Branding Marketing & Sales

Why Small Businesses Need to Consider Promotional Products

Written by Olivia Caitlin

Promotional Products have just seen the biggest industry sales volume this century.

It is one of the traditional forms of marketing which is still in use today but has gotten got lost in the midst of the digital age.  However, it never went away, it just got re-branded and added under different marketing headers of companies marketing budgets. It is making headlines once again as a serious player at the marketing table, holding a very strong hand.

Marketing in the modern day

Marketing has gone through a significant transition period in the last decade and is moving at a rapid pace, constantly evolving in this technological era. It has become an ultra-competitive industry with strategists trying to outwit each other.

For a small business stepping into this environment it can be slightly daunting and at times can be difficult to adapt, especially with budget constraints.  As we are seeing more and more digital advertising popping up everywhere (even in the 3rd world) it is easy to think that traditional ways of marketing are dead.  I for one wouldn’t blame you for thinking like that until of course, you find out how much it costs to advertise on some of these strategically placed digital advertising boards.

Rest assured there is still plenty of affordable marketing options out there for smaller business to gain brand recognition. One which is still in use today and going stronger than it has in the past two decades is promotional product advertising, an ideal marketing platform for businesses with smaller budgets.

Affordability – It Makes Sense

A wide range of promotional products are incredibly affordable, and while the concept of spending the businesses budget on merchandise for promotional purposes may seem a gamble, this form of marketing in comparison with current branding and advertising statistically is a much safer bet.

The most important thing to remember regardless of whether your target is 50 or 500 new customers, this form of marketing is affordable.  Familiarising yourself with the needs and desires of your customer base with initial outreach enables you to budget wisely and to implement measurable, and achievable KPI’s so you can calculate your ROI.

Things to keep in mind:  

  • What you are giving out are ‘Tangible Goods’, unlike SEO for example which is immeasurable and ‘Intangible Goods’.
  • There is enormous competition throughout various forms of marketing, and in the chaos, your brand identity and even your mission statement can get somewhat lost and muddled.

Consumers are known to distrust a brand before they trust one, so using something that is tangible and useful to them is a different angle and a way to gain their trust whilst creating long-lasting brand recognition and affiliation. Win-win!

Easy To Absorb Information

What a promotional product campaign gives you is ease of implementation. From a consumer perspective, it is easy to absorb the information they are receiving from a tangible product. There’s no gimmick behind it, it’s not an advert that may make you read between the lines for the message, it is simple. Receiving a physical product means there’s isn’t any excess information that gets lost in translation.

There are other forms of marketing which struggle for longevity and fail to gain any traction or become a permanent fixture in the psyche of the consumer. Promotional products are the opposite, especially when you give a consumer something not only tangible but useful in their everyday lives.  For example, TV and Radio advertising has become increasingly expensive so smaller businesses find it difficult to run them long enough to take hold and gain consumers trust and recognition.

Gain Local Notoriety in One Single Day

Promotional products bring a different dynamic. You are investing time and money into a long-term strategy by creating an inventory of branded products that will see ROI over an extended period, albeit not instantly unless you make a local special event.

Local fundraisers have been continuously proven to get quick results. This is a great way to instantly connect you with your local community and paint your brand in a positive light, all in a single day!

Statistics don’t lie  

If you’re still not convinced by promotional product marketing, here’s some statistics and benefits small businesses can achieve through promotional product marketing.

The Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) Consumer Study Summary 2017 provided business’ with some statistics that show the impact of promotional products (if marketed correctly) can have on your business. The report reinforced what many insiders already knew, a well structured promotional product marketing strategy is extremely effective in gaining long-lasting brand recognition, more so than any form of short 1-2 minute digital on-the-move advertising.

These following statistics for a small business are hard to ignore! After being surveyed, this is what consumers are saying after receiving a promotional product item:

  • 8 out of 10 people researched the brand
  • 81% of people kept the promotional product
  • 83% more likely to do business with the brand
  • 7 in 10 recall the call to action
  • 8 in 10 recall the messaging
  • 9 in 10 recall the branding

A Quick Example – Credit Card Holders

A prime example of an effective promotional item which is a branded credit card holder with your contact details either embossed or pressed on the back:

  • Logo (on the front)
  • Brand Name (on the front)
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Corporate Email
  • Your Business Email

It is something that will get used every day, it’s functional, useful and a constant daily advertising reminder of your brand for a long period of time. It is much more effective than a 1-2 minute advert that you can only afford to run for 1-2 months, and considerably cheaper too.


Consider this: Of the people surveyed by the PPAI, 52% said their impression of a company is more favourable after receiving a promotional product from them, and nearly 50% use those products daily. With it being ranked across all age groups as the ‘Number #1 most effective form of advertising to prompt action across all generations’.

Do you remember how the last marketing campaign’s figures stacked up against those? Somehow I doubt they were even in the same race.

“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."

About the author


Olivia Caitlin

Olivia Caitlin is associated with Logopro Promotional Products, working as a blogger. She also writes about fashion and creative gifts ideas related to business, lifestyle and more. For more promotional product ideas, visit Logopro - based in Sydney, Australia.