A recent Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) study showed that 76% of people who received promotional products in the past year could easily recall the name of the advertiser on the product they received. Additionally, 52% of those people ended up doing business with the advertiser after receiving the product.
By using promotional products to entice potential clients, you can significantly increase your sales and growth even in a challenging market such as todays. The old adage holds true that in lean times you should advertise more to increase your brand’s market share so that when the economy cycles up again you are in the top position and well ahead your competition. To find the perfect promotional items for your market you can follow these 5 steps:
“Going to a mass promotional products clearinghouse will only work if you have a lot of money and time to waste when good intentions go south.”
1. Choose Your Marketing Message
Before ordering any promotional items, it is necessary to figure out the message you want to convey. Sometimes shopping for promotional products can turn us into raccoons that jump at the shiny things regardless of the consequences. We must resist this instinct, and instead of picking the first flashy products, take the time to review all options. Ask yourself some pertinent questions:
What do you want people to think of when they look at your product?
How will the product be used?
Who is your target audience? Ask yourself the following questions to quickly identify the type of demographic you are trying to reach.
How old are they?
What TV shows do they watch?
What do they read?
What do they do for outdoor activities?
Do they cook or go out to eat?
Will your product resonate with your target audience?
Why are we giving these products out?
Is the timing right for this product? (I.e. 1 month before Christmas or 5 days before?) This question can help you eliminate a really costly mistake.
What kind of results do we expect to see from distributing these items?
What will the estimated ROI (Return on Investment) be for this promotional product purchase? Try to break it down by what percentage response you expect and how much per lead you will be paying.
If you represent a major brand (Pepsi, CAT, Ford, Chrysler, Chiles, Taco Bell, Re/Max, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, etc.), ask yourself or a manager if this product be approved and looked upon favorably or even approved by your corporate branding department?
It is crucial for you to envision the right image and set the tone for your promotional products campaign before you start looking at samples. Potential buyers or sellers will view this item as an extension of your service to them.
2. Conduct Research
You can find anything on the Internet and that can be both good and bad. Look online, make some phone calls and review information from several promotional product providers. Get referrals from other agents, your agencies office manager (who is likely to do these kinds of purchases for the office), your broker, your neighbors. What is the top sales star in your office using? Conduct your own poll and find out if they are having success and with what. Don’t be alarmed if nobody is using promotional products in your office, that just means you will be the first and therefore get the results that your fellow agents will be asking you about soon.
Check with your agencies brand department or corporate website, the Promotional Products Association International, Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, and other local organizations to ensure you’ll be working with a reputable approved company. For instance, Recognition Express is an authorized vendor for all Real Estate brands and most companies in the US and Canada.
It is always better to work with an authorized vendor as other less reputable or untested sources may in fact deliver bad products, not honor a refund request, or provide you with something that is not approved by your particular companies brand department. I can’t tell you how many bad imprint or broken mug stories I have heard from clients in the past. The bottom line is you should always conduct your due diligence so you’ll be getting the quality items you want on time and within your budget.
3. Demand Service
The promotional products industry is an $18 billion industry and there are a lot of companies that are looking for your business, especially in this market. Its well worth the time and energy to find the right company that will give you the right balance of value and selection. Don’t settle for less than a promotional products company that will deliver high-quality products and service, meet your deadlines, and cater to your individual needs. At Recognition Express we take each sale one customer at a time, we take our time to get it just right, and we stand by everything we sell. Going to a mass clearinghouse will only work if you have a lot of money to waste when good intentions go south.
4. Be Creative
The top promotional sellers are t-shirts, hats, pens, calendars, or other office equipment, there are many other options. With today’s technology, you can create your own products and have your logo and unique information added to them at a fairly low cost and ROI. How about a branded flashlight with a compass and a note that says; “I’m ready to light your way and keep your sales headed in the right direction when you are.” How about a pair of large branded silver oven mitts with a note that says; “Your neighborhood is hot right now and I can help you handle it if you’re ready to sell.”
5. Review Your Responses
After you distribute a promotional product, check to see if it has made an impact on your website traffic, client inquiries or actual home sales. Ask members of your targeted audience what they think of the products and make changes if you feel you need to. You can significantly increase sales with the right promotional product plan, but remember that it must be PLANNED. If you follow these five simple steps your chances for success are greatly increased. Remember that old saying; “If you make a plan, you will succeed and if you don’t then you plan to fail.
For more information and high-quality, creative promotional products, please visit www.recognitionexpress.com or call us at (800) 457-7030 and speak with one of our friendly and customer focused service representatives.
Recognition Express is your approved promotional products dealer and we are here to help you.
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