The Importance of Empowering Users
Research has shown that the right promotional products can elevate your prospective customers’ opinions of your products. However, selecting the right gift isn’t always easy. Balancing desired outcomes, messaging, branding and costs can be a nightmare. Successful promotional products are not only relevant to your brands, but also to your customers.
Your ultimate goal is to help your customers write your brand into their stories. To do this, you need to know three things: Know your desired outcome. Know your target customer. Know the need.
Know Your Desired Outcome
What is the goal of your promotional product campaign? What are you working to achieve? What are your marketing goals? How are you going to distribute your gifts? Are you able to attribute future revenue to your current efforts? How will you measure that success? Failing to answer these questions places you at risk of burning your marketing budget on ineffective promotions. Whether you set up custom URLs or phone numbers, or have a specific call to action that is trackable, you must have a concrete way to track whether or not your campaign is effective. Once you have your goals in place, you can select the promotional product that best equips you to achieve success.
Know Your Target Customer
Good marketing practices don’t stop at the promotional product door. You wouldn’t show a Facebook ad for barbecue grills to someone who is a fan of vegan pages. Similarly, you wouldn’t give away promotional beanie hats to prospective clients in Florida. Evaluating your target market segment is critical.
Build customer personas that identify all of the market segments that are relevant to your product.
1. Demographic Information
Does your ideal customer fall into a particular age, income, gender, ethnicity, social class, education, family status or income demographic?
2. Geographic Location
Does your target customer live in a particular country, region, climate or population type? Promotional items are often given away at a physical location. That may be a great place to start with your planning.
3. Psychographic Tendencies
What kind of lifestyles do your target customers desire? What are their personal values, interests, causes and opinions? How do they spend their spare time? What makes them tick? Understanding the psychographic traits of your target customers allows you to tailor your promotional products to come in line.
Do you sell to outdoor-loving adventure seekers? Is your target customer a mother of four who loves to read and shop online? Are you looking to connect with busy young professionals who are always on the go? Each one of these personas falls into a different segment that allows you to give them a promotional gift that speaks to them directly, empowering them to share your brand with other people who also share those traits.
Know What Need Your Customer Wants You to Meet
Now that you have a complete picture of your customers, it’s time to find a product that meets their needs right now. This typically falls into one of two categories.
1. Short-Term Use: Meet the need today.
Who says that promotional products can't be cost efficient? Offering disposable products or short-term items that solve immediate problems can make great impressions on your customers. Have you been to a trade show or festival during a hot summer and found yourself parched while wandering the aisles? Do you think you would remember the name of a company that was handing out branded bottles of ice-cold water? Think through the environment in which you'd be engaging with your customers, and use the terrain to your advantage.
2. Long-Term Use: Meet the need today and in the future.
The longer your customers use your promotional items, the more impressions your brand receives—repeat impressions on the original customers, and more impressions on everyone they come in contact with. Meeting long-term needs gives you a great chance to show the quality of your brand, by giving away quality products that address the needs of your customers far into the future. It is almost always better to overdo the quality when targeting long-term customers. You don't have to customize a premium product per se, but don't hand out styrofoam coffee cups and expect long-term results. Remember, match up your promotional items with the needs of your particular customers.
Select effective promotional products by finding items that accomplish a purpose. Initially, it must accomplish the purpose of your customer—either on a short- or long-term basis. Bring them value, and win their trust and goodwill. Ultimately, however, it must lead to accomplishing your brand's desired outcome. Select a promotional item that reinforces your brand's relevance to your target customer. Empower your customers to become walking advertisements for your brand—a living testament that you are able to meet their needs.
Know your desired outcome. Know your target customer. Know the need.
Meet the need.
Jason Robbins is CEO/founder of ePromos Promotional Products Inc., a Top 50 distributor in the U.S. Jason’s work experience includes operational and technical responsibilities at Goldman Sachs & Co., and J. Crew Group. Jason has a B.S. in Finance from Syracuse University and an MBA from Columbia University. He is an active member of Young President’s Organization (YPO) and resides in Ocean Ridge, Fla. with his wife and two daughters.