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Promotional items are a fun and effective way of getting your business on the map. Some say that promotional products are the oldest form of advertising. American businesses spend $20 billion a year giving away stuff with logos, according to the Promotional Products Association International, which is a great sign that it works!
Even in a slow economy, promotional products are flying out the door. When things are slow, we all know that’s the time to ramp up our marketing efforts. We just must be more aware of how we are using them, and be sure to be able to measure the results and show a positive outcome. We’re not just in the business of handing out free pens at tradeshows, but rather, spreading your brand message in as many ways as we can.
Perhaps the effectiveness of promotional products is based on centuries old cultural norms around the rule of reciprocity. If you give something, the recipient is honor bound to give you something in return. In all cultures, it’s shown that humans are hard wired to respond if we are given something. Experts have found that there is not a single society in the world that doesn’t train its people from childhood this rule. So there is power in giving promotional products, but how do companies find the right items to give? Here are four suggestions:
Give items that members of your target audience will use in the environment where they are making decisions about using your product or service. If you go after executives, then give them something they will use in their offices, around their desktop so your company can be top of mind when they make decisions. Golf related items are exceptions because a lot of business happens on the golf course.
Have it underscore your marketing message and differentiate your company.
Personalize them.While we are fond of our company logos, customers really like to use items that have their names on them. People like to see their own name above all else.
Skip the logo water bottles and other items that will be quickly used and tossed. Make your promotional products investment something that will have a shelf life.
Some of the most popular promotional items these days are flash drives, aluminum sport bottles, reusable grocery bags, and anything green. Even in an age of electronics, calendars are still a very popular and effective promotional item as well (especially when personalized). So don’t forget the power of the promotional product when formulating your yearly marketing plans and budgets. Well thought out plans that incorporate promotional products are the most effective and have been for many years.
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