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Countdown to Your Earth Day Promotion: Marketing to Adults

January 17th, 2011 2 comments
Earth day promotional ideas

Countdown to Earth Day Promotion Ideas: Marketing to Adults

Countdown to Your Earth Day Promotion: Marketing to Adults (Part 4 of 4)

Choosing the Right Gift for Your Earth Day Promotion: Marketing Your Earth Day Promotion to Adults

Earth Day is the one time a year that many adults ever think about the environment.  Sad, but true.

Earth Day also provides an opportunity to educate and inspire adults to take action and to instill some useful information that might persuade them to become more energy efficient or to reduce their carbon footprint.

If you are a company that is trying to market a green product, Earth Day is the ultimate opportunity to promote your brand or product or service.  In fact, if you have a green product and you are not promoting it heavily during Earth Day, you are missing out on a tremendous marketing opportunity.

Here are my Top 10 selling eco-friendly promotional items that businesses and organizations have used in 2010 to better promote their cause and message:

1: Informational Slide Wheels : These handy eco guides will be used over and over again, keeping your imprint and message in front of your audience for years.

2: Flower Seed Packets: Whether it be butterfly mixes or standard Spring flowers, the large imprint area on the back of a flower seed packet allows you to imprint a miniature billboard of information.  Great for lists and environmental tips.

3: Pens and Pencils Made from Recycled Materials:  There are imprinted eco writing instruments now made from recycled denim, currency, newspaper, plastic and even tires.

4: Tote Bags: If you are promoting Earth Day at an outdoor event or a trade show, nothing will be as popular as a reusable tote bag—made from recycled materials.  The most popular recycled materials are polypropylene, cotton and PET, which are the recycled plastic from soda and water bottles.  Large imprint and multiple usage lead the reason for the popularity of promotional tote bags.

5: Reusable Sports & Water Bottles: Anything your organization can do to discourage single use water bottles and coffee cups will help in the reduction of landfill waste. Choose from recycled plastic mugs, cups or tumblers – or such durable reusable bottles as stainless steel, plastic or ceramic.  These imprinted cups and mugs are now also available with double walls for insulation.

6: Live Tree Seedlings: Perhaps the most eco-friendly of all Earth Day promotional items, a live tree seedling (or sapling) in an imprinted bag or tube can live for 80-100 years and convert carbon dioxide into pure oxygen, helping to reduce greenhouse gases and improving our environment.

7: Recycled Journals and Writing Pads: Be sure the covers and the paper have been recycled for added benefit.  Some of these imprinted eco writing journals even come with a recycled pen—making it perfect for meetings and shopping lists.  Another popular trend has been writing pads with recycled sticky pads and sticky flags, for marking pages.

8: Solar-Powered Items: There has been a fast-growing trend to solar powered promotional gifts, including solar powered flashlights, calculators, phone/PDA chargers, watches and more.

9: Recycled Rubber Tire Jar Openers: If you are on a tight budget and looking for quantity, then jar openers made from recycled rubber tires are a must for your Earth Day event. These black jar openers come in many eco-friendly shapes, such as a foot (for carbon footprint messages), CFL light bulb (for light bulb-changing messages) and the recycling arrow and recycling bin for recycling-themed messages.  Try a white or green imprint against the black design for optimal impact.

10:  Organic Clothing: Be sure your entire team (sales team, employees, volunteers, etc.) is dressed in imprinted organic T-shirts and organic cotton embroidered caps.  Say “no” to synthetics – and “yes” to the feel of organic cotton.

Make Earth Day a fun event… and promote your message.  The media will be hungry for your messages, so be sure to send them samples of our eco-friendly promotional items, or photos of your team distributing them to your desired audience.

Let’s make Every Day, Earth Day.

To read the balance of the series, click on the following links:

Part 1: Countdown to Your Earth Day Promotion: Determining Your Earth Day Goal

Part 2: Countdown to Your Earth Day Promotion: Determining Your Earth Day Plan of Action

Part 3: Countdown to Your Earth Day Promotion: Marketing to Children

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Robert Piller, experienced in green marketing campaigns and recycled promotional products. His web site includes a comprehensive advertising specialty search, featuring over 250,000 eco promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green.  The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find recyclable, biodegradable, organic or recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame. View the Go Green website at EcoMarketingSolutions.com and comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com.

Trade Show Marketing: How to Attract the Best Qualified Leads and Prospects to Your Booth (Part 2 of 3)

September 10th, 2008 1 comment

(Part 2 of 3)

The day you have marked on the calendar is here. Today is the first day of the trade show you have planned for over the past few months. You’ve lost sleep, spent time at Kinko’s the other night running off last-minute flyers and signage you forgot about, and now you are ready to go.

Or are you ready?

In my previous column, I discussed several strategies for maximizing your trade show effectiveness and return on investment.

In this column, I will be discussing several “at-show” trade show activities and tips you can do to ensure a successful trade show.

Guerilla Marketing: Some companies do an end-run around the show management’s policy of a 5-mile radius of non-competing activities by hosting hospitality suites at nearby hotels (or even the host hotel or at the corporate home office or regional facility). I have even heard of companies that host private invitation-only golf tournaments the day prior to a trade show to get the maximum bang for their buck as they bring in their top prospects, customers and vendors. Be forewarned, however, that if caught violating the show management’s rules, you can be fined, banned, humiliated and forced to walk the plank (well maybe not the plank). Many of these same functions can be done with the blessing of show management with a smile, charm and some money.

Walk the Walk, not Talk the Talk: Many times you can get into a trade show by applying as an attendee or by telling management that you would like to walk the show to decide whether or not you want to exhibit the following year. As an attendee, you can visit your competitor’s booth and hear their sales presentations – though you may also be kicked flat on your backside, as well as thrown out of the show by management. I have always found it good business to introduce myself to my competitors, offer to swap brochures (you are each going to end up with each others’ sales material one way or the other) and just start a friendly conversation. Sometimes you can learn a great deal just be being honest and up-front. (Remember the golden rule: “Do unto others…”)

Walking a show floor also gives you an opportunity to actively seek out potential customers, either in the aisles, at seminars, in the restrooms (yes, I have seen it and it is not pretty), at lunch or at other booths. Remember, exhibitors do not like to have salespeople visit their booth on their time (since they paid for their booth space and you didn’t). Best approach is to arrive early (just as the show floor opens) or just as the show closes, as it will be less busy then and exhibitors may welcome a conversation during a slow time.

Attending Seminars: Attending seminars is an excellent way to meet prospects and renew old acquaintances. Same strategy applies here—get there early and stay late—as you will often get an opportunity to meet many high caliber prospects. Have your 30-second elevator speech ready and met and mingle.

Celebrity Appearances: You can plan to have a celebrity at your booth or an opportunity to meet the president or CEO of your company (if that is an appealing option). I have seen booths with local professional athletes, sportscasters, painters, wrestlers, actors, cheerleaders, Spuds McKenzie (am I dating myself?), singers, body builders and “celebrities” that I did not recognize at all.

If promoted properly, a celebrity appearance can bring people into your booth, giving you an opportunity to try to qualify them while they wait in line. A typical Hollywood B-list actor can be had for as little as $5,000 and as high as $25,000 or more per day, so it depends on your budget. Although this can bring both exhibitors and attendees into your booth, I believe that anything you can afford to do that get’s people to stop in, and gives you an opportunity to qualify them, is a viable option.

Sponsorship Opportunities: There are many opportunities for sponsorships, such as hosting the show’s prayer meetings, breakfasts, luncheons, golf tournaments, speakers, concerts, beverage carts, panel discussions, Wi-Fi service, etc. Depending on your budget, these can be an expensive option, but it will give you an opportunity to get your name in the directory, on banners, and mentioned several times throughout the show. These events will also allow you to mix and mingle with many of the top companies in your industry, giving you and your firm instant credibility.

Ad Specialties/Promotional Products: As I mentioned in my first section, a well-targeted imprinted promotional product can stop a person who would normally pass by your booth – and keep your company in their minds after the show. It goes back to the billboard question I like to ask my clients: “If you can put your advertising billboard on your customer’s desk (or in their car), how much would you pay to rent that space?” A useful and meaningful advertising specialty with a quality imprint can help keep your brand identity in the prospect’s mind when they are ready to make a decision – without the high cost of “rent”.

Remember what I mentioned in the earlier column about an A-B-C selection of swag—a low-cost gift for non-qualified visitors; a higher priced gift for qualified prospects and customers; an even higher valued gift for members of the media, “A-list” prospects and others. Be sure to keep the higher priced gifts out of eyesight so they only go to those you intend them for.

I also suggest packing your literature with the imprinted gift so that when they are handed the promotional item, they get your sales information, as well. I have sold hundreds of orders of imprinted bags, both plastic and fabric bags (both made of recycled material to avoid these ending up in landfills, of course), so when you hand out the item, not only does your billboard get carried around the entire show floor, but your sales material is placed inside ahead of time—ensuring it gets to that buyer.

Another good idea is to hand out a live tree seedling tree in a tube, with a single sheet sales flyer wrapped around it. When you hand it to the recipient, tell them that you are giving them a live tree seedling, so when they get home, they should immediately take it out of their bag and plant it. What happens is that nobody wants to kill a tree, so instead of waiting for that mythical “rainy day” to go through the stack of collected trade show material, they will get home and reach for the tree seedling—with your sales flyer wrapped around it. It is a low-cost way to ensure your material gets looked at.

Lights, Camera, Action: Nothing makes a booth look bleaker than dark spaces and shadows. Pay for electricity and have bright halogen lights highlighting your booth, as well as calling out special sections. Be sure to keep the lights high, as halogen lights can get very hot – making your booth quite warm. Lighting is one area you do not want to skimp on.

Personnel: As a final suggestion, don’t forget your personnel. They should be armed with a few opening statements (open ended questions) and given a plan on how to stand, how to introduce good prospects, how to move along visitors that are not prospects, etc. I also shipping a case or two of bottled water to your booth so you and your staff can stay hydrated. Rest them and rotate the staff if possible, as breaks as few as 15-minutes can help to rejuvenate a person and make them more upbeat.

Following these ideas can help you make the most of your time on the show floor. In my final segment of this article, I will discuss one of the least used, and most important, of the three areas of trade show marketing—the post-show follow up process.

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Note: To view the other segments of this three part column, visit http://blog.ecomarketingsolutions.com/?cat=65

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Robert Piller, President of Eco Marketing Solutions, has over 25 years of experience in running and implementing green marketing campaigns and is a leader in the recycled promotional products industry, including offering one of the largest selections of reusable and organic tote bags, recycled and biodegradable water bottles, recycled pens and pencils in the country.

His company’s website, EcoMarketingSolutions.com, features over 25,000 eco-friendly promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find biodegradable, organic and recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame.

You can also reach him by email (robert (at) ecomarketingsolutions.com) or comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com or below at his Twitter link.

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