Questions Are Key to Your Promotional Product Projects Success

Written By Joellen Reichenbach

One of my clients told me something recently.
We were working on a new promotion product project with her and she said,

“Wow! You ask so many questions. But you know what? I’m glad you do, because every time we use a product from you in our marketing, people just keep on talking about them!”

It occurred to me that many clients may not know why I ask so many questions, and I thought you might like to have the inside track on why. So here goes!

Every successful promotional product project starts with you.

It starts with what your goals are and what you may already have in mind.

On my end, I want to deliver you the most creative solution to ensure its success. This takes time. Creativity doesn’t happen right away. It takes careful thought and a significant amount of research to come up with the perfect promotional product. To drive this process effectively, I ask questions.

But what’s critically important during the Q&A process is openness and transparency. Gathering as much detail as possible helps the creative process. I find the most successful promotional materials are created when my client and I share everything! Whether it is a product they’ve seen somewhere, a rough idea I have, or a tight budget that needs to be addressed.

I see myself as part of your marketing team. While I’m not on your payroll, I believe that good things happen when we think things through and build concepts together. We are only limited by what we can think or dream of, so let’s find the best solution for you.

Three Goals for Success

If the promotional item we choose isn’t long-lasting, engaging, and within your budget, it won’t meet my three main goals for success. Look at it this way – if it isn’t long-lasting, you’re simply throwing away your marketing dollars. If it isn’t engaging, your customer won’t use it or think of you. And most importantly, if it doesn’t fit your budget, it won’t work for you.

Promotional Product Success Questions

Here are some of the questions I ask and notes about why I ask them to help you the next time we work together!

  • What type of event is taking place? Is it an anniversary, a trade show, employee recognition, etc.?
  • Who is the target audience who will be receiving the item?
  • What does your audience do for a living?
  • Are they male or female? Are they adults or a younger age group?
  • Do you want them to use the item at work, at home, on the road, or everywhere they go?
  • When do you need the product? (This is actually one of the most important questions. It tells me how fast we need to produce the product – which can limit some product choices due to shipping times.)
  • How many pieces do you need?
  • Have you found something you think you might like to use? (Please share! Don’t be shy. Speak your mind and hide nothing. If you have a link, a picture, a website, send them to me. The more information I have ensures we can work together more easily.)
  • Does your budget need to include shipping costs and set-up charges?
  • What is your budget per piece? (Oh my goodness, is this one important! I never want to put a client in the position of having to say, “Well I really love that product but I can’t afford it.” This creates a situation that is uncomfortable for you and it puts us back at the start of the product search process, losing critical production time. This is something we want to avoid at all costs!)

I do understand that sometimes you don’t know your budget – especially if you’ve never ordered a promotional product before. Here’s an example: if you know you need 500 pieces and you can’t spend more than a total of $2,000.00 then you’ll need to tell me your per piece budget is $4.00. If the cost of shipping must also be included, the per piece budget will be less than $4.00 each.  

It’s okay to give me a range too. You might know that you can’t spend more than $4,000, so in this case, you can tell me that you have between $1,000 and $4,000 total, which will give me a starting and ending range for product choices. You might want to think of it like a car: are you looking for a high-end luxury car such as a Maserati, a mid-range Honda or a budget-friendly Fiat? 

I have clients’ best interests in mind at all times when researching and presenting promotional product choices.

The questions I ask allow me to:

  • Choose creative solutions your customers will love.
  • Ensure product safety standards and quality.
  • Identify production time frames that meet your deadlines.
  • Control shipping costs by choosing production locations (I wouldn’t ship ceramic mugs from CA to PA!)
  • Make sure inventory is available.
  • Confirm imprint sizes to ensure your message is readable.

Do you have a question for me about promotional products? Ask me one!