Traditionally promotional products, better known as “SWAG,” are viewed as cheap piece of branded merchandise that companies give away for free at events or in the office. Most time, unfortunately, these products are considered an afterthought in the branding and marketing worlds. Too often brands are missing out on the opportunity to effectively use promotional products to create impactful connections with consumers. Why? Because they do not know how to track ROI on promo product marketing campaigns.
If you look around you right now, chance are you will find a promotional product. A branded pen, logoed water bottle or even your company polo. These products were developed to create favorable impressions on the people who use them. Did it work? Have any of these products, or others, ever had an impact or changed your perception of a particular brand? Statistics paint a vivid picture of the effectiveness of using promotional products as marketing and branding strategy:
- 92% of people surveyed can remember the name of company on a promotional product 24 months after receiving the product.
- 69% generally keep the promotional product if they have a use for it.
- 73% of respondents accept receiving a promotional product as a form of branding and advertising.
Given these stats, including branded apparel and promotional products into a marketing campaign has the potential to achieve impressive reach and brand-to-consumer connections. Tracking the ROI on promotional products is where companies struggle and ultimately opt not to use SWAG. If you have wondered how to track ROI on your promotional product marketing campaigns, here are three steps to help you put together a simple trackable promo product campaign.
Step 1. Clearly outline what you plan on measuring.
Planning for a promo product marketing campaign is no different than any other campaign. What are the desired outcomes that you want to achieve? Is it products given away, leads acquired from promo products, increased revenue, demo requests, social media mentions or simply to raise brand awareness? Each of these items can be easily tracked once they have been outlined. Remember that ROI doesn’t always directly correlate with dollars spent or earned.
Step 2. Test, Test, Test.
Creating SWAG for targeted audiences is easy and effective. Take the time to do research on the audience that you are trying to connect with. What kinds of products do they respond to and call for? What kinds of products can add value to their everyday lives? By answering these questions you can narrow down the promo products to test. If you’re going to a trade show, don’t be afraid to hand out two different products and measure the responses and reactions to each product. Promo and SWAG products are typically inexpensive and it is worth testing multiple types of products to enhance your brands perception and impression on consumers. Test. Test. Test.
Step 3. Create promo products that express a direct call to action.
When a trackable campaign is working correctly, each product you brand is using should have a dedicated hashtag, URL, designed landing page and a clear call to action. Resist the temptation to only highlight your company website on the product. Instead encourage people to visit targeted and dedicated landing page or post images on social media with a hashtag that your brand is using. Branded apparel is quickly becoming a product used by brands to tell a story and subtly cause people to act. Measuring the ROI on a dedicated landing page, hashtag or product can take time but is necessary to determine if your brand was perceived with a high or low impression and ultimately if the products helped to move the bottom line.
Great SWAG complements your company. When created with a specific end user in mind, promo products drive serious and measurable results behind them. Do not shy away from incorporating these products into your next marketing and brand awareness campaign. The key takeaway is that SWAG and promo items do have a measurable ROI and, when developed with creativity and innovation, can cause people to act and think in a positive manner towards your brand.