Using promotional products as a marketing strategy is becoming more and more popular. And why not? Promotional products are more cost-effective than other forms of advertising according to many studies, including this one by the Advertising Specialty Institute. Not only that, but people like FREE – and they are happy to use and promote brands that give them the occasional freebie. It can be hard to figure out the best way to branch into using promotional products, so we’ve collected some of the best tips to help you integrate promotional products in with your other marketing goals. Remember to contact us if you have any questions and you can check out our full range of promotional products here.
#1: Plan, Plan, Plan
It’s first on our list because it is definitely the most important. Any marketing plan you have requires a lot of planning, but integrating promotional products can be even trickier. Before you even think about ordering, you should have a thorough plan for what you will need, how it will integrate with your other marketing strategies and who you are planning to reach. Make sure to leave several weeks for the ordering process – besides the time it takes to get a design just right, remember items are made to order. After receiving the products, make sure to count and sort everything so that it is all ready for use. Check in with a few trusted customers to receive some quick feedback on your new items. Finally, make sure to constantly evaluate and make changes to your use of promotional items, just as you would with other forms of advertising.
One key element of your planning should be to decide how to use promotional products to promote your business rather than overshadowing it. Promotional products are meant to get your customers excited about the real products or services you offer.
#2: Reflect Yourself
When choosing promotional items, it is important to think about what each product says about your company. If you are targeting a certain group of customers, think about what promotional items might be appropriate for that group. For example, since V-Quest works primarily with supplying other businesses, we use promotional products that are used within the office without competing with the major items that we sell. That way our customers are reminded of us in the same atmosphere where they use our products! Consider also that promotional products can reflect your company’s core values. For example, if your company is environmentally friendly, you could choose from any of our eco friendly products that include recycled grocery and tote bags and water bottles. Quality and attention to detail can also be reflected in promotional products.
#3: Give Others Choices
When selecting promotional products, you may be tempted to purchase a single product to get a better volume discount. While one product might work for special events and promotions, think about having a range of products on hand for general marketing – products that range in value, size, use and perceived value (how much the recipient thinks the item is worth). Different occasions require different gifts, and you wouldn’t give the owner of your biggest account a keychain to thank them for their loyalty, just as much as you wouldn’t give away etched “thank you” plaques to each new customer.
Studies show that people will value an item more if they choose that item. Choose a couple of promotional products that are similar in value – you won’t be spending more, but customers and potential customers will think you did. Besides the added perceived value, a customer’s choice means that they are more likely to use the item – translating to more impressions for your company.
#4: Give Unexpectedly
One of the best ways to be remembered is to give generously and when people least expect it. Branded products are your way of getting your name out there. If you have customized pens, encourage people to take two or three at a time, and to share them with friends and family. You’ve just enlisted the people you come in contact with to help market your company. Generous giving not only helps to get your name to new faces, but the generosity helps to boost your reputation as well.
While we all agree that holiday gifts are great, holidays may not be the best time to give away promotional products. Not only are people more stressed, but they are receiving cards and gifts from a lot of people. Your product might be branded, but it isn’t going to get the attention that it will during the non-holiday season. Aim for months like June and August – there are no days off so your customers are probably feeling ready for a little change in their routine.
To promote more than just your name, use promotional products to celebrate dates that are important to your company. Celebrate the anniversary of when your company was started, the day that you introduced a significant product or service, or even a day to thank your employees for their hard work.
#5: Give Creatively
Promotional products can stand alone, but a sure-fire way to get people talking is to use them in creative ways. Give clients a filled lunch tote along with sales information so that they can have a “working lunch”. Add a couple of coupons, samples or complimentary small items to a water bottle for a compact “gift basket”. Add a tea bag or cocoa mix along with a snack bar to a coffee mug to go the extra mile for office staff.
Another way to use promotional products is to use them as donations. Instead of sending a check for a fundraiser, offer to donate items that spotlight the event while also including a small company logo. Items like towels, water bottles, frisbees and hand sanitizer are always great items for special events.