It used to be that calendars had prominent places in many areas in our lives. We may have displayed several in each of our homes, offices and work areas. Historically, calendars have had a treasured place in promotional product marketing as well. At one point several years ago, a prominent industry survey indicated that 94% of all business people can recall the advertising message on their calendars.
But, has that changed? As we move deeper and deeper into a world organized by our cell phones and digital devices, do traditional calendars have a place any more? Is the promotional calendar obsolete?
I have no scientific evidence to back this up, just some practical observations and a completely unscientific facebook question and response post. But, I would argue that while digital calendars have changed the way we use calendars, they certainly are not obsolete yet.
I believe there are several loosely defined groups of people out there.
Tech-driven: At least in terms of their calendars, these folks are digital all the way. The practicality of syncing information and always having it available has turned them away from traditional calendars and planners as a tool. Does this mean that the promotional calendar is obsolete for them? Not at all. These people still use calendars as decoration and as a reference for a quick date check. Decorative and unique calendars are a good fit for these people. Stunning photos or ones that appeal to a hobby or interest make a decorative calendar more appealing. And small calendars with no room for writing are great for checking dates quickly. Some of these are interesting desk items and some are as practical as mounting on a computer keyboard or monitor.
A Foot in Both Camps: Many people use a combination of digital and traditional calendars. Often, digital calendars are used for work and/or personal while a physical calendar is used at home for family scheduling. Promotional calendars that are a good fit here are ones that can be useful in a home or group setting. Planners and appointment calendars make the most sense for this group and decorative calendars will still be used as well.
Traditional: While many of us have switched to digital calendars, there are probably more people than you realize who have not. Some like the physical nature of the non-digital version. Some like the speed and some just prefer paper. All calendar types are still applicable to this set of people.
What does this mean for the use of promotional calendars?
It’s more important than ever to know your audience. If you can define your market into a group above, you are more likely to be able to choose a calendar that will be an effective messenger for your brand. If they’re young, they probably are tech-driven. The older they get, the more likely to lean toward the traditional. Do they have school-aged kids? They likely fall into the Foot-In-Both-Camps category.
If you can’t constrain your target audience into a group, err on the side of safety and choose an item that will appeal to all groups. Stunning photographs, unusual presentation or appeal to an interest or hobby will help get your item used.