Blogging Ideas

photo from ideachampions.com

photo from ideachampions.com

This category of the blog is called “Everyday Life Vignettes,” meaning that I can write about anything rather than having to stick to our usual topics. Because it’s so open I can usually come up with tons of topics – just not this week. As always when I run out of blogging ideas I was rooting around online to see what I could come up with, which is when I came across an article on LinkedIn in which Darren Rowse shares tons of excellent ideas for business blogs. I am certainly going to use his suggestions the next time I have writer’s block (so…next week), but I thought I’d share the entire post with you today.

Click here and check it out!

Networking Isn’t Just Meeting Customers

Networking Events
In building your business network, it’s tempting to attend events in an effort to strictly meet customers. If you’re trying to expand your company’s reach and pump up the bottom line, then that’s what you ultimately need to do, so why not just network with that in mind, right? I mean, I guess that’s technically correct, but I don’t think that networking is just an opportunity to meet customers; rather, it is a chance to gain knowledge.

I don’t know about you, but I have very often found myself having my best conversations at networking events with people with whom I know I won’t do business. I honestly do not know why that’s the case – maybe we’re both more relaxed in that situation? Whatever the reason, it happens. And the good thing is that those conversations and the relationships that grow out of them are not just throwaways. They are actually good opportunities to give and receive referrals and to just pick each other’s brains.

For example, I might meet someone who is just starting out in her field – let’s say she’s opening a medical practice. I might not know anyone who is in immediate need of her specialty, and she might not think that she needs promotional products, but we can both help each other. For example, I could give her ideas as to how to market her business on a limited budget, and she might be able to get me into a doctor who I had been unable to see for whatever reason. Now, her end of the bargain might not help me improve my business, but it sure is handy to have that kind of a resource!

White Hot Promotional Products

photo from snapbackswebsite.com

photo from snapbackswebsite.com

In 2003, the Miami Heat began giving away promotional t-shirts to every fan at the team’s playoff games. That year the t-shirts were black because the Heat were “Back in Black.” And every time we (I’m a fan so I say “we”) have reached the playoffs since then, we have adopted a certain color for fans to wear. As I said, it started off as black, but then it moved to red, and in the 2005-2006 postseason, the White Hot Heat was born.

Initially the White Hot promotion involved the team giving away t-shirts so that everyone in the arena was wearing the same thing – creating a very united fan base. Well, the Heat has been White Hot for so long now that they don’t necessarily have to give t-shirts for fans to show up wearing white. It’s just a part of the Heat culture! In fact, rather than giving shirts, now the Heat sells them – and they account for over a third of the team’s retail revenue! Talk about putting a promotional marketing product to work!

My White Hot team is back in the playoffs, and even when I’m not at the games I wear white when they play. So does everyone else I know! The team’s t-shirts were not just great marketing pieces, they changed our culture as a fan base, and continue to make a lot of money for the organization. Check out this article from Forbes for a more detailed account as to how they worked!

Seasonal Sales Boost Business

photo from shopcoralgables.com

photo from shopcoralgables.com

Coral Gables Restaurant Week is starting soon. It is an annual, city-wide dining event where participating restaurants offer 3 course prix fixe menus at a reduced rate.

Summer is a slow time in South Florida. It’s hot and muggy, so there are fewer tourists, and even locals try to leave town as often as possible. That’s why Restaurant Week is a terrific promotion for everyone involved: restaurants attract customers, and diners get a fabulous and inexpensive dining experience. Plus, I’ll bet some diners will like their meals so much that they’ll become regular patrons of a new dining establishment.

Seasonal promotions are a great tactic. We give our customers great pricing on promotional products year-round, but this time of year we like to give special deals on fun outdoor items – caps, sunscreen, and beach towels all come to mind. Our customers love these deals, and they’re great for business. Does your company do any special, seasonal sales? If so, tell us about them in the comments below.

The Gossett Marketing team is going to celebrate Gables Restaurant Week with a trip to Anacapri on Ponce tonight – yum!

A Successful Business Promotion Is Key to Growth

photo from salespromotions.org

photo from salespromotions.org

Last week I wrote a piece about how we here at Gossett Marketing practice what we preach in that we give away logoed promotional products, just like we tell our clients to do. Well, great minds must think alike because I was perusing our sister site SalesPromotions.org and I noticed that Danette had also written a post about our promo items. Hers focuses less on the items themselves and more about the reason for giving them away. Namely, to keep our name top of mind with our customers, which makes them great networking tools. There is no sense in reinventing the wheel, so click here and head over to that site to check out her thoughts on our promotional items and how they help us build our business.

Top 10 Personal Promo Items

Promotional Products
People always ask me to name my favorite promotional marketing items, and it’s kind of hard to narrow it down because there are just so, so many different things out there.  So when pressed, rather than give a general list I like to share my favorite items for certain types of people – think techies, sports enthusiasts, etc.  So here are my favorite promotional products are ideal for your on-the-go customers. They will get a lot of great use out of them, and in doing so they’ll also be showing the world your logo!

1. Umbrellas – useful and they have a lot of room for your logo
2. First Aid Kits – who couldn’t use a few extra bandaids?
3. Water Bottles – these can be small, large, stainless steel, or BPA free plastic
4. Nail files – personally, I have one in every handbag
5. Bags – as simple as cinch bags or as nice as brand name luggage
6. Travel Pillow/Blanket – a thoughtful gift for weary travelers
7. Stadium Cushions – perfect for Florida Marlins games
8. Notebooks/Agendas – busy people need to stay organized
9. Pedometers – help your customers stay fit and let them flaunt your logo
10. Hand Sanitizer – gel, lotion, spray, foam, or wipes

What is your favorite on-the-go item? Please let me know in the comments below.

Just to Make You Laugh

photo from wikipedia.org

photo from wikipedia.org

As a promotional products distributorship, Gossett Marketing has great relationships with a lot of our top suppliers. So great, in fact, that rather than make us travel to our industry’s tradeshows, our “top guys” come to us to show off their new products. It’s a great way to review new items, ask really specific questions, and figure out what items would be ideal for our customers. It’s also fun because our supplier reps are all just great! They talk business with us, but they also know all about us personally, and we know a lot about them. What I’m getting at is that there is a lot of chit-chatting in our meetings, so weird things sometimes come up, and not too long ago one of our reps told us about a YouTube clip that made her laugh – it’s a couple of minutes worth of Family Feud footage, and it is hilarious!

So just for laughs, here is the video in question – I hope it makes you laugh like it does the whole Gossett team. Enjoy!

Overly-Simple Networking Tip: Have a Good Handshake

photo from cynthiaburnham.com

photo from cynthiaburnham.com

When we were little girls my sister and I attended cotillion at the local country club. I think Helen, my sister, enjoyed it, but it was the bane of my existence. Part of the problem was probably the fact that Helen’s class was always short on girls, so I’d have to dance through my class and then participate in hers too – no fair! We also had to wear gloves, which was probably good because it protected us from the boys’ cooties, but I always felt like a dope wearing them. Long story short, cotillion was not my cup of tea. Although I didn’t like taking cotillion classes, I must say that they did teach me some things. I can box step with the best of them, I know the difference between a foxtrot and a waltz, and I have a good handshake.

I attend a good number of networking events and go to my fair share of meetings, so I shake a lot of hands on a weekly basis. I’m shocked at how many people – men and women alike – are bad at it! Some people give you those awkward, limp-wristed hand holds. Others try to break your bones. Or there’s the old pull-her-shoulder-out-of-the-socket violent hand pumping. And so many people just neglect to make eye contact while shaking hands. Weird.

To go back to cotillion, the very first thing they taught us was how to properly shake hands. You see, to walk into the ballroom to begin our lessons, the boys and girls made single-file lines and walked in as couples, where we were greeted by two parents who served as chaperones. We then shook hands with those grownups and introduced ourselves. If our handshakes were lacking, then they told us how to change them and we did it again. This is where I learned to have a firm (but not too firm) grip, not to be overly aggressive in my motions, and most importantly, to make eye contact. Those rules stuck, and I think I’m a darn good hand shaker to this day!

I might be overly-critical of other people’s handshakes, but they do make an impression. Chances are that you a good hand-shaker too (it certainly isn’t a difficult skill to perfect), but if not, work on it. It really does make a difference at networking events, meetings, and just life in general!

Promos: Practicing What We Preach

Self Promos
As Account Director here at Gossett Marketing, it is my job to tell people (my blog readers included) about why they should purchase and give away promotional products imprinted with their own logos. If you read this blog or attend meetings or networking events with me, you might say that I beat you over the head with info on promos, but I really do believe that they work. Well, I thought that today I would take the opportunity to let you know that I/we here at Gossett practice what we preach. Our offices are loaded with our own promotional items and we give them out wherever we go, but if you haven’t had the opportunity to receive any of our promo gifts I thought I’d fill you in on what we like to give out. Here is our most recent lineup of promotional products:

  • Hand Sanitizers – We have two hand sanitizer sprays in our present arsenal. I recommend giving away the FDA-approved variety that has 62% alcohol, that way anyone, even healthcare professionals, can use it. It’s a great promo gift because people carry it around and see our logo whenever they use it.
  • Sunglasses – Ours are goofy because they have imprints on the lenses, but any logoed sunglasses are great items to give away. People can always use a spare pair in their car, and whether they have a logo on the lens or something more subtle on the arm, the recipient will appreciate you when they need them.
  • Pens – Writing instruments are always excellent promos. Even in this digital age, I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t pick up a pen or pencil every single day (or hundreds of times per day if they are like me). People also pass them along, so who knows how many pairs of eyes could see your logo before it runs out of ink?
  •  Microfiber Cleaning Cloths – Cleaning cloths are great for glasses, but they also work for all of the handheld electronics that we carry around. I most frequently use mine on the touchscreen display in my car, which gets filthy very quickly. No matter how they are used, though, it’s great that they can be printed all across one side in high quality digital images – you’d be hard pressed to find a detail too small to print cleanly on microfiber.
  •  Flashlights – We are located in Miami, and hurricane season is just around the corner, so we give flashlights to help our customers prepare for that eventuality. I particularly like the ones that we have currently because they are magnetized, so you can stick them on something metal and they stay put. Handy!
  •  Lip Balm – Much like hand sanitizer, lip balm makes a great giveaway in that people carry it around and use it. Thus, they see your logo time after time.
  •  Mini Desk Kits – I don’t know about you, but I can never find a paperclip when I need one, which is why I think our mini desk kits are nice things to give customers. They are short rulers filled with clips and sticky notes. I like that our customers can keep them on their desk all of the time and easily spot our contact info.
  •  Notebooks – I could ramble on and on about our promos, but I’ll stop with this one. It’s actually my favorite thing right now. We have refillable orange notebooks that are imprinted in such a way that our logo appears to be glowing. The picture above does not do it justice, but trust me when I tell you that it looks like a neon sign in person. Very cool, and everyone who has received one has inquired about ordering their own.

So yes, we certainly do follow our own advice. Promotional products are an excellent marketing tool and you should use them just like we do!

Twitter to the Rescue!

photo from mobilemarketingwatch.com

photo from mobilemarketingwatch.com

Much like yesterday, I was faced with a lack of blog ideas today. Fortunately, Twitter came to the rescue! Gossett Marketing’s friend Grant Tilus shared a great post from Rasmussen College’s blog, “How to Get Into Marketing: 3 Tips to Survive & Thrive.” It’s a piece geared at college students who are interested in making Marketing a career, but even if you are not a co-ed, it is still filled with valuable information!

Check out the article by clicking here.

Be sure to follow Grant on Twitter – @granttilus. He’s always sharing excellent marketing and educational information!

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