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Increase Your Market Share With Promotional Products

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As small business owners, we are always looking for creative ways to grow our companies. Primarily, ones which our pocketbooks can afford. How much do you presently spend on conventional advertising? Give some consideration to adding promotional products to your mix.

As small business owners, we are always looking for creative ways to grow our companies. Primarily, ones which our pocketbooks can afford. How much do you presently spend on conventional advertising (i.e., newspaper, radio, direct mail, billboards, etc.)? Give some consideration to adding promotional products to your mix. Instead of spending 30 percent of your budget on newspaper, allot 20 percent to newspaper, and give 10 percent to promotional products. They tie in very nicely with conventional advertising, and you will definitely receive more bang for your buck. Keep in mind that it takes seven to nine exposures to your company’s name for someone to remember it. Here are five suggestions on incorporating promotional products into your conventional marketing. If you need assistance with deciding on products that are politically correct for your market, find a promotional products distributor in your area.

DIMENSIONAL MAILINGS CAN BOOST YOUR DIRECT MAIL RESPONSES

A study by Baylor University has shown that adding promotional products to your direct mail piece can increase response rate by 75 percent! A few cost-effective items to include in an inexpensive direct mail piece can include: a business card magnet, pen, letter opener, puzzle, balloon, or can cover.

UTILIZE PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS TO GENERATE GOODWILL AND INCREASE NAME AWARENESS

Having a hard time getting an appointment with a hot prospect? Want to get the jump on your competition? Next time you make a cold call, take a glass candy dish filled with candy or a notepad holder filled with paper. After you’ve secured your appointment, you will have a reason to go back to refill them. They’ll certainly remember you!

NEXT TIME YOU RUN A NEWSPAPER AD, INCLUDE A COUPON FOR A FREE GIFT WITH A PURCHASE

Choose a promotional product that has perceived value such as a baseball cap, golf shirt or sweatshirt — imprinted with your logo, of course! Keep in mind, depending on your business, that the dollar amount you spend on the gift is very important to your profit margin as well.

WHEN YOU PLAN YOUR NEXT RADIO CAMPAIGN, INCLUDE A MESSAGE ABOUT A FREE GIVEAWAY

For example, as a car dealer, you offer a free coffee mug imprinted with your company logo for every test drive this month. When that customer takes his mug to the office, think of how many times your logo will be seen by his coworkers. Won’t you be at the top of their mind when they are ready to buy?

ASK YOUR PRESENT SATISFIED CLIENTS FOR REFERRALS

Useful promotional products bearing your company name can increase your company’s referrals by as much as 21 percent in some cases, according to Baylor University’s study. Thank your customers for referrals by giving them such items as first aid kits, coolers, thermoses, sports blankets and desk clocks.

Promotional products can be used for many other things such as qualifying prospects, reviving old accounts, trade show handouts, client gifts, employee or sales incentives and safety programs. The uses of promotional products are endless, and it is a great marketing tool if you are a guerrilla marketer. You just need to incorporate this plan into your overall marketing plan. You may also want to try this on a quarterly basis. Keep in mind that the goal is to gain market share on the pocketbook of a small business!

About the Writer: Karen Hock is president of Kinteco Screen Printing and Publisher of 1st Impressions marketing newsletter. Kinteco, located in Temple, Pa., specializes in custom screen textile printing as well as promotional products. Ms. Hock can be reached at (800) 399-8050. This article was originally published in the Spring 1996 issue of Entrepreneurial Edge.

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