The promotional products industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade. Many business owners, particular those with small businesses, often have the wrong outlook about promotional products. This wrong mindset centers around some common myths that should be addressed. Below are five common myths regarding promotional products to hopefully save you from disaster.
Myth # 1
All promotional products distributors are created equal. This statement is so far from the truth. Many of the distributors in the industry are what I call “Order Takers.” They will do and say whatever they can to get your order and ultimately your money with no concern for the good of your marketing campaign. These type of distributors may lure you in by beating your quote by a penny or two per item or by promising some type of unrealistic production or delivery times or a number of other sales tactics. With all of the many factors to consider when purchasing promotional products, it is important to choose a professional with the expericence to help your project succeed. Using a professional promotional product consultant costs you no more and helps to ensure success. With all of the “Fly By Night Distributors” in the industry, make sure you are using a reputable one.
Myth # 2
Small businesses can not afford promotional products. Well, I don’t know who started this tall tale. Small businesses actually make up the majority of businesses in the U.S., as well as the ones who purchase promotional items most often. We have always said that purchasing promotional products should be an investment and NOT an expense. In order to maintain that statement as true, you do have to plan a little and make sure your product is right for the intended target audience. If your campaign is managed properly, your promotional items will bring in new business for you and more than pay for itself. Promotional products marketing campaigns can work even in a down economy. This is just another means of marketing just like print ads, television or radio ads, or billboards. The difference is that promotional products can be personalized much more to your targeted audience.
Myth # 3
You can’t track the results of a promotional products marketing campaign. This statement is also false. You first have to understand the difference between promotional product giveaways and strategic promotions. With giveaways, you hand them out in mass quantities to help increase your brand awareness and these items are cheaper products just to get something in people’s hands with your company name. With strategic promotions, you use a little more strategy and include a Call to Action such as a promotional code that is good for a FREE product or a discount coupon to get customers in your store. Other call to actions may include signing up for a subscription or warming up the person for a follow up phone call or appointment. With these methods, you CAN track the results and see just how much money is coming back from your initial investment for the promotional products. This is another area where a promotional products consultant with experience can help you.
Myth # 4
During tough financial times, promotional products marketing should be cut before other forms of marketing. This is a classic misunderstanding and a big marketing mistake. Research has proven that promotional products marketing is much more effective than television ads, radio ads, and print ads. Using promotional products in conjunction with other advertising media increases the effectiveness even more. With any form of marketing, you must track the effectiveness of the advertising to determine what works and what doesn’t work for your business. There is no single formula that fits all businesses. One fact stands true though and that is people keep and continue to use promotional products for a long time, but you never see anyone recording a radio ad and listening to it over and over again.
Cheaper is better. This is usually false when talking about promotional products. Cheaper is typically not better simply because when a recipient receives a “cheap” promotional item, they usually discard it immediately. However, in contrast, when they receive something of value and something useful, they will keep that item, often for years. The longer the recipients keep your promotional product, the greater value it is to you or your business. Not only is that one recipient constantly seeing your advertisement, but everyone else around them is also exposed. Therefore, one item can influence hundreds or thousands of people. You don’t have to buy premium items; you should, however, buy useful promotional items. The best promotional items are the ones that the recipient will use on a daily or weekly basis. This does take some forethought about your target audience.
In summary, promotional products can be a very beneficial marketing method if used properly. It is paramount that you speak with a promotional products marketing consultant who is knowledgeable and helpful. These professionals can help send your marketing campaign over the top and help increase your sales to grow your business. Remember that promotional products should be an investment and not an expense.