Tchotchkes. Trinkets. Trash. Swag. Promotional products go by so many names. The power of promotional products is much greater than just the “stuff.” Promotional products can motivate, recognize, brand, appreciate, communicate, and start a relationship. With over 83% of people saying that they like receiving promotional items, this is truly a marketing medium that is here to stay – whatever you decide to call it.
In terms of media sales, promotional items are an $18 billion industry that is growing. In 2012 sales were up 4.4%, reaching the highest level in five years and the third-best year ever. UPDATE – Last year sales reached the $19.8 Billion mark, making it the industry’s best year ever!!
While it’s smaller than other media types, as indicated in the chart below, promotional products are an effective part of any marketing mix.
Promotional items can easily be integrated with other forms of media, such as product placement, event marketing, and direct mail – just to name a few. Look at this brief list of examples:
- Coca Cola Cups used by American Idol Judges
- Coffee mug used by local news anchor
- Apparel worn for TV / video appearance
- Banners placed for best camera angles
- Crowd events: apparel, banners, hats
- FUN, free item as an instant reminder of your brand experience
- For more detail on events, read How to integrate promotional products into college events.
Gain higher response rates when including a direct mail premium. In a Silver Marketing Group Study, the direct mail piece that included a promotional item increased response rates by 50%. In addition, the direct mail piece that featured an offer for a promotional item increased response rates by 400%, when compared to a letter only. Some ideas to consider:
- Three-dimensional mailing with a promotional item
- Larger size or colorful direct mail piece with an offer of a promotional item
- Encourage visiting your booth at event – for example send ½ of a pen and receive the other ½ at the booth
As with any successful marketing campaign, it’s essential to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time. A relevant and useful promotional item can reinforce a marketing message to your audience. Repeat exposure increases the likelihood of recall, which can ultimately lead to action. PPAI research shows that more purchases are made after a consumer receives a promotional product than after viewing a TV, print, or online ad. Promotional items stay in front of your target audience to help close the deal.
When planning to buy promotional items, be sure that it is tied into a plan. Too often promotional items become an afterthought, which can limit its effectiveness of reinforcing a brand’s message. Rely on an experience promotional consultant, who will understand overall objectives and the target audience to select a useful item that will be appreciated. We at Magellan Collegiate Promotions are here to help make promotional marketing work in tandem with existing efforts to help rise above the stigma of “trinkets and trash.” Contact us for ideas on more than just tchotchkes.
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