This was an interesting article from Marketing Made Simple, (http://www.marketing-made-simple.com/articles/promotional-items.htm#.VQgvwTqCI9o) some good information for those researching “Marketing with Promotional Products”
MARKETING WITH PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS
It can be tough to market your business, especially if you have eager competitors at your heels. Promotional items can be useful marketing tools, and they can improve your brand and your reputation if they’re correctly used.
Just like with any effective marketing strategy, you need to do the research and ask yourself a few important questions before you dive headfirst into marketing your company with promotional products.
WHY PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS ARE EFFECTIVE MARKETING TOOLS
- They provide extended brand exposure. Unlike a traditional advertisement, promotional products are difficult to miss. A tote bag with your logo will surely get more attention than a newspaper ad and your clients will be able to get repeated use out of it.
- They’re valuable. Flyers have become less effective means of marketing because they are often ignored and thrown away. Promotional items like t-shirts or stress balls aren’t likely to get tossed because they are more like gifts than advertisements.
- They present a creative marketing spin. Billboards, radio spots, newspaper advertisements, and television commercials are fine, but they’re not exactly original. Promotional products are not only more creative but also more tangible to customers.
- They’re inexpensive. Any experienced marketer can tell you about the high costs of traditional marketing methods. Promotional items are available in such a wide variety of shapes and sizes that there is something for any budget (even if it’s just a key chain).
HOW PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS ARE USED FOR MARKETING
- To generate brand awareness. Promo items quickly spread the word about your business. People love free gifts and samples, and clients are likely to tell their friends about the personalized merchandise you distributed with your friendly slogan!
- To commend a job well done. Employees deserve rewards for their hard work and dedication, and high-ticket promotional products like desk awards can improve morale and reinforce loyalty.
- To say “thank you”. Sending follow-up emails to clients is always smart, but giving a high-quality promotional item is even better. When you send a gift like a photo calendar after a big sale, you can bet that you’ll see some repeat business.
- To use as coupons and special offers. Many businesses print coupons on promotional pens or offer t-shirts that entitle customers to discounts. There’s no limit to what you can do if you get creative with your promo items.
- To organize a giveaway with prizes. By using your own custom merchandise as prizes, you’ll give winners what they want while exposing your brand at the same time!
- To provide exclusive gifts to members. Membership fees are standard for numerous clubs and organizations, and many people are reluctant to pay them. Giving an exclusive promotional product as a member gift may encourage people to join.
- To raise money for charity. Non-profit organizations and charities often hold fundraisers and auctions. Make yourself known by donating a high-end promotional item or a fancy gift basket; the cause will gain funds, you’ll gain exposure, and the customer will receive a memorable gift.
HOW TO DISTRIBUTE YOUR PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS
- Bulk mailings. Direct mail is still one of the most effective marketing mediums because it puts your message straight into customers’ hands. You’ll need potential clients’ names and addresses to pull this off, though, because mail addressed to “Current Resident” always ends up in the round file. Also, don’t forget to pre-calculate your shipping costs!
- Personalized pencils or magnets may work just fine, but plastic sports bottles might not.
- Trade shows, expos, and conventions. Trade shows usually have a wide variety of attendees from different career fields, which means there are ample opportunities to market your company and drum up new clients. There tends to be a lot of competition at conventions so you should work hard to customize a stand-out promo item that will draw interest.
- Conferences and meetings. Conferences are excellent resources to market to others within your industry, and meetings give you the chance to meet face-to-face with customers. Give participants a personalized gift for attending your seminar and you’ll boost your brand.
Grand openings, holiday parties, and special events. People get excited about social gatherings, and it’s easy to strike up a conversation with potentially-interested clients. Market your business by giving away custom-shaped stress relievers at the grand opening or year-end party that are good for an exclusive discount on their next visit, and you’ll have people lining up around the block to shop with you.