We’re excited to share a guest post from Clif Jordan from Gemline, one of our preferred partners! Check out Clif’s great insights on considerations for building a promotional marketing strategy.

When planning your calendar year keep in mind a serious consideration for promotional marketing. Promotional Products have a proven track record of greater ROI and effectiveness on brand recall while meeting the practical and useful needs of their users*. As cool as promotional products are make sure the item you choose is the right messenger…you want the product to reinforce the message your conveying…your brand, you care, you appreciate, your leading edge or just to say “thank you”! Remember there are two main groups of folks you’re marketing to…your clients or potential ones and your employees. That’s right, don’t forget those wonderful people who make your business shine and keep those dollars floating in the door.

Happy Business Card

There are 5 simple questions to ask yourself that have great relevance in your marketing strategy and can greatly reinforce Brand Love the more you work them into your corporate calendar. They include many benefits for planning ahead including – saving you money, more product options due to availability, allowing you to reserve inventory, leveraging creativity and having time to create unique custom products that can bring the WOW factor.

Reduce your stress and budgets and weave promotions into your campaigns and events early on. Don’t wait until the last minute and then pay double or triple for shipping costs and having to settle on your third or 4th choice due to production time or availability. Definitely don’t pay outrageous handling fees for your Event or Trade Show because your products were not included in your original shipment…and since you are trying to spend wisely, know that promotional products remain less expensive per impression than most other forms of advertising, their average cost-per-impression being 0.7 cents!* Plus what form of advertising does anyone really say “Thank You” for?

That said let’s look at the 5 questions to think about when planning for the year and what products and gifts might be appropriate. Keep in mind your audience and their demographic.

  1. What are you doing for your employees this year?

Group Recognition

This is probably one of the best ways you can spend your money on Brand Love while encouraging and thanking your employees at the same time. Ways to use products in a useful way for employees:

  • Do you give a New Hire Kit for employees welcoming them to your organization? Items that can make their commute or work easier or more enjoyable. Items like a branded messenger bag or backpack, drinkware, apparel, Bluetooth earbuds or speakers, Tablet/Ipad stands, padfolios and writing instruments come to mind.
  • Do you measure employee performance? Reward them at quarterly milestones or end of the year ceremonies to thank them for job well done with a nice gift item.
  • Awards…yes these are still appreciated for those standout employees and managers.
  • Don’t forget Retail Brand name merchandise either – many Premium brand products are now available with or without your logo or message and are very well received and loved by the recipient.

Tumbler

2.What are you doing for your clients this year?

  • Do your sales people have a leave behind gift for their first client contact? Perhaps a USB drive or Moleskine Journal would be appreciated.
  • Do you have an Open House or Sponsor a Client Golf Tournament?
  • End of the Year “Thank You” gifts and cards to those 20% that give you the 80% return! This can include food items, premium brands and nice gift products.

Powerbank

3. What regional meetings or trainings do you have scheduled?

  • Padfolios, Tablet Stands, notepads, writing instruments, drinkware and apparel are always needed for these events.
  • Are you having a team building event or golf tournament with your regional managers or sales team? Plenty of items come to mind to give out here including apparel, caps, coolers, sport bags and technology items.
  • Do folks have to travel to this event? Think about bags, luggage, powerbanks, earbuds, amenity kits and merchandise to make the trip a little more comfortable or organized.

Speaker

4. What trade shows or conferences are you attending?

  • Make sure your team looks good for the show at the booth. Coordinated apparel, tablet/Ipad stands or cases and backpacks or messenger bags are some suggestions.
  • A tiered giveaway based on Good-Better-Best depending on the attendee interest or potential. Tote bags, cinch bags, tech adapters, USB’s, drinkware, journals and writing instruments are some of the most popular items. The Better-Best can upgrade to Moleskine Journals and other Premium Brands like Brookstone, Samsonite, Thermos and many more. Think about your audience and what they need for the show or to take home & use.
  • Follow-up gift for your sales people to give leads from the show at their first meeting.

Thermos

5. What community services or charity organizations is your company sponsoring?

  • Great brand awareness for the walks, runs and special events where co-branding with your favorite charity or community service shows you care about the people where you work and live. Totes, Bags, coolers, backpacks and cinch bags are obvious but also think about drinkware, badges and ID bracelets, T-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, jackets and earbuds.

Volt Backpack

These 5 Questions help you get an overview for your year and give you a thoughtful platform to coordinate promotions into your Brand Love strategy successfully into your calendar. The investment in ad specialties is modest, more targeted, and allows for much greater levels of interaction with consumers and employees than other forms of advertising*. Collaborating with your Boundless Team saves you stress, money, time, and ensures a well-planned execution of your message placed on the perfect product. Your audience will appreciate it and show gratefulness in many ways thereafter.

*Source: ASI Impressions Study 2016

Clif Jordan Bio