6 Reasons Promotional Products are the Best Way to Advertise and more


6 Reasons Promotional Products are the Best Way to Advertise

It should be obvious by that we’re passionate about promotional products. Not only do we sell and design some of the most creative products in the business, we also use them every day, whether we’re toting them in our purse, sliding them into our glove compartments, staying cool in the summer, or celebrating our favorite patriotic holidays. While you probably agree that promotional products are pretty nifty (you are reading our blog, after all!) here are six more reasons that prove promotional products are the best choice when it comes to advertising your organization or business.

3d figuresKeep in touch!

Most purses and wallets are full of extra padding in the form of receipts, loose change, scraps of paper. How can you expect your business card to stand out in that kind of mess? You can’t, which is why the right promotional product – like a Teddy Bear Key Ring (Item #BSKGD-IUDXT) – will catch a potential customer’s eye long before a card or brochure.

Reason 2Brand loyalty.

Everyone likes free stuff. You know what else they like? The people handing out the free stuff. Hand them a totally free token, tchotchke, or trinket that’s useful and creative, and they’ll forever associate you with the good feelings that freebies bring.

3rd ReasonGoodbye, Middle Man.

When you hand someone a promotional product, you’re putting your advertisement directly in their hands. You don’t have to worry if they’ll notice your billboard on the side of the road, or if they’ll sit through a commercial break long enough to see your ad. That face-to-face contact, along with a physical reminder of who you and what you do, is priceless.

The product that keeps on promoting.

If you put an ad on the radio, you’ll have someone’s attention for 30 seconds, if you’re lucky. If you give them a promotional product they’ll use every day – such as our Original Fabric Mouse Pad (Item #UWJFJ-BGTXP) – they’ll see if Monday through Friday, from 9AM to 5PM, as it sits on their desk and helps them accomplish their daily tasks. What could be better than that?

ACT 5Generosity.

People pay a lot of attention to personality and perception. If they perceive your organization as a kind and giving one, thanks to the promotional products you generously hand out at events and as incentives, they’ll naturally want to support you. A fun and creative item gives them a reason to choose your business or organization over the others.

ACT 6The price is right.

Everyone has a budget, and we have promotional products to fit yours, no matter what it is. Search our catalog now, and find the product that’s perfect for you!

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‘Tis the Season for Promotional Product Companies Year ‘Round!

ACT Xmas WrapIt’s officially the holiday season, which means everyone is getting into the gift-giving spirit. Everyone, that is, except the team at A Creative Touch. It’s not because we’re a bunch of Scrooges. It’s because we’re in the gift-giving spirit all year! And because we love gifts so much, our favorites are the ones that can be used year round, rather than being limited to a few seasonal weeks here and there.

Because we love striking this balance, we’ve got a number of promotional products in our A Creative Touch catalog that are prefect for wrapping and placing under the tree, but won’t be put away once the ornaments are packed, the twinkly lights are taken down, and the tree is out on the curb. Not only that, they’re a great way to show your appreciation for all the important people in your life, whether they’re clients, vendors, prospects, employees, volunteers, or family members.

This year, we’ve decided to create a list of these fun and useful items to make your holiday shopping a little easier. Consider it our gift to you.

Calendars For the New Year:  The average person looks at a calendar between three and six times a day. Three times a day, for 365 days a year, means they’ll see your message a total of 1,095 times between January and December. If you spend $3.00 on each calendar, the CPI (cost per impression) comes down to very festive .002 cents. Not even Santa’s elves can build a gift that effective!

Mugs for Cider, Cocoa, and Christmas Morning Coffee:  A mug is a great gift that can be used immediately, especially on mornings when the family is gathered around for a holiday brunch. It can also be used every morning you drink coffee! It’s not surprising, then, that a recent study found the message on a coffee cup will be seen as often as 10 times per day—especially if they travel to the office. I’ll toast to that!

Branded Journals and Planners:  The holiday season is a great time for people to reflect on what they have, while also planning for the coming year. A sturdy notebook has never been more useful, whether it’s used as a gratitude journal or as a place to jot down New Year’s resolutions. A daily planner is another obvious and valuable choice—what better way to keep track of appointments, plans, and everyday to-dos? (And what better place to put your message!)

Tote Bags Full of Treats:  Food is a traditional gift, enjoyed by and appropriate for nearly every holiday, regardless of religion. The problem with a food gift is that once it’s consumed, that’s it—it’s gone, and so is your message! If you’d like to give consumables as a gift, such as a bottle of wine or a delicious fruitcake, deliver these items in a customized tote bag. Not only will they provide eco-friendly wrapping, they can be reused for years and serve as a constant reminder of your excellent gift-giving skills.

All-Weather Apparel:  While a winter hat or a pair of flip-flops might have a limited window of use, there are plenty of clothing items that can be worn throughout the year. T-shirts are great for wearing to the gym, even in the middle of winter, baseball caps are prefect for shading eyes from the sun, which shines year round, and a light jacket can be worn in countless situations. Save these gifts for your most treasured friends, family members, and business associates, and you can be sure they’ll wear them with pride.

We hope that this list helps get you into the gift-giving spirit, and keeps you there all year long. In the meantime, tell us: what’s on your wish list this season?

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50 Ways to Leave Your Promotional Products Behind

ACT 50 Ways to Leave Your Promotional Products BehindSome songs become more than just songs; they become legends.  The other day I heard Paul Simon’s  “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” on the radio.  It’s still as fresh and fun as it was when it topped the charts in 1976.  Simon’s catchy hit got stuck in my head for days and for good reason.  Although you might not think so, it actually has a lot to do with promotional products.  Allow me to explain:

Some people leave their lovers when they don’t love them anymore.  But leave a promotional product behind, and you’ll garner long-lasting love for your brand or your company.  Just like leaving “lovers”, there are at least  fifty ways to leave a promotional product behind.  That’s the whole point of promotional products, after all. If you keep them to yourself, they won’t do you any good. But the more you share them, find ways to give them away, and make it fun—for you, and for your customers, employees, volunteers, and friends—the more effective they are. Leaving your promotional products behind is actually the best thing you can do for them!

The music industry rewards musicians by tracking statistics–songs and albums sold.  Every time a sale is made, whether it be in a store or online,  it gets recorded. That recorded data determines the Billboard charts.  The promotional products industry also tracks results to determine its own gold and platinum products.

In 2009, Promotional Products Association International(PPAI) polled a group of more than one thousand consumers who remembered receiving a promotional product within the past two years.  Those who did not remember receiving anything within that time period were screened out of the sample, leaving 44% of the initial survey group.  Of this group, the results were astounding:

  • 94% of participants could recall a specific promotional product they had received in the past 24 months.
  • The majority of them—89%—also remembered the advertiser represented by the item.
  • 83% said they enjoyed getting promotional products.
  • 48% wish they received promotional products more often.
  • 69% typically keep the promotional products they receive.

And so, in honor of Paul Simon’s classic, here’s the latest hit from A Creative Touch. I call this masterpiece, “50 Ways to Leave Your Promotional Product.” But be careful—it’ll be stuck in your head for days.

You just slip into a shirt, Bert.

Make a new decal, Sal.

You need a mint tin, Jim.

Just give it away for free.

Hop into these sandals, Randal.

You need a beer mug, Doug.

Just drop off the hat, Matt.

And give it away for free.

You grab a tote bag, Dag.

Get a neoprene sleeve, Steve.

You need a book light, Dwight.

Just give it away for free.

Use a hot pad, Chad.

You need a golf ball, Saul.

Just drop off the candy, Sandy.

You could use a nice pen, Sven.

Take a rubber duck, Chuck.

You need a server for pie, Ty.

Just give it away for free.

How about a dancing flower, Bowser?

You need a key chain, Blaine.

Just drop off the clock, Doc.

You just slip into pom poms, Tom.

Customize a pin, Tim.

You need tools for the grill, Phil.

Just give it away for free.

Hop into a pet bed, Ted.

You need some wind up teeth, Keith.

Just drop off dog toys, Roy.

You slip into boxer shorts, Court.

Make a bobble head, Fred.

You need a pillow case, Trace.

Just give it away for free.

Grab this umbrella, Fella.

You need a chip clip, Trip.

A drop of hand sanitizer spray, Gray?

You just slip them a nail file, Kyle.

Get a charging hub, Bub.

You need a power bank, Frank.

Plant these flower seeds, Reid.

You need a beer mug, Doug.

Just drop off the hat, Matt.

You slip into a necktie, Guy.

Get a corkscrew, Stew.

You need a pullover, Rover.

Just give it away for free.

Try out a coaster set, Chet.

You need a backpack, Jack.

This apron is great, Nate.

And give it away for free!

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The Value of Offline Marketing in an Online World

ACT OnlineWhen it comes to promotional products, you might be tempted to pass them by, opting instead for advertising on the web, running a Facebook promotion, or emailing your customers and clients limited-time-only coupon codes.

While these can all be fine ways to advertise your business or organization, there’s another option that carries a little more weight and has a bit more meaning. It involves turning off your computer, stepping away from your desk, and going out into the real world. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do this alone—not when you have your very own, real live, three-dimensional promotional products to help you out.

I know what you’re thinking—turn off my computer? Are you crazy? Nope, not crazy. Smart. You see, I’ve been in the business long enough to recognize when the tides are turning, and in the world of promotional products, that moment has arrived.

The Problem with Fast Food and Facebook

If you want an example of what I’m talking about, look no further than your dinner plate. For years, manufacturers were selling the idea that food should be fast, cheap, and easy. Drive-thru restaurants flourished, and the microwave was the most used appliance in the house. Eventually, however, people got tired of instant meals, and began to crave the suppers of their childhood. This led to the birth of the “slow food movement,” and the return to a more nourishing approach to meals.

Need another example? Think of the way your Facebook wall blows up on your birthday, with everyone from your dentist to your high school nemesis wishing you a great year—or, even worse, a “HBD”, the annoying acronym for Happy Birthday (how lazy can one be???).  Compare that to the feeling you get when you open your mailbox and find a handwritten card or a letter from a loved one. That one piece of mail, humble as it may be, is more meaningful than a thousand messages on your Facebook wall.

Promotional products are a lot like a Sunday pot roast and a piece of mail. In a world where everyone else is putting their energy online, making the effort to go offline will set you apart from the pack in a way that clients and customers will appreciate.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

ACT Offline MarketingI may be The Queen of Promotional Products, but don’t just take my word for it—ask the experts, and they’ll agree. According to a recent study conducted by PPAI, a promotional product industry trade association, only 44% of the average American consumers interviewed reported receiving a promotional product in the last two years. Yet 90% of those people who had been given a promotional product still had it. 83% of the respondents said they’d like to receive a promotional product with an adverting message, and 48% wanted to receive these products more often. I say we need to give the people what they want, and what the people want is, quite clearly, more promotional products!

The Moral of the Story

The lesson here is actually quite simple. In our rush to adopt the newest technologies, download the latest social media apps, and invest in websites with all the bells and whistles, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters. While I love promotional products because of they’re so effective (even a promotional product that’s only used once a week is seen 52 times a year!), the magic of promotional products is the fact that they’re real, solid, and tangible. They ask us to face one another, rather than hide behind computer screens and avatars. They give us an excuse to shake hands, have a conversation, send ‘snail mail’ or put a face to the name. It’s a feeling people are craving, especially after so many years of living in a “virtual reality.” When they finally step away from the computer and pick up a pen to write a letter, or head to the kitchen to cook a meal, your promotional products will be ready and waiting for them. That’s a good place to be, and a great place to promote your company.

 

 

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The Science of Selecting the Perfect Promotional Products

ACT Scientific MethodSome people think being able to zero in on perfect promotional products is an art, a magical talent that only a few people possess. While that’s certainly a small part of it, natural talent will only take you so far. That’s why, when it comes to helping our customers choose their own promotional products, A Creative Touch relies on a mixture of instinct and a trick of the trade, also known as “the scientific method.”

I didn’t invent the scientific method. (If I did, it would be called something a little more interesting, like the Royal Roundtable or the Queen’s Amazing Questions.  After all, I am The Queen of Promotional Products!) The scientific method has been around since the 17th century, and for hundreds of years its been used as a way to ask and answer questions through observation and experimentation. Gravity? Plastic? iPhones? Yep, that’s right. They’ve all been invented or discovered, at least in part, thanks to the scientific method.

The scientific method includes six steps. When a client approaches me and has no idea how to choose a promotional product, I walk them through the steps. By the end of the list, we’ve usually landed on the perfect solution, and everyone leaves the conversation happy and satisfied. Today, I’m going to let you in on this trade secret, and show how science can help you choose the right promotional product, too.

Step 1: Ask a question.  The big question is, of course, “What promotional product should you purchase?” But to get there, you should really ask a series of smaller questions. “What goals am I trying to achieve with a promotional product? Who is my target audience? What is my budget?” Once these questions are answered, we can move on to the second step.

Step 2: Do background research.  The next step is to figure out what sort of item would be valuable and exciting to your customers, volunteers or employees. You want your promotional product to be useful, because use means exposure. Exciting is important, because you want your customers and clients to feel like they’re receiving a gift, rather than an advertisement. The trick is to zero in on the current trends, but avoid choosing something that will be passé or cliché tomorrow. It’s a delicate balance, but not impossible, especially if you are in the hands of a certified promotional products specialist.

 Step 3: Construct a hypothesis.  You can only ask questions for so long. At some point, you have to make a choice. Your hypothesis can be as simple as this: “I run a gym. My clients often listen to music while they workout. Therefore, I think that a set of earbuds sporting the gym’s logo would be a perfect promotional product.” That wasn’t so hard now, was it? Enjoy that feeling of accomplishment while it lasts—things are about to get a little more difficult.

 Step 4: Test your hypothesis by doing an experiment.  Until it has been tested, a hypothesis is nothing more than an idea. To make it real, you have to investigate, experiment, and see if the idea can stand on its own two legs. Sticking with the earbud example from Step 3, you have a few options. Walk through the gym and count how many people are listening to music on an average day. Poll some members to see if they’re interested in earbuds. Finally, order a very small run of earbuds and give them to a few regulars, then see how they are received and how often the earbuds are used.

Step 5: Analyze your data and draw a conclusion.  Good news! You’ve discovered that earbuds are popular in the gym, your clients report that they’d love a new set, and your test run is performing well. This experiment has been a success, and you’ve confirmed that this particular promotional product is valuable, exciting, and fulfills a need in the lives of your target audience. It’s time to place a full order, with the confidence that only the scientific method can provide.

 Step 6: Communicate.  The perfect promotional product does more than spread your logo all over town. It shows that you’ve taken the time to get to know your audience, whether they’re customers, clients, volunteers, or employees. You understand their needs and values, likes and dislikes, interests and occupations, and you’ve used that information to give them something they didn’t even know they needed! Through that promotional product, you’re communicating something important—that you listen and you care. It’s a priceless (and scientifically sound) message for any company or organization.

 

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