Little Known Ways to Pick the Right Promotional Product for Your Business

There was a time when if you owned a pie shop, all you needed to do was get up, make pies, sell pies and go home. But today you have to be a marketing guru as well. This may sound overly dramatic but it is true. We live in a world filled with competition, many people selling the same product or service, fighting for the same market share. Competition here keeps increasing and we need a difference, a unique selling point – Promotional Products Marketing could be the answer!

The difference should be your marketing campaign. Instead of investing in magazine and newspaper advertising, use a more cost-effective strategy such as promotional products.

But you need to be aware of one key element to promotional product marketing – selecting the most appropriate promotional items can be a tough task. You should be confident that your promotional products will achieve the desired result. Here are some general guidelines to assist in choosing the right product:

Define your objectives

Think about the kind of response you’re looking for, what you want to accomplish and at what point will the response justify the budget? Who is your audience? All these are vital considerations in promotional product marketing.

Choose quality items

Quality items such as promotional umbrellas are likely to be more appreciated by your customers and prospects than cheaper merchandise such as key chains or poor quality plastic pens. Often the most successful promotional items are those that are durable and likely to be used regularly.

Have a unique design

Along with choosing an appropriate product for your business, you should also concentrate on the design. The design could include your logo, business name or whatever message you wish to convey. The best designs can be quite simple but they are always appealing.

Make the item colourful

Making the product colourful doesn’t mean that you have to implement all the available colours, choose the colours that match your brand. General advice would be to avoid the colours black and white, which can give the impression that your products are old and outdated.

Get useful products

Before you choose a product for your marketing campaign, decide whether your promotional items are for one-time use or multiple times use. It’s better to go for an item that can be used for a long period. Useful products remind people about your brand whenever they need a service relating to yours.

Also remember, the product should relate to your business. Let’s take a closer look, for example, if your company markets beauty products would you give your clients a promotional mug? Maybe not, although Promotional mugs are universally acceptable and often warmly received – but you might want to offer something that is more relevant to your business. Many companies choose promotional gifts that are made from recycled materials to make a statement that they care about the environment.

Whatever you decide, never compromise your brand values. Recognise them, reinforce them, and refer to them when making decisions about the promotional items that will represent your brand.

Developing a Program to Sell Promotional Products

If you are in the business of selling marketing services, promotional products should be a key element to the offerings you provide your clients. Items such as embroidered apparel, T-shirts, and custom imprinted giveaways like pens and magnets fall under this category. Developing a program with your client to decide upon the best way to spend their marketing dollars will take a little bit of research on your part, but could in turn be a profitable arrangement for both sides of the deal.

As more companies enter the business of selling promotional products, the items they produce and sell become more commodity based. Quality workmanship and reasonable delivery are necessary, but no longer sufficient conditions to guarantee profitability. So, while promotional apparel may be sold at bid-based prices, the positive results of those products can be sold at a more robust profit. To accomplish this means you’ll have to shift your thinking and approach from simple product selling to promotional accountability. Program selling’s accountability starts with having specific measurable objectives, and ends with evaluating whether those objectives were achieved by the promotional methods used. Selling a client a program for promotional marketing is rooted in understanding your client’s business and using promotional products to produce a specific, measurable outcome.

Decide on specific objectives

This is the first and most important step in determining which promotional products will work best for your client. Often the goals of a program are revealed through casual conversations with clients or prospects who think they have no requirements for their marketing. Keep your ears open for stated or implied needs.

To discover truly worthwhile objectives, work with the client to develop a list of as many organizational needs, problems, challenges and opportunities as possible. Then narrow the list down to the few that are most important and can probably be accomplished through getting people to work more productively in definable ways. For each of these important challenges, identify the specific activities or performance levels that will help the most. For example, for a sales-incentive program you might consider the number of calls or contacts, percent of sales quotas met, new accounts generated, or specific types of products sold.

Agree upon a budget

Sometimes the client will hand the budget to you. Other times it needs to be developed based on what the program is meant to achieve, what the financial benefits from the program will be, what the costs of not achieving your goals will be, what has been done in the past, and other concerns. Many budgets are simply based on a percentage of the projected savings or incremental profits that are expected. Generally speaking, the greater the trust-bond between you and your client, the easier it will be to discuss these points openly and candidly.

Create a central theme to the promotions you sell

The theme needs to fit with the image of the organization, the target audience, other ongoing communication patterns within the organization, and the goals they have. It needs to be creative, catchy and thoughtful. Perhaps incorporate a unique cartoon character mascot designed specifically for the company, to make the theme more tangible and interesting.

Develop messages to support the theme

Even promotions need promoting. If your promotional program is longer than three months you will need to give it a number of boosts to keep the message fresh for the client’s target audience. These messages can be placed on fliers, pay stubs, on posters, on banners, stickers, and promotional products. They need to support the creative theme the same way carbonation supports soft drinks-with creative sparkle. In this manner you align the messages, theme, company image and objectives.

The products

Promotional products such as custom embroidered outerwear, caps, T-shirts and coffee mugs should round out the program, supporting the theme and promotional messages. Consider them the attention-getters, educational tools and reminders of the program’s existence and importance. They should be added to on a regular schedule to keep the promotional message fresh and interesting.

Be careful to select the appropriate promotional products. Again, alignment is important. Ideally, the products you select should be appealing to the target audience and bear a natural relationship to the objectives, theme and message.

Is it working?

Finally, you need to establish a way of measuring results. This final step is extremely important. It provides the feedback you need to demonstrate the success of the program and to improve future programs.

Measuring the ROI of Promotional Products

Have you ever considered measuring the ROI of Promotional Products?

As a modern-day marketer, we are trained to question & measure the return on all marketing activities. I was recently asked by a fellow marketer how would I measure or rate promotional products against other forms of marketing techniques?

It was a fair question but it surprised me nonetheless, so I decided to build an experimental promotional marketing campaign while bringing the focus to ROI.

For the sake of this campaign, let’s say you want to measure the return on promotional materials to be used as giveaways for an event.

ROI of Promotional Giveaways for Events

Let’s assume that the event is expected to receive 1000 participants and out of those you can reasonably estimate that 40% of the participants are your targeted audience.

In other words, you are basically looking at running a promotional marketing campaign for 400 participants at the cost of 1000 participants, since you can’t find out which participant is your targeted audience by simply looking at them.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

A popular event promotional giveaway, such as a custom keychain typically costs under $1 per piece. You will need 1000 keychains for all the participants in this particular campaign. So, your total estimated cost for this campaign would be $1000 (1000 keychains @ roughly $1 each + setup costs).

In other words, your direct cost of promotional marketing campaign would be: $1000 per 400 participants or $2.5 per participant (as you will end up wasting the remaining $600 worth of giveaways to the non-targeted audience)

The MATH behind the ROI of Reach

According to a research done by PPAI, an average promotional item kept over a year is seen by at least 2.5 additional targeted audiences by means of their original recipient. This is called as reach amplification, where your promotional product is exposed to other people intentionally or as a by-product of use.

In other words, if 400 participants used their promotional items for over a year, they will expose your brand name to 1000 more targeted audience. Simple speaking, by spending $1000 you managed to expose your brand name to at least 1400 targeted audience over the course of a year.

Therefore, the Cost per Impression (CPI) is $0.71 per targeted audience.

Now if you can just factor in your company conversion rates, it will give you a good idea on the ROI of this particular campaign.


Context of Use

The performance of a promotional item can be greatly affected by the context in which it is used. For example, a real estate agent giving away promotional keychains to his prospective clients can see an even better ROI as there will be very little waste.

Brand Resonance or Product Choice

It is vital to choose the right promotional product that connects with your brand & messaging. Just because a promotional product is exciting, it doesn’t mean it will necessarily drive home the intended message. You will need to find promotional products that resonate with your audience and carry your message through brand association.

For example, a moving company would benefit from giving away branded measuring tapes, a repair company may benefit from giving away branded repair tools and so on.

How Promotional Products Can Prove to Be a Good Marketing Strategy?

We all know the importance of advertising in the business industry. Promotional products are the best tools for advertisement if they are picked and used correctly. Their function is to inform, persuade, and influence the decision of a large number of audiences. For these reasons, they are the most powerful and cost-efficient way of advertising and branding your company. They are used by companies for various purposes like expanding their market, maintaining their current positions, and to present corporate viewpoints on public issues.

Although everyone loves freebies, giving away promotional gifts does not always guarantee a successful campaign and there is no exact single formula for it. There are, however, different strategies to be considered. One has to choose an approach and qualify/right-fit the promo product for each marketing event or type of business.

Lets discuss how promotional products are a good marketing strategy:

Promotional products are the most effective way to introduce your company to a large target market. It has a very low CPI (Cost-Per-Impression) and it relates your brand to the person carrying the product — The more people carrying your brand, the more “promoters” you have. These promoters are also significant in reaching out to your target market and convert would be detractors.

Promotional objectives are based on the principle of ‘Give and so shall you receive’. These items inform, convince and motivate the customers to buy. To be honest, I myself has been motivated by a GWP promotion (gift with purchase) as it adds value to my usual purchase. — Giving a Promotional item is an act of generosity that leaves a long lasting impression in the minds of the receivers.

They are a sincere way of showing your appreciation and gratitude to your clients and employees which results in building a stronger relationship between the giver and the receivers. Your reputation as a business and as an employer will get an extra boost.

When useful items are being given away, these items will help stamp your brand name in the minds of the recipients. They will be frequently in front of the customers’ eyes and they will remember your business every time the item is used. With this, other people will also come to know about your brand.

Every company has known the benefits of promotional products for their growth. They help in building a healthy business and provide an advantage over other competitors. They are also the only marketing strategy where people are appreciative of your advertising effort.

This article would like to make an additional important assertion. It is very important to choose a good promotional product supplier in order to be successful with your strategy. No matter how good your plans and ideas are or how smart you choose the product, you will need a good distributor that ensures quality product supply, prompt and safe delivery, marketing support, etc. APD Promotions is one such brand that takes your business to global level and assists you to establish yourself.