There are two types of promotional purchases. One type of purchase involves buying and handing out “freebies”, typically at events. Organizations make these purchases quite often for a number of reasons, but the primary goal in this activity is to say “thank you” for participating or taking a desired action. It’s a way to get the establish or maintain name recognition and branding. The customer or attendee receives the promotional item with the name of the company, contact information and slogan and leaves the encounter hopefully feeling good about the company that handed it out.
In most “freebie” scenarios the customer is not engaged with the company that hands out the promotional items, they receive an item and walk away. Common reasons for providing free items are celebrating events, holidays and generating goodwill and teamwork in the community. In these events, the customer may just walk up to a booth or self serve bin and pick up a freebie. Some benefits include, providing exposure and name recognition and the customer will have contact information for future reference.
If the customers hears or sees the name of the company through multiple exposures (print, web, word of mouth, direct mail, blogs, social media, etc.) a sales lead, a phone call, a visit to a company website or a purchase may result. Give away items are great sales tools for starting a business, generating leads, special events and drawing in new customers.
The other kind of purchase is part of a strategy that utilizes promotional items with other elements in an ongoing program or promotional campaign. One of the most common reasons companies launch promotional campaigns is to improve something. Whether it’s lagging attendance, high error rates, lack of awareness, high turnover, safety issues, low productivity or customer retention there is something that is not working as well as it should.
Many programs and campaigns involve handing out free items, but the key difference in establishing a program is that it engages the customer or employee. They have to take a desired action to receive the free gift. So instead of being some company listed on a water bottle, for example, a relationship is established between giver and receiver. Information can be exchanged that will help make improvements and feedback can be obtained that is measurable and reportable. Programs can be implemented and repeated over time to offer something unique at each interval. Program success can be rolled up into company success and translated into hard numbers that can be tracked. And the list of benefits goes on.
Promotional items help to bridge a gap between the giver and recipient. They are used to encourage the recipient take a desired action. Whether it’s completing a survey, making a purchase, making fewer errors, improving sales, coming up with new ideas, signing up for more information, attending a demonstration, improving some measurable objective, etc.
Looking at your reasons for launching a promotional campaign is the first logical step in making a purchase for promotional items. Planning can set the tone for the rest of the campaign and make the difference between success and missing the mark. Planning can help you see when it’s best to purchase an item that will make the “right” impact versus buying a random item.
Here are a few questions to get you started:
- Why are you launching a promotional campaign? To improve something, support growth, or generate goodwill, celebrate holidays and other events. Whatever the reason, state it here.
- What would you like to accomplish? A general statement about what you hope to accomplish by taking this action.
- What are your goals and objectives? Time taken here will set the tone for the rest of the campaign. Goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time related)
The next set of questions has to do with your target audience. We’ll continue to look at ways to plan effective promotional campaigns that result in success for you and your organization. Contact us for help with your next promotion or for questions about promotional items for your next event.