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How to choose a promotional product

We’ll take a look at how to choose an effective product for your target audience by asking 5 simple questions.

A few weeks ago we discussed why promotional products are important and how they can be a great asset to your marketing plan. With that in mind, we’ll take a look at how to choose an effective product for your target audience by asking 5 simple questions.

1. What is the purpose of your product?

Are you using your promotional product to thank customers for their loyalty? Will your product be used as a marketing piece for a new product or service you are launching? Will you be giving this product out as a prize for a contest? Are you rewarding your best customers? Asking these kinds of questions can help you determine the style of product you give away.

2. What is your budget and how many recipients do you have?

This question is crucial to determining what items to research. Say you have a budget of $400. You could either give a $1.00 product to each of your 400 clients or you could give a $20.00 product to your top 20 clients. The answer to this question will determine the type of product you could purchase.

3. How will you distribute your product?

Will you be carrying these items in your purse for easy accessibility? Are you going to be giving these products away at a trade show? Would you ever need to mail this item? Will you be hand delivering this product to your customers in your store? Ask these types of questions to determine the weight, size, and shape of the product you are giving away.

4. Who is your market?

To answer this, make a list of or look through your database of clients. Are they roughly the same age or do they vary? Do they live in a common location or are they spread out in different towns or states? Do they have similar occupations? Answering these types of questions will help you determine your market. For example: if you run a luxury car dealership, the majority of your clients may be in their mid to late 50’s and live in the suburb. Depending on your organization, you may find that you have one general market or a few market types.

5. What interests does your market have?

Based on your findings from above, think about what interests those markets may have. If we stick with our car dealership example, we could reasonably assume that if someone is splurging on a luxury vehicle, they probably have the disposable income to enjoy other activities like traveling or being part of a country club.

Let’s do this.

To put this into perspective, let’s walk through an example scenario together and answer these questions to choose a product for a fictitious person.

Fictitious promotional product shopper

Bob, a real estate agent.

What is the purpose of his product?

He is looking for a product to give away as a thank you to his clients after they purchase a home through him.

What is his budget and how many recipients does he have?

He sells about 2-3 houses a month. He wants to maintain a good rapport with his clients (and hopefully gain some referrals), so he estimates that he will spend about $40 for each of his client gifts so he can purchase something that is fairly impactful.

How will he distribute his product?

Bob has close working relationships with his clients, so each product will be given by hand to his clients after settlement is finished. This way, if the product is something that is larger or heavy, they will not have to carry it around for a long period of time.

Who is your market?

Most of his clients are married couples that have older children who’ve already moved out of their home and are looking for a new place that is convenient and close to town.

What interests does your market have?

He has found that a lot of his clients are looking for a place that has lots of space for entertaining and having large family gatherings.

Given his scenario, what did he decide on?

Bob decided to give a wine and cheese serving kit as a thank you gift to his clients. This will be able to assist his clients during their family gatherings and be used in their home, which he helped them purchase. Each time the client has a fun time entertaining a group of people and uses their kit, it will help remind them of the good real estate experience they had with Bob.


Lastly, here are some of my favorite promotional products on the market right now: