Did You Know… Marketers are Expected to Increase Use of Promotional Products

This insightful article from Ad-ology is just one more reason our owner, Judy Brumley, and marketing director, Jessica Byerly, will be attending next week’s ASI Show in Orlando Florida!

Take a moment to learn marketer’s reasoning behind all of the branded goodies…

Marketers to Increase Use of Promotional Products

Kathy Crosett, Marketing Forecast

Marketers have long turned to promotional products to keep their name in front of consumers and purchasing agents at companies who are in a position to place large orders.  Distributing these branded gifts is a common practice at conventions and trade shows. New research confirms that promotional products give marketers a boost at the time of distribution and in the long run.

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Consumers appreciate receiving promotional products from their favorite vendors. In a study published by Relevant Insights, 70% of consumers told researchers they’d received these items from vendors. The best recall was linked to “financial services, retailers, apparel brands and electronics manufacturers.”  Writing instruments have long been a top category with 35% of consumers claiming to have received a pen or pencil. Another 41% have received apparel ranging from caps (11%) to shirts (22%).

This study showed that consumers hold onto these items with 60% keeping them for two years and they use them regularly. Functional products like pens and pencils (over 90%) are kept longer than apparel (23%).

While the majority of promotional products find their way into consumers’ hands at conventions (60%), marketers also give these items away as gifts when consumer begin a business relationship with them (16%).

For the most part, promotional products are all about forging a strong relationship with a client who already does business with a specific enterprise. 55% of recipients have done business with a marketer before receiving a promotional item. That number rises to 85% after receiving the item.

About half of consumers keep their promotional gifts at home. This means the items become part of a consumer’s everyday life and serve as a constant but nonintrusive reminder of their relationship with the marketer. This positive relationship increases the chances that the consumer will return to the business for another purchase when the need arises.

[Source: Promotional Products Work. Relevant Insights. November 2012. Web. 26 Feb. 2013]

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Did you know… You Can Provide Online Recommendations for Colleagues?

The social networking site popular among professionals of all ages and of all fields is a fantastic tool for, well, networking!A member’s profile is more-or-less their resume, as brief or detailed as they make it; Organizations can post job openings, collaborate with other businesses, put faces to those that make up that company; Linked in has created, directed and matched new and experienced professionals to numerous levels of opportunities over the past few years.

This social network seems to maintain a more positive atmosphere than other social media platforms. News feeds are full of encouragement, job opportunities, business success stories, and it even allows for users to provide individuals and companies with personal recommendations… LinkedIn members in search of new employees can read through a users entire work history, education, sponsored skills and special interests, and sometimes a few words from a former professor, current employer or old colleague!

While we’re all about helping our clients self-promote, its always good to take a moment and reflect on someone else’s efforts, talents and contributions.

Spread the encouragement and learn how to write an effective recommendation on your colleague’s LinkedIn profile:

linkedin5 Steps to Writing an Amazing LinkedIn Recommendation

by Adrian Granzella Larssen for The Daily Muse

Most of us have worked with great colleagues, bosses and employees over the years who we’d be happy to recommend on LinkedIn (or anywhere, really) in a heartbeat if asked.

Problem is, of course, that sitting down and writing said recommendation always takes more time than you think it will. What should you say that will make your contact stand out — but still sound genuine? Should you describe every amazing skill this person has — or keep it short and sweet?

Don’t worry. We’ve turned that daunting task into a five-step (and five-minute) process. Next time you’re asked to recommend someone, follow this template (complete with sample lines to cut and paste.

1. Start With a Knockout Line

As with any good writing, you want to start with a line that grabs your audience and makes them want to read more. (After all, what good is a great recommendation if no one reads all the way through?)

Ideally, this line will show right away what an awesome person your recommendee is. Be careful, though, to avoid phrases like “one of the best” or “one of my favorite employees” — while, no, not everyone’s going to be the ultimate superlative, there are plenty of words and phrases that sound just as strong, but less qualified.

“It’s rare that you come across standout talent like Mike.”

“Few people have the opportunity to report to a manager who is also a coach and mentor — but I did when I worked for Susan.”

“‘Ridiculously efficient’ is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about Tim.”

2. Describe Your Relationship

Next, you’ll want to give the reader some context as to how you know the person, including your reporting relationship, what you worked on together and the length of time you’ve known each other. While you don’t have to give all the details (LinkedIn will show the company and both of your job titles on your recommendation), it’s important to let readers know why you’re qualified to give the recommendation. (And, of course, be sure to note that it was a positive working relationship.)

“I had the pleasure of working with Jim for two years at the Smith Company, collaborating on several project teams.”

“I hired Carrie as a freelance designer in 2011 after seeing her online portfolio, and she’s completed six flawless projects for me since then.”

“Mark expertly filled the role of social media coordinator for my company’s marketing team for just over a year.”

3. Share a Standout Trait

If you’re recommending someone, there’s a good chance you think he or she is smart, talented, organized, wonderful to work with, the list goes on. So, there’s no need to use the limited characters in your recommendation to state the obvious.

Instead, think about one or two things this person does better than anything else — or that really stand out to you above others — and focus your recommendation there. You can also ask the person if there’s something he or she would like you to talk about: For example, if she was your executive assistant but is now applying to her first management role, she’ll likely want you to highlight her experience managing volunteers over her organizational skills.

“I was particularly impressed by Kelly’s ability to handle even the toughest clients — and effortlessly. That skill often takes years to develop among customer service professionals, but it seemed to come perfectly naturally to her.”

“I was always in awe of Fred’s ability to command a room and get people on board with ideas — even people who were initially on completely different pages.”

“Matt’s ability to juggle multiple projects was unlike any I’ve seen before and made a dramatic difference in the productivity level of our team.”

4. Add a Touch of Personality

Let’s face it: Everyone wants to hire someone who not only gets the job done, but who’s also great to work with. So, if you can share a tidbit about what it’s like to work with this person or some insight into his or her personality, do so! (Just, you know, know your audience. “Sophie planned the best office happy hours ever!” might not go over so well with her future employers.)

“Oh, and she made sure our Monday morning staff meetings were never without bagels and coffee. Talk about motivating a team!”

“And we still miss her on the office softball league!”

“No matter how tense a meeting, Annie made sure everyone left with a smile.”

5. End With Your Solid Recommendation

Finally, it’s always nice to seal your recommendation with a final line that makes it clear that you give your contact an enthusiastic thumbs-up. You don’t need to do much here — think short, sweet and solid.

“Allison would be an asset to any team.”

“As a team member or a leader, Steve earns my highest recommendation.”

“Any employee would be lucky to have Michelle as a manager.”

Try It

While we recommend following the steps above to create a new recommendation for each contact, here’s a quick example of how to put them all together (and a template to use if you’re pressed for time!).

[Descriptive phrase] is the phrase that comes to mind when I think about [name]. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing [name] for [length of time], during which [description of your working relationship]. Above all, I was impressed with [name]’s ability to [description of what makes person really stand out]. And, of course, his/her [personality trait]. [Name] would be a true asset for any positions requiring [1-2 skills needed for position] and comes with my heartfelt recommendation.

That’s it — five steps, five lines and five minutes to a recommendation that will make sure your contact shines.

Did you know… Personalizing Self-Promos Sets Your Company Apart from the Rest?

Did you know that personalizing self-promos can really set your company apart from others? While in an obvious attempt to advertise for yourself, promotional gifts customized for your client also shows what you can do FOR THEM.

And… sending these gifts “off” season (in between all the holiday junk sent from competitors) will catch your existing/potential customers by surprise and gain your business even more attention!

Check out Axis Promotions’ success story featured in Advantages Magazine:

High-Impact Mailer Racks Up Connections
By Jean Erickson
November 2011

Axis Promotion reminded its clients to stay in touch when it sent individual mailboxes, filled with customized items, to its most significant accounts, as well as to past clients the firm hoped to gain back. The communication-themed kits were intended to thank Axis clients, remind them of the impact of a promotional mailing, stress the value of personalization and emphasize the many ways the company and its clients can communicate. These included both traditional and high-tech methods, says the firm’s president and founder, Larry Cohen. “Also, we wanted to put a smile on the clients’ faces,” he adds.

While the kits were holiday mailers, they were sent out in April, well after the holidays, to set the promotion apart from the crowded holiday gift season. They promoted the idea that Axis is only a phone call, text or e-mail away. Each mailbox contained earbuds wrapped on a card that said, “We have sound ideas to help you stay in tune with your customers.” The opposite side of the card recommended clients follow the firm on Facebook and possibly win a free iPad 2. Axis gained over 300 Facebook followers through the mailer.

In addition, a postage-stamped brown-paper-wrapped parcel contained a postcard of two children holding tin-can telephones, posing the question, “How do you send a text message?,” accompanied by a tin-can telephone with customized labels: one with jelly beans and the other containing Swedish fish (bearing the message, “You’ll be hooked”). Also, a set of notepads was included, customized with the first initial of each client.

Over 1,000 of the kits were sent out, with an additional 500 currently being used for marketing purposes. Cohen says the promotion resulted in over 25 new client meetings and over $100,000 in business as of late July. Customer feedback was very positive, with one client contacting him to say, “This was by far the most creative thing we’ve ever received.” Another marketing executive said of the self-promo, “After seeing this, why go anywhere else?”

BIZ TIP

  • Send holiday packages at an “off” time. Axis’ mailing in April caught clients by surprise and helped the company stand out.
  • Personalization of self-promos sets you apart, showing the client what you can do for them as well. Axis customized each notepad with the first initial of each client.

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PIP Printing and Marketing Services of the Triad can help your business send “sound” messages and “hook” new clients with a range of promotional products from magnets and keychains, to USB flash drives and personalized notepads, computer cases, portfolios, drink ware, wearables, customized electronics and more! No idea is short of creative when it comes to self-promotion. Let us help find just the right product that best represents your services and speaks the loudest to your customers. Call us today!

The Importance of Packaging

Ever wonder what the big deal is about the label stuck to the bottle of wine you just bought, the hand-made tag strung through that necklace, the half-eatin white Apple that makes an appearance on the instructions, box, wrapping, warranty… that came with your new iPod – oh, wait! Don’t forget the Apple sticker thrown in along with it! Whether you’ve realized it or now, these visual and physical attributes have heavy influence on your consumer decisions. When done well, a products packaging highlights its most important characteristics in hopes of shortening its shelf life. And believe it or not, all business invest a fortune in this final touch!

7077e753a4d6f306fb2323eb7b3df961Be honest, unless you were in a hurry and went straight for your usual brand of wine, when you take the time to browse the store’s selection, how much of your decision is based on the overall look of the bottle? Didn’t that delicate, hand-scripted price tag immediately place emphasis on the genuine craftsmanship of that necklace? And come on, Apple fan or not, you know exactly what that half-biten macintosh symbolizes!

If your company is in need of a product facelift, if you’re new business needs a jump-start on packaging ideas, or if you’re just curious as to the design and marketing efforts businesses put into the final touches of their inventory, take a moment to read through this article featured on smallbusiness.chron.com.

Importance of Product Packaging in Marketing

How product packaging plays a role in marketing and purchase decisions.

by Kristie Lorette, Demand Media

Whether you’re getting ready to create packaging for a product you’re selling or you’re considering changing the packaging of an existing product, you may be wondering if the appearance of a product’s package is important. Many product providers may think that the product and its performance is more important than what the packaging looks like, but the product packaging can play a role in the success or failure of the sales of the product.

Function

The purpose of product packaging is to protect the product from damage. Product packaging not only protects the product during transit from the manufacturer to the retailer, but it also prevents damage while the product sits on retail shelves. Most products have some form of packaging. For example, soups must have a container and package while apples may have packaging for transport but not to sell the product from the produce department of the local grocery store.

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Attraction

How a product is packaged may be what attracts the consumer to take a look on the product as is sits on store shelves. For this reason, many companies conduct extensive research on color schemes, designs and types of product packaging that is the most appealing to its intended consumer.

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Promotion

Packaging also plays an important role for portraying information about the product. Outside packaging may contain directions on how to use the product or make the product.

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Facilitates Purchase Decision

Packaging may also contain ingredients and nutritional information about the product. This information can help to sell the product because it allows potential customers to obtain the necessary information they need to make a purchase decision. Information contained on a package may propel the reader to buy the product without ever having to speak to a store clerk.

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Differentiation

Packaging can also differentiate one brand of product from another brand. Because the product packaging can contain company names, logos and the color scheme of the company, it helps consumers to identify the product as it sits among the competition’s products on store shelves. For example, as a shopper walks through the coffee aisle of the local grocery store, the bright orange, pink and white packaging of the Dunkin’ Donuts coffee brand may be easily recognizable for the consumer to grab on his way by the coffee shelf. The shopper may identify with the company brand, which propels them to buy the product. If the product packaging changes, it may alter the brand perception of the company, which doesn’t mean that the consumer would not still purchase the product, but it may delay the purchase until the person is able to identify the product according to its new packaging.

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PIP Triad can help you and your business with your packaging needs!
Bring your ideas to one of our stores TODAY!!

Busy with signage!

PIP Triad has been busy with signage in the passing weeks! Everyone is taking advantage of our special offers on Vehicle Wraps, Window Clings, Canvases…

Check out these glimpses of last week’s projects around the area

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Proponent Federal Credit Union

 

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Manuel Lopez Roofing

 
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Pano’s Cafe