Nothing beats promotional products for getting a targeted message to a designated recipient on a repetitive basis. The key part of this statement is “on a repetitive basis.”
This fundamental benefit of promotional items is probably the most overlooked and misunderstood factor in the promotional product buying decision.
Here’s a typical call I get, “I need some trade show giveaways for my next show. Do you have blah blah blah?
They are really cute and I saw an exhibitor giving them away last year.”
Just imagine… billions of dollars are wasted every year – Most exhibitors only get a fraction of the return on investment on their trade show promotional products. Why? Because they spend their money on giveaways and not repetitive message senders.
Promotional Products Work
Studies show that 7 out of 10 people who receive promotional gifts at trade shows can recall the name of the company that gave them the product. Sounds great, but that’s not all – not even close.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. While most people would be thrilled at these results, they are missing one simple fact. If your prospect has a “RE-USABLE” product, your company gets seen over, and over and over again. The result? Your cost per impression goes down and your return on investment goes up.
Retention is the key to maximizing effectiveness.
Maximizing Your Trade Show Budget
Think about this. Say you spend $1 on 1000 items. If 9 out of 10 get thrown away, only 1 in 10 is reused. Your cost per retention is $10 each and your $1000 got your message re-used by 100 people. But if that $1 item is kept and reused by 5 out of 10 people, your cost per retention is $2 each and you have exposed 500 people on a repetitive basis for $1000. Hmmm, for $1000 if you had the choice of being seen by either 100 people or by 500 people over and over, what
would you do?
I love this one. 99% of the time “What’s new?” is code for “What can I buy that no one will ever use.”
Remember the “Carabineer” craze? For 5 years everyone under the sun was selling these things. (You know, the clips that rock climbers use.) Not only was everyone selling them, but then they made 500 variations of the product.
They had Carabineers with compasses, Carabineers with flashlights, with key chains, and clocks built in. They came in plastic, aluminum and steel. And they became available in 90 colors!
Now tell me this. How many people do you know that carry one around on a daily basis? I bet the industry sold 5 billion dollars worth of them. 2 billion at trade shows. Why? Because it was new. The colors were cute. They matched the booth. “Oh it has a compass, this will come in handy if I get lost on my way to the office!”
Let’s face it. How many of us have used a compass in our life after boy scouts and girl scouts? The landfills are full of them. My point is this: There are items that have a high retention rate that have been around a long time and there is a reason they are the top items bought and sold. They simply WORK.
Let me be a bit more specific. Here are the top selling categories of trade show promotional items and percentage of overall sales.
1) Wearables 29.98%
2) Promotional Pen [http://poorrichardspromos.com/pens.html] 10.61%
3) Calendars 7.64%
4) Drink Ware 6.25%
5) Desk/Business accessories 5.69%
6) Trade Show Plastic Bags [http://poorrichardspromos.com/bags.html] 5.46%
I have probably sold 5 million promotional
T shirts in my career. They are the highest retained item in the industry and there is no greater value.
Look around your desk: Mouse pad, paper cube, pens, highlighter, letter opener, carabineer (I’m joking), coffee mug, calendar, ruler.
Look in your house: bag clip, jar opener, refrigerator magnet, coffee mugs, tee shirts, hats.
Get in your prospect’s house, on their desk, in their briefcase, on their backs, and in their drawers. Every day items have the greatest return. Remind them of you products and services and you’ll micro brand them. You’ll never buy a throwaway again and you’ll no longer see the promotional product budget as an expense. You’ll know what the Wise Buyer knows, you bought an asset.