Startups and Promotional Items: a Promising Symbiosis?


What would a company be without its customers? Right – nothing. The mostly still unknown startups therefore have to do a lot of marketing in order to attract attention and thus build up a customer base. The all-branded promotional products study shows that entrepreneurs in the digital world not only rely on online marketing, but that promotional items are also of great importance to them. It was investigated how popular the haptic advertising media are with the young entrepreneurs, how much budget they have available for this marketing measure and how expensive the individual promotional item may actually be.

Promotional items are still popular

Printed promotional items also enjoy a very good reputation among young companies – this is clearly shown by the study. After all, 69% of startups use promotional items. The favored advertising materials include items that cost less than 15 dollars (42%), closely followed by inexpensive giveaways with a value of less than one dollar (35%). Higher-priced advertising media, on the other hand, have to put up with a low level of importance: Only 16% trust promotional gifts between 10 and 45 dollars and only 7% of the companies surveyed use expensive advertising gifts over 45 dollars.

Only small budgets for haptic advertising material

Although they are very popular with startups, little money goes into the use of the promotional products. 49% of the survey participants stated that they had invested less than 1,000 dollars in haptic advertising media. 37% estimated this to be less than 5,500 dollars and only 14% stated that they had spent even more budget on the future brand ambassador. The relatively low relevance of promotional items becomes even clearer when considering the entire marketing budget. The digital advertising channels such as social mediaSEO and SEA are clearly ahead here. The majority of young entrepreneurs (61%) only dedicate 5% of their marketing budget to promotional products.

What makes the perfect promotional item?

The fact that there is not – and should not be – the one perfect promotional item for every industry is due to a wide variety of factors.

For example, a promotional item should be individually tailored to the respective target group in order to successfully and sustainably convey the advertising message.

However, according to the results of the survey, the advertising media must definitely have some properties: high quality, a relationship to the company, a good price-performance ratio and a high level of practical everyday use. This shows extensive correspondence with other study results in which medium-sized and large companies have defined their requirements for promotional products.

The main reasons for promotional items

According to survey results, customer acquisition is the main reason for using promotional items. It is important to build up a permanent customer base in order to be able to establish yourself successfully in the market.

This finding can be concluded from the fact that 80% of the respondents want to attract the attention of potential customers and 74% hope that their brand will become more known. For internal goals such as a strengthened relationship between company and employees and a positive image as an employer among potential employees, however, promotional items only play a subordinate role.

For which occasions do you use promotional items?

The location most frequently mentioned in the survey for promotional items is the trade fair. And who can blame the respondents – a large target group of potential new customers can (easily) be reached here. The acquisition of new customers and interested parties at the point of sale also plays an important role in the use of promotional items in the marketing mix. The advertising media are also happy to come to conferences, seminars and congresses. A lot of eye contact with the brand can also be generated at events and sponsoring .

Read more about advertising in this collection of articles:

Video and Display Advertising with Google Ads: Few Direct Conversions, but a Good Introduction to the Customer Journey?

Can I afford to Do Without Microsoft Advertising?

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Maximum potential with promotional items

The study clearly shows: Despite increasing digitization, which is massively restructuring the classic marketing world, and limited budgets, young companies are very happy to use promotional products. However, there is still a strong reluctance to use the budget planned for this.

Several studies have already confirmed that the little gifts are not only nice to have, but also have a very high advertising potential. Custom-made promotional items are not perceived as annoying, on the contrary – if they are useful and of high quality, they are very popular in everyday life and give the advertising company a personal, personable character. While the motto “out of sight, out of mind” applies to many other advertising channels, the haptic advertising media can often be present for more than a year. Besides the classics ballpoint pens, T-shirts and the like, unusual promotional gifts attract a lot of attention. With them the (digital) pioneers can show themselves as creative and young as they are themselves.

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