My Best Promotion
May's My Best Promotion was submitted by Drew Davis, MAS, a partner with Denver-based Specialty Incentives. Davis chose to share a self-promotion he found to be particularly successful: mailing out gift copies of "The Big Book of Breakfast," complete with a cover imprint and custom insert, to current clients over the 2010 holiday season. The promotion started as a simple thank-you paired with a clever marketing insert for Davis to give to his own clients, but quickly spiraled into a program involving follow-up mailings and other additional marketing efforts. Numerous coworkers of Davis's have since picked up the promotion, using it to great success as well. Said Davis of the promotion, "In the 10 years I've been with Specialty, I've never had more response from recipients than I did for that book."
Davis chose "The Big Book of Breakfast" not only because he is a fan of the book and cooking in general, but also because he was familiar with its recipes and knew it would be useful to cooks of a wide skill range. Packed with a card, the books were mailed individually to Davis's clients for the 2010 holiday season. The books were provided by industry supplier The Book Company, who decorated the stock cover of "The Big Book of Breakfast" with a crash imprint of Specialty Incentive's logo and added an additional marketing insert page to the front of the book. The marketing page was co-written by Davis and his coworkers and was a play on a standard recipe, providing Specialty Incentive's recipe for a "fresh, locally grown promotional campaign with success sauce."
Promo Marketing: Could you explain the specific goal of the promotion?
Drew Davis: I would say purely appreciation. It was sent to people who I have sales relationships with that are customers to say thank you.
PM: What made this a good promotion for you?
DD: It's like I said, in terms of touchpoints back to me, I've never had more of that than with this gift. I think too from a personal perspective, because I like to cook so much I've been able to share some of what I like to do outside of work with my customers, so that the relationship gets deeper. And then too, because of the success of it, we're looking at doing a mid-year follow-up to those folks with some of the housewares items that Evans Manufacturing has available to say, "Hey, I hope you're enjoying the book, here's additional items for your kitchen." So I would say that the purpose wasn't to build a campaign, but now because of the success and the response that we've had, we're starting to look for ways to tie that in.
PM: What was the best decision you made with this program, and why?
DD: I think it's hard to mess up breakfast. Like, they're eggs, and if you started out with over-easy, it's pretty easy to make scrambled. If it goes bad, there's a way you can truly make lemonade out of lemons. I think with a book like this there's a lot of chance for individual success by the recipient because it's not hard, you know?
PM: Did you run into any problems with the promotion, and if so, how did you overcome them?
DD: Well, we probably started the project too late. You know, you work in the promotional industry, you have your event dates, and you have a certain window for what we call holiday gift distribution. I would say that I knew I wanted to do this book in September, but I didn't buckle down until early November. The people at The Book Company, they met the deadline and made it happen, but certainly we became the client in the sense of you knew what you needed to do, but you didn't do it when you should have. But you know, at the end of the day, we got it to them when they needed to get it, they did what they said they're going to do, and it all worked out.
PM: Any advice you'd give to distributors planning a book- or cooking-related promotion?
DD: I would encourage others to use books as self-promotions because they're not a typical promotional item if you will, but they allow for a great opportunity to differentiate oneself, especially with that tip-in page. Because it's four-color process the options are really limitless. People I would say expect imprints on pens, and at the same time I don't know when people get the gift of a book that they expect it to have a custom page detailing what one wants to message, what they want to share.
Want to be considered for a future segment of My Best Promotion? Contact Michael Cornnell at email@example.com or 215-238-5449 for a list of questions and other details.