Promo Close-Up - For Pete's Sake

One Distributor's Self-Promotion Campaign Yields Great Return

Promo PeteLeaders of Proforma (asi/300094) know that it's important to get noticed, especially when they were generating a self-promotion campaign that would position them as the go-to marketing resource for clients spanning numerous industries.

The company focused on a friendly and memorable character, Proforma Pete, a businessman-shape stress reliever who is stress-free because he leaves his marketing campaigns to Proforma. "The Proforma Support Center offers many great marketing tools to help our owners succeed in their business. Pete was created as an additional marketing tool to help our owners get in front of clients, meet new prospects and grow their sales," says Greg Muzzillo, founder of Proforma. "We wanted to develop a way to put them in more selling situations more easily. We brainstormed several options and determined that Proforma Pete was the best route to take. It added the creativity we were looking for."

According to marketing and business expert Bert Martinez, part of the campaign's success is due to the creativity. "It's memorable. Using an alliterative name like Proforma Pete makes the brand name memorable. Even if you have never heard of Proforma, the name ‘Proforma Pete' draws people in to investigate," says Martinez, who has helped thousands of companies create business growth through his consulting firm, Bert Martinez Communications.

Each mailing was delivered in a custom box that included a personalized, handwritten note, the Pete stress reliever and Proforma-branded tissue paper, creating a complete branded look. The promotion shows how Proforma is able to create effective and creative marketing campaigns.

Martinez believes that one of the best aspects of the mailing is the fact that it stands out. "Curiosity closes deals," he says. "As humans, we are naturally curious about items that are different. Everyone gets mail at the office. But few of us get packages. That's cool, that's different and that requires investigation."

The objective was to increase brand awareness, promote the company's services and attract decision-makers at Fortune 1,000 companies. With a budget of $75,000, Proforma has sent out around 68,000 "Proforma Petes" to date. Individual owners determined their prospect and recipient lists based on total spending, number of employees and various other factors specific to their business. "This is an ongoing sales automation program, so we expect participation from our owners to grow exponentially in the upcoming year due to its overwhelming success," says Muzzillo.

The self-promotion campaign has generated more than $600,000 in sales and $1.5 million in potential future sales. "When we get a top decision-maker on the phone, we're setting an appointment 88% of the time," says Muzzillo. The three-dimensional mailer also generated a 60% appointment rate. "Pete has helped open doors with companies that don't traditionally book appointments based on mailings," he says. "In fact, many top-level decision-makers have called asking where they can get more Petes."

Following up on direct mailers and other promotional campaigns is very important for achieving results. "A key to the success of this program is contacting each decision-maker who received the ‘Pete' to set up an appointment," Muzzillo says. "Our owners can choose to follow up themselves, or they can call on the Appointment Setting Program to help them seal the deal."

Martinez believes Proforma demonstrated that targeted marketing in conjunction with a follow-up telephone call is extremely effective for ad specialty distributors. "As a marketing consultant, I would certainly encourage others to follow this strategy," he says. "It's cost-effective, it's scalable, it's successful and most importantly, it's very duplicable. You just can't get all these benefits from most advertising mediums."