Posts Tagged ‘Innovative Marketing Consultants’

How promotional products can help you tap into growing consumer optimism

February 26th, 2013

How Americans perceive their financial situations is a fairly accurate predictor of consumer spending habits. According to a preliminary reading from the Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan (TR/UM) index of current conditions, Americans are feeling more positive. The index just jumped from 66.6 to 68.7 for February.

Consumers seem to be giving the signal that they are open to explore the possibility of spending again. The timing seems ripe for marketers to amp up efforts to capture mindshare. It takes multiple impressions to get a consumer to take an action. In a fast-paced world that lives on short-term content, you might want to consider adding a longer term delivery mechanism like promotional products to your campaign. Here a few good reasons why:

  1. Promotional products deliver more impressions for a longer period of time than other media. According to a recent industry study, advertising specialties are kept for an average of 5.8 months.
  2. 87% of recipients could identify the advertiser associated with the item and
  3. 31% reported a high likelihood of doing
    business with the advertiser after receiving a promotional product. With a strong ROI,
    promotional products are a great addition to a multi-faceted marketing approach.

 

If you are a fact geek like me, check out the ASI study below for more detailed information.

*ASI Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study V. 3

Casino and the Non-cash Incentive: Three ways to motivate player behavior

November 16th, 2012

Non-cash incentives have a long track record of success in motivating behavior.

Non-cash awards like merchandise, travel, and gift cards are both more motivational and cost-effective than cash. Decades of collective experience and countless employee incentive/motivation studies have substantiated this statement. The net-net is that merchandise can, and does, motivate behavior.

Achieving a desired behavior is the goal of marketers. How do we influence the target audience and persuade them to take action? If non-cash incentive modifies behavior in the world of employee compensation and productivity, it stands to reason that the same principle can be applied to promotional marketing.

Let’s take the gaming industry for instance. Casinos have a high need to achieve the following objectives:

  • Create attention getting events that motivates players or prospective players to visit the property
  • Extend play when players are on property
  • Reward loyalty and repeat visits

Here are three examples of how non-cash incentives can be used to influence player behavior:

Plateau Programs
Leveled point redemption for merchandise can motivate players to increase play in order to obtain merchandise with a higher perceived value.

Shopping Sprees
Create a custom on-site shopping spree filled with luxury items. VIP or Lucky Winners are able to “shop” in exchange for a certain level of play. Tangible items can influence acquisitive behaviors and extend time on property and play.

Experiential Events
grab-and-go run is an exciting way to reward your most loyal players. Fly your players to a special off-property event. Usher VIPs into a warehouse of luxury goods, where they get a chance to run and grab the items of their choice in a pre-determined amount of time. A unique combination of non-cash incentive meets reality television. The experience will leave your most valuable players with a lasting memory and tangible proof of their value.

Interactive Direct Mail: Tapping our inner human through Decoder Technology

August 20th, 2012

Human beings are social by nature. We crave interaction, looking for ways to stimulate our natural sense of curiosity. We also love being entertained. Advertising has seen a progression from the simple hand-printed sign to interactive advertising using the full power of today’s technology.  

The goal of advertising has always been to alter behavior and to create a forum for interaction with a brand or product. Direct mail has been a stalwart and proven tactic for marketers for decades. With all the emphasis on sexier social outreach, direct mail has been relegated by some as an outmoded technique for promoting products and securing customer engagement.

 Enter Decoder Marketing. It is the use of a proprietary print technology to deliver a hidden message that can be decoded using on-site verifiers. How effective is this at changing consumer behavior? As it turns out…very effective .

IMC recently sent out a campaign to important clients we wanted to connect with at an event. The direct mail piece was imprinted with a hidden message that could be revealed at our booth location. Clients simply had to bring the card with them to the show. The results speak for themselves. Traditional direct mail has an industry standard response rate of around 1%. The addition of Decoder Marketing technology resulted in a response rate of 38%. Yes, you read that correctly – 38%. Results vary but decoder technology response rates hover around 30%.

The moral of this story: Dust off your direct mail program, have faith in human nature, and give yourself a lift.

Back to School: Promotional Products 101

August 31st, 2011

Was that a crisp autumn breeze I just felt? Maybe it’s just all the excitement about back-to-college season. Across the country, campuses are braced for the return of refreshed, enthusiastic students.

Everyone knows that college students have two things in common: 1) A fierce sense of pride for their own school, and 2) A profound love of free stuff.

As a member of the advertising specialty field, you can capitalize on both of these factors with specialized back-to-college promotional products.

Just picture students milling around campus with a branded keychain and drawstring jersey backpack. Imagine dorm rooms decked out with branded banners, Mardi Gras beads, and mascot bobbleheads.

At the first home game of the year, your company could be the winning team with sponsored gate give-aways like Spirit Stix or acrylic soccer scarves emblazoned with your logo.

Perhaps you run a business with locations in college towns? The opportunities for incentives are endless: use customized promotional products to entice students to stop by your restaurant or bar, shop at your store, or open an account at your bank. Give-away items like trend-right titanium ionic necklaces and bracelets in school colors are really popular with this demographic.

Consider this course Promotional Products 101. Advanced lessons in The Anatomy of a Sponsorship and The Science of Gate Give-aways coming soon.

Promotional Products are Fair Game

August 23rd, 2011

The State Fair: three small words, but they evoke a sensory whirlwind. Food, music, livestock…and a whole lot of people.

 Texas boasts the largest state fair with an estimated annual attendance of 3,000,000. The largest paid state fair is in Minnesota, which drew nearly 1.8 million visitors in 2010.

These attendance numbers add up to one thing for those in the advertising specialty industry: extra eyes on your brand. State fairs represent an extraordinary opportunity for the advertising specialty industry. While Texas and Minnesota win the blue ribbon attendance prizes, state fairs all around the country attract people in droves. Attendees are ripe for a good time — and for free goodies!

Why not consider capitalizing on the throngs of fun-seeking fairgoers with a branded promotional product? Give away highly coveted beads, and you’ll have fairgoers asking each other, “Where did you get that?” Offer branded drawstring backpacks and your logo will be loud, clear and mobile as fairgoers carry your backpack around all day.

Consider these additional “fair-ready” promotional product ideas:

Three tips on integrating QR codes and promotional products

August 15th, 2011

I came across a great article about QR codes on the Content Marketing Institute’s blog that I thought was really relevant to the advertising specialties industry. It is a discussion of how to think of QR strategically and how the best intentions can fall flat at the implementation phase.

Why bother? A recent recent report published by ScanLife, estimates that 30-40% of all smart phone users have, at one time, downloaded a bar code scanning application. Another stat for you, there was a 1,600% increase in mobile bar code scanning in 2010. QR is mainstreaming fast and has become a powerful marketing tool.

Many times we think we have a great idea and fail to test. See the Content Marketing Institute article for some great examples of good promotional ideas gone wrong. QR is a powerful tool and can be used really effectively with promotional products – the right promotional products.

1. Flat = Legibility
Make sure the QR code will be displayed flat, not with folds or bumps that can compromise a QR code reader and impact the effectiveness of your campaign.

2. Destination Insurance 
Add a printed message as an alternative for those who need it. While this technology is mainstreaming, it is still new to some.

3. Test, Test, Test!
Make sure the sample works with the widest variety of phones/readers to ensure that the code can be easily read.

Promotional Products Go Scantastic with QR Codes

July 13th, 2011

The Quick Response Phenomenon is here and promotional products just went interactive!

QR: It’s short for Quick Response, and these codes are taking the marketing world by storm. QR codes are a user-friendly alternative to bar codes. They’ve been around since the mid-1990s, but the surge in camera phone usage has thrust QR codes onto center stage.

Why? Because customers can use their camera phones to quickly scan a QR code that will lead them to more information about a product or company.

QR codes are being put on everything from magazine pages to billboards. One creative restaurant even made a scanable QR code waffle. Now that’s multi-tasking at breakfast.

 What does this have to do with the advertising specialties world? The short answer: everything. QR codes are incredibly versatile and can be placed on just about any imaginable promotional product. Just imagine the possibilities: your branded item could truly communicate with your customers via quick response. This capability bridges the all-important gap between brand visibility and brand interaction.

When we say that QR codes can be placed on just about anything, we mean it. In the apparel world, you could put QR codes on tees or jersey scarves. And why not consider QR codes on beach balls for summer? Other codeable items include: Bead Medallions, Leis, Booster Banners,  Drawstring Backpacks, Pint Glasses, Shot Glasses, Coasters, … and the list goes on and on.

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Get ready for a quick response from your customers.

The Game Changer: Titanium Sports Accessories

June 21st, 2011

Titanium wristbands and necklaces. Ionic sports accessories.
If these terms are new to you, it’s time to get in the game.

From professional basketball courts to Main Street and everywhere in between, titanium and ionic sports accessories are taking the world by storm.

Why the buzz? Titanium sports accessories have been reported to enhance focus and stability and accelerate recovery time. Ionic necklaces and bracelets have become the hot new sports trend, popular with a variey of sports enthusiasts.

With massive consumer appeal and endless customizability, titanium and ionic sports accessories are ripe for the advertising specialties industry.

The best part? Built-in product exposure courtesy of the countless professional athletes who are already sporting these ultra-trendy items.

As a promotional product, this trend extends way beyond sporting events: they’re in demand for company events, reward and recognition programs, corporate gifts and loyalty programs.

Why not get your brand in the game with fully customized ionic sports accessories? It’s a surefire win for your home team.

Top 5 Pitfalls of Promotional Product Development

June 2nd, 2011

We’ve been talking a lot about how to achieve success in the advertising specialties industry using top-notch, attention-grabbing promotional products.

But for every way to get it right, there are certainly a handful of ways to get it wrong. Let’s take a look at five of the most common mistakes:

1) Getting late to market with a trend
In the advertising specialties world, showing up late is almost as bad as never showing up at all – and in some cases, it can be worse. Trends are fickle, and while some have incredible staying power (Mardi Gras beads, anyone?), others pass the peak and are quickly regulated to the dreaded ‘out of style’ status. Only two outcomes can come from arriving to market post-peak: 1) the market is over-saturated and your product isn’t new or exciting, and 2) You risk being overtly un-cool if the trend has passed. 

2) Refusing to innovate/refresh your approach
So how do you avoid getting late to market with a trend?  You pay attention. You remain always willing to mix it up and get on board with the hot new thing as it’s heating up. Doing the same old thing will yield the same old results, so watch for those trends – or partner with people who will watch on your behalf.

3) Failing to differentiate your brand identity
I have no fewer than fifteen branded pens in my drawer. Why should I grab yours to carry around use in public, exposing both myself and others to your brand? What makes yours special? Figure it out, or risk being an also-ran.

4) Sacrificing quality
We’ve talked about quality before, but the importance it simply can’t be overstated. You’re putting your logo – your brand identity – on a promotional product and allowing that product to speak to your consumers. What do you want the message to be?

5) Not targeting your key audience
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s shocking how frequently companies miss the mark. Who gets excited about your brand? Who gets excited about the promotional product under consideration? Make sure those two consumer segments match up. Nobody wants to be company handing out branded beer glasses to pre-teens or offering Silly Bandz to retirees.

Baseball inspired promotions and hot product trends

May 4th, 2011

Springtime means the return of the three Gs: Green grass, Grilling, and GAME DAY (baseball, that is).

 Baseball is called America’s national pastime, but that isn’t just PR. With annual major league attendance at nearly 80 million, baseball captures the country’s attention every year from spring training to the World Series.

 Get into the spirit of the game with your promotions – tap into and capitalize on this rampant fandom. Baseball-centric advertising specialties are perfect for spring-themed promotions.

These days, the only items hotter than the swinging bats are “Ionic Sports Necklaces.” Professional ballplayers have been spotted wearing these titanium-infused, must have accessories! Ionic necklacesgenerate negative ions to combat the postive ions created when the body is under stress. They have been reported to help with balance and healing. Ionic sports accessoriesare now available fully customized for your brand. A uniqe promotional item inspired by America’s greatest pastime.

 Looking for more baseball-themed promotional items? Consider any of these fully customizable promotional products:

 And for kid-sized fun off the field, how about Authentic Jersey Backpacks, custom old school lunch boxes or message fans?

 When advertising specialties meet up with the baseball craze, it’s a surefire home run. Play ball!