04 Sep 2012

Magic Formula of Promotional Marketing? Part 2

 – It works for romantic comedies, part two

In part one, we discussed the RomCom formula, and how unlike RomComs, there is no magic formula when it comes to promotional products and marketing. But there is a framework that will help you.

This is an explanation of the 6 steps that will greatly increase your odds of promotional success.

Step 1 – Know your Objective:

It all begins here. Ask yourself, what do you want to accomplish?

Increase sales?

Increase attendance?

Increase awareness?

Create new customers?

Say thank you?

What behavior are you driving?

Clearly understanding your objective will help you assess what your end goals are.  From there you can begin to craft your promotional ideas around that goal.

Step 2 – Research:

Know, understand, and refine your target audience.  Refining your target audience allows you to key in on the needs and desires of those that are MOST likely to resonate with your promotion.  This does not mean that this is your only target audience, but rather your highest priority.

Be careful not to fall into the trap of trying to be all things to all people. This is a recipe for disaster.

By knowing your target audience you can concentrate your efforts on those that are most likely to bring you the best return on your investment.

Step 3 – Budget:

Budget. Grimace. Grumble, grumble.

As marketers we would love to live in a world of infinite budget to allow us to accomplish all the great ideas we generate. And they are all great, are they not?

However, few things can screw up a great and successful promotion in the eyes of the boss (or finance dept.) than overspending.  Know your budget and understand the costs, including shipping and distributing your items. Also, understand the alternatives of domestic versus overseas importing as they can impact your budget options.

Tip: Order early! You can save considerable money by ordering early enough to avoid rush costs, or air freight charges.

Step 4 – Respect the Timelines:

We’ve all been surprised by a last minute order that did not turn out as you had envisioned. Avoid this. It is unpleasant.

As mentioned above, order early. In the chaos and speed of business this is not always feasible. But it is always a good idea.

Everything takes time and miracles are tough to conjure. Beginning early allows time to get samples and make sure you are getting what you want. You’ll be glad you did and your vendors will thank you.

Keep in mind that if you are ordering custom products that will be manufactured overseas, then this step is doubly, perhaps triply, important.

Step 5 – Perfect Item:

The perfect item is one that widely appeals to your target audience and drives the desired behavior. Design will play a large role in your success. Some things to consider are the prominence of your logo, the clarity of the message, and the longevity of the item.

Remember that you are representing yourself or your company with these products. Quality is important. If the item breaks or appears to be of low-quality, the lasting impression will be unfavorable. Moreover, the longer it last, the more marketing you get.

Step 6 – Distribution:

Your distribution plan is crucial. If you are short sighted in the delivery, even the best of the best items will fall short of the goal.

Your distribution program should answer these questions:

How can we bring people to our event, or booth? Or to participate in the promotion?

How can we effectively distribute the item?

How can we accomplish our overarching goal during the distribution process?
Increase sales? Increase attendance? Increase awareness?  Create new customers? Saying thank you?

 In the end, there is no magic formula, but proper planning and a clear vision will greatly increase your odds of success and a positive ROI.

What would you add to the process? What steps do you take to achieve promotion success?