Everyone does it at some point. We are due to begin another marketing campaign and we have absolutely no idea on what the main theme should be. From then we need to think about content, and for some campaigns, people want promotional products. It's a good idea, the ROI is almost a guarantee and the effects from handing these out are nothing but positive.
However, much like getting stuck for content, any marketer might have absolutely no idea which branded gifts they want to buy. In this case they browse through endless catalogues online, or they can search for a query similar to this: "Top promotional products". What the search engine will return are blog pieces where someone has listed the top ten promotional products, making it very easy for people to choose a gift.
I recently saw one of these blogs for myself on Twitter, and was intrigued. I clicked on it to see the list, which was made up of generic boring items. Reading it, I thought about how many people have read the same thing I have and then ruined their chances of getting a ROI with some distinctly average promo products.
The truth is that any blog that lists products for you, telling you the popular items, is the blog you want to avoid. When you are looking for promotional products, you should be providing something that not only relates to you, but needs to also connect to your client.
These are the questions you need to ask yourself. From these answers, you can then start to develop the perfect promotional product. From then, even if you cannot find it online, ask a few marketing agencies or suppliers and they might be able to get their hands on them. For instance, we do everything sport related, but we do not have everything we do on our site, and sometimes we get requests for merchandise that we hadn't even thought of before.
- What is the theme of your marketing campaign? Is it related to a particular event like the World Cup? Is it a winter theme?
- What are the defining themes about your business? What is it you do? Can you think of any products that might relate to your company?
- What are the characteristics/traits/likes of your client/target audience? Do they like a particular theme as a company? Do you know if the company's mangaing director is a rugby fan (for example)?
- What is your budget? Also, how many people are you targeting? It's worth spending more per product and giving fewer away.
- What is the level of the branding you are trying to achieve? Something large might require something large to print on. You cannot fit much on pencils.
- If you could come up with the ideal promotional product, what would it be? Think outside the box here.
- Are you trying to achieve brand exposure or bring customers back?
If you want your promotional products to be effective, you need to hit these targets that you've set yourself. Do not let a blog sway you into picking something unoriginal. Go for the spectacular, the creative, the memorable. The same five promotional products are not going to be effective for everyone, and if the same five products were given to everyone, how are you going to differentiate yourself from the competition?
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