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Top 10 Mistakes People Make When They Use Promotional Products


One of the most effective method of advertising is through promotional products. They bear extensive importance in a marketing strategy be it internal or external. As it is cost-effective, it has proven time and time again that it is the most appreciated form of marketing. With this versatility, they too are vulnerable to a wide range of errors.

Nothing is foolproof. But, if one learns from the mistakes of others, it is likely that he/she will overcome slip-ups. For this purpose, we listed down the top 10 mistakes companies make when planning a promotional campaign.

Top 10 mistakes people make when they use promotional products:

1. Lack or Unclear objectives

Lack of clear-cut goal and defined objective can ruin the whole process of your promotional campaign. Every theater must have a straightforward goal, a well-defined purpose, and an obvious desired outcome. The objective of the promotional campaign needs to have a target audience in mind. The purpose has to be particular and understandable. Lastly, we should identify a demographic that the items need to reach.

2. Lack of Distribution planning

Most of the business doing promotional campaign fails to pay attention to a distribution plan. Let's say that you've chosen the right kind of items for the right kind of people, the question of how to distribute correctly crops up. While distributing, you got to make sure that your products reach the right target audience in good condition. It involves warehousing, repacking, shipping, delivery, and assembly of products.

As an example, magnetic to do list (paper to do list that you can pin on your fridge) needs to be shipped to a location disassembled. This being said, you need to allocate an extra day for assembly before handing out. 
A distribution plan also addresses the cost of shipping and handling. We had a client once that had to distribute 5000+ items to 25 different locations. Their lead-time did not properly address the man-hours needed to repack so we had to rush everything thereby increasing the cost of freight.

The type of delivery also matters, would you have a fork lift to handle a pallet? Do you have enough space to house the delivery? Would your staff directly hand it out to onlookers? Will your manager be handing out to select clients?
Survey shows that a well-designed distribution tremendously increases the effectiveness of your 
promotional products and budget.

3. Unattractive colour theme or graphics

It is necessary to create an appealing colour theme or graphic. One of the common aims of advertising is exposure. So, how can you expose and present your brand to get recognition from your target demographic? You need to create a good design and recognizable business logo or colour scheme in your promotional products. They should carry your corporate colour.

4. Irrelevant products

Another main factor of failure in promotional strategy is the use of irrelevant products. It is of high significance to build a conceptual link between the promo products and your company. If the item chosen does not make any association with your brand, how good a purpose will it serve? You need to imprint the image of your brand on the product so that each time people see it, they will identify them with your company.

Like a carwash to a chamois, produce company to a fruit fusion water bottle, and a computer company to a USB flash drive.

5. Lack of theme message

Another shortcoming is the inability to create a good theme that conveys the message about your purpose. Every purpose is represented and propagated by a slogan. Would you like an environmentally friendly company to distribute plastic bags (the non-recycled ones)? Or an anti-whaling organization distribute harpoon key rings? No! Definitely not. It’s downright ironic.

Theme message is important because advertising aims to convey a message that will result in a behavior. This is the reason why almost all companies, big and small, use themes to exemplify their company name, products, and services in the minds of their target audience.

6. Single minded choice and Lack of Market insights

By our instinct and personality, we are always accustomed to the way of doing things in our own terms. This should be shed when it comes to marketing. Making choice about the kind of products to be used for the campaign should not be based on what you do or don't like. The goal is a successful campaign. What’s important is the likes and dislikes of your target market. Thus the choice of the products have to be determined by the company's goal and the target audience's taste and preference.

7. Price factor and Perceived Value

The phrase 'everyone loves freebies' doesn't mean that whatever you hand out will be liked and loved by recipients. As they are free, most companies make the mistake of cutting corners. There’s nothing wrong with that but it is imperative to understand that your company is not the only one that gives freebies. Your promotional products represent your company and in this highly competitive era, no company would want to devalue its reputation by choosing a cheap looking product.

You always need to look for products with higher perceived value.

8. Poor design

Most businesses commit this mistake by handing out products that are boring. In today's trend, people are well aware of fashion and they don't want things that are flat and bland. The design of the products have to be loved and liked by people. In order to make the design or colour more appealing, you can customise the products to suit the taste of your audience.

9. Irrelevant information

There's no need to print unnecessary information on the product as it will look messy and unattractive. Information such as your company's address, phone numbers, URL is the way to go as they will help people in reaching you. In other words, when customers want to take real action, these information will assist them whether in contacting the company or in purchasing the company's product.

10. Single handed effort

The most common mistake committed by most of the small and medium business is taking matters into their own hands. A company will need external assistance in a promotional marketing program. You will need someone who specializes in the industry to save you most of the troubles that we enumerated.

You need assistance in order to finalize which products are suitable, what are the options available, etc. Moreover, suppliers with expertise in this field had acquired enormous experiences in terms of promotional programs. These suppliers will provide you a one stop shop for your promotional needs.

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