Marketing Using Promotional Merchandise
Marketing can be a tough environment to succeed in, especially if your business has several competitors trying to get their share of the market. Using promotional merchandise can be a useful way to market your business, as they can improve your business’ reputation and brand if done correctly.
Just like any marketing campaign, you will need to do your due diligence by researching and asking yourself a few important questions before you become consumed by marketing your business through the use of promotional merchandise.
Why they are Effective Tools
Unlike traditional advertising, promotional products and items are fairly hard to miss. A pen or notepad with your logo printed on them can provide your company with extended brand exposure that will get more attention than a newspaper ad. Furthermore, your clients and customers will be able to use it time and again. Other reasons include:
• They’re much more valuable than flyers which are typically ignored and thrown in the bin. You probably wouldn’t throw a t-shirt or a stress ball in the bin as they are more like gifts than advertisements.
• Radio ads, TV commercials, billboards, and newspaper ads are all traditional forms of marketing, but are often deemed boring and ‘old school’. At least you can be a little more creative with promotional items and they are far more tangible.
• The cost of these items is far less expensive than most traditional forms of marketing and you will get much more value for the dollars you spend. They are also available in a variety of sizes and shapes that will suit everyone business’ budget.
How They are Used for Marketing
Promotional merchandise can quickly generate brand awareness for your business. This is helpful for every business, but particularly for those new businesses. Everyone loves a free gift or sample, and customers will typically tell their friends and family about your business if they have had a good experience.
Furthermore, they can be used to say thank you to clients or employees. You might send a follow-up email to your clients, but sending them some company branded merchandise is much more effective when trying to strengthen the relationship.
Lastly, they can be used as prize as part of a giveaway. If you use your own custom merchandise as part of a giveaway pack, you’re giving winners what they are wanting while giving your brand some exposure at the same time.
Distributing your Merchandise
There are many ways to distribute your promotional merchandise in the market place. Some of these can be quite costly while others won’t make a dent to the bottom line of your company.
• Bulk mailing is still considered one of the most effective marketing outlets because it puts the message you want your audience to receive straight into their hands. In saying that, you’ll need the names and addresses of potential clients to do this, because sending mail addressed ‘Current Resident’ will almost result in all your hard work going into the bin.
• Trade shows, conventions, and expos typically have a wide range of attendees from various industries so the opportunity to expose your business in this environment is massive. There is always going to be a lot of competition for business at these events, so you will need to work twice as hard to customize your merchandise so it stands out from the rest.
• Conferences and meetings are another medium similar to trade shows, but the audience is more specific as those in attendance will be from your industry. This will give you an excellent opportunity to get in front of your target market while also giving attendees a personalised gift for attending your seminar.
• Special events and grand openings allow businesses to easily market to prospective clients by striking up a conversation with them. You could always market your business by giving away custom-shaped stress relievers at the grand opening or special event you are hosting. These may offer the user a special discount on their next visit which will almost certainly get them over the line as a customer, and potentially a repeat customer.