Promotional Products – The Perfect Advertising Tools

The pulse of your business lies in customer equity. The more loyal your customers are to your business the higher is the ‘customer equity.’ What does it take to develop and forge a strong relationship with your customers? A top-quality product or service and effective marketing strategies-these are what drive existing and potential customers back to your brand over and over again.

Building Brand Awareness

This is key and promotional products are the most effective relationship drivers yet known. Customized promotional items remind your customers of your brand so that when they need your product or service your brand is the first that comes to their minds rather than your competitors’.

The Cost Of Advertising With Promotional Products

Adding promotional items to your marketing mix does not cost the earth either! Compared to television and print media, not only does advertising with promotional products cost a fraction of the price, but gives longevity to it as well. Custom promo products generate more impressions per item as compared to television ads. Promotional bags generate the highest number of impressions at 1,078 impressions per bag and due to this the average cost-per-impression of a promotional product is 0.005 cents in the US.

Promotional products are available online for as low as under $1 or $2, so businesses can now easily stay within their marketing budget.

Attract & Retain New Customers

Custom promotional items such as promotional bottles, promotional bags and totes, and promotional pens are the bestsellers simply because they are highly useful items. Since they are more likely to be used by recipients rather than being stashed away in a drawer, the visibility of an imprinted company logo or message is more. The more they use these giveaways, the more likely they are to come back to you for your products or services.

Choose Well-Aligned Promotional Products

If you are a medical practitioner, giving away golf items will not work! However, promotional pens, promotional drinkware or even key chains could work well to keep your message on their minds.

There is a host of promotional giveaways available to businesses for their promotional campaigns-all online! From stationery items like promotional notebooks, memo pads, day planners, and sticky notes to promotional apparel like personalized t-shirts, polo shirts, and promotional aprons. The variety is endless so for every promotional event the item must be chosen as part of a well-thought out strategy-aligned with the core business interest or needs of the promotional event.

Why Promotional Products

In addition to the cost factor, promotional products have the added advantage of making their recipients feel valued. Handing out meaningful gifts with your logo on them helps customers to emotionally connect with your brand. Product launches, website launches, offers and discounts are just some opportunities to give away business gifts. Simple thank you gifts to show appreciation are also much appreciated by existing customers.

Custom Promotional items are ideal for bringing back ‘latent’ customers – those who have forgotten about a brand but have been loyal to it in the past.

Some customers turn to other brands over time. Identifying the factors that caused them to turn away and identifying their preferences will help determine how to utilize promos to win them back.

How Promotional Products Can Help Boost Sales

Promotional products are an ingenious way to promote a brand, boost business, and increase market share, customer trust and employee satisfaction. The best and rightly selected promotional product has a greater impact on the customers when compared to other modes of advertisements through television and print media.
Promotional products have various crucial roles in boosting sales of your business.

• Increases ROI
• Sales Promotion
• Customer acquisition
• Customer retention
• Customer Satisfaction
• Gains customer Loyalty
• Increasing Brand Awareness

Increases Return on Investment

The cost of advertisements in TV and newspapers are much large compared to promotional product marketing. Moreover, promotional items bring about higher CPI (Cost per Impression) when compared to other media advertisements. Promotional products are the only inexpensive yet effective means that generates better ROI. Higher ROI is achieved through less money, repeated exposure, new customers, and repeated purchase.

Customer Acquisition and retention

In a competitive scenario, to stay ahead of all other competitors, it is important to build up a brand opinion, trust, and persuade customers to choose our products over others. While using such items, the customers see or use them repeatedly and refer others to use the brand for the sake of mere usability. As per PPAI 2009, 60% of customers used the promotional items several times. 7.6% of them made others to use the product and 4.4% of them gave the products to others. This process brings in new customers. This way of repeated impression eventually increases sales.

Customer satisfaction

The main advantages of products over advertisements through newspapers and magazines are that they are only one way. The customer is not benefited materialistically in other media advertisements. This satisfies the customers in terms of materialistic possession.

Customer Loyalty

A high quality promotional product with a great visibility, usage, and durability reminds the brand or the product well ahead of all other medium. These type of products also help recall the message sent through them. The usefulness of the product grows to become a long-term remainder of the product. Promotional products increase:

• Advertisement’s honesty
• Concept towards the product or brand
• Attitude towards the sales product or brand
• Objective to purchase
• Recommendation to try or purchase the brand or product

Brand Awareness

According to the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), out of the customers who received promotional products, about 76% of them could recollect the name of the brand or the product even after several years. This higher recognition of the brand is achieved only in case of these products. This statistic clearly states that promotional items are the best cost effective means of increasing sales and brand awareness.

Sales Promotion

Brand recognition, loyalty and trust, attraction, repeat purchase, new customers, and ultimately, increased traffic in business boosts the sales of your products. To make a customer purchase a item and then make repeat purchases is more achievable using promotional items. About 20.9% of people purchase a product after using the promotional items, whereas only 13.4%, 7.1%, and 4.6% of people purchased the product after viewing advertisements in print media, TV and online advertisements respectively. In fact, according to the PPAI, about 84% of the people believe that promotional items are very effective in boosting sales.

5 Reasons Why Fortune 500 Companies Buy Eco-Friendly Promotional Products

Want to know why Fortune 500 companies purchase eco-friendly promotional products?

Here are 5 reasons why the titans of business rely on eco-friendly promotional items to further their brand.

The numbers don’t lie.

At the end of the day, nothing matters more than the bottom line. It’s how we measure productivity – and ultimately how we measure our worth. Without an active advertising campaign, how will people know who you are and what you are selling?

If you wanted to get the word out about your business, you might take out a newspaper ad or purchase a radio slot. But according to the cost-per-impression data (numbers that evaluate your ROI), that would be the wrong move.

Did you know out of all the advertising mediums available, promotional items win hands down time and time again? Why is that?

Simply put, promotional products have staying power. Eco-friendly promotional products such as tote bags and wearables can create untold amounts of repeated exposure for your brand. That radio ad comes and goes in 15 seconds, while your newspaper ad camps out in the recycling bin.

When it comes to choosing the right eco-friendly promotional items for your next campaign, truly consider the utility of the item you are purchasing. Will it be relevant a year or two down the road? Does it retain shelf life in the mind of the recipient? Ask yourself these – and other – important questions. The answers are very revealing.

Understand the cycle of human nature.

Nothing tells your customers you are environmentally responsible than associating your brand with eco-friendly promotional products. Numerous studies conducted by the PPAI (Promotional Products International Association) and other independent third-parties have revealed customers entertain a high rate of recall (roughly two-thirds of people surveyed) with specific advertisers who actively promote with eco-friendly gifts. Repeated brand exposure forges a lasting impression. Reinforcement is a time-honored learning tool for animals – and humans are no exception.

Reduce your carbon footprint now

Eco-friendly promotional items can greatly reduce the carbon footprint your business leaves behind every workday. Everything from organic and biodegradable fabrics to biodegradable corn plastic to buttons that prevent computers from wasting kilowatts all help reduce your carbon footprint. Encourage your employees to spread the word by having them pass out eco-friendly giveaways to their family and friends. Choose recycled stock or seeded paper next time you have a large direct mail piece going out. It begins with an initiative and grows from there.

Don’t ignore your competitor’s moves

If you think green promotional products are a passing fad think again. A number of Fortune 500 companies have relied on green promotional items to further their brand’s image, so surely if big corporations with staying power are utilizing them why aren’t you? Case study after case study is being published by businesses that have noticed sustained growth and increased revenues simply by branding with green promotional products. Implement a strategy and move forward. Goodwill is contagious.

Knowledge is power

Do your research. Look at the different promotional items Fortune 500 companies use to further their brand. Know what makes a fabric organic or what the FTC classifies as acceptable “Green” marketing claims before you jump in and put your logo on the first eco-friendly promotional product you see. Choose items that align with your product or service. Attach a small recycled tag to your promo item that highlights ways your customers can save money by becoming more environmentally conscious. This valuable information might just make it on your customer’s fridge for months on end.

10 Costly Mistakes When Buying Promotional Products

Nearly every business, whether large or small uses some type of promotional item to giveaway to their customers. The reason they do is because promotional products are one of the most effective forms of marketing. Buying promotional items should be an investment that brings a return on your money and NOT an expense. Here are the 10 most common pitfalls with businesses buying promotional products.

  1. Buying from Order Takers – The top mistake that most buyers make is going with an inexperienced company or with a company that takes no interest in helping your campaign succeed. To elaborate further, many promotional product distributors are interested only in the sale and not the well-being of your marketing campaign success. These distributors will gladly take your money but their customer service is lousy. Experienced distributors know that any future repeat business from their clients hinges directly on the successes of their campaigns, so any smart distributor is going to try to help their clients in every way possible to offer any suggestions to better their marketing efforts. Therefore, using a knowledgeable distributor will benefit you greatly with any campaign. It doesn’t make any sense to go with a company that is just simply offering a lower price on an item if they give no service, especially if you’re just talking pennies per item.
  2. Not Developing an Objective for Your Campaign – So what are you trying to achieve with your purchase of promotional items? Are you just going for brand awareness? Are you actually wanting to increase sales? Are you trying to get customer contact info for a mailing or telemarketer list? Are you using your giveaways as thank you gifts? Are you using the items are employee incentives? All of these are crucial questions that need answers because you must define the target audience and define what you action you desire. If you want to increase sales, you might want to use the item as a FREE gift with purchase. Or if you are wanting to thank your employees for a job well done, you will want to give them a premium item that they will keep and use often. If you are promoting brand awareness, you will want to get an item that is related to your product, brand, or service. A promotional products consultant can help you with creative ideas and it doesn’t cost you any extra for this service.
  3. Buying Trash – You don’t go through your neighbor’s garbage can and offer to buy his garbage and then give it away to your customers, so why buy useless junk that will end up in the trash can that same day. Don’t buy a 20 cent pen and expect people to jump up and down in excitement. A cheap item like that is likely to skip when writing, smear, and possibly not even write at all. Then all you have done is wasted your money and given your customers and potential customers a bad taste about your company. They get a cheap feel about your business and associate your service and products as cheap and useless.
  4. Being Stingy – I always love this one! I see people buying promotional products all the time, but they hoard the items in a closet and don’t give them away. They save them for “special people” or “special occasions” that never really come. The items stay boxed up in a closet and offer no marketing value. You’ve spent the money on the items, so now get some use out of them. An average promotional item is viewed by many more people than just the recipient. Therefore, one item has a lot of marketing power to affect multiple locations.
  5. No Contact Info – Having just your logo printed on items without contact information such as your website, address, or phone number is not usually recommended unless you are simply promoting brand awareness. Even if you are just promoting brand awareness and not trying to get orders from this marketing item, you should still at least have your website printed on the items, unless you have National or Worldwide recognition such as Microsoft.
  6. Wrong Item for Your Target Audience– So often I get calls from people wanting specific items, but when I question them about their intentions with the items, I find out the items are completely inappropriate for the recipients. You don’t want to have custom imprinted pocket knives and pass them out to kindergartners or give logo molded chocolate out at a diabetes seminar. Although, these examples are extreme, this drives the point home. Make sure you know who the recipients will be. If most will be elderly, give out something that age group can use. If they are a younger audience, make sure and give out something that will appeal to that generation. This simple concept is often overlooked and should be thought about carefully. In many instances, you may need to think about getting 2 or 3 types of items if you have a diverse crowd.
  7. Information Overload – Printing too much information on a promotional item is a no no. Often people want to print their business name, logo, address, website, phone number, fax number, and a tag line on a pen with a 1/2 in.x 1 in. imprint area. This of course makes no sense because with most promotional items, the imprint area is limited and the more you print, the smaller the imprint will be. What good does the imprint do if you need a magnifying glass to see it. Think about the pertinent info you need. Your logo, business name, phone number, and website is usually sufficient. Do you really need a fax number on a promotional item? Simpler is often better. Information overload will cause people to not read the info.
  8. No Tracking Method – Having a way to track the Return on Investment (ROI) is always a great idea with promotional products. You can use them like a coupon and include an exclusive discount or coupon code so that you will know exactly how many people placed an order or made a purchase that was directly related to this item. For example, bring this tote bag to the store to bag your items at checkout and receive a 5% discount. Or have a coupon code that says 10% off your purchase on our website by using promo code TAKE10. By doing this, you can measure results and know if this type of marketing is working for you. In order to be successful with your campaign, there is still a lot of other planning to do such as targeting the right audience with the right product.
  9. Giving Away High Dollar Items in Bulk – I have seen several companies (the ones with plenty of money to spend) giving away premium items to anyone they see. While premium items are very effective to giveaway to your top customers, I never recommend giving them away to just anyone. That is the quickest way to break the bank. Bulk items should be the lower cost items under $3.00 each.
  10. No Advance Planning – Make sure you order early enough in advance to avoid rush charges and expedited shipping charges. Most promotional products can take up to 2 weeks for production; however, you can get many products these days with free rush service, but you still may have to use 2-day or overnight shipping to get your items on time. This can be avoided with a little advance planning and ordering early enough. Why waste money on rush or expedited shipping fees?