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Is Print Really a Promotional Product?

Written by Leslie Nienaber Content Manager

Pens, coffee mugs, hats, water bottles… if you can put a logo on it, it can be used to promote a business. Promotional products are everywhere, and more than half of us use them at least once a week. They’re affordable, easy to hand out and help companies stay top-of-mind with their prospects and customers every day.

Promotional companies are certainly at an advantage when it comes to selling these products – in the grand scheme of things, promo products are a low-cost option for promoting a business, and they are almost always expected to be present at tradeshows, events, or as takeaways from a client or prospect meeting. Plenty of brands, colors and styles allow promotional companies and their clients to feel like they’re part of a creative process. There’s something important missing, though, and that’s print. Why is it often ignored?

Print Is a Challenge

The main reason that print offerings are ignored when promotional companies work with their clients is because print is, admittedly, intimidating. Once terms such as card stock, coating, bleed, gutter or spread are thrown out, many realize that they just don’t have the time to invest in learning the ins and outs of an industry that requires some background knowledge. As a promotional salesperson, it might also require you to work with vendors that you’ve never worked with before, requiring you to get out of your comfort zone.

If you take the initiative to learn more about the print industry (check out our Beginner's Guide series), you can reap the benefits.

Print Is Both a Promotional Product AND An Untapped Service Offering

The truth is that print is incredibly effective as a promotional product. Direct mail, for example, can boost a brand’s website by 44%. For nonprofits with a limited budget, it can even bring in 78% of donations. Print is the untapped market that is keeping you from boosting your promotional product sales. Think about it: if you aren’t providing their printed materials, who is? Your competition.

Still not convinced? Here are some additional points to consider:

  • Print advertising and promo products can easily combine as part of a solid marketing campaign. By offering printed services to your customers, you essentially streamline your client’s project and ensure that logos, color schemes and themes are uniform across all marketing materials. Improving continuity is never a bad thing!
  • Here’s a big one: timing. Even if you don’t know much about the printing industry, you’re probably aware that timing is key when it comes to executing any kind of campaign. Becoming the single resource for your client means that any printed and promotional components of an event, tradeshow, or advertisement are coordinated. Think about it: if you were planning to have cool promotional gadgets as well as sell-sheets at an important tradeshow, would you want to worry about when both pieces came in if you didn’t need to?
  • Last-minute design changes become easier for the client. Big projects and events are notorious for having multiple theme changes and design alterations, which can affect both printed material and promotional items. Being the point person for both relieves stress for the client and allows updates to be made quickly, all at once.
  • Offering printed materials as part of your services means more frequent business. A company may only attend one or two big tradeshows a year where they require promotional items, for example, and tight budgets may limit how many they buy. Extending your promotional offerings to include print means more opportunities throughout the year to get facetime with your customers and increase your sales.

Let’s go back to the original question. Is print a promotional product? Yes. Will it require a bit of learning? Yes, but it’s certainly worth it! Expand your knowledge of print, and your sales are bound to expand as well.

Ready to get started? Midwest Direct has years of experience helping promotional product companies break into printed services for their clients. Contact us today.

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