Everyone knows that marketing costs money. And while promotional products have long been celebrated as a marketing strategy that offers a lot of bang for the buck, investing in this kind of campaign still costs money. It’s perfectly fair for your company to ask, “Why do we need promotional pens and other items?”
As Heidi Thorne, a promotions and marketing expert, put it on her blog: “If you don’t know why, don’t buy.” This is good advice. But you also shouldn’t expect the “Why” of promotional products to just drop out of the sky. Let the promotional product pros at InkHead help you out with these top 5 reasons to invest.
1. The numbers
Let’s get the numbers out of the way first. Want statistical proof that promotional products are a major part of the marketing industry, helping companies across the world build their brand? Take a look at the Promotional Products Association International’s 2013 Fact Sheet. According to the most recent data, the promotional product industry itself is worth more than $17.7 billion.
Check out these other numbers from the PPAI data:
2. People love stuff
Those are the numbers, but it’s worth keeping in mind that what much of this boils down to is how much people like stuff. They like tactile, physical items they can hold in their hands. A company’s clever TV commercials can play during the Super Bowl year after year, but these won’t guarantee the same sort of day-to-day reminder that a simple custom tote bag does.
3. Promotional products are bright, visual and constant
The ubiquity of promotional products isn’t the only thing they have going for them. Combine their constant presence with their visual impact and you’ve got a great advertising campaign.
You’ve got a slogan and you’ve got a logo, so use them! Print T-shirts, banners, water bottles and other items with a loud, vibrant design. This may be the perfect time for a slight rebranding with your company – maybe you want a classier font or a slicker color theme. Promotional products can help you debut this look with style – and your customer base will familiarize itself with the changes in no time!
4. Three letters: ROI
Over at his website, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, businessman and marketing specialist Mike Michalowicz noted that because of promotional products’ low cost, they’re ideal candidates for a high return on investment. ROI is never bad news, as any company knows, but using your promotional products smartly to yield a high ROI can be tricky.
Michalowicz suggested skipping disposable ads in flyers or newspapers and sticking with items of real value that consumers are likely to use on any given day. Tote bags, once again, are a great example, since it taps into the eco-friendly grocery shopping culture. Similarly, athletic equipment is a great investment, since most folks try and hit the gym several times a week and will need quality duffel bags or sports bottles when they do.
Promotional products offer an incredible range of options: Not only can you get your logo and company name printed in a variety of color schemes and styles, but the sheer range of products to choose from is immense. But variety itself isn’t a selling point – everyone’s been to a huge buffet before and knows that doesn’t guarantee great food.
What promotional product variety offers your company is the ability to market more strategically. You can align your products with an event. As a classic example: Next time you head to a trade show, offer passers-by near your booth promotional lanyards that are nicer than the event-provided ones. Also hand them a few bags to carry their trade show swag in, and load them up with pens and notepads, so they can write down info or take notes during panel discussions.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, say you’re sponsoring a local sports team. You can have promotional stress balls made up for the season and toss them to fans during halftime shows!
This kind of product versatility is exactly what makes promotional items so successful.
If you’re still wondering whether this is the right marketing route for you, just consider these last two statistics from the PPAI report: 82 percent of consumers own at least one promotional product – in fact, nearly a quarter own between six and 10. And furthermore, just under half of consumers keep those products for more than a year.
That’s way more advertising time than a TV commercial.