Goes Offline to Reach Incentive Industry

Share this content:, a new site for purchasing custom promotional items, is launching a $10 million-plus marketing campaign next week to reach buyers within the incentive industry.

The campaign will include direct marketing, print, e-mail and online buys.

"[Buying promotional items] is typically done offline," said David Sipes, vice president of marketing at, San Mateo, CA. "We want to get them off the phone and let them know there's a different way to do this."

Buyers in the incentive industry spend $23 billion on travel and merchandise annually, according to the Incentive Federation, an organization that educates companies about the use of incentives.

"Many companies that use incentives - like the insurance, food and the auto aftermarket industries - have tremendous promotional budgets," said Howard Henry, executive director of the Incentive Federation, Westfield, NJ.

This is why an influx of new players, including and, have entered the business-to-business premium market of late, joining established sites such as

To introduce buyers to, which launched Jan. 24, the site will unleash an extensive direct marketing effort. Sipes plans to send out 10 million pieces throughout the year with the first drop of 1 million pieces going out next week. The primary source for the site's lists were trade-publication subscription lists. is also running ads in a number of trade publications.

The DM pieces will include two offers. One allows users who register to earn a free CD valued up to $15 at CDNow. The other allows them to enter a sweepstakes for an ergonomic chair.

Online, the site has banner agreements with some of the portal sites such as Yahoo, Excite and AltaVista. It will launch an e-mail marketing program and offer a weekly sweepstakes on its home page. It will also launch a viral marketing program later in the first quarter.

Online marketing efforts, however, may not be very effective, as many of the premium buyers are used to traditional marketing efforts.

"You have to work through trade show contacts and trade magazines - that's what [buyers] are accustomed to," said Henry, whose organization just launched the educational site. "We're running into this problem ourselves. We're attending trade shows, doing print advertising in the trades and some online marketing."

Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above