Not Another Calendar! - Choose Advertising Specialties That Sell

As I was searching through a kitchen drawer the other day, I found dozens of pens, pencils, letter openers, sticky-note pads, oversized paper clips, rulers, dental floss, calendars, magnets, whatsits and thing-a-ma-bobs, each with the name of a business on the front. In looking through my "collection" I discovered some things I love and use and others that I can't imagine why I picked them up. Some, I'm not even sure what they are!

They are all advertising specialties. You know, those giveaways that are going to bring customers swarming to your door. Advertising specialties can put your name in front of prospective customers and keep it there. That way, your name will be on their minds and in front of their faces when they decide to buy. But too often, they don't work the way you expected them to.

The trick to using advertising specialties effectively is to understand who your customers are, what they value, how they will use your giveaway, and where they will be when they make a buy decision.

Pizza delivery restaurants give out lots of refrigerator magnets. Where are you when you decide to order a pizza? You probably just looked in the fridge for something to fix for dinner, didn't find anything and are closing the door. At that moment, you spot a magnet and say, "Pizza!" Some of the magnets even come with detachable coupons.

Where will your customers be when they make a buy decision? At home, at the office, in their cars, on the phone, at the computer . . .use a specialty that will be in front of them there.

Or maybe you just want something that they will use a lot to keep your name in their minds. A mug. Or something like a wall calendar where your name will be in front of them 365 days. (366 in a leap year!)

However you hope to influence your customers, make sure you choose an item they will actually use. Will they want another ball point pen, pocket calendar, or stress ball? How many wall calendars do they get from other sources? Will yours be one they are willing to put up on the wall? Does your item look or feel "cheap" or of poor quality? If so it won't give a good impression of your business.

If you use advertising specialties, choose something that is unique, doesn't look cheap, will be used by your customers, and will be nearby when they make a buy decision. That doesn't mean you have to give away expensive items. A couple of my favorites are ball point pens. One, from British Airways, has a clip that folds out to look like wings on a plane. It's not great to write with, but it's really cute. Will the pen cause me to fly British Airways? Probably not, but it is one more positive impression I have of their airline.

Want to try something a little different? Why not get tote bags, t-shirts, sports bottles, or other items made up and sell them. If you have a clever logo or slogan, people might be willing to pay. For example, the National Museum of Funeral History in Houston (yes, a museum about funerals) sells mugs and more with their slogan, "Any day above ground is a good one." If you are actively creating a brand people respond to, you might be able to start a whole new product line. One source for image products is http://www.cafepress.com/.

Oh, one last thing about using advertising specialties. You have to actually give them out. Buying them and leaving the box in the closet won't bring you a single customer.

Copyright Cathy Stucker. As the Idea Lady, Cathy Stucker can help you attract customers and make yourself famous with inexpensive and free marketing ideas. Get free tips, articles and more at http://www.IdeaLady.com/.

In The News:


San Francisco Chronicle

Open up the black box of political advertising
San Francisco Chronicle
Those who would challenge false, hateful or misleading advertisements are rendered mute. They don't know what's been said, or to whom, because micro-targeted advertising happens out of public view. It's only through the efforts of diligent reporters ...
Mark Zuckerberg backs stricter vetting on political advertising after Russian ad purchasesWashington Examiner
Democratic senators preparing bill to deal with online political advertisingCNNMoney
Facebook Wants to Self-Regulate Political Advertising, Provide Russian Ads to CongressVariety
The Hill -BBC News
all 752 news articles »

Best of the week: Safari update underscores Apple's ambivalence about advertising
Digiday
Six ad industry groups wrote in an open letter to Apple last week that the move will sabotage the internet's economy. But because Apple makes most of its money from selling devices, unlike Google and Amazon, which bring in revenue from advertising ...


Business Insider

Adobe has hired a media buying veteran to help ramp up its advertising bona fides
Business Insider
At Adobe, his task will be to explain to the ad world why Adobe's one-stop shopping approach to digital advertising — the company offers brands tools for ad buying, data management, making ads and connecting with existing customers — is better than ...

and more »

NDTV

Apple has done a horrible job advertising the iPhone 8
BGR
Let's say you have an iPhone 7 or an iPhone 6s, what are the benefits of upgrading to the iPhone 8? It's an important question that Apple has curiously and clumsily failed to answer. Sure, tech heads who intently watched Apple's keynote last week can ...
iPhone 8 Durability Test - BEND TEST - Glass Scratch Video!YouTube
Apple admits to Apple Watch LTE problems just before it shipsThe Verge
Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE review: missed connectionsThe Verge
iFixit
all 515 news articles »

The Tech Takeover of Advertising in One Chart
Visual Capitalist (blog)
But, despite these other initiatives and some diligent messaging, make no mistake – both Alphabet and Facebook are media companies that get their money from one source. Advertising makes up the vast majority of their business, and they've both become ...

and more »

STLtoday.com

Twitter won't run an anti-abortion group's paid advertising unless it scrubs its website of 'sensitive content'
STLtoday.com
In a letter to Twitter, attorneys for Live Action, known for its undercover investigations of abortion clinics, allege the social media platform wrongly applied its policies to censor advertisements that contain ultrasound images of fetuses, promote or ...

and more »

Forbes

Debunking Myths: Don't Count Out Traditional Advertising Channels; Embrace Them
Forbes
The widespread belief that web and social media ads are giving a higher ROI than the "old-fashioned" TV, press, and radio advertising is a costly myth. The myth hinges on the belief that the more precise targeting achieved by digital advertising not ...


The Disappearance Of Advertising-Supported Media
MediaPost Communications
What you will not see if you follow this link is advertising or sponsorship. No ad interruptions, no “brought to you by,” not even a sponsored message from the four-wheel drive cars journalists drove through the rough terrain or the hotels where they ...


Supermarket News

Albertsons taps Burgstahler as advertising VP | Supermarket News
Supermarket News
Albertsons Cos. on Thursday said it has appointed Guy Burgstahler as the its new VP of advertising. Burgstahler previously served similar roles with retailers ...

and more »

Advertising Week 2017 to Ring The Nasdaq Stock Market Closing Bell
GlobeNewswire (press release)
Advertising Week – the world's largest gathering of industry leaders across advertising, technology, business, entertainment, marketing, media and social good – kicks off its 2017 conference in New York this week and will visit the Nasdaq MarketSite in ...

and more »
Google News

Driving Customers to You - Your Car as a Marketing Vehicle

You can turn your vehicle into a rolling advertisement. Costs... Read More

Does Your Brochure Pass the Test - Or is It Headed for the Trash? Part One

The decision on whether or not someone will read your... Read More

Humor in Advertising

Many of the most memorable ad campaigns around tend to... Read More

The Benefits of Specific Advertising

The great Claude Hopkins (Author of Scientific Advertising) once said,... Read More

Advertising on a Budget -- Part 2: Thinking Small

This is the second article of a three-part series. I'm... Read More

How to Save Money by Making Your Own Sign

In the sign industry we commonly refer to the material... Read More

9 Tips for Better Billboards

It is a given that billboard advertising "outdoor" is not... Read More

Why I Like The Ads I Hate!

It's been said that the antidote to liking/loving is not... Read More

How to Write Ads that Increase Your Business

I caught myself wracking my brain over what kind of... Read More

Books, Bibles and Fast-Talkers

Every community has 'em. Fast talkers who roll into town... Read More

Adding Art to Business Spaces

Larger companies have learned that collecting art adds something special... Read More

Go Ahead Im Listening

In today's fast paced environment, interaction with family and friends... Read More

A Quick And Easy Way Of Getting More Customers From Every Single Ad You Write... Guaranteed!

FACT: Most people don't spend anywhere near enough time on... Read More

Direct Mail Catalogs & Brochures: Write Captions That Sell

Many prospects skim through catalogs and brochures, glancing at the... Read More

Moving Message Display

Moving message display are designed to be installed into environments... Read More

How Do People Know Youre in Business?

One of the most important things to do now that... Read More

How to Write Great Headlines

According to experts, just changing the headline of an ad... Read More

Double the Effectiveness of Your Company Brochure

Let's face it - most brochures go straight into the... Read More

Offline Advertising Tips

Since most of us are always online and our business... Read More

Secrets to Get Free Advertising

The opportunities to get free advertising for your product or... Read More

Can I Write and Print My Own Business Brochures and Business Cards?

If you have a computer and a printer, preferably one... Read More

Is Your Advertising... Sexy?

Ever hear the term 'sexy' advertising? It's not necessarily what... Read More

How to Save Money by Making Your Own Sign

In the sign industry we commonly refer to the material... Read More

5 Newspaper Advertising Myths Revealed

What I'm about to reveal are myths that most people... Read More

The TV Shoot, The Spoiled Brat, And A Painful Lesson

It was two days before our shoot. I was in... Read More