4 Case Studies to Spark New Ideas for Creative Promotions
The last few months have tested the resiliency of distributors. There have been new routines to follow, new obstacles to overcome and new products to learn. But, while campaign goals may have shifted, what hasn’t changed is the need for strong business partnerships. In fact, there’s even more opportunity to showcase the value of print and promo, and distributors are in a position to bring their clients’ ideas to life.
If you’re searching for inspiration, or maybe just curious to see what types of promotions industry distributors have been working hard on, keep reading.
Virtual Coffee Meeting Kit
Submitted by Stacy Garrett, senior account manager, Ideation, Portland, Ore.
The Client: A large national telecommunications company
The Goal: As the pandemic brought travel to a grinding halt, it also threatened to disrupt sales goals. Like many others, the telecommunications company’s sales reps were now unable to meet face-to-face with prospects, so, in turn, it wanted to give an incentive and purpose of doing virtual meetings. Ideation was tasked with creating a way to keep the sales process in motion.
The Solution: Ideation developed a virtual coffee meeting kit—that included coffee from locally sourced roasters for each target area—and sent it to each participant that scheduled a virtual
coffee meeting with the sales rep.
“Each kit comes in a beautiful custom box and contains a nice journal [and] pen to take notes during the meeting and then everything the customer could need for the coffee meeting, [including] local coffee, a French press, a coffee cup and then a locally baked biscotti, sugar and creamer,” Garrett explained. “We printed coffee cups with a skyline for each city the kits [were] being sent to, including a subtle logo to make them feel retail. We then kit and drop ship when the meetings are scheduled and include a note from the account executive for the prospect talking about how they are looking forward to the meeting.”
One potential challenge that Garrett considered was that participants wouldn’t disclose their home address, which, so far, hasn’t come up.
“This program has been so popular that it has been expanded to three other programs that we are doing similar type virtual coffee meeting sets for them,” she said.
The Outcome: The main thing to note about this promotion was that Ideation made the promotion easy for the client.
“The customer had to decide on all the items, but we [handled] the rest and they just [had] to send us the list,” Garrett shared. “It is also such a nice package that the clients they are meeting with are in awe of the quality and attention to detail that went into it, so that sets the right tone for the potential relationship.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory-Themed Board Game
Submitted by Drew Warren, national account manager, City Paper Company, Birmingham, Ala.
The Client: A world-leading technology company
The Goal: “The goal[s] of the project [were to] get my client’s team of business-to-business reps engaged and upselling specific items that were newly available and to increase revenue for her team,” Warren noted.
The Solution: Warren’s client proposed a Willy Wonka theme, but it was up to the national account manager to creatively incorporate that into a competition with rewards along the way. He and his team were up for the challenge. After some brainstorming, they came up with a board game inspired by Wonka’s chocolate factory tour.
“The idea was for every milestone you hit or piece of equipment or service sold, you moved your piece and received the gift that was on the next step,” Warren explained. “... It was quite challenging to come up with the board game idea, figure out what the stops along the way were and what prizes went along with those stops, all while staying within the overall theme,” he said.
The Outcome: The promotion earned high remarks from the technology company and its B2B reps. In fact, Warren noted that his client thought it was “wildly successful and [even] had other department heads mimic her idea in their own teams.”
“Sales for my client were up 62% from the previous quarter,” he added.
Submitted by Jake Chanson, director of business development, Meridian, Loves Park, Ill.
The Client: Lake Lawn Resort, a full-service lakeside resort located in Delavan, Wis.
The Goal: It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has especially impacted the hospitality industry. According to Chanson, many of his clients in this vertical were left feeling underserved and overwhelmed from the experience. They needed signage, floor decals and other social distance-themed solutions to provide a safe experience for guests as governors began to ease statewide restrictions. But, Chanson explained that in Wisconsin, where Lake Lawn Resort is located, a bit of a “fire drill” occurred when the reopening date was moved up earlier than expected. Without hesitation, he was ready to support his client.
“Our goal was to give [Lake Lawn Resort] all the resources we had to help with a safe and meaningful opening, and what they were looking for,” Chanson said.
The Solution: Meridian and the resort were able to develop a plan for a safe reopening. “We pitched them on several products that fell under that category for safety, following [the] CDC’s guidelines,” he said.
Of course, there were challenges throughout the project. The first one being that the PPE space has become oversaturated with competition and generic solutions, making it hard to find the right product. Chanson said that because this was an upscale resort, it wanted a product that would look nicer than a simple sanitizer station that’s placed on the wall. The resort was also looking for it to be multifunctional. Following some candid talks, Meridian came up with the idea of using high-end Astreea North America’s sanitizer stations, which were placed in both indoor and outdoor locations. From here, the distributor applied custom logoed decals and an infographic for ease-of-use, and bundled them with bulk hand sanitizer.
Astreea’s European manufacturing headquarters presented another challenge. As a result, there were some complications with delays in the container shipment, but after close communication with freight logistics and importing, Chanson ultimately had units for the opening.
The Outcome: Since the promotion is still fairly new, it’s too early to track success; however, client feedback has been positive.
“They were extremely impressed that something like this existed, and they were really thrilled with the fact that it could be customized and branded in corporate colors,” Chanson said.
Online Pop-Up Shop
Submitted by John Keith, owner, and Scott Fillinger, sales representative, SYNQ Marketing Group, Powered by Proforma, Charlotte, N.C.
The Client: The Ohio Schools Council (OSC), a government agency created and governed by school districts for the specific purpose of saving dollars through volume purchases. It was formed in 1986 when 53 school districts worked cooperatively to purchase products and services at a reduced price. According to its website, the OSC’s membership has grown to 249 school districts across 34 counties, which serve over 500,000 students. The OSC also provides services to private schools, libraries, municipalities and other government entities, through an affiliate membership.
The Goal: OSC requested pricing on assorted personal protective equipment (PPE), along with other items, in order to help over 1,600 schools in 240 districts open up safely for the coming academic year.
“The challenge was making items in the volatile PPE market available in smaller quantities for schools to directly purchase, while ensuring schools would receive their items in a timely fashion,” Fillinger noted. “They normally would create spreadsheets and commitment forms for the many schools to fill out and send back to OSC to fulfill those orders through their network of vendors, but this process was cumbersome and time-consuming considering the current market for PPE.”
The Solution: SYNQ Marketing Group was able to find an answer that helped to navigate the current PPE market. As Fillinger tells it, through a user-friendly online store, the distributor was able to streamline the burdensome fulfillment and order process for many of the schools across the state for OSC.
“We created a pop-up online store for OSC with several mask options in child sizes and adult sizes for faculty and staff,” he continued. “In addition to masks, we also offered social distancing graphics, “no touch” tools and PPE “back to school” kits—all included with the option to brand these items with their school or district logo.”
From there, OSC could easily email members with the direct (and secure) link for ordering these items.
The Outcome: “In one month’s time, the pop-up store has generated over $10,000 in sales, and orders continue to roll in as the school year approaches,” Fillinger relayed. “Several large school districts have already been supplied with branded PPE items in addition to medical grade face masks for their faculty and staff. With schools adhering to stricter guidelines and the continued need for PPE, the store is on pace to generate over $50,000 in sales over the next eight months.”