In the age of social media and content marketing, the obvious question on a marketer's lips is why invest in corporate gifts at all. There is so much marketing and promotion to be done without spending a penny: posting on Twitter and Facebook, connecting with people via a blog, creating PR stunts that others will share. All these cost nothing or next to nothing and will propel your brand. Still, corporate gifts are relevant in the new world of marketing. Read on...
Indeed, the modern marketing manager has an array of choices when it comes to driving sales. Knowing which medium will have the biggest impact is vital for success. Let's look at the options at a marketer's disposal:
There has been a trend in recent years to move towards the digital methods and some people have even been talking about the death of traditional marketing. When I look at the list above, it seems highly unlikely. As long as people go to events or seminars, watch TV, or listen to the radio - traditional methods of advertising will still be very much alive. It is true consumers have become empowered to avoid adverts, and they make more informed choices about which promotional activities they will pay attention to. Many companies have had to adapt their marketing to partially move away from traditional means or to change the way they use them. Modern marketing is customer focused.
You need to stop thinking about promoting your brand as the goal - and start adding a benefit to your customer's experience (and promoting your brand while doing it).
While digital marketing has definitely gained popularity thanks to the low cost and good returns, traditional marketing is still very much alive, as long as it can add value to customer experience.
The best strategy to make the most of your marketing budget is to combine traditional and digital marketing. It is never enough to rely on just one marketing medium. You need to make your message as powerful as possible. Achieve this by cleverly targeting the message towards your audience, using the medium that they use, whether it's traditional or digital. While making your message targeted, think about how to add value to consumer's experience.
With digital, the rules are simple: make your website user friendly, respond to their questions on social media, provide information that they find valuable. When it comes to traditional routes, it's more difficult to be heard and there is a need for an ingredient that provides a gateway between your message and your customer's attention.
This is where corporate gifts come into play. Corporate gifts are a very clever tool in a marketer's portfolio. People intrinsically love free stuff, and so promotional merchandise takes on the role of a link between traditional marketing and the consumer. The purpose of gifts is to accompany and compliment other traditional marketing methods: enabling, reinforcing and prolonging the message.
Because of the subtle relationship between marketing and corporate gifts, it is easy to oversee the value of promotional merchandise. Ignore it at your peril. Consider the statistics below:
Use corporate gifts to support your other marketing efforts. Below are examples of how you can use promotional merchandise well to maximise your campaigns:
People will remember your stand more if they get a souvenir. 89% people would retain the corporate gifts they received in their work bag or handbag (Source-e) and 6% of people (British respondents) keep promotional merchandise specifically to reference contact details of a company (Advertising Speciality Institute). A branded item can go a long way in maximising the leads from an exhibition.
Sponsorships are a great opportunities to create brand awareness - and corporate gifts are the most important tools. Whether you're providing t-shirts or wristbands for a charity run or giving away free drinks or snacks during a fundraising concert - imprinting your logo on these items is the perfect way to bring brand exposure to your target market.
People are 57% more likely to respond to direct mail if there is a gift inside (Baylor University). Think carefully before sending your next marketing letter.
To reinforce your brand during a presentation or a seminar you're giving, make sure that you're wearing a shirt embroidered with your logo, and that your audience can make notes with your branded pen, on your branded notepad. Do that - and while making a tutorial, you can concentrate on educating. The corporate gifts will promote your brand for you.
Enthuse your audience by offering premium corporate gifts in return for making purchases. This has a double benefit for you: your customers need to make a purchase or a series of purchases to get the reward, and they will be further swayed towards your brand after receiving the printed merchandise.
Leave a new business contact with a token - a gift branded with your logo and contact details. It will make you more memorable and give your brand extra value. Make sure that the item fits your brand as it's supposed to reinforce what you stand for, so that the recipient knows exactly what to expect when they contact you.
Use corporate gifts to make your traditional marketing campaigns stand out. Printed mugs, pens or umbrellas will reinforce your message, add extra value to your brand and prolong the effects of the campaign by getting people to keep a part of it. A corporate gift is to traditional marketing what digital is to marketing. It makes the campaign relevant to and focused towards the consumer. It's a powerful role.