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Calendar It…Again and Again and Again?

Calendar It…Again and Again and Again? published on No Comments on Calendar It…Again and Again and Again?

Here comes December, and along with it come promotional calendars of all shapes, sizes, and styles.

I get ‘em each year, don’t you?

They arrive in the mail or are handed out by my insurance agent, my dentist, my doctor, my dry cleaner, my pet groomer, my barber, my auto mechanic, my CPA…I’ve even received a few from politicians.

Here’s a word for all of you calendar-ers: ho-hum.

As a business owner or corporate sales & marketing executive (don’t get me started on the “sales” vs. “marketing” title), you might think that an annual calendar is a nice and easy and cheap promo item.

O.K., a calendar is easy, and it’s certainly cheap. But nice? Considering how many other calendars your targets, prospects, and customers get, your promo dollars would be better spent on a roll of toilet paper or a box of facial tissue (we all call them Kl***ex, but copyright/trademark laws keep me from using that colloquialism).

With few exceptions, your annual calendar is for your target audience the pulp equivalent of one egg in a dozen. Same same, so what, what’s the dif, ho-hum.

It’s not that calendars aren’t appreciated. But if you’re going to invest in promoting your business with tangible advertising, why do what everyone else is doing? Why spend your precious marketing dollars on “Me too”?

Dimensional marketing — and that’s what we’re talking about here – works, in large part, on differentiating your company from your competitors. The annual calendar is merely an example.

And hey, if you like your yearly calendar, then why not make it stand out? You’ll pay more, sure. However, your audience will more value it….and thus keep it and use it…and thereby more appreciate you.

It’s about marketing solutions, not just quick & easy stuff.

It’s also about building customer loyalty and expectation.

Years ago, we ran an annual dealer trip promotion for a major copier machine company. We did it for 10 years, and each year we achieved at least 150% of sales goal.

Among the dimensional marketing items we used every year in the promotions was a recipe tile. That is, it was an 8” x 8” ceramic tile that featured a recipe for a dish common to the respective promo destination (e.g., London, Hong Kong, Hawaii).

The dealer network looked forward to those recipe tiles.

But one year, corporate management decided to not pay to produce and distribute the tiles. Dealers complained, and sales dropped by more than 50%.

Those recipe tiles were not just appreciated but unique. And yep, they were anticipated.

So what does this have to do with calendars?

Plenty.

If you’re going to invest in dimensional marketing products, follow the recipe for differentiation and audience interest, not merely bean-counter mentality. Seek solutions.

Cheap breeds cheap.

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