Brand Building

Turn a giveaway into a brand-boosting marketing vehicle. In a recent study, promotional products defeated traditional forms of advertising in brand awareness. Of those surveyed, 76% could remember the name of the company that gave them a promotional item. But only 53% of the group could remember TV or print ads. Another study revealed that 73% of those who used a promotional product reported that they used it at least once a week.

To harness this branding potential in your next campaign, choose a product that fits your audience and the goals you want to achieve. You can make an exceptionally big splash with out-of-the-ordinary, attention-grabbing gifts like our USB Travel Kit . By offering functionality and a clean workspace, it makes an impact as a branding item.

Increase Booth Traffic At Trade Shows

Promotional products can increase booth traffic at trade shows. Exhibit Surveys, Inc. discovered promotional products use by exhibitors can give an advantage over other exhibitors for buyer attention. A research study showed that in addition to increasing booth traffic, trade show registrants had a stronger post-show memory of the exhibiting company as well as positive feelings (goodwill) toward the company.

Promotional products should relate to the advertiser's message. However, prior to choosing the products, spend important time discussing the best way to achieve your goals. Consider these six elements when planning a successful promotion:

1. Define Promotion Objectives
2. Identify Target Audience
3. Plan Product Distribution
4. Determine Central Theme
5. Develop Message for Imprint
6. Select Products.

Importance of Incentive

Keep your employees motivated and productive by rewarding them with travel incentives. According to a recent study, 68% of those surveyed reported that additional award incentives would motivate them to be more productive. And 66% stated that their future employment with a company was at least somewhat affected by whether a rewards program was in place. What makes travel the perfect enticement? Companies have reported returns on investment as high as 44% when offering travel-related prizes, making it #1 on the list of big-ticket incentives.

Begin building your program by establishing reward levels-for example, silver, gold, and platinum. Create travel packages comprised of trips and gifts appropriate for each level. Maintain excitement throughout by publicly acknowledging individuals and teams who hit their sales goals-in newsletters, email announcements, on your Intranet and Website. Recognition for a job well done goes a long way toward keeping employees satisfied and motivated. And to keep new employees who joined in late, or employees who had a down month equally motivated, restart the program (or a variation of it) every quarter or every six months.

Capitalize on the MP3 Boom

If you've been to an airport, walked around a college campus, or visited a park lately, it will come as no surprise that the MP3 market is booming. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, more than 22 million Americans over the age of 18 now own an MP3 device. And the market research firm IDC predicts that by 2008, MP3s will be a $58-billion industry. Take advantage of this popularity by incorporating MP3s into your next promotion. Use them as incentives for hitting sales goals, as giveaways at tradeshows, or as fund-raising prizes. You can even upload personal greetings, presentations, and company literature before distributing them.

Increase Customers' Recall

As you prepare for your next presentation, remember this: According to psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, people forget 56% of all new information immediately, 66% within a day, and 80% within a month. To reverse those numbers, try some simple techniques. First, keep your audience engaged. Ask questions, get them to interact with each other, make it fun. If they think they might be called on or have a chance to contribute an idea, they'll be more likely to pay attention. Also, bring along writing pads and pens for anyone who shows up empty handed. Studies show that writing down information increases the likelihood that we'll remember it. Finally, bring in an object like the coffee/tea press to jumpstart your presentation. Tie it in to what you're discussing. If the topic is sales, talk about how something as simple as treating a client to a cup of coffee regularly helps build a relationship. Or if you're discussing stress management, explain how setting aside time to relax each day-for example, by enjoying a soothing cup of chamomile tea-helps recharge the batteries. Connecting your topic with an object your audience can see and touch gives it depth and makes it more memorable. To ensure that your message is remembered long after you've finished presenting, leave the press behind as a gift.

Why Use Promotional Products

Pre-show promotions are important. Research shows 76 percent of trade show attendees have decided BEFORE they get to the convention which booths they will visit.

Avoid rushing. If at all possible, give yourself at least 3 weeks from start to finish to ensure the smooth production of your promotional giveaways.

Measure results. It's a good idea to implement some kind of tracking so you know how effective your promotional items are.

Promote from within. Giving employees logo-ed t-shirts or baseball caps can be a great way to increase external brand awareness while also building company loyalty.

Developing trade show traffic, balancing improper product mix, activating inactive accounts, changing product/company names and sales aids for door openers are a few more ways promotional products marketing can enhance campaign results.

Promotional product recipients prefer subtle imprinting for certain products -- particularly the higher-end items including awards, plaques, briefcases, luggage, clothing, portfolios, writing instruments, etc

You can triple booth traffic just by including a promotional product in your pre-show mailing, according to the Trade Show Bureau. Most effective are the use of "companion gifts," such as sending an imprinted coaster before the show and giving away a matching coffee mug at your booth.

To improve your telemarketing sales, send product literature BEFORE you make the call. According to Telemarketing magazine, that tactic can reduce the time it takes to close the sale.

Promotional products provide high message recall. In one study, 68 percent of recipients remembered the advertiser's name or message.

Direct mail response rates increase with promotional products. Using promotional products as an incentive to respond can generate four times as many responses as a sales letter alone. The promotional product incentive can reduce by as much as two-thirds the cost per response.

Promotional products used in conjunction with a sales letter or as an incentive to respond, make a notable difference in direct mail response rates. They also improve a business' likelihood of converting leads into sales appointments. Silver Marketing Group conducted a study where a promotional product was added to a direct mail promotion, and response rates went up 50 percent! Promotional products used as response incentives generated as much as four times as many responses as a sales letter alone.

Customers receiving promotional gifts are more likely to give salespeople referrals. In one experiment, the difference in the number of referrals was as much as 24 percent.

Awards and incentive programs improve employee performance and morale. In addition to higher productivity, happy employees have fewer accidents and give customers better service. Baylor University discovered in a random survey, employees are indeed motivated to participate in award and incentive programs. However, employees cited they are most excited about these contests when their input is part of the initial planning and they receive timely feedback throughout the contest.

Promotional products work best as part of an integrated marketing plan. Although advertising is usually what we think of first, promotional products are also ideal for sales promotions, public relations, branding and internal communications.

Have you ever tried to buy a gift for someone you don't know? If so, you know it's quite difficult. Knowing your target audience is a crucial key to a successful promotion. Companies should clearly communicate their intended use of promotional products to a professional distributor.

Promotional products give customers "warm fuzzies" toward a company and the salespeople! In a Baylor University study customers receiving a calculator with a thank-you letter felt more positive toward the sales representatives than those who received a thank-you letter with a less expensive highlighter pen.

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