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Sunday, September 18, 2011

As someone who’s been marketing for over a dozen years, I know the importance of multi-channel marketing. Even with the advent of social media and other online marketing initiatives, offering face-to-face interactions and tangible premium items can do a great deal to grow your brand and generate sales.

I’ve experimented with a number of give-a-ways as part of my marketing mix. This type of promotion can be used at a trade show, during a presentation, or even via direct mail. And truthfully, not all promotional items are effective. Through trial and error, I have found a number of premiums that have really delivered a positive ROI. This is because they met the following criteria:

1. They allow for branding or personalization.
2. They are portable.
3. They can be used on a regular basis.
4. Prospect sees throughout the day.

If you filter all possible premium items through this type of filter, you’ll discover a very short list of truly valuable items. Take for example lanyards, mugs, or pen holders. Each of these items meets the above criteria. They are small enough to move from one location to the next, can be used daily, and be personalized. Best of all, they are seen throughout the day as they sit on a prospects desk.

Vendors who offer these types of premiums have the technology to truly customize your promotional items – creating more value for both the advertiser and prospect. Custom lanyards for example can carry your logo, url, brand name, and even an attached items such as a flash drive. The possibilities are limitless.

Traditional premiums like stress balls or pens are somewhat limited in their use. Compared to a pencil holder which sits on your desk every day, stress balls may sit on a shelf until you move out of your cubicle or office. Always be sure to ask yourself the above questions before purchasing premium items.

To get the biggest bang for your buck, consider integrating your premium items with other promotions. If your premium is valued at $10 or more, consider using it as an incentive to prospects in exchange for opting in to a particular form or agreeing to receive a newsletter.

Through an integrated approach, you can improve conversions. But it all starts with gaining the interest of your prospect and driving them to action. Always make sure to use a URL on your premium item and cultivate your leads. Premiums can drive successful marketing programs and have a long shelf life – so consider them an essential part of your next marketing campaign.


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