Promotional Merchandise: A Key Tool For B2B Marketing
Most of us have been recipients of promotional merchandise, whether we realize it or not. At some point, everyone has discovered a freebie pen or key fob in their desk drawer or glove compartment with the insignia of some company emblazoned across its surface. The fact that the vast majority of us don’t remember where these items came from is insignificant – that we wind up using them on a daily basis to the point that the company’s logo becomes etched in our brains, however, is.
This is the reason why businesses spend 20 billion every year cranking out and distributing promotional merchandise. While many companies use this as a method of staying on consumers’ brains, there’s an equally large market for promotional merchandise in the business to business area. The only difference is, in B2B marketing you’re targeting a specific audience with a unique niche product instead of just hurling a million Frisbees into the void and hoping whoever catches it will hit you up next time they need the services you offer.
Some business owners and chief decision makers may ask the logical question: what’s the purpose of showering my professional clientele with promo goodies? Surely this sort of ploy won’t have the same effect in a B2B context, will it? Both of these questions can be answered by providing a few facts you may not be acquainted with.
Fact #1 – Promotional products are incredibly effective at generating a desired result. Whether that result is a referral, an order for product, or a testimonial that speaks to the value of your company – it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that promotional freebies provoke favorable impressions of your company, which is far more valuable than the actual merchandise.
Fact #2 – Unlike traditional advertising, promotional merchandise used in B2B promotion have “pass along” value. This means that your promotional product may very likely get passed on to another person, who’ll then also be impacted by the marketing message. For maximum message life, consider offering merchandise that won’t break or that won’t be obsolete in a month’s time.
Fact #3 – Offering usable products like promotional USB flashdrives, Personalized mouse pads, and desk pad calendars are far more effective in a B2B setting than non-business related items which could come off pandering.
Now that we’ve hit you with enough factoids to knock out a small elephant, you’re probably all fired up about the idea of developing some ideas for effective promo products to give your business clients. But before you start ordering a thousand desk pad calendars with your company logo on them, consider one critical piece of advice from Maria Carlton and David Blaise, authors of the book “The Power of Promotional Products”: promotional merchandise costs money and could be a losing proposition if you don’t target your audience carefully. For this reason, always preface the production of promotional merchandise with diligent research that will tell you precisely how to get the best bang for your buck.