FACTS: Promotional Products Actually Work If You Get The Product Right

As someone who has been in the promotional products industry for over 20 years, I can tell you that promotional products don’t always work out for every business. However, when done right, they definitely can have the desired results and businesses, entrepreneurs and brands reap the rewards. 

Plastering your logo onto a promotional product and letting it find its way into the hands of just anyone is not an effective way to spend your promotional budget. Unfortunately in this industry, we often see the same four mistakes when it comes to the promotional marketing budget. 

Keep reading below to find out what the common mistakes in promotional marketing budgets are, how to overcome or avoid them, three important facts about promotional products and how, exactly, promotional products can be the best investment for your business. 

3 Important Facts Every Business Should Know Before Investing in Promo Products

1. It is estimated that up to 60% of marketing budgets are wasted annually

Studies show that many businesses waste their marketing budgets on the wrong products and advertising platforms, completely reaching the wrong audience or not reaching any audience at all. 

Coffee Mugs
A printed coffee mug can be a marketing success or disaster – Depending on if you get it right

Before paying big money on advertising and promotional costs, it’s imperative that you understand your target audience. You need to get the right product into the hands of the right person, complete with a clear call to action.

Further studies show that 76% of people recall the business name or logo advertised on promotional products and almost 52% of recipients prefer to do business with a company after receiving a promotional product. That’s why it’s so important for businesses to carefully consider their promotional products and how their target audience will appreciate the products before investing in anything.

Your promotional item has huge potential if it is carefully thought-out, delivered to a person who will benefit from it, and is of high quality. Which brings us to fact number two.

2. The Cheaper The Product, The More Likely It Is To Be Wasted Money

Engraved keyrings have a high perceived value at a relatively low cost per unit

Our clients often ask if anyone will care whether they receive a $2 pen or a 50 cent pen. Maybe they won’t care, but then again, maybe they will. Would you rather leave a cheap impression on clients and customers, or would you rather they remember your business for being high-quality?

The more businesses spend on each promotional product, the more they get the product right. 

For example, Engraved keyrings have a high perceived value at a relatively low cost per unit

Think “corporate gift”, rather than promotional product. Buy a smaller quantity of a better product and get it into the right hands, then, you are getting real value for your promotional dollar.

3. The more appropriate the product, the easier it is to get it right

So what is an appropriate product and what is it that makes it the “right” product? It’s an item that is relevant to your business, to your client, and to the value of your relationship with your clients or customers.

Here’s how we like to distinguish if you’re investing in the right promotional merchandise: If the item isn’t something you’d be proud to hand to your client in person, is it an item worth giving them? 

The nicer and more appropriate the item, the easier it will be to confidently give to your clients in person, with a genuine smile on your face.
There is no point in purchasing the perfect product and then giving it to your kids to hand out at school. Putting the right product in the wrong hands is almost as bad as sending a horrible product to your ideal clients – in terms of marketing spend.

You get no bonus points for the number of uninterested people you can peg with your promotional gifts.

Also, just because it’s a “gift” doesn’t mean it’ll be received that way – you might actually irritate a few people with what’s perceived as a thoughtless gesture.

Get it to the people it’s meant for with a targeted approach. Allocate a considerable lot of your budget to this alone. 

On that note, let’s talk about promotional pens.

Stop Wasting Money On Cheap Promotional Pens

1. Match the pen to your target audience

Although they’re generic, pens are a useful gift. Of course, it’s not just about usefulness, but also about style. In a digital world, pens have become more of an aesthetic item that is treated and cherished like an accessory. Match the style of the custom pens to your ideal client to make your brand memorable.

If your client or prospect receives your printed pens and thinks, “Why would they send this to me?” you’ve missed the mark and created a negative impression of your brand. The Golden rule in marketing is that anytime a potential customer has a thought involving your brand, that association should be positive.

To make things simple, we’ve organised our promotional pens to make selecting the right choice much easier. Have a look here.

2. Get Your Delivery Right

Putting your pens in a mug at the front desk is not enough.

Yeah your pens look sexy… but you are still only part way there.

Before you even order your pens, you need a plan for getting them into the hands of the right people. You might have to allocate a significant portion of your project budget for this. Better to pay to get them into the correct hands than to get them into the wrong hands for free.

Targeting not only increases the likelihood of a recipient taking action, but it also decreases negative reception of your promotional product. An unwanted or irrelevant gift makes your branding efforts look like spam.

Use analytical tools available online, census information and other data to narrow in on your demographic.

Spending a little more time and a larger portion of your budget on Geo targeting can pay big dividends.

3 Ways Most Business Owners Waste Their Promotional Product Budget and How To Avoid Them

Now that you know up to 60% of marketing budgets are wasted annually, we’re going to let you know how businesses waste their promotional products budget. But, I’m also going to let you in on how to avoid wasting your hard-earned dollars!

1. Buying Gear for the Wrong Crowd

Before you spend a cent, ask yourself the one big question: who are you trying to impress? Promotional products and/or corporate gifts must be targeted at your perfect client. This is not necessarily your typical client, and is most definitely not yourself.

What you think is cool really doesn’t matter. You need to target your market.

What’s also a huge factor is your spend-per-item:

Are your products really targeted at your ideal audience?

  • If your target market is broad, then you want something relatively inexpensive so you reach as many of them as possible.
  • If your target market is narrow, you can spend more per item as you have fewer people to reach… but, you really need to impress them.

Learn about your target market and send them items they would likely be willing to buy if they were for sale.

Never treat promotional items as free, valueless objects and you can easily avoid this blunder.

The pitfall many business owners get snagged in is the belief that because these are “giveaways,” they don’t need to be as attractive and valuable as sellable items.

Unfortunately, the backfire from this belief system can significantly hamper your marketing strategy.

2. Not Showing Enough Emotion

Don’t have a stone-heart, show some emotion! This can relate to the product, the branding or the delivery.

  • If you are buying for potential clients, then be emotional about the job/relief/satisfaction they will feel if they use your product or service, or alternatively, the pain/sadness/regret they will might experience if they don’t.
  • If you are buying a corporate gift for your current client base, then be sure they know how valuable they are to you. 
  • Make sure your products are delivered with sincere words of thanks – either in person or on paper.
  • Never give gifts to existing clients without a message

A gift is essentially meaningless without sincerity and good intentions behind it. Clients will be able to tell, almost instantly, if your heart was in it.

Convey your excitement at the prospect of building/fortifying a solid relationship with them.

The beautiful value and proposition of a promotional gift is that it’s an obligation-free way of making a connection with someone – you’re offering to improve their life in some way (providing a convenience) whether they do business with you in the future or not.

You can get a few good ideas from looking at our corporate gifts range here!

3. Missing A Call-To-Action

You have picked the perfect product for your target market and got it into their hands with a heartfelt message…  What do they do now?

Don’t assume they know – tell them.

This is a great opportunity to be funny, sincere, cheeky, etc., and increase the likelihood of being remembered when it comes time for your potential client to buy.

If the purpose of the gift was to just give them something useful without any end-game in mind, why bother to brand the item at all? 

But, if you’re in the business of marketing via promotional products and intelligent branding techniques, then it makes sense to have an “ask” included somewhere on the gift.

To Sum Things Up

Unfortunately, we’ve seen how quickly a promotional campaign can go sour when the above steps and advice is overlooked. We’ve also seen how a businesses promotional marketing campaign can flourish when the above marketing tips are taken into account.

Promotional products are still highly ranked as one of the most effective forms of advertising – when done right. If you have a marketing campaign, trade show, or event coming up and you’re not sure how to spend your marketing budget on promotional items, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Payless Promotions. 

With over 20 years of experience in the industry, we know a thing or two about getting the right products in the hands of specific target audiences and we’re here to help. Contact us today!