Tag Archives: Marketing

Creating Greater Value And Returning ROI With Your Promotional Products

How to Get the Greatest ROI from Your Promotional Products

Austin, Texas: This past week, I have been walking around the various SXSW showcases, booths and musical venues in Austin, Texas – and noticed a ton of promotional swag being given out at many booths, venues, events, etc.

I love it-as our company, Geek Tech Branding, sells cool promotional swag and there were over 20 companies using our promotional products as incentives and give-aways this week.

However, it pains me to see how few companies are maximizing the effectiveness of their promotional swag dollars.

All people like promotional products. People will stand in line for cool promotional gifts. People will sign up on websites, fill out forms, take surveys, participate in forums and sit through a seminar to get cool promotional swag.

…So why are so many companies just handing out swag at these events without getting any ROI? I just don’t get it.

Just yesterday, I was handed earbuds, 2 stylus pens, 1 bottle opener, a pair of logo sunglasses, 4 foam koozies, 3 microfiber cloths and a silicone i-phone wallet– at various events–without ANYONE asking for anything in return.

I get that you brought along 5,000 promotional items and you want to hand them all out so you don’t have to lug them home.

But why not get people to get immersed in your brand for an extra moment before handing out the swag?

Get them to fill out a survey, hear about your latest features, sign up for a free trial, taste your new energy bar, play with your new device and give you the first thought that comes to mind, ask their opinion, Like your Facebook page, etc.

Make them do something in exchange for your cool promotional swag– and they will value it it more, post about it on social media platforms more often– and feel more connected to your brand.  You also get their permission to follow up for the future-whether it be just to get them onto your Facebook page, email list, questionnaire–get their contact information for future correspondence.

By doing a quid pro quo – or exchanging cool promotional swag in exchange for information– you will maximize the return on your promotional marketing dollars, while extending the reach of your brand.

Don’t be afraid to ask for something in return.  You will be pleasantly surprised at what extent people will jump through hoops to get some cool promotional swag.

Happy Promoting!


Monthly Newsletter

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.–including custom packaging and custom promotional products.

Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country. We are currently celebrating our 60th anniversary of helping clients build their brand and marketing reach.

Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses  and improve their branding.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog.

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power chargers and power sticks, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Donald Trump Needs to Re-Learn Marketing 101: Your Brand Must Stay on Message

Donald Trump the Brand vs. Donald Trump the Candidate: Only One Brand Stays on Message

branding
Austin, Texas: As I watch the Donald Trump presidential campaign go through cycles of gaffes, mis-statements, clarifications and blustering, I wonder in amazement how a person that has been so dedicated to branding over the past 30 years can get things so wrong.

 

Trump real estate has always marketed itself as a prestigious, high quality brand that deserves premium pricing.  It was perceived as “best of the best” and its panache carried the brand to markets across the country and the globe very well over the past few decades. The name “Trump” on a building commanded a higher price per square foot that a similar one one block over.

 

On the other hand, Donald Trump the candidate seems off-message nearly every day.
He is pro-choice and also pro-life.
Pro-women and also anti-woman.
His viewpoint can vary day by day or interview by interview, as the latest Chris Matthews interview on his views on abortion can attest.

 

Donald Trump may or may not get a chance to reshape his message and articulate one point of view–while trying to sell it to the American people. It will be a very tough battle now that the brand is muddied and has very high negatives.

 

Your brand is all of your actions that shape perceptions of your company, your products and your mission.
 

 

Regular brands often do not get a second chance to shape minds.

 

Once a brand loses its focus,it is nearly impossible to regain.

 

What does your brand stand for?

 

Can you explain it in under 10 words?

 

Do you live and breathe that brand – or does it change every few cycles or years?

 

Is your marketing consistent with your brand?

 

Do your customers and prospects clearly understand your brand?

 

Does all of your social media match your brand?

 

Do all of your employees (bottom up) understand your brand?

 

Get your branding right consistently because nothing ruins a company faster than being off-brand.

 

Is your branding on message?

Happy Promoting!
Monthly Newsletter

———————————————————-

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.–including custom packaging and custom promotional products.

Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country. We are currently celebrating our 60th anniversary of helping clients build their brand and marketing reach.

Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses  and improve their branding.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog.

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power banks and power chargers, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Is Your Marketing Keeping Up with Mobile Searches?

For the First Time in History, Mobile Searches Surpass Desktop Searches At Google…So What Does That Mean For Your Marketing Efforts?

is your website mobile-friendly?

Austin, Texas: Marketers are always trying to increase sales and widen their lead funnel.

Unfortunately, too many companies are still trying to increase sales through older, or inferior marketing channels and poor execution.

For the first time ever, mobile searches exceeded desktop searches on Google, according to this post on Tech Crunch.

Is your website mobile-friendly?  Have you tested it?

You cannot assume that people will only visit your site in front of their giant screens at work any longer.  That thinking is antiquated and will result in lost sales opportunities.

We get emails and online orders at GeekTechBranding.com at all hours of the day and night– weekdays and weekends– and our Analytics show that we are at 55% mobile for orders and 53% for Google Searches and Bing Searches.

We have spent tens of thousands of dollars revamping our website to make it mobile-friendly…and it had already paid off handsomely for us.  And it is still a work in progress.

There is no point spending your marketing dollars to bring people to your website –only to find out that it just does not fit –or work properly on smartphones.

People do not want to scroll all the way across your page, and use their fingers to enlarge every element of your website.  They will just come to your website and leave–in milliseconds.

Before you start your soul searching wondering why your online sales have dried up, take a look at your website on a variety of smartphones and tablets– and put yourself in the shoes of your prospects.

Would you buy from your website?  Now, be very honest with yourself and look again.

If not, go back to the drawing board in making the user experience more simple.

Start with your website.

Then build from there.

Happy Marketing!


Monthly Newsletter

———————————————————-

Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products for all occasions and events.–including custom packaging and custom promotional products.

Geek Tech Branding is a third-generation company that began in 1956 selling imprinted calendars and writing instruments and has grown to become one of the largest suppliers of imprinted technology and promotional electronic gifts in the country.

Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses  and improve their branding.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power chargers and power sticks, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Marketing 101: All Publicity is Not Good Publicity

Contrary to What You Might Have Learned About Marketing and Advertising: All Publicity is Not Always a Good Thing

risque marketing and advertising

Austin, Texas: Just because you are able to push the envelope in marekting and branding does not always mean you should.

I wrote a blog post last week about how your choice of promotional products can reflect on your company.

Well, same holds true for your advertising and marketing campaigns.

Case in point: Some businesses, including an Urban Outfitter’s own salon name Hairroinhave used promotional pens that look like syringes (usually used for pharmaceutical promotions) to promote a heroin-themed marketing campaign.

Now, I’m no prude, but tying in your brand and image to a drug, especially one as dangerous as heroin, seems designed for multiple publicity and backlash.

Is that how you want to build your brand–on the backs of a serious drug epidemic?

Just because you have the right to be stupid and creative, does not mean you should.

I like companies that push the envelope and boundaries when it is fun,topical and truly creative.

However, when it comes to hard drugs, it is best to stay away.

Far away.

Getting free publicity is great when it creates some controversy.

  •        Sexual and Risque Marketing–depends on the target audience. Seems to work for celebrities. Can also offend your core audience if done incorrectly.
  •      Political-Themed Marketing–same thing–depends on the target audience.
  •       Drug Marketing–I’d say never–unless you were marketing an anti-drug campaign. And even there, you’d want to show the health scares or the stupidity of doing drugs, not showcase it as a cool, must-do program.

But there is a line that you should not cross— and like indecency, you should know it when you see it.

Just say no–to offensive marketing.

There are much better and creative ways to use your imagination and build market share.

Happy Promoting!

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in high tech promotional products. Since 1981, Robert Piller has been working with companies of all sizes, including Fortune 500 companies, law firms, non-profit organizations, financial institutions, startups and other organizations, to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing and technology topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest high-tech promotional products –including imprinted power chargers and power sticks, imprinted Bluetooth speakers and promotional ear buds, custom printed tablet sleeves,  branded iPhone cases, imprinted USB car chargerspromotional stylus pens, promotional USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Personalization: How Are You Utilizing Your Customer Profiles?

data capture and website personalization
Austin, Texas: We keep reading about the over-reach of government and corporations in terms of data capture.

It is one thing to capture data for lead generation if you are up-front about it.

It is another to do it secretly.

But what do you do with all your data — or are you just capturing it for possible future use?

The future for websites is in personalization and customization.  Having landing pages and mini-websites created for a particular customer’s needs- instead of a mass audience.

Are you working toward that in your data capture–or is it just hit and miss?

One of the best examples I saw was my Google birthday greeting the other da y- on my actual birthday.

It was subtle — yet made me feel special.

Think about what you can do to increase personalization based on a few specific criteria that you deem most important — and forget about the other wasteful data capture.

Make your sites more user friendly.

It’s all about the customer experience.

What can you do to enhance that personal experience?

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has been working with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations, to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. Feel free to reach him through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Value-Added Services are The Quickest Way to Increased Revenues–and Differentiate You From the Pack

Are You Up-Selling Value-Added Services or Just Piling on Adding Negative Fees?

Value Added Services Can Add to Your Bottom LineAustin, Texas: I just read an article detailing how many airlines are starting to add positive value-added services to help raise revenues, instead of merely adding more punishing fees, such as baggage and reservation change fees.

Some airlines are starting to add Wi-Fi, iPads loaded with movies, a service to have your luggage delivered to your hotel or destination to avoid baggage claim, quiet lounges, added leg room seats, etc.

This is in response to customer pushback on many of these negative fees – as people are starting to pack only one suitcase and book further in advance–hurting the revenues of the airlines.

Value-added services can help differentiate your company from others and many clients are willing to pay for them.

We have recently added Next-Day Rush and 3-Day Rush Service to many of our product offerings for those clients that have waited until the last minute to order their trade show promotional items – and many clients are happy to pay for this value-added service.  It can turn these marketing executives from a goat into a hero – and it is often worth that added charge for this service.

We started added brand-name imprinted electronics-from companies such as JVC, Samsung, Sony, Skullcandy, iLuv, Garmin and others–for those clients willing to pay for top brand name items that can also be branded with their own logos.  This value-added service is targeted to a select group of clients willing to pay more for a better and more well-known brand name to partner with.

What are you doing to value-add your services?

Instead of raising prices across the board, can you charge fees for something extra–maybe faster service, longer warranties, home delivery, weekend or night service, etc?

Think out of the box in creating a second level or tier of service-so that only those that need this service will pay for it – while keeping prices steady for everyone else.

The difference in profit and losses for many companies can be as simple as value-added services.

What type of value-added services can you add to your marketing mix?

After all, most of the airlines make 100% of their profits from fees and value-added services.

Think about what value-added services can do for your bottom line…and then start to add them.

Happy Marketing!

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has been working with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations, to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas.  Feel free to reach him through LinkedInTwitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargersUSB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

What Do Customers REALLY Think About Your Brand?

Does your perception of your brand match reality?Have You Asked Your Customers What Your Brand Means To Them?

Austin, TX: While meeting with a Fortune 500 client last week, the marketing manager was talking about one of his brands with such glowing terms and with such precision that I was confused. I thought he was talking about a different product altogether.

He was talking about a consumer product that had a completely different perception in the marketplace than he was portraying..or thinking about.

Was he imagining things, was he lying to himself or was his facts wrong?

There was a total disconnect between what customers thought of the brand and what the marketing team thought of the brand.

I read an article in the Wall Street Journal last week talking about how the Toyota Scion and Kia Soul cars were both designed for a youth market — yet were instead selling to a vary mature senior audience.

Talk about brand disconnect.

Kia was marketing on TV with rapping and dancing hamsterswith boomboxes – when their audience was actually a baby boomer.

Do you know how your product or brand is really being perceived by the public?

Do some more research.

Interview your customers and resellers.

Run the reports.

Look at your numbers.

Then ask yourself if there is a disconnect between how you perceive your brand and how your buying public perceives it.

Happy Marketing!
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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas.  He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

New Way To Market Your Brand – Buy or Rename a City

New advertising Idea- Naming a City

Can naming rights to a city be too far off?

Welcome to Viagra, NY

Austin, Texas: A businessman in Texas bought an abandoned town and renamed it after his bar–Bikinis, according to the Austin Business Journal.

He plans to fix up the bar and make it a party destination.  Welcome to Bikinis, Texas!

Now, this may be a little tongue-in-cheek, but what if marketers paid cities for their naming rights–much like they do for stadiums.

Imagine:Coca Cola, MN; Viagra, NY ; Fritos, MO ; Olive Garden, CA

It would be a great way for cities to increase revenues without raising taxes.

And imagine the marketing publicity.  A city of Microsoft in every state.

Will cities – and counties for that matter – take the easy money and sell their souls?

I wouldn’t bet against it.

Move over, Austin, Texas.

That name had a good run.

Welcome to DownloadIncentives, Texas everyone!  Have a nice visit in our town.

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Rewarding Facebook Likes and Twitter Followers: Good Business Strategy or Folly?

rewarding Facebook fans and Twitter followersAustin, Texas: What is the value of a Facebook “Like” or a Twitter “Follower”?

Many numbers have been bandied about over the past several months, but I’d have to think it depends on the type of business you have and the relationship with your “fans”.

Can you buy “friends” with incentives?  Sure.  We have run dozens of programs where the first 2,5000 people to “like” a Facebook page or the first 1,000 Twitter “followers” win a digital downloadable prize, like music downloads, free magazine subscriptions, movie tickets, etc.

Are they effective?  Yes, the programs that incentivize participation can have powerful short-term effectiveness, as it encourages immediate action. If your goal is to see a quick gain of Facebook fans and Twitter followers, incentivizing visitors is definitely a tool to consider.

But the key to your social media success still lies in your social media strategy.

How well are you communicating benefits to your fans?

How meaningful is the dialog?   (It is a dialog–not a one-sided rant–right?)

How often are you communicating?

How are you encouraging feedback, replies or other forms of participation?

How engaged are your followers and fans?

If you are not planning on viewing your social media strategy as a two-way communication platform, you are missing the boat.  There is no point in trying to maximize the number of fans and followers if you are just shouting out special sales and inane content.

Put value into your dialog.

Improve your conversations.

Then watch your social media gain real traction.

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.

Time to Hire Some New Marketing People to Boost Sales for Next Year?

Austin, Texas:  On LinkedIn the other day, I spent  some time looking at various profiles of my “connections” — and noticed a large nummber of well qualified marketing executives without jobs.Now hiring

Not just without jobs.  But without jobs for a long, long time. 

Perhaps now is the perfect time to re-consider your marketing strategy for next yearand hire some of these people–either on a full time or part-time basis, as your organization is surely looking for ways to increase market share.

Small companies: Now is your chance to get some great talent at a reasonable price.  Even if you hire these folks on a project-by-project basis, your organization can get some powerful marketing strategies and planning at a price previously not available to you.

Mid-sized firms: You can probbaly get a marketing executive with 20+ years experience for a lot less money than you would have paid 3-4 years ago. I’m not advocating beating up these people on price, but the salary for marketing executives has come down a bit over the past few years.

Large firms: Marketing should be at the forefront of your new year sales plans – and these former marketing executives can more than pay for themselves by avoiding potential problems and improving efficiencies that a much younger junior executive would not have the experience to know.

Let’s all do our part to improve the economy.

Take a look at bringing in some marketing talent.

America, we can either clamp down on all spending and watch our sales volume slide — or we can market our way to the top.

Which route will you be taking?

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Robert Piller is President of GeekTechBranding.com, the leader in promotional products aimed at a tech audience. Since 1981, Robert Piller has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as startups and other organizations to market and promote their businesses using the latest and most cost-effective marketing strategies and incentives.

He is a frequent writer and speaker on marketing topics and loves to share and exchange ideas. He can be reached through LinkedIn, Twitter, by email (robert [at] geektechbranding.com) or through this blog

GeekTechBranding.com offers the latest hi-tech promotional products –including imprinted speakers and ear buds, tablet and cell phone cases and bags, promotional stylus pens, imprinted chargers, USB drives and hubs and more — all imprinted with your company’s name and logo.