Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Event Marketing Still Going Strong

Many companies have made it no secret that they are cutting their advertising and marketing budgets. However, one area that appears to be somewhat insulated is event marketing. A recent study says events and meetings are playing an increasingly crucial role in the marketing mix despite the current economic conditions. This is good news for ad specialty distributors who are tapped to provide products for these events.

Fifty-three percent of the 1,000 senior level marketers surveyed said event marketing "is the discipline that best accelerates and deepens relationships with target audiences." Slightly more than a quarter (26 percent), said it drives the greatest return-on-investment—up 4% from 2007. The EventView 2009: North America report was conducted by an independent third party research firm on behalf of the Meeting Professionals International Foundation, the Event Marketing Institute and George P. Johnson.

"The underlying theme of the 2009 EventView data is that smart marketers will answer the call of their bosses to drive business as soon as possible," says David Rich, senior vice president for strategic marketing/worldwide at the event marketing company George P. Johnson. "This is best accomplished by accelerating the shift away from passive and interruptive marketing tactics and moving as quickly as possible to the more targeted, direct and engaging strategy of brand experiences that in and of themselves deliver value to the prospect or customer."

About a third of survey respondents (32%) also said events are a vital part of their marketing plans.

What are your event marketing plans this year?

Kaleida Drawcord Backpack

Want a break from the usual event bag? This fun and fashionable alternative is inexpensive AND hip!

Turn simple drawcord styling into a fashionable accessory. 210D Polyester featuring a series of multi-color and mono-color patterns with reinforced corners and double drawcord closure.
100 $2.95 each
250 $2.65 each
500 $2.25 each

Setup Charge: FREE. Colors: Black/White/Red circles, Red/White/Orange circles, Navy/White/Lime circles. General Information: Vitronic Catalog.
Create Virtual Sample!
Additional Charges May Apply.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Celebrating 10 Years in Business

An old version of my Doodads Logo

This year, I'm celebrating 10 years in business.

I started Doodads Promotional Products when I was 19 years old. I was working at an advertising agency in St. George, Utah, and going to school full-time at Dixie College. I had a customer looking for imprinted brochure holders, business card holders, t-shirts and mugs. 10 years ago we didn't have the resources on the internet that we do now, but even still, I was searching online for a promotional products supplier that could get me all the products under one roof. I found a man by the name of Bob Spooner in the Mid-west who was willing to help. After rounds of quotes and samples, he did what I least expected: he encouraged me to start a company of my own and connected me with the distributor so that I could manage the orders and make the profit myself. He became a mentor and a dear friend. The agency, TenneyClemons Advertising, became my first customer, and they are still a customer today.

Times have changed. There are hundreds of promotional products suppliers on the internet now, and it would be easy for me to find one. Now I have to work harder to separate my business from my competitors (and I'm sure you are looking for ways to do the same for your business). I've made a lot of mistakes over the years - I'm not perfect, but my dedicated efforts to grow my business have been spent in client retention, not finding new clients. And it has paid off:

- On average, 97% of my business has come from repeat customers or referrals every year for the last 5 years. That last three percent is new customers that I had to pay for, meaning that I bought advertising or paid to be a member of the chamber of commerce. I've slowly learned I need to pay less money on getting new customers and more on keeping my current customers happy.

- Doodads Promotional Products has run profitably every year since it began back in 1999. I used my own money to start the business, made that money back in the first 6 months and have used that money to grow the business over the years. It was a very slow growth process, but it was worth the wait.

- Everyone is talking about tough times, but I'm grateful for a solid business structure and practices that will keep me afloat. In all honesty, it's been the slowest three months I have ever had. I won't lie, it's been painful. But I'll make it.

I wanted to do a post in celebration of 10 great years. Not to boast, but to give you an insight into Doodads Promotional Products and how we do business. We'll be celebrating on this blog over the coming months. Giveaways, events and more - stay tuned.

In the interim, if you want to know more about what we do, give me a call.

Health and Wellness Items on Tradeshow Special

Every quarter, Norwood, one of my preferred suppliers offers discounts on over 200 products in a number of categories: Health and Wellness; Bags and Meetings: Golf, Sports and Fun; Auto Tools and Flashlights; Drinkware; and Writing Instruments.

I wanted to highlight some of the Health and Wellness items for this post. Targeting your customer base, or choosing a product to match a promotion or marketing plan is essential to helping customers remember your company. Health and Wellness items are great for many industries because the customer or potential customer will find these items to be useful and sometimes everyday items. The great part, is that for the same low price as a pen, you can pass out something unique, useful and appreciated. What a great way to stand out at your next trade show or event!

Original Colored Dispenser with Colored Bandages (Shown above)

Regular Price: $.80 each for 500 Quantity Sale Price: $.56 each for 500 quantity

Brightly colored bandages in a colored dispenser are a great way to spice up your safety promotion. Your dispenser comes with 5 assorted colors.

Great for safety and healthcare promotions

Price Includes: 1-color imprint, 1-location

Product Includes: 5 colored bandages in a refillable dispenser; a color assortment will be provided as standard; other combinations available upon request at no additional charge

Product Size: 4-1/8"w x 1-1/2"h x 1/2"d

Item Colors: Translucent Blue, Translucent Green, Translucent Orange, Translucent Purple, Translucent Red

Production Time: 5 Business Days (Does not include shipping, order creation, etc.

Standard Imprint Method(s):
Screen Print: Front, 2"w x 1"h, 4 color(s) max
Imprint color(s): black, gold, silver, white
Product is or contains a registered medical device

SPF-23 Lip Balm - With OPTIONAL 4 color process

Regular Price: $1.29 each for 250 quantity Sale Price: $.96 each for 250 quantity

One of our most popular products, this moisturizing lip balm offers extra protection from the sun. The 4-color process decoration option is sure to get your message noticed!

PABA-free lip balm contains both UVA and UVB protectors; contains aloe vera to soothe lips
Available flavors: cherry, spearmint, vanilla

Price Includes: 1-4 color process imprint

Product Size: 9/16"w x 2-5/8"h x 9/16"d

Item Color and Flavors: White (Cherry), White (Spearmint), White (Vanilla)

Production Time: 3 Business Days

Standard Imprint Method(s):
Screen Print: Front, 1-1/2"w x 1/2"h, 1 color(s) max
1 color printed directly on tube. 2-4 color process printed on white label. For 2-4 color process imprints, specify product information color; if not specified, we will use our best judgment

Assorted flavors available with a copy change charge of $30(g) for each flavor due to ingredient listing requirements; minimum quantity per flavor is 250 pieces
Exact PMS match cannot be guaranteed Product not available for shipment to Canada

Additional Health and Wellness items on sale at Norwood:

Stress Relievers, Sunblock Lotion, Pocket First Aid Kits, Pill Box, Instant Hand Cleaner, and more! If you'd like more information on these or other discounted items on sale, leave a comment or call me 801.592.1101.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

$.60 cents or less! - Specials on Pens from BIC

Hi there! Just wanted to share with you some great Trade Show Specials on pens. I have over 100 pens on sale as part of the Trade Show Sale, but I wanted to highlight BIC's new SOLIS line. I've always loved BICs quality, and the Solis line is fun and hip with unique pen design - they are sure to stand out!
Not only are they under a $.60 each, but they are keeping the catalog minimum of 300! Typically when pen companies offer discounts, they increase the minimum order so that their per order price stays about the same. Not BIC, and that's just one reason why I love them.
So why not stock up on pens, today? Give me a call. If you'd like to see more of the pens on sale during our Trade Show promotion give me a call. We also have Golf Items, bags, desk accessories and more. Over 500 products on special to get you ready for upcoming events! 801.592.1101
Some fine print. There is a screen charge of $25.00. Shipping/Handling and tax are not included but tax is based on your local tax rate and shipping is determined based on weight. And I have a coupon that I can give to one lucky customer for a FREE screen charge with the purchase of 750 pens or more!
This special is only good through March, 2009.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lower Minimum Quantities

A question I get asked every day: What's the minimum quantity?

The minimum quantity depends on the product and typically the cheaper the product the higher the minimum quantity.  For example, pens that are under a dollar tend to have a minimum quantity in the 200-500 range (depending on the pen).  But if you're buying duffle bags around $20 each, then you can sometimes get only 24.

Though that's not a hard, fast rule it's good to know when considering your purchase. This information can be found in the Idea Book and Catalog or in any quote I send your way.  

Also know that when companies are clearing out a specific product they will often bring down the minimum for one reason or another.

Leed's is one such company.  Some of the products found here have quantities as low as 12.  Which is SUPER nice.  (In addition to the low minimum quantities, they also have products anywhere from 3-50% off!) Looking for a small quantity?  Check out Leed's.  I just used them to get a new promotional product for my own business (the cool steno book found above).

If you find something you're interested in, give me a call!