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Mayday, Mayday – Your Budget Might Include Too Much for Print Ads!

Are you getting ready to shout “May Day!” because your print ads and additional advertising strategies feel more like a nose-diving plane? Are you exhausted from trying to navigate the stormy seas of advertising without a compass to tell you if you’re going in the right direction? Then read on, because these points could be a lifesaver!

If you have a feeling that you’re spending more on print ads than you should, your hunch is probably right. It’s not easy to find out who has seen and responded to your print ads – even with strategic efforts to track them. A great alternative to print ads that won’t leave you in the dark about their ROI is using branded, promotional products. Let’s do a cross-comparison and see which investment provides the best value.

  • Eye-catching Advertising – A clever and useful promotional product that reflects the sector your business is in can really catch a person’s eye. Examples of this include environmentally friendly “yoga straws” that when used, show a yogi doing a backbend or “edible dog frisbees” that promote a dog food brand. If the item is truly useful and unique, it will stay in people’s memory for a long time. Compare that to the cost of a one-dimensional print ad that may or may not catch anyone’s attention or inspire them to contact your business. When comparing the ROI of these two advertising methods, it’s a no-brainer. The ROI is higher with promotional products.

  • Repeated Exposure – It takes a lot of investment and repeated effort to make sure your print ads are not only noticed but seen repeatedly. And once someone does see or read your piece, it’s more than likely forgotten and thrown in the recycle bin. Whereas each time a person uses your promotional item, your brand gets in front of not only them but other prospects who see them using it. Great examples of this include promotional T-shirts, mugs, totes, and pens. When you consider the likelihood of repeated exposure, promotional products are the way to go!

  • Tracking ROI – Tracking how many see and respond to your print ads can really be a pain. The only successful way is to either have them bring in or mention a promotional code that is on your printed piece or have a specific URL that tracks people if you have the right tracking methods set up. Or, you can just come right out and ask your customers how they found out about your business. Whereas with promotional products, each time you hand them out, you know they will be seen at least once by a recipient. If you keep track of the response to printed ads vs. promotional products, the ROI should reveal where your marketing dollars are best spent. If you want to go deeper and track use, you can get a branded gift card that is given out with a specific purchase for your customer to give to a friend.

  • Value for Money – In the end, it boils down to the “consumer memory” of your brand, which can be carried out in two ways: brand exposure (print advertising) or brand experience (the use of branded products). Promotional products have an upper hand on print ads – and any other form of advertising for that matter – because they are the only medium that ensures both brand exposure and experience.

If you’re still in doubt, read what marketing and creative advertising expert Stephen Vogel has to say about promotional products:

“Nothing is more efficient than creative advertising. Creative advertising is more memorable, longer lasting, works with less media spending, and builds a fan community … faster. Building relationships and offering creative solutions are what the promotional products industry is all about.”

Let these words of wisdom sink in and cause you to think twice before throwing your precious dollars out the window (with no parachute). By replacing useful everyday items with branded products, advertising takes on both a creative and functional role in consumers’ everyday lives. You’ll get much more value for your advertising money since promotional products can double your ROI when it comes to greater memory recall and promoting your brand.


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