Now you did it! You've got 'em talking trash about your promo...and we're so proud of you!
Sustainable giveaways and eco-friendly promotional items are hot!
Today we want to say thank you for buying responsibly by helping you develop a sizzling marketing strategy around going green.
Yep, we're talking trash—more specifically, how to run a promotional campaign with a focus on recycling and sustainability.
It takes some chops to stand up and be different, but the rewards, both personally and professionally, are worth it.
But before we get started...
Why Base a Marketing Strategy on a Trend?
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has gone from being a nice company perk, to "a fundamental strategic priority for businesses large and small," according to Forbes Magazine contributor, Susan McPherson.
In short, sustainability is no longer a trend. It's a qualifier for whether other businesses choose to partner with you or not.
Any good marketing strategy is based on research. So let's go over the numbers.
Clearly, whether you're a one-man startup or a multinational, understanding the importance of CSR in any marketing campaign has serious financial and branding implications.
Recycling and strategic sustainable promotions are a cornerstone of CSR.
But here's the statistic you're going to love...
An estimated $1.2 trillion opportunity exists for brands that make their sustainability credentials clear.
That number makes quite a case for finding out how to incorporate eco-friendly promotional items into your next corporate event.
So how do you get started?
Know Your Market
As I said, all good marketing strategy is based on research. It's absolutely essential to know your target in as much detail as possible.
To do that, borrow a trick from marketing analysts and sales copywriters. Learn to develop a strong buyer persona.
According to industry leader, Hubspot, "The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as insights you gather from your actual customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.)."
You may have more than one, so start small and concentrate on details and accuracy. You can add to your persona library as you grow.
A buyer persona will help you provide promotional products that will have true value to your customers.
If you design a green marketing campaign, it's important to choose items that fit your customers' lifestyle. If they're into tech, for example, they're more likely to appreciate a 100% Recycled USB Drive, than a plastic paper weight.
Developing a marketing persona may seem like an unnecessary step, but it's the details that will make or break your campaign. Hubspot offers a free template to help make the process easy.
Develop a Company Policy
Speaking of personas...what is your company persona?
Back in the 1970's a phenomenon known as greenwashing rocked the corporate world. Greenwashing is a conscious act of presenting a product or organization as environmentally responsible to enhance public image.
It still happens. In 2015 Volkswagen promoted their diesel as a low-emissions alternative to gasoline and spent $77 million to promote their green campaign. At the same time, they altered 11 million of the clean diesel engines with software to trick emissions tests, allowing those cars to spew far more than the legal limit of pollutants.
Most companies wouldn't consider doing something as outrageous, but what happens when you run a promo based on sustainability and your company is chucking out plastic bottles of water at the next trade show.
Did you know that we throw away 35 billion plastic bottles a year? That's enough to circle the earth four times!
Authenticity is a word you'll hear a lot in both sustainability and marketing. And unfortunately, your reputation can take a hit even when you don't intend to be insensitive.
Make sure you know your company policy and make sure your sustainable promotion remains authentic.
When to Embrace a Trend
Now. Now is the time to start looking at what's trending.
After you've laid a strong foundation for your campaign by fully understanding the importance and making sure you know your target market as well as you know your own company, it's time to have a little fun!
About time, right?
There are four trending buzzwords in the branding and promotional industry right now. Use them as a buying guide and have some fun with it!
Always begin by choosing a quality logo'd product. A promotional giveaway may seem like a small thing—a gift really—and who criticizes a gift? But the truth is, a giveaway is an early indicator of the way you perceive your company, your employees, and your future customers.
So if you provide a quality branded product, you've indicated your standard to the receiver. And you've let them know this is how much they will be valued as you move forward together.
That's a trend worth watching closely. If it makes life easier, fits into your buyers' lifestyle, and if it's high quality, you have a winner.
And yes, there are eco-friendly and sustainable tech promotional products to choose from. Ask us.
If it's trending online and in the stores, it deserves a second look.
Two easy to replicate trends right now are bags and cups.
And the fourth...Sustainability.
Eco-friendly promotional items are an essential part of any green marketing campaign. It's easy to be different and stand up for what you believe in. And don't forget, PROMOrx is always here to help you choose if you have questions.
It's what we do. Who we are. And what we believe in.
Give us a call...we love talkin' trash!
Promotional products share almost seven percent of the advertising market in the U.S alone. That's $21 billion and rising! But what's most helpful to you, the buyer is that promotional products are ranked highest by consumers across all generations as the most effective advertising vehicle.
That's great news for companies that cross-promote to more than one audience.
But unless you can spot the trends and know which products are valued by each audience, promotional giveaways are just another expense.
Spotting trends and knowing when and how to use them is your best way of ensuring ROI, or at the very least, making sure your brand stands out in a sea of competition.
But you already know that experience proving the effectiveness of one product over another doesn't always come cheap.
That's why we've put together a quick list of keywords that will help you choose what will work for your audience based on the latest market research and trends.
So here are four keywords that can save you time and money on your path to finding the product that speaks to your market.
Remember when you went trick-or-treating on Halloween as a kid? Everyone flocked to the house that had the full-sized chocolate bars, right? And what happened to the house that gave out toothbrushes with the dentist's business card?
Nothing has changed. We still talk about the businesses that go the extra distance and provide quality promotional gear. And we're still not impressed by the less than authentic attempt at manipulation by the companies that forget who they are marketing to.
Branded material has moved up in the world and more and more companies are moving toward the higher quality, higher profile giveaways. That holds true for all generations, but especially Millennials. They have very little patience for cheap and poorly thought-out marketing.
Quick tip: If you are promoting high-end products or services, but you reach out to your potential customers with low-end, cheaply made gifts, you may be sending mixed messages that your buyer won't take the time to decipher. What you put your brand name on says a lot about the quality of your own company and how customers will be treated in the future.
When it comes to tech, all you have to remember is that whatever products enhance your buyers' lifestyle are probably winners.
As long as they are of good quality.
According to the latest PPAI consumer study, 48 percent of Millennials said they kept promotional products because the design fit their style and/or personality.
And there is your key takeaway. Target the demographic you are trying to attract. Provide branded accessories that they love to be seen using.
Your branded promotional products have the highest advertising reach above any other form of advertising providing exposure on a daily basis, according to the same study.
That's a huge opportunity for your company. Five in 10 consumers polled stated they come in contact with promotional products most of the time or at all time during their day.
Quick Tip: When you provide high-quality, high-demand cool tech giveaways that people want to be seen with, you dramatically increase your company visibility. The National Retail Federation highlights that this year's tech trend is also about exploring what to expect in the future. So keep an eye on what's hot, but keep both eyes on what's sure to be the next tech customer experience.
There's a shift. Customer convenience has taken a primary role in the choice of products over the last few years, enhanced by the choices consumers have in the retail world. That trend will only increase in popularity.
Every year consumers have come to expect the same experience across platforms. In other words, they expect the same lightning fast service, ease of use, and the number of choices they have online in all of their product experiences.
The ultra-insulated mug they find on Amazon, for example, is the product to beat if you're thinking about branded travel mugs. Expect to see more and more promotional items mimic the experience of high-end retail products.
And expect that your audience will be looking for nothing less from your products.
Quick Tip: When choosing a product as a company welcome, or an incentive gift, pick something that reflects not just your company logo but is also something your employees will choose over the product they bought for themselves.
"What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another." — Mahatma Gandhi
The world is changing and being sensitive to how our choices affect the planet and each other are of primary concern for a growing number of people. Sustainability is not just a fad or a trend. It has become a way of life.
In marketing, when you make a product selection, your choice is more than just a reflection of how we see ourselves and the world around us. It's also a reflection of our company values and beliefs.
Choose wisely and choose with your target audience in mind. Failing to get your know your audience before you buy, could be embarrassing, to say the least.
Quick Tip: Choosing the right products means everyone wins. Make sure to evaluate not just the trusted products you've used in the past, but also the Eco-Friendly choices to reflect the company values you want to share with the world.
Four keywords can make or break your marketing strategy. But the ultimate strategy is knowing how to combine them for the best customer experience.
Begin with quality and then evaluate your product choice using the remaining three. It's a four-step solution to ensuring your marketing strategy is a success.
If I gave you a crystal ball—one that told you the future of successful swag products—that would be powerful, right? You could motivate your staff with the ideal recognition gifts, choose the perfect employee on-boarding pack, and send holiday promotions that really work!
But most of all, you would have an instant advantage over the competition.
The truth is, I don’t have a crystal ball to give you. I have something better.
When you reach out in search of promotional products, your options seem limitless. But ah, with options there are decisions.
According to Nir Eyal, who has taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Design School and authored several books including Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, there are three core motivators that drive most behavior.
When you understand how each motivator helps you choose your products, it’s more powerful than any crystal ball. Let’s take a look at how to use them.
Is there anything more painful than watching a marketing promotion tank? We’ve all witnessed the trade show booth that sat with stacks of promo products untouched and people passing without a second glance.
Or how about that look on your colleague’s face when the boss hands her a gift certificate to the best steak house in town to say thanks for a job well done…but she’s vegetarian?
Knowing who you are marketing to—and how your gifts will be received, ensures that you don’t miss the mark. It’s a lot more fun and definitely shows your company in a better light.
So let’s turn that around. What if her boss had searched out Eco Friendly promotional items? Everyone wins! Your colleague would probably love the Eco-Friendly Journal Pen Set, or one of the cool tech Mobile Chargers with a sustainable bamboo case, for example. They are more in line with her personal beliefs.
But more important, the perception of your company as being in touch and sensitive to the experience of their employees can go a long way when it’s time to recruit staff.
How many times have you been tasked with the job of finding the perfect promo items? It seems like such a small thing, but no one wants to be responsible for telling the boss why the company trade show booth was the one everyone ignored.
It wasn’t memorable. It wasn’t relevant. It wasn’t eye-catching. Or even worse, it offered exactly what everyone else was offering, and you didn’t stand out in the crowd.
The fear of choosing the wrong trade show giveaways is very real. It can make or break your campaign if you don’t research your market, pair it with a relevant and useful product, and match it to your brand.
And making the wrong choice will definitely trigger that pain option we just talked about!
So let’s offer a little hope. A reputable company should offer some assistance in helping you make your decisions. PROMOrx, for example, is a phone call away when you need advice. With 17 years in the business, the team has a lot of experience in targeting the right audience with the right product, and branding you as a professional in the process.
It’s okay to let go of the fear of choosing. You can relax knowing your choice is going to have exactly the intended results.
There is a synergy between today’s buyers and technology. We all love our cool tech gadgets and at the same time we crave privacy that still other tech products provide. That cycle feeds not just our social networks but how we personally interact with tech. Did you know that 75% of you check your phones immediately after waking up? We are addicted to the social connection that tech provides.
Social perception is equally important in the marketing and promotional world.
If you’re worried about how your company is perceived when you send a holiday promo, or even a simple customer appreciation gift, just know that there is a social connection to the products you choose. Remember the boss who gave his vegetarian employee a steak?
It’s a very human thing to seek social approval. No one wants the social rejection of being “that guy” or "that girl." My advice to you is to know your target audience. Make sure the company swag or trade show giveaways you provide are not just functional and useful, but also speak to their social beliefs if that’s relevant. Sustainable, recycled and eco-friendly products are here to stay.
It’s true, you have some decisions to make. If you want the instant power that only a crystal ball can give, take time to study what motivates your audience and keeps them loyal. Then, find out how to use that information to personalize your event.
Start with a goal in mind and then make sure you’re providing something that gives true pleasure. Once you’ve chosen, empower your employees, clients and future customers to get social with products that have your brand name and your unique message.
Because the right corporate swag, combined with the right message is the true power.
It’s that time of the year again – trade shows and annual meetings galore. Since PROMOrx has helped quite a few companies make sure their time on the trade show floor was a success, we thought we’d pass along a few nuggets of knowledge as you continue to make your 2017 conference plans.
One important thing to realize is the motivations attendees have while they walk the convention floor. Why does your trade show booth get traffic? Seriously, it basically boils down to the following reasons:
1) To get your company swag. These people will mostly likely never convert to buyers for your company.
2) To spend some time with you since they are already clients.
3) To kill some time between sessions.
4) To find new vendors. **Coveted Category**
To make your time worthwhile, it’s a good idea to appeal to each of these categories.
Many companies have a tendency to get annoyed with the folks who don’t fall into the fourth category of potential leads. Don’t be!
If you’re smart about your giveaway items, they will be used daily and publicly.
Promotional product market research found that people keep reusable bottles for over 7 months. That’s 7 months of advertising each and every day for your brand – and we all know that brand recognition is helpful in increasing consideration when the time comes to buy. That conference giveaway represents your brand until it’s no longer being used. Which brings us to our next point…
Make sure you buy quality items. For 2017, we’ve seen battery packs continue to be very popular tech giveaways. But beware…buy a cheap mobile charger and you could be sending the wrong brand message. There’s a good chance conference attendees are going to put the phone charger to use almost immediately. After all, they’re more than likely travelling to the trade show. If you chose a 2,200 mAh (milliamp) portable charger, some devices won’t even fully charge once – and that may not be the message you want your brand to send.
Mobile portable chargers we recommend:
TRADE SHOW BOOTH TIPS: The best trade show swag helps drive more traffic to your booth – increasing your potential to get those all-important leads. Another way to drive traffic is through a clear booth design and a unique experience. Remember that show attendees are walking through the aisles at a fairly brisk pace and you need to very quickly have it clear what your company does and make them want to stop.
Oftentimes, we see booths that have a lot of corporate-speak on them. For instance, “We’re the market leader in multi-discipline, cross-functional so-and-so!” We don’t know what that means and the attendees likely do not either. Make sure your booth spells out what you do plainly and simply.
Another great way to make sure you get traffic to your booth is to provide a cool experience. Many companies do that by offering coffee or snacks. What we’re seeing more and more of for 2017 trade shows is to incorporate virtual reality headsets into their show. As people pass by, they can’t help but be curious about what is playing in the headset and for many, it may be their first VR experience.
We hope your 2017 shows are a great success. If PROMOrx can be of any assistance in helping your company make that happen, give us a shout. We’d love it if you’d consider subscribing to our blog so you can keep up with the latest trends in promotional items for 2017!
Have you been building a mental wishlist from the “Best Gifts of the Season” lists sent out by various publications? I’ve sure seen some cool stuff on those lists this year – Real Simple and Entrepreneur come to mind. One thing to note is that many of the coolest gifts from those lists can be ordered with your company logo – making your holiday gift deliver for a long time to come as the recipient uses your branded item, enjoys it and is reminded of the awesome company that you are.
We’ve done some comparing of these gift lists to what we have from our suppliers and we have pulled out a few examples (specifically of items we like). But as you browse these lists, know that (if you hustle - time is running short) we can get your company brand on these. You can deliver the season’s coolest swag, but with the addition of tasteful branding - upping the ante in terms of the long-term impact of the gift for the company.
The Real Simple editors picked their favorite finds from the Neiman Marcus Christmas book. Some of these items looked like they’d be real fun as corporate gifts, so we’ve selected some comparison choices (sometimes the same item).
They had a cocktail shaker – but we suggest perhaps an etched martini set in a gift box is nicer.
They included the DIVOOM AuraBox Wireless Speaker. We have the same speaker (same brand). Ours is the same brand, but available with your logo on the speaker screen.
Real Simple suggested a half-gallon beer growler. We have a wide selection of growlers for branding; I thought this one was super cool!
Entrepreneur Magazine’s List had quite a few neat items on it for business gift ideas. We selected a few and show below comparison items (some of which are even better – Bluetooth, or more power/outlets) that you might consider gifting branded instead:
What ever gift items you have in mind, we can probably find you either that item or something comparable or better which can be branded. If you are coming late to the party on holiday gifting, and none of these items spark your interest – check out our Holiday Gift Ideabook for inspiration.
by Lisa Diesel
For help choosing the best company swag for any occasion, contact the professionals at www.PROMOrx.com. Email TheMDs@PROMOrx.com to schedule a complimentary 15 minute consultation with an MD* Marketing Doctor.
If you are like me (and let’s face it, you are reading this, so I know you are) you are full of good intentions but you are excellent at putting things off until the last possible second and still get them done. This works out well for you most of the time, but with certain things (like ordering company swag or corporate holiday gifts) this can come back to bite you. Let me give you some insider tips on how to still get your company swag on time and have some great choices.
For help choosing the best company swag for any occasion, contact the professionals at www.PROMOrx.com Email TheMDs@PROMOrx.com to schedule a complimentary 15 minute consultation with an MD* Marketing Doctor.
by Lisa Diesel
Marketing materials, including promotional products and even your company’s stationary – business cards, etc. – are valuable tools for you to communicate organization values to the public. At PROMOrx, we say all the time, “Details Matter.” And boy do they. Quality Matters. Whether your business is large or small, the decisions you make in terms of the materials you put out to the public that represent you tell your story, and if you don’t think that people are paying attention – they are. Let me give you a few examples.
My son does karate at a dojo in our small town. There are five karate dojos in town, so the owner has to compete for business. He does a lot of marketing, does classes at the schools, does demonstrations at the schools, has back-to-school specials, etc. His is a typical small business – and in terms of his promotional products, he has a tendency to focus on price first – though he wants good quality. He ordered backpacks from an internet supplier (not PROMOrx.com). He said they looked good online and I am sure he got a good price. He gave them out at his annual open house as raffle prizes. The kids who won them were super excited, and my son was one of them. But after less than a month of use – the zippers busted open – all of them. So instead of getting what should have been a years’ worth of marketing from his investment in these packs – he got less than a month, because the quality of the zippers was really low. What’s more, that low quality association gets attached to his school – and when you spend money on marketing swag, the last thing you want is to leave a bad taste with your target audience.
Even the smallest details contribute to the impression that you make as a business to your customers, patrons, or patients. We are always telling people to get the digital proof so that they can double check the imprint – make sure that everything lays out exactly as planned. Once the imprint is on the promotional product, it is done – if it is not as you expected, make the change before the printing is done.
I was at the doctor the other day, picking up a business card for a friend, this one really stood out to me. The fact that the doctor either did not notice it, or did not think that it was a big enough problem not to send these cards back to the printer for a re-do was a big surprise to me – and actually made an impression.
What other details don’t matter to this practice?
Vickie had this lip gloss sample from a supplier – she liked it and was thinking of adding it to the website – but after reviewing some of the details, she reconsidered!
It should be micro-crystalline (perhaps nobody but former spelling bee champs would catch that, but details do matter!).
We know that businesses faced with tight marketing budgets are left feeling like they have to make a choice between quality and price every day. Having been on both sides of this dilemma myself many times – I have to tell you – you want to take a stand for quality (even if it means cutting quantity.) We have painstakingly chosen the best quality marketing items at each price point and we will work with you to make sure that you get the best promotional items you can for your budget.
Working with marketing professionals helps you make the most of your marketing budget and make sure that you don’t make the costly mistakes of picking what looks good only to find out that the zippers bust after only a few uses.
Visit our website for some great holiday ideas: www.PROMOrx.com or call 888.553.9569, extension 3 to schedule a complimentary 15-minute consultation with an MD* Marketing Doctor!
Have you ever bought company swag just to share with employees or customers to show how much you appreciate them? Or to build anticipation for an upcoming product or service rollout? At first glance, this may seem like an unnecessary expense, but if you put your brand on quality items that your employees and customers integrate into their daily activities, they will be bringing your brand with them – and showing their affection and affiliation at the same time. People love to get presents. It is a natural fact – and if you give swag that they love that carries your brand, it gives your brand legs.
As an employee, it is always cool when your organization giving you company swag. Items such as clothing, drinkware and useful desk or travel items are popular because they are useful and create a feeling of oneness with the brand. But when should you give it?
On-Boarding: New hires are really excited about their new job. A great way to help welcome them to the team is with a small selection of company swag. Branded notebooks, custom USB sticks, writing utensils, t-shirts and mugs are popular welcome gifts. These items may represent a small expenditure for the company, but they can help to make your new team members feel right at home quicker!
Company Events, Product Launches & Trainings: Event specific company swag gives employees a feeling of exclusivity and belonging to the team. Consider giving backpacks, caps, fleece jackets or something more uncommon like branded chocolates or wine.
Employee Milestones or Team Achievements: Recognition of milestones and employees’ hard work is the mark of a great employer. Show your appreciation as they reach milestones with the organization or recognition for big contributions with thoughtful customized gifts such as an embossed notebook, a pen and pencil set or a nice weekender bag – these are just a few options of many.
Holidays & Birthdays: These are ideal times to recognize your employees with small but carefully selected items from the company swag collection – consider wearable or drinkware items that will serve them throughout the year!
Getting an unexpected gift can make a big impression with your hard-won customers – and build good will & affection at the same time. It might even give you the leg up in a competitive situation – because you already have given the customer the perception that you will go above and beyond. A package of company swag can build a kind of intangible loyalty. When someone is drinking out of a mug with your company logo on it for their morning commute, they feel affiliated with you – and that can be beneficial down the line.
An added bonus - in the age of social media, sending out one gift can have ripples to thousands of potential customers as your happy recipient shares their joy.
Obvious times when companies distribute company swag are during tradeshows and events. But when else might be a good time to reach out to customers with your goodies?
Product Launch/Expansion/Grand Opening: If you have something to announce – make the announcement in 3-D. Give them something to touch – rather than just sending an email or post card that will get lost in the clutter – send something tangible like a pad of post-its or these cool slinky note pads, a tote bag or something even more creative (but useful!) announcing your launch.
Christmas and New Years are traditional times to send out holiday cheer to customers, but sometimes thinking outside the box can be a winning strategy too – expressing your love for your customers at Valentines or your gratitude for their business at Thanksgiving might be even better – or send gifts out at your company’s anniversary, or the anniversary of when they became a customer – being different will set you apart in more ways than one. Your company swag will have more impact and your gift will have more meaning.
by Lisa Diesel
For help choosing the best company swag for any occasion, contact the professionals at www.PROMOrx.com Email TheMDs@PROMOrx.com to schedule a complimentary 15 minute consultation with an MD* Marketing Doctor.