19 Sep

Service Levels in the Promotional Products Industry

These words will probably ring true to many customers in probably every industry thinkable:

“What has become of supplier service levels?”

SLA-ImageHaving worked in the promotional products industry for a number of years and understanding how important service in this very competitive industry is, I am amazed when I speak to potential- or even existing customers and they tell me of their horror stories about an industry which I have an absolute passion for.

Just yesterday another unhappy customer!

Being told by a customer that he had phoned four promotional companies, some of them well know, for end of year gifts, with none of them returning any of his calls.

And then we still wonder why a big portion of customers perceive the promotional products industry as they do. Heck, hearing these stories on a regular basis makes me think….

How? Why? Are we too busy? Is there too much business around? Do we have the necessary passion for this industry?

Given we all make mistakes at some point in the value chain. Whether it is due to industry technicalities, our own incapability’s or personal limitations?

The question remains, how do we manage these bumps in the road in order for our service levels not to be adversely affected and to make our customers’ procurement process as easy and stress free as possible?

The word service has become a BIG cliché, as almost every company in virtually every industry proclaims to be a service champion in their respective fields.

Service is not something a customer needs to hear, it is something they must experience!

Due to huge investment from many role players in the promotional products industry, we as resellers have all the tools available that will allow us to increase our service levels. Why don’t we use and implement them?

Given once again, not all resellers in the promotional products market delivers poor service. But there is unfortunately a large number of companies out there who gives our industry most of us work so hard on to promote, grow and improve, a very bad name.

And it is not only about returning a call, this is merely the start of the relationship. It is about managing your customers’ expectations throughout the sales and marketing process and even more so during the production and delivery process.

By improving our individual service levels, all those involved in the industry can collectively contribute to improving and growing the promotional products market in South Africa.

But more importantly, we can change our customer’ perceptions of an industry which can be very beneficial to any companies’ marketing mix, something which is desperately needed.

#poorservices #sla #letsimproveservice

04 Sep

State of the Promotional Products Industry

With many industries going through difficult times in these challenging economic conditions, one tends to sometimes wonder what is the state of the promotional products industry, not only in South Africa but also the rest of the world.

To answer this question, we sometimes need to be guided by international organizations such as the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI).

The ASI is the promotional product industry’s largest membership organization and does not only offer media, technology, marketing and education to help cultivate success, educate and inform but they also conduct very influential research.

As you can imagine, the American promotional products industry dwarfs our local industry and whilst some statistics do not apply to us in South Africa, there are very useful information that applies to our local market.

A very interesting article published by the ASI gives us some insight on the challenges and opportunities we face in the promotional products market.

SOI

#promotionalproducts #marketingmix #giveaways #brands #customers #artwork

22 Aug

Promotional Products FAQ

Artwork-FAQ

The promotional product market has changed drastically over the last couple of years with many #brands and companies not only seeing these items as mere #giveaways anymore but now starting to realize they are an integral part of the #marketingmix.

A major part of promotional products’ success for a #brand lies in the quality of the branding applied to such a product. And unfortunately this is an area that is neglected by distributors and customers alike, which often leads to poor quality delivered products and unhappiness on many fronts.

These unfortunate situations can be avoided with quality #artwork and proper #planning.

There are however many questions around artwork for promotional product production from both distributors and #customers.

Having had to assist many customers in correcting competitor mistakes and answering many questions around the uncertain area of artwork, Entrepo has put together a FAQ document which should answer most of your artwork questions and that will guide you to procure and receive higher quality #promotionalproducts.

Artwork-FAQ

Artwork-FAQ

14 Jun

Effectiveness of Promotional Items – Part 3

Top
With Part 3 we now reach the second half of our series on the Effectiveness of Promotional Items.

We now start looking at the practical aspects, things that should be kept in mind when you start to execute your promotional plan. This is where the excitement starts as we now start looking at the physical elements, those elements that will contribute to creating a lasting memory in the minds of your captive market.

Choosing the Right Promotional Item

If the benefits outweigh the drawbacks or shortcomings of promotional merchandise for your organization, you will want to consider your options. But how can you choose the most relevant merchandise items to promote your business?

Entrepo offers the following suggestions:

1. Items that you giveaway should be gifts consumers can use as they are making decisions related to the products or services you provide. You want your organization to be on the tip of their tongues when the discussion turns to their relevant organizational needs.
2. Your promotional products should not only support your marketing message but also set your organization apart from the others.
3. Look for ways to personalize your promotional products. Whilst you certainly want to share your logo and other pertinent information, your target audience want to see their name, more than anything else. Branding your giveaway merchandise with both your visual identity as your customer’s name can get the item noticed and earn a place of honour in the user’s daily activities.
4. Invest I promotional products that offer lasting usability. The greater the shelf life of the item you are giving away, the greater the return on your investment.
5. Choose items that are perceived by your audience to be of high value, likely a higher perceived value than acheter viagra you are paying.
6. Make sure the items you order are quality products and know that the quality of the gifts will remain an enduring reflection of your organization.

In order to realize success, it is important to first define your objectives of your initiative. Why are you giving something away? What is your promotional products budget and the number of products you wish to purchase? In addition, you’ll always consider your organization’s brand ensuring that your giveaway is aligned with your brand, theme or focus of what you are promoting.

We suggest the following practical do’s and dont’s.

Do’s
• Use colours that are eye catching.
• Ensure the colours compliment your brand but stand out.
• Choose a freebie that can be used all year and is not season specific.
• Use top performers.

Dont’s
• Choose a product that will be stored in a drawer or cupboard.
• Make your gift too personal.
• Have only one type of promotional product, consider getting a mix of items.
• Hand out cheap looking gifts.
• Make short-lasting products or one-time-use items.

By approaching your promotional products from a strategic perspective, you stand to strengthen your brand, build relationships with recipients and potentially pave the way for future business.

In our conclusion in Part 4 next week, we will look at some statistical elements. Do your target market really remember your message? What are the most popular items? What is your consumers’ response to receiving a promotional item?

These and many other interesting questions will be answered with statistics, which will give us a final insight in the Effectiveness of Promotional Items. Sweater

08 Jun

Effectiveness of Promotional Items – Part 2

TopFollowing the introduction to the Effectiveness on Promotional Items in Part 1, this week we look at the advantages, disadvantages, perceptions, planning challenges and product limitations of promotional items.

These points are vitally important to properly plan and execute your promotional campaign to ensure you receive maximum exposure for your marketing rand’s spent.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Promotional Products

No promotional solution provides all the answers and this is true of promotional products as well as other advertising channels.

Experts say there are a number of advantages to using promotional products, among them:
– There are a wide variety of options, so chances are good you can find a promotional product that will be of interest to your audience, while still relevant to the products or viagra best buy reviews services your organization provides.
– Research shows customers and potential customers enjoy receiving free gifts.
– Promotional products can be used for a variety of purposes.
– Buying in bulk lowers the cost per impression – the more you buy, the better your return on possible investment.
– Promotional products can have a far higher value than their actual cost. Someone seen wearing your logo or tagline on a hat or shirt, in essence becomes a walking billboard for your organization.

No marketing and promotion solution is right for everyone. Organizations must also consider the potential shortcomings or downfalls if promotional items are used incorrectly.

Product Perception

– Items which are cheaply made, fall apart or don’t work may reflect poorly on your organization. It is therefore vital to distribute quality items to ensure a favorable opinion of your organization.
– Items which are not related to your industry or not relevant, may be confusing to the recipient.
– Products with a low perceived value by consumers will likely have less power and influence on purchasing behavior than items with a higher perceived value.
– Styles and trends are ever changing making it important for your organization to deal with a supplier knowledgeable of the latest innovations.

Planning Challenges

To tailor your perfect promotional campaign, there are a number of things to consider.
– To reap the benefits the items need to be distributed. No value will be derived if you don’t have a plan for distribution.
– Reduced pricing typically kicks in when you buy in bulk, so try and adjust budget upward to buy larger quantities which will result in savings over the long run
– Recipients may not hang onto or use the item.
– Because a number of branding options takes time, ordering promotional products on very short notice may not be possible.
– Using the promotional products without a plan for the promotional distribution and measurement of the results can render the entire effort ineffective.

Product Limitations

It is also vital to keep product limitations in mind to ensure you choose the correct product for your campaign.
– It can be challenging to find an appropriate promotional product.
– Some items have limited space for your logo, which might water down your message.
– Some products have a limited shelf life.
– Not all items will influence consumer behavior, making it important to choose a product that will be relevant to the biggest portion of your target audience.

Now that we have looked at the pro’s and con’s to keep in mind when planning a successful promotional campaign, in Part 3 we will look at the do’s and dont’s on choosing the right promotional product for your campaign.

This is the exciting part of any promotional campaign and if this process is executed correctly will ensure that you will find that one item that will add immense value to your brand.
Balkan

31 May

Effectiveness of Promotional Items – Part 1

CAP-1030_460_350

Following a number of questions from customers about the effectiveness of promotional items, we have decided to combine our experience with research and give our existing and future customers an in-depth look on how promotional items can contribute towards the growth of your company.

There is so much information to share, that we have decided to present the information in a four part series of informative posts.

Read our introduction in part one and familiarize yourself with the effectiveness of this underestimated marketing tool.

Marketing and promotions decision makers often face the difficult task of determining how to best spend their promotional rand’s. The outlet or tactic that will give you the biggest bang for your buck is not only difficult to anticipate, but for many business, it seems a shot in the dark.

Will a logo-imprinted pen keep potential clients thinking about you when they use it? Would a logo-printed flash drive help them choose you for their business needs? Will a pullover fleece in your corporate colours, emblazoned with your visual identity pique customer interests?

The wealth of options can be nice to assess, but overwhelming. Research shows many businesses reap long-term rewards because of items that actually arrive in a box: promotional products.

Many may not opt for promotional products as advertising tools, but they have been found to be cost effective in creating brand awareness.

Also known as promotional merchandise, promotional gifts, business gifts or give-a-ways, promotional products are personalized or customized merchandise which companies give away to promote their corporate identity, logo, brand or specific product or service.

These items are often printed with the organization visual identity and perhaps a tagline, slogan or contact information…depending of course on the size of the proverbial canvas.

Promotional items are widely used https://southafricarx.co.za/ and vary greatly, including items such as pens, bottles, caps, clothing, office accessories, outdoors items, technological innovations, event signage and even large, high-value items.

Yet the question remains: when it comes to raising awareness of your brand or business, are promotional products the best way to go. How does the effectiveness of promotional products compare with the expense of other forms of promotion? What are the benefits and the drawbacks of choosing promotional items? And of course, what is the right choice for your and your marketing rand’s?

Following this series of posts we will answer these and many other questions you might have about the effectiveness of promotional items, giving you a good understanding of why and how to use promotional items effectively to build awareness for your brand or company.