The decision to order promotional products is a no-brainer for some companies, but for others the decision to purchase promotional items can be difficult.
How do you justify spending money on promotional items when that money could go toward more pressing matters?
While promotional items are often seen as “vanity” items that aren’t crucial for the success of a business, promotional items do have a value and large return on investment — if you know how to use them effectively.
It is not enough to hand out pens to your customers. It is not enough to hand out another cheap notepad, keychain, or other item that is of little use to your client. The value of promotional items lies in two things:
1. Know your customer
First of all, you need to know your customers, their needs, what will impress them, and what won’t. Items can be specific to your industry, but they don’t have to be. The key to getting the most bang for your buck with promotional items is coming up with an item that your customers will use often and that will give your company or organization an impression that goes beyond your end-user. When a promotional item can be easily viewed by someone else or is something fun and creative that will motivate your client to show off the item to others — these are the golden promotional items. With items that are useful and give many impressions, you will get the best return on your investment.
In fact, promotional items cost less than other advertising methods, such as television or print ads. The cost per impression on a promotional item is often fractions of a penny as opposed to purchasing ad space that costs much more and will be seen by fewer people.
The second key to a successful promotional item is getting creative. Again, you can assume that most of your customers aren’t too interested in another pen, notepad, or t-shirt. When it comes to promotional products, the more creative, the better. Even when using the more “standard” promotional items, do something different that will set the item apart.
It is not enough to slap your logo on an item and expect to get a return on your investment. You need to incorporate functionality, class, or fun into any promotional item. Invest in items that are different or interactive, items that are flashy or light-up, or items that shine or convey a high level of class or professionalism.
Additional value can be added by including a QR code on the item that will drive customers to your website, contest, or some other landing page (Facebook, twitter, etc.). This type of functionality will also allow you to better track the number of people who received your item and it will also motivate people to further explore what your company is about. This is also a way of collecting contact information for future marketing.
One final note: Regardless of what you do, who you are, or who your customers are, there are ways to creatively use promotional products to effectively market your company. Don’t disregard promotional items as a waste. When done correctly, promotional items will give you the best ROI than any other marketing strategy.
Have ideas for your next promotional product or need help generating ideas? Contact us!