This brings us to the 7th and final step to developing a successful promotional plan, Use A Qualified Promotional Products Consultant. A good promotional products consultant will help you answer all these questions as well as offer a variety of value-added services including unique product ideas, creative distribution solutions and an insight to different avenues of promotion. PPAI consultants have met the highest qualification standards in the industry and display “The Mark of a Professional”. A MAS (Master Advertising Specialist) or CAS (Certified Advertising Specialist) designation after a consultant’s name means he or she has earned one of the industry’s only official certifications. Professional who have earned their MAS or CAS provide the highest standard of conduct and integrity. They are here to help you, not sell you. With that in mind, if you ever want to meet with a promotional product consultant, both Rob and John at Fanfare Promotions have the designation of MAS (Master Advertising Specialist) and would be happy to help you with any campaign you might have in mind. Both have been in the Promotional Marketing arena for over 15 years. Give them a call at 763-576-0195. Happy Marketing!
We are already at step six, Don’t Pick a Promotional Product Based Solely on Uniqueness, Price, or Perceived Value. One of the first questions I get a lot is “What’s New and Exciting?” My usual answer to this is it’s not about new but more about the most effective promotional product used in a cohesive, well-planned campaign. It’s important to not fall prey to the latest trends or fads. Let’s look at something as simple as a pen. Sure everyone gives out pens. It happens to be one of the most popular promotional products ever and has been effective for over a century. Why is that? It’s useful. It’s usually kept for a period of at least 1 year unless someone steals it from you. In either case, the message conveyed on the pen is seen multiple times a day for at least 365 days. The cost is minimal considering the number of exposures you get out of it leading to a cost per view (CPV) of fractional of a penny over the long run. Why wouldn’t you use a pen? We have used the same product for multiple clients in different businesses with great results so have the newest and greatest is not the best reason to use it. The effectiveness is the most important reason in selecting a product. Sure we could pick something for the hearing aid company that focuses on hearing but will it serve them the best? Not necessarily, especially if the recipient doesn’t use it or keep it. Don’t try to pick a product because it is new. Pick the product because it works for your purpose. Happy Marketing!
The fifth step in this series is selecting a promotional product that bears a natural relationship to your profession or communication theme. It’s important that the product be functional for your prospect which will allow it to keep reminding them that you have something they need. In the case of targeting mature adults, it wouldn’t make much sense to use a product like a MP3 player. Not that some of them wouldn’t use it but the majority of the older people I know don’t even own or use a computer making it difficult to put music on the player. On the other hand, something as simple as a jar opener could be used with the message “We Make Your Life Easier” would be something they would keep in their kitchen drawer because it makes it easier for them to open a jar. “Seeing is Believing” on a lighted magnifying reading ruler. You see, the product can be in the category of hearing aids like a talking card inviting them to a free hearing evaluation but it doesn’t have to be about sound. The other products I’ve mentions relay the message we want to convey equally well. There are over 600,000 promotional products to choose from so the limit you have is your imagination. If you think of something, more than likely it’s out there for you to use. The next step in this 7 step process is Don’t Pick an Item Solely on Uniqueness, Price, or Perceived Value. See you next time and Happy Marketing!
Developing a Message to Support the Theme is the next step for developing a promotional plan. When we do this we want to make sure the message helps solidify the company’s name, service or products in the target audience’s mind. An example of this would a promotional marketing agency like ourselves would use a message like “Cutting Edge Marketing Services” on a product like a pizza cutter. In the case of the hearing aid company, “Our Hearing Aids are Light Years Beyond the Competition” or “See What you Are Missing” or “We Make Hearing Easy”. These messages tie in with making life easy for them. This all ties in with the plan that they will come to the client verses the client going to the hearing aid company’s office. This is the kind of stuff that makes a company stand out from its competition. This part of the plan requires a little thinking but isn’t that hard. Ask yourself, what I can do for my client and tie that in with the message you want to create. Naturally, this part does tie in with selecting a promotional product, the next part of developing a promotional plan. Until next time, Happy Marketing.
This is the third part of this series, Creating a Central Theme. This is where you link a recognizable logo and color to all aspects of the promotional plan. This includes things like the promotional products, sales sheets, posters, product packaging, e-mails, or any other features used in the plan. This creates an instantly recognizable image of the company and the campaign. For example, with the promotional plan for the hearing aid company marketing to the mature audience they would make sure all the posters, letters sent to prospects or managers of facilities targeted would have the same logo, color scheme, and message to develop the continuity within the program. This part of the plan leads us to the next step of developing a message to support the theme. Until next time, Happy Marketing!
Here we are again to continue our series on Developing a Promotional Plan. This is the second of the seven part series. Today we are going to look at determining a distribution plan to our targeted audience. This is an important part of any plan. Research has shown that a carefully executed distribution plan significantly increases the effectiveness of the promotional product. For our example of the hearing aid company that decided to target the mature audience has a number of workable distribution plans. They could have a booth at local senior expos where a lot of their target audience would be. Another option would be to set up with local senior living facilities in their area to have free screening on a specific date and time so they wouldn’t have to get into their car and travel to an event. With the senior expo, they could do a mailer or postcard announcing where they will be and offer an incentive for stopping by their booth. In the case of going to the senior housing, they could have posters made up to announce the date and time of the free screening offering a free gift for attending the event. It’s thinking up that special hook to draw your prospect in and attend the event. An example of a poor distribution plan would be giving away a ceramic coffee mug at a show where the majority of the people receiving it have to travel on an airplane. The reasoning behind this is they might not want to carry it on the plane because it adds weight to their bag and leave it in their hotel room or if they put it in their checked luggage, it might get broken by the luggage handlers. (We all know what our luggage goes through when we travel, not good!) With this in mind, always think about how you are distributing the products. The next time we are going to develop a central theme. Until next time, Happy Marketing!
It’s amazing how people buy promotional products without any plan on how to use them or knowing what kind of results they want from them. I’ve been working in this industry for over 15 years and no matter how much I try to help them make the best use of their products they still don’t get it. This will be a series of 7 blog posts that will help anyone get the most out of their marketing efforts with promotional products.
The seven steps are as follows:
- Define a specific objective.
- Determine a workable distribution plan to a targeted audience.
- Create a central theme.
- Develop a message to support the theme.
- Select a promotional product that bears a natural relationship to your profession or communications theme.
- Don’t pick an item based solely on uniqueness, price or perceived value.
- Use a qualified promotional products consultant
(List provided by the PPAI, Develop A Promotional Plan)
Let’s get started. Defining a specific objective:
Every plan needs an objective to accomplish. Whether you want to increase traffic to your website, increase sales with your current clients, bring people into you trade show booth, or just want to show your appreciation for the business given to you by a client, you need to know what the end results will be. Just handing out pens in hopes of someone reading it and calling you is not a good objective. Throughout this series, we will create a promotional plan that shows exactly what I mean. Let’s say you want to drive more people to your trade show booth at one of your largest shows of the season. That’s the easy part but, why? To show off a new product you want to introduce? To build brand awareness of a specific product? It’s not about bringing prospects into your booth. It’s what you want to accomplish after they get there. This would be considered your specific objective, not driving people to your booth. That doesn’t mean part of the promotional plan doesn’t include a means for getting people into your booth because it does, but that’s only part of the objective intertwined with the true objective. A hearing aid company wanted to gain market share in a very competitive market. The natural market for them was the mature adult so they decided that they wanted to build their brand around that market. Now, their objective is now focused on the mature market so they now have their specific objective. The next posting, we will focus on the second step of determining a workable distribution plan to this targeted audience. Until next time, Happy Marketing!
Some people think marketing is sales. Well, it isn’t! A sale is when you provide a product or service in exchange for some kind of compensation. Marketing, on the other hand, is getting your prospect to raise his or her hand and say I’m ready for you to provide that product or service. I, myself never really understood this until I got in the marketing game. Promotional products are the perfect instrument for putting your contact information in front of prospective clients. The cost per exposure goes down exponentially through the like of the product. For example, let’s look at something as simple as a pen. According to a survey performed by the Promotional Products Association International, 60% of people use a pen 5 to 10 times a day and 73% keep one with them at all times. 79% of them use a promotional pen from a business. Let’s look at a pen that has an initial cost of $0.50. Let’s assume the lowest usage of 5 times a day. That’s 25 times per week assuming a 5 day work week. That’s 1250 times a year assuming they work 50 weeks out of the year. The cost per exposure for that $0.50 pen is $0.0004 (.50/1250 exposures = .0004) Now that’s what I call effective marketing! Do you think you can get that kind of exposure from an ad in a magazine or newspaper? I don’t think so and I am only counting on the pen being used for one year. It could be around for multiple years which reduces the cost per exposure even more. This is just one example of how promotional marketing can help your business grow. Stay tuned for more articles on how we can help you win at marketing. Until next time, keep working! John
Check Out This Video On The Power Of The Pen