4 Reasons Why Promotional Merchandise Advertising is Vital for SMEs

In a recent research by APPA (Australasian Promotional Products Association), it was discovered that SMEs are the largest buyers of promotional products making up 32% of total promotional products sales by consumer category type. It’s apparent that more and more SMEs are realizing the power of promotional merchandise advertising. As Mark Twain said, “Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.” Here are 5 reasons why promotional merchandise advertising is vital for SMEs.

1. Most SMEs can’t afford in-house professional marketers

Wage bills are a huge pressure on SMEs so they don’t usually have internal marketing and advertising staff to assist with their marketing concepts. Getting help from promotional merchandise companies who have the marketing expertise are a cost-effective way for SMEs to get assistance with their advertising concepts and how to deliver their marketing messages on merchandise.

2. SMEs’ advertising budget is less in absolute terms

For many SMEs, their advertising spend is 2% or less of their turnover. Bear in mind though their turnover is much lesser than big businesses so their real advertising budget is much lesser in absolute terms. A large number of SMEs work on shoestring marketing budgets. Promotional merchandise is a much more cost-effective means of advertising for SMEs compared to above the line advertising such as radio, television or press advertising. Promotional products are ideal for local area marketing (LAM) that is the lifeblood of most SME’s. SMEs can opt to do cost-effective letter-drops in their local areas with easy to mail merchandise or they could give out promotional giveaways at local events to build their brand awareness.

3. Promotional merchandise engage the audience

Unlike other forms of advertising, promotional merchandise is tangible. It has the potential of engaging more of the audience’s senses (ie. touch, sight, sound, taste, smell). Use your creative brilliance to think about ways to engage your target audience with your brand’s message on merchandise using such senses. For example, if you’re a surf life saving training school, you could give away strawberry scented and flavoured spf lip balms with a swim safe message. The more senses of your audience you can engage, the higher the engagement with your brand.

4. Promotional merchandise provides strong recall

If an SME gives out useful branded merchandise, the recipients will more than likely keep the item. This provides high “Frequency” of the advertising item. “Frequency” is simply the number of times a recipient is exposed to a particular advertising message over a fixed period. The higher the frequency, the stronger the brand will be recalled.

Usually, a recipient would need to be exposed to an advertising message at least 3 times before the message can make any inroads into the mind of the consumer. In a research by PPAI (Promotional Products Association International), respondents were asked to think of a promotional item they’d received in the past two years and to recall the advertiser, the specific product, and the message. The result: A whopping 76.2% recalled all three key pieces of information.

If you’re an SME, share with us the most cost-effective promotional item you have used in your marketing campaign to generate the best results.