When it comes to deciding where to spend your marketing budget, there are many factors to take into consideration. Traditional media such as newspapers, magazines and radio/TV advertising are not always as easy to monitor results and digital media, unless done properly, can become fragmented. In fact, it can be a full time job just trying to keep on top of your marketing. Where do you start and what should be your priorities? More importantly, where will you get the best return on your investment?
Promotional products are an important element of marketing that needs to be factored into your marketing strategy and plan. The art is knowing which promotional products to use, when to use them and how. But where do you start?
Before you embark on ordering promotional products for your business, you first need to establish what it is that you are trying to achieve. Important particulars like the audience you are trying to reach, your methods of distribution and the message that you are trying to communicate all need to be factored into your plan. You need to avoid impulse decisions that will leave you with lots of merchandise that you aren’t going to be able to use or that has no purpose.
This is a decision that is going to be based on your business and what you are trying to achieve. Perhaps you want to reward customer loyalty or maybe you want to incentivise new customers. If you are exhibiting at an event then you may want a reason for people to come to your stand and promotional products are a great way to engage with them. Perhaps you are looking for a way to reward customers over the festive period with something that can be used all year round and not only gives them something but also acts as marketing for your business.
There is so much choice when it comes to merchandise. As well as the sheer volume of products you can choose including pens, mugs, USB sticks, bags and clothing, there are also a number of styles, sizes and other options. Clothing can include sweatshirts, t-shirts, jackets, hats, baseball caps, fleeces, aprons, armbands and so much more. In fact, according to the Promotional Products Association international (PPAI) 2017 survey, wearables account for 35.8% of promotional products survey. Some businesses use promotional products as their staff uniform while others like to have merchandise to give to customers or potential clients.
What do people like from merchandise?
When considering your promotional merchandise, it is important to question what people will use and what they are looking for. The top reasons that people keep promotional products include whether they are fun, functional and trendy.
In order for you to provide value to your customers it is necessary to understand the audience. Who are they, what do they do, what do they like etc.? If you have a good ideal of your audience habits and behaviours, it is easier to reward them with merchandise that they will find useful. Business executives, for example, will make use of USB sticks, good quality pens and umbrellas. The more value and functionality you offer your customers, the more likely they are to use and retain your products.
How to brand your products
Choosing which products to purchase is one decision. The next step is to choose how you will brand your products. You could spend a lot of time and research just deciding on this alone. Again, it is important to look at your audience and how your products will be used. Creating the right image and ensuring that people will be happy to be seen with your products is important.
• Company colours – keeping the products in your company colours can increase recognition but only if those colours work with the products
• Company logo – the perfect opportunity to increase brand awareness
• The detail – will you include a slogan, your website address, telephone number, store location or a specific message?
• Size and quality
• Amount – how many products will you order. This will largely depend on who they are for and your budget.
Target audience, budget, purpose of the products and whether there are any variables that are likely to change in the future will dictate what you order and how many. If you are likely to have a rebrand 12 months down the line or change your website or physical address, you may want to consider how much and what you order. You don’t want to be left with lots of irrelevant merchandise.
Maximising the benefits of cross promotion
When your products arrive and you find yourself eager to share them with everyone the good news is that you can. The various social media outlets mean that you can share them with your followers. In fact, there are many cross-promotional benefits like organising giveaways (within the restrictions of Facebook rules) or simply sharing how people can get their hands on them. Use all of the platforms available to you to cross promote and increase your brand awareness.
Do they influence people?
If you are on the fence about promotional products and wondering if they are worth investing in, there is much research to support the case. According to the 2017 PPAI survey, 79% of people researched a brand and 83% are more likely to do business with the brand as a result of receiving products. If you are looking for an edge over your competitors, it is the small things that can sometimes make a big difference. The more exposure you give to your brand, the more impact it will have.
While there is so much for business to consider, promotional products have a key place in the marketing mix and can be a very effective investment if executed properly.
If you would like to discuss your options and would like some benefit and advice then we are more than happy to help.