Before the pandemic, customers were migrating rapidly to digital spaces, preferring the convenience and easy access to information that the internet provides to dealing with hundreds of agents in person. The pandemic accelerated this shift: with it no longer being safe to go outside, people across industries shifted a more significant portion of their lives to online spaces. Nowadays, as the pandemic begins to wane, it’s much more common for people to use online spaces to interact with friends and family members, use online services to seek out information instead of agents, and conduct most forms of business through digital platforms.
This means that most forms of traditional marketing are either beginning to become obsolete or evolving into digital marketing techniques out of necessity. Fortunately, there is one traditionally accepted marketing technique that is still viable (and even adaptable) to our digital world: promotional product marketing. Through promotional product marketing, specifically the practice of branding items that today’s consumers might find helpful for their work in digital spaces, you can cause public perception of your brand’s image to skyrocket.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of a robust promotional product marketing campaign.
To define it briefly, promotional product marketing is the act of giving away quality, branded products for free to potential customers. These products are often made at minimal cost-per-unit and are often selected with the intent of representing the brand, as the rhetorical effects of the product you distribute can vary depending on its quality and its usefulness.
Promotional product marketing has both immediate benefits for businesses in the short term and far-reaching ones long-term. In the short-term, customers react like they’ve received a gift, and they are likely to perceive your brand in a more positive light. In the long-term, however, customers who wear/use your product will likely expose people throughout their personal and social networks to your brand, and receiving a promotional product also makes customers more familiar with your brand on average. What the latter means is that in some cases, lifelong customers have been secured through the distribution of promotional products, as customers are more likely to recognize and trust a brand they’ve received gifts from than competitors.
USB Devices: Their Viability as a Promotional Product
This raises the question of what products your company can get the most mileage out of distributing. While a few staples are widely recognized, such as clothing items and coffee mugs, in this rapidly digitizing world, objects that customers can use in digital settings like branded USB devices will make fantastic promotional products moving forward. While USB drives themselves are considered to be primarily outmoded and occasionally even risks to device security, items like USB cables, adapters, and speakers are still very much used by consumers on a daily basis.
If the purpose of a promotional product is to be used semi-frequently, why not start moving toward branding products that will be more and more useful moving forward? T-shirts are great, but will your consumer base be wearing your shirt visibly in the middle of winter? What’s the likelihood a consumer discards a USB cord they’ve been using off and on for months versus the probability they throw away a T-shirt that’s been sitting at the bottom of their drawer? Thinking about the products customers will use has always been an essential component of successful promotional product marketing: but those products are changing, and businesses must adapt their marketing strategies to reflect that.
Most business owners are no doubt used to thinking on their feet as a result of the last year’s events. But moving forward, it will be critical for corporations to reflect upon how the world has changed, predict how it might change in the near future, and adapt their marketing techniques to succeed. When it comes to promotional product marketing, cheap swag and apparel that will be discarded or ignored won’t generate results anymore. Businesses will have to choose to distribute more tech-friendly products if they want these campaigns to succeed.