Six Steps To Develop a Promotional Plan
Successful promotional campaigns don't happen by chance. To realize goals, promotional products programs must be carefully planned, taking into consideration the audience, budget and, of course, the ultimate result to be gained.
- Define a specific objective.
Whether the goal is to increase traffic at a trade show exhibit or to boost sales with current clients, the first step in any campaign is to clarify the purpose of the program.
- Determine a workable distribution plan to a targeted audience.
Distribution of a promotional product is as important as the item itself. Research shows that a carefully executed distribution plan significantly increases the effectiveness of promotional products. For example, a pre-show mailing to a select audience delivers more trade show traffic and qualified leads than simply distributing items to passersby at the show.
- Create a central theme.
Linking a recognizable logo and color to all aspects of a campaign, from promotional products to sales sheets to product packaging, helps create an instantly recognizable image.
- Develop a message to support the theme.
Supporting a campaign's theme with a message helps to solidify a company's name, service or products in the target audience's mind. For instance, to promote its services to small businesses, a bank created the theme “Are you tired of being treated like a small fish?” and sent fish-related products to its prospects along with promotional literature.
- Select a promotional product that bears a natural relationship to your profession or communications theme.
A good example is a company that developed a magic motif for its conference at Disney World. Attendees received magic-related products to tie in with the theme “Experience the magic at Disney®.”
- Don't pick an item based solely on uniqueness, price or perceived value.
Don't fall prey to the latest trends or fads. The most effective promotional products are used in a cohesive, well-planned campaign.
Dairy outreach program is udder success
When you have a mascot as memorable as Queenie the Cow, you want to milk her for all she's worth. Penn Maid Dairy in Philadelphia does that by taking its message to local schools. Queenie and other staff members show kids the benefits of dairy products and give them string cheese samples, as well as a branded folder with coupons, a pencil and a magnet to take home.
“Since we present our program as a school assembly, we wanted something for the kids to use in school,” says spokesperson Maureen Scallatino. “The pencil was the perfect choice. It is a standard #2 pencil recommended for school use, but with a wrap imprint so the text beneath the logo would be clear. The cow spot graphics lined up at the back of the wrap without a break in the design.”
As for the magnet, it was chosen for its staying power on the fridge, where kids see it at the most relevant times. Scallatino says, “We hope it reminds them to eat a healthy snack, instead of something that contains fat or sugar.”
Penn Maid is pleased with the program results, which are tracked through redemption of the coupons. “Our program has been extremely successful since its inception in 2002,” Scallatino says. “We have visited hundreds of thousands of school-aged students since then, and when we are at a community event, the kids come up to us and remember what they heard during our program. It's very gratifying to know that our message is alive and well.”