Get Your Organization Noticed
For many organizations, particularly nonprofits that are running on a Spartan budget, using promotional items to boost your organization’s presence at fundraisers and exhibitions is the most effective way to spend your marketing dollars.
Ads are everywhere. On TV and newspapers. On the side of buses and on grocery store floors. When we surf the web pop ups momentarily prevent us from getting to the content. Digital ads follow us online. There are even digital video ads on bathroom stalls at restaurants.
The public is savvy about being manipulated by advertising. Yet, advertising is vital for promoting your organization or business. So, how does one reach customers without putting them off? And, better yet, is there a way to do it cost effectively?
While consumers might fast forward through TV ads or ignore banner ads while they are surfing the web, they love free stuff!
Some cite the first promotional product as a commemorative button for George Washington’s Presidential election in 1789. However, promotional products didn’t become prevalent until the twentieth century. It is puzzling that it took so long to catch on because promotional items have traditionally had a great Return on Investment (ROI).
Nonprofits are one of the top ten purchasers of promotional items. One study found that 41 percent of U.S. consumers bought a product because it was “associated with a cause or issue,” so this shouldn’t be surprising. However, there are many reasons why promotional items that will promote your brand make sense for your nonprofit organization.
Some reasons include:
- Helps fundraising for your organization when soliciting donors or offering products for purchase
- Increases response rates to mailers soliciting donations when an item like a refrigerator magnet, key chain, or pen is included
- Educates people who see others wearing shirts or carrying totes in public
- Makes a nice “thank you” gift to volunteers and donors
Make a positive impression
Whether you’re a for- or nonprofit organization, promotional items leave potential patrons with a significantly more favorable impression of organizations that provide them compared to other forms of advertising. The following breakdown details the percentage of people who felt more favorably towards an organization after being exposed to various types of advertising:
- 9% who saw online advertising
- 7% who saw a television commercial
- 2% who saw a print ad
- 42-52% who received a promotional item
How cost effective are promotional items?
So, we know promotional items work, but how do they stack up cost-wise?
It turns out promotional products have the best ROI compared with the other main forms of advertising. Many companies calculate the Cost Per Impression (CPI) of their advertisements and research reveals these averages.
The CPI for various media buys:
- $0.019 for prime time TV spots
- $0.019 for half-page black and white newspaper ads
- $0.006 for syndicated daytime TV spots
- $0.005 for radio spots
- $0.003 for billboards
The average CPI for promotional items? Just $0.004!
Why promotional items work
Promotional items are effective because, depending on the item, people hang on to them and use them; they might even use them every day. Each time someone uses a promotional item they are essentially advertising your organization to others who see the person using or wearing it.
In addition, promotional items work because when someone gives you something, psychology dictates that you will feel like you owe the giver a favor in return. In this case, buying the giver’s products or donating to their organization.
To sum it up:
- People like free things.
- Promotional items provide a lot of brand exposure at a low price.
- People experience positive feelings toward an organization after receiving an item.
Why not go the extra step and have a little fun with it?
Pairing promotional items that will promote your brand with social media is also a good strategy. It’s a good way to both retain and gain patrons or donors.
People like to feel appreciated, so show your loyal clientele or benefactors that you appreciate their patronage with free gifts every now and then. Word of mouth is powerful. When people feel goodwill and appreciation from your organization and like your brand, they will speak kindly of you to their friends and colleagues.
On social media it is also easy for people to share your organization’s page with their friends. People like to be the trendsetter and find good deals so that they can be the one who shares them with their friends.
A trendy promotional gift can also be effective on social media. Take some of the excitement for the hottest new product and direct some of that excitement to your organization!
Why not extend the reach offered by social media even further by also requesting information from visitors? Besides, if people are asked to sign up for a newsletter they may be apt to buy or donate later, having remembered a good experience with your brand.
Ways to implement social media:
- Offer promotional items for liking your Facebook or Twitter page.
- Offer promotional items for signing up for an e-newsletter or giving you their email or mailing address.
- Encourage people to post or send you pictures of them using your promotional products. This is good publicity for potential customers or donors to see the pictures of others using your products and it gets people actively engaged with your brand.
- Print QR codes, twitter handles, or other social media sites on your promotional items.
- Include a big-ticket item contest or drawing advertised in store, at a conference, at a trade show, or on social media.
Like any form of advertising, there are drawbacks and things to consider.
- Some experts claim effective promotional items have at least a $5 to $10 perceived value. This can be an expensive investment.
- Consumers will hang on to the item for varying lengths of time depending on the item. For example, food will expose your brand to the consumer for a shorter time period than other items.
- This year’s hot colors might go out of style next season. How many T-shirts are do you plan to distribute? It’s OK if you give away all of them; however, if you buy in bulk for a discount and plan to pass some out next year, choose something more traditional that will still be in fashion.
The most effective promotional items
Pens. Pens. Pens.
While there are many options, pens are at the top of the list because they are used more than any other item. Everyone needs a pen and one study showed 40% of recipients used their pens twice per day. Pens also last a long time. This is a lot of brand exposure for such a small and inexpensive promotional item.
However, don’t make your pens so inexpensive that they are poor quality, as this will reflect poorly on your organization. Other than that, you really can’t go wrong.
Tote bags are another great option. Research shows bags are the most frequently used promotional items by consumers, averaging nine uses per month. Because consumers carry them around in public, each bag creates about 1,038 impressions per month. That’s huge!
Consumers also keep bags for nine months, a relatively long period for promotional items. Apparel is also kept around a while, averaging seven months.
The other promotional items people most often keep are items they find useful in the kitchen or the office.
- Kitchen gadgets
- Office supplies
Effective promotional items are:
- Used regularly
- Kept nearby
The most preferred promotional items include:
- Clocks and watches
- Digital picture frames
- Food baskets
- MP3 players
While these are the statistics, keep in mind what will work best for your organization’s budget. It is important that your promotional items relate to your brand. This makes it easier for potential patrons to remember you and make connections between the promotional item and your brand.
For example, if you’re a yoga studio and you take away people’s watches at the door to meditate without regard to time, a watch or clock wouldn’t make sense as a promotional item and would certainly confuse your brand’s message!
Promotional Items for Nearly Any Need
T.R. McTaggart provides promotional items that will promote your brand that are high quality and customizable. This reflects well on your brand. We can create items to your specifications to increase your brand recognition.
The products we provide include:
- Computer accessories
- Desk items
- Eco friendly
- Food and beverage
- Golf items
- Key tags
- Kitchen and home
- Mugs and drinkware
- Sports and outdoors
- Stress balls
- Tools and hardware
- Travel items
Contact Us Today
T.R McTaggart has over two decades of experience and expertise producing promotional items. If you want to find out more about how we can work with you to design and develop promotional items for your organization that will make your brand stand out, call us today at (800) 433-0983 to talk to a friendly representative about your organization’s needs.