How and Why Do You Use Promotional Products?
Promotional products are everywhere. From screen printed T-shirts to pens to mugs to key tags, company logos are viewed thousands of times per day. But so what? Branded promotional items are a nearly $20 billion industry. But how much of that money is actually wasted?
As a significant and growing segment of the advertising business, it's a sad fact that lots of logoed items are given away “just to get our name out there”. Admittedly, there is some value in that. A brand can be reinforced by simply increasing visibility. But the effect is limited. By incorporating promotional products into a well-planned campaign, so much more can be accomplished.
Promotional products have a lot of power, waiting to be tapped. What they're waiting for is a purpose. Once that's established, they can be a tool to move toward a goal. Let's look at two scenarios:
- An auto dealer mails out 1000 key tags to 1000 households within close proximity to the dealership. He sits and waits. Nothing happens.
- An auto dealer establishes a goal of encouraging more test drives, which will lead to increased sales. He then mails out 1000 key tags, along with a key and an invitation to visit the dealership and see if it opens the door of a car parked inside. If it does, a prize is awarded. The prize can be whatever fits the dealer's budget, as long as it's of sufficient perceived value to make the recipient want to come in. With this promotion, there might be 40 or 50 people coming in, with 20 taking a test drive, and maybe 5 or 6 buying a car.
The important difference here is that we have a trackable promotion. We know exactly the source of the sales activity. It's easy to calculate the revenue generated and measure it against the cost of advertising to learn the return on investment.
Along with trackability, another advantage is the ability to target. An advertisement in a newspaper or on the radio will be seen/heard (or ignored) by untold numbers of people. In contrast, consider how the 1000 key tags can be sent to a specific audience:
- 1000 drivers with 2 to 4 year old cars
- 1000 drivers with 6 to 8 year old cars
- 1000 college graduates with no car
Each of these targets would yield different results. While newspapers and radio have general profiles of their audiences, they are nowhere near as targeted as a direct mail campaign that can use a researched database. Even less targeted are media like billboards, signs, and banners. Whether they are seen by your desired audience is like a roll of the dice. If you know where to find your audience, you're better off using a promotional product.