The True Function of Promotional Products

  • Aug 14, 2012

As part of a well-planned marketing campaign, nothing can be as effective as the right promotional product, with the right message, distributed in the right manner to the right audience. They have an incomparable ability to increase brand awareness, attract new clients, and help to build business. But they also can be a waste of money as a thoughtless giveaway. Thoughtful planning makes all the difference in making this important investment worthwhile.

Unlike broadcast advertising (radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, most forms of web advertising), promotional products are targeted. You pick who receives them, and how. Define your audience, and imagine the circumstances where they are most in need of your product or service. Think about how you can reach them, and with what message. Only then can you begin to focus on finding the right product to carry that message along with your branding.

Promotional products work for you 

Promotional products have long term value, promoting for years after the initial campaign. The promotion of your brand continues on and on. And that's just with the original owner. Surveys have shown that the average pen has seven owners before it bites the dust. It happens with many types of products, not just pens, and not just by accident. 62% said they would give a product to someone else rather than throwing it away.

There's something about engaging more of the senses that gives physical advertising a unique hook. It's a memory hook that makes a mental association with your company. As Marshall McCluen said, the medium is the message. A recent survey examined this point. Respondents were asked to think of a promotional product they’d received in the past two years and to recall the specific product, the advertiser and the message: a whopping 76.2% recalled all three key pieces of information. Try that with a magazine ad that flew past the eyes as the page was turned!

Quickly, now, think of another form of advertising that leads the consumer to say “thank you”! Give up? So did we. A useful promotional product will usually have that result. It is, in fact, a gift - even if it's an incentive prize given after your prospect has taken a desired action. People like gifts.

Especially useful ones. Every time a person uses your promotional product in view of someone else, you're picking up another endorsement. Just like social media, you have a potential new brand ambassador. One survey found that positive impressions of a company were dramatically increased through promotional products, compared to TV advertising. Areas impacted were credibility, likeliness of passing on referrals, and intent to purchase. Who wouldn't want results like that?

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