What to Consider When Choosing Promotional Products for Your Business

The novice marketer usually focuses on promotional stickers and buttons, but there are hundreds of other promotional products available for businesses. There are a plethora of customized products that can be imprinted with your business logo or ad message. You can choose from thousands of products to promote your business, from promo phone stands, personalized Smartphone cases, customized sunglasses, customized mugs, and personalized calendars – even personalized computer products like flash drives and mouse pads. The list goes on. Imprint your company logo on a variety of promotional items that people use everyday. Customized products are a low-key commercial for your business all day, every day. If you’re considering purchasing promo products for the first time, here are some tips:

Know Your Customers

You need to determine the target audience for your advertising campaign before doing anything else. Are you trying to reach a wide-ranging customer base? Then choose promotional pens and refrigerator magnets or personalized T-shirts – items everyone can use. If you have a sporting goods store geared to young professionals and college students, customized sports bottles, promotional Smartphone cases or sunglasses may be a better choice. They cost more than promotional pens or magnets, but are better suited to your client base. If you’re running a seasonal promotion, we have many customized products, including customized tissue boxes, hand sanitizers and lip balm for cold and flu season. If you’re not sure which promotional products will pique your customers’ interest, conduct a survey on your website or by e-mail newsletter.

Cost

If you’re a one-person operation and want to make the most of your ad money, personalized pens are a great idea. They are inexpensive and you can usually order customized pens in quantities of 100 or more. Everybody uses pens, so it’s a great marketing tool. We have many different types of customized pens available – gel, retractable, metal, rosewood, stick pens and pens on a rope. Pens are lightweight and inexpensive to ship. Save money by ordering promo pens in advance and choosing ground shipping. Overnight mail can get pricey even for small items like customized pens. Other low-budget personalized items include keychains, magnets and buttons. For companies with bigger promo budgets, Most promotional product companies have many types of products, from customized ashtrays and letter openers to personalized T-shirts, messenger bags and crystal desk sculptures. Once you’ve determined how many pieces of a promotional product you’ll need for an ad campaign, you’ll need to prep artwork and call a promotional product company for pricing and shipping information.

Methods of Distribution

Your salesman can give away a product like gel or retractable pens on sales calls. You can give promotional products away at tradeshows or leave a dish of candy (with your company’s name on the wrappers) on the reception desk. It’s easy and inexpensive all-around marketing. You can include a refrigerator magnet sporting your company logo with direct mail packages. Coordinate special promo events or giveaways at your place of business or at other local events. Give away imprinted SmartPhone covers at concerts or set up tables with company reps and promo items at local fairs. There are many ways to distribute promotional items or swag, as they are sometimes called. You can sell promo products on your website’s e-store or arrange to give swag away during radio station contests. Offer promo item as an extra when customers purchase a certain amount of your company’s product. As you can see, there are many ways to get your message out to the public via personalized pens and other promo products. Whether you choose to give away promotional products or sell them, you’re making a long-term investment in your business without spending a lot of cash.

Top 10 Ways to Increase Your Summer Promotional Products Sales!

Is the summer traditionally a slow time for your promotional products sales? It need not be.
While some may view the summer season as a time to relax and kick back, savvy promotional products sales professionals are out there exploring new opportunities and revving up their sales.

Here are my top 10 ways to increase your summer promotional products sales.

1. Get out of the office. The summer is a great time to get to know your prospects and clients better. A casual breakfast or lunch can yield great results. In my own business whenever I’ve had breakfast or lunch with a client amazing opportunities presented themselves. Remember, people buy from others they know, like and trust. Meeting your clients on more casual turf builds that know, like and trust factor.

2. Send a promotional idea of the week email blast. Your prospects and clients are always looking for new ideas. Send them a new, innovative promotional idea every week. Preferably send it out the same day, so they will come to expect it. Keep it short and don’t just push products. Provide marketing tips along with new product ideas. This helps position you as a marketing professional and puts your company name top of the mind as the first one they’ll think of when they’re ready to place an order.

3. Host a Christmas in July party. It’s never too early to start thinking about holiday gifts. Host a Christmas in July party and invite your top clients. Show them innovative holiday gifts at a cost savings when they order early.

4. Form strategic alliances. Who else serves the same target market but is not a direct competitor? Meeting planners, trade show display companies and graphic designers can make great alliance partners for promotional products sales professionals. Explore ways that you can work together for mutual benefit. Consider hosting an open house for all your current clients and prospects.

5. Spotlight fall promotions: Now is the time to be selling fall promotions. Back to School, Halloween, Breast Cancer Awareness month and Thanksgiving are all coming up. Make appointments to get in your prospects office to share new ideas and secure promotional products orders for upcoming events before your competitors do.

6. Explore new networking opportunities. In person networking is still one of the best ways to grow your sales. Get out there in a big way and look with an open mind at new groups to join. Many promotional products professionals have had great success with organizations such as (Business Networking International (BNI). Go a few times before you join to see if the group is a good fit for the markets you’re targeting.

7. Re-activate dormant accounts. Just because someone hasn’t purchased in a long time doesn’t mean they’re not interested. A casual phone call telling an inactive account about an innovative new product or idea that can help them promote their company or service can reinstate an old relationship. At the very least, ask if you can put them on your idea list and continue to send them new marketing tips. The important thing is to keep your company name on their radar screen.

8. Energize your social network. Social networking is here to stay. If you don’t currently have a Facebook fan page or a Twitter account the summer is a great time to get started. Read books and take classes on social networking. Take a look at what others are doing in our industry. The key to social networking is to engage your clients by posting interesting questions or hosting fun contests. Social networking can be a great research tool to find out what’s important to your most wanted clients so you can best meet their promotional needs.

9. Self promote. Self promotions help you sell more. Your core suppliers will have great ideas and special offers to put your logo on. When networking don’t just hand out your business card, give a small self-promotion with your company name such as a box of mints, or a post it pad or a business card holder. You’ll be remembered for what you do and you will get new business. No matter where you are this summer, on the beach, at the supermarket, on an airplane, always have a business card and self promotion handy. You never know where your next big order is coming from.

10. Stay informed. Opportunities abound when you look for them. Consistently read the business section of your local paper and get to know what’s happening in your area. Corporate name changes and new business openings are good opportunities for you to sell more.

Enjoy the summer and keep on selling!

© 2012 Rosalie Marcus

Which Are The Most Popular Promotional Products?

Creating product awareness has dominated the marketing industry for many years now. The combination of mass industrialization and information and technology advancement has created a wave of unstoppable marketing. There are no limits to how many people you can target through using the best marketing strategies, since the world has opened up and become a global trade village. This has made marketers to become more vigilant and aggressive since the platforms that help them to reach out to more people keep opening up every day. There are more marketers online using promotional items to reach out to potential clients as well as keeping the ones they already have.

The good thing with promotional products is that there is no limit to what you can use. Marketers use the products they want to market as well as other products that have very little relationship to the product, when marketing. Some of these promotional products are for entertaining the clients since they are offered to the clients as presents while some are utility products that can be used for a long time. The masses are attracted to promotional products since they create a bond between them and the product marketers. They are the best for introducing new products because they are versatile and they can be distributed to many people at the same time.

Promotional products have proven to be the most effective marketing strategy for most mass producers of trade goods. They are usually relevant to the clients and they provide a platform for introduction of products to more clients. Most promotional items are daily utility products that have a reasonably long shelf life, and their main aim is to motivate the clients to buy the product. That is why you find some perishable products such as food or cosmetic products giving out pens, t-shirts, and coffee mugs to keep their brand name in the market.

The most popular promotional products are items that are used in the home or office on a daily basis. The most used item is the t-shirt. You find many companies print out t-shirts with their slogans, products, and marketing offers since they are effective. A t-shirt attracts more clients than the person who owns it and it can spread awareness over long distances for a long time. Items of clothing such as headbands and hand bands are common too. Other products used as promotional items are utility products such as water bottles, backpacks, and promotional pens. These functional products have been in use for promotions for long time. Office stationery such as pens, rulers, staplers, notebooks and others are also used as promotional products.

Custom made products such as bracelets, caps, sunglasses and shopping bags are very common in most promotional products. The other common item is a gift hamper that contains most of the items that the company is trying to market. This is likely to be used when there is an event sponsored by the product or during a launch of a new product. It is also common with rebranding of products and spreading product awareness in new territories.

How to Boost Results Using Promotional Products

Like many small business owners, you may discover that choosing business promotional products is quite a fun activity. There are important guidelines to follow, however, that will help boost the quality and number of prospects that are enticed by your marketing efforts.

Professionals who specialize in promotional products will often insist that any purchase be part of an orchestrated plan, with a clear purpose and message aimed at your target audience. Success is then measured by how well it meets your business’s goal with a prospect followup system, say, as part of a trade show or direct mail program.

Of course, the objective may be simple, for example, when a company gives away pens, branded with their business logo, to earn the repeat visibility while in their prospects’ hand, case or handbag.

Promotional Purpose

What are you hoping to communicate? Is it about a product, a limited time promotional offer, professional services, or a special event? Is there a call to action? Make sure you have a clear sense of what you specifically want to communicate before anything else.

Promotional Item Cost

Your business promotional products are an investment. How much are you willing to spend per unit? How much do you expect to get back? How can you measure this? While these questions are often difficult to answer, you should be thinking about your promotional costs and set a budget before making a purchase.

The Best Promotional Product

Deciding what is the best promotional product is subjective, and varies depending on your business and promotional purpose. You probably want the item to relate to your product or service, and be valuable to your prospects. In any case, you’ll want to keep the following two points in mind:

Creativity

Will a tried and true coffee mug do the trick? Maybe you’ll want to put your logo on a flash memory drive or temporary tattoo? There are a plethora of promotional products in the market, sticking out may not be the best option for your business, but for some businesses it creates an impact and is more memorable, if it is also related to what they sell.

Shelf Life

How long do you want your message to last? You can put your logo on M&M’s candy, but it may not last long in your prospect’s memory after consumed! Do you need to create instant effect, or do you want to be a constant reminder on a desk or fridge perhaps? Your desired shelf life will help you select the best promotional item.

There are thousand of providers of promotional items, probably many in your local area. A smart way to start is asking other companies for experiences. Also, good promotional product sales representatives stays on top of the trends and unique items, often willing to make suggestions once they understand your business and goals.