Are promotional items a good marketing investment? Many times, the answer to this question is “no”. This is not because promotional items are ineffective. Quite the opposite is true. Promotional items have one of the lowest costs per impression of any other marketing medium available. However, not every impression is equal.
What i mean by this, is that if you are reading a sign going down the highway at 90…i mean 65 mph (of course), you do not get the same opportunity to digest the message as would would if you were staring at a sign in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. The same is true of the promotional item being chosen for your business.
The truth is, many times promotional items are an after-thought for companies. A week before a trade-show, a company remembers everyone else at the show will have their little booth giveaway, and rush to order something online. They decide on a cheap item, thinking something is better than nothing. They are truly wasting money, and even worse, missing a great opportunity to create a tremendous impression with their audience.
The benefit of working with a good promotional agency, is that they help companies become more strategic in their promotional spend. Understanding, or even helping create a purpose for the giveaway is step one. This may be building your mailing list, setting appointments, or even building brand recognition.
Once you know WHY you are putting a gift into the hands of your audience, you can think about WHO will be receiving this item. The big question is, what item will they find useful, and place in a location they will be when deciding whether or not to use your product or service? If you are a pizza delivery company, you should be on a refrigerator magnet. If you are wanting to work with the CFO of a corporation, you should think about the item that will land on their desk, and they will see every day. Avoid giving away Frisbees at at an orthopedic care show.
Although there is more to creating good return on your marketing dollar, knowing your objective and thinking about what is practical to your audience (over “something new and cool”) is the beginning of turning your next promotional spend into a true investment for your company.