4 Promotional Ideas to Help Grow Your Business During a Financial Crisis

True or false: Your company should keep up its advertising spend, even during a slow economy.


History has proven companies that maintain or increase their advertising investments during economic downturns actually increase their sales.

And promotional products are the best advertising investment you can make. Compared to print, TV and other advertising methods, promotional products lead to higher advertiser recall, increased ROI and better overall impression among consumers. In fact, a recent survey by the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) found that using promotional products in your advertising mix can increase brand interest up to 69% and creates a good impression of the brand 84% of the time.

Promotional products can also lead to more frequent or repeated exposure of your marketing message, resulting in a lower cost per impression. More than half of those surveyed said they generally keep promotional products for more than a year, giving the marketing message repeated exposure over a long period of time. Try these long-lasting items to get a great value for your next event or promotion:

  • Calendars – viewed countless times every day, calendars help you extend your brand reach 24/7
  • Post-it Notes -custom notepads let your customers keep track of their notes while keeping your brand visible
  • Key Chains – for the car, house or work, branded key chains help unlock your brand’s marketing potential
  • Magnets – employees and customers alike will be attracted to your brand with logoed promotional magnets

With these great deals on promotional products, your advertising dollar will go even further to help your company stand above the rest during these hard economic times.

Connect With Your Customers, Employees With Christmas Gifts Using Promotional Products

Christmas has always been a season of gifting. It is also a time when you would like to reach out to the people you work with, both internally (employees) and externally (clients), to show you value them. The best way to connect with them this holiday season is by giving away personalized Christmas gifts.

Why Promote?

Well, it’s Christmas – the biggest festival of the year! If that isn’t reason enough for you than look at it this way–Christmas is the best time to reconcile and make up for lost opportunities through the year and reach out to everyone, while ending the year on a high and beginning the New Year on a happy note. Promotional giveaways can help build confidence in your business, drive awareness and works great for loyalty management.

Make it Personal

Everyone loves receiving gifts, even more so when it is something they can actually use and flaunt. Gone are the days of gifting a box of chocolates that are consumed and forgotten in a day. Add a personal touch to all your gifts.

The Latest Trends

Corporate Christmas gifts such as jackets and t-shirts, computer bags, wallets, executive pen sets, Martini and shot glasses, or beer steins are sure to be hits with their recipients and will ensure that brand recall stays high all through next year. With the economic crunch, businesses constantly look to save precious marketing dollars. Now procuring promotional products at budgeted rates is easier with several online stores. They can choose from a wide range of product categories including seasonal best sellers, on-sale items and even budget items under $1.

It’s all about your Identity

A good promotional distributor will understand that the unique branding of the advertiser is just as important as the gift itself. Such a distributor will cleverly integrate everything your business stands for into the personalized Christmas gift without deviating from your brand identity. The final product will not only be a fabulous corporate Christmas gift, but also something that will make a lasting impression for your brand.

Make a lasting impression

Choosing a product because it is low-priced might save dollars, but could mean that your brand will be laid to rest in the trash can along with the promo… literally! When choosing custom promotional products, be sure to choose unique ideas to make an impact on your audiences. Unique promotional ideas are ones which make an indelible impression in the mind of the recipient and sets you apart from your competitors.

50 Marketing and Sales Promotional Plans – Next Set of 15

Hi, we are back again with more promotional plans. Our ’50 Promotional Plans’ have been compiled to help retail businesses reach out to their target market more effectively. Since there are so many creative promotional models out already, retailers can use the best fit to get the maximum visibility, better cost-effectiveness, improve branding and achieve greater sales.

We had previously discussed promotional ideas such as Happy hours, Free trials, Customer care, Complimentary products, Group discounts, Cross promotion, Motivational offers, Fun offers, Group offers, Free service, Spares with product, Selling attractive packages, Freebies, Free shipping, Referral schemes and Block renewals. These promotional ideas were well received by our readers and now we are back again with the next 15 schemes for you.

1) Senior Citizen Discounts: Special discounts for senior citizens, a gradually increasing segment with specific needs, is a great idea. In fact, there is a site entirely dedicated to this segment – seniordiscounts.com. Through senior citizen specific schemes you can promote any product or service that senior citizens may need and build a whole new market segment. For example Super Religare Wellness had a scheme where it gave 10% off to all senior citizens. Even Ayurcare offered special discounts to senior citizens for its therapies and detoxification programs.

2) Discounts to Niche Customers: Select the target segment you wish to focus on – say, a particular membership card holder that suits your profile – and offer them a discount. For example, a top end restaurant providing discounts to Club Mahindra holders would bring exclusive focus to an attractive, new segment.

3) Tie-ups with Banks: A tie-up with banks to provide special discounts for customers who use their bank cards at your retail outlet provides access to many potential customers at negligible cost. Several banks are ready to do this.

4) Early bird customers: How about early bird schemes where customers get special discounts for buying early? Such schemes prod customers into buying early to avail the discount. From travels to wellness centres and even corporate training programs, early bird incentives are always a great way to promote your products and services. Wild Frontiers, an adventure travel site offered a 5% discount for early bird registrations while VITS Wellness Centre, Andheri offered a limited period special discount for early bird couples.

5) Reward the customer for his efforts: Reward your customer for the efforts they put in for their own good. ‘Fitness First’, a fitness centre, rewarded its customers for losing each kilogram, with a Rs. 500 discount for each kilogram lost.

6) Use short codes effectively: Let your customers participate in an on-the-spot contest, and in the process get their mobile numbers too. Give a freebie or a discount to whoever participates in the contest. Subway used this scheme by asking customers to enter a contest: Subway gets the customers contact details such as mobile number and email id while customer gets discounts or freebies.

7) Special Event promotion: A special event such as an anniversary, festival or a special day like Valentine’s Day is a great time to offer a promotion scheme. Give a special discount to anyone who registers or buys on occasions such as Children’s day, Mother’s day, Father’s day, Teacher’s day etc. For example Gold’s gym offered a special discount for couples who joined the gym on Valentine’s day and Big Cinema gave away free tickets for women patrons on Woman’s Day.

8) Price guarantee: When real estate prices are falling and people do not buy because of uncertainty, a promotional scheme that offers to pass on the price benefit in case of lower prices in the future, drives sales. A limited period offer for those who book during the period, protects those from future price fluctuations. Aparna Constructions in Hyderabad has offered such a promotional scheme in view of the uncertainty in the real estate market to assuage fears of the customers and provide them with a window of opportunity to invest.

9) Surprise gift: Offer a surprise gift along with a service. Getting something free in the most unexpected of times always remains etched as one of the most memorable experiences for customers. It does not matter whether it is a small gift or a big one, what matters is that you have made the customer feel like the lucky one. For example Jaipan sells a combo package of home appliances such as a vacuum cleaner, toaster, blender and roti maker and throws in a a surprise gift!

10) Social causes: If your service has a social element to it, offer a promotional pricing with it. For example, Times Matrimonials, offers a discount for those who wish to advertise in their matrimonial column without a dowry requirement (or without a caste and religion bar). Similarly they offer discounts for senior citizens and widow/widowers and differently abled customers.

11) Environmental cause: A environmental cause like energy efficiency could focus on a specific scheme targeted at its customers. For example the Bureau of Energy Efficiency in India had called for a specific segment, the BPOs, to provide a star rating for BPO buildings for energy efficiency. To promote the scheme, the Bureau has announced a waiver of a hefty registration fee of Rs. 1 lakh for the first 100 applicants!

12) Buy more, get more: Buy 1 item get 10% off, 2 items and get 20% off and 3 items and get 30% off. The more you buy, the greater the discount you get. ‘Allen Solly’ offered this deal in Chennai for its menswear and women’s wear sections. Similarly Bombay Dyeing did this for its bed sheets!

13) Old for New: This is an attractive scheme especially in times when consumers are buying more. Every thought of replacement comes with the problem of what to do with the old. Big bazaar has launched a scheme where the customer can take the old and exchange it for new stuff. It takes care of two problems for the customer – getting a new product and getting rid of the old.

14) Establish a strong relationship with your customer: To find out who is buying your products and to establish a relationship of trust with them is what all retailers wish to do. Ranbaxy offered an innovative promotion scheme of a scratch card + SMS for its medicines. When customers buy medicines, they are provided with a scratch card that has a unique code, which must be SMSed to Ranbaxy. When the customer purchases the same medicine three times and SMSes the unique code each time, he gets a PIN, which he can use to get the fourth medicine free. Ranbaxy also provides the option to the customer of receiving reminders on taking the medicine – a nice way of being in touch with the customer and reinforcing the thought that you care.

15) Attractive add-on charges: A nominal Re. 1 charge for a normal service such as making charges for jewellery attracts customers – even more than a free service campaign. Reliance jewellery recently offered a Re. 1 making charges scheme on jewellery bought at their stores.

50 Promotional Plans First 15