The localmotion campaign was a great example of how marketing with promotional products made a significant difference
01 February 2024

How to Improve Your Marketing With Promotional Products

Stop Lazy Marketing; Put Your Promotional Products to Work!


Marketing a business can be a challenging undertaking. Conventional marketing methods can be costly and may not yield the expected outcomes. If you're seeking an affordable and potent marketing solution, you should consider adopting promotional products as an advertising channel. Promotional product marketing often outperforms other channels when implemented with careful planning and strategy. This article will delve into this under-appreciated media form and how to leverage it for your benefit. 

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The problem with this strategy is that it may attract a lot of attention but may not necessarily be from your target audience. This means that you could be wasting time, money, and resources trying to attract people who have no interest in your products or services and who are unlikely to become customers.

Additionally, without a clear and measurable goal, you may not know whether or not the marketing campaign was successful. For example, if you give away many promotional products at a trade show, you may be able to count how many people took them, but you may not know whether those people became customers.

Finally, lazy marketing is often reactive rather than proactive. Rather than carefully selecting a target audience and crafting a message that resonates with them, lazy marketers usually take a scattershot approach, hoping that something will stick. This can waste time, money, and resources and damage your brand's reputation if the campaign falls flat. 


Giving Away Swag vs Marketing With Promotional Products


Promotional marketing refers to a strategic approach of using targeted campaigns to attract and retain customers while achieving specific business goals, such as increasing sales, building brand awareness, or improving customer loyalty. This approach relies on data-driven insights, audience segmentation, and compelling messaging to design personalized experiences that resonate with the target audience and motivate them to take desired actions.

In contrast, giving away swag or free promotional items can be a tactic within a broader promotional marketing strategy. However, it generally involves distributing low-cost or branded products, such as pens, T-shirts, or keychains, without a specific objective beyond generating goodwill and awareness. While swag may work in certain contexts, such as trade shows or community events, it often lacks the targeted approach and measurement capabilities of promotional marketing.

Ultimately, the main difference between giving away swag and marketing with promotional products is that the former focuses on tangible items that may or may not resonate with the target audience, while the latter centers on delivering a compelling message and experience that inspires customers to take action- and measuring that action.


Stop the Giveaways and Start Creating a Marketing Strategy


Why Giveaways Don't Work

Many companies make the mistake of giving away promotional items without creating a marketing strategy. They believe that giving away promo items like mugs, pens, and business cards will be enough to attract customers and promote their brand. However, this approach often doesn't work because the promo items are not targeted toward the right audience. For instance, if you buy for trade shows and giveaways without knowing your target audience, you might be wasting your budget on people not interested in your products or services. As a result, the promotional product may end up as desk fill or in the landfill, and your marketing campaign will fail. So, they often resort to tendering promotional products to limit expenses. However, the only thing tendering does is reduce the cost of waste instead of reducing the actual waste. 

Creating a Plan for Promotional Merchandise

It would be best if you created a marketing plan to get the most out of your promotional products. A good plan reduces waste and increases ROI, transforming an expense into an investment. This plan should include a budget, a timeline, and promotional products representing your brand. You should also identify your target audience and create a strategy to reach them where they gather, include a call-to-action, and measure how many people took that action.

Demanding Action from Promotional Products

Marketing with promotional products should demand action from your target audience. It often costs no more to print a call-to-action on a product. Conversely, you can require effort to receive the product, such as joining your email list, donating to your cause, or taking social action.

What is Lazy Marketing?


Lazy marketing is marketing without a clear target audience, measurable goals, and a way to achieve and measure success against your goals. An example of lazy marketing is purchasing the newest shiny thing and giving it away at a trade show to "attract attention" or "get your name out there."

"Your logo here" is one of the greatest mistakes of marketing with promotional products represented by an image of an anthropomorphized mug crying with tape over it's mouth.

To track your ROI, you need to set goals and objectives for your campaign. For example, you might want to increase website traffic, generate more leads, or boost sales. Once you have set your goals, you can track the success of your campaign by using metrics like website analytics, lead generation data, or sales figures.

The Power of Marketing With Promotional Products


The Psychology of Swag

Promotional products are a powerful marketing tool that relies on the reciprocity principle. The reciprocity principle states that when someone gives us something, we feel obligated to give something in return. This principle is why promotional products work so well. When you give away a useful promotional item, your target audience feels obligated to reciprocate by engaging with your brand or purchasing your products. Requiring action to receive a product is a more efficient approach as it minimizes waste and ensures better targeting.


Reasons Why Promotional Products Have a Lasting Impression

Promotional products have a lasting impression on your target audience for several reasons. First, they are tangible items that can be touched and used. Unlike online ads or commercials, promo items occupy physical space in your customers' lives, making a lasting impression. Second, they have functional value. When you give away a useful item like a tote bag or a USB drive, your target audience is more likely to use it regularly, ensuring that your brand remains top of mind. Lastly, they are memorable. Well-designed promo items with your company logo and branding will likely stick in your target audience's minds for a long time. They can become an anchor to the way you made them feel when you initially touched them with your brand's story.


The Benefits of Corporate Gifts for Customer Loyalty

Corporate gifts are a great way to promote customer loyalty. When you give your customers away branded merchandise, you show them you care about their business. Corporate gifts can also be used to express gratitude or to celebrate milestones. By giving away corporate gifts, you can strengthen your relationships with your customers and ensure they remain loyal to your brand.


Marketing With Promotional Products to Improve Your Business


The Importance of Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is essential for any business to succeed. Promotional products can help you improve your brand awareness by putting your company logo and branding in front of your target audience. When your target audience sees your logo and branding regularly, they are more likely to recognize your brand and trust your products or services.


Why Useful Items are the Best Form of Advertising

Valuable items like apparel, USB drives, and drinkware make fantastic promotional products. They are items that people use regularly and enjoy having. When you give away a useful article with your branding, you create a positive association with your brand. Your target audience will likely engage with your brand and become loyal customers.


How Promotional Gifts Can Help Boost Your Brand Recognition

Promotional gifts can help boost your brand recognition by increasing your visibility in the market. When you give away useful promo items like water bottles or keychains, your target audience is more likely to use them regularly. This increases the chances of your brand being seen by more people and increasing your brand's recognition. When individuals wear clothing with your brand name or logo, they effectively become walking advertisements for your brand, promoting it in an interactive and engaging way.


Investing in Promo Products: Why It's a Cost-Effective Form of Advertising


The Value of Giveaways at Trade Shows

Giveaways at trade shows are a great way to attract potential customers to your booth. When you give away branded merchandise like tote bags or water bottles, you are creating a positive association with your brand. Your target audience will likely engage with your brand and become loyal customers. Trade shows are an excellent opportunity to showcase your products, services, and branding. Before giving them away, ensure you have a plan to require action and measure how many people took that action.

The ROI of Marketing With Promotional Products vs. Other Forms of Advertising

Marketing with promotional products has a higher ROI than other advertising forms. Unlike traditional marketing techniques, promotional products have a longer shelf life, ensuring that your brand remains top of mind. Promo items can reach a massive audience without breaking the bank. They are a cost-effective way of advertising your brand and reaching your target audience.


Promotional Products as Brand Ambassadors

Promotional products serve as your brand's ambassador. They are an excellent way of increasing your brand's visibility and recognition in the market. Promo items are tangible, functional, and memorable, ensuring your brand remains top-of-mind among your target audience. Investing in promotional product marketing can improve your business and reach more customers.

Measure the Action: How to Evaluate Your Promotional Products Campaign


Tracking Your Return on Investment

Measuring the success of your promotional products campaign is essential. You need to track your return on investment (ROI) to determine whether your marketing strategy is effective.

Marketing with promotional products should be measured represented by a screenshot of the Simple Leads app

Take charge of your marketing game and reap the rewards of a successful campaign. When promotional products are used correctly, they can offer better results per dollar than any other media type.

Q: What are some frequently asked questions regarding promotional products?

A: Some common questions include how to select effective promotional products, how to distribute them, and how to measure their impact on your business.

Q: Can business cards be considered promotional products?

A: Yes, business cards are a type of marketing with promotional products that can promote your brand name and spread awareness about your company. However, they should include a CTA (call-to-action) and a way to measure that action. Think UTM!

Q: What is meant by "swag" in relation to promotional products?

A: "Swag" is a term used to describe promotional products that are typically given away for free to promote a brand or event.

Q: What is the reason why promotional products are often used in marketing campaigns?

A: There's a reason why promotional products have been used to promote businesses for decades: they're more likely to be used and remembered by potential customers than simple ads or business cards.

Q: How can businesses make use of promotional items?

A: There are many ways businesses can use promotional products to enhance their marketing efforts, such as at trade shows, events, or as employee or customer gifts.

Q: Why should businesses consider using promotional products?

A: The reasons to include promotional products in your marketing mix include:

• increasing brand awareness

•improving customer loyalty

• increasing employee productivity

• reducing on-site accidents

• generating leads and sales

• recruitment

• core message delivery

• social & environmental action

• fundraising

Q: Can corporate gifts be considered promotional products?

A: Yes, corporate gifts are a type of promotional product that can be given to employees or clients to promote your company and enhance customer loyalty.

Q: How do branded items help to improve customer loyalty?

A: By giving customers branded items, they're more likely to remember your company's name or logo, which can help to keep your company on top of their minds and improve customer loyalty.

Q: How can promotional products be used to create a buzz around your business?

A: By offering promotional products that are unique, useful, or fun, you can generate interest and excitement around your business. Don't forget that plan!

Why choose us?  We make promotional products work!

Put Your Promotional Products to Work!


To sum up, it is imperative that you leverage your promotional products to maximize their potential. No more lacklustre marketing efforts. Develop a well-defined strategy that includes a clear objective, a precise target audience, a compelling call-to-action, and a reliable way to track results.

An image of a mug with arms holding boards and a hammer
A women frustrated that she is not getting results marketing with promotional products

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