Press Release: Sonic Promos Wins Distributor of the Year

For immediate release: Sonic Promos Wins Three Industry Awards: Distributor of the Year, Excellence in Promotions–Gold, and Excellence in Promotions–Silver At the Chesapeake Promotional Product Associations Annual Awards, Sonic Promos took home the top prize for distributors. Gaithersburg, MD— December 11, 2023 — The Chesapeake Promotional Products Association (CPPA) hosted it’s annual Peake Awards ceremony and dinner last week. The Peake awards honor excellence and creativity in our association and industry. Awards are presented in thirteen categories that recognize individuals, companies and promotional campaigns. Sonic Promos won in three categories: Distributor of the Year, Excellence in Promotions-Gold, and Excellence in Promotions-Silver. Distributor of the Year is an award that distributor and supplier members of CPPA vote on collectively, honoring the promotional products distributor that best represents the work and industry as a whole. Excellence in Promotions are judged categories. Gold and Silver are awarded based on points earned for each campaign nominated to the award. Sonic Promos winning project for the Excellence in Promotions–Gold Award, was it’s Grill’a Marketing campaign. The campaign had a series of online videos where promotional products marketing and grilling techniques were compared to one another. The winning project for the Excellence in Promotions–Silver Award is the Southern Management Companies custom card deck. The custom card deck was designed by the Sonic Promos art team as an educational tool for the client. It featured images of properties, staff members, and facts about the culture at Southern Management Companies. Sonic Promos was founded in 1997 by Seth Weiner who is also the CEO and President. In response to winning the award, Seth says, “We are truly honored to be recognized as the 2023 CPPA Distributor of the Year. This year, Sonic has demonstrated exceptional growth, innovation, and service that makes us worthy of this recognition. Our team has shown remarkable resilience, dedication, and performance.” About CPPA: The Chesapeake Promotional Products Association is the DC-Baltimore metro area’s regional membership organization for promotional products professionals. It is a regional affiliate of the PPAI. Every year suppliers and distributors gather to nominate and vote for winners in a variety of categories for the annual Peake Awards. About Sonic Promos: Founded in 1997, Sonic Promos is an award-winning branding agency based in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Sonic Promos provides creative marketing solutions to an ever-growing number of local, national and international companies and organizations. Media Contact: Mallory Scott Director of Marketing, Sonic Promos 301.717.8257

Second Helping Episode 14: The Season Finale

In this episode of Grill’a Marketing, Seth explains how to combine all the tools in our toolboxes to maximize our marketing impact and generate the opportunities and responses we look for. With a tip of the cap to his time as a kid at camp, Seth introduces the Mush Burger: This recipe is a holistic depiction of this season of Grill’a Marketing. It combines multiple diverse ingredients that when mushed together, form a comprehensive marketing mix. Seth folds the ingredients inside aluminum foil and places them directly on the coals for 5 minutes on each side. The excitement of taking the foil out of the fire and seeing the results is comparable to watching your marketing metrics skyrocket after implementing a well-crafted marketing plan. This season of Grill’a Marketing has covered a wide array of topics with each episode offering its own highlights and tips. The season premiere episode provided useful guidance about preventing perfectionism from stifling your efficiency. Episode 4 offered information about FedEx and UPS’s efforts toward achieving sustainable shipping practices. Episode 10 explains the benefit of daring to be different and trying an innovative marketing strategy. These are only a few of the many themes discussed in this season of Grilling Marketing. Now that this season of Grill’a Marketing is coming to a close, we hope that you found our grilling and marketing tips fun and informative. All of the techniques and tips discussed in Grill’a Marketing can accomplish goals separately. However, combining all the episodes’ methods and ideas together will form a comprehensive and most delicious marketing strategy. If you are looking for something fun and easy or if you are looking for something more challenging, talk to Sonic Promos. We can help you with both of those things! Thank you for your support! Grill Master Tip: Participate in the Sonic Promos BBQ Test Kitchen Survey. Further instruction and a taste of success will follow!

Second Helping Episode 13: Do not Walk the Plank

A woman in a business suit stands on the end of a wooden plank over a cliff's edge. She's looking over the edge of the plan with her hand on her head and mouth open with surprise

In this episode of Grill’a Marketing, Seth explains how to boost your marketing strategy by focusing on presentation. Seth grills salmon on a plank rather than directly on the grill. Using the plank elevates the salmon in three diverse ways: The smoke coming directly from the plank provides flavor. The plank acts as a barrier between the grill and the salmon which prevents burning. Serving the salmon on the plank allows for a practical yet elegant presentation. Using a plank is an example of actively selecting a unique way to present your marketing message. Do not be passive and walk the plank with your marketing strategy. How can we apply this concept to our own marketing strategies? Think strategically to prevent promobesity. Present your promotional items in a way that grabs attention and direct focus to your main course, “the star of the show.” Although providing options is necessary, too many can distract prospects and divert their attention from the core message you want to deliver. Put yourself in the shoes of someone looking at your booth. What item catches your eye? What imagery does the products’ set up invoke? What brand association do you think of? Presentation matters when it comes to first impressions and lasting impressions. Does presentation matter only for trade shows? Presentation always matters. If you want to send a Holiday gift box to your clients, do you want items thrown in the box with no discernable order? Or do you want a carefully curated arrangement of delicious items from NC Custom? Your client will associate your gift with your brand. If you want to make an impression through strategic presentation, talk to the Sonic Promos team. We can show you how! Grill Master Tip: Participate in the Sonic Promos BBQ Test Kitchen Survey. Further instruction and a taste of success will follow!

Second Helping Episode 12: The Blooper Reel!

Time for a behind the scenes look at the production of Grill’a Marketing! Like every successful project, not every episode was filmed in only one take. You can view this season’s bloopers here! There are plenty of common reasons that marketing campaigns can fail. Incorporating lessons learned from failure into an innovative marketing strategy will contribute to successful campaigns in the future. One reason campaigns fail is because they rely on only one channel. Diversifying marketing channels means more mediums available to create opportunities. This also allows us to utilize the various channels to promote each other. For instance, using a YouTube channel to advertise a promotional campaign multiplies engagement. Both channels share the same goal of generating leads and opportunities. If a call to action on the YouTube channel does not successfully persuade the user to input information/make a purchase, it may persuade the user to participate in the promotional campaign. If you want to diversify your marketing channels and try something new, Sonic Promos can help! Grill Master Tip: Participate in the Sonic Promos BBQ Test Kitchen Survey. Further instruction and a taste of success will follow!

Second Helping Episode 11: Dare to be Different

In this episode of Grill’a Marketing, Seth talks about how switching things up can boost engagement. Just like a polo shirt in a sea of really cool t-shirts, a new unique marketing technique can stand out amongst your brand’s standard marketing messages. In previous episodes of Grill’a Marketing, Seth focused on providing tips for grilling meat over charcoal. On today’s episode, Seth grills pineapple over propane. Even if your seasoned recipes for grilling meats are boosting brand awareness, sometimes it is beneficial to add some grilled pineapple to your marketing mix. How can we spice up our marketing strategies? The answer is do something different. If you rely on the same marketing channel for your messaging, your audience may tune out your new offering or product announcement. If they receive a new catalogue every week, the probability that they will read every single one is low. Instead of depending on the same marketing channels, “consider participating in local community events.” Doing so will provide customers with face-to-face interaction and allow them to have an in-person conversation with you. It is also an opportunity for you to highlight your brand and give away carefully selected promotional items. Try a fresh marketing strategy or focus more on a previously untapped marketing channel. Sometimes the same message presented in a new and exciting way increases brand awareness more dynamically relative to the same recipe every day. Whether you are grilling or marketing, dare to be different. Talk to Sonic Promos. We can show you how! Grill Master Tip: Participate in the Sonic Promos BBQ Test Kitchen Survey. Further instruction and a taste of success will follow!

Second Helping The Social Angle: Seth discusses this Series with an Industry Insider

Seth chatted with Vinny Driscoll; Digital Content Director of ASI, live on The Social Angle podcast. Seth talked about the strategy behind Grill’a Marketing and some of the many opportunities generated from the series. You can view The Social Angle podcast episode in its entirety here. Below is an excerpt from the podcast episode: SETH: Here’s a couple of quick stories. The best story I can give you was we sent out the spice tube to a client. She requested the spice tube, followed up with her, asked her if she got it. She got it. She gave it to her boss. Why did she give it to her boss? She didn’t own a grill. What did we do? We got her logo. We put her logo on a branded grill. We went to go visit her. Gave her the grill. Got a meeting with eight other people. Business. Business. Business opportunities. Huge. Second person we sent spice to, we got another meeting with that person and six other people from her organization. Opportunity to meet all different people in a bunch of different departments. New opportunity. New opportunity. New opportunity. None of those people really are interested in ordering branded spices. None of them are interested in barbecue marketing items. We’re using this as a way to get across who we are and what we do because we’re in the marketing business. So we’re just using this a way to get through some of the noise that a lot of people are making.                                                                                                                                                                                        The stories that Seth shared illustrate how sending a prospect a sample can set forth a chain of events that generates leads and opportunities. Even though the first spice tube that Seth sent did not go to someone that owned a grill, the prospect gave it to their boss. The second tube that Seth sent to one person resulted in a meeting with seven people from varying departments in that organization. Grill’a Marketing is just one of many types of successful promotional campaigns. If you would like to experience your own increase in brand awareness and lead generation, talk to Sonic Promos. We can help design a similar campaign or help you turn your own unique idea into a reality. Seth is leveraging Sonic Promos’ expertise in promotional marketing to encourage brand recognition and lead generation for Sonic Promos. We can do that for you too! Seth says in the podcast, “There hasn’t been a time in all the years that we’ve done a self-promotion that we haven’t had a client repeat that entire promotion from start to finish.” He adds that you must have an objective, have good communication, have a plan, must follow up, and must have a call to action: Grill Master Tip: Participate in the Sonic Promos BBQ Test Kitchen Survey. Further instruction and a taste of success will follow!

Second Helping Episode 9: Variety is the Spice of Life

In this episode of Grill’a Marketing, Seth opens some viewer mail and confirms that he does cook the assorted food items he prepares during G’rilla Marketing videos: the chicken brining in the pickle jar? Seth demonstrates how to transform the brined chicken into three different cuts and methods of serving it. Rather than only serve one type of chicken, Seth grills chicken nuggets, chicken tenders, and chicken filets. They are all pickle-brined chicken. However, they each provide a different variety and an opportunity for everyone to choose their favorite. How can we apply this concept to tradeshows? If the goal is to increase brand awareness by using giveaways with a logo on them, then it would seem a large amount of the same t-shirt would meet that need. This technique provides the tradeshow attendee with the experience of walking up to your table, taking a t-shirt, putting it in their bag, and walking away. There is not much opportunity for independent thought involved. If you give attendees options however, they are empowered to make their own decisions and the items gain more significance to them. The items are elevated from the same ones everyone else got to the items they chose themselves. If my logo is on the item, does it matter if I offer more than one type of item? The answer is yes, if you want to increase the amount of people that will wear your item after leaving your booth. Even if there is no obvious reason behind offering a green T-shirt and an almost identical shade of green T-shirt, it is beneficial to “introduce more elements of choice – even if it feels trivial.” If half of the attendees love T-shirts, and half of them love hats, which item do you want at your booth? Go with the pickle brine. Talk to Sonic Promos. Grill Master Tip: Participate in the Sonic Promos BBQ Test Kitchen Survey. Further instruction and a taste of success will follow!

Second Helping Episode 8: The Power of the Brine

In this episode of Grill’a Marketing, Seth explains the significance of designing a marketing plan that allows an audience’s awareness to brine in a brand’s varying forms of messaging. Building brand awareness takes time and requires providing messaging the penetrates deep. When preparing pickle-brined chicken, Seth seals chicken in a pickle jar for a couple of hours. The salts and spices penetrate the chicken like a good marketing strategy’s messaging penetrates clients’ brand awareness. What ingredients are in a brine? The minimum includes salt, sugar, vinegar, and water. Similarly, the 4 Ps of marketing are product, price, place, and promotion. While those are the fundamental elements, there is always room for a add a dash of other spices before or after the brine. There are many creative options to choose from when selecting the components of your marketing plan. The brine is only one part of the preparation process, albeit an essential one for relationship building and brand awareness. What can I do to make an effective brine? A brine can take shape in the form of varying messaging options utilizing both short-term and long-term marketing. Short-term marketing, although usually focused on bursts of flavor, is still part of the long-term strategy. The idea is to have your audience build familiarity with your brand over time. This can be in the form of indirect marketing such as product placement, loyalty programs, or a superb blog. If you are wondering what the right blend of salt and spices is for your marketing brine, talk to Sonic Promos and we will help select the right ingredients for increasing your brand awareness and brand recognition. Grill Master Tip: Participate in the Sonic Promos BBQ Test Kitchen Survey. Further instruction and a taste of success will follow!

Second Helping Episode 7: Brand Marketing on the Go

In this episode of Grill’a Marketing, Seth explains the importance of planning your items at a tradeshow around what your audience will be doing. Like a BBQ or cocktail party, offering the right choices based on the activity involved allows guests to carry their items without difficulty. If they are on the go, burgers make sense. If they are doing a sit down, a steak makes sense. When choosing items to order, understanding the message, the medium, the event, and what your audience is going to be doing goes a long way toward selecting the right product. While trade show attendees might want to take home all their favorite items, there is a limited amount they can carry. This means it is important to make sure that your promotional items are captivating AND that they fit in a tradeshow bag. Though it may be appealing to bring your favorite product to your next tradeshow, the product may not be the right fit for every event. Consider whether attendees will be parked near the venue. Will they be able to carry your item over a long distance? How much space is available in walkways and in between booths at the venue? Keep in mind that prospects are also planning ahead. They may forgo a large, cumbersome item for several smaller ones that do not take up substantial space in their bags. You may be eager to share the Perfect Baked Potato. Though it may be delicious, it may not be the most feasible option to a prospect carrying other items and traveling on foot. Baked potatoes are only perfect in the right environment. Instead, try choosing an item that invokes your brand message in a unique way. French fries are delicious, widely popular, and while not the perfect baked potato, they are perfect for someone on the go. Planning based on prospect activities will aid in selecting the right product for your next event that will be effective for you in the long run. Talk to Sonic Promos. We can help you do that! Grill Master Tip: Participate in the Sonic Promos BBQ Test Kitchen Survey. Further instruction and a taste of success will follow!

Second Helping Episode 6: Brand Buffets Linked to Promobesity Epidemic

In this episode of Grill’a Marketing, Seth explains how there is a strategic way to choose and place items for display at your tradeshow booth. While offering many items might be easy, doing so may cause you to lose an opportunity to maximize engagement. Offering a brand buffet in order to hit several different tastes might seem like a satisfactory method. However, doing so takes a lot of time and may cost a considerable amount of money. Further, it requires ample preparation, and the actual distribution can be exasperating. Before you order items for your next tradeshow, decide what you want your prospects to see when they look at your booth: An endless buffet of choices has no clear focus. Everything is lost in a haze of different flavors. When you choose the brand buffet option, it is difficult to direct attention toward a specific item because there are countless items surrounding it with no deliberate arrangement. These items take different amounts of time to prepare, require dissimilar preparation methods, and may demand varying modes of distribution. If instead you plan to offer strategically selected items, choose to arrange your items like an elegantly plated entrée. “Place the main item in the center of the plate, then build around it. Keep the amount of food on the plate to a minimum, filling only about two-thirds of the plate at most.” The key is to offer a curated array of options and a thoughtful experience for your prospects. While it is possible to simply order a wide variety of items so that there is a vast selection to choose from, doing so incurs an opportunity cost. Trade shows are a chance to influence the impression that your brand leaves on the prospects that arrive at your booth. Rather than focusing on providing as many items as possible, a few meaningful items have the potential to increase both brand awareness and brand loyalty. Put an end to promobesity. Before you order items for your next tradeshow, talk to the team at Sonic Promos and we will work with you to cook up a spread that will make them want more. Participate in the Sonic Promos BBQ Test Kitchen Survey. Further instruction and a taste of success will follow!