The Net Effect in Promotional Products

There is a net effect that applies to every decision we make in our lives and it’s almost never the first thing a person analyzes when making a decision. I’m going to explain a couple different buying scenarios and point out why the net effect of the buy needs to become the first thing the buyer thinks of. Since I understand that everyone might not be a promotional product buyer or trinket fanatic, I’ll give one non-industry related example to help correlate this topic with real world decision making.

Real World Ex.

Super Large Tub O’ Popcorn at the movie theatre for $11.95 vs. Large Tub O’ Popcorn for $9.95. Let’s just say one is 50 oz. and the smaller one is 25 oz. You may think that for $2.00 more you are getting twice as much, which is technically true, but let’s look at the all-inclusive net effect of my real world experience here. Since I only ate 10 oz out of the Super Large Tub O’ Popcorn, I actually just threw away an additional $2.00 in popcorn because I didn’t have intelligence to block out my initial dollar to ounce comparison. Who can actually eat that much popcorn!?

Now back to the marketing world… Some things do come down to price and nothing else, but those things are actually very rare. Within most of my promotional projects there are at least 3 very reasonable options at different prices and all I want my clients to do is consider the net effect of all the options.

Promotional Product Ex. (I’m going to make it simple but most are actually pretty difficult to calculate since the entire audience is usually pretty diverse)

Company ABC wants to give out a drinkware item at their company wide golf event they are having this summer. They have given out drinkware before but they still insist on having something with their name on it for the employees to use while they golf. They are looking at a $3.00 per bottle option that looks great but lacks originality due to the fact that they are trying to save money on the overall event cost. From the start, they’re thinking about on the total event cost (which is wrong) when they’re considering this promotional product buy. The golf is the event cost – it’s over after 18 holes. The promotional items that go with it are marketing costs. If done right, they are supposed to grow your business. Why put them together? If you want to save money golf at the local Muni and not the nicest Country Club around. That course might be nice but it doesn’t build your business. So going back to the cost of the drinkware, if you completely separate it from the event, it gets easier to calculate and understand what you are getting for your money. My suggestion to this company is to order a $5.50 option that has a full color insert that allows for a variable data print option that will give you the option to personalize every piece of drinkware. The personalization options are endless, put whatever you would like, but I guarantee this will raise the value of the cup to the person that receives it. To calculate their net effect here (using 144 golfers) I would be generous in saying 50% of the $3.00 cups were kept and 90% of the $5.50 cups were kept. Although Company ABC only spent $432.00 on the cheaper option they actually threw away $216.00. By spending $792 on the personalized option, they only threw away $79.20. That leaves roughly 129 cups still out there to advertise for you brand and your business.

Like I mentioned before, not every scenario is this easy to calculate the net effect on but I guarantee there is one that comes with the choices that you are making. Is the effect positive or negative compared to what you are trying to accomplish? Slow down, take a step back, look into the numbers a little further and see what you are actually getting for the dollars you are throwing out there.

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