You know you want to promote your business with promotional products, but where should you start? Remember that promotional products are a part of marketing, and any good marketing campaign starts with one thing: a written strategy.
Before you order a single product, you need a strategy in place first. This will serve as your playbook for the entire campaign, making it much more likely that you’ll get results from your promotional products.
The better questions you ask, the better your promotional product marketing strategy will be. Ask yourself these seven questions to design an ROI-positive promotional product campaign.
1. Who is my audience?
Who are you speaking to? Your brand isn’t for everyone, so it’s essential to define your target demographics first. Depending on the campaign, you might be going after internal employees, potential leads, or even media outlets.
If you haven’t already made customer personas, now’s the time to write them. You’ll need to consult this persona when it’s time to order your promotional products. This preparation ensures that you’re ordering products that your audience actually finds exciting and valuable. Because the more people use these products, the more powerful your campaign will be.
2. What are my goals?
What are you trying to do here? Do you need brand awareness at a conference? Are you trying to bulk up your email list? Or are you trying to persuade a prospect to sign a contract?
Define what, exactly, this campaign should do for your brand. An overall goal like “brand awareness” is good, but you also need to ask yourself, “How do I measure brand awareness?”
And that means defining quantitative metrics for your goal. For example, if your goal is brand awareness, you might choose metrics like:
- Booth visits
- Products passed out
- Social media mentions
If you’re having a hard time measuring results, consider adding a custom URL or QR code to your products. This way, you can attribute every visit to that URL as coming from your promotional products.
Every campaign has a start and end date, so schedule a follow-up meeting with your team to evaluate the campaign’s performance. Track your metrics to see what did well and what needs to change. This type of summation meeting is the best way to design better product campaigns in the future!
3. What are my competitors doing?
Every good marketing strategy looks at the competitive landscape. If your competitors are also handing out promotional products, it’s important to know what they’re doing.
For example, if your competitors are giving away seed pods, you probably shouldn’t do that. You want to stand out, so do a little recon to ensure your promotional products are different from the competition.
4. When and how will I use promotional products?
What are the particulars of using these promotional products?
When will you give them out? Set start and end dates for using these particular promotional products. By defining your campaign dates, you’ll be able to match ROI attribution. It also helps you set solid deadlines for ordering products, which can save you a lot of money on last-minute preparation and shipping fees.
You also need to define how you’ll use your promotional products. Do you hand them out at events? Are they leave-behinds to sweeten the deal after a business meeting?
Make a plan for how you’ll store, ship, and manage the products. For example, if you’re sending one rep to a conference with 10+ boxes of bulky T-shirts, that might be too much to handle. In this situation, you could also use QR codes for gift redemption to reduce onsite logistical issues (which can also help you track goals).
5. What’s my budget?
How much money do you have to spend on this campaign? You need to see a return on your investment, so it’s essential that you minimize expenses where it matters. For example, if you pay $20 for a really nice promotional item but the client only spends $10 with your business, it doesn’t make good financial sense. Make sure your per-product costs are significantly lower than your average order or contract value.
You’ll need to order the right amount of promotional products, too. If you order too few, you’ll lose out on a lot of potential connections. But if you order too many, you’ll waste your budget and have boxes of unwanted products lying around.
It’s hard finding a good balance. That’s why it’s so important to work with an experienced promotional products provider like Boundless. We put our marketing hats on and learn about your goals, helping you order the right amount of products to maximize your budget.
6. What should people do next?
So, you’ve done the work and passed out hundreds of yoga mats to potential customers. That’s wonderful!
… But now what?
Every promotional product should pull customers through to the next step. Don’t let this be the end of the relationship! Make sure your products have a call to action. That might be going online to play a game, signing up for your email list, or requesting a demo from your website.
7. Does this item effectively represent my brand?
Before you order a promotional product, you need to make sure it represents your brand. If you want your message to be more serious, it might not make sense to pass out fidget spinners, right? Tone and style matter here.
Always choose a promotional product that makes sense to your company’s branding. For example, if you’re an eco-friendly brand, instead of passing out leather-bound notebooks, go for recycled paper notebooks instead.
You should also ask your promotional product partner about customization options too. Be sure to choose products that come in your company’s colors—and always remember to add your brand messaging!
Ask the right questions with promotional products
In a world overrun with digital content and ads, promotional products are a strategic way to connect with consumers in real life. Whether you’re trying to deepen your bonds with employees, customers, or vendors, you need a solid marketing strategy in place to see ROI. Knowing the answers to these seven questions will ensure your promotional product marketing strategy is as airtight as possible.
But you don’t have to do everything by yourself. Partner with a promotional product team with marketing specialists like Boundless. We collaborate with you to get results—see how it works!