Category Archives: Trends

Ad Good As It Gets

A study reported in the January 2010 issue of Promotional Products Business (PPB) tells us that consumer like and want “stuff with your logo on it” and that they remember the nice folks who give them what they want.

This study of American consumers, done in 2009 by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) revealed that 82 percent of consumers exposed to promotional products advertising within a one-year period recalled the company or brand advertised, AND 75 percent could remember the advertising message.

“Promotional products had a far greater recall rate for these advertising consumers when compared to ads they saw or read on television, print media and online advertising in the immediate past two-week period. What’s more, 83 percent of consumers reported that they liked to receive promotional products. (PPB)

While these are impressive recall numbers, what is really exciting is the reaction consumers had to the advertising.  In other words, what actions did they take after receiving the promotional products?

Twenty percent of consumers reported making a purchase within one year after receiving the promotional product, while only 13.4 percent had made a purchase after seeing a print ad in the immediate past two weeks, 7.1 percent had made a purchase after seeing a TV ad in the immediate past two weeks and 4.6 percent made a purchase after seeing an online ad in the immediate past two weeks. (PPB)

What promotional products really excel at though, is in influencing the overall impression of the advertiser, This study reports that  52.6 percent of consumers had a favorable impression of the advertiser after being exposed to promotional product advertising whereas that same favorable impression was received by only 27.7 percent consumers exposed to TV advertising, 33.2 percent of consumers exposed to advertising via print media and 11.9 percent of advertisers exposed to online advertising.

What is the point? When you advertise with promotional products at least 4 things happen, all of them good;

1) The recipient remembers you

2) The recipient wants and appreciates the advertising

3) They will feel positive about you and your company

4) 20% of them will buy from you in the next year

When it comes to advertising, it doesn’t get much better than that!

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Filed under Promo Ideas, Trends, Uncategorized

Processing the EXPO

The PPAI EXPO has come and gone. It is a hectic week, filled with plenty of new information to process. It always takes me about 2 months to fully grasp what I have see and learned during the week. However, here are two quick observations I want to share with you.

1) The environmental “green” movement is alive and well, but losing its momentum. This particular aspect, the “friend of the environment” aspect of marketing a business will continue to be important and should be considered in any PR campaign. However, due to the lack of coherent standards in the marketplace and the growing skepticism of the public towards “green” claims, I believe that the period of explosive growth in the “eco-friendly” campaigns is over for the forseeable future. Besides, it is expensive to be “green”.

2) Integrating Web 2.0 ( “social media”) into marketing for small business via tangible promotional advertising continues its steady growth. Many of the “new” ideas are simply reworking tried & true promotions from the past and adapting them to find ways to encourage consumers to interact with a company’s persona on the web. Moving forward, I believe this aspect of promotional marketing will provide small businesses an opportunity to develop and grow in their on-line presence, which is where the future of marketing is, right now.

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Filed under Professionalism, Promo Ideas, Social media, Trends

Wish I Had Thought of This

barcodesHow do they think of such things? Take a look at a new idea for barcodes coming out of Japan. You know barcodes, those ubiquitous little black & white stripes on every consumer product package (and then some). Someone had the glorious idea that since they had to print them anyway, why not have them make a statement. Take a look at this gallery of fine artwork they’ve developed.

Here’s more from the Fast Company blog.

“Since 2005, D-Barcode has been creating custom barcodes for a mostly Japanese clientele. They’ve even begun selling their wares to anyone who wants to license them, starting at $1,500 for the design, and $200 a year for licensing. A custom or exclusive use code will run upwards of $4,000–but given that companies spend millions on designing a single package, why don’t we see more detailed thinking like this?”

Bottom line – another great way to set your company apart from all the rest and another example of innovation creating opportunity where others saw nothing special.

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Filed under Creativity, Trends

Pro Bono as a Marketing Strategy

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on small business trend that is becoming more popular in the current economy – providing volunteer or pro bono services to non-profit organizations in their communities in the hopes that the charity work will produce paying work in the future.
This particular strategy makes sense in today’s marketplace because the slower economy leaves excess capacity on the production floors and in the creative offices in small businesses all around the country. Gail Sullivan of Studio G Architects Inc. sums up her reasons for her pro-bono efforts: “Offering the pro bono services has given us a chance to maintain our design vigor [and] resulted in people hiring us”
Providing charity work in the community gives small businesses an opportunity to keep employees (whom they want to hang on to for when the economy improves) busy while providing value in their communities, keeping their company visible and building new relationships in the non-profit sector of the economy.
This strategy also recognizes that relationships matter more now than ever and that one way to get to know others is to invest your time, talent or treasure into a venture that you both find useful or beneficial.

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Filed under Leadership, Responsibility, Trends

Fear of Failure can Cause Failure to Launch

In his great new book tribes_godin_coverTribes, Seth Godin shares his thoughts on leadership in the 21st Century. He explains in simple language how the internet is changing the face of leadership, society and the individual’s role in it. We are becoming a society of self-selecting tribes, centered around common interests and shared passions. At the center of these movements or “tribes” is a leader who is part instigator, part facilitator and part cheerleader.

One of his strongest points in the book is that fear is a significant inhibitor of innovation and progress. He says, “We choose not to be remarkable because we’re worried about criticism.” Although that may not be an entirely original thought, he points out a how differences today make the price of fear today much higher than in the past.

In the past, being remarkable required not just the courage to be “different” but it also required a great deal of capital to put one’s “different” ideas in the marketplace. However, with the tools available today on Internet 2.0, everyone has the opportunity to be remarkable at a relatively low cost. Today, in many ways, the only thing keeping someone from putting their ideas out into the marketplace is the courage and time to do so.

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Filed under Leadership, Trends

Starring in the “New” New Economy

Are you ready for Internet 2.0? John Chambers, CEO of Cisco believes he has them ready; not only to survive but flourish. He lays out their game plan in the July 25th Wall Street Journal. Based upon his track record with Cisco, I wouldn’t bet against him.

So what is the game plan that has helped him build Cisco from a small Silicon Valley start-up to the Internet behemoth it is today? It is a simple four-part plan:

“The first element of his playbook, he says, is to “be realistic,” that is, to gauge how many challenges are created by the economy, and how many are self-inflicted. The second is to “assess your situation,” which means to ask how long a downturn will last and how deep it will be. “And,” Mr. Chambers says, “it will usually be longer than you think.” His third element is to “get ready for the upturn,” and the fourth is to “get closer to your customers.”

Simple, but not easy.

So what does Mr. Chamber predict for the “new” new economy?

“This Internet 2.0, Mr. Chambers says, will be all about pervasive video and collaboration tools. It will power the social networking Web world to even greater heights.”

If Mr. Chambers is right, and I feel he is, the business environment is going to become more personal as we rely on technology to connect those of us with shared interests and needed skills. Does this mean that geography is going to become irrelevant? No, because energy concerns will continue to create an environment where it will make sense to be as close to the marketplace as possible. However, what these tools will allow us to do is to connect and more easily recognize and share the resources that we have available to us in our marketplace.

So, of what value are social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Linked In? They are just the portals into the “new” new economy. They are just a few of the doorways into Internet 2.0.

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Loch Ness Monster, UFO’s and “Low cost” – Do they really exist?

I was asked rNessyufo1ecently to provide some “low cost” ideas for a group of businesses. The request prompted me to revisit the whole concept of “low cost” when it comes to promoting a business. To be sure, there are plenty of “cheap” trinkets, gadgets & gizmos available in the marketplace – if that is truly what you want.

In my opinion, there is no such thing as “low cost”. The immutable law of “You get what you pay for” rules in the world of advertising & promotion as it does throughout the rest of the world. You may find a “cheap” way to advertise, but what will it cost you in the over-all image of your business?

When you are looking for a “low cost” idea, does that mean you want to look cheap? In other words, do you want the image and branding of your business to make the statement that you are not willing to invest any more than the minimum in presenting yourself to the public? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe there is anything wrong with presenting that image to the public – as long as that fits into your positioning statement.

You don’t need to drop a bunch of cash into promoting your business, but you must invest SOMETHING into your marketing efforts. If you don’t have cash for advertising & promotion, there are other ways to get your message out. You can get involved with networking groups, give classes, provide free samples, write a blog, spend time on personal calls and many others. Time and effort invested now will pay dividends when the economy starts to come back – and it will.

The bad news is, even in today’s depressed marketplace, there is no free lunch. Cheap is still cheap. It may be fashionable today but you will have to live with it in the future. The good news is that starting today and moving into the future, this is a great time to promote your business. The playing field is less crowded and the everyone is just like you – trying to figure it out. Invest some time now and you will see the payoff in the future.

Want some ideas? I’d be happy to let you use my brain for awhile – just let me know.

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Filed under Goals, Promo Ideas, Trends