Every marketing strategy comes from the desire to grow your business and survive the tough competition, even with a limited budget. This is where promotional items come in, as one of the most effective and budget-friendly marketing options, among other benefits that they bring to the table.
Some of the traditional marketing methods are not only a strain on the budget, but they're becoming less effective with time, as more and more millennials step into decision making roles. Studies show that millennials are no longer interested or trust traditional media, but 8 out of 10 do keep promotional merchandise for over a year, and about 88% also have a more favorable impression of the brand as a result.
Here are the benefits of using promotional products and how they can help make your brand memorable and trustworthy. The results of using promotional items will speak for themselves
Who Uses Promotional Items?
In short, the answer is everyone.
From huge corporations to small business or even startups, every single business can benefit from the advantages that come with promotional items. The main reason is that the budget of a promo campaign is affordable even to the smallest of business, while its effects are just as strong.
However, there are a few types of business that constantly rely heavily on handing out this type of products. Here are the top industries where promotional materials do wonders:
- Real Estate: Promotional items are better than any business card, so real estate agents always make sure to leave their clients with at least a promotional pen or keychain, to ensure return business and references.
- Education: From a hoodie or t-shirt with the school logo to notebooks, journals, pens, caps, any University or High School use a wide range of promo items to turn their students into proud brand ambassadors. For a student, wearing a branded product is like proudly communicating a social status by displaying the personal accomplishment of being admitted into a certain school.
- Trade Show Marketers: Any trade show manager needs to attract visitors to their booth, and interesting and unique freebies are the way to do it. From custom water bottles to notebooks, personalized tote bags and tech items with the corporate logo imprinted on them, all promo items are fair game in these circumstances. The key, however, is to set yourself apart from the crowd by using truly qualitative merchandise.
- Healthcare: Another big player when it comes to promotional items is the healthcare industry. Hospitals, clinics, and surgery centers frequently use promotional merchandise, especially first aid kits, to make sure all of their patients or potential patients keep them in the back of their minds in case anything happens.
- Non-profit Organizations: NGOs are the perfect example of small business that, despite having to closely manage and divide their budgets, still choose to include promotional products in their plans, in order to promote their cause. Since they rely on donations and community support, the need to attract interest and capture people's attention is high. This is why they choose a wide range of items: tumblers, tote bags, silicone wristbands, and lanyards.
Why Use Promotional Products? Are they important?
Whether you decide to use promotional products as a stand-alone marketing effort or to integrate them as part of a more complex marketing campaign, the success they will have is almost guaranteed.
Not only will they serve by adding more visibility to brands and services, but they can also improve the outcome of other initiatives. Sage assures that adding promotional items to other marketing campaigns can increase the effectiveness of those campaigns by 44%.
Many studies have solidified the idea that most consumers prefer doing business with brands they know and trust, even if their price is higher than less popular competitors. Therefore, putting more effort into your marketing and communication strategies in order to gain the trust of your customer is a must.
And numbers don't lie!
Research done by the Promotional Products Association International has shown how well Americans have responded to using promo items as part of a marketing campaign:
- 83% of American consumers surveyed like receiving a promotional product with an advertising message
- 48% would like to receive promotional products more often
- 38% feel promotional products serve as a constant reminder of the advertiser
But it's not just a matter of wanting to receive free items.
The same study concludes that despite people being inundated with an avalanche of advertising messages, promotional products are effective in cutting through the clutter of information and delivering their message accurately.
When it came to the effects of the promo items, the above-mentioned survey has shown that over 76% of the survey respondents remember specific products they have received over the past two years, their advertiser and their messages.
Other data, however, raise this percentage to 85%. This means a huge success rate with long-lasting effects for a marketing method that doesn't leave a strain on your budget and does not require as much effort as other traditional advertising options.
For instance, a company that uses promo items in their campaigns is 2.5 times more likely to receive a positive impression from a consumer than a company who shows a digital ad to the same consumer, shows a different study.
How Do Promotional Items Work?
Promotional items can be used to break the ice with a new client or attract new ones, to incentivize your employees, as well as to create a stronger bond with your existing customers.
They are a sign of goodwill that will make people more likely to listen to what you have to say. Once people pick up your branded goods, the products will do the rest of the work.
Most people keep promotional items for an average of eight months, depending on the item, according to a 2016 study by the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) referenced by Forbes. This means that your ad is sitting in front of people for a much longer time than a print ad in the magazine, a banner on the street, a TV commercial or even a PPC ad on a website.
Moreover, the same study shows that 63% of Americans give their promotional items away once they are finished with them. So, by being handed over to other people, these customized products reach a larger audience than ever intended. And the effects are real, as 85% of consumers remember advertisers who gave them promotional products.
To make sure your branded merchandise spends as much time possible in the possession on the receiver, you must pick your items very carefully and make sure they have the longest lifespan.
Promotional products that are useful at work
But that's not all of the advantages they bring to the table - here's more:
The Advantages of Including Promo Items in Your Marketing Campaign
Here are the top 5 benefits of promotional products and how they help a business:
1. Brand Visibility and Exposure
Since 80% of people are open to receiving promo items, it's just a matter of sending out the right message. Handing out quality and practical promotional goods ensures that your employees and customers will enjoy them on a daily basis, for months on end, which is more than any other advertising method.
Even after they will no longer use your products, just the sight of your logo will be enough to make them remember who you are and what you offer, achieving brand recognition. There's no better exposure than this.
2. Cost Effective
Most advertising messages can be measured by calculating the cost-per-impression (CPI), which shows how much money each impression costs based on the average number of impressions. In the US, promotional products have a lower cost per impression than prime-time television ads, radio ads or print ads, and they're also more interactive.
While television and radio ads are more expensive to create, you also need to pay every time your ad is broadcasted. On the other hand, promotional materials are significantly less expensive and have a longer exposure period, which translates to getting a return on that investment for months, or even years. The key is choosing those items that actually serve a clear, useful purpose so that your customers and employees will want to use them.
Find out what are the best budget-friendly promotional items and how to use them effectively!
3. Long Life Cycle: Increased Exposure of the Advertising Message
It has been proven that most people who receive a promotional product will keep it and use it for months, or even years, after which they tend to re-gift. This means that your message will ultimately reach a much bigger audience than initially intended. Ultimately, a well chosen, practical and useful item will offer long-term results that cannot compare with any other forms of advertising.
4. Ensures Loyalty and Retention Among Customers
Promotional items have a tendency to instill goodwill and improve the perception of the brand, which ultimately leads to strengthening the bond with existing customers, as well as retaining new business. In fact, L.J. Market Research data shows that 52% of people given a promotional item ended up doing business with that company.
5. Diversity in the Way They Can Be Used
Promotional items are extremely versatile when it comes to how you can use them to promote your company. They allow you to use your creativity in creating the perfect strategy, be it corporate events, holiday gifts, rewards for digital campaigns or even incentives for your sales team.
For instance, your employees can become your biggest advocates and will proudly use the branded quality products, while your customers can feel valued if you send them a token of your appreciation. The perfect product, delivered at the perfect occasion can be extremely effective.
Practical promotional products for your everyday use.
Find out what are the most popular promo items this year, and plan your strategy!
What Promotional Items Work Best?
Powerful numbers that illustrate the staying power and number of impressions of popular promo items.
All promotional items have a lower cost per impression than other traditional media. More precisely, the average cost-per-impression of a promo item is $0.004, making it less expensive per impression than a national magazine ad ($0.033), a newspaper ad ($0.0129), a prime-time TV ad ($0.019) a cable TV ad is ($0.007), and a spot radio ad ($0.005), shows The Center for Media Research.
But obviously, some items are more effective than others. For example, a promotional pen is worth approximately 1/10th of a cent per impression. But that's not the only item that is attractive. Outwear, safety products, bags, and tech accessories all manage to make people feel more favorable towards the advertiser.
A Global Advertising Specialties Impressions study shows how people from the US reacted to different promotional products and what item made more people feel better about the advertiser: Source: ASI
But besides the brand exposure, there is also the factor of new business. The same ASI study shows an average likelihood of new business of 36%: Source: ASI
Here are some ideas of effective promotional products with an increased likelihood for new business:
One of the most popular products that tick the first two categories is the backpack. But instead of using a classic product that doesn't stand out, try to up the ante with a secure canvas backpack, equipped with a USB port and Radio-frequency identification (RFID) side pocket for your passport and credit cards to prevent identity theft. A high tech, high class promotional backpack.
A USB flash drive is also one of the most useful promotional items and indispensable in any office. Make sure you always have one in handy by choosing a small USB flash drive that you can attach to your keychain. Easy to carry everywhere, a small USB drive with a keychain will come in handy
Everyone loves drinkware and will choose mugs and tumbler to include in their promotional strategy. To be ahead of the crowd, focus on extra personalization. A chalkboard ceramic mug, for example, will allow people to leave their own mark. An extra personal touch to your promotional mug
Whatever promotional items you choose to include in your marketing strategies, one thing is clear: you will get a cost-effective way of earning your clients, employees and potential customer's trust. And the cherry on top is that you'll be receiving the return of investment for months or even years to come.
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