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How to Get the Most Mileage Out Of Your Promotional Products

By Proforma Durkee on May 29, 2018

So, your marketing team has bought all of these awesome promotional products, but they just sit in a supply closet or empty office cube gathering dust. promotional products promo products.jpg

Sound familiar?

Believe it or not, you're not alone. Many companies have great intentions when they buy promo products, but when it comes to distributing them...well, life happens.

Don't worry: we can help. 

Here's how to get the most mileage out of your promotional items.

1. Include promotional product distribution in your formal marketing plan. You do have a formal marketing plan, right? Even if it's just a plan you outline month-to-month, you should have a list of marketing tasks that need to happen, and this list should include your plans for any promotional products.

For example, if you've just received a new order of custom pens, include distribution tasks in your plan. It might look like this:

  • Add buckets with pens at all cash registers.
  • Give all sales people pen "packages" to deliver when they're out on sales calls.
  • Send a bunch of pens for the swag bags for the charity event you're sponsoring.

You get the idea. Take it a step further and assign each task to a team member and hold the person accountable. So Mary might be in charge of getting the pen packages to the sales team.

2. Outsource the packaging and delivery if you don't have time. We've seen this happen a lot: the marketing team will come up with a fabulous idea for a promotional product and how to use it. The team places the order, but by the time the boxes arrive, the idea of assembling 1000 kits filled with all sorts of fun promo items suddenly seems like a daunting task.

We get it. And that's why marketing agencies like ours can take this daunting task right off your plate. So whenever possible, outsource the packaging, delivery, and whatever else it takes to get the promo products out the door and into the world where they can work for you.

Not convinced you need to outsource this step? Think of it this way: you don't manufacture the pens, the coffee mugs, the water bottles, or whatever the promo product is you're buying, right? You simply place an order. There's no reason why distribution shouldn't follow the same tack.

(Psst: check out this case study where we came up with the perfect promo product campaign for Labatt USA.)

3. Store promotional products in places where customers/clients congregate and can easily access them. It drives us nuts when we see boxes and boxes of perfectly good promo items squirreled away in supply closets. Talk about a waste of money AND opportunity!

Remember, promotional products are extremely powerful. They help tremendously with brand/name recognition, since many products serve as walking billboards for your business (think apparel, tote bags, water bottles, etc.). We're talking FREE advertising! 

So even if you don't have a formal plan for distribution, at the very least, open the boxes, and spread out the promo products. Put them in waiting areas, at customer service desks, in the mail rooms, in company vehicles, even in the company cafeteria. Encourage customers/clients and employees alike to take and use the promotional products (this is especially true for cost-effective tchotchke items, like pens, key chains, lanyards, keyboard cleaners, and so forth).

4. Understand what you're ordering...and how much. One of the first things we do when we work with a new client is we get a sense of how people within the organization order promotional products and branded apparel. Often, there's no formal process for purchasing, and this is even more true if the organization has multiple locations with various managers. Ordering promotional products (or any other item for the business) should never be done on a whim or "just because."

Another issue: the lack of vendor consistency. Vendor consistency simply means the corporate office has selected approved vendors and negotiated contracts/pricing. All the marketing/sales team needs to do is place an order, which saves time and money.

This, of course, is EXACTLY what happens when a business invests in an online company store. With an online company store, ordering is streamlined and controlled--not to mention people from different branches/locations can learn from other branch managers how they're using the promo products.

Need help selecting and distributing the perfect promotional product? We can help. Let's chat.

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Topics: Marketing Tips, Online Company Store, Promotional Products

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