All Set for Swag: Tips for Budgeting & Proving Value for Your Promotional Products Budget in 2021

Posted on December 11, 2020 12:38 PM Resources

Many marketing and human resources professionals are looking forward to a 2021 filled with the important initiatives they postponed during a challenging 2020. The execution of these initiatives often relies heavily on promotional products that are the hallmark of most successful marketing and human resources (HR) campaigns. The process of planning for a year’s worth of promotional products that deliver a brand’s message in the most impactful way usually begins with understanding one important factor – your budget.

In a study designed to determine the impact that budget has on the type and quantity of promotional items that marketers order, the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) found that 34% of respondents said that budget was the most important aspect to consider in this process. These professionals know that having a good understanding of your budget and its many components is essential to planning successful campaigns over time.

This whitepaper will address the following:

·         Steps to creating your Promotional Budget 

·         What Types of Promotional Products Should be Included in Your Budget?

·         How Dollars Allocated for Promotional Products can be Equitably Shared Among Internal Departments 

·         How Planned-For Promotional Items Can Complement Your Existing Marketing Initiatives

Creating Your Promotional Budget is a Step-by-Step Process

Check Promotional Products Spend Data from the Prior Year

Most professionals creating a year-long budget for promotional products begin by reviewing the prior year’s budget and actual spend. Because 2020 was an unusual year for most marketers, you may want to consider 2019 figures in addition to those of 2020.

Understand Your Goals for 2021 

·         Which audiences are you trying to reach?

·         How are you reaching them?

·         Where are you reaching them?

·         What campaigns are approved for moving forward and when, and what are their budgets?

Understand Your Company’s Sales Projections for 2021

Once you have these sales goal numbers, choose a percentage of the projections for your spend on promotional activities. Entrepreneur suggests that businesses with less than five years of experience use 12% to 20% of their revenue for marketing, with more established brand equity the company can lower the expenditure to 6% to 12%. 

Then, decide what portion of that percentage should be spent on promotional products that support these goals. That number will be your promotional products total annual budget. 

How to Decide What Percentage of Marketing Dollars Should be Allocated to Promotional Products 

Understand and Factor in Return on Investment (ROI)

As you decide what percentage of promotional products should be within your entire budget, consider how effective they are for promoting your brand. A single promotional item averages 344 impressions per month, according to research from PROmotion Marketing, LLC.

Promotional products also have one of the lowest cost per impression ratio – about .6 cents per impression, according to the Ad Specialty Institute (ASI), the promotional product industry’s largest membership organization. Compare this to the cost per impression of television and magazine ads, which is about 1.8 cents per impression. 

One reason why promotional products have an edge over other types of advertising in terms of impressions is that 81% of consumers keep promotional products for about 1 to 5 years. The longer a product is kept, the more impressions it will make – both from those who keep the product and others around them who see it.

To calculate an approximate return on impressions, marketers use Cost Per Thousand as a benchmark. Divide the total cost of the item by the number of estimated impressions, and then multiply by 1,000. So, a promotion that costs $3,000 and receives 300,000 impressions is $10 per thousand or a penny each impression.

Consider the Research on Promotional Products as Effective Marketing Tools

PPAI and PROmotion Marketing research when surveying consumers throughout the United States found that:

·         90% of those who receive a promotional product can recall the name of the brand. 

·         89% of consumers can recall the brand on a promotional product they received in the last 2 years. 

·         80% of consumers can recall the messaging of a brand after receiving a promotional product. 

·         80% of consumers have an immediate reaction when they receive a promo from companies they’ve never heard of.

·         82% of consumers have a more favorable impression of a brand after receiving a promotional product. 

·         70% of brands consider promotional products mostly or always effective in achieving marketing goals.

·         53% of the time, a promotional product creates a more favorable impression of the advertiser. 

Decide What Type of Promotional Items to Include in Your Budget

Now that you have the actual dollar figure to spend on promotional products over the next 12 months, you can begin the process of choosing which types of promotional items should highlight your marketing and your Human Resources (HR) campaigns. Your decision should take into account how each of these products will be used.

·         Constant Brand-Awareness Giveaways – Inexpensive items that can be used both internally and externally for marketing, sales, and human resources activities.

·         High-Quality Branded Gifts – To reward high-performing customers and employees.

·         Special Event Freebies – These may have themes that sync your brand’s message with the event it supports.

·         Campaign Supporters – Products that send a unique message for your brand.

Some of the most popular promotional products in 2020 that span the spending spectrum are:

·         Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Hand sanitizers in creative configurations, masks, and face shields are very much appreciated and widely used.

·         Writing Instruments in Interesting Shapes and Colors – Pens, pencils, markers, and crayons are always well-received and budget-friendly. 

·         Phone Cases – In sizes and configurations that work for each type of phone.

·         Wireless Multi-Charging Devices – These are particularly popular as they are very useful.

·         Apparel – Super soft t-shirts, caps, jackets, hoodies, and shoes. Yes, shoes! It’s a thing.

·         Sustainable Lunch Bags and Boxes – Kept and used for years and send a green message which positions your brand as one concerned with sustainability.

·         Custom Yoga Mats – As many now exercise at home, these are very popular. 

·         Totes and Bags – Made of interesting materials and accented with funky features such as unique zippers or charms. 

·         Drinkware – Tumblers, water bottles, and mugs come in a wide range of prices.

·         Notebooks – Available in many creative shapes, sizes, colors, and materials, these are evergreen fan favorites.

Your Promotional Products Expenditure Can Often be Shared Among Internal Departments 

Chances are good that your company already has a budget for activities it conducts regularly whose effectiveness would be enhanced by promotional product giveaways. By ordering in tandem with the internal departments that sponsor activities such as the following, you will likely be able to charge a portion of your promotional product spend to them and/or get better pricing as you order more products than just for your own department’s needs.

·         Recruiting 

·         Onboarding

·         Community Service Initiatives

·         Uniforms

·         Employee Awards

·         Internal Events

·         External Events

·         Sales Calls

·         Trade Shows

·         Customer Appreciation Rewards

How Planned-For Promotional Items Can Complement Your Existing Marketing Initiatives

When you consider the research noted above that illustrates how much people appreciate receiving promotional products, it’s easy to understand how they might enhance virtually any type of marketing or HR campaign. Below are just a few of the many ways promotional products work hard for your marketing initiatives:

·         Promotional Products Make Your Campaigns Memorable – As people keep the items for significant periods and see your brand each time they use them.

·         Your Brand Receives Enhanced and Extended Brand Awareness and Recognition – As you provide branded promotional products to audiences everywhere that matter to you, your brand receives more and continuing attention.

·         Promotional Products are Cost-Effective Campaign Message Enhancers – Just consider the low cost per impression to understand the value.

·         You can Show Your Audience that You Understand What is Useful to Them with the Right Promotional Products – This drives your marketing message home and continually reinforces it.

·         Promotional Products are a Much-Appreciated Introduction to Your Company – What’s not to like about a company that gives you something useful free of cost?

Partnering with the Right Promotional Products Professionals is Key to Your Creating Successful Marketing Initiatives in 2021 and Beyond

To achieve the goals of successful marketing and HR campaigns, work with a creative and reliable promotional products partner that can demonstrate their expertise and experience in delivering materials for effective marketing campaigns. Your local Fully Promoted team is ready to help you select the best promotional products for your 2021 campaigns. 

At Fully Promoted, we have more than one million different products for you to choose from as you plan any type of campaign involving promotional products. Our experts take the time to talk with you about your campaign, customers, and their needs so that we can narrow recommendations down to items that will provide the most impact based on your budget. You receive personal attention from our local experts, who will be available to address your questions or concerns. Providing access to samples that you can touch and feel, our personalized service will ensure your complete satisfaction.

Fully Promoted is experienced in working with a wide range of industries including non-profits, medical, dental, automotive, safety, healthcare, insurance, financial, education, construction, and more. Contact your local Fully Promoted today to begin planning your successful promotional products-based marketing campaigns for 2021.