Many marketers argue that traditional marketing methods are now dead and have no more use in a world where digital is all that matters. However, many a business still uses these same traditional methods, which have proven time and time again that they are effective, and can generate desired results. After all, what would be the point in abandoning these methods, especially if you have already used them in the past, successfully. Digital marketing may have better ROI than traditional marketing, but that statistic cannot and should not be applied to every single business in every market in the world.
Using promotional merchandise is one of the oldest forms of advertising, and it can still do wonders, even in 2018. A staggering statistic claims that over 20 billion USD are spent each year on branded promotional merchandise in the US alone. It clearly still works.
If you operate an e-commerce business, you are most likely going to benefit from SEO and digital marketing tactics more than you will benefit from promotional merchandise. However, if you operate in the physical world, and if you sell a service, you should not try to use the power of online alone – not all of your customers are there, after all. There are still those who simply don’t trust either the internet itself, or digital marketing methods, and will not trust an online recommendation. With everyone going online, you still have a huge piece of pie to look forward to in the customers who remain firmly offline, and need to be wooed in a different manner.
79% of people admit they would likely do business with a brand which hands out promotional material. This is not a small number by any means. You need to do business with them, and this is how you can utilize the full power of branded promotional material and merchandise.
Raising brand awareness
Contrary to popular marketer belief, promotional merchandise is still more effective than social media and email marketing when it comes to boosting brand awareness. 84% of consumers claim that promotional material boosts their own awareness about a certain brand. With everyone focusing on digital, you can be lost in the mountain of emails someone receives, or in the jumble of ads being thrown at them. They will likely only see your message for a second or two, which is not nearly enough to get you want you wanted. If you are not working with experts and trying to organize your campaigns yourself, you might also be targeting the wrong online audience, which will not be getting you far.
If you hand out a promo product, your customer will likely hold on to it, especially if it is something they use daily, like a calendar, a notepad, or even a pen or an umbrella. This will keep your brand in front of their eyes, and you are increasing your chances they will turn to you when they need your services.
Lower costs, a better impact
Yes, online marketing can be expensive. It is cheaper than TV, but there is a catch – most people are doing online marketing, and most of them are not getting it right. It takes a certain amount of experience and expertise to be able to run a digital campaign from start to finish successfully, and that costs money not all businesses are ready to spend.
You by all means need to be investing in marketing, and offline can be the place to start. For instance, you can go for different kinds of printed boards you can use to raise brand awareness in your local neighborhood or at different conferences. This can be much more affordable and cost-effective, especially if you have a limited budget. You can also start making promo material that you will give to people. Never underestimate the power of a gift. Another important point is to hand out business cards. Remember those? Yes, they are still quite as effective as ever.
Returning to the subject of gifts, branded merch is a certain way to win some people over. They will be your walking commercials. You can branch out and do umbrellas, flash drives, mugs, glasses, anything that comes to mind. You can also go for T shirts and ties, basically anything that you can think of, as long as it is different and memorable. With clothing items, you want to make them unique and of a good quality. Use a slogan or a gimmick that people can associate with your line of work, not just your logo.
Also, don’t hand out your merch to just anyone. Try focusing on your loyal customers and potential leads – like you would in an online campaign. The higher the chance they will convert the better. Your gift might just be the thing that pushes them to make another purchase.
A token of appreciation
Branded products are a great way not only to attract customers and boost brand awareness, they are also great for rewarding the most loyal of your customers. They will feel appreciated and this will in turn inspire their loyalty, and you will increase the chances they will recommend you to their friends and family, and that they will be back.
This is a great way to establish a deeper relationship with some of your customers. If they are returning customers, make sure your employees know their names, and throw in something promotional or free from time to time. This will only boost the relationship.
Even when digital marketing seems to be all the rage, no one can claim that traditional methods should be forgotten or cast aside. There is no reason why you shouldn’t do both, if you have the budget, and if it is working for you. Determine a budget and see how much you can achieve with it. If it means investing in some more affordable tactics, do so by all means, and make them count. That will give you the chance to increase your marketing budget in the future, and invest in different avenues.