Unique Golf Giveaways

In this, our most recent video blog post, Danette Gossett of Gossett Marketing and InterestingMarketingTidbits.com sits down with Rob from SanMar, our preferred apparel supplier, to discuss golf giveaway ideas. As it turns out, the options for these types of promotional marketing products have come a long way!

The first shirt that Danette picks up is actually the one that she and her team wore in the Executive Women’s Golf Association’s national championship tournament. Unlike the golf polos of yore, this one has a more feminine shape and fit, but it still features the moisture-wicking technology that ladies want on the course. Rob also points out a few other trends, including brand name golf shirts (the one he holds up is a Nike polo – you can see the “swoosh” on the arm), saturated jewel tones, heathered fabrics, and various patterns. You name a style and chances are that it’s now available for the golfers out there – with your logo embroidered upon it, of course.

Another unique golf giveaway is a hanging toiletry kit. It can accommodate all of the essentials such as tees and golf balls, plus it’s handy in the locker room after a round. Naturally, this toiletry kit can also be branded with your company’s logo, making it a great marketing tool when given away (or even sold) at golf tournaments.

Give away or sell imprinted golf apparel and accessories and you will make a splash both on the course and off!

nike golf shirt

Any Event is a Promotional Marketing Opportunity

The 11th annual South Beach Dachshund Winterfest was recently held on Miami Beach, and although I did not attend, the pictures are just about some of the cutest things that I have ever seen! The festival, touted as “A social gathering for Dachshunds and their people,” is a fun event in which owners get to meet fellow enthusiasts and learn more about the breed, wiener dogs play with one another, show their skills in a talent show, and maybe even win a raffle prize. Winterfest benefits Dachshund Rescue South Florida, so not only is it surely a blast, but it’s for a good cause, which explains its popularity.

Dachshund Winterfest is a pretty specialized event – it’s not even geared towards dog people, it is specifically for doxie-lovers – but it’s still a great marketing opportunity for the right person. For example, these low-slung pups are known to have back problems, so it might behoove a veterinarian to have a table at the festival: that way concerned canine parents would have someone to talk to about potential health issues. That same vet would be smart to give away Dachshund calendars with his clinic’s logo and contact information because anyone who cares enough to go to an even celebrating the breed would definitely want a year’s worth of cute sausage dog photos, thus giving him 12 months of exposure.

The event is held as a benefit for Dachshund Rescue South Florida, meaning that that organization is very visible during the festivities, but what about after? Well, I’d suggest that the rescue society give cute, imprinted t-shirts to any wiener dog that visits its booth during Winterfest. Owners seem to love dressing up these pups, so I’m willing to bet that they’d adorn their canine companions with those t’s at a later date. What a cute way for Dachshund Rescue to get their logo out and about!

Something like the South Beach Dachshund Winterfest is a highly specific event, but it still provides a great opportunity to distribute promotional marketing materials. Keep an eye out for similar opportunities near you – even underwater basket weavers need marketing!

Did you know that the Dachshund has its own song? Appropriately called the “DachSong,” you can click on this YouTube video to hear it:

Badass Business Cards & Why to Give Them

James Franklin As I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog, I graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. The school is a member of the SEC and is not known for being a football powerhouse but, led by third-year head coach James Franklin, my beloved Commodores had a pretty great season this year, capped off by a top 25 ranking and a win in the Music City Bowl. Go Vandy!

I bring up my Vanderbilt football pride because I’m sure that my blog readers are unaware that this Miami native has such affection for a school in the Deep South, but my friends and family sure do! That’s why whenever Vandy makes the news for any reason my personal e-mail inbox is flooded with links. The most recent instance of this was when a photo of Coach Franklin’s card was tweeted – my husband and a few friends all sent me the image because it’s one cool card!

As businesspeople, we all have cards that we give out to other professionals, but I doubt that your card looks like the Coach’s. Take a gander at the picture above! I can’t prove it, but it sure looks like it is made out of a thin piece of metal – I doubt that cardstock could be perforated in such a way and still maintain its structure. I have to say, if someone handed me a metal card at a networking event, I’d remember him or her, and I’m sure that when Coach Franklin meets with prospective recruits, his card stands out to them as well (I doubt Steve Spurrier can say the same).

I know that a linebacker isn’t going to join the Commodores football team because he is so impressed by his coach’s card, but it is one more way for Franklin to make himself noticeable. And we can all learn from him in that regard by making our own cards stand out. They don’t have to be metal – I know that is probably expensive and difficult to carry around in a standard card case – but they can have an interesting texture, shape, or, heck, even a scent! Anything that differentiates your card from the others that your business prospects receive gives you an edge over the competition by making you memorable. So make like Coach Franklin and give out badass business cards!

I know scented business cards are farfetched, but I couldn’t help but include them because they brought to mind a funny scene from Legally Blonde – click on the YouTube video to watch the original trailer. You’ll see what I mean:

WTH Happened to Being Professional?

good grammar I was having a major case of writer’s block when it came to coming up with today’s blog topic, so I e-mailed a girlfriend for ideas. She responded immediately suggesting that I write about professionalism because she had just received a LinkedIn message that read, “what’s up? I’m doing well. When can we rock another event?” My friend, Kelly, is the event planner at one of New York’s largest law firms, so she’s no slouch – why, then, would this man address her in such an unprofessional way?!

I think the answer is obvious: we’re all used to e-mailing our friends and if you’re anything like me, those friendly notes are grammatically incorrect. And, like me, you might end up abbreviating words, making up new ones, and completely botching punctuation! On a recent string of e-mails between college friends I found “totes jelly” in place of “totally jealous,” “WTH” rather than “what the heck,” “adorbs” used to describe a cute pair of shoes, and a smattering of ¿’s thrown in for good measure. But, as I mentioned, this was an e-mail between me and four of my friends from Vanderbilt – four of my closest friends in the world, so we write this way to amuse ourselves!

While my goofy buddies and I write each other in the least professional ways possible, I know that when we get to the office we’re all business, which is why Kelly was horrified that a man with whom she has worked would contact her on the most professional social network in such an casual way. They are not close friends, so he should not have written to her like I might have. While it’s less fun than penning semi-gibberish, when you write anything for work – a letter, an e-mail, a fax, a memo, or even a tweet or blog post – keep the tone appropriate. Sure, interoffice e-mails can be more casual than those to which you’d send your clients (I’ve been known to include a 🙂 every now and again when communicating with the Gossett Marketing gang), and blogs are their own animal (and although they are more lighthearted than a memo, keep them clean and on point), but when you are in the office you should write office-appropriately. People will take you more seriously, you don’t run the risk of offending anyone who misconstrues your incorrect language, and, well, if you are a businessperson you should just communicate like one!

I understand being friendly with your clients, but there should be some boundaries. Unless you are writing to a customer who is actually your best friend, be sure to communicate like you’re profesh – er, a professional.

Marketing an Experience with Promotional Products

stock cars
My husband recently did something really cool – he went for a NASCAR ride-along at the Homestead Miami Speedway. It was a very unique experience that my parents had given him as a Christmas gift, so my dad and I went to watch (my mom chose not to watch just in case he crashed – she said she’d feel too guilty if she killed her son-in-law).

Anyhow, there was a lot of downtime as Nick (my husband) got suited up and had his rather-large head squished into a too-small helmet, so my dad and I wondered around the Speedway’s infield, which was a fun experience for us. What I noticed as we meandered through the crowds was the tremendous number of promotional products that people had purchased promotional products celebrating the fact that they had ridden-along at 150+ miles per hour or that they had driven a stock car on their own.

NASCAR fans are a very loyal bunch and they’re proud to support their favorite teams by wearing imprinted caps and t-shirts, so the company that organized the day – aptly called the NASCAR Racing Experience – was smart to bring a whole tractor trailer full of promo products. Surely the folks who participated at the track will wear their imprinted “150+ mile per hour club” shirts, which will most likely illicit questions from fellow race fans – “where’d you get that shirt?” “How did you get to drive a race car?” And that will, of course, lead to a conversation about The NASCAR Experience and how his fellow fan can do it too! Conveniently, The Experience travels all over the country, so even if the prospective participant was in town from, say, Charlotte, he would still have the opportunity to drive or ride in a very, very fast car!

Back to Nick, he had a blast riding along in a stock car. Check out the video that I uploaded to YouTube and you can see him as he prepares to climb in and you’ll also see people driving themselves around the track.

Networking Willpower

Willpower Every year I train for and run in the ING Miami Half Marathon. Some years of training are better than others and, much to my dismay, this hasn’t been my best go-round – my running just isn’t clicking for me after 10 miles. Although I’ve been tempted to stop torturing myself over the past few months, I actually lead a half marathon training group and doing so would have let them down, so I’ve stuck with the program (and have two missing toenails to prove it!).

I’m actually fairly proud of myself for completing my training for this year’s ING Half, and this has motivated me to take a look at my life to see what else I might be tempted to give up on, but that would behoove me to see through to the finish. Other than losing those last five pounds, the one thing that really stuck out at me was my business networking. Yes, I attend events, but do I do enough after those events to really form a connection with them? In most cases I do, but I will admit that when it becomes difficult to reach someone I have certainly been guilty of giving that relationship up as a lost cause.

In theory I know that following a networking event, I need to take all of the contact information that I received, plug it into my Outlook, and write a quick personal note or make a short call to each person in order to further our bond. I do that 100% of the time, but if I don’t reach a person or if she opts not to respond to my e-mail, well, let’s just say that I don’t bat 1,000 in those cases. You see, I’m busy! In addition to networking, I have accounts that need their promotional marketing products, and it’s my job to select, price, and sell those to them! Thus, when I don’t hear back from someone that I’ve met at a luncheon or some such, building a bond with her often either slips my mind or I run out of time to reach out to her again. I know it’s a silly reason to lose a potential customer, but I’m sure that everyone reading this blog has forgotten or lacked the time to diligently follow up with someone for months after a networking event. However, much like I’ve made myself to keep up my long runs this year, I am going to use my own force of will to continue to contact potential customers until I get that meeting (dammit!). No, it’s not fun and yes, it takes a lot of time, but just like I know I’ll get through the 13.1 miles that I will be running on Sunday, I know that I can power through my follow-ups and get that new customer!

A Great Tribute that’s Great Marketing

ray lewis baltimore ravens
I am a Miami native and my husband works for the University of Miami, so although I didn’t attend UM, I am a pretty ardent Hurricanes fan. As such, I tend to pay attention when I hear about The U’s famous alums – and one of those has been in the news quite a bit lately. In case you missed it, Ray Lewis, who played for UM from 1993-1995, recently announced that he will retire from the NFL at the end of the season. Well, fortunately for his fans his team, the Baltimore Ravens, has gone deep into the playoffs! One Baltimore hotel is using this as an opportunity to celebrate Lewis’s career, the team’s success, and to gain a fair bit of publicity.

Before every home game, Ray Lewis famously eats a clump of turf and dances “the squirrel.” He slides left and right, sort of wiggles, and then roars in excitement – his signature dance has been pumping up Baltimore crowds for 17 years! Well, the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront has created a laser light show of the squirrel, which is being projected onto the side of the building nightly until the linebacker’s last game. It’s a remarkably accurate rendition, and I for one think that it’s a great tribute to the star. It also happens to be turning the side of their building into a giant movie screen – a screen that also happens to display the hotel chain’s logo. The display is attracting locals, tourists, and the national media (I read about the laser show on Yahoo). If you ask me, the hotel is turning itself into a kind of promotional marketing product for itself!

Whether you love or loathe Ray Lewis, his dance is undeniably fun and I know I’ll miss seeing it. Click on this YouTube video and you too can enjoy “the squirrel” as a laser show:

Unexpected Networking Opportunities are Everywhere

casa larios south miami
In several past blog posts, I’ve mentioned that I am part of a running group and that I find it to be an excellent networking tool. We spend hours together – and we’re not the type of people who just run side by side while listening to our own iPods. We actually pass the time by chit-chatting! You’d be amazed at how well you can get to know someone when you talk to them for 14 miles, so it’s no wonder that we’re always sure to utilize each other’s services. A realtor has sold a house to a fellow runner, the attorney of the group has added clients, and the masseur has rubbed us all down! So yeah, I think my running group a great way to expand my business network. But after we run, I’ve discovered networking inspiration.

Post-run my group always heads to Casa Lario’s for café con leche and Cuban toast (the best, butteriest post-run grub there is!). Lario’s is a large restaurant in the heart of South Miami that is truly bustling place on Saturday mornings. Generally speaking, every member of our group knows at least one person and introduces him or her to the rest of us – I’ve met a lot of big-name Miamians this way. Interestingly, while I know that many of the people I meet at Lario’s are important, it’s such a casual environment that I never feel intimated and often spend a good amount of time talking to them. Now, I don’t know if I’m comfortable in this unique networking situation because I’m surrounded by my running friends so I have an instant ice breaker or if it’s because it’s Saturday morning breakfast – everyone is casual (some of us are sweaty) and we’re all just there for a strong cup of coffee, not to start business relationships. Whether it’s one or the other or a combination of the two, it’s certainly a great, if unplanned, networking opportunity every weekend.

Whether or not you’re a runner who likes to eat Cuban food for breakfast on a weekly basis, I’ll bet you have your own spontaneous networking opportunities. Do you frequent a particular restaurant? If so, then you probably know the other regulars and often get to meet the friends that they bring to dinner. Do you walk to your car with the same person every day after work? Chances are that you can introduce him to an acquaintance when you all cross paths.

There are tons of opportunities every day for this kind of unplanned networking. And when an encounter is unexpected and casual, hopefully everyone involved will be relaxed and, well, normal, which isn’t always the case at a typical networking event. I’m not saying that any of these meetings are going to start meaningful business relationships, but you never know! I am certainly going to stick to my Saturday morning ritual of a run and Cuban toast at Casa Lario’s, so I’ll let you know what happens!

Fun fact: Casa Lario’s is owned by Gloria and Emilio Estefan! Click on this YouTube video and do the conga!

Cheers to Smart Promotional Marketing

Moet & Chandon Moet & Chandon considers itself to be the “Champagne of Cinema,” so it’s no surprise that the legendary champagne house would be a prominent sponsor of one of Hollywood’s biggest nights, the Golden Globe Awards. Moet was the official champagne of the evening, and if you watched even a few minutes of the ceremony, then you almost certainly saw the magnum bottles of Imperial placed in ice buckets at the center of star-studded dining tables. These large format bottles were wisely placed so that TV viewers and attendees couldn’t help but see them – it was a great marketing strategy that made the champagne visible to millions, even as it enhanced the brand’s cache by associating it with movie stars!

While I was struck by Moet’s marketing method in the official Golden Globe’s telecast, I was equally impressed with how the brand used the red carpet arrivals to its advantage. As I’m sure you well know, the red carpet is where stars give quick interviews and show off their designer duds. Unlike the broadcast of the actual awards ceremony, the red carpet is shown on various channels, so it most likely reaches a broader (and wider-ranging) audience. Well, the team at Moet did not let that fact escape them, and they brought their product to the people of the red carpet! Obviously it would be difficult to have someone lug a magnum of champagne around outside, so they went in the opposite direction, handing out mini bottles and flute-shaped toppers imprinted with their logo, designed to make sipping bubbly easy. Now, I didn’t see any TV or movie stars guzzling miniature bottles of champagne, but I absolutely noticed the people standing behind them doing just that – and because I spotted the flute-like bottle toppers, I immediately knew whose champagne they were enjoying.

As a luxury brand, it’s smart of Moet & Chandon to try to associate itself with A-list celebrities, and its sponsorship of the Golden Globes left no stone unturned in doing just that. Ultimately, the company’s product – fine champagne – and the promotional product that it distributed – the aforementioned flute-shaped bottle toppers – were all the marketing the brand needed to reach a wide audience of Golden Globes viewers.

A Bad Game that was Good for Miami

bcs championship game miami In case you missed it, the BCS National Championship Game was held in Miami on January 7th. As a native Miamian, I was unhappy with the teams who played. Notre Dame and the University of Miami had a heated rivalry through my childhood – the games were touted as “Catholics vs. Convicts,” which didn’t sit well with Miami fans! And Nick Saban, Alabama’s coach, was previously with the Miami Dolphins. He told reporters numerous times that he wasn’t going to take the Alabama job – then he did. He’s not loved here in town. So it’s easy to see why people down here in Miami dubbed the game the “Pick Your Poison Bowl!” But, as unhappy as we were by the participants and the outcome, what we were thrilled about was the money and exposure that it brought to South Florida.

Early January is a chilly time of year – everywhere but here: it’s actually prime beach time in Miami! I think that, aside from the game itself, our warm winter climate was a huge draw for fans of both Alabama and Notre Dame. The game gave them an excuse to come for a visit, but I’d be willing to bet that many of them tacked a few extra days onto their trip so that they could thaw out before heading back north. Those who made a long weekend of the BCS Game were great for our local economy. They spent their days eating and drinking at locally-owned restaurants, they shopped at our stores, and they bedded down in hotels – tens of thousands of additional tourists spending their money in our city is a boon!

Not only did local businesses profit immediately from the BCS Championship Game, but because it gave our town such excellent national publicity, hopefully it will inspire the tourists to keep coming. The national exposure came a number of ways. First, word of mouth. I can guarantee you that the visitors who came for the game posted about Miami on Twitter, Facebook, and the like. Boastful tweets about sunbathing in January surely garnered attention from their followers, and brought South Florida to mind – that’s a good thing for us. Aside from word of mouth, ESPN broadcast a wonderful video about the melting pot that is Miami just prior to the game. It showed that, while we do have excellent beaches and nightlife, there’s also some culture down here! Learning that there is more to do than barhop might make those who were hesitant to visit a known party city more apt to do so.

As you can see, even though we disliked the teams competing in the BCS National Championship Game, hosting it was great for Miami. A huge nationally-relevant event is outstanding for the economy where it is held, plus it garners excellent marketing exposure. So come back anytime, BCS! Just bring teams we actually like next time, OK?

In case you missed it, you can click on the YouTube video below to see highlights from the game:


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