May 11, 2021
Success and the Promotional Marketing Puzzle

If you don't work with a promotional marketing agency, moving your promotional campaigns into the 'success' column doesn't have to be out of reach for small businesses. Just keep in mind a few keys to what makes a winning promotional marketing campaign and study what the big brands are doing.

On the totem pole of successful promotional marketing, the best ideas are carved at the very top. They have the clearest views and are most visible to anyone who passes. At the bottom sit quick giveaways, the ‘click to buy’ lost leaders with little relevance to the organization or the ideas they promote. In a typical business cycle, promotional marketing campaigns that can collect clicks online and get people searching for your organization is an art form. There is no quick path to success. Several ingredients are required to hit it out of the park. Great promotional marketing takes time. It requires careful planning, awareness of what makes your organization 'different'. Last but not least, great promotional marketing needs support the talent of creative people who put the pieces together and make them sing. In a pandemic or business downturn, the challenge to develop promotional marketing that stands above the crowd grows exponentially.

The Temptation to Click and Buy

The urge to ‘click and buy’ handouts is the panacea that many businesses will reach for. With the web jam packed with online promos screaming ‘add to cart’, why wouldn’t businesses reach for this quick fix. The truth is, for many it is often the go to. In our experience this approach, is fraught with poor messaging, inferior quality product and cumbersome creative artwork, can yield less than stellar results. Because of this many businesses sour on the true power of promotional marketing as a path to growing their brand.

The Currency That Drives Success

But what does it take to get there? It’s no secret in the age of automation that ideas are the real currency that drive the most successful promotional marketing campaigns. And a creative idea is just the tip of the iceberg. Look no further than a recent campaign by the HEINZ brand. With no hesitation and mid-pandemic, shook off all hesitation and pulled off a winning tongue in cheek promotion. A lot of people got excited about the campaign which expressed the defining attributes of this beloved ketchup brand.

Key Takeaways to Promotional Marketing Success

Your business may not have all the resources at hand to emulate a campaign like one launched by a national brand, but by no means should you consider it out of reach. The HEINZ ketchup puzzle is a good example to study. In this campaign HEINZ puts its key product messaging front and center. The promotion developed, an all red puzzle, is an easy lesson to pick up, tying the businesses brand attributes (rich, slow pouring, patience, anticipation) to the promotion itself. Some additional keys to a winning promotional marketing campaign are also visible right here in their promotion. Key takeaways include;

  • Knowing what makes your business different
  • Knowing your target audience
  • Understanding the business environment you are operating in
  • And of course, developing solid creative wrapped into a high quality promotion.

What it Takes to Get There

For smaller businesses that are just starting out, finding your niche market and what you do best, can take time. You may have a mix of services and a mix of audiences and boiling this down to what is simple, essential and speaks to all of your customers takes time.

Start Small and Build on Success

Before you give in to 'click to buy', map out what makes your business different and your target audience. Determine what makes your business different from the competition. This is a process you may need to come back to often as your business matures. Brainstorm. Find creative resources who can help you develop strong copy in line with your differentiator. This message could be represented in words, images or be reflected in a product you select to promote your brand. Make sure that it is inline with your business and message. The best approach is to start small and build on success.

In the end, HEINZ only gave away a mere 57 of these promos. Why? Well, HEINZ ‘57’ of course!

Visit the article about the HEINZ 57 puzzle promo on Hyperbeast.

Visit the HEINZ official merchandise store here for more ideas on what the big brands are doing with promotional merchandise.

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