Because it is so important, let me remind you again of the need for a balanced marketing plan. Not every company can afford or has the time to plan out and conduct a full-blown marketing program, but there are some tactics that can add value to your company.
Where do promotional items fit in? We have all seen them -- tape measures, pens, note pads with a company logo on them, and hundreds of other items. Do they work? Are they worth spending the money? Does giving a doctor a nice pen mean he or she will refer patients to you? Probably not. Giving out mementos is not a marketing plan unto itself, but they can help build your brand and enhance visits to hospitals, PT offices, and nursing homes.
Here are some statistics from the Promotional Products Association International:
- 71% of an audience consisting primarily of business people reported having received a promotional product during the past 12 months;
- 34% of this group had the item on their person;
- 76% of respondents could recall the advertiser's name on the product they received;
- 52% of respondents did business with the advertiser after receiving the promotional product;
- 55% kept their promotional products for more than a year.
I have never been a fan of expensive gifts. I think for the most part, they are inappropriate and more and more are frowned upon. Small items that are useful are appreciated, keep your business name in front of referral sources, and don’t break the budget.
Consider ordering a small quantity of items twice a year. It’s great to have extra items around for donations, too. Did you know you can order as few as 36 mugs or candy jars?
Ideas to consider:
Post-it® pads. Everyone uses these. Make the design small so the user has lots of space to write. Drop off 20 or so pads at a PT clinic or hospital surgical floor nurses’ station and include some pens.
Tape measures/goniometers. Supplying a useful tool is a good giveaway. Make sure your item is of quality. I don’t like those cheap, noisy tape measures. They are often tossed out and being perceived as cheap reflects poorly on your company.
Sports duffle bags or drawstring bags. Sporty gifts can be great if you can highlight patients who are athletic. Create a package to include a water bottle and a patient profile.
Cause-related gifts. Do you have a post-mastectomy clinic as part of your practice? Consider a small item in pink to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Fun things. If you are asked to sponsor a local event at a hospital or a sporting event for PT’s, include a Frisbee or sunscreen labeled with your logo.
Other logoed items can include bags for prosthetic socks for patients, and I love business card-sized magnets! Like Post-it® pads, no one throws away a magnet. These are great to mail to patients with their reminder letters or invoices and won’t add to postage costs.
Hope these ideas help. Let me know some of your ideas that have worked for your business, and I will share those, too.