Let's get physical...with your marketing

Written by Holly Tritt

You’ll hear us talk a lot about the importance of a well designed website and clear social media marketing plan. These are both aspects of marketing that can sometimes be hard to grasp because they are, well, intangible. You can’t drink coffee out of a well-crafted Facebook post. But what would it look like if you could? Much like Facebook posts, promotional products are an excellent way to create positive impressions with your target market. The obvious difference is that they are tangible items and can last longer than 5 seconds on a news feed. Although, you may see your products show up on your newsfeed like we did when one of our clients shared a picture of his pint glass!


I love web, don’t get me wrong. There are some things you just cannot convey through any other media. However, the marketing fun doesn’t have to stop there! Physical marketing pieces, whether they are print (my first love) or products, can be a huge asset to your brand. Giving someone something they can hold in their hands can create an impression of stability and trust.

Aside from simply being a physical marketing piece, here are my 3 favorite reasons for using promotional products:

1) They create a good impression

Everyone loves a free gift! Giving a promotional product to your customers (or potential customers) or employees can create a positive impression of your organization.

Each year, one of our clients sends out an exclusive product to each of the people who signed their guest book. This has helped them to retain a high customer loyalty rate and build good rapport with their customers.

2) They increase brand recognition

When asked, owners of promotional products can remember the advertiser 86% of the time according to a recent ASI (Advertising Specialties Inc) study.

I have a magnet clip on my refrigerator that I use all the time to hold wedding invitations and other small important papers I don’t want to lose. The clip is from a local septic service. Not very sexy, huh? But, it is a super useful item so I keep it and I can always remember the name of the business.

3) They are cost effective

Promotional products have a lower cost-per-impression (CPI) in the United States than prime-time television advertising, national magazine advertising and newspaper ads, and a similar CPI to spotradio and Internet advertising.

My mom has owned her own business for 18 years and gives out promotional products on a regular basis. One winter she gave out chapsticks that were printed with her business information. Even though each item cost less than $0.50 each, you would have thought she was giving away cars by the way people were reacting to this simple and thoughtful seasonal giveaway. With a little creative thinking you can have a pretty inexpensive, but impressive, marketing piece.


If you’ve never thought about using promotional products before, there are hundreds of thousands of options to choose from including: apparel, drink-ware, business accessories, bags, and writing instruments. You can even develop your own custom product like our client, Cambia, developed for a recent trade show. Cambia is a manufacturer of thermally modified speciality wood product, so naturally a wooden product was ideal for them. They partnered with a local craftsperson to create custom phone and tablet stands made from their very own wood. This approach allows customers to see and feel the quality of their wood every day in a useful and well branded way.


Like a website, promotional products are a tool that you can use to meet your marketing goals. You can use them to drive traffic to your website, create hype about a new product, service or event, or simply be used as a thank you to your customers and provide top-of-mind marketing. While promotional products cannot wholly replace the tremendous value of an excellent website or a strong logo, they are a fun, powerful addition to your marketing strategy.

Now that we’ve talked about why you should be using promotional products, be sure to check back soon for part 2 of this article where I’ll showcase some of the best and unique promotional products!

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