10 Commandments of Promotional Product Marketing

10 Commandments of Promotional Product Marketing

Hundreds of thousands of different promotional products are available to lure the market. They have tempting offers for every niche, demographic, brand and budget. However, when it comes to maximizing the effect of these freebies, a few things should be remembered:

1. Don’t Go Overboard with Product Marketing

Your customers don’t need a pen, mug, hat, t-shirt and pair of socks all with your business logo emblazoned on them. Select products carefully. As mentioned by Eric Larocca, managing director of Custom Gear: “It’s better to go with one or two useful items rather than a whole bunch of stuff no one’s interested in”.

2. Use Caution with Clothing

Unless you’re a massive brand like Adidas, few of your customers are going to relish wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with your logo. It will likely sit in a drawer. Branded clothing, however, is a great promotional tool when worn by employees. Consider gifting some of this apparel to your very best customers, who will love the special recognition.

3. Get Creative

Images of promotional product marketing gifts. Image of easy living take canvas bag, think big! pitcher, and modern wine key.Yes, pens are useful and everybody needs them, but they also run out of ink and are easily lost down the back of the couch. Think outside the box with your product marketing. You’ll be surprised at the range of items available. Take business sector, target audience and time of year into account and consider everything from reusable water bottles and shopping bags, to bottles of sunscreen, lip balm, or a first aid kit.

4. Make use of “environmental targeting”

Image of high tech sleek design looking usb thumb-drivesWhen it comes to promo products, environmental targeting refers to selecting a “freebie” that will likely be used in the environment where decisions about your product or service are likely to be made. So, if you’re an online business, give out USB flash drives or mouse pads.

5. People’s choice

We’ve already said you shouldn’t go overboard with a huge range of products. However, if it’s practical to do so, why not invest in at least two different, but equally cool products for punters to choose from. They’re more likely to use the product this way.

6. Your logo isn’t everything

While the majority of promotional products feature a company logo, it isn’t the be all and end all to include one. In some cases it may be more appropriate to personalize the product i.e. extremely good customers receive products with their name printed on them. The advantage? They’ll feel extra special and will be more likely to tell their friends about you.

7. Double upImage of vintage cocacola playing card. 1950's Military women.

When giving away promotional products, consider giving away two of each item to each person, along with an instruction to “share the love”. This encourages “re-gifting” which (unlike with most gifts), is a good thing when it comes to the success of your promotional product marketing. The more people who see it, the better!

8. Avoid short shelf life

Choose durable items that will last years rather than weeks or months.

9. Reward referrals

Promotional Product Marketing | Promo TagsIf you’re asking customers to refer their mates, always offer a promotional product gift as incentive. A survey conducted by Louisiana State University found this method garnered “500% more referrals than an appeal letter alone!” Likewise, always have promo products on offer at Trade Shows. Exhibit Surveys Inc. reported that companies who had something to give out received 176% more traffic than companies who did not.

10. Don’t forget your employees

Image of man driving car on a smart phoneBe generous with your employees. Give them promotional products to wear, use in their homes, or give as gifts to their friends. Allow your salespeople to specify the products and to elucidate the specifications of the merchandise whenever needed.

Brief ALL staff, and encourage them to tell everyone they know about the new launch. Get them to talk it up via their own social media networks.

Create a press release and send it to appropriate on and offline media in good time, following it up with phone calls to each media outlet. Make use of your customer database to send emails about the promotion to your regular customer base. And offer them rewards, such as free promotional products, for referrals.

Keeping all the above in mind, we’re going to encourage you to have fun when you choose your promotional giveaway products. Simply put: Keep your gift receiver in mind when you selecting the product that will be given.

We love to hear your thoughts:  What are some of the best (or worst) promotional gifts that you’ve received?  Tell us in the comments below or when you share this article on your favorite social channel.  Sometimes the best ideas happen when we collaborate!

Written by Eva Davies, Brand Specialist at Custom Gear

Robert is the Chief Marketing Officer at Exodus Digital Marketing. He has achieved a 1st Class Honours B.A in Marketing from Vangaurd University, California, and 1st Class Honours M.B.S in Management Consultancy from UCD Smurfit Business School, Dublin, Ireland.
He has worked for companies like IBM and BT Telecommunications. He consults and trains small businesses in all things digital marketing. Learn more about us here

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