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The Value of Offline Marketing in an Online World

ACT OnlineWhen it comes to promotional products, you might be tempted to pass them by, opting instead for advertising on the web, running a Facebook promotion, or emailing your customers and clients limited-time-only coupon codes.

While these can all be fine ways to advertise your business or organization, there’s another option that carries a little more weight and has a bit more meaning. It involves turning off your computer, stepping away from your desk, and going out into the real world. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do this alone—not when you have your very own, real live, three-dimensional promotional products to help you out.

I know what you’re thinking—turn off my computer? Are you crazy? Nope, not crazy. Smart. You see, I’ve been in the business long enough to recognize when the tides are turning, and in the world of promotional products, that moment has arrived.

The Problem with Fast Food and Facebook

If you want an example of what I’m talking about, look no further than your dinner plate. For years, manufacturers were selling the idea that food should be fast, cheap, and easy. Drive-thru restaurants flourished, and the microwave was the most used appliance in the house. Eventually, however, people got tired of instant meals, and began to crave the suppers of their childhood. This led to the birth of the “slow food movement,” and the return to a more nourishing approach to meals.

Need another example? Think of the way your Facebook wall blows up on your birthday, with everyone from your dentist to your high school nemesis wishing you a great year—or, even worse, a “HBD”, the annoying acronym for Happy Birthday (how lazy can one be???).  Compare that to the feeling you get when you open your mailbox and find a handwritten card or a letter from a loved one. That one piece of mail, humble as it may be, is more meaningful than a thousand messages on your Facebook wall.

Promotional products are a lot like a Sunday pot roast and a piece of mail. In a world where everyone else is putting their energy online, making the effort to go offline will set you apart from the pack in a way that clients and customers will appreciate.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

ACT Offline MarketingI may be The Queen of Promotional Products, but don’t just take my word for it—ask the experts, and they’ll agree. According to a recent study conducted by PPAI, a promotional product industry trade association, only 44% of the average American consumers interviewed reported receiving a promotional product in the last two years. Yet 90% of those people who had been given a promotional product still had it. 83% of the respondents said they’d like to receive a promotional product with an adverting message, and 48% wanted to receive these products more often. I say we need to give the people what they want, and what the people want is, quite clearly, more promotional products!

The Moral of the Story

The lesson here is actually quite simple. In our rush to adopt the newest technologies, download the latest social media apps, and invest in websites with all the bells and whistles, it’s easy to lose sight of what really matters. While I love promotional products because of they’re so effective (even a promotional product that’s only used once a week is seen 52 times a year!), the magic of promotional products is the fact that they’re real, solid, and tangible. They ask us to face one another, rather than hide behind computer screens and avatars. They give us an excuse to shake hands, have a conversation, send ‘snail mail’ or put a face to the name. It’s a feeling people are craving, especially after so many years of living in a “virtual reality.” When they finally step away from the computer and pick up a pen to write a letter, or head to the kitchen to cook a meal, your promotional products will be ready and waiting for them. That’s a good place to be, and a great place to promote your company.

 

 

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