When it comes to choosing which promotional products to use for your business, the sheer variety of products can often be overwhelming and so here are a few tips on choosing the right promotional products for your business:

Consider your Audience

Consider your Audience

Central to all marketing efforts is the understanding of your customer. Knowing their demographics is crucial, for example are they mostly male or female, their age, their income, their interests, their industry or business, their occupation, or even their capacity to make a buying decision of a product or service like yours — all of these can influence which promotional product would work best for you.

Consider the Event

Consider the Event

If you are attending a particular event then think about what kind of product would work best in that situation. As an example, you are at a conference. Products that would work well include pens, notebooks and laptop bags. Bags are particularly good as conference goers can carry paperwork and brochures, as well as the other promotional products they will receive on the day. These are products that people typically keep and use, and will be very visible during the entire conference, giving you and your company persistent exposure.

Plan for Longevity

Plan for Longevity

How persistent do you want your message to be? Some products such as pens or t shirts can remain with your customer or prospect for years, even if they are only used or worn every week or two. On the other hand, something for the desk can serve as a fitting reminder of your product or service. Either way, the goal is for the person to keep your company or product top-of-mind so that you are more likely to get the call or sale when the time is right.

Recent research by British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) revealed that 94% of consumers remember the advertiser who gave them a product, or the product advertised, after they have had the item for six months. In addition nearly 39% said they were more likely to use a business that has given them a promotional product when the need for the advertised product or service arises, rather than a similar business that has not given anything.

Gordon Glenister, Director General at BPMA talks about the benefits of promotional products in this following short interview given during Marketing Week Live 2014

Plan ahead

Often overlooked, deciding when to plan and order your promotional products is very important. While some promotional products can be ordered and then received in under a week, most promotional product orders take 1 to 2 weeks of lead time. Some take even longer. If you want to have the greatest freedom in choosing the perfect promotional product for your meeting, campaign or announcement, makes sure you give yourself enough lead time.

Products that typically work well

Here are just a few ideas of promotional products that have worked well for businesses we have worked with:

  • branded novelty or commemorative item to tie in with a high profile event e.g. royal wedding, Olympics or Commonwealth Games
  • useful product for the consumer that can be printed with a hashtag, QR code or web address
  • functional business item such as a branded desk accessory to reinforce a corporate message, contact details or campaign.

Using promotional items alongside social media

Gordon Glenister wrote a great article on how businesses can successfully use promotional items alongside social media activity. Social media is a great way for businesses to communicate with target audiences. However, the sheer amount of social updates can often result in marketing messages been lost in all the social chatter. Promotional products are one of the best ways for businesses to market their brand whilst complementing their social media activity.

The article is titled 'Old Meets New: How to Grow, Engage and Reward in the Digital Age' and we recommend anyone working in marketing to read this.