In today’s world that has been fully taken over by technology, it can be easy for many businesses to dismiss the value that promotional products can bring to the table. In many companies’ eyes, they are becoming less relevant and being phased out of many marketing strategies.
Here at Goodbye Blue Monday, we’ve come to the realization, after providing custom promotional products to businesses of all types, that it’s not the concept that is becoming less relevant for marketing, but how they are being implemented.
As companies continue to turn to Internet-only advertising, focusing merely on social media and paid advertisements on search browsers, they risk losing touch with their loyal customer base. To a certain degree, providing promotional items to those customers who have stuck by your side through thick and thin, as well as potential new customers, helps develop a deeper connection and serve as a constant reminder when applied correctly.
In other words, just because consumers spend more time online than they have in the past, doesn’t mean they don’t still like free stuff.
In fact, a study compiled by BPMA found that in the majority of participating businesses, online impressions improved after sending out promotional products. This means that not only can promotional products still provide a worthwhile element to your marketing strategy, but they can also help urge people to look you up online, helping back your digital strategy.
Of the participants that received promotional products from the businesses in the study, 79 percent of them stated they would likely be repeat customers and 94 percent of them remembered the company, along with the exact time, place where they were when they received the promotional product.
Clearly, promotional products can still impact in a multitude of ways how — and with whom — customers choose to do business. But how do you know which promotional products work best for your company? And how should you go about giving them out? This has become more of the underlying issue behind ineffective promotional products, as conferences and networking events are filled with companies handing out pens, coffee mugs, and USB drives.
So when you go about choosing promotional products that not only represent your business and its values, but also will be of value to your customers, take the following three things into mind:
1. Delight Your Customers
Having a sufficient amount of customer service and a fantastic product is no longer enough to stay ahead of the curve. With the increasing level of competition consistent across all industries, companies are now in competition for brand loyalty and, most importantly, positive reviews. The companies that earn these reviews are the ones that surprise their customers by going the extra mile to delight them.
One pro tip we have come across with our promotional products is to make it personal. Even if you are sending out the same promotional item to a variety of people, include a thank you note that directly communicates to them and shows your gratitude for them choosing you and your company. If you can handwrite your thank you notes, this adds even more personalization that is sure to be appreciated by all who receive your promotional product. So if you want to start gaining a more loyal customer base, adding a small promotional product in with each customer’s purchase, along with a personalized thank you note, is a great way to go!
Thank you notes aren’t the only way that companies are using custom swag to delight their customers. Many will choose to send welcome gifts, like a gift basket or a branded “swag bag” filled with a few different promotional products. This shows the customer that you are excited to provide your products or services to them and will also generate positive word of mouth — an element of marketing that should never be undermined.
2. Build A Deeper Brand Connection
While the mediums of marketing may be evolving, the key motivators behind purchasing remain intact — emotions. More often than not, brands and businesses that choose to connect with their customers on an emotional level will generate more loyalty than their competition.
One of the key ways to emotionally connect with consumers is to provide a sense of belonging. This is done by turning your brand into a community with an identity that your customers will want to be a part of. This desire to join your team, tribe, or whatever you choose to call it can be done in a number of ways — including physical promotional products. The feeling of receiving a gift, especially one that is “member-exclusive,” helps customers feel that the brand values them as individuals and that they are apart of a greater movement — something the other brands aren’t doing for them.
So to build a deeper brand connection, we recommend having “tiers” of promotional products. This means that those customers who opt to join your more exclusive community of frequent purchasers receive different, better promotional items than ones that are given out to just anybody on the street.
3. Provide A Useful Solution
When you provide promotional products to your customers, you are integrating your brand into their lives. So the products need to be something that is useful, but also something that is an extension of your company so that it retains relevance. This shows that your company isn’t just providing a main product or service, but that it is also thinking deeper about what the customer needs.
For example, if you are a tech company giving out promotional products at a conference, do you really think that your customers still need USB drives with the amount of cloud-based computing done today? Instead, opt for something that still can be deemed useful in your users’ daily lives, like a power bank (everybody’s phones still die way too fast). This way, whenever they are in a pickle and their phone is on its last life, they will thank you and deepen that brand connection.
These are just a few ways that promotional products can play a role in your business’s marketing strategy — even in the midst of the digital age. If you want to learn more about how promotional products can help your company, reach out to us at Goodbye Blue Monday!