community involvement, COVID-19 marketing, good will creation, keeping up with trends, lead generation, Making Connections, Memorability, Networking, pandemic marketing, Post-COVID-19 Marketing, post-pandemic marketing, promotional items, sales, traditional marketing

Five Promotional Products for Challenging Times

The promotional product world looks very different now than it did in early March. It’s not all gloom and doom, but the way we interact with each other and stay in touch with our prospects and clients has certainly changed. Despite challenging times, you still need to promote your products and services, get in front of your target audience and generate new business.

So, what’s trending lately in the promo world to help companies stay top of mind? Let’s look at some new ideas and all-time favorites.  

Pens

Pens have been my all-time favorite product because they appeal to almost every audience. With the focus on everything being fresh, clean, and sanitized, a new pen is a coveted item. Antimicrobial pens are popular because they help fight off germs – plus, many come individually wrapped in cellophane to avoid any contamination.

Golf

Personalized golf balls are a crowd pleaser and they’re a cinch to customize. Just add your charity or business’ logo, message or photo, and voilà, you’ve got a unique and memorable giveaway. Some may even become collector’s items! Since golf is one of the few team sports that’s ‘open for business,’ many golf events are still on. Yet another reason customized golf ball remains a top choice!

Water Bottles

If you’re like me, you probably want to drink more water, but always forget to pack your water bottle.  Problem solved! Give your prospects and clients branded water bottles that they can’t forget! Water bottles are a health-focused promo gift that your target market can use every day – and the benefit is that your name is always front and center. Want a few ideas? Check out my client’s favorite water bottles.

Mugs

Do you start the day with a cup of joe or look forward to an afternoon tea? If that’s a yes, you know it’s not just part of your daily routine, it’s a time you really love. Chances are you have a handful of favorite mugs; some you’ve owned for years. Branded mugs make a reasonably priced and useful giveaway, and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. Add mugs to your marketing budget for a promotional item that lasts year after year.

Hand Sanitizer

With everyone going back into the workplace, hand sanitizers are a necessity.  If you thought customized hand sanitizers were a popular handout before COVID-19, they’re now one of my best sellers. Hand washing is serious business, so much in fact that the CDC has an entire section on keeping your hands clean. There’s even a “Life is Better with Clean Hands Campaign”. Piggyback on that for great PR and to do your part to keep America safe.

Why Promotional Products Now?

Business is coming back and the same problems you solved before the pandemic, you’re still solving now. Don’t stop marketing. Let your clients and prospects know you’re well and alive and open for business. Promotional products that are reasonably priced and customized for your business, let the world know – “I’m here. How can I help you?”

Rachel Leone is president of Leone Marketing Solutions, a women-owned promotional product and apparel firm. She helps big brands and small brands stand out, get noticed, and generate leads through her promotional products and services. Thousands of new products are launched every day, and one of them may be just right for you, click here to browse her website. For more information or a complimentary brainstorming session contact her at 781.740.3171 or rachel@leonemarketing.com.

pandemic marketing, post-pandemic marketing

Why Revisiting the 6 P’s of Marketing is Particularly Important To Any Organization Right Now

I broached the topic of this blog post a bit in my most recent e-newsletter, but I’ve been itching to return to and elaborate on it. Given how much our country, and our world, has changed in the last several months, each and every organization — whether they are a for-profit or a non-profit one –should be revisiting the 6 “P’s” of marketing related to each of its various product and service offerings to make sure previous decisions regarding the P’s still apply.

So, just what are the 6 P’s of marketing? Different marketing subject matter experts may refer to or combine them differently, but ultimately, the following very interrelated marketing elements (marketing mix) are always at play:

  • Product (or service) — features should address customer desires and requirements related to:
    • function/use/capabilities
    • look & feel
    • packaging
    • warranty/guarantees
  • Price — each of the below pricing-related features needs to reflect the product- or service-in question’s position in the marketplace, i.e., what target audiences will be willing to, and what means they’ll use, to pay for it
    • selling/actual price
    • payment options, including available credit terms
    • discounts (this should also be addressed under the “P” of promotion
    • price matching (can/will your organization meet the pricing of a competitor?)
  • People (Your People aka Employees)
    • quality/level of service provided if providing a paid service
    • customer service level
    • appearance and professionalism of employees, including attitude
    • employee relatability/resonance with population
  • Population Served
    • if business-to-consumer product or service, basic demographics of target audience — gender, age, household income, education level, parental status/children at home, home ownership, marital status, geography, and more
    • if business-to-business product or service, target organization qualifications, such as size/# of employees, annual sales/income, and industry
  • Positioning
    • where you stand in the marketplace if there are other organizations offering similar services or products, i.e., is your product or service considered low-end, mid-level, or high-end, based on quality, features, and/or pricing?
  • Promotion
    • messaging employed
    • advertising/media vehicles used
    • PR/publicity
    • Sponsorships/event attendance
    • networking/prospecting/sales
    • other

Whether it’s with their marketing/advertising agency, marketing consultant, marketing team, or entire leadership team, organizations need to walk & talk thru each of the elements above and document what, if anything, needs to change to ensure future success. It’s likely many organizations will need to revise their marketing mix because of the impact the pandemic has had or is expected to have on their organization.

Pandemic/Post-Pandemic Marketing Questions to Consider

This list is not meant to be exclusive, but below are some examples of questions to be asking as you work through the above list of P’s:

  • Is it likely that my target audience’s income levels, and therefore, their price sensitivities, have shifted — whether they be consumers or businesses?
    • if yes, does it make sense to offer a lower-cost version of your product or service?
  • Assuming you haven’t created new messaging for marketing materials and activities in the last few months in response to the pandemic, what, if anything, needs to change about content, slogans, language, etc. used in promotional activities, so as not too appear irrelevant, callous, heart-less, or out-of-touch?
  • How have the ways my target audience gathers information, and particularly, the ways that my target audience prefers to gather information, changed? And, related to this, can my target audiences access the same channels of information they did pre-pandemic?
    • Transit (bus, subway, train, etc.) advertising is a good example of advertising and information-sharing that far fewer individuals have access to now — this may continue for many months.
    • Think about whether target audiences have access to hard copies/printed versions of newspapers and magazines — perhaps, they only had access to these at work and/or they cancelled their home subscriptions because of disposable income challenges that the pandemic has presented.
  • Have target audiences adopted new technology for gathering or sharing information that you can now capitalize on?
  • In keeping with the above, what vehicles should I consider for information-sharing and promotion that I hadn’t considered pre-pandemic?
  • How should I best communicate product/service additions and/or changes to employees? What’s the best way to train employees who interact directly with/service clients and/or serve in a customer service role on the aforementioned additions/changes?
  • In keeping with the above, if I provide a service or product that must be received/accessed via a physical location, what new policies/procedures/protocols will I need to put in place and how do I best communicate this information to both employees and customers?

The above are just a sampling of the types of questions that may arise for you and your team as you walk through the 6 Marketing P’s above. We are always here to take you and your team through the above exercise or execute required tactics that arise from your discussion, so please reach out if we can help.

COVID-19 marketing, fundraising/development, Google Ads, Google Nonprofit Ad Grant, landing page, online advertising, paid search, pandemic marketing, Post-COVID-19 Marketing, pull marketing, sales, SEM, Uncategorized

Should You Be Running Google Ads Search Advertising During Our Pandemic?

The answer to the headline above is “it all depends.”

Based on the current Google Ads campaigns I’m running for clients, it appears that average cost-per-clicks, in general, have decreased a fair amount during our pandemic. That means the price an advertiser will pay each time someone clicks on their ad and arrives at their website landing page is less than what it would have been pre-pandemic. So, who should be investing in Google Ads (also known as paid search, pay-per-click (PPC), or search engine marketing (SEM)) right now?

Organizations should be investing in Google Ads right now if:

  1. non-extravagant consumer goods products that can be shipped/delivered
  2. moderately priced services that can be accessed virtually/online, such as the ability to take a class or be coached virtually
  3. services and products that are a necessity, despite their cost. Examples of this would be services to repair a plumbing issue or a leaky roof or a new washing machine to replace one that broke
  • you offer a product or service that has a lengthy sales lead time, i.e., target audiences — whether they be business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) — tend to conduct a lot of research and take a number of weeks or months to make a decision to make a purchase of said product or service. Many individuals have more free time on their hands right now because of freed-up work commuting time and a significantly reduced number of social engagements. So, if they have a large future purchase in mind, it’s highly likely they are gathering information related to their probable purchase now. Examples of purchases with long lead time could be project management software or systems to be used by an employer or elective surgery to replace a hip.
  • you’re a nonprofit seeking donations to support your efforts to adapt or continue to offer services during COVID-19. Whether you have a Google Nonprofit Ad Grant under which you can execute such advertising, or you’ll need to pay for your own advertising, with the lower average cost-per-click we’re witnessing, Google Ads may be a very cost-effective fundraising tactic.

Be forewarned that the price of Google Ads and other forms of pay-per-click advertising, such as social media advertising, is expected to rise again — and perhaps rapidly — post-pandemic because of pent-up demand by organizations to promote their products or services. That’s why if you meet one of the requirements above and you’ve always wanted to test the “paid search” waters but believed the media (advertising buy) cost would be prohibitive, you might want to consider implementing a Google Ads campaign as soon as possible vs. waiting until things seem back to normal (or as close to normal as is achievable in 2020).

We are trying to “give back” as much as possible during these challenging times. We are glad to help any non-profit organization apply for a Google Nonprofit Ad Grant for free. We’re also offering the following special. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss your pandemic or post-pandemic marketing challenges and opportunities. It’s never to early to start planning!

COVID-19 marketing, marketing best practices, organic SEO, pandemic marketing, Post-COVID-19 Marketing, post-pandemic marketing, SEO, technical SEO, Uncategorized

Why These Turbulent Times Are Ideal Ones to Optimize Your Website for Search

I’ve shared this already via some social media posts, as well as part of e-mail and phone conversations. I do believe this is the ideal time for both for-profits and non-profits to optimize their websites to be found well/rank high in search engine results for relevant searches for the following reasons:

  • It’s a good way to redirect marketing $$ and energies if it doesn’t make sense to market now. Depending on the products and services your organization offers, it may come across as insensitive, irrelevant, or just plain crass, to be promoting offerings that could be viewed as too much of a luxury right now or that just don’t make sense because of their inaccessibility. Think a service or product you can’t receive or purchase virtually. Why not redirect the money and time that you planned on spending on other marketing activities to search engine optimization (SEO) efforts?
  • SEO is a no-brainer and best practice. Even if your organization’s website doesn’t currently receive a lot of organic traffic from search engine searches (this could be because your site has never been optimized for search, or simply due to the fact that individuals aren’t searching to identify someone who offers your products or services), or your industry is a referral-driven business, as many business-to-business industries are, it’s always a best practice to optimize your website to be found by searchers looking to identify an organization that offers the products and services or the solutions to problems that you do. You’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that if relevant searchers are searching, they will find your organization.
  • You’ll set yourself up for future success. As we shared early on in our current health pandemic, no-one has a crystal ball. While we all have our guesses and theories, it’s impossible to state, as of the date of this blog post, which types of organizations will be most impacted long-term by our world health scenario, and which types will rebound most quickly. But, in keeping with the bullet above this one, why not set yourself up for the best possible chance of being found by those who are searching for help and needs related to what your organization offers?
  • Your organization will save and maximize marketing $$ when $$ are particularly tight. One of the many outcomes we love about implementing technical/organic tactics to support a client organization’s appearing high up in relevant search engine searches is that it can help them avoid unnecessary spending on paid search/PPC advertising down the road. Depending on the competitiveness of an organization’s market, and whether or not searchers are indeed looking to identify someone like the organization, implementing SEO tactics may make paid search/search engine marketing (SEM) spending gratuitous in the long-term.

If you scroll through our blog at https://allintheresults.com/ponderings, you will find a large number of blog posts to get you up-to-speed on organic/technical SEO basics, and we are glad to answer any questions on those basics on a complimentary basis because of our desire to give back right now. We are also always here to help with some of the bigger and more complex lifts like keyword research. So, please reach out if we can help answer questions about smaller SEO tasks or help you complete larger ones.