How to kill those Slow Month Blues??? Promo, promo!

Yes, we're into the start of another year, when most businesses go to sleep while the bean counters get the taxes out, and start figuring out how to attack the new year.

One thing I wanted to point out before jumping into this column is the 'Mama's Arms' concept. You've heard me talk about this before, but I'm going to talk about it again. I know a smart young man who jumped into business during the oil crisis of the '70s and made four million dollars based solely on his Mama's Arms philosophy. His axiom was to take care of the customer -- make them feel like they're in 'mama's arms.' Believe me it works... I did his design, signage and tradeshow work and met dozens and dozens of his dealers and distributors and they all thought the sun rose and set in this guy! Keep this concept firmly in your mind as you read this month's column.

We all know that the best place to look for ideas that will work is at the end user (or customer) level. Ask yourself who's attention you want to get, and how is the best way to get their attention. Next ask yourself what problems they're having, or what needs they have to be fulfilled. This is very basic marketing philosophy.

The most powerful tool you've got in building a promo is knowing why people need your (or your client's) services, and why they purchase those services. The next most powerful tool is a complete understanding of what reasons they have for saying "no." This is a no-brainer... build up your targets need for your service, and remove all barriers or reasons for them to say no. Simple.

Now, I'm not going to let this drag into a long marketing dissertation. In fact, it is way too large to include here on this page.

Don't forget about Valentines

You want a cool promotion that won't cost you much?

Take along a card everywhere you go from now until Valentine's Day.

Create a "Wonderful Person's Nomination Card" -- then give them away freely. Include them with billing. (Bagstuffer, perhaps?) Drop them at client offices, at school, at the mall, where ever you go. Fax them to the receptionists at all your clients' offices, vendors, etc. Encourages the holder to freely make copies of the card and distribute it to their co-workers with a hint to nominate them.

The card incourages the holder to vote for a person at their workplace who really deserves to be taken out for a first class evening on the town. They must return the cards for the drawing to select the winners of the night out.

Now, you go to work with a local restaurant or hotel who wants some real promo power, and get them to kick in a heafty discount on a group dinner. You print their logo and kicker on the cards. With this promo you'll have people all over town talking about your business.

You draw some names, (as many as you can afford,) then take them out for a nice dinner at your co-sponsor's expense!

Guess what: a golden follow up opportunity - a short email, fax or letter about the winners and the great evening they had, perhaps a snapshot. You can bet they'll be looking for that card next year!

Don't forget to let us in one your favorite promotions that get you out of the winter slow months! You can contact me here.

Thanks for reading

Fred Showker

Don't forget ... we encourage you to share your discoveries about favorite or famous graphic designers and illustrators with other readers. Just comment below, or give me a tweet at Twitter/DTG_Magazine


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