Promotion is one of the most common marketing activities, and it encompasses a vast array of activities often called advertising. Advertising is an entire topic itself, but for now let’s discuss one of the more popular methods small businesses use to advertise and promote their visibility – Promotional Items. There is a bewildering number of promotional products available to small businesses, flashlights, key chains, magnets, and the ubiquitous pens are just a few of the possibilities available. Frankly, given the overwhelming number of promotional items available, choosing the right product for your business can be a daunting task.
It doesn’t have to be.
The fundamental rule of marketing, as always, indicates that before you begin any marketing activity (including promotional/advertising activities) it’s imperative to identify your target segment (audience) before commencing any new campaign. Yes, it’s the same old mantra, but many small business owners forget. Defining your target segment/audience is always the first step to any marketing activity, and once you do it, you immediately eliminate categories of promotional items.
Here are a couple of examples: an automotive repair business target segment is car owners so key chains are an obvious good choice for a promotional item, while a coffee mug or notepad doesn’t necessarily focus on their key customers. Conversely, a key chain isn’t a good promotional item for a Day Spa, but a reusable tote bag makes perfect sense for the ladies who are the primary customers of Day Spas.
Although your first step, identifying your key marketing segment, helps to automatically eliminate some promotional items from your pool of choices, there are a few universal items that all businesses can consider as good items to increase their visibility in the marketplace. These items include items like pens and travel mugs. However, these types of items create another important consideration often overlooked by small business owners when they purchase promotional items – quality.
It’s amazing how some business owners fastidiously maintain their brick-and-mortar location, implement dress codes, and establish other tactics to defend their brand appearance, but find the cheapest, lowest quality, promotional items to distribute to the public. Never forget, that in today’s difficult market, everything a business does, and every contact point with its customers sends a message to them. More importantly, if you are going to invest in promotional items to reinforce your brand awareness – inferior products may send a less than memorable image.
Odds are you’ve got a drawer somewhere overflowing with pens accumulated from various businesses. Think about those business owner’s ROI on that type of promotional item. The moral is when choosing your promotional items try to choose items that will be useful and used by the people who get them. It’s hard for your promotional items to create brand awareness when they are stuffed in a drawer, or tossed because they are defective or don’t work.
Lastly, think about how your promotional items will be distributed. Are your items for a trade show or a charity golf tournament? Different products have varying results in different settings/venues. Allocating time and energy to choose a product that appeals to your target audience makes the difference between an item that your customers use and an item that finds its way to the depths of a frightening junk drawer.
Hopefully, you know who your customers are, what they like, and how they think. If you’re unsure, or would like to define your target in greater detail, Creative Blend Design can help. We will help you determine your target audience, choose the right product, and design and print the appropriate message that resonates with your audience.
Here is a glimpse of the top promotional products available today for specific audiences.
Broad Spectrum Audiences:
- Reusable Tote Bags
- Travel Mugs
- Ceramic Mugs
- USB Drives
Youth and College Audiences:
- Tumbler cups with straw
- Decal Stickers
- Drawstring Backpacks
Events (Dependent upon type of event):
- Golf Umbrellas
- Remember, when considering promotional products to advertise your business or event, don’t get overwhelmed.
- Define your target and then choose a product that is right for them.
- Chosen carefully, those who receive your products are likely to use the item in the presence of other potential clients raising brand awareness for your business.
If you would like help in determining the right product for your target audience and designing a product that is sure to spark conversation, email us here.