Sunday, April 14, 2013

Why NOW is the BEST Time to Invest in Your Employees with Promotional Products

According to a recent survey by Harris Interactive, a whopping 83% of American workers are stressed by at least one thing at work – up 10% from this time last year! What are you doing to retain valuable talent? Now is the perfect time to create an employee retention program! 

Why Especially Now? 

A recession presents many challenges for businesses in terms of employee concerns about job security, layoffs, increased workload and salary freezes. This stress can take a toll on employee morale and job satisfaction. 

The situation does not immediately improve when the recession ends. In fact, when the recovery begins, unhappy employees can be a flight risk more than ever. To prevent employees from looking for other opportunities, companies should take measures to improve employee morale as soon as possible. 

So, NOW is the time for companies to consider implementing promotional product programs.  

Why Promotional Product Programs?  

Employees Feel Valued 
Even small promotional items such as t-shirts, water bottles, tote bags or gift certificates, can make employees feel more appreciated.  

Everyone appreciates recognition for a job well done. Studies have shown that well executed awards and recognition programs improve attitudes about the workplace and employee retention. A program could include plaques and awards when honoring specific achievements; and premiums gifts for big wins. 

Reward for Loyalty 
Rewarding employees who have spent a considerable amount of time with the company is essential. Long-term employees are tremendously valuable assets to any successful company. Long-term employees have a strong knowledge base; pass down their skills to new employees; and add stability to the workforce. Be sure to reward for loyalty!  

Motivation and Increased Productivity 
Recognizing and rewarding achievements can motivate employees and boost their morale. This, in turn, can greatly increase your company's productivity level.  

Sense of Community 
Giving branded gifts to employees helps create a sense of community within an organization. Plus, it provides an opportunity for employees to take your brand into their lives outside the office in a positive way. 

A fun way to use promotional items in business organizations is for building team spirit. Sports events and company outings are great venues for distributing items.  

Want ideas to increase employee morale, motivation and productivity? Give Petrocelli Marketing Group a call at 1-800-264-4294 today!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Promo Product Lessons from March Madness™

The NCAA college basketball tournament is a microcosm of marketing. How rigorously you prepare, strategize and execute determines your performance and bottom-line results.  Both basketball and marketing require planning, competing, attacking, defending and adjusting. 

So, as we head into the Final Four, we thought we’d take some time to share a few promo product lessons we can all learn from March Madness, that time of year when 68 college basketball match-up for a chance to compete for the NCAA Men’s Division I National Championship title. Here are our lessons that marketers can learn about promotional products from the “Big Dance”:

A good product markets itself.  You don’t have to market March Madness - millions will tune in and arenas will sell out. Why?  March Madness is a great product – it markets itself!  So do promotional products!  Promotional products are tangible items that continuously promote your brand.

Have a game plan. Determine your marketing objectives before tip off .  Just like coaches prepare scouting reports of their opponents, marketing pros need to do their homework to develop an overall strategy for success.  Having a promotional product marketing plan in place can help you outline next steps throughout the year. Preparation is key. Ask yourself:   Who are you playing/Who is your target audience?  How will you relate to your fans/How will you reach your target audience?  

It’s emotional.  Both basketball and promotional products hit an emotional note. Anytime you have grown people yelling at their television sets, you know an emotional connection has been made. Promo products also create an emotional connection by engaging the five senses.

Execute the fundamentals.  In basketball and marketing, not only do you need to have a strategy, you also must execute the fundamentals. Is your branding consistent? Are your promotional products useful, creative and unique?  Make adjustments, if needed. Your marketing plan can (and should) be revisited and adapted throughout the year. As Duke coach, Mike Krzyewski once said, “I try to see each new season as a new challenge because I have a new team to work with, new opponents to encounter, and often new ideas and theories to try.”

Adjustments can also be made throughout the game. If a certain play or lineup isn’t working, the coach has the ability to change things on the fly. The same is true for promotional product campaign tactics and strategy. While having a roadmap is essential to keeping your eye on the prize, it’s important to recognize that the strategy can be adjusted should new circumstances arise. Be ready to pull out the surprise play.  Match up smartly with your opponent.  Be clever, bold and create buzz!

The underdog can win.  Everyone loves a Cinderella story!   Small guys are facing the giants and seeing just how good they really are.   Broadening your horizons will allow your team/business to be exposed to a larger world. In both college basketball and the business world, teams/companies aren’t operating on equal footing. Some have bigger budgets, more talent, and better-known brands. But, the tournament never plays out according to who “should” win. How about Florida Gulf Coast University this year?! Even small businesses can stand out among the traditional giants!

Engage your fans.  Just as cheering basketball fans inspire on a team, building and cultivating fans with promotional products help fuel growth for your business. 

Cash in on momentum. Basketball, like business, can come down to momentum. When things are going well, don’t over-think it — make the most of the momentum and trust in your team.  If needed, call a time-out and regroup to talk over a new game/marketing plan.

Stay hungry. Whether you’re a basketball player or a marketer, you have to continually stay motivated and passionate about what you do, communicate openly with your teams, and take risks to advance and succeed.

Remember your statistician. Most great teams know the value of keeping stats beyond just the scoreboard.  Make sure you identify and track important numbers related to your promotional products marketing efforts to see where you’re scoring and where you might be fouling out.

Just like March Madness, with preparation, adjustments and motivation, your marketing team can create its own Cinderella story.  Game on!