The High Cost Of Using Cheap Promotional Calendars

It’s one of the questions I hate to field most from a caller.   It goes something like this.   “I’ve been on ___________ ‘s website and they offer calendars for $ _________ (some ridiculously low price–you fill in the blank).   We’re wondering if you will match those prices.”

Usually my first response is…”Well, if you like their pricing why don’t you just purchase from them?”   I know that sounds sort of crass and borderline unprofessional, but I make that statement with a purpose in mind.   Typically their response goes something like (pick one or more excuses):

  • Dealing with their inexperienced people with an attitude sucks; or
  • I hate getting constantly hounded by them to reorder products; or
  • Their products are flimsy; or
  • Their images are not very appealing; or
  • The quality of their printing is not very good; or
  • My customers don’t care to use those calendars; or
  • I ordered last year and it took 3 months to get them; or
  • They messed up my order and never corrected it last year; or
  • They don’t have as wide a calendar selection (themes) as you do.

Well, the list could go on, but I think you get the picture.   The point is when we hear this sort of prospect query the customer knows in their hearts how an inexpensive calendar does not automatically mean they are getting value from the product or the company they are purchasing it from.

Look at it this way.   I tell our customers and prospects how if they buy a $0.69 calendar, hand it out, to only eventually get tossed into the trash what have they gained in promotional advertising.   First, the gift you gave them was so worthless they didn’t care to even use it.   Second, they now realize how you will place your company’s branded message on anything no matter what the quality.

Honestly, first impressions in life are everything.   When you meet a person for the first time you know whether or not your personalities will “click” within the first minute of talking to one another.   Same holds true for first impressions of a calendar.   When a customer or prospect picks up your calendar they are subconsciously and immediately processing several things:

  1. Does this calendar meet my minimum quality standards for use?
  2. Am I getting a gift of any real value?
  3. Could this company have offered something better (higher value)?
  4. Was this calendar offered only to special customers like me or indiscriminately provided to everyone?
  5. Will someone else back at the home or the office be excited about what I was given (envy factor)?
Pinching pennies has its place in life, but the practice can cost your business when purchasing promotional calendars.

Pinching pennies has its place in life, but the practice can cost your business when purchasing promotional calendars.

Let’s face it…handing out inexpensive promotional advertising calendars to your customers can end up costing you in many different ways.   Perhaps the biggest cost isn’t in the money you thought you were saving, but rather in the opportunity cost you were provided to give out a nicer, customer cherished calendar that gets used year after year.

The best litmus test we tell our customers to know if their calendars are used and appreciated is what happens next year.   Do you really think a customer will come back asking specifically for a replacement calendar you cut corners on and paid less for than a cup of coffee?   Or, do you think a customer is worth at least spending $3.00+ for an extremely nice product with a perceived value much higher?

Our experience has shown a calendar user likes to replace a calendar they appreciate and are familiar with in subsequent years with a similar calendar.   If that customer is not excited enough to come back for a new calendar it should be no surprise to anyone why that is the case.   In so doing, the business giving away cheap calendars just lost out on a marketing opportunity to draw that customer back next year.   That lost opportunity can be expensive.

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