Small business owners don’t need to be sold on the importance of marketing; what helps us are tips for marketing strategies that bring proven results.
Using promotional products is a classic marketing strategy that has stood the test of time. In the US, it dates back at least to a commemorative button promoting the election of George Washington in 1789. Since then, making promotional products part of a sound marketing mix has helped millions of small businesses become profitable. It can do the same for you.
Benefits of Promotional Products and Gifts
Here are the reasons promotional products and corporate gifts should be part of your company’s marketing.
1. Everyone Loves Something for Nothing
This fact of life is at the heart of promotional and corporate gift giving. The key is to make the product or gift something of value. Pens are traditional but not passé. In fact, they’re the second-most useful promotional product behind a very modern alternative, USB flash drives. Promotional bags, stubby holders, umbrellas (they work for sun too, right?), caps, key rings are promotional items getting the most positive responses from recipient, per a survey conducted by the Promotional Products Association International.
2. Promotional Products Drive Consumer Awareness and Interest
This is especially true when the products are used in active outreach, handing them out in a crowd with a smile and an invitation to “check us out”, for example, rather than having pens in a mug at a service desk.
3. Gifts and Products Build Brand Awareness and Recognition
The first two points look at it from the recipient’s point of view. This point demonstrates benefit to your company. Gifts and promotional products introduce your brand to those who didn’t know you exist, and they build recognition among those who have some familiarity with your company. While you might gain a new customer after one marketing “touch,” experts like Dennis Payne, President of MBMA Marketing, believes it takes several contacts to sway the average consumer to become your customer. Promotional products are a very effective form of contact.
4. High-value Impact at Low Cost
You’ll find promotional products to fit any budget, and many deliver excellent ROI on the investment. They are tangible, useful and lasting, so in effect, the promotional item produces a new connection between your brand and the individual every time that person uses it. As the item is used, a subconscious shift occurs in the person which, if articulated, would be something like, “this is my XYZ company.”
5. They Make your Business Card Better
At bare minimum, a promotional product has a more positive impact than a business card by itself. Marketing blogger Sarah Matista says, “Consider leaving behind your business card AND another tangible, branded product.” The gift item is a way to say, “I’m thanking you in advance for doing business with us” or “There are benefits to being our customer.”
6. Promotional Items Reinforce Other Marketing Tools
Have you ever bought a new car and then started to see that model vehicle everywhere? A promotional product is similar. Once it is in their hands, consumers will notice and pay more attention to what you’re doing on other outreach channels such as print, digital, social media, radio, TV or even the signage on the front of your location.
Mix it Up
As you know, successful marketing requires a blend of several strategies to be effective, and the blend must be tailored to the audience you want to reach. Promotional gifts and other items are effective for the reasons given, and they are available in enough variety to appeal to your demographic targets. Work with a promotional gifts consultant to produce a batch of custom items, and start offering gifts that are proven to give back by growing small businesses.