Promotional Products: A Marketing Double Whammy

photo from wsw.org.uk

photo from wsw.org.uk

You know what I’ve noticed lately? When people attend events where they receive lots of cool promotional marketing products, they tend to post pictures of said products to social media sites. For instance, I have lots of friends who live in Austin and several of them have photographed their SXSW swag, each and every piece of which features a prominent logo. So not only is the recipient of these goods seeing that logo, but so are all of his or her friends and followers. It’s a marketing double whammy!

The next time you consider buying promotional products, consider the fact that if you give enough of them or if you hand out very interesting promos, you will probably get exponentially more exposure than you had anticipated. So maybe it’s time to think about investing a little bit more in this form of marketing?

A Video to Make You Happy!

photo from arabia.style.com

photo from arabia.style.com

It’s rather a dreary day in Miami, and to be perfectly honest with you I showed up to the Gossett Marketing headquarters in quite the grumpy mood. My coworker noticed my lousy attitude and told me that she had something to cheer me up, so she showed me the new Pharrell Williams music video, which is for his song “Happy.” Check it out by clicking on the YouTube video below – I hope it brings a smile to your face like it did mine!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

photo from miamism.com

photo from miamism.com

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Gossett Marketing team!

We are taking a couple of weeks off from the blog in order to celebrate the holidays. See you again in 2014!

The Best Marketing

photo from theblaze.com

photo from theblaze.com

I’m sure that most of my well-informed readers have seen this video already, but I just have to share. Canadian airline WestJet surprised its customers by answering their Christmas wishes. Just watch the Youtube video below if you haven’t seen it yet.

I’m sure that this amazing Christmas stunt was expensive and terribly difficult to pull off. But no matter what it cost or how hard it was, it has gone so viral and made the airline look so good that it was worth every penny. This is marketing at its finest and something that every company can strive to emulate to some degree. Well done, WestJet!!

Bring Back Picture Frames!

photo from indulgy.com

photo from indulgy.com

The holiday season is upon us and our customers have already begun to order holiday gifts for their own customers and employees. Tech items have been really popular this year, so we have delivered a large number of iPad cases to various entities. We’ve also sourced neat coolers, tote bags, logoed apparel, and journals for the holidays. Interestingly, we keep getting the same request again and again this year – people really want to order picture frames.

Remember back in the day when you couldn’t take a picture and instantly view it? When it was so much fun to drop off film and then pick up the developed photos? I loved those days and I was always surrounded by pictures of family and friends back then – I had hard copies of the images, so I figured I might as well display them. Now in the age of technology we still have pictures of our friends and family, but they are in our phones, on our tablets, on memory cards, or online at Facebook and Instagram. That’s all well and good, but I have to say that I miss the days of regular old pictures!

Apparently I’m not the only one who misses having photographs and displaying them in my home and office because, as I mentioned, we have had a large number of requests for frames this holiday season. Whether our customers are asking for digital or traditional ones, I think it’s great that they want their customers and employees to be able to see their loved ones without having to pick up some sort of personal electronic device. And because their logo is imprinted upon these frames, they are, of course, doing a bit of marketing in the process of giving these frames as holiday gifts! Wouldn’t want to forget about that on this promotional products blog!

Do you have lots of framed photos at home or in your office? I’ve made a conscious effort to start using them again and it has really made me happy, so think about doing the same! Be like our customers and embrace the old fashioned picture frame.

Why Communication Matters After Meetings

photo from gazellesystems.com

photo from gazellesystems.com

As Account Director at Gossett Marketing, a promotional products distributorship, selling promotional items is my main responsibility. My day-to-day activities involve servicing my accounts – reaching out to people who have ordered in the past to see if they want to re-stock their inventory of logoed items, branching out within those organizations through referrals, etc. I write a lot of emails, I make a lot of phone calls, and I end up having a lot of meetings with customers both old and new. By the time I get to the point of meeting with a customer, it’s pretty much a done deal that they are going to buy something – usually I go to their offices to show them samples of the items so that they can nail down their order. They are usually pretty happy with what I bring them, and generally express excitement at the prospect of ordering and receiving their logoed product. And that excitement makes it so weird when I try to follow up after these appointments and am met with a total lack of communication.

Does that ever happen to you? You have a seemingly-successful get-together with a client that you feel will further your business together, but when you follow up afterwards to nail down final details the communication just isn’t there? I know that in my case, I’m trying to get people to spend their budgets on my promotional items, and although they get excited by what I show them, they often quote it out to other vendors to see if they can get better pricing. I think that imbues them with a sense of guilt, which is why they avoid me for a time. Once they realize that our pricing is competitive, then they go ahead and send me their purchase orders. I suppose I understand why they avoid communicating with me for that period after our meetings, but it sure is a frustrating time for me – and it ultimately only serves to delay their orders.

Personally, I think that after you have a meeting with someone – whether you are trying to sell your business to a customer or whether someone is trying to sell something to you – it is important to keep communication lines open. In my case, if my customer picks up my phone call after I meet with him, then I can keep him posted as to whether my supplier is running low on inventory, production time, etc. Particularly if your order/your business is time sensitive, make sure you tell your vendor or your customer what you need by when. Don’t just cut off contact – communicate after a meeting so that you can take care of business!

Great Customer Service Matters

photo from redspire.co.uk

photo from redspire.co.uk

I have a confession to make: the team here at Gossett Marketing is spoiled. We are promotional products distributors, and people in our field generally see our suppliers’ new wares at huge trade shows that take place throughout the country. We do go to those on occasion, but we are spoiled because our favorite vendors actually bring their newest products to us; thus saving us the time that it would take to travel to, say, the PPAI or ASI shows. It is a great luxury, and one that we thoroughly appreciate!

This week we have had company-wide meetings with three of our preferred promotional products suppliers because they are rolling out their holiday merchandise (yikes – holiday!). I love it when they come to see us, as it affords us the opportunity to touch and feel new products, plus we have plenty of time to ask pertinent questions, request samples, etc. Our reps also offer case studies and give suggestions as to how we might sell the new items, which is always helpful because I don’t necessarily look at a particular pen and think “wow – this would be great for a cruise line,” but our reps can tell me why, in fact, it is good for that industry. Basically, they spend enough time with us to make us feel special and to help us sell their product. Great customer service!

So yes, our suppliers do spoil us by doting on us and by keeping us from having to attend huge trade shows. We appreciate their above-and-beyond customer service, and to prove it to them, we spend more money with the companies who send reps to visit our office than we do with anyone else – by a long shot. We are more than happy to guide our customers towards products whose suppliers we love because we know that they will keep us happy, which, in turns, makes our customers’ buying experience a more pleasant one.

Great customer service, like that which our wonderful supplier provide, takes a lot of effort, but by keeping their customers pleased with them/their companies/their products, our suppliers drive our sales towards them. It works the same in every industry – so take a cue from our vendors and go above and beyond with your customer service.

Trend Alert: Mirrored Shades

photo from stylehaus.com

photo from stylehaus.com

My very favorite pair of sunglasses spontaneously broke recently. I wore them as I walked to the gym, and when I got there I took them off and did that thing where you hook them over your shirt. When I let go, both the arm of my sunglasses and the glasses themselves clattered to the floor – the arm had somehow snapped! It was the weirdest thing and such a disappointment, as they were simultaneously my all-time favorite and my all-time most expensive sunnies. Fortunately, my friend, who witnessed the whole incident, asked me where I had gotten them asked me if I happened to have purchased them at Nordstrom. I had! So she pointed out that they would replace them for me – love that return policy!

Armed with the knowledge that Nordstrom would most likely swap out my now-broken glasses for a pair with two arms, I hit their accessories department. Sure enough, they were more than happy to help me get into a new pair of Tom Fords (I told you they were my most expensive glasses!). It took a while, but they sent me home with a new pair of “Jennifers,” as my preferred style is known. As my excellent salesman looked up my original purchase, I puttered around and tried on all of the latest designer shades. One trend that I noticed was the prevalence of mirrored lenses in every color – from neons to rich jewel tones.

I am not the only one who has noticed the rise of colorful mirrored sunglasses, as they are all over the promotional products industry right now. There are knock-off Wayfarers, stylish aviators, and all of the styles in between that can be imprinted with your company’s logo either on an arm or directly on the lens. These inexpensive accessories are so on-trend that when you give them to a customer, either she will wear them or she will give them to someone who will. They stand out – and they will bring your logo great exposure!

Although Nordstrom generously exchanged my broken, non-mirrored “Jennifers” for a new pair, maybe I will take a break from my all-time favorite shades and sport a mirrored pair for a change. Emblemized with the Gossett Marketing logo, of course!

Fantastically Creative Billboard Ads

photo from adsoftheworld.com

photo from adsoftheworld.com

My blogging juices seem to be drained today. Fortunately, there are marketers out there who came up with some excellent billboard ads for the public to enjoy. Click here and enjoy their creativity – I hope I can come up with something this clever for next week’s blog!

Keep Work Relationships Civil

photo from artbistro.monster.com

photo from artbistro.monster.com

I recently had a meeting with the sales team of a company that I shall not name. They were looking for promotional marketing products that would apply to various situations – trade shows, client gifts, etc. – and we were trying to pick one or two items that the whole team felt would be appropriate. I have these meetings a lot and they usually go very smoothly; however, this particular one did not because two members of this team clearly did not get along.

Honestly, I don’t think that you have to be friends with your coworkers. Sometimes it’s nice to form a deeper bond with someone in the office, but if you do not, it’s no big deal. You just have to be able to tolerate your coworkers enough to get your job done. Unfortunately, at the aforementioned meeting, there was no level of tolerance between two coworkers, and it was detrimental to everyone involved. Two of the ladies in attendance were downright frosty to one another, and when one indicated a promotional product that she liked, the other shot it down immediately and rarely for any good reason. Judging by the looks that the rest of the team members gave each other whenever either of these women rejected the other’s preferred promo item, this was not the first time that these two had behaved that way. It was incredibly awkward and it made it very difficult to nail down their order even though they had an immediate need for promotional products.

Like anyone who has been in the job force for any amount of time, I’ve had coworkers that I really did not like (I’m not just saying this – none of these people have been at Gossett Marketing!). But I cannot say that I have ever had a hostile relationship with any of them – particularly not in front of someone outside of the organization. Workplace hostility is detrimental to teams/departments/companies because it disrupts communication in one way or another, and a lack of communication makes it that much more difficult to succeed in any business. As I said, you do not have to be friends with your coworkers, but try to at least fake a pleasant relationship with those coworkers that you detest. A hostile work relationship is not just negative because it might make you feel bad, it’s just bad business.

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