Shop 'Til You Drop
Mallrats has all the makings of a classic '90s college comedy. A giant suburban mall as the epicenter of youth culture? Check. Fickle breakups? Check. Best friends who go out on a limb for each other, often to absurd and comical ends? Check. Parents with bizarre jobs that interfere with their children's lives? Check. (Is there anything more embarrassing than being a contestant on a dating show run by your father?)
Do you know what else the movie has? Promotional products. Lots of them. Dating show paraphernalia, retail store bags and general mall signage. Go to any mall today and you will see many of the same items, plus a few more high-tech ones. Online retailers are getting in on the action too by hosting promotions to encourage shoppers to sign in online instead of driving to a store. This tactic varies from standard retail promotions, but both storefront and online retailers have the same promotional goals: finding and retaining customers.
Promo Marketing reached out to a distributor—Jeff Holt, vice president of marketing for Image Source—and a supplier—Mike Szymczak, co-owner, OrigAudio, Costa Mesa, Calif.—to find out how to approach both online and storefront retail clients and how to keep their business once you get it.
Promo Marketing: How do you attract a retail client?
Jeff Holt: Initially, we attracted retail clients through existing relationships and referrals. After establishing a track record for successful promotions with a few known retailers, it's possible to turn those successes into case studies that showcase expertise in their environment—thus attracting new clients.
PM: What is the difference in promotional needs and budget between small boutiques and national chain stores?
JH: The budget and frequency of promotion are clear differences between large retailers such as Zumiez or Nordstrom and smaller boutiques. Possibly the biggest difference, however, is the specific goal. Where smaller retailers typically look for promotions to generate immediate transactions, larger players are oftentimes more focused on campaigns that are geared toward brand recognition.