A Mindful Approach to Product Marketing

Have you ever questioned how effective promotional products are in creating brand awareness, buzz, and goodwill through your channel? According to a 2012 PPAI (Promotional Products Association International) study, using branded promotional products may be one of the more effective marketing approaches in building brand awareness, opening up the door (acquiring new customers) and keeping it open (retaining existing customers). Through the use of promotional products, advertisers were able to increase their business among those with whom they had never done business before by 11 percent. The same study found that 55 percent of respondents had already done business with the advertiser before receiving the promotional products, and 85 percent of respondents did business with the advertiser after receiving the products.

Even though it’s an effective approach, promotional products are only as good as the strategy behind their execution. This is where you come in. Approaching your channel before your channel promotes you may be the best thing you can do.

When thinking about your promotional product strategy with your channel partners, consider making the products available for as much co-op fund/MDF coverage as possible. Your channel partners need to tap into the strength and resources of your brand to help them engage your customers with these products. Funds are a great way to incentivize their purchase. In doing this, it’s critical that you clarify that the funds are to be used on promotional products. It’s common for partners to let funds sit until the very last minute and spend them on things that have less business impact. The statistics we’ve presented illustrate that promotional products are very effective in building customer relationships. You spend good money on co-branded promotional products, and you don’t want that investment to go to waste. When you make funds available and define how to use them, your partners are more likely to join you in building your brand.

Marketing with promotional products has a strong effect on both the attitudes and behaviors of your customers. How you approach the use of promotional products should also influence the marketing behaviors and attitudes of your channel partners. Co-branding promotional products is an excellent way to ensure that both your brand and your partners have skin in the game. Making these products available for co-op or MDF coverage is also a great way to influence your partners to use them. With this approach, you’re decreasing their level of out-of-pocket financial investment and increasing their level of interest. This will make them more likely to use promotional products in a way that builds your brand and their local businesses.