My Best Promotion: Paula Fenn
Custom Projects have a large payoff when executed well. Paula Fenn, creative marketing advisor for Halo Branded Solutions in Sterling, Ill., shared the details of, and the thinking behind, a custom promotion that was just that.
Promo Marketing: Could you briefly describe a promotion you consider one of your best?
Paula Fenn: I wanted to introduce my customer to the custom world and how creative they might get. There is nothing creative or exciting about the crude oil pipeline industry, so I wanted to bring some fun to the promotion. We did a custom magnetic bookmark that went over the page and the figure on the bookmark stuck out of the top of the book or page. The creative portion was that I had a shovel head with eyes and a happy face with arms sticking out created.
PM: What was the promotion’s goal, and what did you do to make that goal happen?
PF: The goal was to bring attention to the phrase “Call Before You Dig,” and [it] was being presented to Joe Public, so we wanted something that would get their attention and that they would keep.
My agenda was to bring them to the custom table. My buyer’s goal was to do something original, fun, useful and bring attention to herself as the creator. (I always let my customer have the glory.)
PM: What did you like about the promotion and why?
PF: It showed my customer another side of me, that I am not just a pretty face. They ordered 15,000 pieces and I feel confident they will reorder. I couldn’t be in this industry if I couldn’t do custom—it promotes my artistic side and lets my customer see that I’m not like every other distributor, that I can’t be replaced.
PM: What was the best decision you made with the promotion? What made it so important?
PF: To tell her my idea [while simultaneously] having the rendition done and moving forward with it, knowing she would love it when she saw it—and she did. Because they are not a company that does much custom, I wanted them to see that it wasn’t that difficult and the return for her was over the top. This was my second custom product for her. The first one was a scratch-and-sniff that smelled like crude oil, important because they are all about awareness to Joe Public. Got really high marks for that one too.
PM: Do you have any other advice you’d like to give to distributors running a similar promotion? If so, what would it be, and why?
PF: I would say to those that are timid of the custom world: dare to be different, and know the project and the process involved before you present the idea to the customer. Sometimes a customer can get weary of the process and see it as a long, drawn-out process. Take an almost complete idea to your customer with most of the bugs worked out, so they see custom as fun.
Want to be considered for a future edition of My Best Promotion? Contact Executive Editor Michael Cornnell at (215) 238-5449 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of questions and other details.