Why I Will Never Advertise On A Pen

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ballpoint-penI will never advertise on a pen. And here’s why.

We all have to figure out this marketing thing for our own business. Unfortunately, there are thousands of voices shouting into the online who have the need-to-know ‘top ten secrets to market for maximum results’. Every one of them claims to be right and know their stuff.

One marketing ploy I don’t understand is advertising on a pen or calendar or magnet. The premise, I suppose, is that people will keep it and, when in need of your services, will think of you over anyone else.

…Can I just ask? How many people have you called because of their subliminal pen and magnet messages? If it’s even once, I’ll eat my hat.

I know I have never thought, “Gee. I need a plumber. Let me consult my pen collection.”  So how this became a big marketing thing for any old business, I don’t know. I could see it for the guy who makes pens – putting his name on an elite, high quality pen that makes its user adore scrawling notes with that one special easy-glide pen. Maybe. But for every Joe-blo? Umm, no.

I have sat at a client’s kitchen table signing a deal with them, while their fridge featured a calendar from another agent. That agent’s free gift had stared them in the face for months. When it came time to hire though, they went with a friend’s recommendation to hire me.

Referrals are the highest quality marketing you can get. They’re more work than inking a pen, but the return on investment is way higher. Referrals are the gift that keeps on giving.

Here’s the key: focus on people, not gimmicks.

To discover how to build referral marketing into your business, check out  this series on being client focused (instead of gimmick focused) and remember these four words. It’s a people thing.


Prove me wrong – I’d love to hear of your successful pen or calendar marketing endeavors.




This Post Has One Comment

  1. tina

    Ok I confess. I did purchase a notebook/pen gift set to give away to the guests who attended the Don’t Spend Christmas Eve Alone Event. It is seriously hard to find an affordable gift when you are buying for nearly a hundred people! I just wanted everyone to get a present Christmas Eve.

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