The Master Plan
IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT calendars. Days, weeks and months would run together (more than they do now). Recitals would be missed and birthdays forgotten. Sporting events would be poorly attended and turn times would never be met. The importance of calendars in the flow of daily life is hard to miss. For this reason, the products have remained a promotional favorite and show no signs of letting up.
OLDIE BUT GOODIE
Calendars are one of the oldest and most celebrated promotional products, and with good reason. “They provide such high visibility, as [they] are referred to countless times a day by the user,” explained Jeff Taplin, vice president of sales and marketing at PlannerStore, Lewiston, Maine.
Calendars provide many unique ways for advertisers to set themselves apart from their competition, according to Christine Smith, marketing and business development manager at MeadWestvaco, Sidney, N.Y. “Advertisers are looking for ways to distinguish themselves; therefore, they’re looking for ways to customize products,” said Smith. “This may be [accomplished] with the addition of a wrap or an insert to tell their complete marketing story, or it may be the creation of a completely custom product.”
Taplin agreed. “Because [calendars] are printed, custom pages can be added that really tell the company’s story and provide more information than a typical promotional item,” he said.
Taplin provided an example of how the custom capabilities of calendars can prove lucrative for distributors. “We have an association customer who purchases small pocket planners and adds 64 pages of custom, industry-relevant information on them,” he explained. “The customer then offers this planner for free to new members or those who renew each year. The planner is so popular, it has become [the customer’s] key membership driver and has driven membership renewal rates up by 45 percent.”
Another great benefit of calendars is the high exposure the items offer advertisers. “People use their calendars everyday. Each time they do, they are exposed to your advertising message,” said Smith. “As a working part of a person’s daily routine, calendar advertising is like buying space on the recipient’s desk, wall, briefcase or pocket.”