How One Distributor Used Print and Promo Mailers for an Effective Self-Promo
Print products and promotional products are complementary—two tools that work together to accomplish a task. When distributors harness the power of both, they can create a multifaceted, multi-sensory experience for their end-buyer clients. Finding solutions that incorporate both print and promo takes creativity, but when done well can yield big wins for your customers and your own bottom line.
Marty Bear, president of PMSI Promos, Stratford, Conn., remembers one instance early in the pandemic where a mixture of print and promo served as an effective self-promo for his company, while allowing customers to get the PPE they needed.
Promo Marketing: How did you first start selling print and promotional products together, and why did you think it was the right move?
Marty Bear: We were receiving requests from several of our clients looking for printed programs, schedules and badge inserts. Then several of our supplier clients also needed new flyers, brochures, etc.
PM: Can you tell us about a promotional campaign you’ve worked on that successfully blended both print and promotional products?
MB: When the COVID virus hit, PMSI Promos had to make a decision. Do we keep our staff and ride out the storm or go with minimal staff and marketing options? We chose to stand our ground, and with almost full staff in place—and with the hospitality industry, our largest customer sector, in peril—we made a new plan. If you remember, March through May, no one in the U.S. had inventory of sanitizers and masks. So, PMSI Promos put out the word to our audience that we were offering free masks and sanitizers if you sent us your home address.
We marketed the concept through social media outlets, and within a week, thousands of people responded. We then began with the existing inventory we happened to have in house of sanitizers and pouches to send out PMSI Promos PPE kits. We then flew in (at huge costs) additional masks, sanitizers and more. The following week, after listening to the stories of our customers who had elderly parents isolated with no masks or sanitizers, we expanded the program. Word got out, and within two weeks we had requests from over 11,000 desperate folks around the U.S.
PM: How did you choose the products for the kits?
MB: Strictly based on requests from existing customers. Many of them have since moved to new applications lending themselves more to digital formats, especially as COVID-19 entered the picture.
PM: Why do you think the kits were so effective?
MB: It became a one-stop shopping experience instead of having to deal with several different vendors to get the program finished.
PM: Did you run into any hurdles while working on this promotion?
MB: Of course the delivery and reliability of some of the new suppliers made consistent delivery quite a challenge. Plus, the costing of many of the suppliers for the program between March and June made for a very expensive offer.
PM: What advice would you give distributors looking to do something similar?
MB: [Keep] the focus on your primary contacts. At some points, we were sending out hundreds of PPE pouches to an audience we did not even know.