I want something new…I want something different…I want something like never seen before…and I want it by this Friday (today is Wednesday!)
How many times have you heard that from YOUR own customers? Something new and different is not the problem. The problem is you need something that is effective, something that will work for you, something that will get you the right response! It does not have to be creative, it has to be a marketing stroke of genius.
So, will you just wing it?
We use a specific step process that generates smart, targeted product recommendations. A process that is more likely to yield excellent targeted product recommendations every single time. The question is not about how creative can you be to impress your customer with the next best promotional product. You need to know what motivates your customers to act with intelligent, targeted, thoughtful, smart promotions. The recommended product needs to have the desired effect on the end user.
We have all seen extremely creative advertisements on TV where the graphics are splashy, the music is pumping, the visuals are dynamic, the humor is dead on target and in the end we go “wow, that was a great commercial!”. Until we realize we have absolutely no idea what it was they were selling. It is the same with promotional products. We can print on a splashy new product but if that item does not have the expected effect, the promotion is a failure.
What is the desired effect on the end user?
When speaking to a promotional product consultant/broker, it is crucial that you share with him who your end user of the promotional product will be. The end user is the one that needs to be impacted in a positive way. For example, if a prospect ends up booking a meeting room because of a promotion, then the promotion is a success. If a recognized employee works harder and produces more for a company as a result of a recognition award, then the program more than paid for itself and makes total sense.
Ultimately it’s not about creativity. It’s about putting together a promotion that will successfully meet your objectives.
Again, a new, never seen before creative idea is fine as long as this new creative idea accomplishes the objectives you set out. But what if you do not even know what the objective is, let alone how to accomplish it.
First thing, we need to know what you want your clients to do when they get the promotional item, because coming up with something to give away is easy as long as that something brings a return back to you.
Be aware that there is a fundamental difference between a giveaway and a promotion. Many believe that they are the same thing but that is far from the truth. A giveaway does not establish any objectives up front. You order an item, you give it away and that is it! And it’s OK if you don't understand the difference, after all, this is not the business you are in, we are.
We can get you anything you want to give out to your clients. But before we do that, we need to know exactly what you would like the promotional product to accomplish. If the items you buy from us do not meet your company's objectives, then you will have very little reason to ever order again from us and the same may be true of your customers. Yes, the promotional product has to accomplish SOMETHING! Ask questions, get a quote, get ideas!
A promotional item should do one of three things
It must act as an incentive and a motivator to get the recipient to do something
A promotional item can act as a premium – A premium is something that the end user cannot buy at any price. A premium is an incentive to take a certain action that the promotion requires. An example of a premium could be a free branded item a hotel guest would receive when visiting a hotel they might consider for an event.
A promotional item can serve as a form of recognition. This is a thank you item for something an end user has already done. An example would be a gift given to a client who has booked a room.
A premium is designed to get the order. A recognition “award” is only offered after the desired action has been taken. Again, what is that action? What is it that you want your client to do? If you would just send out 1,000 promotional products to certain people in a geographical area with no instruction, no motivation and no call to action, you would not be running a promotion. This would just be a giveaway or at best a gift of obligation. Hoping that the end user will somehow feel guilty enough to consider your products or services.
Not to say that a gift of obligation will never work but it may only work if the gift has high enough perceived value to guilt a person to take the action we desire. Charitable organisations who send you free return address labels, for example, are great users of gift of obligation.
An excellent promotional product must be justified objectively. The promotional product must be clearly thought out. It needs to make perfect sense. You need a clear logical ideas for why the promotion will work for what you are trying to accomplish.
OK, so, are there times when you are not looking to motivate anyone to do anything and just want your logo on an item, like when you just want custom printed disposable cups for your company picnic? Yes, but, remember, those kind of promotional items are just an expense with no, or extremely limited and obscure payoff!
It is so much better when you can look at your sales/marketing expense budget and you can say “we handed out 1000 promotional products and multiplied our investment several times over”.
The ultimate question is, what are your objectives AND which items will meet those objectives? You can only get maximum results from your advertising program using promotional products if you can first answer these three questions:
Who is the end user? – This cannot be answered vaguely. We need an exact picture of who this person is so that they can be targeted more effectively. Too often, the end user is everyone within a geographical area. Too often, due to budget constraints, cheap products are used to target as many people as possible. In the end, what was meant by EVERYONE, may have been everyone with children, who owns a house and … It comes down to who EXACTLY you are trying to reach and WHAT are you trying to accomplish. People likely to take action are the ones most likley to use your products or services.
Where is the end user most likely to be when most in needs of your services or products? – As an example, if you are hungry and do not feel like cooking or going out, where are you likely to be in your house? Most likely the kitchen!
How can you advertise your services or products to your clients (the end user) when he/she most desperately needs my products or services? – Using example above, a refrigerator magnet may be most appropriate or an erasable memo board that attaches to the fridge or a kitchen tool like a pizza cutter or other tool that stays on the counter.
Will following the three steps be infallible, no. But the step by step process will allow you to make objectively excellent , targeted, justifiable product selections!