I write a daily blog on three different sites. I have done this now for over a year and have not missed a day. That is until yesterday when all three of my blogs magically disappeared for 24 hours. As it was Sunday there was no one I could contact for help so I just had to wait it out to see if a year’s work had been lost into the deepest depths of cyberspace.
This got me thinking, however. I try to be an optimist and although I know my daily blogging has helped literally hundreds of new customers to find my company I didn’t want to panic.
Instead I focused on the other marketing I have done over the years. Promotional gifts have played a major part of my offline marketing. In fact promotional merchandise is the only type of promotion I do offline. And this offline marketing has worked wonders!
We live in an age where interruption based marketing such as telesales, television commercials and door to door sales are no longer – if they ever were- cool. No one wants to be interrupted during their busy work day which is presumably why blogging has taken off in the big way it has. Blogging helps people to find you when they want to find you.
Promotional gifts work in a similar non-obtrusive way. A nice promotional clock can sit happily on your customers’ desktops for months if not years. For that matter, so could a nice logo printed mug, coaster, pen – you get the idea.
I always stress the importance of giving useful gifts to promote you business. Giving your customers a gift they can use regularly and actually be happy to own will ensure your details are within easy reach when they next need your products and/or services.
I personally use business gifts in several different ways depending on the audience I trying to attract.
There was the time I sponsored a charity run where it was important to get the message to donate out to the masses. We gave away printed t-shirts and sports bags to the athletes and they wore and carried the message along with my logo for all to see. I might add that they advertise my company and the message of the charity each and every time the use the promotional textiles.
I give away more personal promotional gifts to my day to day customers regularly. Merchandise that sits on their desktops is ideal. Who wouldn’t want a good quality pen or mug? These are the gifts that you know they will continue to use and use often.
More often than not I give away low cost promotional gift – which I call ‘friendly reminders.’ Such gifts can easily be sent out or given away in bulk.
Of course it is also a good idea to thank your top customers from time to time with more expensive gifts that they will appreciate and will no doubt make them want to continue doing business with you.
I am happy to say that my blogs were eventually restored! But even if they had not been I am confident that business would not have simply stopped. Over the years I have given away promotional gifts to all of my good customers. I am confident that they know where to find me and that is comforting!
Have you ever tried handing out good quality promotional merchandise to your customers?If so, what gifts have worked best for you? Feel free to share.
By Dan Toombs