Editor's note: This article was written by Tej Shah, E-commerce director at Blue Soda Promo. The company provides promotional products and trade show giveaways such as custom tote bags, polo shirts and printed water bottles.
It seems the best of times always gives rise to the worse of times and today, following a housing boom, businesses are in the valley of a recession bust.
The increased competition for fewer customers rages on and your small business is fighting to stay afloat in this economic storm. You look to the skies to see what, if anything, can give your business a boost, a miracle cure that will somehow get you more clients and customers without costing you more money.
Miracles are for fairy tales and sacraments but there is one advertising strategy that has been proven to increase sales while decreasing advertising costs -- the use of promotional products.
Sure, you've seen the Nike swoosh on jackets and t-shirts, the McDonald's golden arches on bags and pens, and the red-and-blue Chicago Cubs logo sprawled across hats. But does all this branding on clothes, writing instruments and coffee mugs really lead to sales? The short answer is yes.
And this article will help you figure out why promotional products can provide a magical formula of less costs, and more sales for your business.
The Case for Promotional Products
Most people assume that they know all about the value of promotional products. Most people are wrong. We know you're smart and know the value of promotional products. But just in case someone asks here are some cold hard facts.
Promotional products are the best economical alternative to other forms of advertising because:
1. Promotional products cost less per impression than television, national magazines or radio; 2. Promotional products are more targeted -- you get to choose who receives them; 3. The effect of promotional product marketing can be accurately measured.
Promotional Products Cost Less, More Filling
At a cost of just half a penny per impression promotional product advertising is priced less than any other traditional advertising media, according to a study from the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI).
Compare $.005 to:
1. $0.018 for Prime Time television; 2. $0.045 national magazines; 3. $0.058 spot radio.
Oh and if you think the Internet will save you, have you advertised on Google lately? It can cost as much as $44 per click for popular key word ads such as "loans" and "attorney." Nearly $55 pay-per-click for the cost of "insurance." Who has that kind of money in this economy?
Promotional Products Equals Advertising that Works
Okay, so the price is right, but will using promotional products directly lead to sales? The line, "I know half my advertising is wasted -- I just don't' know which half," is a humorous comment on advertising's ambiguity. In the book "What Sticks," about what advertising does work the authors found that 47 percent of advertising campaigns failed.
The ones that succeed -- read lead to sales -- are:
1. Targeted; 2. Leave a lasting impression; 3. Work over time.
Promotional product advertising hits all those points.
You can target who will receive those shirts, calendars and pens with your logo and contact information. Sell youth sports equipment?
Give out promotional baseball jerseys to your local Little League. Want more women buying your makeup? You should order promotional lipstick holders to give away at book clubs. Whatever your market, there is sure to be a promotional item your customers or potential customers will want to use.
Also, promotional items leave a lasting impression because they're actually useful.
According to ASI, nearly half of Americans own a promotional writing instrument (pens being the most popular). More than a third own promotional shirts. And more than 1 out of 5 Americans own a promotional calendar.
And the best part?
Promotional products have a longer shelf-life than television commercials and other media advertising. People keep promotional products for nearly six months, according to ASI. If you use electronic products, that number can be increased to eight months. Think of it. Someone advertising your company on their wrist, desk or back for EIGHT MONTHS! That beats even the cleverest Apple commercials.
Promotional Products Can Save the Day
Budget-friendly, creative and thoughtful, promotional products are a great way to advertise your company. You can target the right audience with the right message and know that your promotional product will have a long shelf life.
Don't miss out on an opportunity to grow your business with little upfront costs. Get started with promotional products now!
Photo credit: Brownsprinting.com