My Best Promotion
This month's My Best Promotion comes from John Resnick, a partner at Boston-based Proforma Printing and Promotion. He chose to share a promotion that details the company's work with the Rice Company, a marketing agency hired by Microsoft to promote Windows 7 at colleges and universities.
Promo Marketing: Could you describe a promotion that you consider one of your best?
John Resnick: The Rice Company, a marketing agency, was working with Microsoft to conduct a fall tour at colleges and universities promoting Windows 7, Microsoft's newest operating system. We were able to work closely with The Rice Company to identify just the right products that appeal to college students.
PM: What was the promotion's goal, and what did you do to make it happen?
JR: The goal was to increase awareness among college students about the new software. By selecting appropriate products, creating a buzz around the campuses and working closely with The Rice Company every step of the way, [we were] able to meet our goal.
PM: What kinds of items did you use in the promotion, and why?
JR: For this project we used lanyards, I.D. badges, T-shirts, jackets, laptop messenger bags, dry-erase markers and drawstring totes. We wanted to ensure that students would get use out of the products while keeping Microsoft top of mind.
We also worked with The Rice Company to provide 60,000 plastic cards that could be redeemed for laptop skins. Students could log on to a custom-designed website and use the code on the card to choose a vinyl skin. There was a survey option so Microsoft could compile data and measure the return on investment of the program. All parties involved loved the plastic cards and the quality of the work. Students found the website easy to navigate and couldn't wait to redeem their cards.
PM: What was the best decision you made with this program, and why? What, if any, was the worst?
JR: We were up against some critical timelines for this project. The largest promotional product for the campaign was drawstring backpacks. We were lucky enough to partner with Prime Line to basically deliver a miracle. We were in a situation where our client wanted 132,000 bags, and it should have clearly been an import opportunity, but we simply didn't have the time. Prime came through big-time with the inventory and the willingness to print an order of this size domestically. We were able to deliver the bags over an agreed-to schedule with our client that enabled us to meet certain tour dates.
PM: Did you run into any problems with the promotion, and if so, how did you overcome them?
JR: The primary artwork for all of the promotional products and apparel was full-color process. From an apparel standpoint it was a challenge to find the right products that could handle a heat transfer. We have a local screen printing partner who was able to run several test samples on different products to ensure we could deliver high quality apparel with beautiful full-color process printing.
PM: Any other advice or insight you'd like to give related to this promotion?
JR: Having the right partners is crucial. The ability to run production samples was critical, and as a result we were able to meet all of our client expectations and have already procured a future import order for more drawstring bags for a spring campaign.
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.