What Makes a Promotional Product Effective?

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So you’re all excited about using a promotional product as a marketing tool! You’ve found the “perfect” pen/mug/t-shirt/key chain/whatever and can’t wait to give it away to all those people who will soon be doing business with you! It’s done, it’s out and there’s no uptick in business. It didn’t work and the money, time & energy were all just a waste.

It didn’t have to be that way, though.

Choosing an item out of a catalog, putting a logo and phone number/website on it and handing/mailing it out does not make a successful promotional campaign. Just because you love the item, doesn’t mean it’s the right item. Giving it away to thousands of people does not guarantee hundreds of sales.

Want to make a marketing campaign based on a promotional product work so that it is an investment rather than an expense? It takes some thought, research and creativity to get the job done.

The elements involved include:

  1. knowing who your target market is
  2. knowing what will appeal to your target market
  3. having a goal for the campaign
  4. make sure your campaign maintains your brand integrity and/or has a theme of its own
  5. having a call to action
  6. determining the best delivery method
  7. putting a follow-up program in place
  8. setting metrics so you can measure your ROI/ROO

These eight action items are some of the stepping stones to a successful promotional campaign. You can implement them yourself, or hire a promotional product consultant to work with you to create a program featuring an appropriate imprinted product and marketing collateral. Many consultants, like Lev Promotions (www.levpromotions.com) will provide their expertise at no additional charge, or for a nominal fee, as long as you don’t take the ideas and shop them out.

Signs of a Growing Business

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The planter is available as a one, two, or four-pack package.

What better promotional marketing campaign to brag about your growing business than a plant? We found this product at a recent trade show we attended and knew that it was a perfect match for several of our clients.

 
For businesses and organizations who want to send out an eco-friendly message, this product is a great fit – the planter is made from rice hulls and corn husks. The product itself will sprout and grow providing either the beauty of flowers or a taste-tempting herb.
 
If a business is growing with a new location, it’s a great way to commemorate a grand opening, or to spread the news within the local community.
 
A cookware store could run a gift with purchase promotion using the herb seed packets.
 
A retirement community or assisted living facility could use these planters as a welcome gift for new residents.
 
Need a way to incorporate these planters into your promotion? The Lev Promotions’ team can help – info@levpromotions.com

Do Networking Groups Work?

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I am a big proponent of using networking groups to grow a business. I believe that they can be an invaluable marketing tool to 95% of the micro to mid-size businesses out there.

There are many groups available, from Chamber sponsored ones to international organizations to local independent groups. The premise is generally the same: one industry rep per group so there’s no direct competition in the room with you, they meet either once a week or twice a month at a set time and place, members are given an opportunity to deliver a 30-second commercial at each meeting, one or two members is given about 10 minutes to make a more in-depth presentation on their company, referrals and leads are exchanged. Many of these groups also offer a professional development component.

There are certain tactics that you can adopt to make the most of your membership in a networking group:

1) Choose one that fits your personality. If you don’t mesh with the first group you visit, try other groups. There will be one that you feel comfortable with.

2) Don’t expect business to fall in your lap because you’ve made one appearance. Networking groups are about building trust and relationships with fellow members. It usually takes at least 3 – 6 months before you’ll see results. For bigger ticket items, or products/services that have a very specific niche market or are hard to understand, it may take longer.

3) If you join the group, attend the meetings. This si probably the biggest mistake people make – they join, but don’t make the commitment to attend. These meetings should be scheduled in your calendar. Unless it’s an emergency or you’re on vacation, do not miss a meeting. Do not schedule client or prospect meetings during this time period. When your attendance becomes spotty, your reputation in the group will reflect that.

4) Set up meetings for coffee or lunch outside the regular meetings with fellow members. Get to know them outside the confines of the group so you can get a better grasp on their business and what they are looking for in a good referral. Remember that this will go both ways.

5) Track your leads and conversions to business from leads along with all your other marketing efforts. This will tell you if your investment of time and money is paying off.

6) Remember that it’s not just about who is in the room with you. These people are potentially opening up their entire contact list to you and you never know who they might know.

Networking groups are wonderful for building an ad hoc sales staff for any business. By being an active participant that brings value to the meetings, your fellow members will be eager to share the news about you to their contacts.