The winged words 'writing says more' are known to most Dutch people. In these current times of crisis, in which we cannot physically meet our neighbors, we fall back en masse on innovative ways of contact. Skype with your grandmother, zoom with your colleagues. What can the simple pen still mean today?
Marketing in times of crisis
Nobody was waiting for a corona crisis, especially entrepreneurs. The economy is under great pressure, a recession is looming and many companies unfortunately do not seem to be reaching the end of the crisis. However, times of crisis are when it comes to good entrepreneurship. After all, the chaff is separated from the wheat, left or right. As an entrepreneur you do not have everything under control, but you do have some influence on the impact of a crisis.
An important term for this is countercyclical budgeting. In times of prosperity, everyone makes a profit and it is easy to set aside money for marketing. In times of adversity, there is little profit and there is usually no marketing budget. Smart entrepreneurs break that cycle by spending countercyclical marketing budget. If things are going well, you don't need much marketing, but the turnover will come anyway. You need marketing precisely when it is a crisis. And because your colleagues don't buy ads, they are also cheaper and all kinds of deals are possible.
Set the right tone
A well-chosen marketing strategy can make a difference, even in the post-crisis period. Many large companies have recently stopped their regular campaigns and exchanged them for atmospheric campaigns, which show what they add to society during this time of crisis. IT companies are highlighting digital meeting options, telecom providers emphasize connectivity and accessibility, supermarket chains focus on health, safety and togetherness. Partly because of that, you don't see the smashers and iPhone deals passing by.
As a smaller entrepreneur, you can take a similar path with your own marketing strategy. You can focus more on the bond with your customers, relations and suppliers, by letting them know that you think of them and - if they (also) suffer from the crisis - that you sympathize with them. The majority of entrepreneurs do not do this, or send an e-mail at the most, but seeking real contact is still rare.
Business gifts for attention and appreciation
Numerous companies have already sent their employees a present during the current corona crisis. A coffee mug, for example, because the coffee is drunk at home for a while instead of together with colleagues at the office. Or a beautiful plant, to brighten up the home workplace. In addition, some entrepreneurs currently not only send their own employees, but also their customers or business relations business gifts. For example, to support them in these times, when things often get worse. Right now, the importance of business gifts is great. After all, in difficult times you get to know your friends, and therefore also your best business partners.
The importance of the promotional gift is often underestimated. For example, many entrepreneurs do not realize that promotional gifts have a lot of influence on business relationships. Customers and business partners are more likely to do business with you in about fifty percent of cases when a gift has been handed out, where it doesn't matter whether it was a small, inexpensive product. Reason? Reciprocity, one of the principles of influence of Cialdini. The friendly gesture of giving makes you perceive as friendly and leads to the social norm of giving back.
Issuing promotional gifts can therefore be cheaper than spreading discounts, but it is at least as effective. This is because a discount that has been distributed has a very short-term effect that is aimed at sales. Once the discount has been processed (or, if it is a periodic discount, once the discount period ends), the effect is also gone. Nobody looks at his bank account and thinks: nice that I got that discount three months ago, otherwise I would have had less money. This works differently with promotional gifts because they are usually given in the context of a relationship. They are kept, even if it is successful, and every time that is the case, the collaboration, purchase or business contact is considered. You do not have to do anything at all at that time as an entrepreneur.
The final argument for promotional gifts is the physical aspect. As the corona virus forces society and businesses to accelerate the digital transformation - from video conferencing to e-commerce, telephoto health and 3D printing by manufacturers - the physical world is undergoing a revaluation. Personal contact and physical objects such as promotional gifts and mailings are therefore more appreciated.
Writing materials as a business gift
From international research by the American Advertising Specialty Institute it turns out that pens are not only the most used promotional gift - most Dutch people indicate that they have promotional pens in their possession - but are also extremely effective. Stationery as a promotional gift is often actively used (just look in your own pen tray!), Are easy to store and last a relatively long time. On average almost a year, but sometimes much longer. Wholesale Vegro had the slogan for years Certainty for years, which certainly proves the fact that their 2007 pen is still writing.
Large, lavish business gifts are beautiful, but paradoxically they often end up on Marktplaats or behind a cupboard door. This immediately removes the effect. The best promotional gifts are used by the recipient and thus found useful. At first glance, a pen with a logo may sound old-fashioned, but the practice is different: pens and pencils as a reminder working with or purchasing from your company are simply doing very well.
The right time
The perfect time to give stationery, such as a pen with logo, to your regular customers, business relations or suppliers is now. The reason for this is the emotion surrounding this moment. Pens are currently widely used at home to friends and relatives Cards to let them know that they are being thought of. If you now send a pen as a business gift to all your business relations, the best chance is that your pen with logo will be used at such moments that are important to people. Especially when you strike the right tone.
Will the crisis finally be over in a while? Then the promotional gift sent by you has in all probability still not lost its power. People will remember all too well that you were the one who sent them something - no matter how small the present was - in those annoying times. This ultimately benefits you much more than handing out discounts or other short-lived initiatives. The corona crisis is a matter of biting through, not only for entrepreneurs, but for all Dutch people. However, this creates an opportunity for entrepreneurs to make a difference. A well-chosen promotional gift, such as beautiful writing materials, is an excellent option for this. The perfect moment is now. Not in spite of the crisis, but correct because it is crisis.