Friday, June 19, 2009

Promotional Products and the New Media

While I sometimes shudder at the thought that it has been 20+ years since I graduated college as a communications major, the extent to which the media world has changed just amazes me. When I ventured into the real world in the mid 80's, ABC, NBC and CBS ruled the roost, newspapers were still in their heyday and no one had ever heard of the internet.

It's a different world today....and nothing hammers that point home more profoundly than Twitter's impact on the events in Iran these past several days. And a few months ago who knew what a Twitter was?

Someone asked me recently for my opinion on what's next in terms of the how we mass communicate.

Good question...and one I certainly can't answer. But looking at the question from a business standpoint, the one thing that remains as certain now as it was back in the mid 80's is the need for businesses to communicate their sales message to clients and prospective clients.

But, just what the best mediums will be for delivering that message, say one, five or ten years from now, is to me uncertain. Certainly social networking is big right now, but remember My Space? Two years ago it was the place to be. A few days ago they laid off 30% of their workforce with more cuts reportedly coming.

Facebook kind of superseded My Space around the start of 2009, but over the last couple of months, Twitter has exploded on the scene. And given it's key role in delivering news about the chaos in Iran, it doesn't look like Twitter's momentum is going to slow anytime soon. But six months or a year from now, who knows?

Look at what else has been going on in the media world. The days of the newspaper (key phrase being 'paper') getting delivered to your front door...and in fact the days of several big city Daily papers like the Boston Globe... may well be numbered. Direct mail coupons? The US Postal Service is losing money hand over fist and its future could be very cloudy. Radio, the original word of mouth advertising medium, may not exist in its current form for a whole lot longer. (Ever hear of Pandora or Slacker?) And the broadcast networks like ABC/NBC etc are nowhere near as popular as they used to be and who knows what the future will bring for them.

My point is that with this sea of change going on in the way we communicate with each other, there is one medium that remains as strong and reliable as ever and that's Promotional Products.

Tangible, functional, and easily used to target a message at a specific, defined audience, the one thing that remains certain is that promotional products continue to be a valuable part of any marketing mix.

I don't see us weaning off the pen, coffee mug or T-Shirt anytime soon. However, I also don't think we can say for certain which other forms of media will comprise that right mix for businesses over the long and even short term. 20+ years ago, the end of the newspaper as we've known it since colonial times was not on anyone's radar the way it is right now.

But regardless of the which media win out or maybe emerge in coming years, one thing I think we can safely say is that every day useful items that carry a marketing message will definitely NOT go out of style.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Swine Flu & Marketing

News Item:
On June 11, the World Health Organization officially declared that the H1N1 Virus or Swine Flu has officially reached Pandemic status.

The last time a flu pandemic was declared was in 1968 when the so called Hong Kong Flu killed over 1 million people. And it brings to mind thoughts of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, which is believed to have infected 1/3 of the world's population and killed over 50 million people. That's the frightening aspect of this story.

However, the better news is that so far, most cases of Swine Flu have been relatively mild and the mortality rate has been a lot lower than the typical seasonal flu's which strike every year. Some have accused the media and the World Health Organization of overreacting. And whether they have or not is certainly up to individuals to decide. However, one thing that seems pretty certain is that the so called Swine Flu isn't disappearing from press coverage anytime soon.

It's on everyone's mind, and for that reason it presents a marketing opportunity...and here's why:

One of the best ways to prevent spread of the Swine or any other flu virus is hand washing...and over the past few years, antibacterial hand gel has become universally accepted as a more effective method of cleansing hands than soap and water. It's something that health care workers have known about for a long time, but now the general public has embraced this as well.

In the Promotional Products industry, hand gel has become a top selling product. It's available in bottles of varying sizes, on a 'leash' that attaches to a zipper or lanyard, and on a carabiner, which attaches to just about anything. Given the popularity and universal acceptance of hand gel, any organization looking to promote itself may be overlooking a terrific marketing vehicle if it doesn't consider utilizing this product.

The value of promotional products vs other forms of media is that they're tangible and functional -- and usually appreciated by whoever receives them. In the case of sanitizing hand gel, many people will be using the product regularly -- and buying them via retail. If given a container for free -- it's virtually guaranteed that the item will be used -- and each time it is, think of the multiple ad impressions your logo or sales message is going to receive. I'm talking about when it's removed from a purse, a pocket, used in a bathroom, a car, at work...virtually anywhere.

If you're looking to get a marketing message out to a targeted audience....there aren't a whole lot more effective vehicles out there right now than on the outside of a container of hand gel.

I just checked my product database and counted over 300 different hand gel products currently available via Geiger. You'll find all of those on my website at And here's a little insiders tip....hand gel promises to be a red hot product as we head toward the 2nd half of 2009. Our suppliers are going to recognize this and will be fighting each other to grab a share of this explosive promotional market. That means price deals....and great value for the advertiser when you consider the number of ad impressions per marketing dollar spent.

How can you maximize your opportunities with this product? We can certainly help you with that. For more information drop me an email at

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Geiger Advantage – Part 1

For the past 19 years, Scott Boyages Promotions has chosen to affiliate with Geiger as an Independent Sales Partner. Geiger is the largest privately held promotional products company in the nation and the only company that has consistently remained in the Industry’s Top 10 largest distributors for each of the past 30 years.

We’re a 4th generation family owned business that began as a print shop in Newark, New Jersey back in 1878. That’s 131 years of successfully delivering value to our clients.

Geiger, then known as Geiger Brothers, made its mark producing custom imprinted calendars - one of the oldest promotional products in existence. Calendar manufacturing is still a big part of Geiger’s business, with our proprietary By Geiger line of dated products ( and our diverse PlannerStore line (

Geiger also publishes the grand daddy of promotional products, the Farmer’s Almanac ( ), which has been enjoyed by millions of loyal readers throughout its 189 year existence.

With Geiger, I have behind me an organization of over 400 experienced and talented sales partners, 15 field offices and an excellent back end support staff.

Size, fiscal strength, longevity, and consistency are important only as they enable us to offer one-to-one solutions to our clients. We don’t take a cookie cutter approach as we realize each client is unique and has its own set of goals and challenges.

Know that we take particular pride from building lasting relationships that evolve from delivering value to our clients with an integrity that for us has never gone out of style. Both Geiger and Scott Boyages Promotions are in it for the long haul, which means we'll stand by our commitment to you and continually work to earn both your trust and your business.