Should_I_Use_Promotional_Products_to_Market_My_BusinessRelationships Matter

Guest Post by Brittney Dudeck

The things we need to have on our radar when it comes to marketing these days seems endless doesn’t it? Yet today more than ever, just like 25 years ago before digital was even a part of marketing strategy, relationships still matter. Creating a plan to build strong and lasting relationships through your marketing efforts, both online and off, should be a big part of your focus.

When thinking about strategy, your thoughts have probably wandered to promotional products: are they a good fit for your company, do they have a good ROI, do they really make a difference in the eye of the consumer, how do I know which product best fits my audience, do I have the budget for these items?

I work with people all of the time that are pondering these very questions and I have a simple response…promotional products are the easiest and most affordable way to market your brand. Plus, who doesn’t love free stuff?

Think about it. If you go through your own home or office, you are bound to come across 5-10 promotional items (pens, t-shirts, can cozies, calendars, cups, magnets, tote bags, etc.) that you use, and every time you use that item at work or out and about, it’s doing its job by reaching a larger audience.

Compared to Other Advertising, You Get Your Money’s Worth with Promotional Products

Many companies spend tons of money on advertising every year. A billboard can cost several hundred dollars and up a month, depending on location. Yes, it may have a large viewing audience, but it is still stationary with only a second or two to capture its viewer. Promotional products are constantly moving and changing hands…we leave them places, relatives and friends run off with them, we donate or resell them, changing the viewing audience and making the reach greater.

Do you know that promotional products have the greatest number of impressions compared to any other source of marketing? Impressions refer to the number of times an item is seen. That is huge when you look at the small investment that goes into purchasing your first promotional product.

Make a Lasting Impression

According to several studies, the average cost per impression is just 7/10 of a cent for promotional items, whereas newspapers are over triple that at 3.2 cents per Impression. Advertising specialty items also have a long life-span, especially when it comes to the most usable options such as drinkware, tech/desk items, apparel and tote bags; studies have shown that a single-person will keep these types of items 10-14 months before discarding. And believe me when I tell you that in my experience, promotional items have “legs” to give your brand, or important message, extra exposure.

To illustrate the point, let me tell you about a golf tournament that was held for an unforgettable man. My boyfriend’s dad passed away a couple of years ago. He was really an incredible man who was loved by everyone who met him.

He was a long-time Eagles member and our local post decided to honor him with an annual golf outing to raise money for local charities. Of course they had custom promotional items created for the event consisting of t-shirts, can cozies and golf balls. It was a really fantastic event and the promotional items were a nice touch and a great way for people to remember this really awesome guy, and the Eagles. Little did anyone know how far word would travel about both.

Months after the 1st annual event, a group of our friends made a trip to Northern Michigan. While in a small town, they stopped for a bite to eat at a local pub. While sitting at the bar, they noticed a familiar item. Pinned up behind the bar, was one of the can cozies from the golf outing…a couple hundred miles from its original home. That $0.89 cozie had made one heck of a journey in just a few months and, I believe, it will keep making an impact for many years to come.

Don’t Waste Your Money or Time…Make a Plan

When deciding to use promotional products as part of your marketing strategy (and it should be clear at this point that you should use them right?), you want to create a cohesive plan that will give you the most benefit out of your marketing spend. It is helpful to ask yourself and your team questions like: who is the promotional item’s intended audience, how do you want it to be seen, what is your budget and how will you be distributing them? These are all key questions to ask in creating your promotional product management plan. Why, you ask?

If you’re mailing an item, you want to keep cost of postage in mind. If your budget in small, but you have a large event with a big audience, you’ll want to go with a cost effective item like a pen or magnet. If you are targeting a kid’s event or business professional’s trade show, the items chosen will be drastically different. Do you want this to be a bold statement and seen by everyone, then you might want to go with an apparel item or a totally custom tote bag.

These are just a few of the questions and answers that must be clarified before you can have a clear understanding of how to make the most out of your marketing dollar with promotional products.

A great place to start is with a promotional product audit and analysis of your promotional product needs, inventory and procurement practices. This will identify opportunities to streamline procurement, leverage those opportunities and manage and optimize inventory and spend.

A Lot to Gain with Little Risk

If you are feeling like there’s a lot to gain when it comes to the use of promotional products, that’s because clearly there is and with very little cost or risk for you and your company. What other way can you reach any number of potential customers with little cost and leave them with a favorable impression of your brand? There isn’t. So in this already noisy world of advertising, choose a promotional product and let it get to work for your company and its image!

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