Marketability Inc.'s Mickey Blake on Her Best Promotion
Each month, Promo Marketing talks to promotional products distributors about promotions that stood out to them as part of our "My Best Promotion" feature.
The warm weather of summer is almost here, and we’re pretty excited about impending pool parties and cookouts. Mickey Blake, president of Marketability Inc., Houston, said that one of her most successful promotions gave end-users who just bought pools the tools to host perfect cookouts around their new investments. The client got what it wanted, the customers got a handy new item, and Blake learned a valuable lesson about delivering perishable food.
Promo Marketing: Could you describe a promotion that you thought was one of your best?
Mickey Blake: One of my favorites was, I had a pool company. They wanted a way to thank their clients for the pool and also to get referrals. So we put together a campaign. If you had purchased a pool from [them], [you’d] get this really high-end barbecue kit. It had a thank-you card in there from the salesman that sold the pool, it had a survey to say how they were doing, and then there were some referral forms in there as well. Inside there was a label that said, “Surprise to follow,” and within five to 10 days they got hamburgers from Omaha Steak. It was a really cool promotion. He complained to me that he was only getting 30 percent response rate on the referrals, which cracked me up, because you know how good that is! We had all of their salespeople sign them. We would get a list twice a month of who were the salespeople, and we did everything—all of the fulfillment.
PM: What did you like about this promotion in particular?
MB: I liked that it solved everything the client wanted done. [The client] got referrals from it, and [customers] filled out the survey forms so [the salesman] could see what he was doing right and what needed to be upgraded or changed. And then the clients had a gift that they could keep, use and [have] the name in front of them, so if anyone said, “Who did your pool?” it’s easy to say.
PM: Did you hit any obstacles?
MB: One obstacle we hit was, UPS delivered the steaks to [an end-user who], unfortunately, was on vacation. So they came home to multicolored hamburgers fermenting on their front step. But other than that, it went really smoothly. We handled everything for them, and we got thank-you cards.
PM: Do you have any advice for distributors looking to create a similar promotion?
MB: If it’s something that is perishable, you have to keep in mind where you’re delivering. You would never deliver chocolate to Houston in the summer. That would just be deadly. I think when you’re doing a promotion like this, one of the things people forget that’s important is that it’s a really cool promotion, but what percentage of their budget is going to be used for shipping the merchandise?