In a recent post online someone was asking for some sourcing ideas for a particular type of company. We had a dollar amount and industry type, so that was a start. In order to offer up the best suggestions possible I asked for the purpose of the campaign. This person replied, “There is no purpose. It’s just a giveaway.”
Wait. There is no purpose?
If there is no purpose or desired effect, then why is this company even bothering to spend the money? Answer: They aren’t. Or at least they shouldn’t be. Forgive me for speaking boldly when I say the distributor failing to ask what the products would be used for is doing their client a huge disservice. In fact, I would even be willing to say that this type of failure to assess purpose before sourcing product is the number one reason that many business owners say they see no value in using promotional products to promote their business. This is also a large part of the reason the race to the bottom on price exists. Distributors often times answer the phone and take an order from a client without bothering to find out the why behind the buy. The good news is, there’s a fix! Clients tend to think they know what they want, but don’t actually know what they need.
As professionals, it’s our job to show them the difference!
As an industry we tout that branded goods are the number one way for a business to solicit to, bring in, and retain customers. When the right product is paired with the right marketing message, this is 100% true and the return on spend is easily quantifiable. However, when little or no thought is given to the purpose behind the promo, it can be a monumental waste of an end-buyer’s time and money.
So how do you find the right product and create the right marketing message? You do this by
first determining the purpose of the campaign. If your client doesn’t know what they want the product to do, don’t let them move forward until they figure it out. If they say, “I want a pen with my logo on it” don’t be afraid to ask them why they want a pen and challenge them to think deeper about their purpose behind requesting that item. Asking these types of questions makes you far more valuable to your clients. They know you are here to truly take care of their needs and help their business grow. Remember my statement above? People are willing to pay more for goods and services that they feel are valuable! Take the time to help your client determine who they are trying to reach and what message they are trying to send. Whatever product(s) you choose, make sure your client has a well thought out purpose for doing so!
Remember: Every promo needs to have a purpose and ever so valuable is the distributor that helps their client figure out what it is!
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