Promotional products are often used in conjunction with a time-sensitive event such as a holiday, sporting event, movie release, or other special event. In order to get the full effect of a promotional product giveaway, timing is crucial. Begin the giveaway too soon and there is a risk of consumer burnout; start the campaign too late and there is a risk of consumer confusion. To quote an old fairy-tale, the timing has to be "just right".
Learn From the Pros
It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. This is particularly true when the imitation is based on marketing giants like movie companies and distribution centers. Watch how movie houses begin their marketing and promotional giveaways a few weeks ahead of the scheduled release or event. A great contemporary example comes from last summer’s blockbuster, "The Avengers". Tremendous amounts of promotional giveaways began approximately six-weeks out from the release. The result was a 1.5 billion dollar hit. Watch the big guys to learn the right timing.
The Right Time to Distribute
As a general rule-of-thumb, the attention span of a consumer market is approximately four to six weeks, event depending. This is the time period to distribute promotional giveaways and promote the branding or good will the giveaway is intended to bolster.
Another general rule is: the smaller the target audience, the shorter the time to promote. An example of this is a small office with less than 100 employees. The target timing for such a small group is approximately one or two weeks, versus a large promotional event that targets a whole city or a national demographic, which would be more on order of four to six weeks.
Allow Time for Procurement
When developing your annual plans, factor in the timing of your special events (conventions, tradeshows, conferences, etc) so the promotional materials can be procured in plenty of time. Allow 4 to 6 weeks to obtain most domestic items. If your buy will be large enough and can be made at least 90-120 days in advance of the time you want to start distributing, we may be able source your item overseas. This can result in significant cost reductions, but it requires planning well in advance to take advantage of savings and customization available through our importers.
Like so many things in life, when ordering and deploying promotional products, timing is everything. Time-sensitive events are wonderful things to structure a branding or marketing strategy around. But the shorter your time window for procurement, the fewer your choices of products, and the more expensive they will be to produce. Making the extra effort to ensure that your project timetable allows adequate time for procurement and distribution of promotional items ensures you will get the best deal and that your products will be completed in plenty of time to coordinate with and support the rest of your marketing program.