Not sure if you know this or not, but promotional products are a cheap way to get more customers. No, not all promotional products are cheap. But even expensive promotional products are cheap in relation to other ways of getting customers. Mostly because, if you pick them right, they’re going to be used a long time, once or more times a day. Think about it, you pay a few dollars once and your message is seen for 4 months or longer, on average one time a day. That means you pay once to have your message be seen 120 times on average.
TV definitely doesn’t do that for you, sales letters don’t do that for you, contests and sweepstakes don’t do it, radio doesn’t, word of mouth doesn’t.
Obviously, it’s not as easy as you buying any promotional product and giving it away.
In my area, there’s a walk 5k for cancer going to happen in a couple of weeks. You could be a sponsor and give out personalized water bottles. You’d be helping a good cause and getting customers. That would be picking them right. It would be picking them right no matter what business you’re in. It would be picking them right because every single one of the people you’re going to give them to will want to drink some water before the walk is over. Because every single one of them has occasions during the year to use a water bottle.
Of course, you, being an independent being with a brain of your own, could choose to give promotional USB drives at the cancer 5k walk. If your business had anything to do with finding a cure for cancer or helping cancer sufferers and their families, promotional USB drives would be picking them right.
If you were some other kind of business promotional USB drives could be picking them wrong. It would depend on how you gave away your drives. If you gave them away at the end, as ‘thank you for participating,’ you’d do better than if you gave them at the beginning of the walk. But probably not as well off as if you’d given personalized water bottles.