Promotional advertising; the only advertising you truly control
Effective advertising is all about getting the right message in front of the right people at the right time. Traditional advertising or mass marketing can get your message in front of a lot of people, the problem is it's expensive and you have very little control over it. A lot of people doesn't necessarily mean the right people or the right time.
Numerous studies have shown that for advertising to be effective it must be repeated over and over. Its all about exposure, people must be exposed to a message numerous times before it sinks in. If you're a big company with a huge budget perhaps you can afford to create multiple impressions using the traditional mediums of television, radio, newspapers and pay per click, but what if you don't have the big budget and even more important if you're a B2B company how do you make sure you're message is in front of the people that matter.
Thats where promotional advertising comes in, its the one medium you can control. With promotional advertising you control the product and the audience, because you decide who the product is given to and for what purpose. Most importantly, if you print your message on an appropriate product, and give it to the right person, it will be used over and over. Promotional advertising, when done properly, creates residual impressions reinforcing your brand day after day week after week.
If you create a useful product with a relevant message and give it to the appropriate people, the chances of it being used and thus creating multiple impressions sky rocket. Think about a simple product like a printed mug, if you give a prospect a high quality mug printed with your logo and message how often do you think that message will be seen; once a day, twice a day, six times a day? and just think if it becomes a favorite those impressions multiply day after day.
A year ago a local bank started calling with the goal of capturing our banking business. At one of the first meetings the contact gave me a nice, but not too fancy, branded pen set, two pens in a nice box with the bank logo printed on each pen. At the time I had no intention of changing banks but those pens stayed on my desk and each time I used them I thought about the bank and the rep who'd given them to me. When the time came the pen set was on my desk, like a billboard, reminding me I had another choice and today that bank has a happy new customer.
Promotional advertising works, it's extremely cost effective, and it's the only advertising you truly control. With promotional advertising you decide exactly who the target is, what message you want them to receive, and how you want them to receive it. When you do it right your message is seen again and again increasing your brand awareness and ultimately your market share.