5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Selecting Promotional Marketing Products

“GI-GO”, pronounced “gee-goo”, which stands for Garbage In, Garbage Out; that exactly what you get is you don’t select the right promotional items for marketing your business, event or campaign. Listed below are the 5 most common pitfalls when making decisions about promotional products.
1. Cost
This is the most common mistake a novice makes when choosing a promotional item. They thing that they are going to get tons of business with the lowest item they can find but they couldn’t be further from the truth. Let’s use an example; a website owner will sign up with a company to promote their website to 10,000 directories in an attempt to increase their web traffic for a low fee. If you use common sense, that situation you should realize that they are getting a cheap price for a practically worthless product/service. The will have a lot of links from worthless dummy sites.
The same goes for a physical promotional product; Look for the middle of the road pricing for products because the offer the best value. They have already engineered it to influence you to buy the medium price items. The cheapest items are garbage and the most expense items are overpriced but can be good items for certain circumstances. Remember not to forget that you want a good ROI on these products.
2. Quality
Why is Quality important? If you give out garbage, that’s the image you are going to represent to potential clients at tradeshow and conventions. “Oh look, this company gives out crappy, pens, notepads, etc. and it will be branded with your name on the item so there is no place to run when they associate your item with garbage and that’s probably where your item will end up. Don’t get confused the term “cheap” and “quality”. You can buy cheap items that are quality.
3. Size
Often the smallest item are the cheapest. Companies look at how many items they can get for X number of dollars. When you get thousands of promotional items they are typically very small, for example, mints and candies. Unfortunately, they are usually the worst made candy anyone can sell. I know I would not run out and stuff that garbage in my mouth. If that’s the type of customer that you are looking for then this might be suitable for you.
You want to pick a size that is large enough for them to carry and but not small enough to stuff in their pocket. If it goes out of site, your branding goes out of their minds and is forgotten. Visibility is the key here. On the other hand if you make an item too bulk or big they will just end up leaving it somewhere because we compromise their “ROI”, in layman’s terms, they have to haul something that is X big to get Y amount of satisfaction out of it. The sweet spot here is something that ranges around the size of pens to promotional water bottles anything bigger gets left behind and anything smaller gets forgotten.
4. Multi-usage product
The pitfall is using a promotional product that is only used once. Brand exposure is what you are paying for and if those items get used only once it’s either very cheap or very expensive. Creating brand recognition keeps your business making money. To employ the psychology of branding the item must been seen at least 3 times over the life of the item otherwise you have just will have wasted your money. Pens, calendars, water bottles, grocery bags, backpacks, and phone covers make great items that can be re-used over and over again. Do some analysis on your demographic and select something that the average person for your demographic would use.
5. Uniqueness
How do you differentiate yourself between your competition and someone else giving out pens at a trade show? This is by far the most difficult pitfall to avoid. It very easy to just pick the first item in the catalog and not give it much thought, I’ve been guilty of this mistake myself.
Pick something that is eye-catching but not an eyesore. In addition, you want to select an item that will people will use not just say “Oh that looks cool”, functionality is a must. Things that are NOT unique and that I would recommend staying away from are T-shirts, mints and single use bottled water.
Items that I would look for would be a product like a grocery bag that folds into a ball that you can place with your car keys. If it is cold where you are how about a pair of gloves to keep your hands warm and finally a well-known item is an umbrella or promotional sports bottles to hydrate on the go.