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Gain New Business with Promotional Merchandise


How to Roll New Business Your Way with Promotional Merchandise
By Andrei Smith

According to Wikipedia, the free internet encyclopedia: "A promotional item is merchandise given away free of charge to the public in an effort to promote a business or increase interest in, or sales of, a product. These items are also referred to by the slang terms schwag and tchotchke. (The latter is derived from a Yiddish word meaning "trinket".) Promotional items are also used in politics to promote candidates and causes. Examples of promotional items include logo-branded t-shirts, caps, keychains, bumper stickers , pens, mints, etc. Collection of certain types of promotional items is a popular hobby.

"Promotional items have the power to be understood universally.

According to the Promotional Products Association International, corporations spend close to $17.5 billion a year on this type of advertising - that's more than one-third of what's spent on TV.

A survey conducted for Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) by LJ Market Research reveals the power of promotional products by measuring how end users respond to organizations that use promotional products as part of their marketing mix. The survey, Promotional Products - Impact, Exposure and Influence: A Survey of Business Travelers at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport , was conducted by interviewing business travelers at DFW Airport. More than 71 percent of travelers indicated they had received at least one promotional product in the last 12 months. The study also showed that respondents' ability to recall the name of an advertiser on a promotional product they had received (76 percent) was much better than their ability to recall the name of an advertiser from a print publication they had read in the past week (53.5 percent).

Recipients of promotional products do remember the advertiser's name.

Business to business gifts are a good way to maintain a positive presence within your client base. They can build brand awareness within the professional community as well as amongst the general public. The next time you launch a new product or service, try introducing it with an imprinted business item. When gifting to clients within your industry, it is particularly important to choose a promotional item that relates to your field. For example, if your new service will save the public time and effort, introduce it with a customized clock or calendar.

By introducing a new product or service to clients with a clever business gift, you maintain a strong industry awareness of your company. It is also important to choose a quality method on the imprinted business items. Stick to laser engraved pens, debossed leather and vinyl items, and embroidered wearables.Break away from the promotional item pack.

People tend to copy each other and assume that if most people do things a certain way, it’s the way to follow. Don’t follow, be a leader instead. People love pens, but the truth is, every one of us has at least a dozen promotional pens right now with different company names and logos inscribed on them, and if yours is one of them, the next person most likely couldn't find it to call you if she searched all day and night. But if she had, say, a branded clock or a branded calculator on her desk, with your name and address on it, well, that she could definitely put her eyes and hands on - which means she would be able to call you. Bottom line, don't be afraid to do something different. Do a quick research, see what's trendy, look for novelties. If your budget permits, get something people will not throw away, like a USB flash pen, a promotional MP3 player, an imprinted watch, etc.

Try to deliver your promotional products in different, creative ways.

For instance, instead of mailing 1,000 mouse pads with your company logo on them, have 300 or so hand delivered. Hand delivering promo items will earn you enough business so that you can afford to hand deliver the next 300 and so on.

Let the professionals handle it.

Hire someone specialized to advise you and develop your promotions and promotional ideas for you. Let a design company create your promotion and print it for you. Yes, you'll spend a little more money upfront, but you'll have a promotion where all the pieces and parts work together to get your message and call to action across to your customers - which means your customers will be more likely to call you instead of the other guy.

Remember that there is more to an effective promotion than handing out one item.

There are pieces and parts to it. It takes a consumer an average of six to seven times of seeing and/or hearing your promotional message before they “get” it and take action of any kind - even saying "no thank you". No, it's not because your target audience is dumb, it is because they're constantly being bombarded with marketing promotions from all sorts of businesses. Know your target audience. If your promotion is for teens and young adults, for example, don't give them refrigerator magnets-they don't usually have refrigerators! At least not of their own yet. Give them a cool key chain or CD holder, give them something electronic, something trendy and colorful. If your target audience is leaders of corporate America, don't give them lottery scratchers or highlighter keychains, don't even give them a calculator, since they have accountants dealing with their numbers. Give them instead a nice writing set for their desks, give them some nice executive accessory that you know they will not be ashamed to display on their mahogany desks. And if you are really on a budget, a nice luggage tag, a passport holder with your company name, logo and address, or even a promotional golf ball will do. No matter how wonderful and unique a promotional item is, if it's given to the wrong target audience that has no use for it, they will have no use for you.


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