The past year has taught us a lot. We have learned to sell from home, groom ourselves, and Zoom. And while there are some things that have been surprisingly positive, most people I know miss being able to attend events in person. There is just something about the energy and the ability to interact face to face that is hard to replace. I know I can’t wait to get back to this level of “normal.”
But when will in-person events come back?
One thing I learned quickly in 2020 was, “don’t make predictions!” It seemed like, starting in March of last year, situations were changing so fast that there was no way to predict the future. We just needed to deal with what was in front of us. But as we look forward, I am getting a little more comfortable breaking this rule.
So here is my prediction…look for small and medium shows to come back in the 3rd quarter.
With the vaccine rollout going forward, more and more people are getting inoculated every day. The more people that have the vaccine, the more people will be comfortable heading to in-person events. The fact is, some smaller events have already started. I talk about a recent show I attended here. Look for more of that to continue. My sincere hope is that it will be closer to summer. But giving event organizers time to get ready, 3rd quarter seems more likely and more realistic.
What Does This Mean For You?
While I don’t see the mega shows coming back right away, this means that many businesses will be able to go to market at these small and medium-sized shows. If you are planning events, you can start to get these events back on the calendar. We have actually made that decision. Our annual Customer Appreciation Show (canceled last year) is back on the calendar for October 14th (more on that soon).
If you are an attendee at this style of event, it’s time to get ready! Most of us have not taken our signage and display information out of the boxes in a year! It’s time to take a look at that material. Is it still accurate? I mean, a lot has changed since last year this time! I often joke that last March seems like 5 years ago! Do you have new messaging? Is it time for an update? Have mice decided to move into the boxes and eat your display? These are questions you want to ask now…not a week before your show!
During the past year, American’s spent more time outside. To be fair, this is probably true around the world, but after being cooped up in quarantine, we were all thirsty for the outdoors. Sales on RV’s, kayaks, and boats were all off the charts. We wanted to take advantage of any chance to enjoy some time in the outdoors. Prognosticators will tell you this trend is going to continue into 2021.
So how do you take advantage of this trend? Create marketing and branded merchandise that reach your customers, employees and prospects when they are happy…and out enjoying nature.
Here are 5 products to reach your customers in the great outdoors.
Urban Peak® Blue Ridge Trail 20 oz Water Bottle: We all know it. When you are out in the great outdoors it’s important to stay hydrated. Whether out on the boat, hiking the trail or at the beach, we need to have our favorite beverage with us. This awesome water bottle will keep your cold drinks cold and your hot drinks hot for hours. And with a great imprint area, you have a chance to really leave a mark. Get more information here.
Urban Peak® Slate 36 Can Waterproof Cooler: When you are out enjoying the fresh air with some friends, it’s great to bring a cooler. This 36 can size is not too bulky and can be great for a small gathering. No matter if you want to cola, water or your favorite adult beverages, this cooler bag with a leak proof liner has you covered.
BIG UN’ Camp Chair: When it’s time to take a load off, we have a great item for you. Travel chairs are always a great gift…but they are not all built the same. The Big Un Camp Chair was designed with comfort in mind. This chair features an extra-wide design, cushioned headrest, full length back pocket, mesh armrest pocket, and a cup holder to provide for the day’s necessities. The 400 lb. tag rating will give full confidence to the burliest user. Learn more here.
Coleman® 36-Hour 42-Can Marine Soft-Sided Cooler: I personally fell in love with this cooler at a golf outing. It has a great look and a perfect branding location. In addition, the quality of the cooler is top notch. And the top lid makes it easy to grab a beverage and go without opening the whole bag. You can find more info here.
FUSION BACKPACK CHAIR WITH COOLER: This is the chair you and your customers need if you are “going to be there for a while!” As the vendor says, this chair has so many features, you may want to make it your new office. Including a backpack, cooler, a shelf and so much more, the Fusion Chair is for the most discerning of outdoor experts!
There you have it! Here are 5 amazing products to help you reach your customers while they enjoy the great outdoors! Want more ideas? Please reach out to your HMC rep or click here to set up a time to chat!
At Hasseman Marketing, we welcomed in the New Year with a (gasp) in person trade show. The OPPA (Ohio Promotional Professionals Association) held it’s annual road show in Columbus and Cleveland this past week. While the event looks a little different, the response was really great. Both suppliers and distributors were excited to get back on the road, and get back to business.
#2 Big-Un Camp Chair (holds up to 400#) from Brentwood: The great thing about camp chairs is they have a high perceived value. People love to get them. But when you go cheap on them, it shows. This piece will hold a more “juicy” individual and still have room to spare. And when you combine that with a big imprint area, this is a great piece! https://www.brentwoodline.com/products/cpxr
#3 Speckled Finish Double Wall Stainless Steel Tumbler from Moderne Glass (Glass America): We love our drinkware, and this is a new style that might get you feeling “campy.” This speckled style is like the camp style mugs, but in a tumbler. https://glassamerica.com/#!/product/18820?color=black
Whether you enjoyed it or not, 2020 taught us a lot of lessons. It turns out we need to wash our hands and cover our mouth when we cough. But once we got past the lessons we learned in Kindergarten, we found 5 marketing lessons from 2020 that can help us get ready to succeed in 2021…and beyond.
Use Foundational Marketing
When things are going well, it seems like every marketing tool and gimmick can be effective. But when times are tough, the opposite can be true. Not only can marketing efforts not work, but some can actually turn your clients off. That’s why 2020 taught us to make sure we have our “foundational marketing” shored up. This includes a more basic and cost-effective way of going to market. We found that our requests for direct mail went way up in 2020.
Why? Because our customers wanted to reach directly out to their prospects…and they wanted to do it in a very cost-effective way. Scratch that…they NEEDED to be cost-effective. When that happens, we often need to go “back to basics.” This means we saw an uptick in direct mail, postcards and custom calendars. These tools create the foundation for your marketing, and you should consider using them to build your brand in 2021.
Create Content…That Serves the Client
When everyone was required to start working from home, we saw a big spike in content being created. From our perspective, that is a good thing! But there is an important lesson to remember when creating content: it should serve the client. So much of what passes for “content marketing” these days is just a long form advertisement. While those pieces of content certainly has a place, the best content is created with the customer’s needs in mind. As a rule of thumb, no one searches for a commercial (unless they are created by Ryan Reynolds). Create something that answers a question you are asked all of the time. Giving value builds credibility with your audience and helps to create a relationship that can really help to grow your business.
Whether you want to create a marketing message that stands out, or you want to show your team that they are valued, personalization matters. As I said here, the most powerful marketing word is simple…someone’s name. This has always been true, but 2020 made us understand in a whole new way. Not only does personalization matter to help your marketing stand out, it can also be a safety precaution! No one wants to drink out of the wrong tumbler during a pandemic! Giving value through content is a great way to show someone that you care…and so is putting their name on a branded gift!
Real Cause Marketing Matters
One of my favorite trends in marketing has been the increase in organizations tying their brand to a cause. When we can promote our company AND do some real good in the world, that is a slam dunk. It’s become such a trend that it seems some companies are hopping from cause to cause, hoping to catch lightening in a bottle from their ‘good work.” I don’t think that is the way to do it. It feels forced, and the audience will sniff that out. On the other hand, if you can help a cause that really resonates with your brand and your team, you can not only make a difference…you can create great marketing too!
For years, we have been proponents of focusing on higher quality branded merchandise and promotional products. The reason is simple: these items represent your brand. If you use cheap promotional products, that is what prospects will think of you! That concept has been highlighted in ALL CAPS during the pandemic. Why? Because most of the events where companies handed out “cheap swag” were cancelled. So in order to reach their customers, organizations were forced to drop ship branded merchandise directly to customers. And let’s face it, if you are spending $10 to $20 to ship something to your clients, you shouldn’t waste your money just sending a $.49 pen!
But an interesting thing happened. When organizations needed to be more thoughtful about their branded merchandise, effectiveness of the media actually increased! It turns out, when you create quality branded merchandise, your customers and prospects get excited to rep your brand. It’s called Delivering Marketing Joy…and 2020 has taught us that it is alive and well in marketing done right.
These are just 5 marketing lessons from 2020. We are excited to use these lessons in 2021…and beyond!
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What if you could create a marketing piece that was a game changer for your organization? This marketing piece would create brand awareness for your organization all year long. It would engage your audience in it’s creation…and it would help raise money for a local non-profit. It would even be a beautiful piece of artwork that would inspire your customers and support a local business. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. It’s exactly what Good Boy Bakery has done for the past few years with the their Good Boy Bakery Calendar.
The Good Boy Bakery Calendars Are On Sale Now.
For the last several years, Good Boy Bakery has created a beautiful custom calendar filled with amazing pictures of their customer’s pets. They solicit the pictures through social media and there is never a shortage of photos to choose from. Everyone is proud of their puppies! The gang at Good Boy Bakery allow people to vote on the submissions and the final pictures are chosen from a small committee to make sure the images are just right.
In addition, they seek out local businesses that might want to sponsor a page. Each page on the calendar features a local business that gets a month’s worth of exposure on the custom calendar. This allows for Good Boy Bakery to help alleviate the cost of the initial printing and increase the amount of money they are able to donate to the local Animal Shelter! The calendars are then sold at Good Boy Bakery in Roscoe Village for only $10. And since the calendars are printed at Hasseman Marketing (we mentioned we print calendars right?), they are support another small business in Coshocton too!
This is a true Win-Win-Win.
What does this mean for you? There are two things I would love for you to takeaway. First, rush down to Good Boy Bakery to get your calendar. There is a limited quantity…so don’t miss out on this chance to support a wonderful small business and donate to a great cause. Second, I want you to understand that this might be a great marketing idea for your organization. Here are a few quick steps to creating your custom calendar that can serve as a marketing piece AND a fundraiser.
Get The Pictures
The better the pictures, the better the calendar. If you want to create a work of art that everyone will want to hang on their wall, it’s worth taking the time to get great photos. No matter what your organization, you can get great images. Good Boy Bakery did a great job of getting pictures from their customers. That’s amazing. You can solicit images from your customers, your team or your community. Show thing around your organization or your community that will inspire…and you are on the right track. Oh…and the higher resolution image the better. If you want to have a calendar that is really crisp, shoot for a minimum of 300 dpi.
Secure Some Sponsors
If you are a non-profit, this can be a wonderful fundraiser. And it’s a fundraiser that is more than just a handout. If you create a calendar with amazing images, your sponsors get real exposure…and are able to tie their brand to a good cause. If you can get one or two sponsors per page, you have the chance to offset most or all of the printing costs!
Get The Calendars Printed
That’s where we come in! We would love to be your printing partner on this cool project! Leave a few weeks for proofing and printing so you have plenty of time to distribute and sell the calendars.
Sell The Calendars
Now it’s time to spread the word! While you certainly can just post the calendars on social media, if you really want this to succeed, get a team of people to get out in the community to sell. This is just like most fundraisers. If you want them to work…you have to work too! Get out there and spread the word and you will create a fundraiser that not only raises money, but also creates pride around your organization or community.
Those are the steps! If you want to create an amazing custom calendar that you can be proud of, please reach out and we can talk! We would love to help. And if you have not already, run to Good Boy Bakery to get their calendar before they are gone!
Since the beginning of the pandemic, leaders have been trying to find a way to communicate the steps to take to slow the spread of the virus. As we all know, in March, most of the country shut down in order to “flatten the curve.” That worked to slow the spread, but it shut down the economy as well. Now that we are nearing the end of 2020, the predicted ramp up of cases is upon us…and leaders all over the country (and the world) are working to slow down the spread.
That goal is what led Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to meet with local officials in Coshocton County via Zoom. He implored our local leaders to get creative and do what they can to help communicate the message that we need to be safe. After the meeting, officials from the City of Coshocton and Coshocton Regional Medical Center reached to us to help spread the word. We discussed creating a video, including many local officials, entrepreneurs and healthcare leaders to send a unified message to our community. The theme became simple.
We need to “Step up…and Mask up!”
The work on that script and video began immediately and I am proud of what we created. But it was important to us to create something that sustains the message after the initial bump. So rather than just create a video, we worked to create a campaign. Next up, we reached out to government officials to step up as well. We sent out script (that I will include below) and the first person who recorded his version of the video was Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. He applauded the efforts of Coshocton County and encouraged everyone to “Step up…and Mask Up!”
Excited about this participation, we worked to keep the momentum going. We will continue to share the message from leaders and government officials, but we also wanted to add something tangible to the mix. So what better way to encourage people to “mask up” than to provide masks with the message? We agree. The design was created (as you see in the video) and the masks are ordered and are on their way. In addition, we have created re-positionable stickers that are being printed and will be given to businesses that want to promote the message.
We are excited about the positive momentum that has been created so far…and are happy to use our powers for good. So how can we keep this momentum going? Here are a couple of ideas. First, if you are in our area and you want to participate, let us know. While we think these items will go quickly, we can try to get you a sticker and a few masks to help spread the word. We know that some people find this message divisive (I don’t get that and I talk about it here), but we feel it’s the right thing to do.
If you are not in our area, maybe you can create a campaign like ours in your community. In the interest of helping, here is the script we created that you can modify and use.
Step Up…Mask Up Script
In Coshocton County, we are proud.
We take care of one another, and look out for our neighbors.
We believe in supporting small businesses.
And we celebrate our heroes in healthcare.
We are kind…and we are proud to give back.
That is why we want to urge you to “mask up.”
Wearing a mask is not a weakness…it’s kindness. Mask up.
Wash your hands. Keep your distance. And mask up.
Step up…and Mask up.
(Multiple Leaders on screen). Step up and Mask Up
Let’s all do our part. Be kind. Support small business. Help keep each other safe.
That is who we are Coshocton County.
Let’s step up…and mask up.
Special thanks to our local leaders for not only wanting to do what’s right…but stepping up and working together to make it happen.
Here’s to keeping each other safe. Step Up. Mask Up.