I’ve been working with some clients recently on trade show and event marketing strategies. I have to admit that it’s been a while since I’ve ordered pens and mouse-pads for shows – but I have to think that there HAS to be something better out there than the traditional pens and sticky notes!? Don’t YOU?

Today we’re chatting about how promotional items can build your brand and we’re trying to collect your tips and ideas on how you’ve successfully used a wide variety of promo items.

Our guest guru today is @Bruce Felber, Felber and Felber Marketing. While they do all kinds of traditional marketing stuff – my FAVORITE way to think of these guys is 3-D marketing!? That means they are brilliant at direct marketing and using 3-dimensional items (promo items) to get their prospects to choose YOU.

Q1. What’s the difference between a promo item and a premium?

ScottBradley: @DIYMKTchat When I think of schwag I think about the stuff you pick up on the tables at career fairs #DIYMKT

BruceFelber: #diymkt Promotional items given away w/no strings attached. Premiums require either a purchase or or some form of buy in.

BruceFelber: #diymkt Price of the item is NOT the determining factor.

ScottBradley: @DIYMKTchat When I think of a promo item I think about an “add on” to a specific purchase #DIYMKT

mabynshingleton: Promo items are giveaways to promote a cause, service or business. They are always at trade shows. #diymkt

mabynshingleton: Stuff We All Get (S.W.A.G.) … #diymkt

Q2. What’s your favorite kind of promo item to use and why?

ScottBradley: @DIYMKTchat Pens are always fun, or the squishy stress balls! #DIYMKT

BruceFelber: #diymkt A good video to explain why promotional items work. http://tinyurl.com/lpjg2u

mabynshingleton: @DIYMKTchat Q2. favorite kind of promo item = useful items…and here it all depends on budget. #DIYMKT

burkonsconsult: Q2 – Cloth carry bags w/logos – esp in today’s green world. #DIYMKT

helpitcrashed: @DIYMKTchat I always go with pens or magnetic business cards that I leave for clients I visit/meet #DIYMKT

BruceFelber: #diymkt So many items today that are green, But be aware of ‘green washing’ and do it right.

Q3. What’s your process of figuring out what kind of item you’re going to choose?

BruceFelber: #diymkt See this recent blog entry, Cost effective at many budgets. http://tinyurl.com/kr6dln

BruceFelber: #diymkt Using promotions as part of your direct mail campaign will yield higher results. Permanent advertising works when you can’t.

helpitcrashed: @DIYMKTchat Budget is key for me as I have none, leaving pens in restaurants and bank lobbies always works for local exposure#DIYMKT

BruceFelber: #diymkt look at the message you need to get out there; look at how many people you need to reach; then the budget to reach that audience.

BruceFelber: #diymkt Make sure you always have some “call to action” on any piece unless an award or impact campaign.

BruceFelber: #diymkt Here is an example of promotional items as part of a PR campaign. http://tinyurl.com/mdrssr

Q4. Is it better to pick products that are “permanent” or products that disappear (food)

burkonsconsult: For me, the need is generally in the future, so I need products that are permanent or used often. When the need arises, there I am. #DIYMKT

mabynshingleton: I think you have to decide what your objectives are. For the St. Patrick’s Day parade here, we throw green logoed cups to the crowd. #DIYMKT

BruceFelber: #diymkt Food items are very effective if the message and delivery method is on target. Consider the carrier of the food item.

BruceFelber: #diymkt Ebroidered and screened apparel is 40% of all promotional items today. See http://tinyurl.com/nkufdc

BruceFelber: #diymkt Try this liink on wearing apparel http://tinyurl.com/dj8dwz

BruceFelber: #diymkt Consider family and business reunions, open houses and special events. Wearing apparel can be used to brand an event.

Q5. What’s the benefit of using a promo consultant or firm?

burkonsconsult: Q5 – not having to do it yourself and letting a professional do it. #DIYMKT

Q6. Share a promo item success. Why did it rock?

BruceFelber: #diymkt I once used apples with an imprint (yes food safe ink) for a Johnny Appleseed promotion.

DIYMKTchat: @BruceFelber I’ve seen people with different colored shirts at family reunions to designate which “child” or which generation – fun #DIYMKT

BruceFelber: #diymkt another effect use is to put kits or packages together for special events, meetings etc. Education use is highly effective.

BruceFelber: #diymkt This was a very successful campaign using promotional items to open the door. http://tinyurl.com/npddgn

BruceFelber: #diymkt Consider the Co-op campaigsn where several companies share the cost and outcome. See http://tinyurl.com/nret5f


Q7. What’s the one thing we all should do when thinking about promo items?

helpitcrashed: @DIYMKTchat remember that Call to Action!! #DIYMKT

BruceFelber: #diymkt Don’t give up on trade show marketing. Still great way to reach many. http://tinyurl.com/ar9s5j

BruceFelber: #diymkt q7 – consider the recipient and expected outcome. Are we branding, informing, promoting an event, thanking a client or employee?

BruceFelber: RT @helpitcrashed: @DIYMKTchat remember that Call to Action!! #DIYMKT Yes number one. Message, contact info etc.

BruceFelber: #diymkt One more link. http://tinyurl.com/mx3bsh


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