10 Ideas for Advertising on a Shoestring: Value Advertising Gems from a Promotional Consultant

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There's no need to spend thousands on marketing. Maximize your marketing dollars by using these inexpensive yet useful promotional products.

Vivienne Houghton, owner of Mango Bay Promotions (http://mangobaypromotions.com), a promotional consulting firm based in Denver, Colorado, is passionate about promotional products. "Any business that isn't using promotional products," says Houghton, who has owned Mango Bay Promotions for over 7 years, "is missing out on the best kept secret in value advertising."

Houghton continues, "Promotional products are the only advertising medium that engages all five senses. Customers can see, hear, touch, taste and even smell them. Best of all, they're useful and very affordable." She stresses that it's key to give clients items that will be used and kept for a long time.

According to Houghton, promotional products will:
·    Increase referrals
·    Increase repeat business
·    Improve response rates on direct mail campaigns
·    Boost employee morale
·    Drive traffic to your tradeshow booth

According to recent studies, 76.1% of respondents could recall the advertiser's name on a promotional product they had received in the past 12 months. In addition, 75.4% of respondents said they keep their promotional product because it was useful.

The following is a list of Houghton's top 10 favorite promotional products, with her comments.

10. Glow-in-the-dark nightlights and magnets: "Seeing your company information illuminated at night is fun, dramatic and different."

9. Wall clocks. "People refer to a clock several times a day. Excellent daily exposure to your brand."

8. Clipboards. "Huge imprint areas on a very useful office item."

7. Travel Mugs. "Coffee and tea drinkers are on the go and they appreciate their favorite brews kept hot in a quality spill- and leak-proof travel mug."

6. Sports Bottles. "Why buy bottled water? Save the environment and your pocket book. Refill a cool BPA-free plastic sports bottle. Or better yet, use a stainless steel one."

5. Notebooks. "Even in this digital age, people still like to write with pen and paper. Notebooks are kept for a very long time."

4. Reusable tote bags. "Help your clients save money while they save the environment. Many supermarkets take 5 cents off your grocery bill for every reusable bag you use."

3. Letter opener/staple remover. "You don't realize how useful these are until you can't find one right when you need to open up a huge stack of mail."

2. Prodir pens & mechanical pencils. "We love giving out Prodir pens with our Mango Bay logo. I've had clients call me up asking for another pen because a co-worker stole theirs. A promotional item reflects your business, so you don't want to give out a cheap pen that either breaks the first time a client uses it or leaks ink all over their new shirt. That's NOT the lasting image you want imprinted in your client's mind as your pen gets hurled into the trash. As Prodir so aptly puts it, 'Because a promotional product is always part and parcel of the message itself - and quality and creativity are the least we can contribute to the credibility of that message.'"

1. Calendars. "People refer to their calendars several times a day, everyday. What better way to keep your name in front of clients all year long for only a couple of bucks. Every year, clients call us to make sure that they're going to be receiving their Mango Bay calendar."

For a free marketing consultation, call Vivienne Houghton of Mango Bay Promotions at 877-98-MANGO (62646), or visit http://mangobaypromotions.com.

Mango Bay Promotions is a full-service promotional product consulting firm based in Denver, Colorado. Started in Los Angeles in 2000, Mango Bay opened an office in Hawaii in 2003, and their Denver office opened in Summer of 2008. Mango Bay Promotions has been profiled in the Los Angeles Business Journal.

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Darrell Houghton

Vivienne Houghton

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