7 Steps to Ensure a Successful Promotional Products Campaign

Step by Step Guide to Plan a Successful Promotional Products CampaignNearly every company uses promotional products in some way during their normal course of business. The ways promos are used, however, can differ dramatically. These extremely versatile marketing items can be used in so many ways. Below are a few of the most common uses for promotional items.

  • Promoting awareness of a brand or product.
  • “Thank you” gifts for customers or employees.
  • Gift with purchase.
  • “I’m sorry” gifts for those times your company really screws up.
  • Gaining new leads through strategic targeting using premium promos.
  • Awareness of your booth at trade shows.

There are many other ways promotional products can be used when marketing your business, but the above list represents a few of the common uses.

However, there is much more to a campaign than just buying promotional products in bulk. Strategy and planning is required. It sounds like common sense, but so many promotional products purchases are unplanned. Items are purchased in bulk with no plan of specifically who to give them to, the goal, or how to distribute them. If you buy promotional items and don’t have a plan, you most likely won’t get the best return on your investment. This will take some time to reflect on your goal and develop a strategic plan. Buying promotional products shouldn’t be an impulse buy. Below you will find a step by step guide to make sure your promotional products marketing campaign is as successful as possible.

7 Steps For A Successful Promotional Products Campaign

  1. The Right Distributor – It all starts with the finding the right promotional products distributor. Find one with the expertise and knowledge to help guide your campaign toward the direction of success. There are many distributors only looking for the sale with no concern of the outcome of your campaign. Those motivated by your success will ensure they are making the best possible recommendations for you. Experience and creativity is the key to finding a great distributor. The right promotional products consultant understands the process below and can ensure no steps are missed.
  2. Define Your Goal – Ideally, a campaign should have one specific goal. The goal can be as simple as generating a phone call or signing up a customer for an email newsletter. Or it may be a larger goal such as securing an appointment, giving you the opportunity to develop a business relationship. In order to continue all the other needed planning for your campaign, it starts with your overall goal. All else below hinges on this goal.
  3. Decide Your Audience – For this particular campaign, which potential clients or existing clients are you trying to reach, based on your campaign goal. Do you want to generate sales from past customers who haven’t spent money with you in the past year? Do you want to sell more to your existing top clients? Are you trying to specifically reach working moms? It’s important to narrow down your targeted audience. The narrower your focus; the better the results will be. If your audience is too broad, you will have a low response rate for your campaign and you may spend more money than you will generate.
  4. Choose the Right Promotional Products – This sounds much easier than it actually is. That’s because there are hundreds of thousands of promotional promotional products available. However, there are most likely only a few that will fit perfectly for your campaign based upon your goal and intended audience. Too many times, companies choose overdone promotional items such as koozies or pens because that’s all they know. They begin their planning with a product in mind, but that product may not be the right option for the job. Begin your planning with a completely open mind and see where it leads you. Be sure to read the 6 Steps to Choose the Right Promotional Products.
  5. Determine Your Distribution Method – This is extremely important and often overlooked. Will you be handing these out to customers in person or will you be mailing them? The method of distribution can impact your budget, so it must be planned in advance. If you will be handing them out in person, will that entail additional staff (resulting in increased cost)? Of course shipping the products/packages will be cause for increased budget, but this is a very effective method of delivering the marketing items in a non-obtrusive way.
  6. Proper Follow-Up – If your goal has anything to do with increasing sales, follow-up is a must! You can send a premium promotional item, but with no follow-up, it may likely end with your goal not being met. Even if the recipients love the item and use it daily, at the end of the day, it’s only an inanimate object. Human interaction is a must. The promotional gift is only a door to starting a relationship. From there, it’s up to you to be personable and learn about them in order to forge that relationship. You may not be the best person for that job and if that’s the case, that’s okay. Find someone within your organization that has the skill set to follow up properly. The bottom line: If you don’t plan to follow up, don’t bother starting the campaign. For maximum effectiveness, have a follow up planned after  your initial follow up. It may be as simple as a handwritten note or another smaller, but useful, promotional item you send to them. The more touches you have with that prospect, the faster a relationship can develop.
  7. Determine Your Budget – You’ve heard it before, “You have to spend money to make money.” This is often true with advertising/marketing. Some advertising can be a colossal waste of money, but when promotional items are used it can be highly successful when planned correctly. Part of the equation for a successful campaign is having an appropriate budget. You have to begin your planning with an open mind about your budget; otherwise, you will limit the budget too much before a promising plan can be created. It’s not effective to start with an arbitrary dollar amount before you plan and research your campaign. Once you have determined your audience, defined goals, decided on the appropriate distribution method, selected the perfect product, and created a follow up plan, you can hone in on the budget. Be sure to do the math to know how many deals you have to close from the campaign to break even and how many you need to begin seeing a return on your investment. For more detailed information about determining your budget, read this article. An insufficient budget will set up your campaign for failure from the start.

By following these 7 steps, your effectiveness will increase with your campaigns. Your campaigns will also get better and better as you do them more and further segment your customer base. Step 1 is a must. After that, the process should be simple. In no time, you’ll see your return on investment (ROI).

Related Articles
7 Signs You Are Buying the Wrong Promotional Products
Thinking Outside the Box (And Bag)
3 Ways NOT to Use Promotional Products
A Common Promotional Product FAQ

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Patrick Black
[email protected]

Patrick Black, MAS, is the founder of Perfectimprints.com and has been in the promotional products industry helping businesses and organizations since 1999. When not geeking out over the newest and greatest promotional items, you can find him paddleboarding at the beach or hanging out by the pool with his wife, three kids, and his basset hound in Fort Walton Beach, FL.