The short answer to that question would be – yes. However, you shouldn’t take our word for it. While it may seem that the digital age has trampled over the traditional forms of advertising, such as handing out promotional merchandise, the truth is quite the opposite. As a matter of fact, this type of advertising has proved to be the most successful way to get new customers and retain regular ones. Here’s why.
It’s an Extension of Your Advertising
Having a tangible “advert” only solidifies any commercial, poster, or internet ad you’ve been using so far. Not to mention that having giveaways of promotional merchandise online boosts visits to your website or social media profile. Since these objects are always common household items, they stay with people longer, giving your brand everyday exposure.
Low-Cost and Effective
Not only are bulk orders of promotional items always offered at a discount or a reasonable price, but the return of investment you have with branded materials is also huge. Statistics from the Advertising Specialty Institute show that they are much cheaper than prime-time TV commercials, and shoulder-to-shoulder with radio and internet ads. The price was measured in “cost per impression”, which looks at how long the impression of the product lasts with consumers depending on the type of advertisement.
They Last Longer Than Ads
As an addendum to the previous point, promo materials tend to stick around longer than any other ad, or even business card. By being practical, useful, and above all else – free, people are more inclined to keep and use them. And if your logo is visually appealing, or otherwise memorable and distinctive from others, they’re more likely to be shown off, and carried around or used more often.
It Rewards Your Employees as Well
Customers aren’t (and shouldn’t be) the only ones who receive free gifts. Handing them away to your employees will be just as beneficial. They reinforce the message you’re sending to the customers, and when designed particularly creatively, ensure loyalty and company pride within your workers. Just be sure to carefully choose the moment and the means for it, because your employees are on a different consumer level than your customers.
They Increase the Recall Rate
Promo materials are especially effective during trade fairs. Tote bags, lanyards, pens and notebooks are handed out faster than they can be restocked, and for a good reason. People are more inclined to memorize a company’s name if they receive a gift from a smiling promoter. Furthermore, promo materials are, again, free gifts. They show the people that you care, and most will see it as an act of kindness. Even more so if your merchandise is environmentally friendly.
It Expands Your Reach
Lastly, promotional materials allow you to reach an audience that has become somewhat numb to online advertisement, or simply doesn’t spend as much time on social networks. Offline advertising is far from dead. Your target audience will dictate not only the type of promotional material you’ll make, but the type of offline advertising campaigns for them as well. It gives way for new, creative advertising approaches, and increases live interaction with your customers.
In the End
We can agree that branded promotional materials are the right way to go when you’re considering different ways of advertising. Not only is it cost-effective in relation to other marketing solutions, but it’s also more personal, practical, and still the customers’ most favoured way of business promotion. In the end, it’s a win-win situation. Your brand gets recognised and talked about more often, while your new and recurring customers get practical, nice-looking tokens of gratitude for their loyalty.
Michael Deane is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham