Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Promotional Products as Entry Level Advertising

If you're a business person with a limited marketing budget, promotional products may very well be your most cost effective advertising option.

Think about it. All of the other available vehicles - online, direct mail, radio, newspaper, cable TV (do I dare still mention yellow pages?) require a significant financial investment. Promotional products, on the other hand, do not.

Say you give a prospect something as basic as a business card size magnet. For a $100 investment you can buy 500 of these promoting your brand and marketing message. You go to a networking event, meet someone you want to connect with, hand them a magnet, and that magnet goes up on your contact's refrigerator or office file cabinet shortly thereafter.

That magnet then gets viewed 4 times a day, 5 to 7 days a week, 12 months a year...think about the cost per ad impression that this 20-cent magnet delivers!

And you can apply the same concept to a pen, can coolie, jar grip and lots of other promotional items that cost little and deliver lots and lots of 'views' in return. And consider this, unlike other forms of advertising, there's very little waste because you decide who gets the promo item and who does not.

No other advertising medium can do this period, let alone do it for the low cost of a basic promotional product campaign built around one of these items.

That's why I often refer to promotional products as 'Entry Level Advertising' for the small business owner. If you're in business, you need to market and no medium allows you to effectively do it for as little up front cost as promotional products

Friday, June 22, 2012

Some Trade Show Marketing Tips

Trade Show Tips
Trade Shows are a big market for promotional products. Shows provide a great opportunity for companies to present their products/services to potential clients and even existing clients in an atmosphere that's a little more relaxed than an office or meeting room.

Promotional products, of course, are important for keeping your brand and marketing message in front of the people you meet at a show long after the show has ended.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your next show.

If your show display table does not include a tablecloth, be sure to get one that complements your display and represents your company’s image and color scheme. Even if a tablecloth is supplied, bring your own or at least something to add some depth to your table (i.e. a table runner). Try to make your space stand out.

Trade show hand outs work. Most people who attend shows are expecting to take home some goodies. The key with these items is to first determine the objective behind them – i.e. do you want to deliver a verbal ‘pitch’ to make a strong first impression on visitors who aren’t yet clients or keep your name in front of prospects in the days following the show? Or do you have a new marketing slogan and want to hand out items that play off of it? There are strategies (and products) for all scenarios.

Consider a drawing for a prize – and have it be a good prize that people really want and that complements your business in some way, if possible. Have visitors and entrants sign a guest book, fill in a ticket, or drop their business cards into a fish bowl or gift bag. The great thing about this type of technique is that you can then use this information at a later date to make a follow up contact.

Have a portfolio of your work available as part of your trade show display. Print off some of your best projects, put them into plastic sheet protectors, and arrange them in a binder. Then lay out the binder where visitors can flip through the pages.

Don’t Forget the Follow Up- Companies that get the best results will market continuously to the qualified contacts they meet at a show until the start of the next show the following year. There are several techniques for doing this and I’d be happy to share my views on this subject if you’re interested. Promotional products can be very helpful in this area, but they are not the only method of staying in touch. And some of those methods don’t cost anything.