6 Do’s and Don’ts of Promotional Product Marketing

  • Aug 14, 2018

The Do’s

1. Do: Always Focus on Your Target Audience.

Get to know who your current customers are, and then you can really target them and new customers. It’s imperative to know your target audience before choosing your promotional products.Providing your recipients with items they will actually use and be interested in, well then, everyone wins! Your dollars get great use, you gain brand recognition and you’ll see ROI. Your customers win because they receive free product that they’re into.

2. Do: Carefully Design the Distribution of Your Promotional Products.

Laying out the exact plan to determine exactly who should receive your promos and how is critical. Giving your walking ads to people that can’t buy your service still gets impressions, but they are better served with a true buyer. Each campaign or event may have a different recipient list, and as we learned in the first “Do,” you must know who your audience is. Once last thought, as you figure out the best way to reach your recipients, make sure your promotional products fit the plan. For example, a bulky, branded piece of apparel—like a hooded sweatshirt-may not be a great idea for a trade show gift. People probably won’t want to carry it around all day and they might not have space in their luggage to bring it home. Giving this product to employees as an appreciation gift, however, makes much more sense.

3. Do: Add a Call to Action.

What’s your objective? Is it for the recipient to visit your website? Or, is it to engage in your social media? Or to buy your product/service? Usually you are not giving a product away “just because” it feels good; instead, go one step beyond just giving something away, and incorporate a Call-to-Action (CTA) with the product. It’s a sure-fired way to get something back in return.

The Don’ts

4. Don’t: This Can Make You or Break Your Program…DON’T Wait Until the Last Minute to Order.

If you want the best promotional product for your marketing campaign be sure to plan way ahead and order in advance. A lot of decisions go into even a simple product like a pen. Leave time for those decisions. You may not realize it, but there are tons of options available:

  • Blue or black ink refills?
  • Rollerball, Ballpoint or Marker Style?
  • Rubberized grip or metal?
  • One-color logo or full-color logo?
  • Click or spin?

...and the list goes on which is true for a lot of products. But…not every product has as many options. Be aware that these orders take time, as these products are customized to make your brand stand out. Here’s how that pen order is cycled by our factory.

Day one, your order goes in with the art and instructions for shipping. Day two, we provide a proof. Day three your order is set up on the production floor and we check to see if the printing proof matches your art proof. Day three or four can be the beginning of production and by Day five or six your order should be finished. But wait, now it has to be packed and shipped. Everybody thinks that is the easiest part but it’s not. Shipping is critical because if it takes five days to go from coast-to-coast and you need the product in three, things can go awfully array. You could, at worst, miss your event date.

As your Distributor we cannot emphasize enough times that by planning ahead, you will make the best product decisions, allow the creative process to really flourish and have time to receive samples (as needed) without paying for rush delivery charges.

5. Don’t: Use of Generic Items Might Have a Negative Effect.

If you use items that people have already received a ton of, such as a stress ball or a cheap key chain, your product (and money) might just end up in the trash. If this is what happens to your gift, do not expect an effective impact. You can ensure your promotional product is held onto and remembered by making it useful, creative, high-quality and innovative. Impressions are the name of the game with any advertising! Some items, like apparel…specifically t-shirts…will always be valued no matter how generic.

6. Don’t: Make It Difficult to Implement.

With too many twists in your implementation, something will always break in the delivery chain. Make sure your marketing campaign and the presentation of your promotional items is not overly complex. For example, if you are exchanging a promotional product for an e-mail address at a trade show make the process simple with a business card drop or a quick form on an iPad. The more difficult you make the process, the harder meeting your objective will be. Promotional product marketing is a great way to enhance the marketing your company is already doing. It gets your brand out there, starts a conversation with potential customers and lasts longer than other forms of advertising. Statistics prove its effectiveness, and by using these tips to optimize your campaign, you’re more likely to increase your ROI.

We know that choosing the best products for your brand, audience, message and budget can be a difficult task. Luckily, we as your Distributors, can conceive and execute promotional and marketing products designed precisely to your specifications and business needs. Let our creativity and experience work for you!

Trade show booth display

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“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

~ Helen Keller

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