Beyond Digital - Why Promotional Products Matter for Your Small Business

Social media? Check. Paid Search?  Check. Promotional Products?.......If you have never considered using  promotional gifts as part of your marketing mix, then looking at the industry with  a fresh approach might just provide an extra dimension to your  advertising.  There are many proven  advantages to the use of branded gifts, many of which can help support and  enhance existing marketing activity.

Brand Image and Awareness

Branded goods play a vital role in the creation and addition to a positive  brand image, and make it highly recognisable – we only know and recognise logos  because we are exposed to them to a high degree. The more we see a brand, the  more we trust it as we assume it is well-known and therefore reputable. Once  branding has been established, the use of promotional gifts can help to  solidify this corporate identity, improving brand recall amongst existing or  potential customers. Indeed, recent findings by the Promotional Products  Association International (Nov 2012 study) show that 88% of people surveyed could name the advertiser on the promotional  product they received.

Felxible and Versatile

Promotional gifts also have a great  flexibility of use, not least as a result of the vast array of products  available. Goods can be chosen and tailored to the intended recipient, ensuring  high retention and memorability. From branding campaigns to loyalty schemes and  corporate incentives, gifts can be selected to suit virtually any aim.
If branding is applied non-specifically i.e. without dates or reference to a  particular event, bulk orders can be purchased (so reducing the cost per piece)  and used over a long timescale.

An ROI to Compete with ATL Advertising

Recent BPMA research (Oct 2011 Survey)  suggests that promotional products provide a better ROI than radio and outdoor advertising.  With an average cost per impression of £0.03, investment in such goods can help  achieve very specific marketing aims. In addition to the actual cost,  promotional goods often carry a high perceived value in the eyes of any recipient.  A gift is a gift, and the sentiment attached to this can greatly enhance a  brands’ image.

A Marketing ‘Assist

Used as a support tool for other  marketing methods, promotional goods can significantly improve response rates.  Sending out a direct mail campaign? The inclusion of a branded gift can improve  responses by up to 50% (PPAI study). This  can considerably improve the ROI from DM activity, even when factoring in the  cost of the giveaways.
Equally, when used with social media  campaigns, a branded incentive can help improve engagement rate. Promotional  mugs, keyrings and t-shirts all work well as incentives for re-tweets or  ‘follows’ – or as daily competition prizes. The icing on the cake is increased  brand awareness.

Workplace Motivation

Aside from the benefits of handing out  branded goods to customers, they also hold a value within the workforce.  Employee reward schemes are proven to increase productivity and a positive  outlook; a branded gift is a physical expression of thanks from an employer.  Traditionally, this might be a plaque or a trophy for one or two best  performing employees, but it could equally be a higher priced gift for your most  improved sales performer. Luxury items such as an embossed leather bag or  technology items work well for this type of activity – the more coveted the  better.

Tactile, Memorable Advertising

Branded gifts are physical and  tangible, and this is perhaps their greatest strength. A promotional gift attracts  instant attention, as long as method of presentation is carefully considered. Rather  than becoming desensitised to banner and radio advertising, the recipient of an  actual physical item cannot help but notice it. It may be kept for months or  even years, it may have a much shorter life. But nevertheless, it has been  accepted, recognised, handled. These factors all contribute to brand recall.  Items of daily use, such as mugs or calendars, will perpetuate this brand  awareness over a long period of time,  will  be appreciated, and will allow your company details to not only be at hand when  needed, but also enter the subconscious until a time when they are required to  be remembered.
 
  About the Author
Lorna Walkden is part of the marketing  team at Ellenell, a promotional products  company based in London. You can interact with me on twitter @Ellenellpromo

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