With the holidays fast approaching, a wonderful window of opportunity is open for people with products, books and even services to promote.
How can you best take advantage?
An ideal person to ask is “America’s foremost gift expert,” Robyn Spizman, the national media go-to advisor on gift-giving and New York Times bestselling author. As part of her job, Robyn shares items she comes across that she thinks will wow recipients; in other words, she’s just the type of person whose attention you’d love to catch.
Robyn’s been featured in the national media for more than three decades and in Atlanta, Ga., on Star 94, reaching 1.2 million listeners. She’s also been featured in a host of national publications including The New York Times, USA Today, Woman’s Day and Parade magazine.
And Robyn’s a friend and business associate. So, I asked her to share some tips for your holiday promotions. Being the gregarious person she is, she had plenty!
No matter what you’re promoting, look at it as a potential gift.
“Almost anything we produce can be a gift, so look at your item or service through that lens, even if you’ve never thought of it that way before,” Robyn says.
“Next, ask yourself, if my product is a gift, who is it for?”
Would your business book be something an employee might give to his or her boss? Or an administrator give to an assistant?
Consider bundling items together for a themed gift package. Your cleaning product might be packaged with other cleaning supplies to be given as a survival kit for college students or newlyweds.
“Start creating a kaleidoscope of opportunity: If these people would buy my product as a gift, where do I find them so that I can tell them about it?” Robyn says.
Look for ways your product can be personalized – and share those ideas in your marketing.
“Personalized products are high on my list of gifts that make people feel special,” Robyn says.
In fact, she likes the personal touch so much, she’s written a children’s book, Owl Always Love You (FlattenMe.com), that can be personalized with the child recipient’s name and photograph.
“I just think it’s a great way for anyone, child or adult, to feel loved and adored,” Robyn says.
Adding a name is not the only way to personalize, she says. Consider what people value, what they like and dislike.
“Everybody loves chocolate, but some people prefer milk chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate. If your product offers variety, highlight that in your marketing message as a way to personalize the gift.”
Does your product have “gift radar?” Will it make the recipient smarter or solve a problem for them?
People want to find gifts that will help the recipient in some way.
“Think about the benefits your book, product or service offers and tout that as a wonderful gift,” Robyn says.
“A masseuse’s message might be, ‘Give your hard-working spouse stress relief,’ or a fiction writer might offer, ‘Hours of risk-free high adventure.’ That helps your audience to start thinking creatively and looking at your item in a different way.”
If you’re an expert, remember, people love to give advice, Robyn adds. How can you market your advice as the perfect gift for a loved one?
Consider today’s gift-giving trends and how you can use them in your marketing.
Consumers are more focused on quality than quantity, Robyn says.
“They’re happy with fewer things that are better quality – they don’t want to have waste and clutter,” she says. “They want products that will make life better or more organized. They like items that relate to something they value very much, such as a child, a pet, even a car.”
Gifts of comfort remain popular, she adds. People like to give gifts of warmth, from a snuggly lap throw to a scarf.
If you’re pitching your item to the media as a gift, Robyn says be sure to avoid the common mistakes. Get to the point quickly; include the price of the item, and include the website.
I hope Robyn’s ideas have given you some new ways of looking at your product, book or service. As she points out, a little creativity on your end can help your audience – whether it’s the media or consumers – picture your item as the perfect gift.
That’s a wrap!