30 Seconds with: Chris Bellinger

Chris Bellinger, Concept Director
When it comes to promotional marketing, what’s your philosophy?

My philosophy? Wow that is a loaded question. I guess that my first philosophy when it comes to promotional marketing, specifically within the consumer product goods (CPG) land scape, is that at the end of the day it is all about sales. If you aren’t increasing sales then it overall isn’t the right idea. The greatest, most innovative, most creative, most clever, most strategic idea in the world that doesn’t increase sales at the end of the idea is a bad idea. The objective is always sales at the end of the day. If people are not buying your product because of the idea, campaign, promotion, etc that you are putting out there then it’s not a good idea. It really is that simple.

This is where the fun part comes in. Taking an idea that is going to tap into that consumer insight and  create a movement that consumers get excited about and  is legitimately “cool” AND…wait for it…will increase sales! Figuring out how to combine those two elements is what makes a truly big idea within the promotional marketing space. That is where my second philosophy comes into play. My second philosophy is to approach an idea or concept that seems big but makes people nervous by saying that you “replace the word problems with opportunities”. By stating this up front when you present the idea, immediately the client receiving the idea knows that its something that could be interesting. Something interesting means that its something that isn’t forgettable. That is when you have the chance to really do something great and  take an idea that normally the client wouldn’t think twice about because of one reason or another and  instead look at it like a puzzle and  try to figure out how to solve the “opportunities” and  execute a truly big idea.

Finally, my last philosophy is this space is as follows. The worst possible thing that can happen is you get fired. Seriously. That is the worst possible thing that can happen when you are working on developing truly breakthrough big ideas. In the grand  scheme of things, is that really that bad? Having that in the back of your mind however will allow you to look at things differently, take those risks, pursue something that normally you would be terrified to even consider. Knowing that the worst possible thing that could happen really isn’t that bad gives you the freedom to embrace that side of you where the big stuff is hiding.

Putting all three of these “philosophies”, if that is even what you want to call them, together in the approach to this type of marketing is when great things happen in the individual thinking. Finding a team that embraces these philosophies together as a cohesive unit is when the rules are able to be rewritten and  you can literally change the game. Getting an organization or company that takes this approach? That is when changing the world becomes a real opportunity and  we go from reading about case studies and  best in class programs to becoming those people that we say inspire us.

That is when we go beyond just promotional marketing and  start to enter into something that has yet to be defined but is waiting for someone to help shape It and  become that next generation of consumer engagement.

That…and  increasing sales.

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