Businesses, regardless of their size, rely heavily on various marketing approaches and strategies to drive sales and attract more customers. Nowadays, there are so many ways to promote a product or service that deciding on the best marketing approach can be a challenge for many business owners. Marketing strategies require business resources—resources that need to be used wisely.
If there is a marketing strategy that has stuck over the years due to its proven and time-tested effectiveness, it is the use of promotional materials. This refers to any printed, written, or graphic means of promoting a business brand and its products and services. They can also be called promotional items or promotional products.
What Are the Benefits of Promotional Materials?
How can exceptional promotional materials benefit your business? Read on to find out.
They increase brand exposure and awareness.
In a Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Consumer Survey in 2017, it was found that around 90% of consumers can recall a message or information from a promotional material they have received. Promotional materials for business marketing can hit two birds with one stone because they help in maintaining your existing clients while also advertising your products and services to potential customers. Promotional products that are given to your customers as gifts can help imprint your brand name in their thoughts.
They are more cost-effective.
Promotional materials are proven to have a better return on investment (ROI) compared to other marketing strategies. Marketing and promotional materials, such as stationeries and shopper bags, are significantly cheaper to produce compared to magazine or TV adverts. On top of their lower production costs, promotional materials also have a lower cost per impression (CPI). CPI refers to the amount of money spent on a marketing campaign divided by the number of times the advert is seen by its target consumers.
They have better longevity.
A consumer survey in 2017 by the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) found that utility is considered the most important quality of promotional materials. This means that the more useful a promotional product is, the more likely that your customers will keep and use them for a longer time. This also means that your customers will have prolonged exposure to your advertising message compared to leaflet or magazine advert, which can be dismissed right away by uninterested prospects.
They are tangible.
As one of the promotional materials benefits, this one is not directly observable and objectively measurable but is more psychological. However, we can all agree that most people find a promotional gift to be more appealing and memorable than an onscreen advert or a printed image. People love to get their hands on tactile, physical objects, and it is just a bonus if your promotional products are useful to them.
They support integrated marketing.
One of the best advantages of using promotional materials is that they are not stand-alone and can be used in conjunction with your other marketing campaigns. Promotional products that are smaller in size can be used as part of your direct mailing approach, while the larger ones can be used as giveaways during trade shows. Nowadays, business owners recognize the importance of promotional materials in an integrated marketing approach to effectively promote a product or service.
They can be used for customer recognition and customer loyalty programs.
Research conducted by the BPMA discovered that promotional materials are primarily used for customer recognition. A PPAI survey found that 83% of respondents said that they are more likely to do business with brands they had received promotional products from. These studies prove that promotional materials are indeed effective in creating business opportunities with new customers and maintaining positive relationships with the old ones.
They can be used for staff recognition.
Who says promotional materials can only be used for your clients? In a research conducted by the BPMA in 2017, 79% of respondents reported that they feel appreciated after receiving a promotional gift. Because of this, promotional products can also be used as an effective way to reward your business staff and boost their morale. Budget-friendly promotional gifts can be given to all your employees while the premium ones can be reserved for the top performers.
They can help extend your marketing reach.
In a study, the PPAI found that eight out of 10 consumers give away a promotional product they receive to someone else if they don’t want to keep it for themselves. This is beneficial to your business because it organically extends your reach in a way that no other marketing strategy can do. The PPAI research shows that promotional materials go on to make impressions beyond their initial audience.
They can establish emotional resonance with your customers.
71% of respondents said they felt happy after receiving a promotional product in a consumer study conducted by the PPAI. Furthermore, 83% of them agreed that receiving promotional products positively changed their impression of a brand. This information is important because this shows that promotional materials can help create an emotional connection between businesses and consumers. Having emotional resonance with your customers is beneficial because it encourages them to patronize your products and services.
They offer variety to your marketing pushes.
Promotional materials can take any form. Perhaps, this is the reason that explains the lasting appeal of promotional products to both businesses and consumers. From low-cost pens to branded merchandise, there is always a promotional item for every budget and every occasion. Budget-friendly promotional materials can be used for large-scale marketing campaigns while premium products can be given as corporate gifts. What’s more, recent technologies now enable printing on almost any surface, which allows for more personalized promotional products.
What are the Most Effective Promotional Materials?
Below, we have listed the top 10 promotional materials examples based on a study conducted by the Advertising Specialty Institute.
Face masks remain the first line of defense against the COVID-19 virus. With the pandemic still going on, it is safe to assume that the wearing of face masks will stay a part of daily life for some time. According to the Advertising Specialty Institute, 71% of people wear branded face masks at least weekly. Furthermore, the average mask gets 4,235 impressions. These numbers make face masks the top choice if you are looking for promotional item ideas.
Pens and other writing instruments are among the all-time favorites when it comes to promotional materials. 89% of consumers own a promotional pen and they keep these things for nine months on average. Pens make exceptional promotional materials because they are very useful to your customers. On your part as a business owner, promotional pens also don’t cost much to produce and are very easy to distribute to your customers. And because pens are often borrowed, they can go everywhere, offering free advertising for your brand.
USB Flash Drives
Despite the growing popularity of cloud storage these days, USB flash drives remain a solid choice for data storage for many of us. And it comes with good reasons. With USB flash drives, your stored data will always be accessible—even when there is no internet connection. They are conveniently portable. You can carry and store them anywhere. It is also good for marketing since 56% of consumers would prefer a USB flash drive over a power bank.
Promotional caps are on par with promotional t-shirts in terms of impressions (3,400 impressions in their lifetime). Like t-shirts, you can incorporate various styles and designs into these promotional materials to suit your customer’s preferences. Promotional caps are cost-effective—they don’t cost your business much to produce. They can also be manufactured in a relatively short time frame, saving you time and money. Promotional caps can be given to your customers as a form of customer loyalty reward and to your employees as a form of staff recognition.
The average promotional bag gets 3,300 impressions in its lifetime. Promotional bags are a great way to have your customers unconsciously advertise your brand name all around town. People who receive your promotional bags will take these items to the grocery store, to work, and practically anywhere they need to go. As a marketing approach, promotional bags are far more effective in promoting your products and services than any flyer or television ad. What’s more, promotional bags are versatile. They can be used to publicize events, sales, and product launches.
Anyone who wears your promotional t-shirts are practically walking billboards of your brand. Promotional t-shirts get 3,400 impressions on average, making them effective for brand exposure. As a marketing strategy, promotional t-shirts are a great way to attract new customers and make your brand popular in your niche area. Furthermore, t-shirts are long-lasting promotional items. They never go out of fashion. This means that the promotional t-shirts that you produce today will remain relevant for a long time.
Without a doubt, branded drinkware is one of the top promotional items in the market today. Aside from promoting your brand to your customers, reusable cups and tumblers also send the message that you care for the environment. This is great for your business because 46% of consumers have a better impression of a company that gives them an environment-friendly promotional product. What’s more, promotional drinkware doesn’t just appeal to a specific demographic. These promotional products are universally appropriate gifts and can be given to anyone regardless of gender, occupation, or age.
In a 2016 ASI Impression Study, 29% of U.S. consumers own promotional calendars. In addition, 76% of those who own these calendars said that they display them in prominent locations in their homes or offices. Among all the promotional material on this list, only promotional calendars can put your brand logo in front of your customers every day of the year. These promotional items are also very versatile. Whether your clients are into art, nature, or travel, you always design a calendar that suits their tastes.
An average promotional clothing piece can get 6,600 impressions in its lifetime. That’s almost double the impressions that promotional caps and t-shirts may get. This makes promotional clothing one of the best products to use for your brand marketing strategies. By letting the members of your staff wear your branded clothing as uniforms, it makes them easily recognizable by customers. They can also add an enhanced professional atmosphere to your store if you opt for more formal branded clothing such as polo shirts.
Promotional desk items are kept for an average of 13 months. Whether you give them to your employees or your clients, promotional desk items are a great way of integrating your brand into their daily activities. Promotional desk accessories last long when cared for properly and are useful in keeping one’s desk tidy and organized. Some of the desk items that are commonly distributed for brand promotion include:
- Mouse pads and wrist rests
- Picture frames
- Letter openers
- Desk clocks
What are the Most Creative Promotional Products of All Time?
Aside from the marketing staples listed above, you can also go creative with your promotional materials. After all, the purpose of promotional products is to leave a lasting impression on your customers. To give you a few inspirations, we have listed below the most creative promotional materials of all time.
Iams Australia’s Weight-Shaped Frisbees
To create a marketing campaign that would bring to life the benefits of Iams dog food and increase brand awareness, Iams Australia gave away frisbees that came in the shape of barbell weights. The main point of the campaign was to make dogs appear strong and healthy as they played with these heavy-looking frisbees.
KFC’s Inflatable Colonel Pool Toys
In 2018, KFC kicked off the Memorial Day weekend as well as the summer celebration by opening a sweepstake. The winners received the limited-edition KFC Colonel floatie. The inflatable floatie came in the shape of a rideable raft and the likeness of Colonel Sanders, KFC’s mascot. It also has special holders for a chicken bucket and a beverage.
Budweiser’s Light-Up Pint Glasses
The National Hockey League (NHL) distributed these promotional products to the first 10,000 fans who came to watch the second match between Washington Capitals and the Toronto Maple Leafs. These pint glasses were synced with a fan’s smartphone and would light up every time their team scores. These promotional products from Budweiser were a massive hit, causing the other teams to join the bandwagon.
General Electric’s Comic Books
Despite selling uninspiring products like aircraft, power generators, and oil equipment, General Electric found a way to make their marketing efforts fun and exciting for their customers. In the 1950s, General Electric released an exclusive comic book in collaboration with the same artists who worked on “Batman”. These old-school comic books are now valuable rare collectibles.
Mountain Dew’s Neon Green Xbox
PepsiCo has been known for using nerdy and creative promotional materials in its marketing campaigns. In 2004, the company released a limited-edition Xbox and Xbox Ones. The Neon Green Xbox was given to anyone who has collected 550 “dew points” from different cases or bottles of Mountain Dew, a soft drink brand produced and owned by PepsiCo.
Domino’s Adult Onesies
Who says onesies are just for babies? In 2016, Domino’s started selling promotional adult onesies for about $32 at select locations in the United Kingdom. The money from the sale of these fun promotional marketing materials went to the Teenage Cancer Trust. These adult onesies are great for pizza parties. They are “wipeable” so you wouldn’t have to worry about sauce stains.
Aldi’s Quarter Keychains
ALDI’s quarter keychains are designed to hold a quarter so that you will always have one handy when you shop in Aldi. Aldi is a German family-owned discount supermarket chain. The chain was known for requiring a “rental fee” for their shopping carts. Aldi’s shopping carts are technically free to use, but you have to pay a quarter to release a cart. The quarter you paid will be returned to you once the cart is turned back in. Aside from this promotional materials purpose, these quarter keychains also serve as a subtle reminder for their customers to shop only in Aldi every time they head out to buy essentials.
Burger King’s Flame-Grilled Perfume
Burger King released these limited-edition perfumes on April Fool’s Day in 2015. These perfumes smelled like their famous Whopper, a quarter-pound beef patty sandwich. The restaurant chain distributed 1,000 of these fragrances in Japan. A bottle cost about $40 and came with a complementary Whopper.
Y+ Yoga’s Bendy Straws
The best promotional materials incorporate what your brand is all about, and this is exactly what Y+ Yoga had in mind when they distributed bendy straws at local fruit juice bars in Shanghai, China. These flexible custom marketing materials remind their clients of the flexibility required to do yoga.
McDonald’s Bling Ring
In February 2018, McDonald’s came up with one of the most romantic presents ever. The $12,500 Big Mac ring was a one-of-a-kind, seven-piece stackable ring made of 18-karat gold, diamonds, sapphires, and other precious gems. The bling ring was offered to the lucky fan who joined their social media contest.
What’s the Takeaway?
The use of promotional materials is considered an integral part of the marketing mix, and it comes with a good reason. Promotional products offer a lot of benefits to businesses while generally costing less than other marketing strategies. While the best promotional materials are those that your customers can use again and again, you can never go wrong by also making them creative, original, and interesting.
To ensure a comprehensive marketing strategy, you should supplement your traditional marketing efforts with digital approaches. A good way to get started is by getting a custom website for your business. Call Proweaver today at +1 (877) 2160852!