Have you been wondering what you can do to give your business a boost? Would you like to have new customers buying your products or using your services? Would you like to see some of your old customers more? Would you like the name of your business to be the first thing people think about when they need what you sell or provide? An answer of yes to all of these questions means you may need a marketing plan which includes the use of promotional items and this article is going to help you understand how simple developing one is.
There are really three parts of a marketing plan: 1) goals, 2) strategies and 3) activities with deadlines and responsible persons. Let's start off thinking about goals.
1. Goals are basically a measurable statement about what you want to see happen. If we use the questions above as a way to think about goals then some goals might be:
- I want to have 500 new customers by the end of the year.
- I want to have each customer, who has bought a service from me in the past, come into the store before the end of the year.
- I want my business name to be known in the community by the end of the year.
Each of these goals sets a path for you and is measurable. It is good business practice to be sure that the money you spend on promotional items is helping you reach your goals.
2. Once you have defined your goals it is time to think about strategies or how you are going to reach your goals. This is where you can start to think about using promotional items. Promotional items work. People love to receive freebies or a give-away and they will make an extra effort to go to a sale or an event when they know they will take home a nice promotional item. So you need to set a budget for how much you can spend on your promotional items and then start shopping. Some important thing to keep in mind when shopping are:
Select promotional items that fit you business. If you sell bicycles, then you might want to use water bottles with your name and logo on them as your promotional item. If you are a gutter cleaning service, a good promotional item might be a calendar that has special hints and ideas for how to keep your gutter clutter free all year round. The more you can align your promotional items to your line of business, the more readily people will think of you when they use the promotional item you gave them.
Do not buy low quality promotional items. People have a tendency to equate the quality of a promotional item with the quality of a business. Be sure you don't make this mistake. There may be occasions when giving away a lower quality promotional item is OK, such as parade throws, carnival prizes etc. but if you want your promotional item to make people want to keep doing business with you, buy at least average quality items.
3. Once you have selected your promotional items, it is time to put a plan together for distribution activities. This plan needs to define all of the steps, who is responsible for each step and the deadline for each step. You may want to hold a sale or help with a community project but whatever it is the more detail the smoother the distribution will go.