Matthew in Action



Promotional Product Strategy

Is your Advertising Interrupting your Customers?

Marketing, by definition, is a commercial process. It is the primary method involved in promoting, selling and distributing a product or service. While marketing is by no means a modern concept, it has evolved into a veritable social science, especially in the latter half of the 20th century and into the present millennium.

The major challenge of marketing professionals is no longer merely designing the advertising campaign of a particular product or service. The challenge is finding the best way to reach the potential customer and ensuring that this potential indeed is retained.

In the early days of television in the 40's and 50's, the public accepted advertising as part of the entertainment mode. Our modern society, though, which is literally bombarded with advertising in most every possible medium of communication, has come to view marketing as an interruption medium. The average consumer has become bothered by the continual intrusion by advertisers. The non-stop deluge of marketing material assaults our senses throughout our waking hours. The effect becomes a need to defend oneself against this aggravating interruption, thus countering the desired intent of the marketing. Witness the fact that television viewing today provides numerous options to bypass or avoid advertising. Or, the Internet gave birth to mass advertising via e-mail. In turn, many countries around the globe have enacted legislation to protect e-mail users from unwanted advertising.

Consumers have become quite adept at avoiding advertising. Many people, unknowingly, have developed a series of unconscious filters to counter over-stimulation from interruption marketing. Yet, the need to market products and services remains an intrinsic part of our consumer-based society. As such, a "user-friendly" form of non-interruption marketing becomes the preferred method of advertising. Non-interruption marketing entails communicating with your customers, present or potential, without selling. Instead of pitching your product or service in an "in-your face" approach, the business delivers consistent ideas or information in a far less invasive, more friendly format. Ours is a people society and people are friends; products are not. Ultimately, the business is rewarded with customers.

Non-interruption marketing is being employed today by some of the largest marketing organizations in the world. It is similarly being adopted by many small and local businesses as well through the use of promotional products. Surprisingly, a pen with an imprinted name and slogan, or a tote bag bearing the name and logo of a local merchant can have a far more positive impact than a banner and link on a website, or a celebrity laden music video.

Many businesses have discovered that promotional products have a far greater return on advertising investment dollars. Items such as desk calculators, hats, t-shirts, and drinking mugs have the distinct advantage of being used many times, often for months. Whereas the consumer may actively disregard invasive interruption advertising, products such as these bring the advertiser to the consumer on a continual basis, creating a non-threatening, and often positive, mental imprint. An advertising jingle that is broadcast continually throughout a television program begins to annoy the viewer. Yet, a key-ring from a local business, perhaps in the shape of its primary product, is more likely to attract the local customer, rather than the high gloss, techno ad.

When all is said and done, marketing is a matter of relevance. If the advertising is relevant and meaningful, it grabs your attention. If it's intrusive and annoys, you will quickly avoid it. Sometimes, the simplest of advertising items are primitive and basic by today's contemporary standards. Yet, when the dust settles after the advertising invasion, these basic promotional products are worth their weight in gold.

Case in example, a branded umbrella is not only a non-interruption form of marketing but is also very useful for your client