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Unique tips on promotional marketing and brand management topics that will help you promote and endorse your brand in an dffective way.

12 Mistakes While Choosing Promotional Products

12 Mistakes While Choosing Promotional Products

A lot of my friends have spoken about the tacky looking pens they received at major conferences across the USA. These pens were made of low-quality plastic – they were horrible to write with. All these pens featured brand details of popular companies associated with these conferences. According to me, these pens did a disservice to the companies that used them as marketing tools. They shouldn’t have been used in the first place!
Choosing and distributing the right giveaways is an art that should be mastered with experience. I am going to share some common mistakes committed while going for giveaways. This article is useful for first-time or infrequent buyers. It’s also useful for those who have had bad experiences while purchasing giveaways! Use it as a guide to ensure your next campaign is a success.

1. Placing orders with dubious service providers
Companies that have never bought a promotional product before have a difficult time finalizing the right service provider. It is important that you verify the credentials of the service provider you are placing your order with. Failure to do this will ensure you end up with shoddy products for your next campaign.

There have been horror stories of logos untidily pasted on giveaways. We have also heard stories about products delivered a week after the event they were purchased for!

Make sure you opt for a quality company to purchase giveaways from. Think about partnering with Promo Direct for your promotional needs. We have been ranked 1st in the Promotional Product Stores Review for 2015. We beat accomplished competitors such as Rush Imprint, 4Imprint, ePromos, InkHead, Motivators and Branders.

2. Going for giveaways that look cheap and plasticky
It doesn’t look good when companies that specialize in high-end products give away cheap looking pens and key chains. Take your time to choose a product that looks attractive and expensive at the same time. Get in touch with customer support if you are confused as to which product will serve your brand well.

3. Sacrificing quality for quantity
Most marketing teams look out for eye-catching deals. They then buy thousands of cheap looking items that fail to hold the customer’s attention. Don’t make the same mistake! Focus on giveaways that are high on quality. You can buy them in bulk – the extra money spent is worth every cent.

4. Under-estimating promotional products
As part of the 2013 Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study, promotional products were compared with other popular marketing channels and came out trumps! Giveaways were found to have a really low cost-per-impression of .005 cents. Compare this with TV ads (.018 cents), Radio ads (.058 cents) and Magazine ads (.045 cents) – it’s clear that giveaways offer a good return on investment.

Many businesses focus on print or TV ads with little or zero marketing results to show. They forget the fact that most consumers simply switch channels or flip pages while going through a TV or magazine ad. So dedicate a good percentage of your marketing budget to invest in giveaways.

5. Proofreading blunders that can lead to a lot of embarrassment
I know a customer who spent hundreds of dollars to imprint quality flashlights. He expected a lot from his marketing campaign. But things didn’t go according to plan.

He realized that his company’s name was spelled wrong on the flashlights only after the order reached his office! He had to discard them and place a new order on another website.

Make extra effort to proofread your company’s details before finalizing your order. This will save you a lot of heartache later! At Promo Direct, we send free samples for approval before finalizing the order. This helps the client make any last minute suggestions before closing the deal for final imprint.

6. Going for items that offer no value to the recipient
I have heard of women receiving screwdriver sets as giveaways. This is a wrong move. You should focus on items that can add greater value to customer relationships. Study the profile of your target audience thoroughly before choosing a product.

7. Not including giveaways as part of marketing strategy
This is an extension of #4. Marketing strategies are often planned with multiple marketing channels. Giveaways seldom figure in these strategies. They are often an afterthought. How can giveaways serve as successful marketing tools without adequate planning?

8. Lack of creativity to choose giveaways that can stand out
Don’t just go for a product because everybody else is going for it. Try to be unique in your approach to selecting giveaways. Go for items that will highlight your brand in a colorful and creative manner. For example, we have a collection of wacky stress relievers that never fail to impress recipients. We also have some creative promotional pencils to highlight your brand at schools.

Plan for a week or two to finalize the right product to represent your brand!

9. Not having a tracking mechanism in place
Let’s suppose you have given away 500 classy pens. What’s the next step? Do you have a mechanism in place to track how these giveaways benefited your brand? Who received these giveaways? What was their reaction? Have any of these recipients got in touch with you again?

It’s true that marketing campaigns featuring giveaways are relatively cheaper to run – but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t track their progress!

10. No goals to achieve
A lot of businesses invest in giveaways without giving too much thought to the goals they seek to achieve. It’s important you have brainstorming sessions within the office to determine what you would like to achieve through these giveaways. Whether it’s to seek quality visibility, a higher number of leads or thank a customer, giveaways will serve you well.

11. Choosing the wrong venue to distribute giveaways
I have seen employees stationed outside offices to distribute giveaways to passersby. How would distributing pens to everybody passing by help a business? The key is to connect with a target audience, not just any person under the sun! Choose important events to distribute giveaways – a conference, trade show, fundraiser or exhibition, are great places to start.

12. Failure to do follow-ups
It’s important to perform regular follow-ups with recipients. Send them an email or drop by their offices when you get the opportunity. Try your best to remain in their minds for a long time.

We hope you agree with the common mistakes mentioned in this article. Do you have any experiences of your own to share? Do let us know! Our team of marketing experts is ready to help you with any questions you may have. All you have to do is give us a call at 800-748-6150 or send in an e-mail to

About Author:

Jayden Samuelson is an online marketing expert and a regular contributor to Promo Direct. He likes reading articles on online marketing industry and has been a part of discussions on many boards and forums. Jayden Samuelson can be followed on Google+, Twitter and Facebook

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