Promotional Balloons – Marketing Genius

As technology evolves, we begin to see many changes around us. We see new ways of doing business and even more creativity in how it is promoted. Advertising has come a long way from simply giving ads in the newspaper or television. It’s all about visibility. And what better visibility is there than that of a huge, colorful balloon sporting the logo of your company? Because they are so eye-catchy, promotional balloons are an advertising tool today’s businesses can’t dream of living without.

Businesses around the world today understand the importance of using effective tools and strategies to promote their business. As people get busier, they skip through print and TV ads and simply drive past hoardings. Therefore, using balloon promotion as a marketing strategy makes sense, since not only are they attention-grabbing due to their vivid colors, they can spread a message about a brand, product or service more effectively and more quickly than any other tool.

Printed promotional balloons have a lot of variety to choose from. You can go in for latex balloons, helium balloons, foil balloons, or even get custom balloons to promote your business. You can use a total of four spot colors or each side, with five different designs on base colors of standard, metallic or crystal.

Though balloons have been around since 1824 and used for a variety of purposes, who would have they would have become such a successful marketing tool? The reason why promotional balloons are so effective is that when people see a balloon, it symbolizes joy or excitement to them. The burst of color against the sky is all it takes for them to notice it.

Balloon promotion can be used in a host of situations. Not only can you put up your message on a helium balloon and have it floating outside, they can be used to guide people to finding their way, or at events and occasions to drive a message. Remember, the message has to be clear and concise. It could just be a company logo, its tagline or any theme they are trying to inform people about. A colorful balloon is all you need to make an impact.

Printed promotional balloons have another advantage – they don’t cost you the earth! This means both small and big businesses can use them without having to realign their budget. Also, you can get them custom made in any shape you want.

5 Steps for Developing a Marketing Tag Line for Your Product, Business, or Website

A marketing tag line is the one or two line descriptor that often comes after a product logo or company name. It is one of those things that looks simple but isn’t. Large companies pay advertising agencies a lot of money to develop tag lines for their companies and brands.

Many companies, however, do not have a large enough budget to hire an advertising agency. If you belong to one of these small budget businesses, do not despair. With some creativity and persistence, you can develop your own tag line.

First, decide what you want to communicate with your tag line.

If you have a positioning statement and/or unique selling proposition, write them down. Your tag line should reinforce them.

Ask yourself these questions.

1) Who are your customers?

2) What benefits do you give your customers?

3) What feelings do you want to evoke in your customers?

4) What action are you trying to generate from your customers?

5) How are you different from your competition?

Try to get one or more of these across in your tag.

Second, prepare to brainstorm tag line options.

Gather tag lines from other companies and brands. Look in other categories besides your own and try to find tag lines from both large and small companies.

As you find tag lines, write them on index cards or individual slips of paper. You will be mixing and matching them and pairing them with unrelated items as you brainstorm.

Pay attention to the words used, how they are put together, and which of the above questions they address. By doing this, you are more likely to come up with a unique angle for your own tag line.

NOTE: You are looking at others’ tag lines only to spark ideas. Do not plagiarize. You must come up with your own, original tag line.

To find tag lines, look around. You may find them anywhere there are advertisements, packaging, or logos. Look in cupboards, around desks, in magazines, on TV/radio commercials, in print advertisements, and on Web sites.

To get you started, here are some tag lines I found in only a few minutes:

- hp – “invent”

- Craftsman – “Makes anything possible.”

- Kenmore – “Solid as Sears.”

- Hersheys.com – “The sweetest site on the Web.”

- WebSiteMarketingPlan.com – “Marketing Plan and Web Promotion Strategy.”

- Marketing Best Practices – “The Web’s leading small business marketing newsletter.”

- Nike – “Just do it.”

- TLC – “Life Unscripted.”

- Surprise by Design TV show – “We’re not just changing rooms. We’re changing lives.”

- Schnucks (Midwest Grocer) – “We make it easy.”

- Berry Burst Cheerios – “Naturally sweetened whole grain oat cereal with real berries.”

- Altoids – “Curiously strong peppermints.”

- The Name Stormers – “Company and Brand Name Development.”

Find your competitors’ tag lines – look at them and strive to be better and different.

Gather together books to help you come up with different ways to phrase similar ideas. My favorite is “Word Menu.” Others likely to be of help are “The Describer’s Dictionary” and “Twenty-First Century Synonym and Antonym Finder.”

Third, brainstorm.

This works best if you can get a small group together, but can also be done solo. Set up a place with a lot of writing space – use dry erase boards, easels with big paper pads, note cards, etc.

Go through your props. Look up words or concepts in the books. Rearrange your various props so you can look at them in different ways. Write down *everything* that comes to mind and all the new ideas each phrase sparks. They do not have to make sense. You want a large number of ideas.

Fourth, consolidate your list.

After brainstorming, go through all of your ideas. Pull out those few you think have the best potential. Try to reduce longer ones to fewer words.

Fifth, choose the one best tag line.

You should be left with a short list of possibilities. To pick the single best tag line, get others’ opinions. If you have some funds budgeted, work with a market research firm to test the tag lines with your customers.

You can also conduct informal research. Set up a free survey at SurveyMonkey.com and encourage people to take the survey. If you have direct contact with customers, ask them what they think. Give them an incentive to help you, such as a discount or small freebie.

When you are done, you will have a tag line that will help your business thrive.

Integrating Offline Media Into Your Online Promotional Strategy

One of the biggest opportunities and yet toughest challenges facing organizations is successfully leveraging the power of offline advertising with their existing online promotional strategy.

Even though print advertising no longer has the impact of 20 years ago, it by no means should be written out of your marketing mix.

In fact, a recent study by eMarketer, found that over 47% of survey respondents stated that magazines influenced them to start a search for merchandise online, beating out the response from email and blogs combined.

Benefits of Multi-channel Marketing

Multi-channel marketing helps build and extend the awareness of your brand, and provides additional opportunities that can actually boost the effectiveness of your existing online campaigns.

A well-implemented and integrated promotional effort allows you to:

  • Successfully deliver one consistent message to you target audience;
  • Repeat your marketing message across various channels in order to strengthen your brand awareness
  • Have more opportunities to reach prospects and convert them into customers

Sounds like an obvious strategy to test, right? Well, like most other business strategies, the victories belong to those who can best execute. As General Patton once said, “Good tactics can save even the worst strategy. Bad tactics will destroy even the best strategy.”

The 7 Barriers to Successful Integrated Marketing

Here are the 7 leading organizational speed bumps that prevent successful adoption and execution

of integrated multi-channel promotion:

  1. Lack of multi-disciplinary skill-sets (offline and online marketing) within the organization;
  2. Lack of interdepartmental coordination if online and offline marketing responsibilities are spread among different departments;
  3. Lack of agreed-upon campaign measurement methodologies;
  4. Lack of proper campaign measurement tools;
  5. Lack of time;
  6. Pre-conceived biases (“This type of marketing has always worked for us … why take our marketing budget dollars away from a proven strategy”?);
  7. Company politics and different departmental agendas when offline and online marketing are spread among different departments.

Guidelines For Integrated Marketing

For organizations that can overcome the above barriers, here are some guidelines for capitalizing on an integrated plan:

  • Match your search marketing campaigns with your offline messaging by ensuring your PPC campaigns target the same words and terms used in your offline advertising.
  • Coordinate your integrated campaign schedules by developing a calendar of all offline promotions so that you can modify/expand your search campaigns at the appropriate time.
  • Use visitor and conversion data from your web analytics to help structure your offline campaigns for maximum effectiveness, by determining keywords and navigation behavior that most likely lead to conversions.
  • Always create distinct landing pages as targets for your offline promotions that enforce continuity in the message, offer and format to the printed piece. And be sure to use different URL’s or coupon codes for each separate promotion so that accurate measurement and tracking will be in place.
  • Have systems in place to track orders/leads received via phone.

Measuring The Effectiveness of Your Campaigns

The core of any successfully integrated effort depends on accurate metrics-tracking and analysis of each campaign. At a minimum, you’ll want to have your web analytics setup to analyze the following by campaign source:

  1. Customer acquisition costs (CPA)
  2. Revenues
    1. For eCommerce – revenues and average order value
    2. For lead generation – number and quality of leads
    3. Life time value of newly acquired customer including cross-sell and up-sell opportunities
    4. Revenues or leads generated by offer, if testing different offers
  3. Effectiveness of each landing page in terms of the conversion and bounce rate

By utilizing unique URL strings for our landing pages, we can track metrics by campaign and determine which campaigns are delivering the best returns. In most analytic packages, we can also drill down to the keyword level to discover those keywords that are most contributing to our campaigns success.

Since there’s likely to be a “cross-pollination” effect among campaign sources, it’s important for an organization to agree upon how conversions should be measured when the acquisition of a new customer was the result of exposure to multiple promotions.

While some companies will give credit to the promotional source that actually led to the conversion, other companies will instead compare the total return of the integrated promotional effort against that of the singular promotional effort.

Although measurement methods vary, the take-away here is to adopt one method and use it consistently in all of your tests.

The Bottom Line

Businesses often encounter logistical and organizational challenges when integrating offline and online channels in their promotional strategy. However, the potential added return in terms of branding and direct sales/leads should justify the planning and testing of these channels. Relying solely on one channel of promotion without testing other channels could result in missed opportunities for a competitive advantage.