Last month was all about the big marketing events and preparing for them. So naturally that got me thinking about promotional give-aways…those little items most business owners have to consider investing in at some point.
Let me start by asking you this:
How many times have you gone to an event and been given a promotional item that’s just so tired and overdone you were tempted to give it back????
Key chains come to mind. I know somewhere you have a collection of key chains. They came from the many trade shows, conferences and community events you attended over the years. And for a while, yeah, they came in handy. But eventually you ran out of keys to use them with. And now those key chains live in a drawer somewhere, long forgotten.
I know I have enough notepads to last me a lifetime. And don’t get me started with the pens.
So why do business owners keep doing this? I have a theory that it’s because it’s a last minute purchase and it’s the easiest thing to order. Really, ordering keychains, like pens, requires very little thought or effort.
For some reason, keychains, pens, and notepads seem to be the main give-aways at tradeshows and conferences-regardless of the business giving them away.
So that makes me think 2 things:
- How many keychains do I REALLY need???
- Why do some businesses give out items completely unrelated to what they do?
The perennial candy bowl is my favourite example. I find chocolate and candy particularly interesting, because for some reason, nearly everyone seems to absolutely “need” a candy bowl at their display area. Personally, I don’t really get it. If my business has nothing to do with candy (and it doesn’t) then what’s really the point of offering up a great big bowl of Werther’s?
These days there are so many amazing items that would use your marketing dollars much better. All it takes is some planning, a little research, and a chat with a sales rep at a promotional product company. Yes, you do have to do some homework. But when your rep finds you an item that absolutely works wonder for your business, it’s totally worth the effort.
This month, consider this:
- is that thigamabob you’re planning to give out related to your business?
- will that item be useful in the long run? (or will they just toss it in the trash soon after they get home?)
- is a promotional giveaway actually part of your marketing plan-or just something you think you “have to do” because everyone else does it?
At your next event, don’t just take stuff to fill up your table. Take things that will make you look like the business leader that you are, not just another “me too” business.
Most importantly, PLAN the entire event out. Don’t leave details until the last minute, or go in without any real goals. That’s just money wasted.