How Can Promotions Make You Stand Out

Wise Decision-making Helps You Stand-out from the Rest

Spending marketing dollars wisely gets you company recognition and client loyalty.

It is that time of year again where you may be asked to come up with a gift of appreciation for your employees and/or a gratitude gift for some key clients or just an overall gift of appreciation for all your customers.

We all know about budgets, however, a note of caution here….decision-making would best be made on quality NOT price.  Quality CANNOT be sacrificed.  Both of these can be achieved as long as you have engaged the services of a Marketing/Promotions expert that exhibits the following:

  1. Understands each level of client and/or employee you are recognizing
  2. Searches for product that will convey a uniqueness thereby exhibiting a caring thought process
  3. Vendor loyalty by a Promotions specialist will not give you the best chance at highest quality choices
  4. Choices from highest rated vendors.  Vendors are rated from A+ – F. 
  5. Listens to you, communicates directly and doesn’t always say “I can beat anyone’s price!”
  6. Builds a relationship not just sells
  7. Evident that YOU will always come first.  It is always about YOU. 
  8. Follow up after you receive product….is it what you expected?

After you are clearly comfortable with whom you are working, now you can discuss price because it doesn’t matter how little or how much you spend for a promotion or ad specialty.  If it is worthless and poor quality it is your hard earned dollar that was wasted.  A true promotions professional will guide you in the right direction.

If you follow the guidelines above, I am sure your Promotions Budget will be well spent.  You will stand-out among the rest and your client loyalty will be evident.

If I “Get” Social Media, Why Don’t I “Get”…..

Why do that to an Ice Cream Cone?

"I thought I asked for an ice cream cone!"

 

 

Every once in awhile it is good to take stock in what we believe we understand or as we say today “GET” and what still puzzles us.

I thought since I seem to GET Social Media, I must now have developed my mind so much so that I am no longer puzzled by the following.  Well I am here to tell you that I still DO NOT GET…

 

 

  1. Why don’t they raise the basketball hoop?
  2. What happened to the jump rope?
  3. What came first…the chicken or the egg?
  4. Why are snowplow drivers so mean?
  5. Ball and Jacks….is that gone too?
  6. Children not outside on a beautiful day?
  7. Where are the honey bees?
  8. Why families are not sitting down together at dinner?
  9.  You never forget how to ride a bike?

Others that I am perplexed about are:

  • Employee health reward…parking spot closest to the door!
  • Someone advising that “You are taking it personally!”
  • Silver Christmas Trees?
  • Speeding up to a red light!
  • Why aren’t there any predators for stink bugs?
  • Cutting back on Marketing/PR/Advertising during economic downturn?
  •  

    As you can see, I have a lot of questions that perhaps some of you can help me GET and if I in turn can help you get Social Media, I definitely would like to try and also introduce you to my friends at Harrisburg Social Media Club.

    Retention… Benefit of Attention

    Standout from the Rest

    Standout From The Rest

    We all know, don’t we, that our clients crave our attention and it is our full intention of giving them the attention they deserve.  However, intentions don’t always result in attention which in turn affects retention.

    Every client is different and requires a certain amount of nourishing to keep your relationship flourishing.  In order for us to prosper and succeed, we have to value all the experts out there that guide us regarding the importance of retention of clients/customers and what we absolutely must do to achieve this all important goal.

    There are some very simple basic guidelines that are worth reviewing:

    1. Truly listen to your clients’ needs
    2. Follow up with them in a timely manner (make sure you understand what their expectations are)
    3. Remember you work for them
    4. Understand their decision-making process
    5. Vary your contact with them; i.e. email, phone, in-person

    I would like to address telephone calls separately because I have read some articles that advocate that you could save time and not answer the telephone.  This is so you can call people back on YOUR OWN time.  I view that is very selfish.  My clients time is just as valuable as mine and if we all did that, we would not connect at all.  The problem with that as well is people pick up on that very quickly and you have now jeopardized retention.  You may just stand out if you are accessible and respectful thereby giving your client the attention they deserve.

    Businesses built around the philosophy that the customer is worthy of “whatever it takes” also builds an in-house respect for quality service and these companies, even in times of economic downturn, continue to grow.  There is a business culture established that we are in this together.  I’ve seen it!!

    Re-examine your marketing strategy to see if you are implementing at least the basics for retention of your clients.  It is so much more costly to seek new clients and build relationships instead of nourishing those that you have at hand.

    What are some of the key elements of retention you would like to share?

    Branding Your Logo ~ Coated or Uncoated

    Standard PMS Colors

    PMS colors ~ Coated or Uncoated Makes a Big Difference

    When it comes to your Logo, you are most likely very aware of what your PMS colors are….if not, please check with your graphic artist and then also consult a PMS chart.

    There are several tips I would like to share with you regarding your logo colors:

    1. Understand exactly what you are getting when you are told by a Printer or Distributor that they will do a closest match for your color. 

    This is usually at no cost to you, however, depending on vendor, “closest match” could be very different than what you expect to see.  Another factor is that you continue to see your incorrect logo color and then lose sight of your Branding.

    2. Is your PMS color “coated” or “uncoated”….i.e. PMS240 C or PMS240 U

    Although the same number, they can be very different colors and depending on paper or product it is to go on, it could have a totally different affect.  To solve this problem, you must ask if vendor is using Coated or Uncoated.   If it is opposite of what you have, review the PMS Chart to see if there is another PMS number that more closely matches.

    3. Be Consistent ~ Closest match is OK as long as you take steps to get your PMS color truly as close as possible. 

    Do not alter your logo colors to match a particular piece you are using for promotion.  What you may do without affecting your Branding is use Black, White, Silver or Gold ~or~ you may use tone-on-tone, which is used a lot on wearables; i.e. tan windbreaker w/tan logo embroidered.

    While Logo PMS color is not the definition of Branding, it is a factor that impacts your company’s image and triggers a connection to your customer and potential customer.

    Social Media Platforms Are SBNBF

    Social Media Small Business New Best Friend

    Social Media Platforms ~ Small Business New Best Friend

    Lately we have been hearing from the media, business analysts, Wall Street experts and the like that the corporate sector is still hesitant to hire so therefore the economy continues to be very slow to recover.  So that being the case, why do Small Business owners, who are engaged in Social Media, hear of growth, success, and establishing business relationships we would not have ordinarily if we were not engaged in SM platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn. 

    Could it be that Small Business has truly embraced their New Best Friend, whereas big business for the most part is still out of touch with the 21st Century?  It is not that most of these corporations have realized a loss this last quarter so why should we still not see job creation.  Still scared?  Afraid of change? Same old, same old?  Likely. 

    Small business, Sole Proprietorships, Start-up businesses do not have the luxury of sitting back and accepting scared, afraid and same old business as usual.  In fact, we are the ones hiring.  Unfortunately, we are only in a position to hire a few people.  Point is…..is the economy slow to recover or is big business not willing to accept they must listen, learn, understand, engage, connect, and give various Social Media Platforms a place in their Marketing Strategy. 

    Social Media has given small business the “thinking outside the box” capability by utilization of numerous customizable applications…most of which are FREE.  Just to mention one….Foursquare….at the very least is a tremendous value to any retail establishment.  Connecting on the various platforms opens up communication lines that has many “fingers” that can give you the warmest handshake you have ever experienced.  

    Difficult decisions come from strong leadership.  If, in fact, implementing Social Media into your Marketeing Plan is a difficult decision, why not take the opportunity to exhibit your leadership skills and move your company forward. 

    Let me know your thoughts.  Is Small Business the leader in utilitzation of Social Media?

    Social Media Positive Impact

    Marketing by DM TV Interview on Social Networking

    Social Media ~ It's All Good!!

    Marketing by DM recent TV Interview  ~ I was recently asked to share my experiences with Social Media and how it impacted my business.  This TV interview is in 3 segments of approximately 7 minutes each.     

    The breakdown is as follows:    

    Segment 1 ~ My initial introduction to Social Media, in particular Twitter.  Click Here     Segment 2 ~ Marketing by DM beginning to engage on Twitter.  This segment  Click Here    make references to  Jamie Crager , Anne Deeter Gallaher, Deeter Gallaher Group  , Ford , Howell Marketing , and others.    

    Segment 3 ~ Some of Social Media’s most recent impact on a small business such as Marketing by DM and the effects of truly being engaged.  Click Here .  Recommendations made to listeners regarding SMMmagazine   and Harrisburg Social Media Club.     

    I was delighted to tell my story and in the end perhaps help others to view Social Media in a positive light.  It is worth the time investment….everything else will come.    

    Love to hear your story.    

    Think Investment Dollars When Considering Branding Initiatives




    Branding Initiative like Promotional Product is an Investment

    Branding Initiatives Deserve Investment Dollars


    When working with clients on Branding intiatives, whether it is promotional products, events, wearables, connecting with clients and potential clients, missions and/or goals, it is so important to impress upon them the importance of viewing the dollars spent as Investment dollars as opposed to spending, buying or purchasing…or “it’s in the budget”!!


    We wouldn’t just take money that was in the budget and invest in any stock because you were ready to purchase.  You would consult an expert, develop some scenarios, consider either short term or long term gain, understand the value as best you can, and make an educated decision.  Well, let’s take that thought process and apply it to Branding intiatives.


    Who is your expert…really?


    Again, your hard earned dollars would not be put in the hands of just any Investment Advisor, you would get a referral, ask many questions, see if they have earned your trust.  The same holds true when selecting a professional that you are consulting for promotional product.  Are they selling or advising?  Do they only have your interest in mind? They should! What makes them the expert?  This is so important because initially your are investing your time to even meet with them.


    Is there a thoughtful discussion regarding what you expect as a return?


    Getting to the heart of your needs takes a professional with marketing, PR, and/or branding experience to, what we call, “drill” down (not a popular term nowadays) to your true expectations.  Some rewards may not all be immediate.  Especially when it comes to events.  You should always have an expert that is considering the years ahead that will consistently propel you to the next level.


    You are driving the decision…at all times?


    Don’t let anyone else Brand you.  Let’s take the example of wearables.  The most popular fabric out there may be recycled polyester, but organic cotton supports your top client’s efforts or yours.  Your expert should be listening to your Branding message and not using their sales skills to get in the driver’s seat and swaying you to use an item that may be from their favorite vendor.  That is only an advantage to you, price-wise, IF you will get the expected return.  That return for the moment may be your top client’s respect and appreciation but we all know with that comes loyalty as a customer.  Besides, we are not at price yet!!  Experts invest a lot of energy in caring about your needs, they pride themselves in giving the best advice first. 


    OK…the infamous ROI?


    Certainly when we invest in stock we do expect a monetary increase in our original investment.  Upon examination of what you wish to accomplish when it comes to branding initiatives, if you are having a thoughtful discussion, you will conclude that at times the return you expect is greater name awareness, consistency of brand, future loyalty (especially when it comes to events), respect through choices, outreach to potential clients, convey Company positives, personal trust…notice we haven’t even mentioned monetary return but it is there.  The old “hard sales” way of doing things is over….certainly at least for now as I see it.


    Bottom line…


    So many business professionals are budgeting marketing/promotional/branding dollars and certainly delighted to hear that.  Please be sure your are working with someone that is interested in how your Investment will impact the success of your business.  Just because something is the hottest item, more expensive pen, cool tech item doesn’t mean you can expect a return.  Thoughtful decision-making must be part of initial discussion.

    Is There A Golf Event In Your Future?

    For most, I know golf season can’t come soon enough.  Actually….WHAT AM I SAYING!!  Golf season is all year long.  But for our purposes here, let’s imagine we are all on the east coast and sitting, wishing, wanting the rain to stop and the temperature be more predictable. 

    We have arrived!!  Being in the promotional product business has propelled me to be thinking GOLF this time of year and for someone that can only hit the silly ball 100 yds….but straight guys…it does make me chuckle that I have become a Golf (product) expert. 

    So that brings me to the point of this blog.  You all know that I want to be helpful and take some of the decision-making dilemma out of the mix when putting these golf tournaments together.  It is always nice to have a very special incentive for golfers to participate in your event but what makes yours more unique than others.  You have to take into account the economy.  Unfortunately it is a fact and in order for these events to be very special, they are not successful without value. Here are several ideas that can get all the foursomes you need.

    1.  Relax first of all.  Take things step by step.       Important to determine what other events, not only golf, are going on in your area.  Also find out when other golf events are going on and set yours first.  You should be planning this at the very least six months in advance.  Once you acquire this knowledge, you can set a date for your event.  Another piece of advice would be not to choose Monday.  Not received well by business professionals for two reasons; start of the work week and is most popular to be taken as an extended weekend.  Thursday or Friday is best.

    2. Pricing Your Event (now you should still be relaxing) ~ Decide NOW what you wish to have as your enticement, give-away, prizes, tournament prizes, gifts for registrants.  Only then can you price the event correctly.  This is where you can make your event UNIQUE.  Golfers expect to pay for the pleasure of playing in a well-run event and as long as they feel they are getting value, they’ll sign up for your event.  Even if it is a non-profit event and the money is going toward a worthy cause (and we know that they are all worthy), you still have to market it correctly, determine the best PR and promote it.  A “hook” may not be ideal at times on the golf course, but when it comes to persuading golfers to your event as opposed to others, get those “hooks” in place.  Point is….don’t under price your event which then leaves you with doing far too many 50/50 at event and Silent Auction.  Build what you need into the price to play.  If attendee is going to get a pair of Nike or Calloway golf shoes at the event, you’d be surprised what they will pay to play.

    3. Call ME!!  Truly I can help.  Remember it’s me…..I hit the ball very carefully straight and I’ll get you there safely, securely and without getting in the rough. 

    Do you have a golf event you are putting together?  What has been the most popular give-away?