Don't Wait For The Super Bowl

By Ruth Verver, PromoKitchen Contributor

2013 bowl collageJanuary is a great time of the year. As a business owner, you are setting your goals for the new year and putting your plans in action. You are probably still on a high from the holidays and getting geared up for all the industry shows. I’m a football fan and, for me, January is about the playoffs and building up to the excitement for the Super Bowl.

Although a lot of people watch just for the commercials, I am equally excited about both the game and the ads. In the days after the game, everyone talks about the commercials. You share your favorites with coworkers, you vote in online polls, and the most popular ones get a lot of attention…for about a week. After that, the excitement is over.

It’s shocking to me how many advertisers wait until Super Bowl Sunday to launch their best work. Yeah, a lot of people are watching. A lot of people will talk about you for a day or two. But there is so much competition that day, so much noise and so many distractions, that many messages get lost. With that in mind, why do so many companies spend so much time and money for the Super Bowl?

Although none of us are likely to create a commercial of Super Bowl magnitude for our businesses, we can choose to use the same philosophy as the large companies—or not.

Our marketing dollars must give us the greatest impact. As small business owners, we don’t have the time to get lost in the shuffle. As distributors, we all have a lot of self promos that we are hanging onto. They could sit on a shelf, fill a cabinet or they might even fill an entire closet!

Don’t wait for your Super Bowl. Take some time now to review what items you have and come up with the best ways to use them. If you don’t see a logical way to use them to help impact your business, then get rid of them and find something that will work for you and make you memorable.

Take some time to look at all the new and unique products coming out this time of year and think about using those to promote your business. Please don’t order the old items that are discounted as “special self-promo” offers. Take the same time and energy that you use on your own customers and come up with a creative strategy for your own promotional items. Use them as part of a direct mail campaign. Put a plan together to use them to gain the attention of some prospects. Send your customers a thank you gift at random times of the year. Make an impact by practicing what you preach.

We all believe in the power of the promo. So walk the walk and watch them do some good for you. Promotional products are not a 15 second spot that gets people talking for a few days, they’re better.

Ruth Verver is a partner at Paperclip Promotions. Learn more about her on LinkedIn and follow the company on Twitter.