Promotional Kitchen Calendars Still Rule

By John Barbour

Having been in the retail and promotional calendar business for over 35 years, I have listened to many soothsayers predict the “death” of the paper calendar. So far, neither Nostradamus, Mayan calendars nor the influx of electronic gadgets, have been able to replace the good ‘ol paper calendar, and it doesn’t appear that there will be any “funeral” in the near future.

In a research project produced by PPAI and CAC and released in April 2011, a study of the role of the promotional calendar found that calendars ranked third by product category with almost $1.4 billion dollars in sales. Yes, that’s billion! Next, the study wanted to find out what type of calendar was the most popular and where was it used. They included wall calendars, desk calendars, magnetic calendars, day planners, diaries, etc.

The result showed that 8 out of 10 respondents had at least one printed calendar at home, and they went further to find that the kitchen was the primary location. The survey showed that 34% of the respondents kept their primary calendar in the kitchen and an additional 12% kept their primary calendar on the refrigerator, which implied that they had magnetic calendars. Just look at these numbers: if an adult opens the refrigerator 10 times a day, that’s 70 times a week or 3,640 times a year. I can’t think of another medium that can provide this type of visibility.

Obviously, this type of information is very good news for the paper calendar and for those of us who produce them and use them. Yes, they are about as low-tech as you can get, but don’t sell them short. It is the perfect gift that everyone finds helpful and therefore, they appreciate the gift. We have seen the percentages that tell us that the calendar is still a winner. Now, make it a promotional calendar and it will advertise for you 12 months of the year. Since the majority of us are creatures of habit, your clients will also be waiting for their new calendar when the next year rolls around, giving you another year of advertising your business.

Now that we know people still use the printed calendar, the question remains as to its worth in the advertising world. Is it really an effective advertising medium and do the recipients remember the advertiser and the message? Based on the study’s statistics, of those who reported having just one advertising calendar, 74% remembered the advertiser. Other statistics showed that 72% remembered the message and 71% had done business with the person or company who gave them the calendar and would do business with them again. As important as these numbers are, probably the most impressive number was the 41% who responded that they had referred a friend to this person or company. Whether you call it advertising, farming, promoting or whatever, these are great results.

Of course, we believe that MELCO calendars are the best for promoting your business; however, if our calendars don’t pique your interest, then look at some other printed calendars. They are economical, easy to mail and they keep your name in front of your clients every day of the year. This is not a one-time gift. This is a program that will keep you connected with your clients for years to come. Remember, the printed calendar will never “crash,” it is alive and well.

John Barbour is CEO of MELCO Marketing, Inc.