Lauren Simkins

5 Facts About Promotional Product Marketing

promotional product, inbound marketing

Promotional products rock. They not only attract new clients, but they keep your current ones happy and increase brand recognition simultaneously, taking your business to a whole new level. Like I said, awesome.

Some people may think that promotional products cost a lot of money, but it’s totally an investment worth making. Year after year, they have been proven a fun, cost-effective way to market your company without (a) breaking the bank, and (b) exerting too much brainpower and time.

What I want to convey today is the importance of not just picking a product and giving it away. It’s about a bigger picture: developing a comprehensive promotional strategy in mind designed to produce results you can measure.

What Are the Benefits?

Here are a few things that promo products immediately do for your company:

Close More Business Deals

Gifting a promo product to someone doesn’t mean they will automatically become your customer; however, it makes the likelihood of them doing business with you in the near future exponentially greater. Studies show that 52 percent of participants who received a promotional gift ended up doing business with that same company.

Free Resource: Downloadable Trade Show Staffing Template

Even though we've rounded the corner into the New Year, the holidays are a great example of when you can show some appreciation to clients and prospects. At Quintain, we like to send out holiday gifts every year to our loyal customers. This could range from fresh holiday wreaths to snowman kits to little gifts with a creative marketing pun. (John, our creative director, is great at getting his creative juices flowing.)

Aside from current customers, gifting promotional products is also a very effective way to ignite a conversation with a prospect. It’s an effective icebreaker and a way to engage an individual in conversation who will now (hopefully) want to hear what you have to say.

Attract the Right Kind of Attention

Attention. Everyone craves it, and we all want attention when it comes to our company and brand. Enter promotional products.

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“I hate free stuff," said no one ever.

Give out valuable items with your brand on it to not only start the conversation, but also to open up communication and make people remember you. You could hand these items out at a trade show, ship them directly to people yourself or have them readily available at any other type of event.

I attended HubSpot’s INBOUND conference last year, and I’ll admit I was a promo product offender. There were so many great vendor booths that I knew I wouldn’t get to all of them, so I had to prioritize:

  1. Which vendors would be most relevant and beneficial to move the needle for our clients? 
  2. And, where in the world did people get those adorable panda bear shirts? (Thanks, PandaDoc).

In short, think of useful, memorable, quality items to give away: pens, shirts, mugs, mouse pads – things people use every day and can be constantly reminded of just how great you are. It’s okay to get more creative with it, too.

Here at Quintain, I received an adhesive webcam cover for my laptop, and I think it’s the coolest thing since sliced bread. It’s so simple, something I never thought to buy myself and proves useful daily, all while smiling back at me with our Quintain logo.

Another example is when we gave out mini basketball hoops to put on your wall during March Madness week for a client's dimensional mailer.

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Getting back on track, here’s the bottom line: Find the booth, get your cute panda shirt and learn some really, really awesome things about the company in return. Promotional product marketing at its finest. After all, there is a 176 percent increase in trade show traffic to a booth giving out promotional products.

Increase Brand Recognition and Reputation

More impressions, elevated brand recognition, increased sales, more customers. These are all good things.

It's true, promotional products exponentially increase brand recognition by exhibiting repeated exposure to your company’s name, slogan, logo and overall personality. Are you a visual learner? I sure am. The more I see something, the more I think about it and continually associate it with the work I am doing.

I love the idea of combining inbound marketing and the more traditional form of outbound marketing (such as the use of promotional products) to make one killer, comprehensive marketing strategy. Combining the two is an essential way to ensure you create lasting brand awareness that will stick around long after your initial conversation.

Next, stop and think. Who are you giving these promotional products to?

Keep in mind the demographics, location, age, gender, education, job title and other important factors. This helps ensure that you are gifting the appropriate items to your target audience (although promo products allow you to reach beyond just your target audience), and also let’s you experience with personalization – something everyone appreciates.

Increase ROI

Ah, ROI. Everybody cares about this one. Fortunately, promotional products offer a better ROI than most other marketing out there, especially because the items have a very low cost-per-impression, but have a lasting impact for all. Simple, it’s mass outreach at a low cost. Statistics prove that seven in 10 consumers recalled receiving at least one promotional product in the past 12 months. 

While some may think it’s hard to measure ROI in this case, you can look to your current customers remaining or becoming your top advocates, as well as more prospects turning into qualified leads and closed sales. No matter how many promotional products you give out, it’s up to the company to identity the right recipients. As an example, our creative team has developed dimensional mail campaigns that produce ROI of 20 percent or more - levels that are infinitely higher than others in the direct mail world.

Complete your Inbound Marketing Strategy

On a last (very important) note, never, ever just hand out promotional products without a strategy. If you’re simply giving out pens to give out pens, you’re only halfway there. To be truly successful, go in with a game plan and ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish and what is your end goal.

Like any investment, you need to know why are making it and track your outcome for measurable results. Whether you are looking to increase brand awareness, customer advocacy, more leads, closed business deals or simply give out gifts as a thank you, think about how it aligns with your business and why you are using promotional products in the first place.

Final Thought

Having a clear vision of your strategy, and combining it with your inbound marketing, is a sure fire way to win. Think of promotional products as the business card that never gets lost – or at the very least, the business card people use over and over again. It’s a powerful marketing tool to use in combination with inbound marketing to get the results you want.

So, don’t just pick a product out a catalog and run with it, but rather have a comprehensive promotional strategy in mind designed to produce results you can measure. From there, the creative possibilities are endless.

Tradeshow Staffing Template