How to Integrate Promotional Products with Digital Marketing

How to Integrate Promotional Products with Digital Marketing


Digital marketing is a hot topic nowadays, and rightly so in many ways. But not everyone communicates in the same way or visits the same places every day, online, or IRL (in real life). Connecting with people in different ways catches their interest more than using the same medium over and over. Although digital marketing offers many varied ways to connect, that should never be done exclusively without using other means to reach prospects and stay top-of-mind with existing customers.

Promotional products can help introduce your business, keep you top-of-mind, reinforce your branding and thank customers in customized ways beyond the usual rewards, points, and discounts. They offer specific opportunities and advantages that digital marketing does not, for both B2B and B2C companies.

Many marketing opportunities aren’t very “digital.”

Promotional products have a physical presence that can enhance the “ephemeral” presence of digital marketing. They engage the senses of touch or smell as well as sight or sound, making them extra-memorable. They also have a long shelf-life: a branded coffee mug might end up being used every day by your prospects for the next year, or several years. A branded wall calendar, by definition, has up to 12 months’ worth of opportunities to be seen by your prospects every day. These give your brand greater “staying power,” because people can keep them around. That makes promotional products ideal for face-to-face interactions such as trade shows, in-person networking, holiday gifts, conferences, and special events.

Distribute giveaways at meetings or set them out in your waiting area for people to take. Coordinate them with a specific campaign – for example, dentists give away free mouth guards for kids during back-to-school promotions. By incorporating promotional products with your digital marketing, you’re extending your reach and the longevity of your message.

Cross-promotion drives successful marketing.

Promotional products are targetable. For example, if you’re a bike shop sponsoring a cycling event, giving entrants a promotional tire pressure gauge or pannier – something you know they’ll use frequently – bolsters your branding and encourages loyalty and retention. In fact, studies show customers are even more likely to buy from you again if they receive a promotional gift from you.

Print a QR code on business cards and brochures. Send direct mail postcards that drive traffic to a specific website landing page, so you can expand your all-important email contact list and continue the engagement process.

Use promotional products as a premium content offer, to collect prospect mailing addresses as well as emails. Or make the premium available in your shop, office or restaurant, redeemable with a downloadable “gift certificate.”

Produce branded merchandise you can sell in-store or online, to generate revenue now and gain additional exposure day in and day out as people wear or use your products.

Make a production calendar.

Create a unified marketing production calendar to plan and track the production of both your digital assets and print, direct mail and promo products. That will help you plan ahead so nothing slips through the cracks, and it will help you think more comprehensively about how you can combine promotional items with your digital marketing efforts. Think about how branded giveaways can augment a digital campaign, but also how you might use digital channels to promote your branded promo pieces.

No marketing director or business owner in their right mind uses just one tactic to advertise and build their business, no matter what that business does or sells. And there is no type of business that can’t benefit from the versatility of promo products that creatively reflect your unique business personality.

To stand out from the competition, you need a strategically integrated marketing plan that takes advantage of the special attributes of multiple marketing tactics and channels. When you integrate promotional products with digital marketing, you’ll generate more leads, increase top-of-mind awareness, and fatten your sales pipeline.


About the author:

Chris Strom is the Principal of ClearPivot, a Denver-based digital marketing agency. Chris started ClearPivot in 2009 to address an increasingly growing need for businesses: the increasing importance web-based marketing channels, and the confusion and lack of understanding in many businesses of how to harness the new opportunities brought on by these changes. Solving these challenges is what gets Chris and his team out of bed each and every morning.

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