What to Consider When Choosing Promotional Products for Your Business

The novice marketer usually focuses on promotional stickers and buttons, but there are hundreds of other promotional products available for businesses. There are a plethora of customized products that can be imprinted with your business logo or ad message. You can choose from thousands of products to promote your business, from promo phone stands, personalized Smartphone cases, customized sunglasses, customized mugs, and personalized calendars – even personalized computer products like flash drives and mouse pads. The list goes on. Imprint your company logo on a variety of promotional items that people use everyday. Customized products are a low-key commercial for your business all day, every day. If you’re considering purchasing promo products for the first time, here are some tips:

Know Your Customers

You need to determine the target audience for your advertising campaign before doing anything else. Are you trying to reach a wide-ranging customer base? Then choose promotional pens and refrigerator magnets or personalized T-shirts – items everyone can use. If you have a sporting goods store geared to young professionals and college students, customized sports bottles, promotional Smartphone cases or sunglasses may be a better choice. They cost more than promotional pens or magnets, but are better suited to your client base. If you’re running a seasonal promotion, we have many customized products, including customized tissue boxes, hand sanitizers and lip balm for cold and flu season. If you’re not sure which promotional products will pique your customers’ interest, conduct a survey on your website or by e-mail newsletter.

Cost

If you’re a one-person operation and want to make the most of your ad money, personalized pens are a great idea. They are inexpensive and you can usually order customized pens in quantities of 100 or more. Everybody uses pens, so it’s a great marketing tool. We have many different types of customized pens available – gel, retractable, metal, rosewood, stick pens and pens on a rope. Pens are lightweight and inexpensive to ship. Save money by ordering promo pens in advance and choosing ground shipping. Overnight mail can get pricey even for small items like customized pens. Other low-budget personalized items include keychains, magnets and buttons. For companies with bigger promo budgets, Most promotional product companies have many types of products, from customized ashtrays and letter openers to personalized T-shirts, messenger bags and crystal desk sculptures. Once you’ve determined how many pieces of a promotional product you’ll need for an ad campaign, you’ll need to prep artwork and call a promotional product company for pricing and shipping information.

Methods of Distribution

Your salesman can give away a product like gel or retractable pens on sales calls. You can give promotional products away at tradeshows or leave a dish of candy (with your company’s name on the wrappers) on the reception desk. It’s easy and inexpensive all-around marketing. You can include a refrigerator magnet sporting your company logo with direct mail packages. Coordinate special promo events or giveaways at your place of business or at other local events. Give away imprinted SmartPhone covers at concerts or set up tables with company reps and promo items at local fairs. There are many ways to distribute promotional items or swag, as they are sometimes called. You can sell promo products on your website’s e-store or arrange to give swag away during radio station contests. Offer promo item as an extra when customers purchase a certain amount of your company’s product. As you can see, there are many ways to get your message out to the public via personalized pens and other promo products. Whether you choose to give away promotional products or sell them, you’re making a long-term investment in your business without spending a lot of cash.

Top 10 Ways to Increase Your Summer Promotional Products Sales!

Is the summer traditionally a slow time for your promotional products sales? It need not be.
While some may view the summer season as a time to relax and kick back, savvy promotional products sales professionals are out there exploring new opportunities and revving up their sales.

Here are my top 10 ways to increase your summer promotional products sales.

1. Get out of the office. The summer is a great time to get to know your prospects and clients better. A casual breakfast or lunch can yield great results. In my own business whenever I’ve had breakfast or lunch with a client amazing opportunities presented themselves. Remember, people buy from others they know, like and trust. Meeting your clients on more casual turf builds that know, like and trust factor.

2. Send a promotional idea of the week email blast. Your prospects and clients are always looking for new ideas. Send them a new, innovative promotional idea every week. Preferably send it out the same day, so they will come to expect it. Keep it short and don’t just push products. Provide marketing tips along with new product ideas. This helps position you as a marketing professional and puts your company name top of the mind as the first one they’ll think of when they’re ready to place an order.

3. Host a Christmas in July party. It’s never too early to start thinking about holiday gifts. Host a Christmas in July party and invite your top clients. Show them innovative holiday gifts at a cost savings when they order early.

4. Form strategic alliances. Who else serves the same target market but is not a direct competitor? Meeting planners, trade show display companies and graphic designers can make great alliance partners for promotional products sales professionals. Explore ways that you can work together for mutual benefit. Consider hosting an open house for all your current clients and prospects.

5. Spotlight fall promotions: Now is the time to be selling fall promotions. Back to School, Halloween, Breast Cancer Awareness month and Thanksgiving are all coming up. Make appointments to get in your prospects office to share new ideas and secure promotional products orders for upcoming events before your competitors do.

6. Explore new networking opportunities. In person networking is still one of the best ways to grow your sales. Get out there in a big way and look with an open mind at new groups to join. Many promotional products professionals have had great success with organizations such as (Business Networking International (BNI). Go a few times before you join to see if the group is a good fit for the markets you’re targeting.

7. Re-activate dormant accounts. Just because someone hasn’t purchased in a long time doesn’t mean they’re not interested. A casual phone call telling an inactive account about an innovative new product or idea that can help them promote their company or service can reinstate an old relationship. At the very least, ask if you can put them on your idea list and continue to send them new marketing tips. The important thing is to keep your company name on their radar screen.

8. Energize your social network. Social networking is here to stay. If you don’t currently have a Facebook fan page or a Twitter account the summer is a great time to get started. Read books and take classes on social networking. Take a look at what others are doing in our industry. The key to social networking is to engage your clients by posting interesting questions or hosting fun contests. Social networking can be a great research tool to find out what’s important to your most wanted clients so you can best meet their promotional needs.

9. Self promote. Self promotions help you sell more. Your core suppliers will have great ideas and special offers to put your logo on. When networking don’t just hand out your business card, give a small self-promotion with your company name such as a box of mints, or a post it pad or a business card holder. You’ll be remembered for what you do and you will get new business. No matter where you are this summer, on the beach, at the supermarket, on an airplane, always have a business card and self promotion handy. You never know where your next big order is coming from.

10. Stay informed. Opportunities abound when you look for them. Consistently read the business section of your local paper and get to know what’s happening in your area. Corporate name changes and new business openings are good opportunities for you to sell more.

Enjoy the summer and keep on selling!

© 2012 Rosalie Marcus

Promoting Your Business or Services With Ease By Simply Using Promotional Products

One of the easiest ways of promoting your new service or your newly unveiled product to the customers and the consumers is to use different kinds of promotional products. There are many kinds of promotional items out there to utilize and choose from which a business or a company would see fit to use as a give-away trinket or gift item. They simply need to find suitable and applicable items that people may use daily or may have full use of when they need it. Here are some of the more preferred items used as promotional products.

Shirts and clothing – Still one of the more widely used promotional products that companies and businesses use to promote their various items and their services. The best thing about having or receiving a promotional item like this is that you can wear it anywhere as a casual shirt. The most widely used shirts that nerds often use as their daily clothing are those promotional shirts that video games or video game companies hand out to promote their new video game or the new company they have built which produces and create interactive games.

Bags and other accessories – Video game developers, producers, and even movie producers and studios hand out bags and other accessories which have some significance to the video game or the movie they have recently released. Different kinds of bags are given away as promotional products to the people and to followers of the game or the movie to further promote it to others who have not seen it or have not played with the game yet. Accessories for games include anything from a computer mouse, computer accessories, game devices to action figures and limited edition stuff which were only handed out in the premier or the release date.

Head wear – Ball caps, bonnets and other kinds of head wear are mostly given away as free promotional products by businesses and companies that deal and sell in sports items and gear. Different sorts stores, boutiques and shops hand out head wear that bear their logo or the name of their business in order entice people to recognize their services and the gears they are selling. They not only sell one brand of sports apparel but several brands such as major sports brands that athletes use. Shoes and other gear and equipment can be purchased at stores like these.

Personal care products – Promotional products such as these are mostly handed out by cosmetics companies and business establishments. They at times include free cosmetic items for a certain amount of purchase from their store or shop. There are also times that they create separate gift bags that contain several cosmetic products to be handed out to a number of customers that visit or browse their store. This is a good way for customers and buyers to sample some of the items they are selling and if they found a liking to it then they know what to purchase the next time they drop by.

Defining Promotional Products and Advertising Specialties

Promotional products and advertising specialties are items that are used to endorse a product, service or company agenda and can include executive and business gifts, event giveaways, awards and other imprinted or embroidered items such as custom mugs, pens, Koozies, bottled water, paper items such as letterhead and business cards and over 1,000,000 products with your logo.

PRODUCTS AND USES

Promotional and advertising specialties are used to promote products, brands and corporate identity. Promotional merchandise is used globally to promote events, exhibitions and product launches.

Almost anything can be branded with a company’s name or logo and used for promotion. Wearables such as embroidered caps, polo shirts and jackets, screen printed t-shirts are in the largest product category, which makes up more than 30% of the total for promotions and advertising branded product sales.

Other advertising products include small giveaways such as key chains, pens, pencils, Koozies, coolies, coffee mugs, sunglasses and stress relievers. Paper products such as business cards, folders and letterhead are often used for promotional purposes as well.

Brand awareness is the most common use for promotional and advertising specialties. Other uses include lead generation, distributor and dealer marketing programs, new products, safety education, marketing research, employee awards, and non-profit programs.

DISTRIBUTION

Most industry manufacturers sell exclusively through promotional products and advertising specialty distributors only. Distributors interface with manufacturers, suppliers, printers and embroiderers and often help end-users design and create artwork to be used on promotional products. Distributors have the ability to supply thousands of products from many manufacturers across the globe. Distributors help the end-user with product selection and make sure the artwork is submitted in the correct format.

Industry manufacturers prefer to sell through distributors and rarely sell to the end-user. Distributors save the end-user money and time by searching for a qualified printer or manufacturer who can produce and ship quality products efficiently and on time. Distributors are experts in selecting branded products that fit the end-users budget, promotional purpose and time frame.

Most qualified distributors prefer to communicate with the end-user via phone or email. The details required to brand products such as art specifications and ink colors make it difficult for distributors to offer the ability to order and pay for products online. Many distributors will offer an option to request for more information or a quote online, but prefer personal contact with the end-user prior to finalizing their custom order.