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How do you choose a promotional product? by Perkal

There comes a time in every marketer's life when the perfect promotional product seems impossible to find. Unless you've managed to have your logo printed on every promo product in existence, then take comfort in the fact that it's not actually an impossible feat! Whether you represent a startup company that has never advertised or you're an experienced professional with decades of experience, it's almost guaranteed that you would wonder how to choose the right promotional products for your needs.
There is no universal formula to find the promotional item that exactly meets your specifications, and not every company and organization will find value in the same products. But, you will learn how to tailor your promotional advertising efforts to your audience if you learn these four concepts!

Know Your Target Demographic
First, you should figure out what types of people you want to reach. Who is your primary audience? What do your frequent customers all have in common? Once you know WHO your products and services benefit, then you can research their interests. For example, a yo-yo might not be your best option when you’re advertising for a tattoo parlor. If you’re a towing or roadside assistance company, then an item such as a CD visor, an air freshener, or a roadside emergency kit is a wise investment. Analyze your customer base and figure out what makes them tick. If you're still stuck, then you could even mail or email a short survey to your clients to ask them which promotional products they'd use the most.    

Name Your Price
If you’re just starting a business and working out of pocket, then five-hundred customized leather briefcases might not be the most financially sound choice!  On the other hand, if you’re already an established company like Microsoft, you’re probably not going to waste your time with personalized pens. It's true that you have to spend money to make money, but it’s also important to find a middle ground that puts you firmly in the playing field without decimating your bank account. Closely assess your budget and find out how much you can afford to spend on promo items before you actually purchase them.        
    
Adhere to Your Campaign
If your company has a longstanding slogan or image it wants to present to its current and potential customers, then your promotional product should be consistent with that. Avoid choosing controversial promotional items if you're a family-friendly business, for example. However, in some cases, promotional products that are in stark contrast to your message can also be very effective attention-getters. If you do decide to put together an unconventional promotion, just make sure you are organizing everything well and taking all of the possible outcomes into account before you proceed.
    
Think about Your Product's Distribution
The size and structure of a promotional product can sometimes limit its distribution. Light and thin items like pencils, magnets, and calendars can easily be bulk mailed or left in mailboxes.  Larger and bulkier items like apparel and mugs can more easily be handed out at trade shows.  Expensive items like computer hardware and watches should be hand-delivered or sent via insured mail.  You know your audience better than anyone, so use your best judgment before making any important promotional decisions.   

This article was published on Thursday 03 October, 2013.

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