Whether they are referred to as marketing gifts, promotional products or giveaways, these incentives have become an increasingly popular way to market businesses. In fact, according to the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), the sale of promotional products has surpassed $13 billion. So do these business marketing gifts really work?
The bottom line is that the right promotional gift will definitely do its job to attract new business and keep existing customers loyal. The basic purposes of business giveaways is to promote good will about your company, make sure your company name is recognized and possibly to tie in with a particular promotion. There are several considerations when you are selecting business marketing gifts to ensure you are investing wisely. According to Rick Ebel, the Special Advertising Association vice president, “A lot of companies simply give away promotional products and maybe they do so with sonic results, but they’ll probably find they are going to get more discernible results if they use it in a planned, structured promotion.”
Why Am I Giving Promotional Products Away?
To find out the right promotional items, determine exactly why you want to give something away. Do you want to use the giveaway attract new business, convey a particular message, encourage customer loyalty, reward certain customers or to promote another item?
Attracting New Business
Marketing gifts can be a great way to attract new business and get people familiarized with your company name and offerings. They can be distributed at trade shows, as a reward for participating in demonstrations or lectures, for customers who offer their name, telephone and email address for more information, with a membership, for referring new contacts or in locations related to the service your business provides. Different gifts can be used for various purposes. For example, you may want to use a less expensive giveaway when you leave them in a related business and a more pricey marketing gift for people who refer new clients.
Conveying a Message
Does your business offer an innovative product or service like nobody else? Use a catchy slogan and logo to convey your message on a giveaway and let people know what you’ve got. The right short statement and logo can make a major impact on whether people choose your company.
Encouraging Customer Loyalty
Often businesses give premiums to customers who open another account, expand the products or services they buy or to recognize a special holiday or life event, such as an anniversary with the company or the individual’s birthday. In these instances, spending a bit more on a memorable giveaway makes a statement about the quality of your company and the level of appreciate you have for your customers.
Rewarding Certain Customers
If a customer refers other customers or makes a major purchase, you can reward them with an incentive giveaway. For example, a customer who spends a certain amount of money will qualify for a special gift. These gifts should be valuable and desirable to encourage customers to take that next big step to do further business with your company.
Promoting Another Product
Marketing gifts are often used to promote a new product or service to raise awareness about its availability and generate additional interest. For example, you can offer a special gift or added products or services when a new product or service is purchased. These giveaways should be enticing enough to make people want to explore your new product or service.
The Effectiveness of Business Marketing Gifts
Business gifts really work and the facts speak for themselves. Research performed by the Georgia Southern University, published in Promotional Products Association International, showed that using promotional gifts with mailings sent before trade shows is proven to entice more attendees to visit your booth during the event.
A survey conducted by American Express through their Open Small Business Network showed that there was an increase of business owners who plan to give gifts for the holidays from 61 percent to 71 percent. Popular gift items for the holidays were also affordable and included cards, calendars, gift certificates, items with the company brand and log, fruit or food gifts and wine or liquor.
Consider a recent case study of an optometrist. The doc mailed postcards to clients who did not see him in over two years offering free eye exams with a variety of different eye tests. The results were the optometrist made an additional $10,000 in just two days and the phone wouldn’t stop ringing.
We can even use the Hare Krishnas of the sixties and seventies as an example. They followed the law of reciprocity, meaning people want to give back when they get something, by offering tiny wooden umbrellas for a donation. This promotion was particularly effective because many times the people threw the umbrellas away and the Hare Krishnas fished them from the trash and solicited more donations with the same umbrellas.
Types of Promotional Products
The many types of promotional products available are as diverse as the various different businesses in the world. You can give away free services, ebooks, educational literature, pens, golf balls, hats, t-shirts – the possibilities are endless. The giveaway should match your unique type of business, be within your budget and include a recognizable logo and contact information such as a telephone number or email address.
Everyone loves to get something for nothing so carefully selected business marketing gifts are a terrific way to spread the word about your business.