When designing a new marketing plan involving promotional products or gifts, it’s important to plan out a strategy ahead of time. All too often, a business owner or marketing department latches on to the idea of giving away a gift as a promotion, but fails to do the planning that would build the promotional strategy from a nice idea into a marketing powerhouse.
Before you run right out to purchase nifty printed pens or other promotional gifts with your logo on them, take a few minutes to work out an effective marketing strategy that incorporates the promotional items that you choose.
Step 1: Set your goals.
The first step in any marketing campaign is to set your goals. What is it that you intend to accomplish with this campaign? Be specific about your aims. “Increase sales” is a worthy goal, but it doesn’t give you much guidance in designing your strategy. Instead, think things through. Increase sales to whom? Increase sales of what? When you can make a statement like “we want to increase the number of women ages 18-30 who come into our beauty salon for a complete makeover”, you have a goal that you can build a marketing strategy around.
Step 2: Study your intended market.
This sounds like common sense – but you’d be surprised how many people jump into buying promotional gifts for marketing giveaways without ever doing the research to find out what their intended customers really want. If you want to choose effective promotional gifts, then it’s important to understand your target market and offer them a gift that has some value to them. Take a look at the market segment you chose in Step 1 and choose promotional gifts that they’d like to receive as incentives or thank you gifts. If you’re not sure what’s available in the way of promotional products, take a look at the range of websites online for ideas. Staying with our hypothetical complete makeover, you might decide that your target market, women ages 18-30, would enjoy and use a free cosmetic bag.
Step 3: Choose a delivery method for your promotional product.
Once you decide on your giveaway, you need to plan the best way to get it into the hands of your intended target market. The method that you choose should be one that will promote your purpose. In our example, you might choose to give the cosmetic bag as a thank you when a customer comes in for their appointment. If you’re doing a demo at a local fair or event, you might give the cosmetic bag away at your booth when someone books an appointment for a makeover.
Step 4: Publicize your giveaway.
One of the most important parts of your promotional marketing campaign is publicizing it. Giving away a promotional product or gift does you no good at all if no one knows that you’re doing it. Among the ways you might choose to advertise your giveaway are newspaper adverts, direct mail promotions, radio ads, events and notices in your window.
Step 5: Measure the effectiveness of your campaign.
One step that is often forgotten in promotional gifts marketing is evaluation. It’s important to be able to track the effectiveness of your campaign. One of the easiest ways to track the investment return on your free gift is to keep count of those who actually make an appointment when they receive their free gift. In the case of our mythical beauty salon, you might mail out flyers with coupons (or print one in the local paper) to be redeemed when the appointment is kept. You’ll find it very easy to track the effectiveness with a method like that.
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