You expect to find free-gift-with-purchase promotions in the retail market, but are they really necessary in the promotional products world?
“Many of our Canadian suppliers offer an item with the purchase of another—i.e., buy a golf shirt and receive a sleeve of three name-brand golf balls, buy a shirt and receive a cap, buy 300 pens and receive 150 free,” says Ted Polish, president of Winnipeg, Manitoba-based distributor T.N.M. Promotions (UPIC: tnmpromo). “Our clients love them, and they prove successful for our account managers.”
Polish says these promotions are aimed directly at end buyers, who are hopefully enticed into selecting these products over others. In the end, it’s up to each distributor’s client to decide whether to keep the bonus merchandise or use it to add another dimension to their promotional campaign.
Still other suppliers are taking the buy-one, get-one tactic to another level by partnering with outside service suppliers to offer purchase incentives and product add-ons. Last summer, a major industry supplier partnered with a continuing education website to offer online classes to end users who receive products. (Due to a contractual obligation not to promote the offer, the supplier offering this gift with purchase couldn’t disclose more details.)
Other offers, however, are meant to directly benefit the distributor. For three years, Champlain, New York-based supplier Fersten Worldwide (UPIC: FERST723) has targeted incentive-based promotions to distributors. “We find that it gets distributorship sales reps more committed to doing business with us, as they are personally rewarded for partnering with Fersten Worldwide,” says Helene Bashalani, marketing manager.
Bashalani says gifting sales reps with products for choosing to buy from Fersten rewards the people on the front lines, not just the distributorship. “Targeting promotions to the individual sales rep encourages them to show our products in meetings with end users knowing they will get a reward for doing so,” she says.