Even if you have a never-ending, bottomless pit of cash to draw from (and I don’t think even the biggest of businesses have this resource), it is vital to make sure you’re maximising your budget to bring you a sustainable return on investment.
A recent survey conducted with senior marketeers across the UK by the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA), has highlighted that 83% of them plan to either maintain or increase their spend on promotional merchandise from 2012-2013.
It identifies that they choose promotional merchandise as it targets customers effectively, ensures brand messages last longer and creates loyalty.
In addition, alongside other more recent social media developments (such as Twitter and Facebook), promotional merchandise is increasingly seen as a more cost effective method of promoting brands and advertising messages due to its longevity and impact on customer relationships.
However, there are some ways in which you can maximise your marketing spend and make promotional merchandise even more affordable. Take a look at these top tips…
Although there are express options for printing those last minute orders on most products (including 24hr turnarounds for some!), these will cost more than if the same items are supplied within a standard production lead-time. Thus, it’s advisable to get things ordered as early as you can.
When finalising the promotional products you are going to use, it’s useful to consider how long you want them to last or stay with your customer. This is specifically relevant for larger bulk orders when you are not planning to send out in one go. For instance, do you really need to feature a date on the item or do you need to consider the impact of printing any contact details / logos that may be changing in the near future? In addition, if using perishable items such as confectionery and drinks, it’s always advisable to consider how short or long term your campaign will be compared to the products shelf life.
Most manufacturers will require artwork to be supplied in a certain file format to ensure a good quality of branding is achieved (editable eps files). For most, jpegs, scanned images etc. will not be of the standard needed. If it’s a particularly detailed piece of artwork this could prove costly to have the manufacturer redraw for you, so try and arrange this with the distributor or a graphic designer if you don’t have it already set up.
There a few ways to make sure getting your promotional merchandise to your customers is a low cost affair. One of the best and most effective ways (if you see them regularly) is to take it with you and hand in person! However, your campaign may mean mailing out in the post is more suitable. In this case try to use lightweight items that will fit into an envelope or small jiffy bag easily.
In some situations there may be opportunities to share your marketing campaigns with other related organisations. Naturally, the risk of diluting your own brand and messages should be measured against the benefits of sharing costs, but it can work. The benefits can include reaching out to a wider customer base that you may not traditionally target. For example, a car dealership may order some window stickers for the cars it sells, but could share the cost with a local valeting business in exchange for featuring both logos on the stickers. For charities, schools and sports clubs, getting sponsors to feature on branded items
like mugs, bags and stationery can also offset costs and increase fundraising potential.
As you can see, there are loads of ways to help maximise the effectiveness of your promotional merchandise,
whilst keeping spending down.