Thank Those Who Refer You

If you’ve ever read this section of our blog before, then you probably know that the Gossett Marketing team is very involved with networking. We do so through our local chamber of commerce, running and golf groups, and more recently via Twitter and other online channels. You get it: we’re out there, we network, and we want you to do the same! So what if you are already a networking pro? How can we help you take it further?

Well, if you are networking successfully then certainly you are getting referrals. You’ve met so many business contacts through your efforts and you have made such a great impression on them that they want to help you grow. I sincerely hope that this is the case, and if it is, then kudos to you! Other than assisting the individuals and companies to whom you’ve been referred, what do you do when you’ve received a glowing recommendation from a business contact? One thing that I like to do is to say thank you with a hand written note and a gift – nothing extravagant, just a token of appreciation that makes me stand apart from the pack.

One gift that I’m loving right now is a nice metal pen inscribed with my referrer’s name. Sure, you can give them something that is imprinted with your company’s logo, but personalizing the pen helps to ensure that they do not lose it, plus it shows that you took the time to think about them – you’re not just giving out a promotional product that is taking up space in your gift closet.

If you know your referrer very well, then you can give him or her something more personal. Does he enjoy wine? Then what about a pretty corkscrew or bottle stopper? Or if she’s a golfer, then a ball marker would come in handy. Maybe she talks about her dog all of the time – get Fido a colorful bandana! The world is your oyster, I’d just be sure to have any of these items imprinted with your company’s name to keep you top of mind.

If an individual takes the time to refer you and your services to his or her business contact, then certainly he or she deserves a thank you. If a thank you and a smile go far, then think about how much your referrer will appreciate a thank you and a gift! And every time they use that present, you and your company will come to mind.

referral

July 4th Promotional Products

Apron

The 4th of July is coming up. Of course it is a day in which we all celebrate the birth of our nation, but it can also be a day to celebrate your brand! Give your customers and employees one (or more) of the promotional products listed below – they’re perfect on the 4th and all summer long:

Caps: protect your customers’ skin with an embroidered cap.
– Beach Towels: your logo can be huge on these!
– Sunglasses: it’s always great to have an extra pair.
– Coolers: ideal for picnics or days at the beach.
– BBQ Tools: yes, you can put your logo on these too! Great for, well, barbecues!
– Hand Fan: they’re inexpensive and have a large imprint area.
– Sunblock: put your logo on high quality sunblock, something everyone should use.
– Matches and Lighters: your employees have to light their grill and sparklers.
– Koozies: they work for beer or soft drinks.

If you’d like some additional ideas, contact the Gossett Marketing team! Have a safe and happy Independence Day!

And to get you excited about the holiday, watch this amazing fireworks display on YouTube:

Bolster Your Business Card

Business Cards

To me, networking events can be overwhelming. I meet dozens of new contacts in a short period of time, and, not being particularly good at remembering names or details of new people in general, I often find it difficult to recall too much about a person once he or she walks away. That’s why I love individuals with good business cards.

I like a card that gives me more than just a company’s name, person’s name, and his or her contact information. Give me a clue about what you do! For instance, my card tells you that I am an Account Executive at Gossett Marketing and that we deal in “Creative Promotions & Products.” It also indicates the professional organizations with which we are affiliated – Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, Advertising Specialty Institute, Promotional Products Information Center, etc. You get the drift.

Aside from content, I love unique designs that make me take notice of my new contacts’ business cards. I recently received one that had a space for notes on the back – no more writing tiny, later-illegible notes to myself! Some have beautiful graphics that are spot varnished. Those are always memorable to me. Others are in unusual sizes or shapes. That style of card isn’t my favorite because it won’t fit in my business card holder, but it does stand out, and there’s something to be said for differentiating yourself. And I actually once received a nail file that served as someone’s card: it’s still in my handbag!

Your business card might be the only thing that your new contact can remember about you, so it should make an impact. Keep that in mind the next time you re-order!

Do your cards stand out? If so, please tell us why in the comments below.

Great Promotional Marketing Tool

UM Sunglasses
Although we try to make it as easy as possible, I understand that purchasing promotional marketing products can sometimes seem like a daunting task. You’re generally buying thousands of items at once, so you definitely want to get it right! No one wants 2,500 bags in a color that clashes with their logo! The good news is, we are now able to provide “virtual samples” prior to your order. These virtuals show a particular product, in the color that you prefer, with your company’s logo in the location and colors that you’re considering.

Virtual samples are a great tool that we can offer, at no cost, for most of our promotional products. So if you like to look before you leap, ask your friendly Gossett Marketing representative for virtual samples prior to placing your order!

If you look above, you can see a virtual that we provided the University of Miami for some really fabulous sunglasses. The virtual below was for Royal Caribbean International – it’s a notebook with several different imprint methods. Pretty cool, huh?

If you’d like to see some virtual samples for items that you’re interested in, leave a comment below or shoot us an e-mail!

Royal Caribbean Notebook

Connecting People via Twitter

Connecting People If you’ve ever read this blog, then you know that I love Twitter. I love that it lets me connect Gossett Marketing to people all over the world so that we can learn from one another. I love that, even though we don’t know each other in the real world, I interact with so many people who I consider to be friends. I just really love it! One of my favorite aspects of Twitter is the #FF mention. For those of you who are unfamiliar with micro-blogging, a #FF mention is a tweet that someone sends out to his followers to suggest that they follow you. These messages are typically sent out on Fridays, which is why the alliterative hashtag abbreviation was born.

Not to brag, but our Twitter handle, @marketngtidbits, tends to get a decent number of #FF mentions each week. The vast majority are from our aforementioned Twitter friends, and they often give a reason as to why they think their followers might be interested in following us. For example, last week someone #FF’d us and a couple of other Twitter handles and suggested that people follow all of us for marketing information. Another friend said that his followers should check us out because he thinks we’re engaging. These people use their #FF messages as min introductions, which I think is the best way to handle the hashtag.

Then there are people who send out dozens of #FF mentions for no reason. These tend to be long lists of names – maybe a dozen if space allows – that give absolutely no reason for following the individuals who are included. When I see those lists, even if they’re from a fellow Tweeter who I respect, I almost always ignore them. If you don’t take the time to write down why I should follow them, then, well, why should I follow this huge list of people? If you’re at a networking event and you introduce one associate to another, do you simply state their names and walk away? Probably not – I’ll bet you give a little bit of background, even if it’s just a sentence or two. You should do the same thing on Twitter! You can say even less (literally just a couple of words), and it goes a long way towards making your #FF introductions more meaningful.

Remember, the key to being successful on Twitter is to act like a human. Just because you’re on a computer, your networking should still feel personal. So for #FF mentions or any other interaction, put the “social” back into “social media” networking!

Wacky Promotional Products

Sports Drink Dispensers

If you’ve ever read the “Promotional Marketing Tips” section of our blog, then you probably know that I’m a big advocate of promotional products that are useful, but also those that are distinctive. For the most part, I think that giveaways should be handy because the more times a logoed promo item is utilized, the more times your logo will be exposed to new audiences. However, not every practical product is going to be used because, well, sometimes practical can be dull. Take a white t-shirt as an example: it is certainly functional, but it’s pretty boring – this might not entice its recipient to wear it, so your marketing dollars are wasted.

As you can see, the majority of the time I (like everyone at Gossett Marketing) advocate taking a unique-but-useful approach to promotional products. But every now and again I like to throw you a curveball – a totally wacky promo item that enhances your marketing because it’s a weird conversation piece, not because it’s practical at all. And boy do I have one of those for you today!

While perusing the most recent Advantages magazine, Danette stumbled across a sports themed drink tube. It’s a drink dispenser with a 100 oz. capacity that is designed to showcase a particular sport. You’ll notice that the image above has a football helmet for a base, but there are also hockey, baseball, and basketball options. Now, I’m sure that these dispensers aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I think that they are excellent giveaways for teams. I can imagine the Miami Dolphins or Miami Marlins putting their logos on the base of the football or baseball versions, respectively, and giving them to season ticket buyers to either utilize at their tailgate parties or to simply have at home – perhaps in their “man caves” or memorabilia rooms. Whether they are taken to events or they sit on a shelf, they’re going to attract attention, which will definitely get the teams’ logos noticed by sports fans – and maybe that will motivate them to, in turn, buy their own tickets!

I truly believe that the majority of your company’s promotional marketing budget should be spent on practical but distinctive items; however, it doesn’t hurt to go a little crazy every now and again. Maybe sports-themed drink dispensers aren’t for you, but I know that, no matter what your industry, there is something fun and unique out there that can serve as a conversation piece and enhance your marketing!

Disconnect to Connect at Networking Events

Smart Phones We live in a very digitally connected world. I get it, we all have smart phones that allow us to talk, text, check e-mails, browse the web, post to Facebook, Tweet – it’s a huge amount of technology in the palms of our hands. I’m not going to lie, I’m addicted to my iPhone and find myself reaching for it more often than I should, and at times when I probably shouldn’t; however, there are certain times when I feel like playing on my phone is vastly inappropriate. One such time is at networking events.

I was at a networking breakfast not too long ago where a speaker was on the podium for far too long. I’ll admit that he was boring and that the information that he presented wasn’t groundbreaking, but I was there, and I guess my mom raised me right because I tried to give him my undivided attention. It’s the golden rule – treat others as you would like to be treated – and if I was giving a boring speech at the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, then I’d want those in attendance to pay attention to what I was saying! Well, I guess that most of the attendees missed that lesson because the vast majority were bowed over the smartphones that they had quasi-concealed in their laps.

Once the presentation had concluded, we had the opportunity to continue networking with those around us and I have to say that I really wasn’t interested in connecting with the people who had ignored the speaker. My first impression of them was that they were rude and self-important – too good to spend 20 minutes away from their smart phones and pay attention (or fake paying attention) to the gentleman who was presenting to the organization – so why would they bother with the likes of me? And, more importantly, why would anyone from the Gossett Marketing team want to deal with them?

I know, I know, I’m on a soap box ranting about technology to which I freely admitted I’m addicted. I’ll get off in a second, but I just want to hammer home my point. There is a time and a place for everything, and a networking event is neither the time nor the place for your smart phone! Use these events as an opportunity to connect with other attendees – and to disconnect from the digital world for an hour.

How to Give Effective Promotional Products

Lip Balm I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: when you give away logoed promotional products, be sure to give away items that your customers will actually use. That way, they will see your company’s logo whenever they utilize the gift you’ve given them, and, better yet, if they have it with them in public, then they will be marketing your company all around town!

If you regularly read Gossett Marketing’s blog, then you know that I always recommend imprinted bags as giveaways. I also tout the virtues of embroidered polo shirts, brand name merchandise, and even water bottles – they are all items that individuals appreciate and put to good use. Some other great promotional marketing products are truly indispensable: consider giving away toiletry items.

It sounds weird to say that you should give away logoed toiletries, but I’m not talking about imprinted nail polish (although that is an option!). The cosmetic products that I like are things like lip balm, packets of sunscreen, and even hand sanitizers. These are unisex items that people actually carry around with them and use in public, so if they have a snazzy imprint on them, then they will catch the eye of those around the user. The latter two items (sunscreen and hand sanitizers) are also frequently shared – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used a spritz of another person’s sanitizer spray. When that happens, your logo is literally in the hands of another potential customer. You can’t ask for better marketing!

Not only are toiletry products useful promotional marketing tools, but they’re also inexpensive! So the next time you need a fun giveaway that will give your logo exposure time and again, consider one of these fabulous items.

Just for kicks, click on this YouTube video, which shows “beauty tips” from Ursula, the sea witch from Disney’s The Little Mermaid:

Brand the Sand: A Fun Summer Item

Flip Flops

Even though it is only May, it already feels like summer here in Miami. The days are long, the sun is bright, and it is hot. So hot, in fact, that I am planning on hitting the beach this weekend- a nice dip in the ocean will refresh this overheated blogger!

A great perk to working at Gossett Marketing is the fun, branded samples that we receive. One of my favorites is a pair of rubber Havaianas-style sandals that we had made for the Orange Bowl a year or so ago. They’re black and have silver “Obie” logos. Subtle but cute! And you can bet that they will be on my feet when I hit the sand on Saturday.

While I love our Orange Bowl flip flops, I wish we had added one thing to them. If I had my way, we would have carved their logo out of the sole of each sandal. That way, when the wearer walked on the beach a logo imprint would have been imprinted in the sand. Imagine giving your customer sandals that literally branded the beach for you! If that person was on Miami Beach, then thousands of viewers could potentially see your company name. It’s a creative promotional product that is ideal for the summer – what an impression custom-soled flip flops could make! (Sorry for the bad pun, I couldn’t help myself!)

Why Online Promo Products Stores?

photo from www.shumsky.com

photo from www.shumsky.com

As any reader of this blog well knows, I work at Gossett Marketing and we are a promotional products distributorship located in Coconut Grove, Florida. That means that we sell the imprinted promo items that keep your logo in front of your customer 24/7. Traditionally promos are sold when we talk to a customer, determine the type of product that they need, make suggestions, secure the order, process it, and have it delivered. Pretty straightforward. Well, we’ve found a way to make ordering even easier – by offering our customers their own online promotional products stores!

Online stores can work a couple of ways. One is to have a traditional internet-based marketplace where imprinted promotional products are sold directly to the public. So if someone is particularly passionate about, say, a hotel chain, they would be able to buy its branded items. The other way to handle a promotional products online store is to create one that is for a company’s internal use: this is the way we have been creating and utilizing them lately.

We do a lot of work for large, decentralized companies. They all have their own marketing departments who determine their logo standards, but very often that information is slow to trickle to each and every affiliated entity. Therefore, although the organization is only supposed to give away promotional products with its logo imprinted in a specific PMS purple color, very often the distant branches might miss the memo and give away orange-logoed pens. That’s not great for creating a consistent brand, which is why a corporate online store is an excellent way to ensure continuity.

When we set up online stores we tend to work with an organization’s marketing department to select appropriate promotional items – very often it’s hundreds per store! – so that when it is mandated that their promo products must be ordered through the online store they know each item lives up to brand standards. Additionally, when we sit down with a marketing department to better understand the types of items they feel comfortable imprinting with their company’s logo we are also able to learn more about their logos. So when a distant branch wants that pen with an orange imprint, we can nip that in the bud pronto!

Whether you are interested in selling your promotional marketing materials directly to the public or if you would just like for those types of items to consistently reflect your brand standards, you should definitely consider taking the plunge and setting up an online store!

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