Things You Might Be Doing Wrong When Advertising With Promotional Items

So, you purchased custom products with your company logo and information printed all over them.  Let’s say you ordered custom cell phone stands.  When you receive them in the mail, you are super excited because…well…because it is really cool to have your logo on something, not to mention it looks cool.  It also looks so professional, and you are super excited that you made the decision to get your own branded cell phone stand.

In fact, you are so excited, you decide you want to keep one for yourself.  Then, you start to walk around the office passing them around to employees saying “look at this! Do you want one?” and even if the person you are trying to give it to says “nah, it’s ok” you give it to them anyway.  You then decide to carry them around with you all day, and you pass them out to anyone and everyone that comes into contact with you.

You go back to your office the next day and stare down into a box FULL of cell phone stands.  Hmm, what do you do with them now?  You gave out a few hundred at least, maybe even 50 cell phone stands to random people.  Now what?  What are you going to do with this box of promotional items? So, you decide to take them off of your desk and place them gently in the closet in your office or storage room and decide you will worry about it later.

When “later” rolls around, you are angry at yourself because 1. you have not looked at the box of logoed cell phone stands since the day you got them in the mail and only  noticed them when you went to grab a new ream of printer paper and 2. you have not received one phone call after passing them out to so many people.  You then get angry at yourself for buying such pointless products, curse the dang “trinkets and trash” and vow to never waste your money on logoed items ever again.

You hear people talk about how they are advertisements for your brand, but you no longer believe this because you did not get any return for your investment and you can’t help but think: What did you do wrong?

The above scenario is only one of many situations that make advertisers curse promotional products.  But, we can tell you first hand that promotional items do work!  They can, in fact, help you advertise your brand effectively and there is no need to curse them.  The above scenario contains 5 major factors that could have been avoided to lead you on the right path to advertising awesomeness.

1. We understand you can’t contain your excitement when you get that box of promotional items with your logo printed on them.  We agree, it is really cool to have your logo on products and yes, it is ok to keep one for yourself.  What is not ok, is to give them away to people that say they don’t want one.  Your advertising message is better off in the hands of those who will keep the item because your brand will receive more impressions.  Bonus tip: it is 10 times better to give a promotional item to someone who is excited about receiving it – think word of mouth advertising.

2. You passed the products around to everyone and anyone (this really should have been number one).  We know it is an exciting time when you get your own branded items, but think past the excitement and remember that promotional products are advertisements.  You wouldn’t show your TV commercial on Teen Nick when the commercial is directed towards adults, would you?  Didn’t think so.  When you think of promotional products as advertisements, it is easier to relate them to your target audience and pass them out accordingly.

3. The next day, the initial excitement wore off and you didn’t try to think of a plan of action to get the products into your target audience’s hands.  Instead, you put their box away in storage.  Bonus tip: it is better to figure out your action plan before you purchase the products.

4. When you put them away, you never looked at them again (also see #3) and you sat around waiting for someone to call you for your services.  Reference #2 and remember you gave them away to random people.  You should always keep track of the people you gave the products to so you can make a followup call.  Don’t want to waste your time with followup calls?  Reference #2 again and don’t give them away to random people.

5. Last but not least, you cursed promotional items without giving them the benefit of doubt.  The above four tips described a different route you could have taken to produce results.  If you tried creating and executing a promotional plan, and through a series of “trial and error” products you did not get any return on your investment, go ahead, curse them!  But, we highly recommend you try creating a promotional plan and stick to it.  We understand some people call them “freebies” but people hang onto these “freebies” and love and remember the companies who gave them the freebies.  When you plan out your promotional product purchase and execute that plan properly, you will start seeing better results.

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