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Is your promotional collateral working for you?

Posted on Monday, 21st October 2013

Everybody knows that promotions, and in particular promotional freebees, are a great part of the marketing toolkit. It is no surprise for us to hear that individuals will think of a business more favourably if they have been given something by them for free. But how and when such merchandise is used needs to be considered very carefully. With thousands of products available in the market, at a wide scale of price points, product selection can run the risk of appearing a bit random. Well considered promotional solutions hit where they matter: they will sit on a client’s desk, in their pocket, car or bag and be in constant view, acting as a daily reminder of your brand.

The following quiz seeks to determine whether your freebees are effectively working for you…

In preparation for your industry’s biggest annual trade-show you have been given a substantial budget to spend on promotional merchandise; so you:

(A) Scan the web or grab the nearest catalogue and start searching for the wackiest, most attention-grabbing gift you can find.
(B) Stick to the tried and tested items such as pens, key rings and mugs as they are practical and keep costs low.
(C) Liaise with Happysmile’s promotional experts in relation to your exhibition activity and goals, and develop a tailored concept that fits with your theme.

You have just completed a highly successful promotional campaign and consumers are raving about you and your brand; so you:

(A) Bask in the glory of your success and become complacent with your current customer satisfaction levels.
(B) Start planning your next promotional giveaway immediately: you recognise the value of word-of-mouth transferrals and want to ensure customer goodwill persists.
(C) Before even thinking about your next promotional campaign, you focus on those raving consumers; by concentrating on strengthening your relationship with them thus cementing repeat business for your organisation.

You have been challenged by your financial director to prove that the money spent on freebies delivers ROI; so you:

(A) Distribute promotional merchandise to as many people as possible and keep your fingers crossed for an uplift in sales.
(B) Hand out branded merchandise at industry trade-shows, and keep track of the amount of traffic that it generates to your stand.
(C) Request customer data in exchange for freebies, and monitor all future business with those individuals via a customer relationship management (CRM) system

Mostly (A)s:

Oh dear. With no strategic approach behind your promotional merchandise giveaways, they may run the risk of appearing gimmicky or useless to your target market. If your stakeholders don’t use the item regularly, you are missing the opportunity of keeping your brand in the front of their minds.

Mostly (B)s:
You understand the potential of promotions and giveaways, but must think carefully about maximising their effect and monitoring ROI. Remember to continue with customer engagement beyond the free gift and build a strong relationship with your clients whilst they are most open to your advances.

Mostly (C)s:
You are well on the way to monetising free gifts; and can look forward to increased brand loyalty, a bucket load of new business and an ultimate reduction in marketing costs.

Failing to plan usually leads to a plan for failure.