Promo products aren’t free. We all know that. But the less the investment in those products is exploited, the more bottom-line expensive they become.
Years ago, I had a client in the shipping industry. They wanted to promote to prospective clients and, at the same time, promote to existing customers. I suggested, among other things, a series of dimensional mailings and follow-ups with hand-delivered items.
Boy, did I get shot down! They’d bought all kinds of promo products, they said, and none had generated leads or sales opportunities. But they hadn’t used those items. Instead, they’d kept their coffee mugs and tile coasters and pens and more locked up in a cabinet.
I’m not kidding here. They’d bought all of these promotional products, but in their mind they saw them as an expense and not a marketing investment. So there the stuff sat, gathering dust and doing nothing to promote.
Yes, it takes more than products to make promo work. It takes a program, and that’s also not free. But without a program – aka a solution – those items are little more than stored landfill. What a waste.
More to the point, though, if you do buy promo items, buy them with a promo intent in mind. Treat them like marketing tools, not Krugerrands to store in some safe.
And then don’t hoard ‘em. Use ‘em! Put ‘em out there – to your clients, your prospects, your walk-in customers, and more.
Yes, you paid for them. But if you don’t put them to work for your business, you might as well have spent your money on oceanfront property in Wyoming.
That client I mentioned? Their sales force kept screaming for promo give-aways and leave-behinds. But management wouldn’t budge. Those products cost too much, they’d say. No wonder the hoarder had such a turnover in sales staff…and struggled to build market presence.
Does any of this sound familiar? Are you guilty of treating promo products you might buy like they’re a business asset and not marketing tools? Are you, in fact, a hoarder?
Chances are you’ve said yes, if only “on occasion.” That’s O.K. You’re not alone. However, it doesn’t serve your marketing interests – or your ultimate bottom line – if you keep tangible advertising items under lock ‘n’ key.
As for stimulating leads and sales with promo items, let me close with a quick little anecdote about a computer industry company. They made subsystems for mainframes and mini computer systems (uh, are you old enough to remember those terms?).
They launched a dimensional marketing campaign that offered the targets a free pair of high-end Porsche sunglasses with the purchase of one of their subsystems. One such prospect told the company’s sales rep that he was ready to order six of the units…but only if he’d get six pairs of the sunglasses.
Did the company unlock the cabinet and give the customer the sunglasses? You betcha!