Promotional Product Campaign Made Simple: 5 Steps
o Step #1. Define the objective
If the objective is to increase sales by 20%, determine that figure up front in order to track success later on.
Also, decide whether the objective is branding-oriented or strategic to ensure that you choose the right promotional product for the campaign.
o Step #2. Define the budget
If the objective is to generate $50,000 in your new business, don’t spend $70,000 on the promotional product campaign. Try to at least double the return on investment.
o Step #3. Consider the variables
Consider these variables when choosing the most relevant promotional product for a target audience:
–> Variable #1. The Target Audience
Promotional products must make sense for the target audience.
Once you’ve defined the demographics of the target, ask yourself: How do they spend their time? Where do they work: at a desk, on the move or both? What would be useful or novel to them? What has worked at reaching them in the past?
Here are some promotional products that appeal to just about every audience:
-Magnets. They’re functional, versatile, and easy to find when needed.
“It’s not a big item to carry at a [trade] show,” says Ron Lehner, President of Total Automotive, a wholesale automotive parts company. “When [attendees] get back, they slap it on a filing cabinet and, six months later, they start thinking about our company and remember it’s on the magnet.”
-Bags. They’re hot commodities, especially reusable grocery bags, because so many people use them.
-T-shirts, pens, hats, calendars, key chains, mugs, etc.
Other promotional products appeal to very specific audiences. USB flash drives, for example, appeal to techie audiences.
–> Variable #2. The Message
What do you want to convey? Is it the value proposition or specific benefits for the target audience?
–> Variable #3. The Promotional Product
The hardest part is finding the appropriate three-dimensional manifestation of a message.
If the message is about keeping clients’ Web applications secure, the best promotional product might be a USB flash drive with a biometric strip.
If the message is about connecting clients with opportunity, the best promotional product might be a NERF football. Xerox used a Rubik’s Cube to symbolize putting the pieces of a puzzle together.
TIP: Make promotional products part of a strategic, integrated marketing plan to get measurable results.
Here are a few examples of companies successfully using promotional products to get messages to the target audience.
–> Example #1
Target Audience: Automotive body shops and new car dealers
Message: Lehner wanted to increase the chances of his target audience buying a hinge kit, so he demonstrated to them how to install hinge kits he designed for GM trucks.
Promotional Product: A low-budget instructional video about how to use the hinge kits burned onto a business-card-sized CD, which Lehner gave out at trade shows.
Result: About 50% of Total Automotive’s online leads came from the mini-CD during the months following the trade shows. “When they watch the video, they’re pretty much on board,” Lehner says. “They want to start stocking them and buying the kits.”
Target Audience: Attorneys who file patent applications for US companies in foreign countries
Message: A law firm specializing in trademark and patents wanted to communicate the savings it could provide. The firm saved clients an average of about $100,000 per year in patent fees.
Promotional Product: A fake $100 bill shaped like a man. The $100-bill-man had a zipper that, when opened, revealed a business card with a phone number, the name of a representative, and a personalized URL. It arrived via direct mail.
When recipients went to the personalized websites, they were greeted with their name and an online calculator that showed how much money they would save with the law firm’s services.
Result: About 11% of the recipients responded by calling the phone number or visiting the personalized website.