Wednesday, April 23, 2014

7 Touches with Promo

There are lots of anecdotes and stories about how unsuccessful businesses, people and salespeople give up after just a few tries.  You have probably heard them.  Recently, I have been seeing more and more studies that say the magic number of "touches" is 7.  After 7 contacts with a prospect, your success rate for a sale goes way up.  You know--intellectually--that you need to "touch" prospects more than once to have them turn into clients. 

But are you doing it?  Most people (and companies) are not.

One way to increase the number of touches is by using Promotional Products.  Adding promotional products to the mix not only increases the likelihood that your message will be received, but it adds lasting impressions (touches) after the initial contact.

What does this look like?  Let's just do one quick sample.

Touch 1:  You reach out to the prospect on the phone and let them know you will be sending them important information.  You leave a voicemail or talk to them in person!

Touch 2:  You follow up with a letter, flyer, etc. AND include a promotional item.  "Bumpy" mail is up to 75% more likely to be opened!

Touch 3:  They check out the promo item/read the flyer.

Touch 4:  You follow up to call and set up an appointment.  Based on the Rule of Reciprocity, once a prospect receives a gift they are more likely to see you.  (This increases with more promotional "gifts.")

Touch 5:  You meet with the person and educate them more on what you can offer.  Hopefully you are dazzling!  :)

Touch 6:  You leave them with another awesome promo item for taking the time to meet with you.

Touch 7:  A follow up email, call to take your order!

There you go!  7 Touches and a sale.  Use promotional products to increase your "touches" and your sales today!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Why Promotional Products Work

If you are a business owner, marketer, or leader of an organization you are likely always looking for better ways to tell your story.  And if you are like many, you have heard the voices that tell you what "works" and what "doesn't work" when promoting.

Though each advertising medium has its merits, and some will work better than others depending on your audience, I want to spend just a moment on why promotional products work (video blog here as well). 

And yes, they do.  Here's why:

1)  They are targeted!  So many marketing techniques are shotgun blasts at best.  So while you might reach some of your target, you waste a ton on people that simply have no interest.  Done right, promo reaches right into the office, home, etc. of the customer or prospect you want to reach.

2)  They are cost effective!  When you give a promotional gift, you get the initial impact from the gesture.  But promo gives you "lasting impact" as they see your message over and over.  That long term benefit gives you cost effective reach.

3)  People love Gifts!  We all like to receive something of value for free.  Promotional products are a perfect tool in the "give first economy."  You provide value to your prospect before asking for the sale.  Oh...and over time, this simple act makes it more and more likely someone will buy from you.

There are MANY more reasons that promo works!  This is just three.  Want more?  Check out my new book, "Delivering Marketing Joy!"  You can even get a free chapter here on the blog!  Fill out the form to the right and I will send one out right away!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Entering the Give First Economy

We have entered into a new phase of business.  It is just the beginning of this phase.  It is what I called the "Give First Economy."

This is good news if you are the customer.  We know this because we have lived through the "Automation Economy."  This stage was (and in some cases still is) when companies do everything they can to automate everything from the phone systems, to customer service and everything in between.  This phase left the customer frustrated and annoyed much of the time.

This is also good news if you are a company that has always focused on service.  You want to provide a great customer experience all the way through.  This is great news for you because you are already ahead of the curve.

This is bad news for "the automators."  The large companies that are clearly more focused on the customer's dollar than the customer will struggle.  These companies are not only not concerned with the customer's experience, they seem annoyed the customer has an opinion about it at all!

This is happening because of the shift to the "Give First Economy."  Social Media has truly given power back to the Customer.  And it has just begun.  Customers have more information than ever before at their fingertips.  They have more options.  And because of that third group, customers have more cynicism. 

So as a business, we need to (you guessed it) Give First.  We need to provide value to the customer.  We need to show integrity, credibility, honesty, personality.

Here's the funny thing: this has been brought about by newer technology but this is old fashioned business.  Get back to shaking a customer's hand and looking them in the eye.  Provide THEM a referral before you ask for one.  Share an article that helps them.  Send a thank you or a birthday card.  Be sincere.

Give First.  You will be thrilled with what happens next.

5 Reasons Why Mark Cuban is Wrong...about SWAG

Let me start this post by saying that I am a fan of Mark Cuban.  I am a sports fan, and by all accounts, he is an aggressive, progressive owner of the Dallas Mavericks.  He is a serial entrepreneur (love that).  And he is great on Shark Tank!  I love that show!

But Mark Cuban is wrong about SWAG.

Now you might be thinking, "What did Mark Cuban even say about SWAG?"  Good question!  Cuban wrote a post for Entrepreneur magazine where he outlined his 12 Rules for Startups.  I read it and was really surprised by number 10:  Never Buy SWAG.

Cuban's point was that startups should not send people embroidered polos because they are not using their money wisely.  But...wait...what?  Well sure.  It seems like Cuban has run across a few startups that have not used SWAG (or promotional products) wisely.  Obviously you want to be smart.  But throwing out the entire advertising medium is pretty small minded for such a big thinker.

It's like saying "I knew a guy who wrecked a Ferrari, so you should never buy a car."

So here are some reasons why Mark Cuban is wrong about SWAG:

1)  Promo (or SWAG) Creates RECALL:  Studies show that between 80% and 90% of people that receive a promotional product RECALL the company that gave it to them.  When your customer wants to buy, you want them to RECALL your brand.  Promotional products have great success with this!

2)  Promo Creates REACTION:  Other than recall, you want your advertising to create action.  You want your customers or prospects to contact you.  Another study shows that 15% of people who receive a promotional item will actually reach out to that company.  Incidentally, that number is 5 times higher than other media.  Ignore those numbers at your own risk!

3)  Promo is Targeted:  So many businesses (startups too) have a shotgun approach to marketing.  By using promotional products as a part of the mix, your company can reach out and touch exactly the market you want to reach.  More targeting = less waste!

4)  Promo is Cost Effective:  If you choose wisely (very important as Cuban points out) you can expect long term impact from a great promotional campaign.  This long term benefit means you get a lot of "impressions" for a one time advertising buy.  This creates great value for your advertising dollar!

5)  Humans Like Valuable Gifts:  Put simply, the Rule of Reciprocity is real.  If you provide customers and prospects value (or valuable gifts) they feel the need to do business with you.  And if you do this over time, the more inclined they will be to give you business.  I don't tell you this to manipulate.  I tell you this because it's true.

The fact is, Promo (or SWAG) is a powerful advertising tool that you would be unwise to ignore.  As a matter of fact, I would bet that if you go to a Dallas Mavericks game, you would see Promotional Advertising everywhere!  From the banners, to beer cups, to uniforms of employees, all great brands use promotional products to leverage their business.

So if it's good enough for the Dallas Mavericks, why shouldn't you use it to promote your business.  Short should.

Want more common sense business tips on Promotional Products?  Check out the new book "Delivering Marketing Joy!"

Hasseman Writes New Book "Delivering Marketing Joy!"

(Coshocton, OH)—Owner of promotional products distributor, Hasseman Marketing, Kirby Hasseman has written a new marketing book called “Delivering Marketing Joy.”  The new book, Hasseman’s third, focuses on how businesses and organizations can use promotional products to grow their business and increase customer loyalty. 
“I think we are living through a shift in the way that marketing is done,” says Hasseman.  “We have been in a “push” marketing world forever.  Now we are moving into an era of “pull” marketing.  The customer has more power than ever.”
Hasseman argues in his book that though promotional products are a medium that has been around for over 100 years, they are a perfect advertising piece to use in this new era.
“We are entering a “give first” business economy.  Business owners need to provide value first.  Promotional products are perfect for this. “
Hasseman wrote “Delivering Marketing Joy” in order to showcase promotional products as an important piece of any organizations marketing budget.  The book includes chapters on: increasing customer loyalty, trade show success, increasing sales, non-profits and more.  In addition the book also includes many “case studies” from both national suppliers AND distributors in order to showcase how organizations all over the country are using promotional products to impact their business in a positive way!
“The goal was to explain why organizations should be using promo to grow their business,” says Hasseman.  “But it was also important to me to show them how!  In addition, I want both suppliers and distributors to be comfortable sharing this book.”
Some of the companies featured in case studies include: Jetline, Vitronic, Gold Bond, Commonsku, Brand Fuel, Halo, IpromoteU and more. PPAI President Paul Bellantone even agreed to write the forward to the book.
“As an industry we need to work together to educate the public on the power of promo,” says Hasseman.  “Paul has done a great job of reminding us of that!”
Delivering Marketing Joy is available for sale on Amazon in both a paperback and Kindle edition.  You can learn more about Hasseman at 
Hasseman is the owner of Hasseman Marketing & Communications in Coshocton, Ohio.  Hasseman Marketing is a marketing firm specializing in promotional products, video, social media and more.  You can learn more at