Ad specialties are promotional products that can be customized with a company's logo or slogan. (E.g., pens, umbrellas, cups/mugs, polo shirts, matches).
Ad specilties should be used to gain awareness of your business, but ad specilties are only be part of your marketing mix.
Ad specialties have high retention value, and thus high recall value. They will help you be remembered when you're not around. And when it is time to buy.
Ad specialties are good sales door openers, and items with a high perceived value created "a sense of unconscious obligation." The receiver will feel obligated to return the giving favor, reciprocity at work.
Here are a few thinks to consider using ad specialities:
The Item -Exactly what are you going to give away?
The Customer - Who's getting your freebie?
The Objective - What are you trying to accomplish?
Your Business - Is your business right for ad specialties?
The Setting - Where are you giving away your item?
Competition is fierce in the ad specialties world. You can purchase them easily online and there are probably several dealers in your town. Shop around and compare. I have ordered directly online and I have used a local rep.
The more complicated the project, the more you need to use a local rep. Sometimes they are even price competitive with internet re-sellers. If you are going to need help with your artwork, local companies who specialize in ad specialties (not the ones that do it on the side) can be a big help.
Try to find a good local rep, especially if you order several times a year. They can be useful in suggesting items that you might not have considered. They can also save you time by doing order placement and keeping track of production.
Get a few price quotes from local reps and compare them with prices online. Keep in mind that the company you are dealing with is not the manufacturer. Just about all ad specialty companies order from the same set of manufacturers. If one company has a specific item, then you get bet just about everyone has that item.
Budget: $100 - $500 per month