Who Uses Promotional Products/How to Integrate Them into a Marketing Mix

Integrating promotional products into your marketing mix is easier than you may think. With an understanding of your target audience, clear objectives, and a little bit of strategic planning, it's easy to make them a fundamental component of your brand's marketing mix.

In 2008, the top buyers of branded merchandise, according to the Advertising Specialties Institute (ASI), included industries like Education, Financial, Non-Profit, Healthcare, and Construction, to name a few. However, businesses competing in any industry, no matter what size they are or what budget they have, can take advantage of the widespread exposure and publicity that custom giveaway items will give them. Other statistics released by ASI demonstrate that 84% of end users can recall the names of the advertisers imprinted on items they have been given, and 62% of recipients decided to conduct business with an advertiser after receiving the branded products.

The first step of the buying process is to identify to whom you would like to communicate your marketing message and how they will benefit from the custom items.  Any items emblazoned with the name, logo, and marketing message of a business or organization are considered promotional products, so they can be observed in virtually any setting. Surely you have collected promotional gifts and giveaways from other brands at trade shows, fundraisers, and business meetings that you still have in your possession.

After establishing the demographic make-up of your target audience, the next step of is deciding how to distribute the items to your end users. If direct mail is already a communication channel that you use to communicate with your customers, you could opt for lightweight, compact items like rulers, pens, or magnets to capitalize on your preexisting marketing tactics. Similarly, if you sponsor a booth at an annual community fundraiser, consider passing out things like t-shirts or keychains to participants- your marketing efforts will boost brand awareness and recognition in the public eye.

Through a detailed analysis of your end users and their needs, you should be able to pinpoint several types of items that will serve functional purposes and/or decorative uses to those individuals. A 2008 study conducted by ASI found that recipients keep imprinted giveaways for an average of 7 months, thereby garnering frequent exposure for imprinted messages. By strategically integrating these items into your marketing mix you will increase brand loyalty and brand recognition among your target audience.