Happy National Golf Month! Has your company ever considered sponsoring a charity golf tournament? Well, if not, now may be a great time to think about expanding your community involvement via this consistently successful fundraiser idea. Follow the simple steps outlined after the fold, and with adequate promotional golf items to distribute to participants and ample publicity, you will be on your way to holding a charity golf tournament that local residents will remember for years to come. Keep reading…
According to the National Retail Federation’s 2010 Consumer Intentions and Actions Back to School survey released a few weeks ago guys will be out-spending and out-buying their females co-eds in back-to-college merchandise. So if you are planning a marketing campaign to target university students you better be sure to include some promotional products that appeal to the males in this demographic.
A Google search for the phrase “fashion blogs” results in about 144,000,000 results. Compare that to the 95,900,000 search results for the term “stock market today” and the 82,000,000 results for “local weather,” and it becomes apparent that there is an enormous market for fashion-focused websites. Millions of loyal readers have made it a ritual to check in with their favorite fashion bloggers daily, and the popularity of these blogs has forced retail brands stand up and take notice. In fact, many well-known fashion bloggers earn six-figure salaries, thanks to advertising revenue and affiliate marketing.
Recently, Coach invited four notable fashion bloggers to collaborate with their designers to create a series of limited edition ladies’ handbags, “Coach Collectibles”. Each blogger therefore has her own statement bag, true to her unique style and perspective. 200 bags in each style are available on Coach’s website (until supplies run out!) and every promotional bag sold comes with an attached hang tag touting the name of the blogger who helped design it.
Keep reading to find out how you can follow Coach’s example to reach your target audience…
“Yo Sumo.” The Spanish phrase, which in English translates to “I count,” forms the basis of PepsiCo’s current campaign addressing Hispanic Americans. The campaign hopes to spur Hispanic consumers not only to participate in the 2010 Census, but to make their citizenship “count” to the fullest extent. Instead of just filling out the form and being included in the census tally, “Yo Sumo” urges them to discuss their experiences and influence on the American nation via Pepsi’s interactive website, http://www.pepsiyosumo.com. Popular Hispanic actress Eva Longoria Parker is slated to collaborate with Pepsi to film a documentary based on anecdotes posted to the site. The “Yo Sumo” website has already caught on within America’s Hispanic community, and many fans of the initiative have purchased official “Yo Sumo” custom t-shirts (pictured above). Lots of “Yo Sumo” supporters proudly wear their logo apparel in profile pictures on social networking sites to communicate their excitement to friends and family!
As was the case with the last national census in 2000, experts expect Hispanic consumers to comprise a large portion of respondents, reminding marketers about their immense purchasing power. If you compete in an industry that targets largely Spanish-speaking market segments, there are lots of promotional products that you can customize in order to reach out to these consumers. You can, and should, take immediate action to diversify your marketing mix to appeal to Hispanic audiences. Consider ordering items like these calendars featuring Spanish text or imprinted pens that sound a cheery Spanish voice recording to end users when their heads are pressed down. In addition to items with predetermined stock messages in Spanish, don’t forget that you can tailor any promotional products to people of any native language by specifying your own custom content and graphics.
Team Lead – Social Media
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In case you were not aware, March is National Women’s Month. So in honor of Women’s Month and, well, women, I have decided to dedicate this blog post to the influence of women in today’s consumer market and emphasize the fact that if you are not already directing part of your marketing efforts and promotional products toward this demographic, you should. For instance, American women spend about $6 trillion annually – that’s a huge market.
Read on for some more statistics regarding women’s impact on today’s economy care of she-conomy.com.
As a newcomer to the world of blogging and online marketing in general, yesterday’s exchange on our very own Pinnacle Promotions blog blew me away. Just to recap, a correspondence took place between my extremely talented, but also fairly new to the realm of blogging, coworker Acree Graham, and a blogger that I consider to be one of the most prolific social media thought leaders, Jay Baer of Convince and Convert. In my mind, this exchange exemplifies the phenomenon of blogs and their power to spark high level interactions between newbie marketers and established industry experts in a matter of hours. As a recent college graduate, I feel that my generation is extremely fortunate: the wealth of information available to us, faster than ever before, is one benefit that we have over generations past, but furthermore, it is the accessibility to people whom we admire and respect in our lines of work that is an even greater privilege, should we have the confidence and courage to reach out to them.
“What makes marketing the best career in the world is that is it ever evolving. There’s always a new insight, new tool or tactic. So if you want to be at the top of your game and really be someone your clients love and rely on — keep learning. Read, write, listen. Every day.”
-Drew McLellan, author of the blog Drew’s Marketing Minute.
Team Lead – Social Media
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Everyone is talking about the 2010 Edelman Trust Trends study. According to the findings, consumers trust the advice of their peers 20% less than they did in 2008.
1. Social media is rendered pointless. AdAge posits that the information gleaned from the study “[flies] in the face of social-media wisdom” because businesses’ use of social media is based on the assumption that consumers turn to personal relationships to help them make buying decisions.
2. The digital age has destroyed friendships. Jay Baer of Convince and Convert, while maintaining social media is not to blame for the trust decline, nevertheless concedes, “The pervasive time crunch that blankets us all has forced us to curtail face-to-face relationships in exchange for digital interaction.”
I can’t believe that, in 2010, a blogger would say that digital interaction is the enemy of face-to-face relationships.
–Today I am texting my friend A. to make plans to grab dinner after work.
–I recently connected with a woman on Twitter whom I would never have the chance to meet in “real” life. She invited me to the SXSW Interactive Atlanta meetup, which I attended Monday night in the flesh.
–At the meetup I met a man from One World Connects, a start-up that is integrating social media and face-to-face exchanges to build a worldwide modern-day chain letter that you can track online.
Show me someone who is using social media to avoid talking to other humans, and I’ll show you a hundred more who are doing the opposite.
But back to study, Baer deduces:
3. Institutions have made us paranoid. He writes:
In the last year, I’ve been lied to at various times by the President, Congress, my family, clients, Tiger Woods, Toyota, the Catholic Church, the local school board, and at least one Olson twin (but I can’t remember which). What this Edelman research demonstrates is that we’ve become a bunch of cynics, and who could blame us?
Baer’s conclusion, that companies should embrace veracity and come clean with their customers, is both right and necessary. However, I think truth-telling is an argument for a different day and doesn’t have much to do with the study at hand.
My interpretation of the study?
As other bloggers have pointed out, trust has not only dropped in the peer category, but in every category — television news, radio news, and print news — by the same amount, 20%. When I look at this data I see the inevitable results of a broadening world with ever-increasing access to information. I don’t believe paid online subscriptions to the New York Times or Atlanta Journal-Constitution will ever work — not because people aren’t willing to pay for information, but because people aren’t willing to limit their information to a single source.
I’ve been mocked for using Twitter as my main source for news, but actually I think it is one of the best ways to be informed. I have 200 friends working all day long to filter relevant information to me. Throughout the day in real time I ingest an assemblage of personal anecdotes, news articles, opinion pieces, photojournalism and videos — all of which contribute in various ways to my being an informed and critically thinking person.
When I read about the Edelman study, for example, I didn’t limit my knowledge of it to Convince and Convert. I also checked out AdAge and Going Social Now, to see what other bloggers’ takes on it were.
I’m all for hard journalism, but I do not believe that NPR or CNN can ever be completely objective and comprehensive. I would rather receive information from a thousand subjective, specialized sources.
Likewise, it’s not that I trust my coworker Sarah less than I did in 2008. It’s just that when she tells me I should take advantage of Dance 101’s half-off sale, I’m also listening to my friend Vanessa, who is texting me an invitation to tonight’s class at Dance 411. From there it only takes one search in Twitter to see what people around the city are saying about both studios.
With ever-increasing access to information, it only makes sense that you or I would consult several sources before making a purchasing decision.
Instead of using this study to justify dropping off the face of the digital planet, use it as a jumping-off point for a discussion about integrated marketing. As Malcolm Gladwell told us ten years ago, consumers need to come into contact with a brand at multiple touchpoints before the brand sticks with them. (Remember Lester Wunderman’s Columbia Record Club?)
How does the knowledge that people trust every information source less than they did two years ago affect your strategies for social media, direct marketing, promotional products, and other brand touchpoints?
I’d love to hear your comments.
That is, in the US at least. In other parts of the world the business card has more significant meaning than simply a convenient way to provide one’s personal contact information and also include several rules of exchange etiquette. Did you know, for example, that in China business cards are supposed to be held in both hands when offering them and should be appropriately translated into the Chinese dialect of the area in which you are traveling. In India, one should only use the right hand when both giving and receiving business cards, and in Japan cards are to be treated as you would treat the person – carefully placed in a case or portfolio upon receiving them as opposed to stuffed inside one’s pocket.
Business cards actually have a more refined history that dates as far back as the 15th century in China, though at this time they were termed, ‘visiting cards.’ These cards garnered more popularity by the 17th century in Europe where footmen of royalty and the aristocracy would present such cards at one’s home to announce the impending arrival of a distinguished guest. And of course, as was expected of all other things associated with the upper echelon of the day, these cards were adorned with elegant coats of arms and decorations. In England around the same time, what were called ‘trade cards’ were used a rudimentary form of a current GPS system. There was no formal numbering system for streets in London then, so these trade cards served as both advertisements for a company that included maps and directions on how to reach their place of business.
But back to the present day. I know we’ve discussed the appeal of fun meeting function in terms of promotional products, but the following may be a truly useless application of fun: the penny-shooting business card. I discovered this product through a lovely post by Diana Adams on bitrebels.com but do not quite share her same enthusiasm. It reminds me of the uselessness I associate with the marshmallow shooting guns I always see in airplanes’ Skymall Magazines.
Then again, maybe the purpose of business cards is beginning to revert back to its original intentions – as a social formality representing a person, not a business. I shudder slightly, however, when I imagine the day that upon meeting someone new at a bar on the weekend our conversation may end with an exchange of cards that state our name, our Twitter @name, our Facebook username, and maybe even our Google me search name.
For now, I’d suggest opting for a more traditional business card promotional magnets instead.
Team Lead – Multimedia
I used to love winter and everything about it: the cold and the clothes — all wool coats and stockings. I loved staying indoors and wrapping a blanket around my feet as my dad built a wood fire. I even loved that Counting Crows song about December, God help me.
But now that I live on my own, and I pay my own gas bill and can’t start a fire to save my life, now that I have to take my own wool coat to get dry cleaned and can never seem to find any long sleeved shirts in my closet — now that “dreary” and “sullen” are words that apply to my actual life, rather than a fantasy one that I would dream about as a teenager, winter doesn’t seem so hot. In fact, I can’t wait to get shed of it.
I’ve begun to reminisce frequently about the springs I spent in college under the Atlanta sun. In these daydreams I always forget about the long, dark nights I spent, head in hands, hunched over my Greek lexicon, eyes blurring before the page. I forget what it was like to feel terror in the face of an impending deadline, to trudge miserably through campus to the library, to dine constantly on cold cafeteria food and burnt coffee. Instead, I remember the hours between classes spent lounging on the grass — book bag as pillow and hoodie as picnic blanket — draping my hand over my eyes and drifting to sleep under the warm gaze of the sun. Never mind that there were pages of dry lit criticism and long explanations of neural processing sticking out of my bag and begging to be read. In that moment they were forgotten, and they are forgotten now; as I look back it seems those tedious articles and assignments never existed except as benign accessories decorating my blissful enjoyment of a Georgia spring.
To me, however, college in the spring was more than a paradise; it was a community. In the spring, student clubs would delight to set up tables around the quad or pedestrian circle, passing out hotdogs and t-shirts in exchange for nothing more than your email address. Never mind that the year was nearly over and anyone recruited for a club would lose interest by July, spring seemed to endow student-led organizations with a peculiar generosity. Hardly a day went by that I wasn’t confronted with a free koozie or plastic cup on my stroll to dance class.
Now, in the real world, as a marketer I weep with desire for such a friendly, readily assembled, and accessible audience. A smart, older friend told me when I was in school that “Nobody does community like college campuses.” I didn’t understand what she meant until I graduated, and gone were the hundreds of everyday friends, gone were the hallmates nosing into my apartment, gone was the free pizza and music playing on my daily commute. Gone were the free shuttles, the endless wealth of resources, the free literary mags and science papers vying for my attention at the newsstands. My friend was right: Nobody does community like college campuses.
This virtual world makes marketing with promotional products more complicated; customers are often not within an arm’s reach. So I’m asking you: How do we cultivate community — for the ease of distributing promotional products to a relevant audience, but also for the exchange of ideas and neighborly friendship, for the chance to repeat my afternoon reveries under the sun and to share common experiences — in this so-called real world? The crux of marketing, as I’m beginning to see, is to engage with a community. But what does that community look like in post-college life?