There is no avoiding the current focus on the global pandemic (Covid-19). Constant reminders are everywhere – the television, newspapers and even our own daily dinner table discussions. The effect of Covid-19 is being felt at all levels of business – big, small and everywhere in between. In tough times the promotional products industry can provide great ROI. Research shows marketers increase their spending on promotional products in times of recession in order to retain and reward current business, increase new business and to assist in making marketing budgets stretch further, more effectively.
Promotional Products Market
The promotional products industry has grown up and is now a very sophisticated, forward moving industry. But as with every industry, there is a minority of companies which do not subscribe to the same levels of professionalism. It is imperative that organisations or companies looking to use promotional products engage their customers.
The current promotional products market is no exception. Below the-line advertising expenditure exceeded above-the-line advertising spend for the first time, the market remains positive and steady. More and more companies are recognising the benefits of well-planned promotional product campaigns. With a lot of businesses looking to tighten their belts and restrict their advertising spend, they need to become more creative and targeted with their remaining budget. And this is where promotional product professionals provide the perfect alternative to traditional media advertising.
Getting Results in Tough times
As a result, more of their marketing spend is being directed towards promotional products and other ‘non-traditional’ forms of advertising. Industry research shows reaction by clients during Covid-19, but already things have turned around as organisations realise how far their promotional product dollar can go in supporting sales targets. Expenditure on promotional products has been slashed by many firms in an effort to be fiscally responsible in uncertain times. However we are already seeing a 180-degree turnaround as companies come to the realisation that below-the-line marketing is a critical sales tool. Historically, promotional products spending has increased during tough economic times, so we expect promotional spending this year to actually increase, most likely taking marketing share from above-the-line activity.
Targeted Product Campaign in Tough Times
It’s inevitable spending will slow down, but clients report they are in a position to continue developing and investing in their business and their brand will survive, and that’s a positive for the promotional industry. Our business is flexible and therefore able to respond swiftly to changes in the market. At Value Added Promotions we believe, that the promotional products industry needs to keep communicating to customers is the value of a well-planned, cleverly targeted product campaign. This means clients need to be thinking ahead and allowing plenty of lead-time in the development of a product, which in some cases may need to be customised especially for the campaign.
Common Mistakes in tough times
When it comes to mistakes, there are some common ones. Most common mistake is when products selected by the client have no real relevance to the brand they are representing. Customers may fall in love with a product, but if it doesn’t suit their brand, promote their message or appeal to their target market, it represents money poorly spent. The worst examples I’ve seen are when marketers haven’t planned a strategy or roll-out. Throwing products at a target market without investing in planning is a waste of marketing spend. And, in turn, marketers blame the medium of promotional products as the problem. In reality they have made an ‘ego-based’ decision based on their own personal tastes rather than benefiting from our experience.
Smart Marketing in Tough Times
The product is only one component in the whole campaign. The creativity used to elicit a response is the key to increasing profits and promoting brands. So how can clients get it right? When it comes to putting together the right marketing strategy, Eco Appeal’s that a smart marketer will consider promotional products a vital part of the marketing mix in both good times and bad. Like any promotional activity, the more thought that goes into the planning and execution of any promotional product-related campaign, the better the results. Although times are tough for many businesses, commercial activity – although reduced – still exists, and therefore market share is more critical than ever. Promotional products also offer a fantastic alternative to discounting, especially when used to encourage up-spend. Smart marketers will create campaigns that offer a minimum spend to receive something – a second, ‘promotional product’ – in return. This can be very effective. The client has not only generated more sales by selling the original product but may have even made some margin on the promotional product itself.