Win New Customers With Innovative Promotional Products

An advertising campaign is similar to playing a game, there are strategies, rules and tactics to be taken into consideration in order to win, in this case you want to win new customers and please your old ones. Marketing strategies have been tried and tested for years before the experts came up with the winning recipes. One of the most valuable techniques in any promotion is to incorporate the use of promotional products.

When you decide to give away promotional items to win new customers and keep your loyal ones is entirely up to you and can be done at any point. But what you should be looking at is what you are aiming at achieving, the money you spend on promotional products has to be money well spent, so will it gain you anything?

A quality promotional product should be one that attracts the attention of the client, a gift that is original and modern is going to be admired and talked about. To attract potential new customers then look for items that fit into this category, you want to be talked about and in order to accomplish this you need something that is a little showy-off and will get tongues wagging, about your product and brand.

Once your brand awareness has been raised then any promotional gifts should be chosen specifically to enhance the image of your company and popularity of your product. With loyal customers, gifts should be chosen with attention to detail and is dependent on the kind of relationship you have with them.

Who is your target audience? Vital research should always be carried out by your marketing team before any money is spent on a campaign. Decide on the type of clientele you want to attract and who to aim your campaign at, these are two important aspects of any promotion if you want it to succeed. Consider the area you want to cover, and the message you want to send out.

Getting your message across should be given a lot of thought, as you don’t want to waste your promotional product impact. It is this that will have an effect on your clientele and attract them to your brand. Keep it nice and simple and this will make it more effective.

Quality is always very important when choosing items. Even if the items you choose are low-cost, such as key tags, pens, mouse mats or printed balloons, the quality of each item should still be of a high standard. Quality made products displaying your company name is a promotional strategy that can only be successful.

How long your promotion will last will depend on the type of promotion product you decide to purchase. Is it going to be a one-off event, such as a trade fair or exhibition, or will it be a longer running campaign that could go on for a month or even a year?

Once you have made all the necessary decisions then re-check through all the details to ensure you haven’t missed anything. Evaluate every aspect and see if it could be improved, and after every promotion always assess it to see if it could have been run any better so that you know for the next time and can subsequently make improvements.

There are all kinds of promotional items available on the market today. Printed balloons are one low-cost but effective promotional product, especially at open days and trade shows. Blown up for full impact kids will just love the bright colors and demand to have one to take home. With your logo or company message printed on them they are the perfect way to advertise as they will be carried around the event for all to see.

Lapel pins are also an innovative idea, use them to support your chosen charity or to raise awareness of a particular project. Maximize the use of your logo by designing your own lapel pins, earrings, refrigerator magnets, car badges, computer pins and even zipper pulls. Check online for original and new promotional product ideas if you want to stay ahead of the competition.

Selling Promotional Products – Ad Specialties

There are marketing and distribution firms that sell promotional products, or ad specialties, everywhere. These include anything you might get as a giveaway, from bobble head dolls to pens to very high tech and innovative products. Since companies will buy quite expensive items to give to customers, and cereal companies, non-profit charities and major credit card companies often give a promotional item away in a mailing, or as an incentive to purchase a specific product, the promotional products market can be quite lucrative for manufacturers that have an in-demand product. If you look into your local phone book for ad specialties or promotional products you will find dozens of companies in most towns. There are also dozens of companies selling promotional products through distributors and manufacturers’ representatives. Small one line companies with innovative products can be very successful in the promotional products market.

Four Sales Approaches

There are four common sales strategies for promotional products, and most companies use all four strategies to maximize their sales.

Trade show attendance

The promotional products industry has several big trade shows where you can set up a booth and potentially meet manufacturers’ representatives and distributors who might sell your product. You can attend one of these first to see what booths are like and what type of promotional materials companies have. You can also look for booths with just a few products that look like they are run by an inventor or small company. Talk to them regarding their experiences and the steps to market they took that were successful. Also discuss whether or not they might want to share a booth at the next show so you can cut costs. Some of the big shows in the industry include:

  • The Motivation Show, Chicago, IL
  • The Promotional Products Expo, every January in Las Vegas

You can learn more about additional trade shows and other industry news by checking out two organizations, the Incentive Marketing Representatives Association, and the Promotional Products Association International.

Trade magazine publicity and advertising

The industry has two major associations: the Promotional Products Association and the Advertising Specialty Association. Both have major trade magazines and both have products listings on their web sites. You can send new promotional product announcements to the magazines (typically no charge), run ads in the magazines, and you can also take out listing in their products directory. The two magazines are listed below:

Using the trade magazines is not as expensive as attending shows, but it also not as effective. You are counting on a small ad or press release getting attention. I do recommend you send out press releases to the magazines but you can’t count on releases and ads alone to generate enough business for you.

Manufacturers’ sales reps

Manufacturers’ representatives carry products from a variety of manufacturers and they sell your product to distributors and large major accounts. You can meet manufactures’ representatives at trade shows, or through magazine publicity, but probably the most cost effective way of reaching reps is through a direct mailing campaign. You may be able find lists of representatives at both the ASI and PPAI web sites. You can also try a Google search for manufacturers’ sales representatives for both Advertising Specialties and Promotional Products.

Once you get a list, you should send out at least a flyer, and possibly a sample to all the representatives on the list. But if you can, you should try to make you rep mailing package as thorough as possible, including

  • Pictures of the product being used
  • Any big sales you may have heard
  • Testimonials or other feedback from satisfied users
  • Materials that the reps and distributors can use for selling the product
  • Price schedules

Reps sell to the distributors which are covered in the next section. There are many, many distributors of promotional products but they all have slightly different sales mixes, one might do embroidered shirts, while others specialize in incentive gifts for employees and another gifts that companies can give to their customers. Manufacturers’ sales representatives are the best way to cut through the clutter and reach the right distributors and customers for your product.


There are many distributors of promotional products and ad specialties in every town. A mid-size city might have 10 distributors and a big city over 100. I feel it is always a good idea for an inventor or small producer to start their marketing campaign by calling on distributors in their town. This helps the inventor learn what features are highlights for the distributor, learn what are the best type of distributors for their product, and also learn how to best promote their product to distributors. Often this type of preliminary work will help the inventor save a considerable amount of money – by focusing the inventor’s efforts and projects and customers where they can have the biggest impact.

You can approach distributors nationwide with a mailing program just like you did above with manufacturers’ sales representatives. You can find a list of distributors or promotional products marketing companies through the ASI and PPAI web sites (see addresses earlier in the article). You can also find the distributors and marketing companies by doing Yellow Page searches both locally and nationally for promotional products, incentive products and advertising specialties.


There are many distributors and manufacturers reps’ – a fact that helps you sell your product – but it also means that there are many levels of commissions are pricing discount that you face. Manufacturers’ sales agents normally take a 10 to 15% commission and distributors often receive a 40% discount.

If you believe you should sell your product for $10.00 to the final consumer, you will receive only $5.10 to $5.40 cents.

Price to end user $10.00

Price to distributor $6.00

Commission to sales rep. $0.60 to $0.90

Money to inventor /manufacturer $5.10 to $5.40

If you want a 50% profit, you need to be able to make your product for $2.55 to $2.70. Be sure to have your pricing in line before starting or you won’t make any money.

The Growing Scope of Wholesale Promotional Products

Marketing is an important part of the corporate sector operating from any part of the world. The successful marketing strategies hold the key factors as far as promotion of the company and its products are concerned. These marketing strategies are tailored according to the products and services of the company. Every company hires especially skilled marketing experts who are responsible for devising and developing innovative and successful advertisements. In the changing scenario of the good and effective marketing strategies, the importance of wholesale promotional products is increasing at a fast rate. Most of these products are available with all the leading producers of wholesale promotional products.

The basic function of these products is to carry the name and logo of the promoting companies. These companies sign a memorandum of understanding with the makers of these products. As per this understanding, the manufacturers print or encrypt the name and logo of the promoting company and then these products are made available to the distributors and retailers of the company. Ultimately, these products are supplied to the buyers of certain products without charging any extra money from them. These products are extremely useful and have a great significance in the daily life of the buyers.

The most common wholesale products include caps, T-shirts, cups, plates, Table coasters, calendars, bags, bottles, key rings and chains, bottle openers, and various home appliances. You can easily understand the Importance and presence of these wholesale promotional products in your daily life. If you look around yourself for a whole day, you can find many people using various types of promotional products around you. The quality of these products is certainly very good as the promoting companies do not make any compromise upon the quality of these products. They are directly related with the reputation of the respective companies.

The manufactures of these products pay a lot of attention towards the promotional value of these products. They also offer customized and personalized wholesale promotional products. They maintain very good infrastructure of printing or encrypting the names, logos and messages of the promoting companies. The colorful printing is presently replaced by silk printing, pad printing, and embroidery. With the help of these latest methods of preparation of these wholesale promotional products has become easier as well as cheaper. The promoting companies are not required to spend a lot of money to get their customized promotional products.

Business Promotional Products That Won’t Break the Bank

One of the most inaccurate, not to say bizarre, myths about promotional merchandise is the strange belief that they must be expensive. It’d be pretty difficult to get much further from the truth. The fact is that promotional products need to be priced well, to be effective.They have to be cost-effective, viable options for promotion.

All aspects of promotional advertising, including the ideas and the materials needed to bring them about, are structured into professional marketing plans. A good promotion is fully costed before it starts. The real key to success is a good supplier who can work with your budget and understands the needs of your promotion.

Corporate items

Corporate promotional items are one of the best illustrations of the economics of promotional products as corporate budgets are very cost sensitive. A corporate budget is costed to the dollar, and included in the financial system and audit trail. Corporate promotions demand cost effectiveness, because big budgets need to achieve results.

There are potential overheads, too. Merchandising, storage, and warehousing are all possible major costs to the promotional budget. Top suppliers actually provide warehousing for promotional products and other savings across the board, which greatly improves the position for budget purposes.

Business items

For small to middle businesses, costs and overheads of promotions are potentially serious issues. The related budgets are smaller and have to be viable. Promotions are a critical part of expanding any business, and the items used need to have a high impact at workable costs.

The solution is targeted promotional products on a reliable upfront cost basis, with a defined dollar value. Suppliers can provide sufficient quantities of products at low prices, ensuring the budget is stable.

Brand promotions

The professional approach to promotional products for brands is a good illustration of budget control. Marketers, who are if anything more cost, quality and value conscious than their clients, need to pin down the dollar values of brand promotions well in advance and get those costs approved.

In this case, cost-effectiveness is achieved by consultation with suppliers. This is a very efficient way of dealing with all aspects of promotion costs, special needs for merchandise, and other potentially expensive issues. Suppliers can provide a fully costed package for all the promotional items and related services.

Event promotions

If you’ve seen all the very conspicuous high profile promotional items for major events like sports events, the main products are usually budgeted the year before they happen. Budget blowouts are definitely not an option.

The solution is a fully costed run of promotional products for the event. Costing is arranged through consultation, and there are no grey areas on the budget. The promoter will have a dollar figure to work with, and a defined quantity of products for the event.

Whatever industry you’re in, talk to a supplier of promotional merchandise. You’ll get hard facts, solid dollar figures, meaningful advice and options if you need them.