How to Effectively Grow Your Business at Trade Shows

photo from banner4sale.com

photo from banner4sale.com

Danette recently wrote a nice piece over on SalesPromotions.org. It’s about trade shows and the marketing that you should do before, during, and after that type of event. All of the information that she shared is great, but my takeaway is the importance of following up with people after the show. I think that very often you meet someone at a trade show, come up with a great idea, and then it just fizzles out because of a lack of communication afterwards. And I understand why that is the case – whether you are an exhibitor or an attendee, you meet an overwhelming number of people in those situations and it is just really tough to touch base with everyone after the fact. Take the time to do it!

I don’t know about you, but I treat trade shows like networking events (they kind of are anyways). One thing that I am sure to do is to take a card from everyone I meet and write down what we talked about at the show. That allows me to be specific in my follow-up, plus it saves me time because I’m not wracking my brain trying to figure out who so-and-so is and what we discussed. Easy!

Head on over to SalesPromotions.org and read the piece by clicking here. And if your come away with a different perspective than mine be sure to let me know in the comments below!

Promotional Birthday Gifts are Clever Marketing

photo from abbyofftherecord.com

photo from abbyofftherecord.com

I recently celebrated my 32nd birthday. The big 3-2 is by no means a milestone but I’ll take what I can get. What I noticed this year is that a lot of companies gave me birthday gifts. Very often these were discount coupons designed to get me to spend money in their establishment – a clever trick that certainly works on me. DSW, I’m headed your way! Other companies actually gave physical gifts: for instance, my exercise instructor handed me a free pair of logoed socks because I worked out there that day! Free socks that I not only wear while I exercise, but also very often on airplanes – hello, good marketing!

If you ask me, giving away promotional products to birthday boys and girls is a great idea. I was recently at the mall and I saw tons of little girls leaving the American Girl store with headbands that said, “It’s my Special Day!” That made them giddy little walking billboards for the brand who proudly showed off their hair accessories. Goofy headbands probably would not be the right gift idea for a grownup birthday, but if a company gave away something handy – even just a grocery tote or a pen with their logo on it – then I’m sure that an older person would appreciate and use it.

Another cute promotional products idea that both kids and kids-at-heart would enjoy would be a sweet treat. A chocolate dipped Oreo with your company’s name on it? You bet I want to eat that! And it’s a memorable gift, so it would bring the company to the top of my mind – and if I received one or two of those you can bet that I’d have fond feelings towards the organization who gave it.

Birthdays – even 32nd ones – are fun. So embrace the spirit and give your customers something to celebrate theirs. Not only will they appreciate it, but it’s great marketing!

White Hot Miami Heat Branding is Powerful

White Hot Heat Billboard

It’s official: South Florida is in a frenzy because the Miami Heat are in the postseason and they’re doing really well. I know that the Heat have been pegged as the villains of the NBA, but love us or hate us, you have to admit that they’re doing a great job of promoting their playoff run.

You see, the playoffs are being promoted as “White Hot,” thus we’re currently the “White Hot Heat.” If you’ve seen a home game on TV or in person, you’ll see that they’re really taking this slogan seriously. The seats in the American Airlines Arena are normally orangey, but they’re currently all garbed in white seat covers. Fans are asked to come dressed in white, plus everyone gets a white, logoed Heat t-shirt to wear during and/or after the game. It’s really interesting to see – the whole arena is white!

Not only that, but in the week leading up to the playoffs, anyone could show up at the arena and have a “White Hot Heat” decal adhered to their car’s back windshield. I am amazed by how many of these huge white stickers I see when I drive around the city.

The Heat are using these methods and several others to spread the word that they’re “White Hot,” and right now in Miami, there is no escaping that brand!

Do you like the “White Hot” promotion? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Put Yourself Out There

photo from zimbabweelection.com

photo from zimbabweelection.com

Yesterday Danette, fearless leader of the team here at Gossett Marketing, was on the radio. She was featured on JB Biz Line, a program on South Florida’s WBIG, 95.9 FM. Hosted by Andrea Johnbaptiste of Axum Management Capabilities, the show is designed to help businesses prosper, and yesterday’s topic was “Entrepreneurship: Staying the Course.”

While Danette has been interviewed for publications in the past, she hadn’t done a radio show until yesterday. It was a neat opportunity for her because her name, our company name, and her business expertise were broadcast across South Florida. Although this has not caused a huge swell in orders, it gives Danette and the company great exposure. Who knows, maybe the next times she attends a Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce event, someone will meet her and ask “why do I recognize your name?” Could be that it’s because he heard her on the radio, which will give her instant credibility in his eyes.

I think it’s a smart business practice to put yourself out there in a way that shows your expertise. Heck, that’s why I write this blog! A radio interview, while not a commonplace opportunity, is a fabulous opportunity to give yourself and your company excellent exposure. So do whatever you can to promote your business – even if public speaking, writing, or networking makes you nervous, just get out there and do it!

Wicked Marketing

Wicked

I recently saw the musical Wicked at the Broward Center for Performing Arts, and it was fabulous! For those of you who don’t know, “Wicked” tells the story of the Wicked Witch of the West – how she became, well, wicked!

The musical has some very devoted fans, and I saw more than one sporting a clever Wicked t-shirt (they really were funny, one had “defying gravity” written across the bust….get it?). Aside from those sporting their t-shirts, I saw many more audience members with shopping bags, so I went to investigate and discovered that the theater had no fewer than 5 kiosks selling promotional merchandise!

There were the aforementioned t-shirts, witch hats, flying monkey plush toys, umbrellas, posters, bags, and everything else under the sun. The Wicked logo was used every which way and was on every single item that they were selling – and boy were they selling! The funny thing is, I had never noticed their logo before, but now that I’ve seen it, I’m still seeing it everywhere. I passed someone wearing a Wicked button at a restaurant the other day! It just goes to show that your raving fans are your best means of advertising.

The Power of Being Nice

photo from brianlinton.com

photo from brianlinton.com

I’ve gotten several nice emails today. Nothing over the top, but people have taken a moment to thank me for something, to say that they appreciate my help, and one person even gave me a “you rock!” I’m not saying this to toot my own horn (or am I?!), I’m telling you about these friendly notes because of how they made me feel towards the senders. Frankly, receiving a kind word makes me like those people more!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not playing favorites among my customers but when someone who is really, really nice to me asks me to jump through hoops for them, I’m more likely to do it with a smile on my face and a nice word for them. I will go above and beyond for someone who’s less warm and fuzzy too, but I’ll probably be less warm and fuzzy about it myself. They’ll get service – but with less of a smile!

I started this blog post by thinking about the old adage “you attract more flies with honey than with vinegar,” and that’s true. But I also think spreading that “honey” also becomes reciprocal in nature. If you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you, you’ll be nice back, etc. It’s a good way to build a relationship – one that is based on mutual goodwill – and it isn’t terribly difficult to be kind to someone. As I said, all it takes for me is an appreciative email.

What do you do to build good rapport with your customers or vendors? Or are you strictly business and think that warm fuzziness is a waste of time? Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Exclusive Promotional Products Drive Demand

Umbrellas Masters

I wrote the post below about The Masters when I ended up watching it last year.  I guess I had blocked it out of my mind because I ended up with my husband’s iPad back in my hand this year – reviwing fun facts from what was probably the same list that I saw back then.  Hopefully you, like me, have forgotten what we learned back in 2013 and you’ll find this post fresh and exciting!  Who knew that you can’t find their promotional marketing items anywhere other than at the tournament?!

If you watched the 2013 Masters, then you know that the final round took place on a rainy Sunday at Augusta National Golf Club. I’m sure that most of the spectators who were there checked the weather before setting foot on the course, but as I watched Adam Scott win in a very close tie-breaker, I couldn’t help but marvel at the number of people in the gallery who were staying dry under golf umbrellas imprinted with The Masters iconic logo.

I was bored of watching golf by the time Scott and Angel Cabrera began the tie-breaker, so I mentioned to my husband the fact that I was sort of surprised that the spectators hadn’t thought to bring their own umbrellas to the tournament, choosing instead to purchase the $45.00 umbrellas. So my husband looked at me like I was crazy, typed something on his iPad, and handed it to me with a list of little-known-facts about The Masters. From the list, I learned that no one can have a cell phone on the course, so there is always a long line at the bank of payphones, that purchasing food there is surprisingly inexpensive, and that Masters-branded products can only be purchased at the tournament.

I was surprised by the fact that one can only buy promotional products with The Masters logo at the event – I know that I can buy a Heat t-shirt or a Dolphins jersey at various stores throughout Miami because, well, the teams like to make extra money! But apparently the money that the golf tournament brings in from its television contract lines the golf club’s coffers quite nicely, so it can afford to keep its promotional products ultra-exclusive. So exclusive, in fact, that you have to enter a lottery to even have the chance to purchase tickets, and only then can you buy a Masters umbrella, t-shirt, or cap! People are proud to have been to such an elite event, so they are willing to shell out $45.00 for an umbrella – it gives them bragging rights when they use it later.

Watch the YouTube video below of Adam Scott’s big Masters win – and check out all of the branded umbrellas in the background.

Creating a Promotional “Registry”

Baby Strollers
I am a frequent baby shower attendee. In fact, I went to one in Coral Gables just last weekend. I have no children of my own and I sat with another non-mother at last weekend’s shower, and as we listened to a new mom and one who is expecting discussing the merits of various strollers, we couldn’t help but laugh. As an outsider, it was amazing that these otherwise-sensible women seemed to have been brainwashed by the salespeople at various baby stores and were agonizing over the “right” carriage!

Thinking about it a few days later, I’ve realized that identify with the salespeople and, well, I don’t think they were brainwashing my friends at all. In reality, they were just trying to steer them in the right direction in what must be a pretty overwhelming situation. That’s actually what we here at Gossett Marketing try to do: we create promotional marketing “registries” to take some of the burden off of our customers. Rather than helping them with their diaper bags and onesies, we figure out which logoed desktop items, bags, and custom promotional pieces will help them best market their company in any situation.

Not being a mother, I’ve come to greatly appreciate and depend on registries as I shop for showers. That expert guidance makes it so much easier for me to pick the right thing! Fortunately, our customers have come to depend on our recommendations too. There is no need for them to pick blindly when we are here to assist them with their promotional marketing needs – we’re always happy to help them build their brands. What can we do for you? Let us know in the comments below!

How to Create Loyal Customers

photo from njmep.web13.hubspot.com

photo from njmep.web13.hubspot.com

Check out Danette’s new post over at SalesPromotions.org, in which she explains how to make – and keep – loyal customers. Loyalty programs are a very, very good thing if you have a business. Read all about it by clicking here.

Why Calendars are Always Timely Giveaways

photo from oncloudconine.wordpress.com

photo from oncloudconine.wordpress.com

I went to my first Miami Marlins game of the season recently and the free giveaway that the organization was handing out to attendees was a wall calendar featuring players’ images. A lot of my fellow fans thought this was an odd item to give out – it is, after all, already the second quarter of the year. But I have to say that I think a calendar is a good promotional marketing product any time!

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why people found a calendar to be a strange giveaway. If you are a wall calendar kind of person, then you probably buy yours every late December/early January, in time for the start of a new year. Makes sense! But if you think about it, the Marlins gave out their calendar at the start of baseball season – it’s their new year.

The team was smart about their calendar too. In addition to customizing the images, they also included the Marlins schedule, and the calendar runs from April 2014-March 2015, so they did not waste three months at the beginning of this year.

I happen to like calendars as giveaways any time of year. They are so customizable that your organization, like the Miami Marlins, can certainly find a way to tailor them to your product or service. And if your customers use them, then they will see your logo and information about your organization for the entire year to come. That’s darn good promotional marketing!

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