It sounds great: hand out a product with our company name and web address emblazoned on it. People will love us.
Wouldn’t it be great if it was that simple? But is it ever that simple? How do you know what kind of ROI you get from the promotional items you so generously handed out?
That’s when the doubts come creeping in. Did I give the product to the right people? Did I pick the right item? Will they actually like and use that item? How long will it be before it gets tossed?
Let’s clear away the fog a little and get a better view of how promotional items work with your marketing plan. The best way to start a promotional item campaign is to look at your target demographic. Who are they? What do they do? What are their needs? What are their habits? Gather that information first. Nothing comes before this step—it’s step number one.
Choosing What to Give Away
Once you know everything you can about who you’re targeting you can more accurately pick the item you want to use as your giveaway. It’s not always about price or quantity. That’s all in your head. Yes, you can get 50,000 times more pens then fleece jackets but if your target market rarely uses pens then it doesn’t really matter, does it? It’s better to reach 5 of the right people than 500 of the wrong people. This doesn’t mean you should spring for the nicest, most expensive item you can find—it means you pick the right item for the right person. It also has to work with the budget you’ve laid out for the campaign. For example, if your target sits at a computer all day, get them a mouse pad with a gel wrist rest. That’s something they will keep and use. This leads to our next point.
Select an item that they will use when making purchasing decisions. Being remembered is good, being remembered when it comes time to buy is better. If your customers purchase your product online and you gave them a mouse pad the odds of them noticing or thinking about your company over your competitors just took a huge leap forward. 31% of the U.S. is more likely to do business with you after receiving a promotional item then before receiving it.
A few last thoughts
Promotional items work best as part of a full marketing campaign. Look at is as a section to a jigsaw puzzle. It’s not all the pieces but when paired with your radio spots, direct mailing and web ads it is a powerful tool. The trick is to make all these things work together.
If you can narrow your prime targets to a small select group it can be well worth the effort to customize the items to with the recipient’s names. It’s just a small touch that has a stronger impact with your customer or potential customer and increases their likelihood of holding on to it.
Make the promotional item appealing in design and esthetics. People want something that looks good. Try to avoid tacky or color clashes with your logo. It’s the little things that take a good effort to the level of great.