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Make your promotional products work harder.

Promotional products form an important part of the marketing mix.

Gifts, giveaways, freebies whatever you want to call them, are a well established method for advertising, promoting and rewarding.

But like many channels in the mix, traditionally its not been easy to calculate a return on investment unless you had a very well disciplined and sophisticated method for monitoring response.

So any automated approach, which gives an insight into the effectiveness of your promotional activity, has to be given serious consideration.

Here are some notes on a couple of techniques for adding more value to promotional products.

Add a QR code

QR = Quick Response code.

QR codes are very similar to bar codes. They are an increasingly popular device for advertisers to engage with an audience in an effort to direct them to promotional and/or more detailed information. You may have seen QR codes at the foot of press advertisements or on product packaging. Use of QR codes is  growing, particularly amongst the young.

Smartphone users download free Apps which turns their phone camera into a QR code scanner. A QR code contains instructions, which typically request the phone’s browser, to visit a specified web address but it can also engage email, display contact information or connect to a wireless network.

We can add QR codes to promotional clothing, sticky notes, notepads, mouse mats, bags, magic cubes, stationary, signage and point of sale materials.

There are many potential promotional applications for QR codes; reward people for visiting your exhibition stand, allow potential customers to access additional product or pricing information, social media based promotional activity, event registration, competition entries, data capture – essentially its a neat, contemporary method for driving traffic to a digital destination of your choice. You can even eat them!

How do I create a QR code?

We can create QR codes for you.

There are free on-line QR code generators.

There are also many paid for code creation services available. A lot of useful information can be found here http://2d-code.co.uk/

Ultimately, we require an .EPS file of your artwork design including the QR code. To our printers the code is simply another element of the design.

We insist on producing a full pre-production proof of your design for test scanning.

Add a custom URL

We recommend adding your main web address to everything you do as its a great future proof way of ensuring your audience have access to the latest information about your company, product or service.

However, special URL’s offer a simple method for identifying specific traffic generated from particular sources.

For example, you might create the address rosslyn.co.uk/summerpromotion or www.rosslyndirect.co.uk/ABC123launch. Anyone who visits this special URL could only have known about it if they had received the gift which featured the address.

How do I create a custom URL?

Creating a custom URL is easy. Deciding what to display at that address is the important bit. Whoever developed your web site will help you create your special URL to host your landing page, registration form, poll, survey, enquiry form, competition entry etc.

Its always better to keep URL as short and as descriptive as possible.

Its important to make sure Google Analytics is set-up to monitor the new URL, this way you’ll have access to a myriad of real-time statistics on the visiting traffic.

Test the URL and double check it when the printed proofs of the items you have branded come in for approval.

A digital call to action

Ok, so you’ve added your QR code or custom URL. Now you need to create the ‘call to action’ or incentive for someone to scan it or type into their browser.

But before you consider how best to encourage engagement you ought to be sure you are in a position to engage! Does the web page you are directing users to visit work well on mobile phones? How many second chances will the user give you?

Remember QR scans will engage the browser on the users phone, that’s the device they’ll be using to view your web page so you better be sure everything works as you had imagined. Testing is key. Don’t assume, don’t hope, test it and then test it again on another type of phone!

Get your friends to check it, get colleagues to run through the complete response process. Was the process too long winded? Was everything clear and easy to do? Was the user left with a clear understanding of what happens next?

But what will make someone scan a code or enter a URL? Content! You have to offer something of genuine value to your audience and there’s a simple test for that. Put yourself in the position of the target user and ask yourself what would make you take a few minutes out of your busy day to point your phone at a carrier bag or to type in a web address printed on a pen?

And when the user arrives via a code, never confront them with lengthy forms, time consuming procedures or huge blocks of text. Keep it quick, simple and to the point.You have seconds not minutes to make your mark. Users are impatient, fickle and in the case of tablet (iPad) users, easily frustrated with fiddly interfaces which are difficult to navigate with fingers.

In summary

Don’t just create promotional products with a logo, add a ‘door’ to another dimension. Technology can help to make your promotional products become more effective.

We put your marketing plan into action.

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