You’ve made the wise decision of choosing promotional merchandise to market your brand and create enduring connections, but where do you begin? And how do you get the best return out of your promotional products?

Did you know that according to a PPAI survey nearly 7 in 10 brands consider promotional products mostly or always effective in achieving marketing goals?

Here are the 10 things you need to look at to ensure you are using your promotional products effectively:

  1. Choose products your target market will love
  2. Synergise with other marketing channels
  3. Calculate your expected ROI (Cheaper is not always better)
  4. Be purpose-driven
  5. Give them to the right people
  6. Use products that will get seen
  7. Choose decorations that best match your goals
  8. Set achievable goals and measurable results
  9. Test and adapt
  10. Have fun

1. Choose products your target market will love

First and foremost a good understanding of your target market will not only make choosing the best promotional products much easier but is crucial to marketing success in all of your marketing channels. If you have not built personas of your customers Hubspot has a great guide and template that can help get you started.

When you understand your customer this allows you to make informed decisions that will hit the mark. For example, a promotional nail file will be much more effective than a stubby cooler for a nail salon with a primarily female demographic.

Sustainability is also a driving factor in many demographics. Having your finger on the pulse shows that your organisation is in line with your target markets personal values and beliefs. This trend is apparent with buying decisions from Millenials who currently lead with a preference of eco-friendly products, showing a willingness to pay more for products that are ethically sourced.

Woman holding promotional reusable coffee cup

2. Synergise with other marketing channels

Cross channel synergy is crucial to achieving the best return on your marketing investment in the current climate (not just with promotional products). Synergy is the interaction or cooperation of two or more things to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.

There are many creative possibilities for ways you can include branded merchandise in your marketing. One of the best combinations we see is utilising promotional products on social media platforms. For example branding products with your unique hashtag, encouraging recipients to post pictures of themselves with their freebies or letting your customers know that if they drop into your booth or event they can receive some promo merch. There are many possibilities to get creative with.

Tony hawk’s twitter scavenger hunt is a fantastic example of cross channel marketing done right.

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3. Calculate your expected ROI (Cheaper is not always better)

Too frequently we see the misconception that “cheaper is better”. Yes, sometimes a cheap product can generate huge ROI (return on investment) but that doesn’t always mean it’s going to be the best choice. Useful life and how positively the product is received needs to also be considered.

Here’s a great example with some promotional pens. A company has the choice of two pens that are going to be given away to attendees at their upcoming trade show with the goal of increasing brand awareness and displaying contact information to prospective customers.

Pen A has an ink capacity of 2100m and is made from quality materials that are long-lasting. Pen A costs $0.90 and has 23.33 meters of ink per cent spent.

Pen B has an ink capacity of 800m and is made to be as cheap as possible. Pen B costs $0.60 and has 13.33 meters of ink per cent.

Although Pen B is cheaper, Pen A has 75% more ink per cent, a useful life that’s over double that of Pen B and is made from higher quality material and is thus likely to be received more favourably.

Pen A is clearly the better choice from an ROI perspective and should be chosen in this scenario. You may find that some companies offer cheap non-performing products such as Pen B all the time. We have made the bold decision to cut through the noise and refuse to offer sub-standard products. You can browse the range and select best-fit solutions for your brand and customers every time.

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4. Be purpose-driven

Like anything in business or one’s personal life, goal setting with a plan is going to make things much more achievable.

Ask yourself what is the goal of your promotional products? Do you want to increase employee satisfaction, do you want to increase brand awareness or is the goal to generate leads and drive repeat customers?

This is going to influence the type of products you select. It is also going to guide you in how many units you need. Before ordering run some numbers so to ensure you are getting just the right amount of products (not too many or too little).

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5. Give them to the right people

This goes hand in hand with knowing who your target audience is and what your potential buyers are. Would you rather 100 people who will never buy from you to know your brand or 20 that are likely to go onto buy and become advocates for your brand. The choice is easy!

Being careful and targeted with this step will allow you to save a huge amount on your costs and ensure you’re getting your logo into the right hands.

Woman holding promotional e to do list

6. Use products that will get seen

There are usually two types of promotional products that perform well, a practical product or a creative product.

We have a saying here at Promotion Products that a practical product is a performing product. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be bold and try new things, they both have their place in creating a successful campaign. A product that is being used is being seen, it’s just that simple.

There are many examples of creative promotional products out there that will fit your industry niche or create a memorable experience. For example, a house-shaped keyring is perfect for building or real estate businesses or a floating keyring for a business that sells boats.

7. Choose decorations that best match your goals

New/better technology has increased the possibilities and affordability of many decoration methods in the promo world so there has been a no better time than now to use branded products to promote.

The decoration method you apply to a product can play a big role in how the product is perceived. For example, a laser engraving can promote a sense of class and sophistication whereas a full-colour digital transfer allows for fun eye-catching designs that evoke excitement and fun. Or perhaps you want a low-cost giveaway item? A single colour print will usually be your best bet here.

Eco coffee cup with printed logo on band

8. Set goals and measure results

Goal setting involves the development of a plan or map to guide participants towards a goal. Having a goal and a plan that is measurable allows you to find what’s working and what’s not.

Studies have shown that more specific goals and ambitions lead to greater performance improvement so it’s crucial to apply this line of thinking with all of your business efforts.

Look at the numbers after you have given recipients promotional products. Did it increase conversion rate? Were recipients more likely to become returning customers? Did it increase your brand awareness? Did it increase leads? Did you get new followers on social media? These are just some possible measurables that you can use.

Darts bullseye

9. Testing and recipient feedback

Testing, testing, 1…2…3 Finding what works, what doesn’t and how you can improve is integral to any marketing campaign. Be creative, take risks and have the mindset of always improving.

Feedback from recipients is a helpful way to gauge this. Did they like the products? Was there an increase in participation at your trade-show booth comparatively to previous years? These are all questions you can ask.

No one knows your customers better than you do. So… start a conversation and find out what works.

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10. Have fun

This is perhaps the most important of all of the 10 points. A big part of what makes promotional merchandise so special is their ability to evoke joy and excitement. Everyone loves to receive gifts and the act of giving is scientifically proven to bring happiness. So make sure to have fun.

For many businesses, a personification of their brand in a tangible product is another step on the road towards bigger things. It’s also an effective way to develop connections and relationships with your customers or clients. So what are you waiting for?

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Summing Up

There is a lot that can go into maximising the performance of your promotional products and choosing options that work. Taking into consideration some of these tips and points can result in big benefits to your brand and creating enduring connections.

If any of this seems complicated or unclear the team at Promotion Products is here to help. We live and breathe promo, having extensive experience has given us the right knowledge to ensure your customers are happy and therefore you’re happy.

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