The Writing’s on the Wall: Considering Calendars as a Business Tool

allison.printingBy Allison Rice, Director of Marketing,  Amsterdam Printing 

Scientific research indicates that human beings remember things more effectively once they have written them down with an actual writing instrument onto an actual piece of paper. (Remember hearing your smart roommate and your professor urging you take more notes in college?)

Sure, we live in a time when a smartphone or computer program can, and does, store information about a great deal of our daily lives, from appointments to birthdays to holidays off from work.

But the humble wall calendar refuses to be completely forgotten in this age of technology. It still has a place in our hearts – and our businesses – as a savvy marketing tool and a reminder of important details every time you glance up from your desk. If you have never considered the ways a calendar can help your business stay on your clients’ minds, and walls, now is the time.

calendarWhy Wall Calendars?

You might ask yourself if a wall calendar is the best way to deliver an effective marketing message to potential and current clients. There are many other ways to promote a brand, including ink pens, beer koozies, coffee mugs and key chains, to name a few. So why calendars? Consider these reasons.

  • A calendar is likely to find its way onto a wall, especially in an office building.
  • A calendar has multiple purposes. People can glance up to note the date or to admire the artwork or photo. They can also write on it.
  • Most people flip the calendar when the month is over, giving your marketing message another chance to be noticed.

Dreaming Up 12 Ideas

It might seem difficult at first to come up with a theme for your calendar and break that theme into 12 distinct ideas, or months. But it’s easier than you think.

What does your business do?

This should be your starting point, regarding theme and artwork. If your business is real estate, for example, 12 photos of beautiful neighborhoods or homes that you work with could make a great calendar. If your business is a restaurant, you might consider recipes or seasonal produce for each month. It’s important to have artwork and photos on your calendar that will interest people regardless of whether they are clients. You don’t want to overwhelm them with advertisements; you want to provide something fun and useful that reminds them of your business.

Check out the Web and get creative.

The Internet provides a wealth of ideas for putting your calendar together. Once you’ve decided on a theme, surf the ‘net for pertinent tips, articles, trends and other information that could inspire your calendar.

Coupons and Other Incentives

Ah, the calendar coupon. It’s one more way for your potential client to read your marketing message loud and clear.

There’s no doubt that people love coupons. If you are fretting that you might lose money with hundreds of calendars that offer free items floating around town, consider these ideas.

  • Offer a small incentive (such as 10 percent off) for new clients only.
  • Offer free admission with a coupon to an event your company might be presenting.
  • Offer a discounted good or service with the purchase of a greater good or service.

Every Day an Adventure

Thanks to the Internet, everyone knows when National Cereal-Eating Day is. Use this fact to your advantage and keep your calendar interesting by incorporating a few quirky tidbits, such as oddball holidays. You earn bonus points if they fit your calendar’s theme and the product or service your business provides.

Practical Matters

Now that you’ve dreamed up the ultimate wall calendar as a marketing tool for your business, it’s time to actually put the calendar together.

Keep the crafting professional.

You may be tempted to just throw together a few cell phone photos on a calendar template, print everything out and hit the stapler, but this is not the most effective way to create an eye-catching calendar that your prospective clients will use all year.

Instead, make sure your product appears professional – this will bode well for your business.

  • High quality art or photography will draw more eyes – and bring you more customers.
  • Have the calendars printed professionally. Shop around first to ensure that you get a good deal. Most printers offer special discounts for businesses.

Decide on distribution.

How will you distribute your calendars after they are printed?

  • Seek events, such as business networking meetings, where a marketing tool such as a calendar is a welcome treat.
  • Deliver calendars to current and previous clients personally so you can thank them for their business.

While a wall calendar might seem quaint in today’s business world of saving information the electronic way, businesses still have walls, and people still need items to hang on them. Why not let your marketing message decorate the space?

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 About the Author: Allison Rice, Director of Marketing for Amsterdam Printing (www.amsterdamprinting.com), has extensive experience in sales and marketing. At Amsterdam Printing, a leading provider of custom pens and other promotional items such as personalized wall calendars, Allison is focused on providing quality marketing materials to small, mid-size and large businesses. She regularly contributes to the Promo & Marketing Wall blog. 

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