One of the most common mistakes by made small businesses is the decision to leave marketing plans until the last minute. While it may be tempting to put off your promotional strategy for 2017 until it’s knocking on the door with Christmas pudding and mistletoe, this is not the right way to maximise your resources. Efficient and successful marketing needs time, care, and room for flexibility.

Ideally, your marketing strategy for the year should be organic and fluid; it shouldn’t really have a distinct start and end point, because exposure is always necessary. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is with promotional products, because they can be utilised at any point throughout the year. They’re also affordable, practical, and actually offer potential clients and customers a solution to a problem, even if it’s just a new mug or calendar.

seven geniune ways

This guide to making the most out of promotional products will help you maximise the power of your branded accessories.

1. Target Your Customer

If you primarily sell to older people (baby boomers), a branded iPhone sock is not going to cut the mustard. Before you invest in anything, think carefully about what type of products are best suited to your demographic. While younger shoppers might appreciate a funky keychain, older people prefer practical items like mugs and calendars.

2. Give Them a Treat

If there’s one thing customers always love, it’s an unexpected freebie. Sending valued clients little surprises at certain times of the year will put a smile on their face and remind them that your company is the best in town. Your gifts don’t have to be pricey, but they should be useful; think branded coasters, mouse mats, or even an ice cream scoop.

3. Open Up the Doors

If you’re looking for a clever way to combine promotional products with a display of what you’re made of why you’re the best choice, think about holding an ‘open day’ or ‘open house.’ Organise some hands on events and stalls that are directly related to your products or services. Then, advertise it and invite people to come along. Make mugs, pens, and other branded accessories available to visitors.

4. Set Up a Loyalty Scheme

Even in this age of instant gratification, loyalty schemes are very popular. They’re used by everything from coffee shops to clothes stores, restaurants, and takeaways. You could set up your own and give loyal customers the chance to get their hands on increasingly valuable promotional items. So, you could start small with badges and pens and work your way up to a branded lunchbox or flask.

5. Make It Personal

The best way to make a customer feel valued is to acknowledge the things that they care most about. And, since it has become so natural and expected for companies to collect personal data on shoppers, you could at least use the information for something nice. Finding out if customers have pets or children is a great way to tailor your marketing efforts and offer them products that matter.

6. Plan for Longevity

The most valuable promotional products are the things that people keep around the house even if they don’t always intend to. For example, items like pens, mugs, and calendars are almost always retained for a long time, because their universally useful. Even if a customer doesn’t like your logo or design, he’ll likely hold on to it anyway. Then, every time that he uses your product, he’ll remember your name.


7. Use Your Head

Promotional products can be invaluable when it comes to boosting exposure, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that they’re a shortcut to success. Think carefully about what you plan to offer, which items represent the best investment, and how you’re going to get them to your customers. The majority of promotional items are freebies, so you’ll need to account for the extra cost or make them part of a loyalty scheme.

Thinking Ahead for a Successful Year

If you start planning your promotional strategy for 2017 now, you’ll be able to jump right in and hit the ground running. This is what customers want from the services that they choose; they want to feel like you’re ready to meet their needs no matter what time of the year it is. With promotional products, you can have a cost efficient marketing tool on hand at all times.