Top Tip – Use a Professional Graphic Designer

Posted in Memory Hook Ideas, Promotional Gifts, UK on March 22, 2017 by Richard
Use a Graphic Designer

Use a Graphic Designer

In my opinon (humble of course), the difference between success and failure can often be the ‘design’.

I wonder how many of you reading this could tell me the name of a company that designs and builds luxury yachts and which is based in Poole, in the UK? Would you be able to describe their logo? I’m pretty sure most of you will have guessed correctly at Sunseeker, and that their logo is an oval of laurel leaves with their name running through the middle. Now that’s a fairly complicated logo, but still impressive if you were able to accurately describe it.

Think about how many businesses are trying to get our attention, and then think about how many are successful at doing so.

As a business owner – RT Promotions – I work with other businesses throughout the UK, some small and some not-so small, and when it comes to printing their message onto an item of promotional merchandise or work-wear (notebooks, keyrings, coffee coasters, etc), they all have one thing in common – they want to ensure their message is clearly seen, and if possible, positively remembered.

Many of our clients simply choose an item from the 5,000 plus on our website, then send us their artwork file. We use this file to then print onto the item – sometimes a simple print, onto a pen for example, but quite often it can be a more complex print – perhaps onto a pull-up banner, or even onto a coffee mug. We can always tell when the artwork has been created by a professional – ALWAYS. “So what” I hear you ask? Well let me tell you, if I laid out on my desk the last 50 or so coffee coasters I’ve produced and asked you to select your favourite five, I bet I could predict which ones you’d choose.

They’re all just coffee coasters, they all do the same job – but, given a choice, only five will make the grade and be chosen to be kept on the recipients desks. That’s the power of a well-designed promotional gift. It will reach your target prospect, and be retained.

My top tip. Use a professional graphic designer whenever you can

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Trump Knows A Thing Or Two About getting His Message Heard

Posted in Memory Hook Ideas, Opinions & Comments on January 30, 2017 by Richard

Love him or loath him, but you have to admit that Trump knows a thing or two about getting his message heard, and his primary vehicle seems to be the social media platform Twitter. Twitter – the ‘marmite’ of all the social media platforms, has come of age. Often decried for only giving you 140 characters to put your message across, Twitter is the medium of choice for the president of the USA. His choice – his words – and he’s certainly causing a stir in the global news with his messages.

Getting Your Message Heard The Trump Way

Getting Your Message Heard The Trump Way

But what can we learn from this, and why is it that some businesses use social media, and others don’t? This is a question that applies to both sides of the marketplace – b2b and b2c. Some businesses embrace the medium, whereas others don’t. Given that ALL businesses need to ‘reach’ and be heard by their respective markets, one has to assume that for those of you who aren’t, you must have impressive (alternative) solutions? Perhaps you have a telemarketing team? Physical samples being mailed out? Maybe a warehouse full of brochures that you regularly mail? Then of course there’s the trade shows, e-shots and maybe even an account manager or two at your disposal?

To be a success in any market, you have to stay engaged with your client base, staying in touch and keeping them informed, but with such a huge market to reach, how do you give your ‘message’ the best possible chance of reaching the maximum number of clients? These ‘touches’ are often referred to as ‘touchpoints’. According to Wikipedia, a touchpoint can be defined as: any way a consumer can interact with a business, whether it be person-to-person, through a website, an app or any form of communication. When consumers come in contact with these touchpoints it gives them the opportunity to compare their prior perceptions of the business and form an opinion thus influencing the decision-making process. Touchpoints are ways for a brand to reach out to its’ target market.

It’s a widely held belief in marketing circles that it takes SEVEN touch points before a prospect will engage with you. So, if all you do is an annual mail-out of your company brochure, then sit back and wait, it’ll take seven years!!! Seriously, this is where social media can truly come into play, so, should you commence social media-ing?

It’s all about TWO things:
1: Is your audience there?
2: Will you commit to doing it?

Is your audience there?
We all know there’s millions of people on social media, so doesn’t that confirm your audience is there? Well, yes and no. It’s all in the ‘your’ word I guess. If you consider all of the various social media platforms that are trending right now, they all have a different audience composition. Some are fun, some serious, some appeal to a younger market, some older, some are visual, some are wordy, etc etc. 1st things first, assess/analyse your own business and identify your perfect audience. Then do your research of the various social media platforms. You don’t need to be on all of them, just those that are right for your business.

Will you commit to doing it?
Let me be clear – social media isn’t easy. I think of social media as the Ikea of available options. You go to the store as it seems to be a one-stop-shop for solutions. It’s cheap. But, you have to wheel the monstrously heavy item to the till, then to your car (how will it fit), get it home and up the stairs, then you have to follow weird instructions to construct it. If you’re lucky you build it properly 1st time!! Maybe it wasn’t as cheap as you thought. Social Media can feel like this. It will take time and effort and will almost certainly fail if dabbled with.

“The reason social media is so difficult for most companies is that it’s a process, NOT an event” – Seth Godin

I’ve seen plenty of social media profiles where businesses have put their logo up, a few words about their business, and then posted a few things. Then the trail goes cold. NOTHING shouts out louder that yours is a company totally NOT interested in social media than this kind of half-hearted attempt. So, please, please, please – assess this before you leap in.

Oh, and by the way, I’d really like it if you followed me on Follow me on Twitter!!!!

Customer Care

Posted in Opinions & Comments, Promotional Gifts with tags , , , , , on July 27, 2016 by Richard

The world or Promotional Gifts is a busy one – full of quotes to clients, or prospective/new clients, looking for a price on all manner of corporate give-aways.

Getting to grips with how much an item is, is influenced by several factors: How many do you want, how many colours do you want me to print onto them, how many positions do you want me to print, and how quickly do you need them? Clients often don’t know the answers, they’re just checking ‘what if’s’, so we do our best, we quote, we check you’ve received the quote, the client asks for a sample, we send a sample, then we check they’ve received the sample, then we re-quote, then we check you’ve received everything, and then – it all goes quiet!!! Nothing – SILENCE.

So finding the right balance – of keeping in touch as opposed to pestering our clients is quite a challenge.

It’s a challenge that we work hard at, and frequently receive compliments about our ‘non pushy’ style – take a look at our ELVIS video, where the RT Promotions team re-worded an Elvis song to show our customers how much we care. You could say – All I needed to know about customer care I learnt from Elvis.

Three Great Give-Aways For A Boat Show

Posted in Promotional Gifts, Trade Shows with tags , , , , , , , on June 12, 2016 by Richard

What’s the best promotional gift for using as a give-away at a boat show?

Hands up how many of you said a ‘floating keyring’?

Floating keyrings are of course useful for anyone involved in boating – but it’s my guess that most of them will already have a floating keyring, so unless your option trumps the one they’ve already got, guess where your give-away is going?

My three suggestions – see below – are designed to make you think outside the box, and if nothing else, bring a smile to the recipients faces. Generally, when it comes to promotional gifts, putting a smile on their faces is half the battle in getting your product KEPT – that’s when the branding on it can kick in and start doing it’s job right?

So what are the three great give-aways for a boat show?

Give-Aways For A Boat Show

Give-Aways For A Boat Show

 

 

Number 1 – Bottle opener sunglasses
Everybody loves this idea, and it mixes the key ingredients of boating into one package – sun and relaxation

Bottle Opener Sunglasses

Bottle Opener Sunglasses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number 2 – Magnetic Torch

It’s the middle of the night, you need to use the bathroom, but, turning on all the lights is going to get a load groan from your companions. DON’T stub your toe in the dark – that’ll cause even complaints – simply reach for the handy magnetic torch you were given at that boat show – it’s where you left it, on the door of the fridge.

Magnetic Torch

Magnetic Torch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number 3 – Bottle Opener/Torch/Keyring
Well now we’re cooking. Combining elements of the other two suggestions – you now have a handy torch, and a bottle opener, all kept nice and handy on that bunch of keys.

Bottle opener and torch keyfob

Bottle opener and torch keyfob

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for something inspirational? Well – you can always try my companies website – RT Promotions – we’ve over 4,500 hand picked items on there for you to browse, or feel free to call me or email me at my offices (details are on the website). Some of the very best solutions come to those who take the time to chat, give me an understanding of your business and your potential clients, and let me come up with proposals to make you smile.

Be Different – Go ‘Techie’

Posted in Promotional Gifts with tags , , , , , on August 2, 2015 by Richard
Technology Based Promotional Gifts

Technology Based Promotional Gifts

If you do what you’ve always done – you’ll get what you’ve always got – or words to that effect.

I’m seeing a lot of interest in the luxury end of the promotional gifts market and thought I’d share my thoughts with you.
As the market recovers and the economy starts to move again we are seeing a lot of requests for technology related gifts and ideas for high income clients / VIP’s / top executives ….the sort of people who have “ everything “ as the saying goes!
Where once a “ Mont Blanc “ pen, high end crystal glass set or luxury set of leather luggage was the standard and accepted offering now with the change in consumer trends, customers are looking for more contemporary “must have – lifestyle gifts “ which reflect their daily usage of smart phones and tablets. Areas of particular interest in this area include portable power, audio devices and “pure gadgets”.

Portable power and the ability to stay connected and keep working when travelling is a critical business need and offers huge opportunity for the promotional marketer to keep their brand in view at all times. Power chargers which keep the latest smart phones and tablets connected is where the smart marketer is looking to invest their budget and reward / promote their brand with a key prospects / clients.
My advice when looking for such devices is to always choose better quality and don’t be tempted by devices which look too good to be true for the price – they are often unreliable and can disappoint or at worst damage the device which they were intended to support. Look for those with a 5V / 2.1A output and at least 5000 mAh battery capacity to make your client’s promotional gift “pack a punch” with their target audience.

Other items in hot demand are what could be described as “ pure gadgets “ such as “ pocket “ audio / visual projectors which can be quickly connected to a laptop, tablet or smart phone and provide both an instant entertainment solution and of course business presentation tool. A lot more useful and hence memorable than an executive pen….

Portable audio devices can make a very classy gift and are used widely amongst finance companies, automotive, software, banks and even sports teams to reward those target consumers that have everything or even as staff gifts instead of the traditional Christmas hamper.
These come now in every conceivable shape, size and sound quality, when looking for your client consider those with a min sound output of 4-5W if you want to impress the client.

Other popular ideas / incentives for VIP’s / conference gift include: “Virtual” Bluetooth Laser keyboards, retail branded (SONY / Philips / BOSE etc) high end headphones, Bluetooth luggage alarms, Worldwide USB travel charging hubs and even “Espresso” coffee machines.

Times are changing very fast and so is the taste for top end executive promotional gifts – don’t ignore the role technology has in the mix or your clients may start to shop elsewhere….

Effective Tips For Twitter

Posted in Memory Hook Ideas with tags , on July 25, 2015 by Richard
How to be effective on Twitter

How to be effective on Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making your efforts effective on Twitter can often be as simple as applying a few simple techniques, here’s my Top Ten Tips for making your efforts on Twitter more effective:

Tip 1
A good bio sells – but a brilliant bio is even better.
Talking about yourself is never easy – but completing it in just 160 characters is even harder.
Include keywords your followers or potential followers may be trying to find.
Spend time getting this right and it will give pay-back

Tip 2
Don’t be entirely self-promotional. Mix up your content.

Tip 3
Use images to support your post – images are proven to stimulate interest

Tip 4
Engage with your followers – Tweet questions to encourage interaction with your followers.

Tip 5
Starting a Tweet with an ‘@’ followed by a Twitter user name means it will only be seen by them.
If you want to reference another user, put some content in front.

Tip 6
Twitter is a two-way conversation – Tweet questions to encourage your followers to interact with you.

Tip 7
Add hashtags (#) to your tweets. For example, if your tweet is about computers, consider adding #computer in the tweet.

Tip 8

If you’re lucky enough to get your followers to do a re-tweet (RT) – say thank you!!

Tip 9
Twitter lists are an excellent method of filtering filter through the people you follow
Create your own lists, but also subscribe to other folks

Tip 10
Keep some space available in your tweet in case someone retweets (RT) your post.
I recommend keeping it to 120 characters max

Does Technology Have A Place In Corporate Gifts?

Posted in Promotional Gifts with tags , , on June 15, 2015 by Richard

When talking to colleagues, I often hear the comment that corporate buyers aren’t looking for for ‘technology-based’ Promotional Gifts, that there is no need for ‘high end / niche’ products such as these. As you can imagine, I have an opinion on that statement. Having heard it said a few times now, I feel this misconception often arises through lack of data. Some good old fashioned market stats might help, and specifically I’d like to see:
What the opportunity is?
How technology-based promotional gifts could work for all manner of businesses?
And, How fast this sector is growing.

Technology-Based Corporate Gifts

Technology-Based Corporate Gifts

Recent studies (Deloitte) show that the number of smart phone users in the UK is now upwards of 72 per cent of the total population. The key buyers / influencers of promotional products are often considered to be between the ages of 20-35 and in this category the ownership of a smart phone is likely to be 85-89 % of the population.

When you then add into the mix that some 29% of the population now also own a tablet computer, which is upwards of 20 million users in UK homes alone and is expected to grow around 26% each year for the foreseeable future! This clearly shows a huge and lucrative opportunity for promotional marketing to provide branded accessories and useful gadgets / tools to both business users and consumers.

It’s these sorts of stats which should/could be shown to corporate buyers to argue that its not just software companies or technology firms that should embrace this sector but all businesses can / should see the benefit in using technology in their marketing mix. The demand for technology-based products is growing fast and is moving towards 10% of the total spend on promotional products globally.

Research conducted in the USA in late 2012-3 also shows very interesting findings from consumers about their perception to promotional products. Based on approx. 700 consumers passing through an airport, some interesting findings (PPAI, 2013) were these:

• Eight in ten consumers own between one and ten promotional products, six in ten keep them for up to 2 years and about 53% use a promo item at least once a week or more often.

• The main reason for keeping a promotional product is usefulness. The highest ranking products based on their usefulness are computer products, health and safety items and writing instruments.

• Sporting / leisure and wearable’s tend to be kept because of their “attractiveness”.

• Top items kept for their contact information are badges, buttons, stickers and electronic devices & computer products.

• Products used most frequently / recently were viewed to be calendars, then computer products and electronic devices & accessories.

The key finding of this research was that:

promotional products are often used in consumer’s daily life, by providing useful promotional products (not only as references for contact info) that can be integrated in consumers life in an organic way, advertisers can increase their reach and potential for creating and maintain brand awareness… “

This consumer research and the huge consumer demand for all things “smart” be they tablets or phones truly does show that promotional marketing / businesses ignore the opportunities thrown up by this area at its peril….