By: Gareth Parkin
When you invest in promotional items, you have a goal in mind. It may be to increase your market visibility, or to increase your sales, or to prospect for new customers. They may be meant as a thank you or an enticement, or more commonly, as both. No matter the reason that you choose to give promotional gifts to your customers or prospective customers, it’s important to choose items and gifts that reach your target market. Here are some tips on effectively choosing and using promotional gifts to get the reaction you want from the right people – those that will buy your product.
1. Define your target market first.
It’s impossible to hit a bulls-eye when you don’t know where you’re aiming. Before you ever start a marketing campaign, you need to sit down and define your target market, and do so as specifically as possible. The more specific your target, the more effectively you can take aim.
2. Research your target market.
In order to be useful to you, the promotional items you choose have to be useful to your recipients. Take some time to learn what they need and want, and what gifts would be most welcome and likely to be used. The perfect gift for a busy executive isn’t likely to be the same as the perfect gift for a new mother. Tying your promotional gifts into your product and your target market is a surefire way to be sure that your marketing campaign will fly.
3. Stay in the loop with competitors.
Keep an eye on the promotions being run by your competitors and avoid duplicating. You don’t want your company to be confused with theirs, nor do you want to be considered an imitator. On the other hand, you may learn something from a successful marketing strategy being run by one of your competition.
4. Choose a delivery method that will reach your intended target.
No matter how carefully you choose your marketing inducement, it won’t have any effect if it doesn’t reach its intended market. Blanketing every house in the borough with direct mail may get you widespread coverage – but will it reach the customers most likely to buy from you? It may be far more effective to take a booth at the local mall during the hours that your potential customers shop. You’ll hand out far less gifts, but those you do hand out will be far more likely to bring you customers.
5. Require some action from your intended recipients.
It’s also important to evaluate the results of your marketing strategy. The best way to do that is to require some follow-up action on the part of your gift recipients. That follow-up could be as simple as ticking off a checkbox in an email and returning it, or as complex as hunting down a whole list of clues to find their final gift. The important thing is that you be able to mark off how many people actually responded to your marketing gift.
Gareth Parkin is the co-founder of Ideasbynet, the UK's leading online
company based in the north of England. Established in 2001, he has taken the UK gift market by storm by the application of modern business thinking.