Strategy is sometimes defined as a pattern in a stream of actions. It can either be deliberately created or one that evolves over time to react to events around it. When it comes to marketing gifts, have you got a strategy in place? For a marketing strategy you need to start with a vision of what you want to achieve and define your aims. From this you can set marketing objectives for your gifts campaign that are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
As you work through your marketing plan your gifts strategy starts to evolve. Now, promotional gifts seem to fit into the marketing communications mix in several areas. Traditionally they have always been seen to fit in the sales promotion tick box but more and more companies and organisations are using them as part of public relations and advertising campaigns.
Marketing gifts do promote your organisation and it is easy to see why they can be used across the communications mix. The key is to define those aims and objectives and then to pick the right promotional gifts for your actual campaign.
The best marketing gifts are those that people naturally ‘like’ when they receive them. For this the gift should meet a specific need and/or look to create a specific response or emotion from the recipient.
One of the best ways to choose marketing gifts for a campaign is to look at what has worked before for your organisation. If you set SMART objectives you will already have some measurable data in place (wink!). You could also look at your competitors to see how they use promotional gifts within their marketing communications. Finally, think outside the box. Get creative and throw caution to the wind. If we had an unlimited budget and the most amazing merchandise in the world, what could we do?
Finally remember to set some key performance indicators (KPIs) if you can. These could be anything from monitoring website visitors to a special 0800 telephone number to call. One or both could be printed on your marketing gifts as part of the ‘squeeze’ response mechanism.
Written by Dawn Koffler.