To Swag or Not to Swag: Tip to Brand Your Tchotchkes on a ShoestringWritten by Betty Liang
It's interesting to see how resourceful people become when starting their own business. Especially when budget is tight, creative juices go into high gear. I recall my days in corporate marketing when every event, whether it be a sales conference, partner summit or tradeshow had to have tchotchkes. (“Tchotchke” is Yiddish for those corporate giveaways you see at tradeshows, usually small trinkets branded with company's logo. If tchotchkes are really cool, some people even call them “swag” or “schwag.”)
It is not uncommon for marketing managers to spend upwards of $20,000 per event for straight swag. For some of higher-end swag, it could cost up to $30 per product when you're dealing with custom branded USB drives, mini-mice and golf gear. All in name of brand awareness – an unquantifiable, zero-ROI marketing expense. So why do they do it? Because they can.
But where there's a will, there's a way, and small business owners excel at finding best resources under desperate measures. Ever since I've started my own company, I've become more skilled and more disciplined at making my marketing dollars stretch. When
How To Use PR To Build Your BusinessWritten by Lisa Packer
Everyone knows value of free publicity. And given opportunity, most businesses would jump at chance to have a news article written about them, or to be covered by TV and radio stations.
But chances of those stories coming to you on their own are very slim. That’s why smart businesses go out of their way to create news, and bring free publicity to them. And it takes a lot more than just your run-of-the-mill press release.
In fact, blanketing every available news organization with generic releases will do you more harm than good. Do it too often, and your releases will start hitting round file before they are even read.
Just like every other aspect of your marketing, publicity campaigns need to be targeted to be effective. Because even if you do manage to score a write up in your local paper, it won’t help you much if your target customer isn’t a subscriber. Find out what papers and magazines your prospect does read, what newscasts he listens to or watches, and target those.
Once you have your targets chosen, make sure you have something that will be of interest to them. Remember, you’re not writing an ad for your business. You’re trying to convince a reporter that you have a story she will want to cover. To do that, you need to know outlet you’re sending your release to, and what kinds of stories they consider news.