Saturday, May 7, 2011

Magnets - Sticky Billboards

For the first recommendation of this blog, I want to examine the effectiveness of magnets as promotional products. It’s my guess that you have at least one custom imprinted magnet on your refrigerator right now. I know I do. In my case, it’s from a local plumber. I needed the services of a plumber four years ago, found one in the Yellow Pages, and he came out and took care of my broken toilet. He left a magnet with his company name and phone number on it and I promptly put it on my refrigerator.

In the four years since, I have glanced at his magnet literally every single day. And in those four years, I’ve called that same plumber twice more for other things I needed done. Without the magnet, I probably would have forgotten his name and gone back to the Yellow Pages and perhaps picked a different provider. But instead, I’ve now used that same plumber three times in a four year period.

I don’t know how much he paid for those magnets, but I’m confident that it was a profitable investment for him. Why do custom imprinted magnets work so well as promotional products? They are rarely thrown away and are often displayed prominently (refrigerator, filing cabinet, etc.). A regular business card may not be discarded, but it’s usually filed away somewhere and out of sight. The magnet provides “top of mind awareness”, a crucial aspect of any marketing plan.

Magnets are a good idea for practically any business, but are especially useful for service type industries like plumbers, electricians, mechanics, A/C, etc. Would a local grocery store benefit from a magnet stuck on a customer’s refrigerator? Sure, but a service business would benefit more. It all has to do with the “thin market” concept. You go to the grocery store regularly and you rarely call them. You don’t need a reminder of where they are.

By contrast, you call a plumber far less frequently. So when you do have a need for one, if you’re the plumber, you want to be “top of mind”. And the way to be top of mind is to have your name in front of your customer every single day.

How much does it cost to attain this top of mind awareness through the use of magnets? It's more reasonable than you might think. For example, I have a variety of shapes available ranging in size from 2-4" and the investment level begins at just 35¢ apiece for a minimum quantity of 500. That's $175 plus tax and shipping and there's no set up fee! (Please note that pricing is accurate at time of blog posting. Prices may change without notice. #BMGSSM20).

If the plumber whose magnet is on my refrigerator paid $175 for his magnets, he most likely got his investment back on just my magnet alone!

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