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Should You Invest in Promotional Items for Your Business?

There are an awful lot of directions you can go when looking to promote your business. But there are always strict limitations as well. You might be constrained by time, energy, budget or some mix of the three, but unless you’re running an international corporation with ridiculously deep pockets, you’re going to have to pick and choose your marketing battles. One way that many companies push their brand and their products is by designing promotional items. These giveaways are often inexpensive, sometimes quirky but always useful items that serve a purpose for your potential customer while also allowing you to expose your brand on a large scale. So should you invest in promotional items for your business?

In the vast majority of cases, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. First of all, promotional items allow you to communicate with customers you wouldn’t be able to interact with otherwise. This is especially true if you don’t have an office or a storefront. You do get to interact on social media, but there’s nothing like giving your customers a physical gift to get them thinking of you the next time they make a recommendation or consider a purchase. By giving away an inexpensive promotional item you’re creating a reason for communicating. You’ll get a ton of addresses and emails this way, and hopefully will be able to use that moment to expose them to additional products and services.

Unless you’re planning on skydiving into a football stadium, there may be no better way to generate attention for your business than investing in promotional items. Traditional advertising just doesn’t have the same effectiveness as it did in the past. Advertising revenue is down, and the online trend shows people take recommendations much more seriously than any traditional marketing efforts. Promotional items draw attention to your brand while also offering the customer something of value that an ad does not. You can also leave promotional items in places that don’t offer a traditional advertising opportunity, such as a doctor’s office, restaurant, or other local business. The hardware store down the street probably wouldn’t allow you to put a poster in the front window, but they might accept a box of free branded pens to use at the front counter.

Promotional items are also fantastic for improving brand recognition. You probably don’t have the marketing budget of a Wal-Mart or a Coca-Cola, who have spent billions insuring that almost everyone on the planet recognizes their logo. Promotional items give you the leeway to start small, but to eventually create that same level of recognition. Give someone something they will actually use, like a calendar, a mini-USB storage device, a baseball cap or a coffee mug, and they’ll see your logo and information on a daily basis. The other people they come into contact with will see it as well, and probably ask them about it. Since even the most inexpensive promotional items often last for quite a while you’ll receive a benefit from this work years after you make the investment. Can PVC banners outside your store or online ad buys promise the same? Match the promotional item to your business and market, and you’ll enjoy a much better than average return on your investment through the foreseeable future.

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