Tuesday, January 12, 2016

3 Reasons You Need to Pay Attention to Promotional Products In 2016

You’ve probably been asking yourself whether using a traditional marketing technique such as promotional products can help boost your business in 2016 or if it’s better to use another marketing strategy.

The truth is promotional products still matter. In fact, this form of advertising is still going strong and is one of the most targeted forms of advertising with the lowest cost per impression. Regardless of your business size, getting people to notice your brand will always have a positive effect on your business. Think you need more proof?

Here are the other reasons why you need to pay attention to promotional products this 2016:

Mass Outreach Capabilities – You never know when or where you customer will go or who they will meet every day. If they are carrying your unique item with them, your brand gets the chance to be noticed by their friends, families, classmates, acquaintances and even strangers.

Increase Brand Visibility – Brand recognition gives your business an edge over the competition. Making your customers remember you by giving out customized items with your name and your logo can keep your business top of mind. A guitar pen for example, could be a great idea for musical themed promotions.  Pair it with a slogan like “The Power of Dreams” and it can work for just about any industry.  Items that can be used by your customers’ everyday would be a great idea. Perhaps you could make it fun-to-use or unique so you would give them a reason to carry it with them every day and show it off!

Budget Friendly – Aside from being effective, promotional products are budget friendly. There are many affordable promotional items that do not sacrifice creativity. You can give your clients and potential buyers an exciting product for only $1 or less. A promotional consultant, like Stitch toMy Lue Promotions, LLC can help you find just the right gift for your audience.

Although there are many "do it yourself" online sellers of promotional items, working directly with an experienced promotional consultant can be both cost-effective and time-saving. Your promotional consultant can share ideas that you never even knew existed and take your promotional campaign to the next level!  There is no additional cost in working with our team, in fact, many times we can save you money!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

3 Tips on Choosing a Great Promotional Products

I am often asked what's new in promotional products. While it's exciting to be on the cutting edge of something, new doesn't always mean effective for all industries and companies.

There are several other factors to consider when choosing the right promotional product for your campaign.  Here are a few things that should be considered before jumping on the "newest" promotional product.

Who is your target audience?
You want to be sure that your item will be used by the recipient.  This helps to ensure staying power and increases the number of times your recipient will see your logo and be reminded of your product or service. For example, if your client base is focused on environmentally friendly efforts and renewable energy, giving them items that are made from recycled materials would make a great impression.  This Bamboo Stripe Desktop Pen Cup would be prominently displayed on the recipients desk and seen day after day!

Will the item create the desired effect?
Many companies are working with small budgets.  Value quality over quantity when choosing an item to represent your brand.  Screen printed tshirts are a great example of this.  There are many low cost tshirt options available but will it actually get worn?  Handing out tshirts that will shrink or twist after a couple of washes won't do any good in the long run.  Next Level offers a great line of stylish tshirts, just ensure you are working with a printer that understands how to print on some of the new types of fabric that are available.

Think about the recipient
If you are distributing items at a trade show or conference where many people will likely travel to get there, be sure to keep this in mind when choosing your giveaway item.  Avoid bulky, large or breakable items that will be difficult to put in a suitcase or carry-on. Reusable tote bags are a great giveaway at tradeshows.  It is very likely that your logo will be seen all around the showroom floor as you hand them to attendees and they are put to use right away.

Stitch to My Lue Promotions, LLC is here to help you create effective campaigns that will put your marketing dollars to work with items that are useful and memorable. Visit our website and schedule your consultation today!

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Advertising vs. Marketing: Herein Lies the Secret to Today’s Most Successful Sales Strategies

Sheldon Pilot of ABLE Digital Group and has made his career in marketing. On LinkedIn, he posted a short blurb about his frustrations regarding people’s seemingly blanket misunderstanding about how marketing relates (and doesn’t relate) to advertising. He writes:

I was recently attending an event and was asked what I did for a living. I informed that my profession was within the Marketing Industry and the person responded: are you a "Mad Men"? I realized that the lines were blurred and trying to explain the difference was only going to cause more confusion so I smiled and let the conversation slowly move in a new direction. But during the drive home, I really wanted to have a twitter like definition that could easily convey the difference between the two, especially now that digital and social media are contributing to the mix.”

And Mr. Pilot is not aloneMarketingprofs.com reports that if you ask 20 experts the difference between marketing and advertising, you’ll likely get 20 different answers. For this reason, the subject continues to surface and confuse.

As a small business owner or part of a marketing team, have you ever experienced this confusion in marketing circles? And, have you also dealt with the frustration of not knowing how to explain the difference? If you’re like many, the answer is yes. And, the truth is, this distinction is important. Why? Because both play a key role in making your company successful. So, let’s take a few minutes to explore the difference between the two and why both are important to your company.

What is marketing?

Marketing is everything a company does to ensure a lucrative exchange between itself and its customers in terms of products or services. The key word here is “everything.” For many companies (and if done correctly), marketing starts even before a product or service is created.

To illustrate this, let’s look at Apple. Apple has a product that is revered by its plethora of fans. And, this reverence is not just a fluke. No, it has taken Apple years to develop this reputation, fan culture, and sales strategies around its products.

First, before Apple even mentions a product to its vendors, it develops a focus group to determine what the current consumer challenges are in the industry as well as consumers’ likes and dislikes. Then, it develops a product that will serve all of the customer’s needs, whether conscious or subconscious. As it does so, it creates a luxury product.

Next, it targets exclusive vendors to sell the products. It also relies on buzz to generate interest in new products. With this exclusive image, it works to pit its products against its competitors’ in the minds of consumers, leading bloggers, its social media community and tech gurus to begin talking about Apple products to its target markets well before their launch dates.

With all this buzz going on and exclusive rights of its vendors, the company then sets in motion a premium pricing strategy that is in line with its exclusive image. As it does so, the company focuses on vendors that will advertise the products according to Apple’s meticulous instructions and in keeping with its premium brand image.

All of these moves are part of the company’s marketing strategy, from creating its image, doing market research, and choosing its vendors, to its purposeful rival with competitors, its advertising guidelines, choosing its means of communication with audiences, and premium pricing strategy.

In a nutshell…

As we’ve seen in our Apple illustration, marketing 101 tells us that marketing involves four components: developing the product, the place in which it’s sold, its pricing strategy and the means of promoting it.  This makes up the “Four Ps of Marketing,” that, in a nutshell, comprises marketing.

What is advertising?

In understanding what advertising is and its role in creating sales, we must again remember that marketing is everything a company does to ensure a lucrative exchange between itself and its customers in terms of products or services. So, given that advertising is part of ensuring a sale, or lucrative exchange, it only goes to reason that advertising is a part of marketing. But, what is it really? Let’s nail this down. Barron’s Dictionary of Marketing Terms defines advertising like this:

Advertising: a paid form of nonpersonal message communication through various media. [It] is persuasive and informational and is designed to influence the purchase behavior and/or thought patterns of the audience.

To this, I would add that advertising takes place during a limited period of time.

So, though all of your marketing strategy must align, including advertising, advertising is not “everything.” It is the advertising component of marketing that provides informative, persuasive and media-based product or event messages to consumers for a limited time. Simply put, it is making your product or service known to the market.

An advertising campaign repeatedly informs and persuades audiences of a product’s “goodness” through various channels including, but not limited to:
  •           Newspaper ads
  •           Television commercials
  •           Billboards
  •           Direct mail
  •           Magazine ads
  •           Internet ads

To illustrate, Apple’s vendors are responsible for advertising Apple products. When its vendors run television commercials and billboard ads around the latest Apple iPhone, it is advertising the product. 

Why does a definition of advertising matter?

Being able to define advertising for your company matters because it is an important part of making your company successful. It’s interesting that, although there’s been a great emphasis on new forms of marketing of late, studies show that successful companies revere paid advertising as just as important as ever. Why? Because consumers love for it has remained steadily strong, if not grown. In fact, in a study done by the Deloitte Digital Marketing Survey, 2,100 US consumers were asked their opinions on different forms of advertising. Specifically, they were asked to rank the effectiveness of many forms of paid advertising.

The results showed that many forms of paid advertising were within the top 10 of 21 advertising channels represented. For example, 65% ranked television ads as highly influential forms of advertising, only second to a friend’s recommendation. 46% said pre-movie theatre advertising was highly influential in their purchasing decisions. And, between 43% and 46% ranked in-theatre advertising, magazine ads, and television show mentions as highly influential in their decision. 

Overall, television ads, theatre advertising, magazine ads, television show placements, and newspaper ads all made the top 10 list of most influential forms of influencing consumer behavior.  

As a result, companies are responding to what consumers say are most effective in influencing them by raising their paid advertising budgets. Wall Street Journal reports that the top 100 US marketers increased their paid advertising budgets by an average of 2.9% during just the first half of 2014. And, this year, the increase is rising still. In just the last quarter, Coke increased its advertising budget by double-digit percentages. This year alone, Magna Global and ZenithOptimedia revealed that companies are planning to increase their spending by an average of 4.8% to 4.9%.

Apple is a great example of a comprehensive marketing mix that works together to meet all of its consumers psychological needs to bring them to a purchase decision. Yes, it relies on some forms of inbound marketing, including appealing to bloggers’ sense of curiosity. But, it also carefully delineates the rules of paid advertising for its vendors. It does so because it knows that its vendors enjoy a high ROI from their paid advertising efforts.

Why do consumers prefer paid advertising?

So, why does paid advertising continue to be so effective, despite all the new choices consumers have of receiving product information? Because the logic behind the advertising method hasn’t changed. The human mind still works the same way it always did and will continue to do so. Let me explain. Psychology has found that repeat exposure creates familiarity with products and brands. And, that familiarity builds trust and a sense of comfortable acceptance of a product or brand as something good. So, when a consumer is repeatedly exposed to, say, a television commercial, even if the consumer isn’t consciously paying attention, the familiarity with the brand burns its way into the consumer’s consciousness, creating a positive attitude toward the brand and its products.

To answer Mr. Pilot’s question, what tweet definition distinguishes marketing from advertising?

So, as Mr. Pilot eluded to, if you’re on a marketing team or are a small business owner, given the current importance of paid advertising, it’s important to be able to succinctly describe exactly what the difference is so that your company may benefit from both. So, per Mr. Pilot’s request, here’s a tweetable explanation:

Marketing: preparing products to delight target markets. Advertising: making products' “goodness” known to target markets to create sales.

Did I miss anything? What distinctions have you made between marketing and advertising?

Photo Credits:

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

You Need Video Because...

Did you know that YouTube is owned by Google and has become the #2 search engine when consumers are looking for new products and services?

Video has become a powerful tool in driving traffic to your website.  According to Forbes, 59% of people would rather watch a video than read text and 65% are more likely to click through to a website after watching a video.

We're offering a video solution that is perfect for businesses and organizations on a small budget.  You can use your videos on your website, social media campaigns, email blasts or even displayed at an event on a tablet.

Production of the video is super easy!  After your order is placed, we'll guide you through every step of the way in just 5 easy steps!

Step 1 - Complete a questionnaire on your business or services (this will help you form your video message)
Step 2 - Choose your photos (either use your photos or search through our large inventory of images)
Step 3 - Select your music from our music library
Step 4 - Record your message or hire our affordable voice over service
Step 5 - Receive your video via email and publish it everywhere!  Please allow 2 weeks for production.

Don't have a website?  Not a problem!

We will create a unique and professional looking landing page that can be used to host your video and even collect contact information from prospects that are interested in your product or service.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Buy Local: Promotional Items

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Power of Paper: Branded Calendars & Paper Products

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Splurge or Save? Which Branded Product Will Win?

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