What Can Your Promotional Consultant Do For You?
Promotional products providers used to be the last stop when completing a campaign. Smart business professionals know there is a better way to purchase and use promotional products. They understand there is more to it than: How many? What color? What price range? Can you deliver it next week?
Today, your provider should be a strategic partner who brings more to the table than the latest swag. Industry leading providers are partners who bring additional information and ideas to enhance their clients projects with logistics and creative input.
Are you leaving opportunities to strengthen your promotional results on the proverbial table? Here are Eight tips for getting more from your promotional products provider.
- Consider your needs. All sources are not the same. You certainly need to buy competitively, however the true cost can be more than the stated price of a given product. Discuss your needs with prospective “vendors” to find out how their capabilities and knowledge serve your total needs. Do they understand what you are up against? Do they care enough to have developed processes and strategies to serve your interests? Invest some time to develop a partner you can count on when deadlines or budgets are tight or can provide ideas when your brain has been drained.
- Think of your partner as a strategic partner. Stay in touch with your provider on a regular basis. They should know your event timetable and understand your audience, your challenges and your objectives. Contact them early on in projects well before you are considering promotional products. Share your challenges, a good provider will have ideas about when and when not to use promotional products based on your objectives and on the recipients of your communications and be willing to share that knowledge. With information about your plans they can suggest more than products. From money and time saving logistics to motivational and promotional tactics, your partner will bring ideas to the table that improve on your successes.
- Use them as a resource when promotional products are not in the plans. Experienced partners have seen many things that have worked and have not worked for others. They may have knowledge about new technology and have certainly seen programs where different media or strategies have been used successfully.
- Share your ideas with your provider. If you share approaches you are considering they may be able to suggest sources or name potential pitfalls to avoid.
- Ask them for research and information. Top providers stay informed about the latest developments. They can support their recommendation with data or the reasoning that went into the suggestions they make.
- Consider your service requirements. Top providers can customize their services to fit their clients as easily as they customize their products. Ask how they can save you time by taking on responsibilities like a good employee would and then reporting results to you in a timely fashion.
- Make sure they understand and can provide distribution. When your partner can provide logistics support you will avoid unnecessary hassle while reducing the cost in both time and money.
- Investigate longer term buying strategies. Smart buyers, with the help of their provider of promotional media, move as much of their media buy to long range planning as possible. They know that long range plans reduce the cost of product acquisition and remove the disappointment and hassles of last minute rushes.
The right partner can improve on your promotional results and enhance your brand while reducing the cost of acquiring and distributing your promotional media.
Bruce Reissaus, MAS