Dead Giveaways: How to Avoid a Lifeless Promotion
What’s the point of working your ass off on a promotion if it royally flops and brings you ZERO new customers? Besides having a touch of branding experience to show for it, your promotional efforts and your money would be wasted on low-attendance events or unwanted items. If your last promotion met an unfortunate end, then take a look at your logic before you blame your customers, the weather, or the products themselves. Your giveaway may have been dead on arrival! If you’re using promotional products to generate new leads and to inspire new conversations, then you need to pinpoint the best (and most logical) giveaway items before you hit that ORDER button.
I could blab on and on about the importance of knowing your target audience, but that’s already been said a billion-and-three times. Unless you conduct extensive research on your clients by spying on them or hacking into their computers, it can be a challenge to find a product that exactly matches their individual tastes. However, it is possible to find giveaway items that recipients would enjoy and understand…and it doesn’t take a ton of effort. Would you like to hear my advice? USE COMMON SENSE. I don’t mean that in a derogatory way – it’s really that easy!
Want a one-way ticket to Failtown? Go ahead and order personalized cigars for the participants in your Relay for Life group (it seems nuts, but you can bet that someone has done it). Choosing the wrong giveaway item can destroy your reputation and cause controversy. You may think it’s quirky or humorous to intentionally contradict your company message with a promotional item, but your customers will probably be confused. Be careful with mixed messages. There’s a fine line between humor and offense and you don’t want to cross it with your giveaways!
The cigars were an extreme example of bad product selection, but let me provide you with a more reasonable one. How would you feel about a dentist who gives his patients a small bag of candy after each visit? I love candy as much as the next person, but I would feel weird taking sweets from someone who just spent an hour cleaning my teeth. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way, either. You may think it’s clever to provide goodies at your dental practice…but it’s really not. The kids may love you for it but parents will be whistling a different tune! A dentist’s office has plenty of marketing opportunities when it comes to giveaways and promotions, including custom dental floss, tooth-shaped stress relievers, toothbrushes, toothpaste, lip balm, pill boxes, or dental kits…and those are just the obvious ones! Trust me, dentists and dental professionals, you can think of something much better than candy.
We all have common sense and we are all capable of using it to our advantage. You don’t need to be best friends with your intended audience to figure out what would make them happy! Empathize with your audience by taking what you already know about them (no matter how insignificant it may seem) and finding a promotional product that seems like a good match. For example, a customer in Seattle will probably appreciate a personalized umbrella or a well-made rain poncho. Customers of a travel agency are likely to use colorful luggage grippers or inflatable travel pillows from direct mail giveaways. This isn’t a foolproof method to determine the perfect giveaway item, but it’s a start. I don’t mean to insinuate that logic should always win over innovation, but it’s crucial to understand the difference between a creative promotion and a downright offensive one. There’s nothing wrong with being wacky (in fact, some of the most notable promotions have been wacky) as long as you use common sense and preserve the integrity of your brand while doing so!
Take charge of your promotions and giveaways instead of allowing them to defeat you! Do you have any more examples of lame or confusing promotions? What’s the craziest promotional item you’ve ever received in a giveaway? Comment below and don’t forget to visit us on Facebook and Twitter! Thanks for reading the Quality Logo Products blog.
Jill has been obsessed with words since her fingers could turn the pages of a book. She’s a hopeless bibliophile who recently purchased a Kindle after almost 6 years of radical opposition, and she loves stumbling upon new music on Pandora. Random interests include (but are not limited to) bookstores, movie memorabilia, and adorable rodents. Jill writes for the QLP blog and assists with the company’s social media accounts. You can connect with Jill on Google+.