Planning a promotional giveaway for your company? You can avoid a boatload of trouble - and wasted money - by considering two simple criteria when choosing promotional products for a particular campaign. These are: what is the purpose of the giveaway? And who is the targeted audience for this campaign? Get clear on these two things, and you’ll be on the road to a success.

Whether your goal is to build loyalty with existing clients, reward employees for reaching goals, or thank new prospects for considering your proposal, it’s critical to have a clear vision of what type of person will be receiving your company’s promotional gift. Putting a fabulous product in the hands of a person who doesn’t appreciate it is a waste of money.  And even the right product, given to the wrong people, isn’t going to help accomplish your business goals.

In a nutshell, you need to think about who is going to be receiving your gift, and whether they are likely to perceive your gift as a useful item. Items that aren’t seen as useful tend to end up in the trash. Products that people like get kept. You want your promotional product to be kept and used over and over again, so that your target is reminded of you a number of times over an extended period. This provides a good return on your investment.

Choose Promotional Products That Appeal (to your audience)  

To select a gift that will be kept and used, it’s important to know who your target audience is, and what is typically useful to that demographic. Then choose your promotional product accordingly. You wouldn’t give "slide-rules" to quarterbacks anymore than you would want footballs going to the computer-geeks!  But IT professionals might like a small pocket screwdriver, or a coffee mug to get them through long keyboarding sessions with a caffeine boost. Sports enthusiasts like water bottles. Contractors will be delighted to receive your gift of good quality leather work gloves. But offer those same high quality gloves to accountants, and you might be met with indifference. Seniors citizens will appreciate a lighted magnifying glass for reading the fine print on dimly lit restaurant menus. But offer the same giveaway to 30-somethings, and you won’t get many takers, because they simply don’t have a use for it.   

Promotional products are a smart and cost-effective way to reach a new customer base, boost employee morale, or support a branding campaign. When used properly and distributed to the right target audience, promotional products are natural tools for the designated purpose. But when there isn’t a great match between the type of product and the targeted recipient of the gift, the purpose often gets lost, and your investment is wasted. So before falling in love with the latest promotional product that catches your eye, take a step back and ask yourself whether it is the right item to accomplish your goals.