Whether you’re a seasoned distributor or new to the industry, the idea of combining print and promotional products can be intimidating. There are major differences between a label and a lanyard, a business card and a cardigan, and expertise in one doesn’t translate to the other, right?
The products and processes might be different, but the goal in both industries is largely the same: spreading your client’s message and increasing awareness of your client’s brand. In many cases, combining print and promotional products is the best way to accomplish this, so why not double up? Read on to learn the basics of the combo sale.
If you’re a print distributor with little promotional products experience, or vice versa, the biggest challenge in making a combo sale will likely be a lack of familiarity with cross-industry products. “My experience has been with working with distributors, both print and promotional, that there is a learning curve to ‘the other side.’ (Print selling promotional or promotional selling print.) There is an intimidation factor there for your first time,” said Bob Schwei, director, print and packaging for Wayland, Massachusetts-based iPROMOTEu.
For Schwei, there’s a simple solution: Don’t focus on the product—focus on the message. “The most successful campaigns I have seen using a cross-channel marketing campaign are those that focus less on the actual product, but more on the pain point of the target audience with the goal of targeting a response or course of action [from] the recipient,” he explained. “All too many times I feel we are caught up on what product we can combine with a printed commodity to make an impact. We lose sight of what the expectation or the goal of the customer is.”
Selecting a Market
Certain markets have an inherent demand for combined print and promotional products. Jennifer Hoyt, senior marketing associate for Stouse Inc., a promotional product supplier based in New Century, Kan., mentioned health care, insurance, real estate, membership clubs and automotive, among others, as good places to start. “All of these markets rely on incentives to persuade or reward their target market and use printed materials to communicate their needs,” she said.