Plan For Next Year
How in the world did we get here? December got here faster than ever, and is flying by. If you’re anything like me, you haven’t even had time to evaluate the success of all your promotional campaigns of 2017. If you had the time, you’d be asking yourself, “What did I accomplish? How far did I push my brand ahead? Who benefited? How many more (new & old) customers did we attract with those promotional programs?” Well, that analysis might have to wait until after Christmas, since many of you are still scrambling to find those customer and employee gifts.
Let’s decide together to do better in 2018. A comprehensive marketing plan can make for a bright future. Looking at the wider world of advertising, all the pieces need to fit together. Consider print, TV, radio, and the biggest emerging market — social media. Promotional products merge with these other mediums seamlessly, and though they can’t do the marketing job alone, they have certain advantages over the others. Print, radio, and television ads offer a huge targeted audience, but have limitations. You have little or no control over where your ads are placed. In order to get the message out, you’ve got to run the ad over and over again, in the time segment that works best for you. Most of the time that’s big bucks, even for cable which is much lower in production and run time costs. And though the audience may be wide, you have know way of knowing if it includes anyone who actually needs your products or services.
Promotional products replace that scattershot, shotgun approach with a targeted effort that you can aim precisely at someone you want to contact. You can present a branded item directly to the person you’ve chosen to receive your message. As we've reported here before, they have the lowest cost-per-impression of all the major marketing mediums. But while cost is important, a much more important factor is effectiveness, and this is where promotional products really shine, due to their 5 secrets.
- They are targeted. A promotional product goes only where you want it to go. Compare that to a radio or newspaper ad which often hits everyone except its target audience.
- They are a long-term advertising value. They continue to promote your brand for years after they're first distributed.
- The medium becomes the message. They create an association that is a memory hook.
- What other form of advertising brings a response of “thank you”?
- Every time someone uses the product, an endorsement of your company is implied.
All of these reasons suggest that you should use promotional products to reward those you truly value — your core customers. Those core relationships often will recommend your products over and over again for free. Yes, word of mouth advertising is still one of the best ads for your company. When you make someone feel good about your brand by giving them something they value, you will have a built in salesperson. It’s called engagement. From engaging your customers in incentive or rewards programs to doing the same thing with your employees, a lack of engagement could be very expensive. According to a Forbes article, “engaged organizations grew profits as much as three times faster than their competitors. Highly engaged organizations, even start-up ones, end up having fiercely loyal customers.” This was especially evident when their team used promotional products. Spend your money on good quality products — do your research on who you are trying to influence — and keep in mind those who made you a success in the past. Those customers are your base, they will extend your brand.