Thursday, October 16, 2008

Boost Your Client's 4th Quarter Sales

The current economy is on shaky ground and that ripples down uncertainty with clients you currently advise on promotional product, advertising, and marketing solutions. The last couple of months there was a “Cold Turkey” approach to cutting advertising dollars by many businesses across all industries.

Tama Swan, Associate Editor PPB Magazine, shares a fantastic article about how developing a promotional campaign that involves handing out creative promotional products can keep brands in consumers’ minds even when wallets are closed. The chances of boosting sales immediately are cautiously optimistic; however, retailers are going to need ideas that sizzle to bring the emotion back into this holiday season and more shoppers into the stores. The smart marketers are not getting discouraged though; they are building campaigns to stay connected to shoppers by dispensing free gifts and entertainment in shopping malls. I think I remember my grandmother telling me something about doing something and expecting nothing in return. It is likely that your customer gift giving campaign will NOT create an immediate ROI worth speaking about, unless of course you consider receiving 1 heartfelt thank you an acceptable return. Outside of that, Retailers have the opportunity to handout as many smiles as possible, which is the reason consumers are shopping and they so quickly forgot. Instead of giving them an extra 5% discount at the register this season, remind your shoppers what it’s all about and give them an experience they will not forget. Chances are this memorable shopping experience will generate the most beneficial marketing known to man, “word of mouth.”

In case you did not get a chance to pick up the October PPB article, I have selected the excerpt from her FAST FORWARD article.

Mall Madness
Handing out freebies and samples can keep brands in consumers’ minds even when wallets are closed.

In this tight economy where gas prices are high and funds are low, many families are opting for purchase-less mall excursions. There they can get out of the house and take in some sites, expending little more than the fuel it takes to get there and a couple of bucks for a Cinnabon. Savvy marketers are taking this opportunity to tantalize bored Americans with free gifts and maintain their brand images through tough economic times.

Last summer, when Coca-Cola wanted to promote its sponsorship of the 2008 Beijing Olypmics, the company offered thousands of free, commemorative Coke bottles specially designed by Chinese artists to visitors at Simon Malls. The free gifts came with cards prompting those who received them to visit Coke’s website and download free music associated with each bottle.

The promotion was part of a teen-focused event called Simon dTour Live and featured giveaways by other companies such as Sprint and ABC Family, which gave away network programming-based t-shirts that visitors could customize on-site.

In a Promo magazine article about the tour, Cathi Weiner, senior vice president of business development for Simon Brand Ventures, said “Consumers come to malls expecting entertainment. They are primed to shop and primed for messaging.” Before recommending this type of promotion to your client, take note of these facts:

• Most mall events occur in big, open spaces, such as the center court, to maximize exposure. It usually takes several months to plan these activities, but it’s possible to shorten the timeline to four to six weeks.

• The price depends on the size and scope of your event—such as whether you’re appearing at one mall or two dozen. One-day rental fees for mall space can range from a few thousand dollars to $10,000. The time of year can affect the price as well, as weekends and holidays are more expensive.

• Remember that hosting a mall event will require extra staffing, advertising and third-party event handlers. You may also want to purchase security, pre-promotional signage and d├ęcor.