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Broadcast Your Message with Self Promotional Products

Jul 24, 2008
Who needs self promotional products? Anyone that is selling or promoting anything.

What most self-promoters need is a way to keep their name and contact info in front of their prospects or "suspects"; in short they need a message that keeps on messaging.

We all have received promotions in the mail, by visiting salesfolk or at trade shows. At most trade shows, some businesses even give out custom bags so attendees have a place to put all their promo stuff; a promo bag to hold all those promo handouts.

Why do businesses bother with promotional materials? The simple reason is they work by spreading messages, themes and images and keeping those messages in front of those that have been targeted.

Let's say you are a plumber that gives out magnetic business cards so folks can stick them on their refrigerators. Most plumbers have their business name and contact info on their trucks.

A self promotional plumber may also have his magnetic business cards stuck on his truck with a sign "Please Take One".

Sure it's a silly idea and you may laugh. But plumbers that use this strategy report they usually replace all their magnetic cards every day.

Magnetic cards are cheaper than mass media, almost as cheap as some standard business cards, and have a lot more 'staying' power.

And it makes sense if you have ever needed a plumber.

The key is to look at your sales process and sales cycle and determine where promotional products can be leveraged to deliver your message. Most promotional product campaigns fail because they fail to focus first and foremost on the desired results.

Before purchasing your promotional products determine how and to whom you will deliver them. This will help you narrow down your choices for appropriate products.

"And don't forget to track your results so you can improve" adds Wilcox.

Not only is there an endless array of self promotional products but also a seemingly endless way to "package" or merchandise your self promotional messages.

Take promotional caps. There are caps of all colors and styles. Some can have custom logos embroidered with a 3-D effect and even messages printed on the edge of the bill.

Given the right strategy many people could be wearing your self promotional caps. Strategy is why it is important to think through your desired results first.

Self promoters are strategic, not reactive. For instance, farmers in the Salinas Valley give their farmworkers company logo caps at the end of the growing season.

The idea isn't that the farmworkers will return to Mexico for the winter and wear their caps everywhere spreading the company message; the cap logo is simply a promotional reminder of the farm's name and where to go for work at the start of spring season.

Self promotional products can take many forms. There are pens, HiLiters, letter openers, staplers, badge holders and dog tags. There are memo pads, PDA holders, calculators, clocks, radios, mugs, coasters and water bottles.

You can try backpacks, tote bags, coolers, velour pouches, tape measures, knives and flash lights. And key chains, pill cases, first aid kits, luggage tags, combs, fans and pedometers.

And candles, shampoo, hand lotion, hand sanitizers, lip balm, sunscreen and bug repellant. And golf tees, balls, towels and totes. And more.

It is helpful to remember that not all promotional items need to be useful like calendars or pens. You can also try fun items like stress balls, yo-yos and piggy banks. My favorite are those clear balls that flash when bounced. Next to food and chocolate.

Food and candy are always popular. How about gum, mints, gourmet food, cookies, coffee, hot chocolate, ice tea and bottled water. Customers, prospects and suspects love to eat and drink! But then again, don't we all?

And what if your promotional targets are chocolate lovers like many of us? You can try chocolate wrapped in foil, coins, sports balls, squares, gift sets, bars, truffles or custom molds.

And of course the more traditional magnetic business cards, notepads, calendars and even custom business cards. That's a lot to think about so where to begin?

Start with your sales and promotional cycle and see where your customer and prospect "touchpoints" or points of contact are. Your message's desired result may be a phone call, an appointment or an e-mail inquiry.

Use your self-promotional products to leverage or "convert" to the next step toward your desired promotional results.

With focus and attention to results, self promotional products can add power and zip into your promotional campaigns.
About the Author
Jack Deal owns JD Deal Local Search Marketing, Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley, California 831-457-8806. Related articles, ideas, strategies, tactics and tips can be found at and .
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