With a vast array of promotional products available, determining the most appropriate product requires both internal and external research.
Determining the organization’s goals is just as important as knowing the consumer’s expectations. A strategic communication plan acts as a guide for marketers from start to finish. All nine of these steps are important parts of a campaign, but remember to stay flexible in order to meet specific organizational needs and allow room for creativity.
Choose the Goal: The goal of a promotional campaign can be anything from client acquisition to customer retention or increasing brand awareness to brand repositioning. Goals are meant to be general and are used to guide marketers in the right direction.
Specify Objectives: Objectives are the milestones that must be reached in order to meet the goal. They must be specific, measurable and attainable. Use action verbs to describe the objectives to clearly spell out what must be accomplished.
Define the Target Audience: Like objectives, the target audience must also be specific, measurable and attainable. In addition, the target audience must also be responsive. It is important to consider whether the business offers a product or service that is appropriate for this target audience. Is this product or service something consumers generally need, want or is it an unsought good?
Research When, Where & How to Reach the Target Audience: Is there a common place where members of the target audience gather? Perhaps there is an upcoming event that draws a large population of people or a trade show created specifically for the target audience. Contests with prize giveaways or reward programs are a great way to draw attention through the use of promotional products. Be sure to have permissions cleared before implementing the campaign.
Choose a Theme: The theme should be centered around the campaign’s goal. Design logos, fonts and color schemes that are consistent throughout the campaign.
Create a Message: The message is derived from the campaign’s theme and is used to solidify the business’s product or service.
Select the Product: With thousands and thousands of promotional products available, it helps to narrow down the product categories that best suit the nature of the business, the campaign theme or the target audience. Most products are practical, generating usage by the recipient which increases exposure to the brand logo and message during every use. Keep in mind that quality products tend to generate more buzz and boost the businesses’ overall value, but simple products, such as pens and coasters, might be all that is needed to increase brand exposure.
Implement the Campaign: Designate who is in charge of implementing the campaign and how the products will be transported and distributed. Train employees properly and prepare them for consumer inquiries to ensure that information is clear and consistent. It is important to keep track of how many consumers were reached for later evaluation.
Evaluate: Determine the results of the campaign. Were the objectives met? Pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of each element of the campaign. Perhaps the message might need improving or a different promotional product would be more suitable. An easy way to evaluate progress is to ask the simple question, “How did you hear about us?” A simple survey can help determine if promotional products, advertisements, word-of-mouth or other marketing strategies are generating the most business.