Merry Christmas from Gossett Marketing!

Charlie Brown Christmas
The Gossett Marketing Team wishes you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Because we’re celebrating the season, there will be no more new blog posts this week. We’ll be back in 2013 to talk about promotional products, marketing, and life! See you next year!

Making The Best of the Holiday Season for Business

to do list I love this time of year – the parties, gift exchanges, cookies, and decorations are all such fun! But with most people focused on the Holidays and so many people traveling, I have to admit that the weeks around Christmas and New Years are somewhat slow at work. However, after the rush of Holiday gift orders, I must admit that I relish the calm, and I’m sure to make the most of them.

My first work priority during this relatively stress-free time is always organization. At Gossett Marketing, we order hundreds of promotional marketing product samples annually, and although we try to keep them straight, they always seem to end up getting thrown into random cabinets when we need to clean up our conference room table for meetings! So right now, while the phone isn’t ringing off the hook, is a great time for us to sort samples by supplier, see if any have been discontinued (we donate those items), and put them in the right place: something that we can’t do on hectic days!

When I’m tired of digging through boxes of samples, I like to write out plans for the next year. For example, today I’m going to plot out my networking strategy for 2013. I don’t know about you, but I forget anything that’s not written down and that holds true for my networking. I might come up with a great approach to successfully doing so, but if I don’t have it actually on my to-do list or pinned to my bulletin board, I’m much more apt to ignore my plan. Seeing my networking ideas on a regular basis, though, is almost like nagging myself – which will force me to actually put my plan in action.

The lull that the Holidays provide is also an excellent time to knock out the little odds and ends that I haven’t had time to take care of. I clean out my e-mail, organize our art files, catch up on social media. Just stuff that gets overlooked when I have events to attend and quotes to write. It’s nice to start the New Year with a clean slate, so I love tackling these little projects that might have fallen by the wayside.

Do you have any suggestions to help me take advantage of slower-paced workdays during the Holiday season? If so, please share them in the comments – I’d love more ideas!

Why Promotional Products Cost What They Do

cash
As a member of the Gossett Marketing team, I encourage our customers to give away promotional products because these items – which display their logos to their customers whenever they use them – are a great, inexpensive way to get marketing exposure. Sometimes when I give that little pitch, all my customer hears is “inexpensive,” without realizing that there are a tremendous number of factors that can influence the price of promotional products. Here are a few for you to consider the next time you order promos.

  • Quantity – As a general rule, the more of any given item that you purchase, the lower the price will be. Keep in mind that manufacturers set minimum order quantities, which are higher for inexpensive items than for their costlier counterparts (so the minimum for a pen might be 300 pieces, while that for embroidered shirts is 6).
  • Imprint – Catalog pricing for most promo items includes a 1-color, 1-location imprint – always the least expensive option, so if you are on a tight budget I always recommend going that way. But if you want to give away something a little fancier, you might want to imprint on two sides or in multiple colors. Because either of those options will require additional setups and running charges, though, know that the price will be higher than the standard version.
  •  Timing – If the stars align and you’re willing to pay additional fees, then promotional products distributors can work miracles (we once delivered custom-imprinted t-shirts in a matter of hours). However, a better idea is to plan ahead and give yourself a few weeks for delivery – that way you will not be subject to rush charges or expedited shipping. Plus, not every item can be produced overnight, so ordering early means that you have a wider selection of less-expensive items from which to choose.

So when you call to order elaborately-imprinted bags that you need next week and find that the price is higher than you expected, consider the quantity, imprint, and timing. And next time, if you need to work within certain budgetary limits, then give yourself plenty of time, order more, and consider a simpler imprint.

Bring Your Business Card

business card I have a confession to make: I talk to strangers. I don’t actively seek to do so – you’re not going to see me on the sidewalk looking for people I don’t know with whom I may strike up a conversation. But if we’re stuck in the security line at the airport side-by-side for 45 minutes, chances are I’m going to remark that I don’t understand why some people wear their most complicated boots to fly (really, why do people do that? You know you’re going to have to take them off!). Or if I think your sweater is particularly cute, I’ll certainly let you know it. I try not to be annoying (I’m not the girl who sits next to you on a plane and keeps on yakking even though you have your nose in your book, I promise), but I guess I’m just chatty. Fortunately it comes in handy sometimes.

As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, I live very close to a great restaurant/bar called Sports Grill. My husband and I have spent many a Sunday afternoon there eating chicken wings, and cheering on the Miami Dolphins. We always sit at the bar, so there is always someone next to either one of us, and we usually end up talking to one or both of them. Like conversations with strangers usually go, someone inevitably asks everyone’s line of work, and just by sitting at that bar my husband and I have met an executive with Cartier, local politicians, a maritime attorney, plus plenty of tipsy college kids and other generally crazy people. Very often the people we encounter decide that they can use promotional marketing products and ask for my card, which is why I am sure to always have some on me. While I can’t say that any business has come from my football Sundays at the bar, it’s worth a shot!

And it’s not just to Sports Grill that I bring my business cards: they’re in every one of my handbags. As a chatty person who isn’t shy about talking to total strangers, I have to be prepared! I’m always shocked, then, that so many of the professional people I meet randomly don’t carry theirs. While I understand that they didn’t expect to meet the weirdly-talkative girl in line at the airport, what if their dream customer was the one who was forced to stand next to them for 45 minutes? What a blown opportunity it would be if they couldn’t hand him their information! The whole world is a networking opportunity – so be sure to bring your business cards!

Pantone’s Color of the Year (and how to use it for marketing)

emerald green pantone Did you know that there is actually a Color of the Year chosen for each year? It’s a color that is selected annually by the Pantone Company and which guides color trends for that year. Obviously if the organization is able to steer trends it has some clout, but you might not be familiar with the Pantone Company; however, you have probably seen its widely-used standardized color reproduction system a time or two. You know those long, narrow books that fan out to show seemingly every color in the rainbow? That’s the Pantone Color Matching System, which allows people across the world to match colors exactly. For example, I can tell my vendors that the University of Miami’s specific orange is PMS 1665 and they will print it in exactly that hue. It’s a handy system that’s widely used on a daily basis, you just might not know that.

Now that you know who is naming this Color of the Year, do you know what it is? 2012’s is Tangerine Tango (Pantone 17-1463) and the just-announced 2013 Color of the Year is…drumroll…Emerald Green (Pantone 17-5641). The colors were chosen with international sentiment in mind, so the bold, peppy Tangerine Tango was supposed to lift our spirits during tough economic times. In the press release in which Pantone revealed Emerald as 2013’s Color of the Year, Leatrice Eisman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institue, stated that “Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” and it brings a sense of renewal. So it is meant to bring us together although worldwide politics have been divisive as of late.

Until 2012’s Color of the Year was revealed, I didn’t know that this was a “thing,” but it is. And I like these annual color announcements because they are an easy way to ensure that your company is on-trend. If you’re marketing in 2013 (and you should be!), why not stick to a green theme? You can make it eco-friendly by giving away reusable Emerald totes, you can pronounce your company to be a “jewel,” or you might consider utilizing the “renewal” theme. Or if you want to be very literal about the Color of the Year, make like Sephora and team up with the Pantone Company for a Color of the Year collection – the makeup giant’s Tangerine Tango line was beautiful and surely sold well. Can’t wait to see what they do with Emerald!

Promos to get the Marketing Party Started

Igloo In this video, Danette from Gossett Marketing and InterestingMarketingTidbits.com sits down with Jon from Gemline, one of our favorite promotional products suppliers. Jon introduces Danette to a great new product – the Igloo soft side cooler.

Available in a range of sizes and priced from $9.00 to $50.00, there is an Igloo soft side cooler to meet any need and budget. The Party to Go Cooler that Jon shows to Danette is in the middle of the aforementioned price range and is full of unique details that make it a standout. For instance, the interior lining zips out for easy cleaning, plus it is antimicrobial so that no uninvited germy guests attend your party. It also features fabrics with enhanced textures, high-quality zipper pulls, and even an attached bottle opener (because who doesn’t lose those?!). I also like that it collapses so, although it is a large cooler that can accommodate 20 cans, it is a snap to store.

Aside from the durable construction, unique styling, and functionality of the piece, it does have another perk. You see, it comes imprinted with the Igloo logo, and the manufacturer allows it to be co-branded by other companies: your logo can be printed on the front pocket, right below Igloo’s, and your company benefits by being linked to another well-known, well-respected business. The same goes for all of the items in this line – you can co-brand yourself with Igloo for as little as $9.00 per item.

Giving away such a high quality item ensures that your logo will have exposure for years to come – at barbeques, tailgates, and even at your kids’ weekend soccer games. So if you’re ready to get the marketing party started, now is the time to order your co-branded Igloo coolers!

You can check out the cooler by clicking on this YouTube video – it’s a great promotional product!

Art Basel: Public Art Displays Promote South Florida

art basel alligator miami Art Basel is this weekend in Miami Beach. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the event, it is the preeminent art show in the Americas that showcases over 2,000 works from artists of the 20th and 21st century. It’s a huge deal down here in South Florida because it brings tourists from around the world which is a boon to our local economy, plus it brings a little art culture to an area that is usually devoid of it. Aside from those benefits, Art Basel is just a lot of fun – there are parties day and night, it’s wonderful to walk around and see the various works of art (even if I don’t “get” a lot of them!), and I love that art pops up in public places around town for everyone to enjoy.

This year the aspect of Art Basel that I find most intriguing is the giant robotic alligator that will be floating around Biscayne Bay for the duration of the event. Officially called, “Floating Tile Art: Gator in the Bay,” the piece was made by Lloyd Goradesky and Cesar Becarra and it is intended to bring awareness to the fragility of the Florida Everglades. It weighs tens of tons and when complete will measure 230 feet long and 50 feet across, so I can guarantee that it is going to attract a lot of attention to the cause! Hopefully that attention will result in donations to help preserve the “River of Grass” and the real alligators that live there.

Aside from the good that the robotic alligator can do for Florida’s environment, I just think that it is going to be an interesting sight to behold. When I was an infant the artist Christo wrapped several of Biscayne Bay’s islands with pink fabric for his work “Surrounded Islands.” I’ve seen the pictures, but didn’t get to experience it myself, so I’m excited to see art come to life somewhat-similarly, particularly if it draws attention to Art Basel, the Everglades, and Miami as a whole. Perhaps it will inspire more people to visit, donate to our national park, and ultimately benefit the South Florida economy!

Exceptional Promotional Product Placement

Gandalf wizard
Every morning, right after I shower, I turn on the Today Show so that I can catch a bit of news (well, infotainment) as I put on my makeup. Unlike my mother, I do not have a TV in my bathroom, so I listen to the broadcast from a TV in a different room – meaning that rather than watch it, I pretty much listen to Today as I would a radio program. Well, miracle of miracles, yesterday I was running early so I actually got to sit down and watch a bit of the show! I caught the segment that features the anchors outside on the Plaza, during which they interview a guest. Yesterday they were catching up with Martin Freeman who plays Bilbo Baggins in the upcoming film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Call me a nerd, but I’m really excited to see The Hobbit films, yet I found myself unable to concentrate on the interview with Mr. Freeman because I was distracted by what I saw in the crowd behind him – all of the spectators were wearing Hobbit hats!

Now, being an Account Executive at Gossett Marketing, a promotional marketing distributor, I know that I’m more apt to spot promotional items than the average person, but these were really noticeable and a great way to market the film! They were tall but slouchy and looked like the hat that wizard Gandalf wears on his journeys through Middle Earth – they were definitely not the chapeaux usually sported by the tourists who usually visit the Plaza. Not only did their shape make them distinctive, but they were also imprinted with The Hobbit’s logo to make them even more thematic.

The fun thing about the Hobbit hat promotion is that millions of people saw it yesterday morning – giving these out to Today Show spectators was a brilliant marketing plan on their part. The star was already scheduled to be there, so for just the price of a few hundred head pieces, they got national (and possibly even international) exposure for the film. Plus, I’m sure that everyone who received one will bring his or her Hobbit hat home and show all of their friends; thus, continuing the marketing long after viewers switch off the TV.

Whether or not you’re as excited as I am about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, check out the trailer on YouTube – you have to admit that the special effects are extraordinary!!

How to Enhance Networking & Marketing During the Holidays

holiday card
About this time every year, I think to myself “wow – I can’t believe it’s December!” For some reason this month always sneaks up on me and finds me unprepared for the holidays ahead. Fortunately, I am obviously not the only one who feels this way, as many companies offer rush services that allow procrastinators like me spread the holiday cheer to my family, friends, and even my customers.

The quickest and least expensive way to send good tidings is with personalized holiday cards – that is why I find them to be a particularly good business tool around this time. I can order my cards today, receive them in a week or so, and then whenever I have a moment of down time I can sign and send a few to my customers and other business contacts. It’s such a simple way to reach out to individuals with whom I work regularly, and I really like holiday cards as another means of post-networking follow up. If I’ve met someone at an event and subsequently called and e-mailed them, then a holiday card is another great way to remind them that we should work together!

Other than the fact that they are inexpensive and convenient to mail out, I also like to send cards because I find that customers hold onto them, which they do not do with an e-mail or a telephone message. This is particularly true if the card in question is interesting looking or useful. For example, a couple of years back Baptist Health South Florida sent out a beautiful card that included a pineapple-shaped seed paper ornament. Although recipients were supposed to hang the pineapple on their tree that year then plant it, I’ve held onto mine because I find it to be so pretty hanging from an evergreen bough. And last year our company, Gossett Marketing, sent 2012 calendars to our customers during the holiday season – I still see them on people’s desks and cork boards! That’s a great reminder to our customers to keep working with us through the New Year!

Whenever you can touch base with your customers or potential customers – be it on the phone, via the internet, or even by “snail mail” – do so. The holiday season is a great excuse to send a card that will enhance your networking and put your company’s logo in front of your customers, possibly for a full year. That’s not bad for the price of a card and a stamp!

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