Most businesses are not aware they need to purchase promotional items intentionally, let alone use them with strategy that can help them achieve a desired outcome.
My question is, why spend money on promotional products if you do not have an implementation strategy in place?
My other question is, if the products are not being used correctly, how do you expect to get a return on your investment?
We already know that promotional items are the only advertisement your audience will thank you for.
- Because you are giving them something for free,
- your advertisement isn’t blatantly in their face,
- and they can choose when to absorb your message.
But, what does that have to do with getting a return on your investment?
Nothing, really. Just because people like getting free stuff, doesn’t mean you should give them free stuff off the cuff.
In order to make these advertising tools work to your benefit, you need to have a plan. A construction company wouldn’t buy the materials to build a house without a blueprint, would they?
A plan for your promotional items will help you:
- Set goals
- Find the audience you are trying to reach
- Determine your message
- Incorporate products that will help you deliver your message to your audience to reach your goals.
Not to mention, it will help you stay on the right track to achieving a positive return on your investment and the outcome you set out to realize.
Not sure where to start. No worries!
With our new signature service, PromotionAlly™, we are dedicated to helping you achieve a specific outcome.
With our help, you have the opportunity to work with us so we can help you build a variety of campaigns and incentive programs based on your goals.
PromotionAlly™ is great for companies who:
- Looking for Incentive Programs for their clients and “internal” clients (aka employees)
- Want to generate more leads with a Lead Generation Program
- Want to increase sales (frequency and dollar amount) with a Sales Incentive Program
- Are looking for a Customer Loyalty Program
Sure we can just help you find unique, useful and audience-relevant promotional items. But, anyone can do that!
If you have a specific goal or desired outcome in mind, allow us to be your PromotionAlly™. We prefer to help you spend your marketing dollars wisely by creating campaigns or incentive programs that will positively impact your brand.
What do “Customer Loyalty”, “Haven’t Seen You in a While” or “Come Back and See us to Receive a Free Gift” Programs have in common?
The answer: Re-engagement (or, repeat purchases!)
In other words, companies who implement the programs mentioned above use these strategies to attract current customers (not prospects) back in their space to see if they are interested in doing business with them again.
Not only is it more cost effective for a company to nurture a client who has previously done business with them than to try and find a new client, it is also easier to do business with someone you have already done business with. On both sides of the equation.
It’s easier for the customer because they have already made up their mind about you, how you do business and how you follow through after the sale. This is known as the customer experience. If they had a great experience with your company, the “yes” will be easier to obtain.
It’s easier for you because you have already had a few interactions with them and they are already considered, in sales terms, a warm lead. Again, if the customer had a great experience (or “experiences”) with your company, it is even easier.
How do you engage customers who have not purchased from you in a while? Or, customers you are looking to purchase from you again, in general?
Here are a few tips. At the very base level, you want to make sure you keep lines of communication open with your customers. This includes asking up front if they want to be subscribed to your newsletter so they can receive regular communications.
To make an even greater impact, communicating to them about special offers and campaigns tailored specifically for customers like them. These campaigns can be as simple as the ones mentioned at the beginning of this article.
Customer Loyalty Program
This is a program that can be developed to reward customers based on the frequency of purchases. “Punch Card” rewards is the most popular type of Customer Loyalty Program you may be familiar with, but there are other strategies that can be used in this type of program.
“Haven’t Seen You in a While” Program
For customers who haven’t purchased from you in a while, first, define what a “while” looks like for you. Then decide how to reach out to customers – email is the most popular. The premise of this strategy is to reach out and provides a friendly and light tone and also provides value to your customers.
“Come Back and See us to Receive a Free Gift” Program
This is a type of re-engagement strategy that is more than a “friendly reminder” about your company. This type of strategy provides an incentive for customers to come back and see you. You can provide a coupon, a discount or any kind of offer. My favorite, and most cost effective incentive is a branded item that will keep you top of mind without cutting into your profits.
The re-engagement programs above are only a few programs that can be implemented in your company to keep you on top of your customers minds and help you generate repeat purchases. The key lies in providing a call to action that grabs the customers attention so they can focus on you – even if it is for a second, the impression can create a powerful impact.
Closing a sale is an exciting time. Think about it. Sit back and imagine the feeling you get when you close a deal on the sale of your product or service. Think of how happy you feel about the sale being finalized, how proud you are of your accomplishment and how confident you have become because you “did it”!
After all of your hard work making sure the prospect has a great experience working with you in those days that lead up to the sale and after the long nights you spent working on delivering the best proposition for them, you finally did it. Your work is done….right?
Wrong! Closing a sale is only one step in the customer’s journey – and yours. Right now, it’s showtime!
Remember all of those promises you made to your client when you were trying to get the sale? Remember all the benefits they will receive when working with you? Remember what the client will receive once they buy?
Now is the time to deliver on those promises. For the customer, what happens after the sale is one of the most important moments for a company. If you don’t live up to those promises, it’s not good for your customer’s experience with your company, it’s not good for you and it’s not good for the company’s image.
That’s why it is important to take a look at what happens after the sale, or the fulfillment process after the sale. Do you have a plan to deliver the product you said you would deliver? In the time frame you said it would be delivered by? With the same quality you promised? Do you have a “thank you” process in place to show your appreciation for the customer?
All of these things add up to the customer experience your “now customer” receives. If you are in integrity and deliver on your promises, your customer will more than likely purchase from you again. If you do not deliver on your promises it could cost your company and your reputation.
Your goal should be to retain the majority of clients that do business with your company. At the very least, you can do this by simply following through with your promises and delivering on the sale. At the very most, under-promise and over deliver – maybe you will decide to kick it up a notch and surprise your client with a little something extra to surprise and delight?
I’m sure you have heard of the saying: “it takes more resources to get a new customer than it is to nourish a customer that has worked with you in the past“? It’s the fulfillment process that reflects the great customer experience you bring to the table makes the difference in whether the customer chooses to do business with you again.
Lately, I have been having a lot of issues with my cell phone battery dying at lightning fast speeds. When I wake up in the morning and unplug my phone from the charger, it literally drops 2 percentage points and by 10:00 am, I am finding my battery at or below 55% without even using it much. Then, it doesn’t even drain to 1% before it turns off on me – it turns off between 26% and 55% – No Joke!
I’m not going to lie, it has been a pretty annoying issue to deal with, especially when I’m out on the road and have to have it plugged into some charging device, whether it is the charger or a power bank. I am actually to the point where I told my husband we should consolidate to one cell phone and leave it at home to act like it’s our “home” phone. True story!
These days, sadly (at least for me), it’s not possible. The reality is, we are constantly connected to everything and anything, at any given moment. Have you ever looked around when you are in public? Everyone is on their phone! Or, think of the times when you are out to dinner with other people and everyone is on their phone.
While I am guilty of having my cell phone in close proximity to me most of the time, this issue with my battery definitely has me thinking about the “good ole’ days” when cell phones didn’t even exist or at least had a lot less “features”.
Remember how it was considered “rude” to call someone before 9am and after 9pm? (aah, peace!)
Remember when you had to ride your bike to your friend’s house to get a hold of them? (say hello to the outdoors and exercise!).
But it’s not really the lack of a phone that I’m missing.
What’s missing is something that goes unnoticed until we really sit back and think about it. Can you guess what it is?
Think way, way back to the OG days…
If you guessed Facebook when it was only accessible to college students and your mom couldn’t keep close tabs on your life, you’re close. No – actually you’re not…
What’s missing is real connection between human beings. That face-to-face, human interaction that cell phones can’t give us until we pick one up and call (or text if that’s how you roll) a friend or family member (or client) to ask to meet up face to face. And when you are in their presence, face to face, you are giving them your undivided attention.
Cardiac. Arrest. Right?
Wrong! That’s how great relationships are built. That’s connection, baby!
Real talk. People miss those days where you could kick it old school style, offline. They are craving human connection! This is an important nugget to take in because some of these people may be your clients and if you are not developing those relationships with your clients, it’s easy for them to bounce around to all of your competitors because of the experience (or lack thereof) they are having with your company – there is simply no loyalty.
Sure, sometimes it’s great to have the ability to get in touch with someone the second you think of it or to be able to send that work email from a remote location. But, that doesn’t always cut it. Can you really build a real, meaningful relationship if you have never had a face to face conversation with someone?
I don’t know about you but, personally, I think it’s easier to develop a relationship if you have met with someone in person. That way you will be able to tell if there is some sort of trust or “real” relationship involved.
However, if you are like me and have clients all over the place, that “in person” connection may not happen. Unless you are doing a live event and those customers come to meet you in person, you don’t have that touch point with them!
With an ever changing digital society, we need to start incorporating a tangible piece of your brand with offline “touch” points. Think about it, if you had a product that represented a piece of your brand (a “signature” on-brand gift as I like to call it) you can gift this product to your clients and they will be able to literally hold onto a piece of your brand in their hands creating the connection for you! How cool is that?
Everyone likes to receive gifts. Why wouldn’t you? When you receive a gift, how does it make you feel? You may feel excitement, appreciated or happiness, to name a few. You may also feel that the person gave you the gift cares about you, or at the very least was thinking about you. Another thought that you might have is that the person wants you to feel good or have some sort of positive emotion or reaction because of the gift. That is, if you are in the United States.
A mastermind friend and I were talking about gift giving and she brought up how she was in Japan and learned how gift giving is a big part of their culture. In fact, many different cultures have different definitions for gift giving etiquette.
The experience of gift giving in Japan was very fascinating to me so I decided to some research to find out other interesting facets for gift giving etiquette in other cultures. While every culture has its own etiquette for gift giving, I thought it would be fun to point on some of the interesting gift giving traditions in a few different cultures.
Here’s what my research discovered:
Let’s start with Japan. What I found most interesting about the Japanese culture was they are big on the presentation of the gift. Which means that the wrapping of the gift is as important as the gift itself.
Italy (because I’m Italian 🙂 )
At an early age, Italians are taught to put thought into the gift and to take into consideration the receiver’s tastes as well as their interests. As for the packaging, never wrap a gift in purple or black as purple represents death and black, mourning.
As a part of Scotland’s business gift giving custom, giving a small memento with a company logo on it will show appreciation to the person receiving the item.
In Morocco, gift givers like to get to know the person they give a gift to, so they normally wait until after the first time they meet someone to give them a gift. Then, when a gift is given, it is best to stay away from gifts that are the colors pink, yellow or violet as they represent death.
An expensive gift in Thailand can make the receiver feel uncomfortable so small and inexpensive gifts are appreciated more. At the same time since three is a lucky number in Thailand giving gifts in groups of three make a good impression.
Overall, while the gift giving experience in different cultures is pretty similar, there are slight differences in how each culture practices gift giving to make each culture unique. It is important to pay attention to the slight differences to make sure you are applying the appropriate custom for a certain culture in order to make sure they are picking up on the appropriate experience you are looking to give.
When I first started in my marketing career, I had a mentor who taught me a valuable concept. The concept between Good, Fast and Cheap in relation to buying products and services and how, generally speaking, you can’t have all three – you can only pick two.
If you are the type of person “who wants it all” you may be asking “well that’s crazy, why can’t I choose all three?!”.
Before you come after me with pitchforks and flaming torches, let me explain:
Scenario 1: Let’s say you are shopping around for a certain product or service. As you are thinking about the product or service you want, you decide you want a cheap (low cost) product that is good quality. In this instance, it will take more time to deliver the product or service.
Scenario 2: If a company is producing a cheap product, fast, good quality is out of the question. Think of it this way, if someone rushes through making a product or providing a service, cheaply, the product or service is not likely to end up “good”.
Scenario 3: What if you wanted good quality products and services but you have a deadline so you also need them fast? With this scenario, the odds are against you if you are wanting this scenario at a low price. It’s not possible considering the time it takes to produce a good quality product or service at a fast rate. (I don’t know about you, but I would expect this service to be expensive!)
The best thing to do is ask your clients what matters most to them and develop your products and services over what they are looking for. Meeting your clients where they are increases the experience they have with your brand and makes them feel like you designed your products and services just for them.