Choosing a Promotional Products Professional
We all know someone in the world of promotional products – family members, friends, the parent of a kid your child plays soccer with, or someone we meet at a networking event. The promotional products industry is home to an incredible variety of individuals, from those who have made it their life’s work, to those who run a small printing operation on a part-time basis. So how do you decide who is the best person to work with?
Of course, I’d love to say, “Just call me – I’m your best bet!” But that wouldn’t be fair, or even correct! The best person for you to work with is the one who can meet your specific marketing needs most effectively. So, it’s up to you to do your research and track down the best person to help you.
The next question, of course, is “Where do I start?” You start by determining your own goals. Why do you need to market your business? Are you trying to brand yourself or increase name recognition? Are you trying to encourage new clients to try your product or service, or are you trying to encourage repeat business from existing clients? Are you trying to incent or reward your employees for their productivity, loyalty, or record of safety? What are your goals?
Once you know your own criteria, then you use that information to help you find the promotional products professional who can best help you meet those goals.
– Are you only concerned about the price of the product you want to use? Then look for someone with low overhead and minimal costs who can fill your order.
– Is it important to you that the products you choose reflect well on your organization even after the initial impression? Then look for someone who has connections with high quality suppliers and good working relationships with those suppliers so they will always have your back. This does not necessarily mean working with a large distributorship, but definitely one with the backing and resources needed to support you.
– Are you considering products for children aged 12 or younger or other items that are regulated by the federal or state government? You absolutely must find a promotional products distributor with an understanding of product safety requirements and the awareness to help you navigate the often confusing red tape involved. Your distributor does not have to have industry certification, but ask about their product safety awareness and continuing education.
– Do you need help with the whole marketing program for your organization, as well as someone to provide promotional products? In this case, you need someone with a solid background in marketing with the education and experience necessary to help with the necessary research and give you the best advice.
So it all boils down to asking the right questions – first
of yourself, and then of your promotional products provider. And even more important than any of the criteria listed above, is the intangible quality of your relationship. Is the person you’re considering working with someone that you trust, someone that you like, and someone to whom you can relate? In the long run, these characteristics will all work together to help you forge a productive professional relationship that will serve your organization most effectively. And if you’re looking for someone to interview, call me!
Betsy Andrade is the founder and owner of Andrade Promotions, an iPROMOTEu affiliate promotional marketing organization. Contact Andrade Promotions for marketing consultation, project planning, and promotional marketing items – www.andrade-promotions.com – We Simplify Your Marketing!