Content Marketing, Destructive Marketing, Marketing Tips, Uncategorized

Feeling Stuck? How to Boost Your Creativity

person who is stuck on a problemCertain professions require creativity – think graphic design, floral arranging, and composing, to name a few. And when an author struggles, a specific phrase describes the response—writer’s block. But entrepreneurs and managers can get stuck, too. Owning and operating a small business or department requires tons of creative moxie. If you solve problems for a living, you are bound to run into a creative obstacle at one time or another. So, what can you do if you find yourself struggling to come up with innovative ideas? Since we’ve been in advertising, printing and promotional products for over 40 years, we’ve learned a few tricks to get your creative juices flowing.

Pick one or try all four:relax

  1. Take a break. We know, you don’t have time to do this – conversely you don’t have time NOT to do this. “Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets,” writes Tim Kreider, in The New York Times.

So, give yourself permission to let it go. Take a walk, listen to some relaxing music or chat with a friend about anything but work.  We guarantee that taking a break will lead to more creative energy in the long run than if you continued to dig in despite the block.

  1. hobbySearch for inspiration. Are you trying to come up with a new product or service or an out-of-the-box solution to a personnel problem? Don’t operate in a vacuum. Turn to experts in the field for ideas. Spend a few minutes on Pinterest, watch a Ted Talk, listen to a podcast, or look for the answers from experts in the field. With so many resources available in books, research papers, blog posts, magazine articles and videos, you’ll run out of time long before you exhaust available material.

In Creative Block: Advice and Projects from 50 Successful Artists, author and blogger Danielle Krysa writes, It is when I find myself playing more than trying that I find my way out of a block.”

  1. Shift your perspective. Approach the problem from a new angle. Identify the source of the issue, set goals, brainstorm possibilities, and assess alternatives. Give yourself permission to try something new, even if you might fall flat on your face. In an article in Forbes, Robert Tucker points out that experience can be a two-edged sword when it comes to creativity: brainstorm

“Years of experience in an industry, profession or job can give us invaluable experience. But they can also be a block. ‘It’s always been done that way’ or ‘we already tried that are often a sign that you and your team need to shift perspective to move beyond habitual thinking blocks in to imagine alternate possibilities.”

One simple thing we do is drive to work via a different route than the norm. You’d be surprised at the new things and people you see that make your brain function in a different way, giving you the creative edge you need.

  1. creativeDownload an Idea:  Apps to boost creativity are available at the tip of your fingers. A few free ones include: Unstuck, Brainsparker or Simplemind.

 


On Target Promotions

Need creative ideas for using print, promotional and digital marketing to develop and maintain great relationships with prospects and current clients? We’ve got them! On Target Promotions, is a national promotional products and printing company with a creative edge. We add impact and value to your programs. An agency without associated agency fees, we provide innovative and cutting-edge products and service solutions through our Inland Empire offices. We help clients use marketing materials and promotional products and other media to design and secure quality marketing programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our clients in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us today to start your project.

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Print and Promo Campaigns
Destructive Marketing, Marketing Tips, Promotional Products Inland Empire, Uncategorized

Marketing in 2018 & Beyond

Electronic MarketingWhen the World Wide Web went mainstream at the end of the 20th Century, most business owners were quick to jump on the digital bandwagon. En masse, they abandoned slick direct mail pieces and  print campaigns for early iterations of websites and email marketing. The exodus seemed to signal the end of print as the cornerstone for effective advertising strategies. Welcome to 2018, when the worm has turned.

Fed up with stiff Internet competition and ever-changing electronic platforms, today’s entrepreneurs realize the most effective way to stand out above the digital din is to return to print. According to a recent study by the U.S. Postal Service:Paper Advertising

  • 56% say receiving mail is a “real pleasure.”
  • 55% report looking forward to discovering the mail they receive.
  • 67% feel mail is more personal than the Internet.
  • 98% of people check their mail daily.

4 Reasons Print Advertising Stands Out

ss03-ss031. Memorable. With less “back up” in your target market’s physical mail boxes, your direct mail pieces stand a better chance at being read than most email marketing communications. Unconvinced?

Consider these statistics

  • Worldwide, 269 emails are sent each day.
  • Each minute, an average 149,513 emails are sent.
  • The average American worker receives 121 emails per day.
  • The click-thru rate in North America is a dismal 3.1 percent.
  • The average open rate for retail emails is 22.07 percent.
  • The top reason U.S. Internet users give for unsubscribing to email lists is that they “receive too many emails.”

2. Tactile. Unless you plan to cold call, you can’t get closer to connecting directly with prospects than through direct mail. Remember the “good old days,” when you walked out to your mailbox and found a letter addressed to you? With trembling hands, you opened the envelope, eager to read the hand-written message. People admit to multi-tasking while reading online. They could be eating dinner, in the restroom, in the waiting room at the doctor’s office or at their daughter’s soccer game when your email comes in. Hard copy, on the other hand, requires more time and attention. In fact, if the piece or giveaway is creative enough, it will not only capture your target market’s attention but will earn a place on their desk instead of in a bin.

3. Safe. In the world of ransomware, identity theft and phishing scams, technology comes with inherent risk. As a result, consumers view electronic campaigns through a filter of suspicion. With most people setting spam filters and virus scanning software to maximum, your well-conceived ideas may end up on the virtual cutting-room floor. A well-conceived print piece, on the other hand, will earn their respect.Direct Mail Booklet

4. Creative. No matter how much thought you put into an electronic ad, it will pale in comparison to the tactile experience your target market will have if they pick up something they can hold in their hands. Depending on your budget, you can craft anything from a thick, colorful postcard to a custom card with a promo product gift inside.

Great Ways to Make the Most of your “Real World” Campaign

  • Personalize – to drive sales and create buzz, take advantage of the trend to personalize your postcard, letter or branded gift with the recipient’s name. These have a longer shelf life than their unbranded peers because they create a deeper connection between the customer and the product. Once available only to multi-million dollar brands with big budgets, such as Coca-Cola and Hershey’s, the strategy is now available to small business owners.
  • Promo Bear ProjectPromote. Admittedly, we are biased when it comes to believing in the inherent value of personalized promotional products. But it’s an easy concept to get behind. After all, who doesn’t like free stuff? Swag is a great tool for entrepreneurs because it is available at virtually any price point, builds brand recognition – not just for the recipient but for anyone who sees the giveaway item in use – and reinforces customer loyalty, since forming an emotional bond with consumers is one of the best ways to create a lifetime customer. A financial institution, located in grocery stores used this adorable teddy bear to encourage prospective clients to stop by their window during their shopping trip. This stuffed bear continues to serve as a wonderful ice-breaker and has been so successful that it has been put on the “active” list for current campaigns.
  • Put Together. The best campaigns incorporate print, promo and digital. Make sure your brand remains consistent across all digital and print platforms. Provide QR Codes, website URLs, video embedding technology and virtual reality into your printed materials to direct users to your electronic campaign. Use direct mail to introduce campaigns, reinforce your strategy with a promotional giveaway, and tie everything together on social media.
    packaging tells a story

Case Study Idea: Since your company wants to increase sales, here is a great way to pull it all together to do just that! As top executives head off to an exotic island, send this packaged pen, which showcases the island, personalize the pen with the contest name, and add a QR Code which showcases the resort when scanned.

On Target Promotions

Need great ideas for using print, promotional and digital marketing to develop and maintain great relationships with prospects and current clients? We’ve got them! On Target Promotions is a national promotional products and printing company with a creative edge. We add impact and value to your programs. An agency without associated agency fees, we provide innovative and cutting-edge products and service solutions through our Inland Empire offices. We help clients use marketing materials and promotional products and other media to design and secure quality marketing programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our clients in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us today to start your project.

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Destructive Marketing
Branding, Destructive Innovation, Destructive Marketing, Marketing Tips, Marketing to Millennials, Uncategorized

Detonate Your World: Destructive Marketing

Destructive MarketingDestructive Marketing 101

To survive in business in 2018, take everything you thought you knew about your product or service and any advertising method you’ve ever used. Toss them together and light it all on fire. Then start over. Enter the era of destructive innovation, followed closely by destructive marketing.

Coined by a professor in 1997, destructive innovation is described by the Harvard Business Review as: “a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources successfully challenges established incumbent businesses. They overtake the market, succeed and become the new world order.”

ThinkDestructive Marketing

Netflix & Blockbuster Video – Remember driving to the video store to pick up VHS tapes, and later, DVD’s? You had to get there early if you wanted to watch a new release. Netflix streaming redefined movie night for millions of Americans.  

Uber Destructive InnovationUber & Yellow Cab When was the last time you called a cab? How about an Uber? The company didn’t just introduce a competitor to the taxi market but turned the entire industry on its ear.

Apple Music & Tower Records People were trolling Tower Records for albums when Apple introduced the iPod in 2001. Since that time, the company further destroyed the music- purchasing paradigm by creating a subscription-based service called Apple Music.

Destruction Defined

Destructive Marketing
Destructive Marketing Makes an Impact

Different than just coming up with a product or service to fit into a pre-existing category, destructive innovation redefines an entire industry. Then, its counterpart throws away the playbook to advertise the innovation. If this appears to be a risky business venture, consider the alternative – disbanding altogether once the old ways of doing things are abandoned in favor of a new playbook.

Consider these cautionary tales:

KodakKodak self destruction

In less than 20 years, camera and film manufacturer Kodak went from the fourth most valuable brand worldwide to bankruptcy. Why? Because they weren’t prepared for customers to stop buying film and switching to digital photography. The market disrupted and Kodak failed to adjust.

Borders

Reject the Status QuoOnce located on street corners across the country, Borders rose to the top of brick and mortar only to fall once e-book sales started eating into physical book profits. While their close competitor, Barnes & Noble, embraced the electronic trend, manufacturing an e-reader and massive quantities of digital content through Nook, Borders stubbornly held on to the belief that people would always prefer hard and soft cover books and merchandise over electronic iterations. The mistake ultimately led to their bankruptcy in 2011.

BlackberryRIM self destructed Destructive Marketing

Once in the hands of virtually every member of the C-Suite, Research in Motion (RIM)’s mobile demise dates to 2012. Blackberry is a prime example of an incumbent business being disrupted by enthusiastic newcomers with nothing to lose. BlackBerry’s success a decade ago made RIM executives complacent and conservative. While newcomers Apple and Android were eager to offer mobile alternatives, Blackberry officials feared the innovation of touchscreen display, holding so tightly to customers that they lost sight of the billions who would eventually enter the marketplace.

How to Craft a Destructive Strategy

Don't be afraid to changeTo employ disruptive innovation and marketing, companies need to change their business model, their outbound product or service, and the message they send to consumers.


Virgin CEO Richard Branson explains the freeform procedure like so: “Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there.” Richard Branson Disruptive Marketing

Don’t Get Destroyed; Self-Destruct

  • Use big data to evaluate where you are and consider where you want to go.
  • Think outside the box. Disruptive marketing is loud and sometimes obnoxious because it is bold enough to say what we are all secretly thinking.
  • Once you’ve come up with a big idea, plan how to share it, realizing that the new world of advertising is about conversations instead of narratives.
  • Tell stories instead of lecturing.Destructive Innovation Promo Products
  • Tangible items – Our client used these, also known as promotional products, to entice members to join their association. The client told us the items would be used at an event attended by clients who were interested in Cyber Security. They selected and ordered 500 of Vault RFID Security Backpacks. Not only were the backpacks used to secure new memberships but were such a hit, our client ordered more for their national trade association fair.

Promotional Itemsms-2

Remember that the best marketing takes place with tangible items a.k.a. promotional items shared in the real world or among groups of people (at conferences, trade shows, events). Experiences may be promoted online, but should take place in the real world. Digital methods should reflect (instead of replacing) whatever is happening in the physical realm.

Author of the book, Destructive Marketing, Geoffrey Colon, says this: “Although we certainly live more of our lives on the Internet as a society these days, because we are social animals, we crave shared experiences with people, in person.”

Unknown.pngAbout On Target Promotions

Need great ideas for helping to develop and maintain great relationships with prospects and current clients? We’ve got them! On Target Promotions, is a national promotional products and printing company with a creative edge to add impact and value to your programs. An agency without associated agency fees, we provide the most innovative and cutting edge products and service solutions through our Inland Empire offices. We help clients use marketing materials and promotional products as well as other media to design and secure quality marketing programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our clients in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us today to start your project.

Business Ideas, Content Marketing, Marketing Tips, Uncategorized

Everything you always wanted to know about Creative Content but were afraid to ask

Push Advertising On Target Blog
Drink this!

Long ago and not so far away, entrepreneurs and corporate officers relied on pushy advertising tactics via broadcast and print media, to sell everything from toilet plungers to Caribbean vacations. Following the old school of thought that buyers would respond if people told them what to do, remarkably, the method worked – for decades. Think radio spots and TV commercials with catchy jingles and slogans: Be all you can be, Betcha can’t eat just one, Don’t leave home without it.


Push vs Pullwordpress-1013189__480

Using expensive ads and attention-grabbing claims, push advertising effectively shoved products and services into the minds of consumers. Today, new rules of marketing have emerged, including pull advertising. This method targets prospects by establishing and building a connection that effectively pulls them into a mutually-beneficial long-term business relationship.

Pull Marketing is Affordable

ipad-605440__480One of the benefits of pull marketing is that it is available not only to corporate ad agencies with multi-million dollar budgets but to any entrepreneur who is willing to use traditional and digital technology to communicate with prospects and existing clients. Relying heavily on internet channels such as websites, blogs and social media networks, pull marketing is the reason content is currently king.

Why Content is Kingcontent-is-king-1132259__480

The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing like this: “Content marketing focuses on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain clearly defined audiences —ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Content marketing is fueled by the public’s voracious appetite for tailor-made information and entertainment as well as the plethora of methods available for delivering just such material. Whichever platforms your target market enjoys, reach out to them not with a demand they buy your product or service, but with relevant content. This will create value which is measurable because consumers actively seek it out.

social-media-marketing-2353347__480But how can you create great content marketing so you can amp up the value you offer clients? Here are a few ideas:

Infographics –

Colorful, vertical graphics featuring useful statistics, charts, graphs, and other information, Infographics are effective because they can be shared via social media networks and posted on websites indefinitely. While some graphic design teams might charge thousands of dollars to create an original infographic that includes strategy and planning, research, copywriting, and design, entrepreneurs can compete by using an affordable freelance bidding site such as Fiverr.

E-Books & Guides –social-media-2328745__480

Often offered on the landing page of websites, these value-packed books are free to download and provide marketing tips and tricks for business owners. Hire an expert (or put your own experience to use) and write a free downloadable guidebook. If you are providing enough value, you may be surprised by how many people download the resource. For instance, Buffer created this Social Media Strategies eBook you can download and read at your leisure.

When it comes to marketing books, self-publishing has made everyone an author. Still, readers tend to believe that only seasoned professionals can publish a business book. So, publish your own. Even if no one ever reads it, you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck each time you reference yourself as a marketing author.

Podcasts & Videos –

workspace-2517759__480YouTube is the second most often used search engine after Google. So, don’t underestimate the importance of filming and uploading videos with the user-friendly interface. Then, embed links to your creations on your own website. If you’re camera shy, consider creating podcasts, which you can offer for free.

Just in case you get stuck trying to figure out what content to provide via the above mediums, here are five tips:

5 Winning Strategies for Coming Up with Great Content

  1. Steal it. Okay, don’t really rip off content from colleagues and competitors. But lean on them for inspiration. If you decide to reference portions of their content, that’s okay. Just make sure you provide attribution – typically in hyperlink form – and make sure you reimagine the lion’s share, to make it your own.
  2. Reuse & Recycle. While this term is currently on trend for green-related reasons, we are referencing where you go to get ideas. Once you’ve been creating content for a while, it’s okay to review past blog posts, status updates, videos, podcasts and Instagram Stories to see if anything old is new again. Reference blog post analytics to determine which posts were premier performers. internet-315132__480
  3. Ask your base. If you aren’t sure what your customers would like to hear, ask! You could provide a brief online survey, asking for feedback and ideas. People appreciate knowing that their opinions count. So, you won’t offend them by asking their thoughts.
  4. Follow Trends. While we are all about starting trends, we also support getting behind ones already in progress. If you’re not sure what those are, just look up “trending topics” on Facebook. Another way to find relevant ideas is to search for industry keywords using hashtags on Twitter. For example, if you own a children’s boutique, search keywords like #KidsClothing, #ChildrenBoutique, #KidsFashion, to check out what other interested parties are posting about. One trend we love fun ideas like fidget spinners and other small, affordable gifts some clients buy to tie into their digital campaigns. Embrace the trend digitally and then follow up with a personalized, promotional giveaway.
    males-2930545__480
  5. Walk away. If you’re stuck in a creative rut, close your laptop and take a walk, watch standup comedy, or play with your dog. Give yourself permission to turn your mind off so you can come back to the task with fresh perspective. The break will do you good and your work will be better for it.

 

About On Target Promotionsnew-year-2851690__480

We’ve got great ideas for helping you develop and maintain great relationships with prospects and current clients. OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.

Branding, Business Ideas, Marketing Tips, Uncategorized

Top 5 things I learned while running a Marketing & Promotions Business

5-things-chalkboardAvoid business potholes before they even show up

Over the past 40 years in marketing and promotional products, my partners and I have learned much about running a business – most of which we wish we had known before we began. So, if you’re just starting out or just need encouragement along the way, feel free to benefit from the top five lessons we have learned along the way!

5.) Choose your business name wisely. Your company name will become synonymous with your brand. When we chose the name On Target Promotions, we realized we would a lot to live up to:

  • On Target customer service
  • On Target quality
  • On Target branding
  • On Target delivery
  • On Target value
  • Absolutely everything we do needs to be On Target.

Before selecting your brand name, consider what you want your business to stand for. To arrive at the answer, ask yourself some questions:

Who is my target audience?

What is my market?

What are my business goals?

What will make my company stand out?

 

 

Entrepreneur Magazine offers these suggestions for developing a business name:

“Naming a business is a lot like laying the cornerstone of a building. Once it’s in place, the entire foundation and structure is aligned to that original stone. If it’s off, even just a bit, the rest of the building is off, and the misalignment becomes amplified.”

The decision about what to name a company is so crucial, many entrepreneurs hire pricey naming agencies to conduct research and come up with a creative title for their startups. A lower cost option for this are crowdsourcing platforms such as SquadHelp, InkandKey, and NamingForce, which enable business owners to host competitions for business names, tag lines, logos and other marketing projects.

Thousands of freelancers across the globe compete by suggesting creative ideas. At the end of contest, the business owner selects the winning entry. The winner gets paid and the client benefits from the collective wisdom of creatives across the globe.

community4.) Get involved in your community. Wherever you are based, take time to develop partnerships on both sides of your business.

Corresponding Industry Associates: No one gets you like other professionals in your industry. Connect with each other in meaningful ways – digitally as well as in 3D. These relationships provide much needed support, advice, and potential opportunities for collaboration.

Supplier Partners: In business as well as life, nothing beats a win/win scenario. Work hard to develop good relationships with supply partners who will have your back, grant favors when you need them, and value you as a person who will act in kind.

Community and Target Market Associations: Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are too busy to take time to build relationships in your region and in target market associations. You might be surprised at the valuable reciprocity of referring clients, making timely payments, and volunteering along with people who would be just as happy and likely to take you to lunch as you would them.family

3.) Put God and family first. Make sure you follow a worthy moral compass. When you face tough decisions about making more money or doing what is right for your clients or employees, this is where the rubber meets the road. Customers prefer working with companies that have a moral compass. So, while everyone may not understand the basis for some of your decisions, they will value your integrity and service-minded attitude. Employees prefer working for organizations that demonstrate high principles.

According to an article in World Economic Forum, “Over recent years there has been a steady rise in the number of companies embracing purpose-led values to help them navigate this increasingly tricky business environment. Both traditional luxury brands and emerging newcomers are rethinking how they measure value and are, in-turn, achieving success by standing up for – and sticking to – principles.”

2.) Market, Brand and Advertise! (This is especially important when business and/or the economy are slow.) In 2008, when the U.S. seemed poised to head into the next depression, this piece in Forbes warned against the reflex of cutting marketing campaigns when business budgets are tight.

“The first reaction is to cut, cut, cut, and advertising is one of the first things to go,” says Wharton marketing professor Peter Fader, adding that as companies slash advertising in a downturn, they leave empty space in consumers’ minds for aggressive marketers to make strong inroads. Today’s economy ‘provides an unusual opportunity to differentiate yourself and stand out from the crowd, but it takes a lot of courage and convincing to get senior management on board with that.”

In 2008, we changed the marketing strategy for On Target Promotions to focus efforts on advertising and promoting to a core group of clients. This was while our competitors were closing their doors or doing was necessary to keep the lights on. We utilized the same or slightly lower ad budget to secure a core group of clients who have since accounted for 80% of our annual revenue.

1.) Enjoy what you do!

enjoyBecause you spend so much time on the job, make sure it isn’t just a source of income. If you don’t enjoy what you do, you’ll end up missing out on the stuff of life. Studies show that people who love their jobs lead more fulfilling lives than their frustrated peers.

 

As Mark Twain so aptly explained, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Running your own business is not a 9-to-5 job. So, make sure feel a sense of purpose and a strong mission. This can come across even if you are selling promo products or “swag,” as some people refer to it, like On Target Promotions. We are on a mission. And that goal isn’t just to sell the cheapest widget or “make a sale” at any cost. Instead, what drives us is the desire to clients happy so happy they want to come back again.

About the Author

Co-owner of On Target Promotions, Debbie Johnson has more than 40 years of experience in the field of marketing and promotional products. She was granted Lifetime Certification of the highest industry promotional products designation of MAS, was recognized by PPAI with the leadership award for service as awards committee chair, served as president of the American Marketing Association (AMA) Inland Empire, and currently serves as VP of East Hills Business Council of the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce.

About On Target Promotions

OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.

Branding, Business Ideas, Promotional Products Inland Empire, Uncategorized

Client retention. Have you left your first love?

Notepad with words  we love our customers on a wooden backgroundHave you left your first love?

Are you still pursuing your current clients as if they still mean something to you?

Remember how it felt to become the “new member” at your health club? Personal trainers walk you around; show you the equipment; shower you with gifts (remember the “new member” T-shirt and workout towel? They do whatever it takes to make you feel like royalty! Now, fast track to your daily visit to the club six months later. Are you warmly greeted? Do they still help you when you ask questions? Do they continue to extend thanks mid-year for your membership? Mind you, we’re not picking on health clubs. The phenomenon is not limited to fitness. Now, let’s bring the point back to your own business. Are you spending more dollars, cents and time pursuing new clients than romancing current customers?

Client Retention vs New Customer DevelopmentCustomer retention

After opening the doors as a new business owner, your first thoughts turn to customer development. You know your company won’t go far unless you land a prized client base. Fast forward to now. You’ve been in business for a while and eventually face a tipping point. How do you continue to develop new business relationships while simultaneously making sure your current clients feel “special?” (After all, they were the ones that made you!) How do you strike that balance? Where is your time better spent? Pursuing new clients or romancing the current ones?

how to keep the customerClient Development vs Client Retention: Which is more important?

According to the Harvard Business Review, it’s not even close. “Acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. It makes sense: you don’t have to spend time and resources going out and finding a new client — you just (need to) keep the ones you have happy. Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company research shows increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.”

Although many business owners are aware of these statistics, most (44%) choose to focus more on acquisition than retention (18%) to their peril. Forbes blogger Larry Myler explains the folly in this approach:

“If we can keep a larger percentage of (existing) customers for a longer life cycle, we build on a revenue foundation that is more profitable and predictable; two factors that have created tremendous wealth for entrepreneurs.”

Customer retention research reveals that, on average, the reasons 68% of customers change brands is due to “perceived indifference.” In other words, they end up leaving because they feel as though the company didn’t care about their business.have you left your first love - things I love about you2607434_960_720

Fortunately, there is an easy fix: “In today’s fast paced business environment there’s a disconnect, and it’s a big one. Business owners are consistently focused on acquiring new customers through ‘innovative’ marketing campaign, says Randy Garn, co-founder of a customer connection company. “They want a better go-to-market strategy, stronger billboards and catchier marketing phrases. But their customers have never felt more detached. With today’s technology, it is now possible to have a person-to-person relationship with every customer. The more personal and authentic the relationship, the more indispensable it becomes.”

How to Retain Clients

To make sure existing customers continue singing your praises, build a tight connection on the Internet and in person:

  • free-wifi-1563024_960_720Social Media – Develop a relationship with brand ambassadors by paying attention to reviews. Respond to people who leave reviews – even the ones that are negative. Replying and working to address their concerns demonstrates that you value their opinion. This type of attention could pay big dividends.
  • Old School – Don’t underestimate the value of staying in touch. Send a handwritten card or pick up the phone and talk to your clients instead of relying exclusively on electronic communication.thank you
  • Perks – Give special preference to current clients. Send birthday gifts, offer free Wi-Fi or offer sales tailored to them. We know you can think of something creative. But if you would like help, give us a call!
    gift for you
  • Gifts – The nice thing about client retention is that you can tailor-make gifts based on the relationships you have cultivated over time. Let us help you choose a personalized reward, gift, greeting card or direct mail piece that will WOW your current clients.gift

About On Target Promotions

OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.

Marketing Tips, Marketing to Millennials, Promotional Products Inland Empire, Uncategorized, Virtual Reality Marketing

What You Absolutely Must Know About How Virtual Reality is Changing the Face of Marketing

viewer lifestyle imageIn the 2002 dystopian fantasy movie, Minority Report, entertainment seekers head to a club called the VR Room. Donning headsets and electronic bodysuits, these fictional characters escape their humdrum lives through virtual reality. Fast forward to the real world in 2017, where some of the same virtual escapism awaits – not in a nightclub, but from the comfort of your own home. In case you missed it, Virtual (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have arrived. And they are well on their way to reshaping the world –  in ways far beyond escapist entertainment.

Virtual Reality immerses the user in a virtual world.
Augmented Reality overlays digital information onto the physical world.

In a comprehensive study about VR and AR, Goldman Sachs reported:
“There is no shortage of examples of how VR and AR can reshape existing ways of doing things – from buying a new home, interacting with a doctor, or watching a football game. As the technology advances, price points decline, and an entire new marketplace of applications (both business and consumer) hit the market, we believe VR/AR has the potential to spawn a multi-billion-dollar industry, and possibly be as game changing as the advent of the PC.” 

Here are a few fields already using VR or AR technology:pokemon-1543353_960_720

  • Gaming – The first AR technology to strike a chord with the public was in the field of gaming, with the hand-held Augmented Reality game, Pokémon Go, which was released on July 6, 2016. A location-based app which has been downloaded 15 million times, and boasts 21 million daily active users, the platform made AR accessible to anyone with access to a Smartphone. Still at the forefront of gaming interactivity, Pokémon Go developers have recently announced plans to integrate with Apple’s advanced augmented reality tool, ARKit, which will use “fast, stable motion tracking,” as well as scale estimation and ambient lighting estimation for a more immersive version of AR.
    pokemon-go-1569794_960_720
  • Retail – Home improvement, apparel and auto industries were among the first to join the fray. So far, six Lowe’s Home Improvement stores offer virtual tours so buyers can walk around completed remodeling designs before pulling the trigger on home improvement purchases. And shoemaker, Merrell, created a VR experience called TrailScape to support the launch of a new hiking boot, the Capra. Users virtually traverse a dangerous mountain hike along a stage set which was mapped to the virtual experience to create a new level of immersion. The motion capture allows adventurers to explore the mountainside, with tactile elements such as rope walkways and shaking wooden planks, making it one of the most immersive VR experience to date.
  • K-12 Education –Some public schools have embraced VR and AR. One educational technology firm is taking advantage of Google Cardboard, the ultra-low cost VR headset solution that relies on ordinary smartphones to provide a still-serviceable VR experience. NearPod is being used by public school districts around the country, with K-12 students at participating schools enjoying virtual field trips all around the world. VR image 2
  • Higher Education – A university looking to set itself apart enticed tech-savvy students to attend their university at a recruiting fair. University reps gave away branded VR headsets with a QR code, which took the students on a virtual campus tour. Students who took the tour were “qualified leads.”
  • Sports – VR is also being used at large college football programs to woo recruits:

 “From taking a knee in the locker room to running out on the field amid screaming fans, virtual reality transforms them into a current student. Not only do these VR experiences create a strong and memorable emotional connection, but they can also help profile a school’s facilities, amenities, and campus life.”

Using VR and AR in Marketing

animation-1663612_960_720The overriding difference between VR and AR is that VR uses an opaque headset (which users cannot see through) to completely immerse the user in a virtual world whereas AR uses a clear headset so the users can see the real world and overlay information and imagery onto it. Both emergent game changers, AR and VR campaigns are being used to push everything from International First Class air travel to cheese. And little wonder, as VR can position any brand in a modern and relevant light.

In a blog post on Bioscience Technology, Cynthia Fox explains that our brains are wired to be influenced by VR experiences. So, such experiences are not successful simply because of the novelty or interactivity of the tech, but because VR appeals to three parts of the brain responsible for perceptions and reaction:

  1. Neocortex (higher-level thinking)
  2. Limbic system (emotion, behavior, motivation)
  3. Reptilian brain (primitive instincts). Although content remains king if you want folks to engage, no content-delivery system besides Virtual Reality appeals to all three of these categories at the same time.

Should business owners make use of AR and VR in their marketing campaigns?

  • Sarah Hill, CEO of StoryUP, which was an early pioneer in virtual reality for brands: “VR (will likely) disrupt nearly every industry (especially education, travel, journalism, health care, architecture, and…marketing,” adding, “The internet is fast-becoming a place you step inside.”

  • Greenlight Insights: “62% of consumers say they would feel more engaged with a brand that sponsors a VR experience and 71% of consumers think a brand is forward-thinking if it uses virtual reality.”

  • Forbes Global 2000: 30% of consumer-facing companies will experiment with augmented and virtual reality this year. 

How AR or VR can impact a marketing campaign:image of augmented reality tattoo

  • Demonstrate product attributes, features and functionality.
  • Immerse users in a branded entertainment experience, which can impact brand loyalty.
  • Help consumers make informed choices so they’ll be happier with purchases.
  • Add an immersive, exhilarating dimension to traditional print and video story-telling.
  • Show how a brand can fit into an aspirational lifestyle.

VR Case Studies

Tom’s Shoes: Virtual Trip to Distribute Shoes

Mercedes: Video Test Drive

McDonald’s: Virtual Skiing

Not Just Big Business

cyber-2062846_960_720How to Use VR & AR in Your Marketing Campaign

  • Don’t make the mistake of thinking that AR and VR campaigns are only for big brands with unlimited advertising dollars and wealthy customers. On the consumer side, people who are not yet prepared to invest big bucks into a headset but want to enjoy VR tech, can purchase a Google Cardboard VR box, which is compatible with Apple and Android phones, for about $4.
  • Place a AR calendar on a prospects or client’s desk. With the AR feature of this calendar your prospect is more likely to keep this interactive piece on their desk, increasing your branding value.pixation-calendar
  • On the entrepreneurial side, Virtual Reality production remains out of reach for most business owners. Current estimated costs for development range from $5,000 for a simple game to $300,000 for a 3D film. However, branded VR boxes are a great way to align your company with cutting-edge tech. Brand-able headsets range in price from $2.19 up and are available through On Target Promotions.

About On Target Promotions

Virtual reality got you hooked? Just give us a call. We will be happy to Come up with ideas to tie in VR and AR with your Marketing. OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.

Branding, Marketing Tips, Marketing to Millennials, Uncategorized

How to Market to Millennials

Millenial-image---use-for-retail

Millennials are the generation of people born from 1980 to 2000, using digital technology and mass media, the children of Baby Boomers.

The largest generation in United States’ history, at some 80 million, millennials are reaching their prime working and spending years, where they are spending approximately $600 billion, and impacting virtually every industry. Since they have grown up during a time of great technological innovation, they routinely use handheld devices to meet most of their needs.Millenial-daily-life

Whether ordering chicken from the Amazon Marketplace or securing a ride on Lyft, their rabid reliance on tablets and smartphones is disrupting traditional purchasing patterns. Yesterday’s financially dependent teens are today’s young adults, with careers, kids and homes. In fact, researchers agree that millennials may be the most important consumer group to come along within the past 100 years. With millennial spending projected to grow to $1.4 trillion annually, the entrepreneurial imperative is to adapt traditional patterns to appeal to the burgeoning market.

  • More than 90 million millennials reside in North America.
  • By 2018, millennials will have more spending power than any other generation.
  • 83% of new moms are millennials.
  • Millennials spend an average of 18 hours per week on their Smartphones.Emotional-response-to-Promo-Products

Forbes reports that millennials are fiercely brand-loyal. Since, by 2020, nearly half of the U.S. workforce will be millennials, it is critical for brands to leverage brand identity, which is a sound investment strategy, since customer retention is far more affordable than new client acquisition. Thankfully, the most cost effective way to reach millennials is electronically. So, even those marketing efforts done in 3D, such ordering as promotional giveaways or sponsoring an event, can be shared over social media networks to exponentially multiply the impact. Social media is the new distribution of word-of-mouth marketing. Brands that go viral on social media generate customer reactions, engagements and referrals.

Generational-snapshotBusiness

Millennial preferences extend to the office-warehouse market. Working either at home or in shared office space, they prefer working close to the urban core, rather than in the suburbs. They look for cool space with features like exposed concrete floors, open ceilings and common areas for collaboration. What’s more, working digitally nearly 24/7, they shun traditional 9-5 hours in favor of greater flexibility. To market to millennials on the job, consider texts, promotional product gifts they can use at work and signage in urban areas.

Millenials-serving-othersRetail

  • By the year 2020, millennial purchases will represent 30% of total retail sales.
  • More than half (55 percent) say that (when shopping) they seek out “the cheapest return option.”
  • Thirty-six percent said they will go online to buy from a retailer’s website if they want a product when the company’s stores are closed.
  • On average, 89 percent said having access to real-time product availability information would influence their shopping choices in terms of which stores they would frequent.

Changing-consumer-perspectiveTo capture millennial retail sales:

  • Is your point-of-sale advertising visually appealing, clear and concise, thought-provoking and personally relatable? Millennials value these qualities in advertising.
  • Evaluate your return policy to make sure it’s competitive. Make changes if it is not.
  • Assess your website’s effectiveness. Is it user-friendly? Are products easy to find and order? Is your website responsive to mobile use? Consider investing in app development.
  • Is product information readily available on your website? Are you taking advantage of review apps to maximize your reach?

Travel

While their parents considered travel a luxury, millennials tend to view it as a necessity, possibly because their digital connections make even far corners of the world well within reach. In fact, according to Huffington Post, Millennials are 23 percent more likely to travel abroad than their older counterparts. They are also willing to budget more for trips, (and are) on track to spend $1.4 trillion on travel each year by 2020.” With these figures, it is little wonder the travel industry values this generation.OT Leeds LR

Target millennials in their daily lives outside work via texts; social media – Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and promotional products they can use in daily life.

How to Target Millennials in Promotional Marketing

While other advertising channels communicate a single advertising message or serve to reinforce branding, promo products play a functional role in the consumer’s lifestyle. Research shows that eight out of ten millennials keep promotional products longer than a year. What’s more, they are more likely than other generations to walk around with those products in hand, sharing the brand with everyone they meet. Also, millennial men are more likely to store promotional products in their vehicle or bedroom, while women keep such items in the kitchen or bathroom.

Millenials-on-the-jobAre you targeting millennials? Just give us a call. We will be happy to find you the perfect product. OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.

Business Ideas, Marketing Tips, Music Festival Marketing, Promotional Products Inland Empire, Promotional Products Riverside, SWAG, Uncategorized

Music Festival Marketing

On Target Promo Music FestivalsMusic Festival Mania

Summer has begun, and among the many things to do in sunny Southern California, such as hitting the beach or hanging out at Disneyland, are music festivals and summer concerts offered at multiple venues – designed to suit virtually any taste. Not only are these events a great way to have fun with friends and family, they provide excellent opportunities for promotional marketing.


On Target Music Festival PromoFestival Fun

For example, the San Diego Fair attracts more than 1.6 million visitors annually—in a brief 26-day span. Among the myriad attractions offered at the fair, one of the most popular (attended by 50 percent of fairgoers) are concerts. And what do concert goers do while waiting for performances? They look around the stadium at advertisements and saunter over to booths to scoop up promotional items like water bottles, sunscreen, hats, and T-shirts. If you want to take advantage of this captive, well-defined, and loyal audience, you could opt to order branded promo items like cellphone fans or a fidget spinners — which are all the rage for 2017.


Festival Promotions

Opportunities abound to market with promotional items. And such opps are not only limited to advertisers who target millennials. You can also market to senior citizens at a classic Rock & Roll event or target Generation X at an 80’s concert or beer and wine festival. But if you do choose to target millennials, the possibilities are endless. And when it comes to this target, the more creative, the better. Since social media sharing is typical, your promotional investment could be multiplied exponentially.

Music Festival Promo IdeasFestival Sponsorship

If you want to maximize exposure of your brand, consider sponsoring a concert at your local mall. As a sponsor, you could provide giveaways such as t-shirts, hats, water bottles and more. Take advantage of a photo op by imprinting your logo on a step ‘n repeat banner/background,  for Instagram and Snapchat sharing. Endless opportunities abound when it comes to marketing at summer festivals or concerts. Take the opportunity now to order promotional items from On Target Promotions. Below is a sampling of a few summer events you could target:

Electronic Dance Music (EDM)240_F_154910878_zQbi2Qgxp8FVJ1jPiUWEjbpI70gEtNWi

Christian

  • Spirit West Coast
    • Ideas: Bookmarks, Highlighters, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Water Bottles, Journals

Classical

80’s

Oldies

More summer concerts:

OT-Address-labelOf course, some promo items would work no matter the audience. Just give us a call. We will be happy to find you the perfect product. OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.

Business Ideas, Marketing Tips, Promotional Products Inland Empire, Promotional Products Riverside, SWAG, Uncategorized

Top 3 Marketing Trends for Spring 2017

hand holding a smartphone with TREND 2017  concept , business coTrendy in 2017: Apps, Infographics & Personalization

In the glory days of advertising, marketing boiled down to print ads, television commercials and radio spots. As a result, each campaign was costly and time-consuming. Fast forward to 2017. With promotional opportunities as numerous and distinctive as the products and services they represent, modern advertising can lead to entrepreneurial ADD. Without professional direction, what is a busy business owner to do? Allow us to point out a few worthwhile advertising trends for spring 2017: Tablet on desktop with mobile apps development text.

  1. Apps: According to a Pew Research Survey, roughly three-quarters of Americans (77%) own a smartphone, with lower-income Americans and those ages 50 and older exhibiting a sharp uptick in ownership over the past year. What’s more, 99.6% of smartphones run on Android or iOS.

What does this mean?

Since people are spending more time using mobile applications than ever before, if you want your product or service in front of as many potential customers as possible, develop an application your audience would likely use. To drill down on which app to create, focus on apps your existing customers use. For example, Coca-Cola Freestyle offers locations and directions to places that serve Coke. While the app won’t attract everyone, it will appeal to anyone who has a strong preference for Coca Cola products over Pepsi. And these die-hard soda drinkers are Coke’s core audience. Find out which apps your audience already uses and creatively communicate with them through the app.

Infographic Timeline and Road with Pointer. Vector
Infographics are trending in 2017.
  1. Infographics. With so much competing for distracted audiences, offering easily digestible, eye-catching content is crucial for anyone who wants to reach prospects. A win/win, infographics help brands and consumers. Don’t let your inability to design scare you from employing this trendy advertising strategy. Any graphic designer worth his salt will be able to come up with an attractive visual aid to communicate with customers. Just provide them with a few statistics you would like to share. Once you’ve approved the design, post to social networks such as Pinterest, and hashtag using relevant keywords. You’ll be surprised how quickly your work will start popping up on other websites. Infographics are meant to be shared, so don’t forget to prominently feature your brand on any charts your team creates.Infographic-Promotional-products-On-Target
  2. Personalization. Personalized products connect companies to leads in a way that Internet marketing never could. The reasons for this are many, but boil down to the fact that people like free stuff. No matter how techy we get, in the final analysis, we like to hold #SWAG in our hot little hands. Providing personalized items that customers and prospects will use not only creates top-of-mind awareness about your brand but also helps foster a relationship that could lead to sales and even brand advocacy. And, unlike social media posts or Pay-Per-Click ads, they have a long shelf life. Before placing an order for promotional products, make sure you understand your audience well enough to create catered content and communicate in a way they prefer. The promo professionals at OnTarget Promotions can help you find items that will suit your target market.free stuff retro speech bubble

OnTarget Promotions is a national promotional products agency based in Riverside, California. We help clients use promotional products along with other media to design and secure quality promotional programs that meet their goals and exceed their expectations. Since we believe nothing is a greater reflection of success than a repeat customer, everything we do is designed with our customer in mind. Your focus is our goal. Call (951) 682-8427 or email us to start your project today.