Is it still acceptable to give out promotional gifts to business customers?

Business Insights

Well, as traditional marketeers, our initial response is “Yes,” however, we do understand that there is a number of factors to consider.

What is a promotional gift? Essentially, it is a giveaway item that is printed with your company logo, slogan and contact details. Done correctly it will raise the profile and exposure of your company’s brand. It will not necessarily gain extra business.

It should always be a gift that will be welcomed and useful to the recipient, and ideally, relevant to your business activity in some way. For example, there is not much point in an engineering company giving away a trolley keyring, however, it would be an appropriate gift as a give away from a car dealer. An engineering company would perhaps be better placed giving away a printed desk calendar or wall planner. This would be useful for the recipient when planning manufacturing deadlines and or staff holidays. Engineers might also find squared to scale paper presented as a notepad useful. Of course, why stop there? Printed paper gifts call out for that most useful of items, printed pens. UK screen printers supply many hundreds of printed pens in a wide range of materials from plastic to metal, at an equally wide range of costs.

So, when thinking about how to spend your marketing budget, consider what your client will find useful, and trust that by the item being in regular use that your company will be kept at the forefront of their minds. Also, that at the very least they will want the next year’s replacement version.

I am always gratified by quite how many people request our desk calendar year on year. It is a useful desk tool that we have developed to ensure that it is not over branded and small enough to not overwhelm the desk space available! To not take up too much desk space is essential for a desktop promotional gift, while useful, desk space is often limited, so the smaller the better. This is where printed mouse-mats, coasters and desk jotter pads really come into their own.

How do you start to choose your promotional gift and implementation for a successful campaign?

    1) Decide your budget. Budget is often a key factor for most companies and is useful to set.

    2) How many people will you be giving the item to? Many clients when embarking on promotional printing do not consider this first. Have you sourced a prospect mailing list or identified clients from your MIS/ CMS?

    3) Decide whether you will you be hand delivering or posting. This often depends on budget, and often, due to the size and weight of the item can have such a detrimental impact on budgets that the idea gets lost. If postage budgets are an issue, ask your printing and mailing house for items that make the most out of letter rates, so under 100grams and within Royal Mail’s letter dimensions. This conversation can genuinely be the make or break of getting your gifts out. If hand delivering, again going back to point 2 – how many do you, or will you get around to, handing out over a reasonable time frame?

    4) Is it a festive gift or new on-boarding? This can go back to time frames. Whilst we do see a lot of promotional gift activity around the end of the calendar year, it can get tied to the festivities, resulting in a deadline. If this is a concern, we would advise not having a festive or date theme, although most of us would agree that we work more efficiently with a fixed deadline, which really helps to focus sales teams’ implementation.

    5) Is your target client - desk, factory, car or outside based? This is really important. Where is the target client spending most of their time and how can you ensure your promotional gift is being used daily? You know when you have cracked it when the following year you are asked if you have the new version or a replacement or one for their colleague due to green eye!

For more information on how you can make the best decision for your client base on promotional marketing budgets, please do get in touch