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Keep it Relevant

Keep it Relevant - Marketing Doris

My love (and loathing) of promotional gifts for marketing purposes has been a rollercoaster of emotions throughout my career.

When they are good (and relevant), I’m a big fan. When they are of poor quality or have no connection with the business, then I do get annoyed for the wasted money and opportunity, and sadly may also make a judgement about the organisation, which may not be one you’d want. Incorporating a branded item into your marketing will cost money to produce, and if you get it wrong could be damaging to your brand.

I don’t sell promotional items, but I have recommended and sourced many on behalf of clients (and Marketing Doris). So here are my top tips for corporate branded giveaways:

  1. Purpose – decide why you need the promotional item and who the intended audience is and what is the message is you are trying to achieve? Is it a thank you gift to customers, referrers or suppliers, or to be used as an aide memoire for prospects and customers?
  2. Outcomes – what you are expecting or looking to achieve from the promotional item?
  3. Quality vs Quantity – don’t scrimp on quality. Stick within your budget and if you are struggling to justify the cost then review your objectives and potential return on investment and if you don’t believe you’ll get one, then save your money this time!
  4. Useful – choose an item that would be used and one that is relevant to your business or market place.
  5. Quirky or New – do your research and talk to your supplier about what’s new or a bit different. Choosing something that is unique means that it will be remembered and ideally kept.

Some of my favourite items have been:

  • Pens – a good quality version is more likely to be kept, and personally I prefer a chunkier pen to write with. Blue ink is one of the most popular but often forms will require black ink to be used so choosing that colour may mean your pen is kept for that purpose. Lower quality or smaller pens are more likely to end up in the bag for the charity shop.
  • Calendar – this may come as a surprise to some (especially T!), but for the right business and the right market a calendar could work well. For many years now, I have received one every December from a holiday company. Each month is represented by a photograph taken by a member of staff or one of their customers travelling to a different country. The images are always spectacular (think National Geographic) and aspirational. Information about the image and destination are subtlety included and I’d love to know what their statistics are on increased bookings to destinations featured every year.
  • Rubber ducks – blue ones, and this was a time before any bath time duck was any other colour but the box standard yellow. The nursery industry had two key B2B trade shows every year and we were launching our new plastics range for baby (bath, top & tail bowl, potty etc). Historically in this industry it wasn’t common place to have free giveaways on an exhibition stand so there was some initial reluctance. However, we sourced the perfect little duck to match the corporate colours, attached a little tag with the contact details and ‘Zorby’ Duck had arrived. They went down a storm at the show and were even chosen for a TV product placement during a PR campaign.
  • Edible eyeballs – sounds gross and yes, they were, but they were perfect for a client. Their product’s main feature was analysing, and it was being showcased at an event in the US around Halloween time. They were a small company compared to other exhibitors, so we wanted to be remembered. The Sweet Eyeballs had packaging that represented the eyelid but more importantly, it had their company details on were placed in a large glass bowl on the stand. A great ice-breaker, people came over to ‘see’ what they were but acted as the perfect reminder as many took one (or two) home with them for their children, a perfect reminder! 

I could share a much longer list of items that have been my least favourite, but I would prefer to help you find the right promotional item for your business or marketing campaign.

So why not give me a call and we can discuss (marketing) tactics on 0790 3727750.

PS I’d be really interested to know what has been your hardest working promotional item? Or what has been the one you received that you kept the longest? Drop me a line at helen@marketingdoris.co.uk or on Twitter @marketingdoris

Feedback:

Tree Surgeons Cheshire
Alan Bethell, Director
"After having a 1-2-1 with Helen Stott it was obvious to me that with her experience, knowledge and pure enthusiasm would be the perfect addition to our business. Helen and I put our heads together and"
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