8 Ways to Use Promotional Items

  • May 12, 2017

Investing in promotional items can often be viewed as an unnecessary expense.  If you're a business owner or in charge of your company's marketing, you've probably heard many pitches for promotional items. I can't tell you if your company needs promotional products, but I can tell you when an investment in promotional items could be worth the expenditure.

Here are eight good reasons to invest in promotional products in alignment with appropriately matched business objectives:  

1. Introducing new products or services to your target market

Distributing the right promotional products to targeted potential customers is a proven marketing strategy.  Since so many new promotional products are released daily, sifting through all the regular items to get to the good ones can be challenging. Strategically engaging your target market requires a plan that stands out from the crowd. The key, of course, is understanding exactly who you're trying to reach, what message will resonate with recipients, and establishing your product or service as being worthy of consideration. 

2. Motivating sales people or employees

Motivating people to do something you want done is not easy. It is important to know what really matters for each individual. Sometimes, just saying “I really appreciate the job you're doing!” can be all the motivation some people need to maintain their performance. Other times, more formal recognition is necessary to properly motivate your employees.  If you need to incentivize your sales staff to meet their quotas, or ensure your employees know just how much you appreciate their hard work, a tangible reward such as a promotional item may be all you need. 

3. Building relationships with current customers

Customers are similar to employees in that they want and need to feel appreciated.  You should never take for granted that a current customer will remain yours forever, because your competitors are continuously trying to steal them from you. If your customer feels neglected, or you only provide a standard level of service, you're likely jeopardizing that relationship rather than building it. An appropriately timed promotional item for a special customer can help develop an existing relationship. You can simultaneously show your customers your appreciation for their business and build your brand recognition by presenting them with a significant promotional gift.  

4. Thank you items for new customers

New customers are unique in that there is a “honeymoon” phase in the relationship.  They are excited to work with you, and you are thrilled they chose your company.  If you present your new customers with an appropriate promotional gift right after their first purchase, you'll reinforce their notion that they made the right decision and you'll make them feel good about giving you their business.

5. Keeping sales meetings alive

If you love sales meetings, raise your hand. That's what I thought–no hands raised. How do you turn a  sales meeting that no one wants to attend into a gathering of happy campers? Present your sales staff with a unique and unexpected promotional item that grabs their attention, creates a buzz around the office, and causes them to hit the ground running when the meeting ends.

6. Capturing trade show traffic

Trade shows are traditionally one of the best places to use promotional products to your advantage, because many of the attendees will be in your targeted sweet spot. We recently posted an article about using promotional items for effective trade show marketing. In our article “3-Part Approach to Maximize the Return on Your Trade Show Investment” we discussed how promotional items can (1) get people to your booth, (2) create excitement at your booth, and (3) help you effectively follow-up after the show.

7. Activating inactive accounts

Inactive customers sometimes just need some gentle prodding to return to the fold. If you send a nice promotional product with a message that reminds them of the solutions you provide, you will regain top-of-mind awareness. A follow-up phone call to learn about their current situation and demonstrate solutions to their current problems can reopen dialogue that could eventually lead to an RFQ or a new order. Because businesses are constantly changing, it makes sense to know your inactive clients' current situation and to make sure they know your current lineup of product and services. The right promotional gift can help jump-start those now dormant relationships into successful, happy customers again.

8. Brand, company, or product name changes/introductions

If you're going to invest a lot of time, energy, and money to launch a new product or rebrand your company, it's essential that you also create marketing campaigns to get the message out to your primary audiences. To protect against your message going in one ear and out the other, you can use promotional items to send the message via a physical product.  This use of promotional items can drive brand awareness it in a way traditional advertising cannot. If your promotional item is unique and useful, it will stay visible and repeatedly reinforce your message, brand, or new product introduction.


Eight is Not Enough


There are several more good reasons to use promotional items in your marketing campaigns, so stay tuned for the second part of this series.  

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