Why Old School Marketing Works

Running Shirt
When people ask me what my company, Gossett Marketing, does and I tell them that we are promotional products distributors who specialize in custom creative giveaways, I often get weird looks. Their faces seem to be saying, “Promotional products have been around forever, how creative can they be? And why should I use them?” Well sure, promotional marketing items are old school, but companies continue to use them because they work – here are three reasons why.

1. People are thieves. Whether they do so intentionally or not, individuals regularly walk away with other people’s writing instruments. Take restaurants as an example – how many times have you signed your bill and pocketed the pen? Well, that can work to the restaurant’s advantage if their name and contact information is imprinted on that ballpoint. The pen thief will continue to use that writing instrument, and continue to see the name of the restaurant, until he or she loses it. Then the next person to pick it up will, in turn, see the name or logo and perhaps be inspired to try a meal there. This isn’t just a “for example” story – one of our customers, the Blue Ridge Grill in Atlanta, has told us about getting a phone call from New Jersey because someone found their pen! People are thieves and it can help gain your brand unexpected exposure.
2. Promos make your customers walking billboards. If you’ve ever read our blog, then chances are you know that I’m a runner. Whenever I enter a race I receive a technical shirt that wicks moisture and has flat seams to prevent chaffing – they are ideal running shirts, so I wear them frequently. These shirts also happen to be emblemized with the name of the race and its sponsors’ logos, meaning that everyone who sees me jog by is also seeing all of those different imprints. In fact, whenever anyone receives promotional t-shirt, bag, or cap and subsequently uses that item, they are marketing your company to perfect strangers – they are voluntarily serving as your walking billboards.
3. Promotional products are rewarding. If a member of your team has had an exceptional sales quarter, why not give her a brand name promotional product as a reward? For instance, Orrefors makes gorgeous crystal stemware that can now be etched with a subtle logo. A pair of such wine glasses would be a lovely gift to give your top salesperson, perhaps with a fine bottle of wine. When that employee toasts with her crystal flutes, she will always remember her accomplishment, plus she will think of your company long after she’s moved on. That’s a fabulous reward that will provide the company with discreet marketing that lasts.

I recognize that with the advent of online marketing, the idea of utilizing promotional products can seem antiquated. However, as you can see from the three examples above, items that potentially allow your customers, employees, and total strangers see your logo 24 hours a day work – so embrace “old school” marketing and start giving away promotional products.

And just because I find it funny, here is a YouTube clip from the movie Old School!


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