing: Effective Promotional Marketing Using Waterless Tattoos.
Because of their unique "waterless, no mess" characteristics, waterless tattoos can be used to promote your company, brand or event in exciting ways.
•Promotional Marketing: How to Generate Better Ideas; Chiropractor Focus.
There are ideas that are obvious to most everyone, then there are the better, more effective ideas that come to light only after a bit of intense mind bending. This article compares examples of the obvious and then the better, more effective. It has a Chiropractor theme it, but Roger von Oech's concept of "finding the second right answer" applies to just about everything.
Repurposing: Expanding Your Market:
Finding New Uses For Existing Products and Services
When my great-gandmother grabbed a box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda with which to bake the weekly bread, I doubt that it crossed her mind that it could also help keep the cat box smelling fresh. sprinkling it in the cat box, I don’t give much thought to baking with it. As times have changed, Arm & Hammer has done a great job repurposing its product. Had they held onto the idea that baking soda was just for baking, they'd likely be out of business now. But today Arm & Hammer offers everything from toothpaste to deodorant because of a concept I call repurposing. And it's a secret to success that can work for your business too.
Repurposing is different than line extension. Seldom does repurposing a product cannibalize sales or market share of the repurposed product. Many multi-national companies have used this tactic. Take Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. The invention of Rice Krispies Treats in the late 1930’s helped sell more Rice Krispies. Chex repurposed its breakfast cereal as Chex Mix, giving people a reason, other then breakfast, to buy and consume the cereal. And I’m pretty sure a lot of oatmeal sales through the years are a result of the invention of the oatmeal cookie.
WD-40 is another example of how to repurpose correctly and profitably. WD-40 is one product. Sure, it comes in different sizes and forms from the 3oz spray to the gravity-feed No Mess Pen. However, over the years they have developed more than 300 uses for the WD-40 product. (http://www.wd40promo.com/WD-40.Uses.html). They didn’t develop WD-40 gum remover or WD-40 cleaner or WD-40 anything else. They’ve merely let their fan base know of the multitude of wonderful things for which WD-40 can be used. More recently, they’ve added another use. WD-40 can be used by businesses as an effective promotional product because now it can be custom imprinted. (Learn more at WD-40Prmo.com)
Savvy marketers know that finding a new use for their product or, repurposing, can have a dramatic positive effect on the bottom line. There are great examples of repurposing everywhere. Remember when you went to the gas station to buy gas, and maybe a pop or some smokes? Today, many “gas stations” have been repurposed as convenience stores selling everything from grocery items and hot burgers to lottery tickets. They haven’t stopped selling gas, they just broadened their market. They repurposed the business.
From a creative standpoint, learning to open your mind to repurposing isn’t just for a select few. Examples are all around us. After all, meatloaf is just repurposed hamburger. A tire swing is just a tire – repurposed. French fries are just repurposed potatoes. Hot dogs are just repurposed ... well, perhaps we shouldn't go there. Ha, ha, ha,.
All kidding aside, opportunities abound for those who are willing to open their mind to the possibilities. What if grocery stores built a car wash and offered valet service allowing people to get their car washed while they do the grocery shopping? What if barber shops offered shoe shine service while customers get their hair cut? Wouldn't it be neat to pick out your tires on one day and then while you're at work, your new tires were put on your vehicle in the parking lot? Thinking of ways to save people time is just one area of repurposing.
Too often, we don't think outside the box because we spend so little time thinking inside the box. I challenge you to look at your products, services, equipment and people and think about how else they can be used or offered.
Can we develop ideas that make the alternative use of a product, service, equipment or people a key factor in the magic of growing our businesses? If the same ingredient I use to make bread can be used to keep the cat box smelling fresh ... then I contend that it is likely that you can discover new opportunities in your line of business. All it takes is the ability to see beyond what is … in order to grasp a vision of what can be.
And if you need help with that ... just let me know.Michael Crooks
• Food For Thought: Great vs. Truly Great.
This article explores how the quality of followership affects the quality of leadership. I use extremes to make a point comparing the leadership skills of Hitler and those of Jusus. There is one key characteristic that seperates the Great from the Truly Great. Read this to find out what it is.
Extreme Sampling Part 1:
Avoid Oversights That Can Doom Your Promotion
Fifteen minutes ago I was happy. Now I'm not.
In my right hand I hold the watch I just broke. In my left hand I hold the instructions that I couldn't understand, for setting the watch. In my mind I hold a negative impression of the company from whom I ordered the sample. Had I received this particular product from you … well, lets just say it's kinda hard to get me interested in your product or service when you just frustrated me to no end.
Product function and instructions are two areas often overlooked that can be extremely detrimental to your marketing and promotional efforts. As a safe guard, I advocate "Extreme Sampling".
With Extreme Sampling, instead of hoping the product works correctly — you pray it fails, breaks or otherwise would make you look like an idiot if you gave it to a prospect, client or customer. Role play with the product, use it, play with it and attempt to uncover the negatives. This includes using the product for a purpose for which it is not indented, because sooner or later, someone will.
Case in point. Several years ago a popular kids fast food chain changed the design of their coffee stirrers after it was discovered that drug addicts were using the spoon-like stirrers to snort cocaine. Not exactly the use the company had intended nor the publicity the company wanted.
Effective Extreme Sampling involves two steps. 1) Product Testing. 2) Instruction Scrutiny.
Once you obtain your samples do more than "check them out" — try them out. Extreme Sampling dictates that you must use it and abuse it. If it's a mug don't simply hold it in your hand. Pour liquid in it and drink out of it. First time you burn your lip on the edge of a steel coffee mug that doesn't have a plastic-lined lid — you'll understand what I'm talking about. If it's a polycarbonate bottle that's supposed to be unbreakable ... throw it against a brick wall — full. Wearables? Run them through the washing machine. Imagine what the end user will and might do with or to your product — then do it. You'll be amazed at the stuff you discover.
For instance, I remember a tumbler I tested. The drink hole was open but when I went to drink nothing came out. This drove me nuts for about 10 minutes. I finally realized that as I tipped the tumbler up for a drink, my nose covered the air hole creating an "air-lock". The lid was too shallow. It's not the sort of thing you discover if all you do is look at a product.
In the summer, I put plastic flying disks (PFD's) in the freezer to simulate cold weather use. In the summer most PFD's will simply bend when you bend them. However, in cold weather, many PFD's will break, shatter and splinter into sharp pieces. Imagine a kid playing with his dog in the winter. The dog bites onto the PFD, it splinters and the dog earns a trip to the vet. Or the kid is running, falls down on the edge of the PDF you handed out. It stabs the kid when it breaks. And just because you're using a cheap PFD as a paper plate holder at an adult event, doesn't mean the item won't end up in a child's hands. Best advice? Either wrap your arms around Extreme Sampling or increase your liability insurance.
Instructions are another area of sampling that's often overlooked. If instructions are included, you must read them. You may determine they must be rewritten to be understandable. If instructions are not included, you may determine you need to create an instruction or "about this product" sheet after you finish your product testing phase.
I remember testing a travel mug that plugs into the vehicle's cigarette lighter. The mug worked perfectly. It was winter and the mug kept the coffee nice and hot. A few days later, the mug stopped working. After messing around with it, I discovered that the in-line fuse between the mug and the lighter had blown. Reason? While there was still a little coffee in the mug, there was not enough to dissipate the heat from the mug's heating element. The mug overheated and, by design, blew the in-line fuse.
I discovered something else when I switched cars with my wife. I returned to a freezing car expecting hot coffee. Instead I had a coffee slushie. My first thought was the mug stopped working. Turns out, not all cigarette lighters or power outlets are wired to stay "hot" when the ignition is off.
It would have been nice if the instructions explained any of this. Then again, it would have been nice if instructions had been provided.
Product function and instruction issues are not issues you want your clients and prospects to figure out for themselves. Often, if a promotional product doesn't work, seems not to work or frustrates the recipient, they'll toss it and think less of you.
Expect to pay for samples but consider it an investment in your image. And when you order samples be sure and ask that any instructions that are shipped with a production run are included with your samples.
Extreme Sampling is fun. It's also necessary if you care about the success of your promotional efforts and the image of your company. If you have an interesting Extreme Sampling story to tell, send it to me, I'd love to read about it.
Extreme Sampling: Part II
Don't Flush Your Underwear Down The Toilet
"Dad. I think I just flushed my underwear down the toilet."
I just sat there … looking at my nine-year old son, searching for words that seemed stuck in a mental quagmire of wonder and disbelief.
Finally, as nonchalantly as I could, I asked, "So … how did that happen?"
"Well, um, when I sat on my pen it broke and got ink on my underwear. So I thought if I like, put some soap in the toilet, and, um, flushed it … the turbo action would be just like the washing machine and get the ink out. I forgot the toilet like, eats everything you put in it."
Wouldn't it be great to be nine again? We could just test out … no wait, implement any idea that came to our mind knowing we were backed by the full faith and credit of mom and dad. But, in the world you and I live in, a creative or logistical faux pas costs real money and carries real consequences.
In Part 1, I said that effective Extreme Sampling involves two steps. 1) Product Testing. 2) Instruction Scrutiny.
I was wrong.
There are three steps to Extreme Sampling. Step 3 is, "Process Testing". Process Testing is where you focus on logistics, distribution and final outcomes. In short, you conduct a trial run to the best of your ability to prevent, "Flushing your underwear down the toilet."
Case in point. I recently sent a client some waterless tattoo samples. The client tested them and found that they worked perfectly. They ordered 50k. Unfortunately, they did not test them through the bindery equipment on which the tattoos would be affixed to a card. Turns out the tattoos were too thin for the machinery to pick up and place properly. This could have been remedied by using a thicker stock … had we known. Instead, they're affixing them by hand, which costs more. (Insert flush sound here).
Forcing yourself to test the process will help you think it through and avoid problems. For instance, that umbrella you want to give everyone at the conference. You've tested the product and scrutinized the instructions. Now let's test the process. The conference is in a city to which most people will fly. Grab your suitcase. Will that 4 foot umbrella fit?
Daily, marketers fail to test the process and find out too late that the product, premium or incentive … won't fit in the bag, the box, the envelope or the suitcase. Or they find out at the worst possible moment, that leaving the chocolate parting-gift in the van, in the sun, all day … was a no-no.
Here's a few things to think about regarding step #3 of Extreme Sampling:
Carton Weight: Having UPS deliver five 40 pound cartons to your office is one thing. But can the person in your office who is in charge of getting those cartons to the event — lift 40 pound boxes? We often under-pack cartons for our clients based on how much weight THEY want to lift.
Effects of Heat/Cold: Can it melt or freeze? Do you need to keep something cool or warm at the event prior to distribution? And for how long? Our chocolate vendor ships with ice packs to prevent melting in transit. But if the chocolate is not stored correctly once you get it, well, you're flushing your underwear down the toilet. Will those snow globes freeze and break? Will the deodorant in the personal care packs liquefy in the heat?
Time/Timing: Your logo glowing at a night event on a t-shirt, tattoo or hat will look really cool. But, if you're placing your bets on a solar-powered, glow-in-the-dark item, make sure your event has daylight hours built in so the product has a time to charge up.
Fulfillment: If you are going to have a fulfillment center do anything with a product …make sure you give them samples to test before you place an order.
Rules & Regulations: If you're distributing your item at a conference, will the item be accepted by the airlines in checked or carry on luggage? If you're mailing your item, does it conform to postal or other delivery rules and regs? Some stadiums have rules banning noise makers. Some fairgrounds have rules banning balloons. Contrary to the creative thought process, when you stand to loose money or worse, your job — it's best to ask for permission than to beg for forgiveness.
Now before you roll your eyes, these are all issues I've personally dealt with or prevented from happening in the last 60 days. Like the client who wanted to order a 4' high banner to be carried in a parade by children that were only 3' tall.
1) Product Testing. 2) Instruction Scrutiny. 3) Process Testing
I'd share more but I just spotted Junior headed out back with a lawn chair, balloons and my helium tank. I'm sure the word '"tether" isn't something he's thought of … yet.
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Turning A Mere Sponsorship Into A Powerful Promotion
"Toilet paper?" he asked in astonishment. "Are you out of your mind?"
Roger was a travel agent sharing with me his sad tale at spending $500 on a golf sponsorship — and getting no response. His sponsorship of the event made sense. The outing was a senior event, held at a country club attended by lots of seniors with enough disposable income to afford travel. Problem was, Roger confused "sponsorship" with "promotion".
"Roger, sponsorship itself is not effective promotion," I said. "The sponsorship is merely your "Option Cost". Before you cough up $500 for a sponsorship, you have two options. One is the option to donate, which is what you did. Two, is the option to promote, which is where the toilet paper comes in."
"So what do I do with toilet paper," he asked.
I bit my tongue for a second, then continued.
"Before you agree to sponsor, explore the ability to integrate with the event. That means having a physical or interactive presence.
"A physical presence is an event booth or table. At a golf event, you can host a putting or chip-shot contest where prospects can win a prize. In your case, a prospect plays your game, you jot down their name and phone # and reward them with your promotional item."
"What do I give 'em", he asks.
"That's where the toilet paper comes in," I said. "I'll get to that in a minute."
"The other approach to integration is to have an interactive presence. This pertains mainly to door prizes and is designed to drive traffic from the event to a retail location. Use this tactic when you can't have a physical presence. But it's most effective when used in conjunction with a physical presence.
"You offer a door prize that is too valuable, large or fragile to have at the event. The winner receives a prize certificate directing them to pick up the prize at the retail location.
"For you, I recommend the physical presence. You offer an event-related game of skill or chance and reward them with the toilet paper up front and award the grand prize— a trip or whatever —during the awards banquet."
Roger was growing impatient so I shared my idea.
"Roger, you being a travel agent, imagine the talk you'll generate if you handed out rolls of toilet paper imprinted with your logo and the message, "Where Do You Want To Go?"
Understanding how to turn a sponsorship into a promotion can yield powerful results. And you can mold the concept to nearly any event.
First, ensure the event is a good fit for your business. Ensure attendees want or need what you have to offer and can afford it. If it's a good fit, then consider paying the "Option Cost" a.k.a. sponsorship fee.
But before you do, ask if you can have a physical presence at the event. If you can, the goal is to collect actionable data to facilitate effective follow up. Collect business cards as the "admission price" to play your game or ask people to "register" while they wait in line.
In lieu of a physical presence, ask about door prize options allowing you an interactive presence. If you can't have either option, then you're about to make a donation. If it's a worthy cause and you'll be satisfied generating goodwill for which R.O.I. can't be measured, then go ahead. If not, pass.
If you can have a booth or table, talk with the event coordinators. Find out what other companies are supplying so you can plan your prizes appropriately. And just because you're sponsoring, say… a golf event, doesn't mean your promotional item has to be golf related ie: toilet paper. Remember, these people do something else when they're not golfing.
Example: You sponsor a golf outing for real estate professionals. Offer a logo'd tape measure with built-in note pad and pencil to use when prospective home-buyers want to measure closets and what-not.
Again, using golf-outings as an example, the next best thing to having a table or booth is driving the beer cart. You wear a logoed shirt and have access to everyone on the course. Perhaps you can distribute the drinks in your logo'd drink holder. If it's hot, keep some logo'd bandannas in a cooler of ice water and hand them out.
Last on the list of event opportunities is the "goody bag". Most events allow you to donate "goody bag" items for free. This can be the most cost-effective promotional tool of all. Think in terms of how the item can generate phone calls, drive people to your website or your retail location.
Keys attached to a key tag inviting them to stop by and try their luck is an option. A restaurant can imprint their "To Go" menu on a banner pen. Other ideas that can afford a good imprint area include bandanas, playing cards and imprintable paper clips attached to a card with a special offer.
With a subtle shift in mindset, you can turn a passive sponsorship … into a powerful promotion.
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How To Target Left-Handed Buyers of Blue Four-Door Fords.
Target Marketing isn’t as hard, difficult or complicated as many marketing professionals would like you to believe. With a slight shift in mind-set, you can quickly target a market as specific as left-handed buyers of blue, four door Fords®. How? Pretty much the same way you target mothers-to-be, pink toilet owners and those who have a bobble-head on their dash.
First ask yourself, “Who has access to those I want to reach?” The answer is the opportunity I call, “Reciprocal Partnership Marketing’ (RPM). RPM is a powerful marketing concept. It allows you to literally — and effectively — put your message into the hands of your prospects. Here’s how:
Mr. & Mrs. Baker buy a $1000 necklace from Albert’s Jewelry. After completing the transaction, the clerk hands a package to the Bakers and says, “Alberts Jewelry and Jim’s Insurance want you to have this jewelry cleaning cloth as our gift.” Inside the package is a jewelry cleaning cloth bearing the logos and phone numbers of the jewelry store AND the insurance agent. A card explains the importance of “protecting your investment” by keeping it clean. The card also points out under what circumstances a jewelry insurance rider might be beneficial to “further protect your investment”. The card carries the logos and contact information for both the jewelry store and the insurance agent.
The insurance agent reciprocates by referring people to the jewelry store for appraisals in advance of writing insurance jewelry riders. In addition, upon completing an insurance sale, the agent gives the client a nice document/policyholder, again bearing the logos and phone numbers of the agent AND Alberts Jewelry. Inside, a card reinforces the value of annual insurance check-ups. The card further points out that nothing “insures” (creative license, the correct usage is “ensures”) fond memories of annual events such as anniversaries and birthdays … like fine jewelry.
Under this partnership, each company has access to prospects that have a high likelihood of needing or wanting what they have to offer. Each company’s message is delivered to the prospect in a relevant manner at an appropriate time. The concept works across a broad spectrum.
A clothing store that wants to target women for a Friday sale partners with an appropriate nightclub (bar) that features a Thursday Ladies’ Night. Specially imprinted cocktail napkins, a couple of drawings for dual-logoed prizes and a few posters could drive sales for the clothing store’s Friday event. Of course, the clothing store hypes next Thursday’s ladies night for the nightclub by handing out the nightclub’s promotional item, other promotional information and displaying posters.
And the targets I mentioned earlier? To target mothers-to-be, partner with an OB-GYN, they know who’s pregnant. Pink toilet owners? Partner with a plumber. Those who have a bobble-head on their dashboard? Partner with an instant oil-change firm. And if you really want to target left-handed buyers of blue 4-door Fords®? It’s as simple as partnering with someone who sells Fords®.
Harnessing the power of RPM begins by asking yourself a couple simple questions. “Who has access to those I want to target?” “Where do my prospects spend their time when they’re not at work?” “Who sells a product or service that is related to my product or service?”
Reciprocal Partnership Marketing can be as simple as passing out each other’s literature. However, through creative thought, the right promotional products and approach, you can really drive up the RPM’s on the ‘ole sales-o-meter.
"Call Me When Your Dog Gets Too Tall"
The Difference Between A Cheap Giveaway & An Effective Promotion.
My friend Ken, the toy poodle breeder, called the other day asking about imprinted pens to give away at dog shows to promote his kennel. From previous conversations I remembered something about height restrictions.
"Ken, isn’t there a rule that when a toy poodle gets to a certain height, you can’t show it any more?" I asked.
"Sure," he replied. "Ten inches. Then the owner needs to get another poodle."
"So give your prospects a ruler imprinted with your kennel name, "Breeder of Champion Poodles", phone number and a line that says, ‘Call Me When Your Dog Gets Too Tall.’"
"Now that’s a great idea," he exclaimed.
Developing great promotional ideas that are relevant to your audience isn’t that hard. It simply takes a subtle shift in mindset and an understanding of what you really want to accomplish. The shift in mindset comes when you understand the difference between a giveaway and a promotion.
All too often, business owners give away some cheap doo-dad thinking it will create goodwill and effectively promote their business. They are mindless of the fact that the item is irrelevant to their business or the prospect's need — such as a breeder giving away an imprinted pen. The recipient takes the item home and: 1) puts it in a drawer, 2) gives it to the kids, 3) throws it away. 4) perhaps uses the item with no real intention of doing business with the advertiser.
A giveaway is a one-way street. You cannot measure your return on investment. You gain practically nothing meaningful … certainly nothing you can actively follow up on. And, as far as building business? Few will say, "Wow! They have me a cheap piece of junk with their name on it! I’ve really got to do business with them."
A promotion is a two-way street. You determine what your want your target to do, then you figure out a way to get them to do it. Trade shows are a good example.
As I said, most companies give away something cheap to everyone who stops or walks by. But as a business owner/marketer, you don’t care about everyone – at least you shouldn’t. You should care only about those who are interested in your product or service and can afford to pay for it. Being a smart promotional marketer, you should offer something of value to those who first fill out a short need-assessment or questionnaire providing you with their name, contact information and an idea of their interest level or purchasing time frame. This is how you qualify your prospects and obtain meaningful, actionable data. And because you're not giving something to everybody, you can afford to offer promotional product that costs a bit more and will give your prospect a reason to remember you.
For instance, a Financial Planner that’s giving pens to everyone, would do better to offer an imprinted booklet about Managing Your Finances ONLY to those who fill out the short questionnaire. Sure, the booklet costs more than the pens. But, the Financial Planner obtains information on which he/she can effectively follow up. The added bonus is the fact that the return on investment is measurable, and, the prospect has a meaningful item that is relevant to their interest.
Cheap giveaways have their place when donating to goody bags or as prizes for contests or token thank-you gifts. However, when your goal is to promote your business, secure qualified leads or increase traffic – an effective promotion beats a cheap giveaway.
"If you want to giveaway your business, well ... that's your business.
If you want to effectively promote your busness, well ... that's my business."
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"Avoiding a Public Relations Problem"
Effective Product Selection Does Matter.
As marketers and businesses seek to promote themselves, their products or events, they need to think through the promotional products they use in their promotions. While they need to consider the positives they also must explore possible negatives. A product that may seem like a sure-fire hit may actually turn into a public relations problem. Take Temporary Tattoos for example.
It’s no secret that kids love temporary tattoos. They’re the “stickers” of the 2000’s. And on the face of it, temporary tattoos and kids are a perfect match. In a retail setting, give the kids a couple temporary tattoos to keep them busy and you can effectively have a conversation with the parents. At festivals and other public events, if you hand out temporary tattoos to the kids, it’s like having 100’s of little billboards running around with your logo on their forehead, cheeks and hands.
The downside is, most temporary tattoos require water to apply. That’s not a problem when there’s a supply of clean water handy. But when kids don’t have access to water, they use the next best thing … their spit. Therein lies a health concern.
Germs and bacteria in saliva can spread all kinds of diseases from the common cold and the flu to Tuberculosis and Meningitis. While one solution is to take away the temporary tattoos … an alternative is Waterless Temporary Tattoos.
Because they don’t require water to apply, waterless temporary tattoos eliminate the need for kids to use their saliva when there’s no water available. That greatly reduces the spread of saliva-related germs and the mess commonly associated with applying temporary tattoos.
Because of their sanitary issues and ease of use, waterless tattoos are quickly finding a following within such organizations as the March of Dimes (MOD). A Michigan MOD chapter began using them for their walkathon in the fall of ’06. Word quickly spread within the organization. Currently, the MOD uses waterless temporary tattoos in 14 states.
Another example of a fun product with potential for calamity is flying plastic disks (FPD). Many companies manufacture or otherwise offer FPD's for the promotional market. On the face of it, most people see little harm in throwing the disk back and forth with a friend or perhaps teaching your dog to make spectacular catches in mid-air. The problem is, not all plastic flying disks are the same.
Many of the most inexpensive are made of plastic that can splinter w
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