How to Choose a Promotional Products Marketing Consultant


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When choosing to buy promotional products for your business or organization, it is important to know that all distributors are NOT created equal. The majority of promotional product distributors are simply “order takers” who will take your money and offer you no real guidance to help make your project or marketing campaign more successful. I have a few pointers to help guide you in the right direction of choosing a reputable and knowledgeable promotional products consultant.

1) Check out the distributor’s website. Is it a well-designed website? If not, that may be a good indication of their quality. A site with lots of misspellings, poor grammar, and poor content should raise a red flag. If the distributor does not even have a website, that too could be a red flag. This is the 21st century, and if the distributor is not online, chances are he/she doesn’t know the current trends of the industry. Without knowing these trends, they won’t be able to offer much guidance to help your campaign be successful for the current times.

2) How long has the distributor been in business? There are many fly by night distributors that are here today and gone tomorrow. Make sure you choose one that will be in business the next time you are ready to order. Also, a distributor with many years of experience has withstood the tests of time and most likely has a lot of knowledge that could be useful for you.

3) Is the distributor part-time or full-time? Many of the promotional products distributors are part-time distributors which means they earn their bread and butter doing an unrelated job and the job as a distributor comes second to their primary career. This means you would also come second. This also means that they don’t have as much time to keep up with the current trends of the industry. They are not able to offer you the freshest advice on how to improve your campaign.

4) Check with the Better Business Bureau. You can search the BBB online database and check for complaints. Specifically, check for the resolutions. If a company consistently doesn’t respond to their complaints in a positive manner, I would steer clear of that business. If a company is not listed with the BBB, that should also be a red flag. They are probably not listed because they are afraid or they were not approved due to too many complaints.

5) Trust your gut! When you speak with the distributor, do you get a good vibe or a bad one? If it is a bad one, trust your intuition and call the next distributor that seems reputable to you. Keep searching until you feel comfortable with your choice.  Promotional products distributors are a dime a dozen, but knowledgeable consultants are harder to find.

Using a reputable and knowledgeable distributor will help ensure that your next promotional products marketing campaign is more successful.

Perfect Imprints.  Copyright 2009.

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Make Your Tradeshow Display More Successful


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Have you had mediocre results with your tradeshow booths in the past?  Have you spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on your tradeshow display with little to no return on your investment?  Research has shown that promotional products increase your tradeshow traffic to your display and that promotional products of great value generate more sales leads than products of lower value.  In plain English please…If you give someone a $0.41 cheap pen, they probably won’t remember you.  If you give them something of value such a personalized USB flash drive, then not only would that tradeshow attendee remember you, but they would be more likely to do business with you.  In addition, the flash drive would be used over and over again yielding repeated advertising for your company.  Here are a few statistics:

Tradeshow Promotional Items

• 72% of tradeshow attendees who received a promotional product emembered the name of the
company that gave them the product.
• 76% of attendees had a favorable attitude toward the company that gave them the product.
• Including a promotional product with a pre-show mailing increases the likelihood of an attendee
stopping by the booth.
• As a rule, promotional products of greater value generate more sales leads han products of lower

If you are able to get the names and addresses of the show attendees, be sure and send them a promotional product and tempt them to visit your booth to receive a FREE gift.  When they get to your booth, you can give them a promotional item of value so they will remember you increasing your chances of closing a sale.

Source: 2004 study titled The Effectiveness Of Promotional Products In Tradeshow Settings conducted
by Georgia Southern University

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Research provided by the Advertising Specialty Institute, Copyright ©2008, All Rights Reserved.

Top 10 Buyers of Promotional Products in 2008


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Here is a list of the top industries that bought promotional products in 2008.

  1. Education
  2. Financial
  3. Non-Profit Organizations
  4. Healthcare
  5. Construction
  6. Trade & Professional Associations
  7. Real Estate
  8. Government
  9. Professionals: Doctors, lawyers, CPAs, etc.
  10. Restaurants & Bars

Do you fall under these categories?  If so, and you used promotional products marketing in 2008, then you are ahead of the game.  If not, you are falling behind your competitors, because research has shown that recipients of promotional items have a warmer feeling for companies that give them a useful promotional product.  Consult a promotional products distributor with experience that can help guide you on a successful marketing campaign.

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Website Marketing


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Whether or not you sell products or services from your website, you DO need to have a website and market it.  The key to marketing your business is with visibility.  That is why websites are so great.  I am writing this post because I have run across a few prominent businesses in my local are that do not have a website.  I hae also run across a few that have websites but do not promote them.  With the busy society that we are in, websites are the single most useful tool for clients and potential clients to get information about our company.  We have as much as possible on our websites to answer these questions so our clients can get answers at any time during the day or night.

Once your website is up to speed, you need to market your website.  You should include your website on ALL correspondence.  This includes letterhead, business cards, email signatures, signatures if you post to forums, and promotional products.  Inexpensive promotional items such as personalized pens and magnets are great ways to mass distribute your website to people for a minimal cost.  The idea is to create awareness of your business so that potential clients will think of your company when they need your services as opposed to visiting your competitors.  If your business cards or letterhead doesn’t have your website printed on it, shame on you.  Have them reprinted right away and begin marketing your website which will bring you much more exposure and help you land more sales.  Promotional products marketing is one of the least expensive AND most effective forms of advertising proven by multiple studies.  To be the cheapest and the best is gold.  Why not take advantage of this form of marketing right away?

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Shocking Promotions


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I wanted to talk about shocking promotions.  What I mean is promotional marketing that causes a shock to people.  With this type of marketing, you WILL offend a select few people; however, you will capture the attention of many others.  The few offendees are not significant though compared to the amount of new business you can bring in. 

I found this hilarious picture online from Versión subtitulada Blog which has a lot of shock value.
Shocking Promotions

Although these are not promotional items, the same principle can be applied to promotional product marketing.  Think of something that is related to your product that would have shock appeal.  You don’t want to be too graphic though.  The sky is the limit.  Be creative.  Be bold.  Employ the help of a promotional products consultant to help with ideas.  There is a plethora of promotional products available to help you be successful with a bold and creative marketing campaign.  If you have used any type of shock marketing, I would love to hear what you have done.  Please comment below and share your past experiences. 

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