HAIL TO THE PAYROLL GODDESS Who knew blinky badges could light up a convention center? Symmetry Software brightened the American Payroll Association's annual trade show when it distributed"Payroll Goddess" light-up badges, as part of a campaign to recognize and thank the unheralded payroll manager. The blinky badges proved to be a runaway hit at the APA Congress convention and sparked an expanded and ongoing merchandising campaign to celebrate the unsung heroes, or more typically, heroines, of the payroll department.
“Payroll managers are the least appreciated employees with the most important position in the company," says Jon Bohnert, executive vice president of Symmetry, a specialized software company focusing on payroll applications, taxation and accounting applications targeted to the payroll industry. The typical payroll manager is female, and highly skilled. They're usually overlooked until something goes wrong with an employee's paycheck, he says.
Every May, Symmetry's flagship website, PaycheckCity, has a booth at the APA Congress."Everyone knows PaycheckCity and our booth, and payroll managers frequently stop by to say they love our products and how easy they are to use," he says. The Payroll Goddess promotions recognize their efforts and"elevate their payroll status," says Bohnert.
Prior to the Payroll Goddess campaign, the company distributed items that Bohnert refers to as"yawners." After the convention where they first gave out the badges, Symmetry started getting calls from newly minted Payroll Goddesses requesting badges for their entire payroll departments. The pins are a significant draw to PaycheckCity's booth. According to Bohnert,"It's all about name recognition and a whimsical approach to what is, frankly, a dull industry sector."
After numerous requests, the company created a Payroll Goddess website and store, and ultimately added"Payroll Titans" to also recognize male payroll managers. The branded merchandise selection has grown to include a wide variety of accessories, such as phone cases, T-shirts, jewelry and even doggie tees, to name a few. The site also features items with other payroll manager humor, including"Married with Dependents," "Show Me the Money" and"I Used to Be Exempt."
“Each year we get a huge spike in interest after our industry convention. We only give the light-up badges away at the APA Congress, and those are still the most popular pieces of swag," says Elizabeth Oviedo, Symmetry marketing manager. Sales of Goddess merchandise also spike at the holidays and during National Payroll Week, which occurs around Labor Day.
“We've found this creative marketing promotion to be so successful at drawing attention to our brand that we trademarked ‘Payroll Goddess' and its logo," says Oviedo. "We've seen increased brand recognition for PaycheckCity, positioning us as the leader in paycheck management tools."
PaycheckCity has an active social media presence, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, and its website gets nearly 5 million visitors per month.
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Direct Mail Firm Loves Its Clients
PostcardMania, a direct mail marketing firm, has always prided itself on innovative and wacky promotional campaigns. Last year, the company used the romantic spirit of Valentine's Day to generate revenue through a creative social media campaign.
In early February, the company mailed packages which included wax lips and a Valentine's Day-themed postcard to its top 500 customers. The postcard encouraged clients to put on the lips, take a photograph and post it to the PostcardMania Facebook page. Those who complied received a complimentary copy of PostcardMania CEO's informative book, The Ultimate Postcard Marketing Success Manual.
The brains behind the idea was Sarah Kicinski, PostcardMania's CMO. Kicinski's goal was to develop an inexpensive and simple way to target customers who may have been overlooking their direct mail marketing needs. The campaign was essentially a reminder for loyal clients to place their next postcard order.
It was not only a fun way to celebrate the holiday, but it also proved to be a huge success."Out of the 500 customers, 68 new orders were placed on or within the same week as Valentine's Day," says Amanda Rice, director of public relations at PostcardMania."Those 68 orders resulted in $102,637."
Along with the financial success of the promotion, the company also received a hearty amount of social media attention. Eighteen customers posted wax lips photos onto their Facebook page, and three of those customers sent e-mails thanking the staff for their free version of the educational book. Although the campaign targeted returning customers, it also seemed to catch the eye of new prospective clients. The company's Facebook page received 20 new"likes" within the week of the promotion.
Dream up ways to stand out and follow up with loyal clients. PostcardMania used the fervor of the romantic holiday along with the power of social media to generate revenue. Don't forget to have fun with it. Contact your ad specialty distributor for ideas and fun products to punch up sales.
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National Ice Cream Month
This is a great time for your company to run a fun and refreshing promotion. Treat employees to an unannounced ice cream day where senior-level people serve ice cream and all the fixings. Dish out the goodies into special logoed bowls. Also, while visiting clients this month, bring along frozen treats for everyone in the office – this will go a long way toward building goodwill. You might consider giving everyone their own serving scoop. Finally, be a good corporate citizen and reach out to the community by serving free ice cream at events like parades, little league games or music festivals. Your distributor can help you find great related products.
4 Independence Day
Show your patriotism today and support our troops by sponsoring a float in a parade and distributing flags. Or you can hand out bottled water along the parade route. You can also hand out fireworks-enhancement glasses to attendees at the local display. Naturally you’ll want all products to be logoed, so call your distributor partner today.
15 National Get Out of the Doghouse Day
What did you do? No matter what it is that put you in the doghouse, use today as a way to make amends. Call those clients and customers with whom you’ve had difficulties and discuss ways that you can start doing business anew. Keep a humorous bent to it and consider giving out logoed dog products. Plus, you never know, your contact might put the product to good use.
25 National Chili Dog Day
It’s the perfect day to have a little barbecue on-site. Grill up hot dogs and provide chili sauce for all. You can include clients, vendors and employees. Kick back and make sure you have plenty of logoed fun-in-the-sun products like flying discs, caps, sunglasses, beverage coolies, etc.
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