The Bizz by AnyPromo.com

Business & marketing advice, news and features, design inspiration, and the art of gifting.

Promo Giveaway Success Story: Clean-Up Brush & Dust Pan for Janitorial Firm


We bring you real-life examples of businesses that successfully employed customized promotional giveaways and event supplies into their marketing strategies and business plans. 


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By Fausto Mendez

    A janitorial firm needed a low-cost and effective way to promote its post-construction cleanup services at a local business expo, so the company ordered a big box of custom clean-up brush & pan sets. The customization printed onto the brushes read, “Our Services Will Sweep You Away.” Unfortunately, we can’t share the name of the firm due to an NDA agreement. 

The Results

    The promotional item was a hit at the local business expo. In the following six months, the janitorial firm’s sales grew by over 30%. The relationships that were made and/or developed at the expo significantly contributed that 30% growth, and the clean-up brush & pan played a significant role in cementing those relationships for the long term.

    As potential customers used the clean-up brush & pan around the office or construction site, it served as a subtle reminder of the janitorial firm’s services. When their construction gigs ended and it was finally time to hire a post-construction cleanup crew, there was clearly only one brand on their minds.


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#MarketingMonday - How a Coffee Brand Attracts Big Crowds at Airports by Trading Yawns for Free Giveaways

By Fausto Mendez

    Coffee is a fact of life in America. You can’t approach a crowd without eventually getting hit in the face with that odd but attractive aroma, and it’s virtually impossible to go anywhere without seeing the ever-present Starbucks cup. In the same spirit, coffee brand Douwe Egberts is making a name for itself at a local airport by making sure everyone in the building is holding a Douwe Egberts cup. 

    Exactly how is this up and coming coffee shop achieving this effect? It’s handing out free coffee, but it’s not as simple as that. As you know, a promotional giveaway, such as free coffee, is a very effective marketing tactic. It can introduce the brand to new customers and revive it to old customers, boosting positive feelings about the brand and catalyzing an emotional effect that makes the brand even more memorable.

    The emotional effect in such a campaign is critical since emotionally-charged experiences are almost impossible to forget, so Douwe Egberts maximizes the emotional effect of its promotional giveaways by setting up coffee machines that are activated by simple yawns. 

    Yup, that’s right. In order to get your free cup of coffee, you have to yawn at the machine, which will dispense a free cup of coffee in return. Trading a yawn for some coffee can easily bring a surprised smile to a weary traveler’s face - an emotional effect that should make the experience a hundred times more memorable. The campaign is called “Bye Bye Red Eye”, says Mashable, and it’s cleverly spreading the Douwe Egberts brand with one of the oldest forms of marketing, the promotional giveaway.

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#MarketingMonday - How Netflix’s Arrested Development Uses Promotional Giveaways to Sell New Episodes

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By Fausto Mendez

    The brand-spankin’-new fourth season of the cult TV series Arrested Development hit Netflix at the end of May, and the new episodes are a massive success despite Netflix’s exclusivity. This case study breaks down the show’s powerful marketing tactics, including a wildly successful promotional giveaway.

    Arrested Development isn’t well know for its superb marketing tactics. Actually, it was the lack of effective marketing that lead to the cancellation of the original Fox series, which spanned three seasons. As a result, Netflix’s exclusive fourth season came out fists swinging as it launched a relentless marketing campaign that’s pushing the show to new heights.

Marketing a TV Show that Will Never Be on TV

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    Facing an uphill battle - as the new episodes will never hit traditional TV - Netflix’s marketing team studied the forces behind the original show’s cancellation. Taking those lessons into account, the team approached the relaunch with a fresh strategy that remixes high-yield, low-cost tactics to effectively reach the masses from coast to coast.

    The team started by generating basic buzz at all the right web channels: Reddit, Facebook, Twitter and tons of entertainment blogs. You’ve probably even noticed the occasional feature in some mainstream magazines, such as Forbes.

Buzz Isn’t Good Enough. Where’s the Bang?

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    With the upcoming release of the fourth season planted in the back of every fan’s head, the next step would be to design some kind of publicity stunt during launch, which should remind discouraged and frustrated fans of their passion for the show.

    See, the problem with Arrested Development’s online marketing strategy is that it works well as long as the user is engaged in those marketing channels, but what happens if the user becomes disinterested in those marketing channels over the months leading up to the premier? Even worse, what if the passionate fans get tired of waiting, and they just stop paying attention or caring? The previous seasons never failed at generating buzz too, but for some reason, they couldn’t actually get the fans to tune into Fox at the right times. 

Listening to Fans via Social Media

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    The show’s marketing team dug through their social-media channels to find some of the fans’ favorite recurring jokes, which is how they came up with the perfect giveaway concept: hand out free frozen bananas from a Bluth’s Frozen Bannana stand at major cities around the world. The stand is, of course, a famous and beloved prop in the show, and it’s at the center of some of the show’s jokes and characters. 

    The banana stand visited several cities - even the show’s setting in Newport Beach, CA - just prior to the launch of the new episodes, and it looks like the stunt worked. Netflix hasn’t disclosed subscriber numbers, but shares of Netflix have more than doubled this year so far. 

    Though the giveaway worked well as is, AD’s marketing team could have employed branded promotional giveaways, such as Bluth brand napkins, cups and Popsicle sticks to achieve a greater effect. It would’ve given fans an opportunity to take home limited-edition souvenirs besides the happy memories, and those souvenirs could have boosted views of the new episodes as fans share and discuss the souvenirs with other fans of the show. Still, it’s a great concept, and it certainly worked. Never underestimate the power of a promotional giveaway. 

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How Wendy’s Uses Social Media to Influence (Good) Business Decisions

By Fausto Mendez

    It’s probably safe to say that we haven’t seen everything that #social media can do for businesses. Most brands use it to post company updates and engage customers with sharable content, but Wendy’s is thinking way outside the box for social. And the rest of us should be taking notes.

    Beyond marketing, Wendy’s employs social media to influence important decisions, and it’s becoming a core component of the company’s decision-making process. That’s because effective social-media management involves a ton of listening, so Wendy’s leadership listens to the customer base via Facebook, Twitter and other social channels to find out what motivates them. Then, they act upon the information they gather, according to Brandon Rhoten, director of Digital at the company.

    At his recent BlogWell presentation in New York, Rhoten described Wendy’s fresh, effective approach to social, and we beak down three of his more eye-opening examples below. 

+ Earlier this year, the “pink slime” issue hit the news with full force. Fast food chains, supermarkets and restaurants that sell the cheap, disgusting slime quickly came under public scrutiny. As the beef industry clamored to keep everyone quiet, Wendy’s was more interested in what the company’s fan base had to say about it, and the fans had a lot of negative things to say. As a result, Wendy’s determined that it had to effectively spread the word that it doesn’t serve pink slime, and the company did this successfully through its various channels, including social media.

+ You can say the 1” x 1” real estate on a smartphone’s home screen is more valuable than 100 highway billboards. That’s because every time a fan opens his phone, you have an opportunity to make a connection with him, so when Wendy’s found out that its social audience was complaining about the restaurant’s lack of healthy meals, the company was quick to respond with an app that features each menu item’s nutritional details. Though it’s technically not a nutritional meal, Wendy’s understood that the app would alleviate many concerns of the healthy conscious. 

+ Wendy’s recently set a goal to raise sales of value items, and it would do this with the help of social media. Unfortunately, value items don’t make for great social content, and the company’s social channels seemed to be hush on the topic. But the company wouldn’t give up so easily. As a result, Rhoten’s team came up with a new plan: ask customers to rename the value items through its social channels. When the company finally decided on the new names, there was a significant increase in orders of items from the value menu. 

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(Source: smartblogs.com)

How SoBe® Used Promotional Giveaways to Go Mainstream

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By Fausto Mendez

    John Bello used promotional giveaways to grow his beverage brand, SoBe®, from a niche set of bottled drinks to a mainstream phenomenon that PepsiCo eventually bought out. Today, he’s building up new brands with strikingly similar marketing strategies. 

    Promotional giveaway campaigns work. Need proof? Just ask John Bello, founder of SoBe, which he sold for $370 million, and the architect of SoBe’s wildly successful promotional campaigns. How’d he do it?

Promotional Products 

    Bello leveraged the power of promotional products and a fascinating and unforgettable logo. Combine the two, and you have a series of high-quality promotional products branded with SoBe’s iconic lizard. Here’s how it went down.

    His team would deliver a box of promotional giveaways, such as keychains, to as many SoBe dealers as possible, and the SoBe dealers would hand out the branded products to SoBe customers. The SoBe customers are already fans of the product, and the iconic lizard logo is beautiful and striking enough that it can be appreciated on its own. So the giveaway has two main effects.

Customers as Brand Ambassadors

    First, it makes the customer feel appreciated, and in the customer’s mind, it creates an association between those positive feelings and SoBe (and sometimes the store itself). That effect makes SoBe more memorable, so the customer is more likely purchase SoBe products in the future. The store owners tend to appreciate the free marketing as well. 

    Second, the customer would wear or use the promotional product in his or her day-to-day life, and the eye-catching lizard logo would attract others’ attention. As a result, the product becomes a conversation starter for the customer’s friends, family and acquaintances, and this introduces the brand to new fans.

Rinse & Repeat

    As Bello continued SoBe’s relentless promotional campaign, his effort slowly paid off as the brand grew to mainstream proportions, but he’s not one to take too many days off. After selling the company to PepsiCo, Bello launched a new beverage brand, and he’s using the same proven marketing strategies all over again. 

    In similar fashion, the new company’s logo is often sought for the mere fact that’s beautiful. “Part of the trick is having cool giveaways and a cooler logo,” says Marketing Officer Bruce Burke. The second half of the trick is getting those products into the hands of the target audience.

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#MarketingMonday - Purposely Misspelling Your Brand Name in Ads Can Be a Smart Marketing Strategy

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By Fausto Mendez

    Sometimes, the best marketing strategies take advantage of the most unlikely tools, glitches or places. For example, Lego famously leverages construction sites to send an inspiring and unforgettable message. In the same spirit, Snickers took over one of Google Search’s most beloved features - spell check.

    Snickers and Google partnered up for the snack brand’s latest marketing campaign, and if you’ve seen some of the more recent Snickers TV ads, such as the one with Joe Pesci at a party, you may already know the slogan, “you’re not you when you’re hungry.” Taking that same concept and plastering it all over Google Search, Snickers bought ads for about 25,000 misspelled search terms.

    When you search for these commonly misspelled terms, such as “snikkers candy”, you’ll notice an ad or two at the top of your search results. The ad varies depending on your specific situation, but our test pulled up an ad for the brand’s YouTube channel and also product ads to buy the candy at online stores. Some users are directed to a page dedicated to the campaign.

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    More importantly, it doesn’t matter if you click on the ads themselves. If you know the slogan from the TV commercials, you should be amused by the same message after you misspell a word.

    The tactic is brilliant SEO marketing. Most professionals and businesses tend to execute safe and easy SEO strategies, which is wise - don’t get me wrong. But if you really want your brand to reach the top of the search lists, more often than not, you’ll need to think way outside the box. 

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How Social-Media Marketing Boosts Sales by 30% in the Video Game Industry

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By Fausto Mendez

    The effectiveness of SMM (social-media marketing) is a widely debated topic, but the video game industry is done with that debate. And its verdict is in. It turns out SMM may be its most powerful marketing channel yet. 

     Twitter broadcasts over 400 million tweets everyday. That’s a lot of talk - most of it gibberish, but the video game industry is learning that guiding those conversations towards upcoming video-game releases has a very significant impact on sales, according Twitter and Deloitte LLP. Twitter UK commissioned Deloitte LLP to measure the impact of those 400 million daily Tweets on the sales of 100 best-selling PS3 and Xbox 360 games, and you can see the results for yourself in the full infographic below (click to enlarge it). 

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The Lesson: Creatively Integrate Multiple Channels in Your Marketing Campaigns

    The point is not to rely solely on Twitter - or even social-media marketing - but to shape your campaign using a variety of tools that guide your audience towards positive online conversations about your products or brand. 

    Now, let’s use this lesson to design an effective marketing campaign for a company like Rockstar, maker of the famed Grand Theft Auto series. As a marketer for a major gaming company, you have to think bigger than an unforgettable TV ad, a beautiful billboard, a hilarious Twitter author, or a well-designed Facebook page. You want to design marketing tactics that start conversations that move to and from various marketing channels. 

The Example: How to Move Customers From Channel to Channel

    For example, you might design a set of TV commercials that confuses and surprises viewers. Throughout the commercial, you’d display a unique hash tag at one of the corners of the screen. The confusing ad would encourage users to search for the video or the hash tag online. The confusing ad also airs between 4PM and 8PM because that’s when the target audience watches TV. By 9PM, the audience is most likely playing video games and/or browsing the Web.

    At this point, those gamers that aren’t gaming are probably searching for the video or hash tag in order to discuss it and share it with their friends. After discussing with their friends, they probably want more information, so they would search for related websites later that night. This campaign would have three important effects.

+ By adding social and online components (that are easily searchable and sharable) to the TV ads, the ads are viewed by many, many more people than if they were developed without those social and online components. 

+ Conversations with friends about upcoming games has a more powerful effect than ads that intrude on the audience’s time and attention. Friends are often entertaining, welcomed participants in such conversations. Ads that try to dictate how you think, on the other hand, run the risk of being an annoyance if they appear in the wrong situations. In other words, your friends’ excitement for the next Madden NFL game is more effective than a tv ad for the same game, but the conversation that exposed you to that excitement may have never occurred if it wasn’t for the TV ad in the first place.

+ The search-engine performance of your website is increasingly becoming dependent on the performance of your social-media profiles and content. As your profiles and content are shared across social-media sites, your website’s SEO grows too, so by catalyzing conversations that involve your social-media profiles, critical keywords and links to your website, you should increase the traffic that your website receives from search engines beyond the traffic that arises from curiosity just after a new ad airs. 

Why does it work?

    In the previous example, the process starts in the living room. That means you have to know when your audience will be there. If you do your homework, your customer will see your ad on TV at the perfect moment. They would then search for your hash tag or video online (which would cause the initial search-engine traffic boost). As the audience start conversations about the video and any related content, they would share this content on social networks, and then you get a second search-engine traffic boost as Google notices that your brand name and content are being shared on social-media sites. As excitement, rumors and information spreads, sales grow. Just rinse, and repeat.

    Whether you’re ordering promotional products for a trade show or finalizing the details for your next TV commercial, a strong and wise marketing campaign can go a long way. Take notes, people!

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by AnyPromo.com.

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