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A marketing strategy will help you identify your best customers, understand their needs and implement the most effective marketing methods.

The internet has transformed business marketing. No matter what you do, the internet is likely to be at the heart of your marketing strategy.

Social media is firmly established as a marketing tool. Having a presence opens up new lines of communication with existing and potential customers.

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time, raising awareness of your business.

Customer care is at the heart of all successful companies. It can help you develop customer loyalty and improve relationships with your customers.

Sales bring in the money that enables your business to survive and grow. Your sales strategy will be driven by your sales objectives.

Market research exists to guide your business decisions by giving you insight into your market, competitors, products, marketing and your customers.

Direct marketing can be a highly successful way to generate sales from existing and new customers. Find out how to target them in the best way.

Exhibitions and events are valuable for businesses because they allow face-to-face communication and offer opportunities for networking.

PR

Favourable media coverage can bring a range of business benefits. But how do you attract the attention of editors, broadcasters and journalists?

Eight great uses for promotional merchandise

The benefits promotional products can bring your business simply cannot be underestimated. In addition to helping you reel in new clients and creating brand awareness, well-judged use of branded, promotional gifts can ultimately pave the way for sustained business expansion.

It's important to think carefully about your audience when deciding which promotional items to give away. Lunch bags, sunglasses and hats, for instance, may be more appropriate than writing instruments and journals if you're catering to a younger crowd.

Here are our top eight benefits of giving away promotional merchandise.

1. Improve brand awareness

Through promotional gifts, brands can market their products and services with minimal effort. Branded items, with your business name, logo and slogan, in your corporate colours, can go a long way towards fostering better brand recognition.

2. Start conversations with prospective customers

Promotional items have a way of making people stop and take notice, with the result that they become more receptive. By handing out free gifts, you effectively increase the likelihood of people listening to you.

Offering free stuff at a trade show, for example, can noticeably improve your outreach.

3. Cultivate your public image

Giving out free, useful stuff that people appreciate and will use creates a very positive image of your business and your brand, improving your reputation.

4. Encourage bigger orders

The word 'free' certainly grabs customer attention. Persuade existing customers to increase their order size, or add different items to their order, by offering a free gift as an incentive.

5. Boost customer retention

People generally appreciate - and reciprocate - kind gestures such as free gifts. This boosts customer retention, because you are winning trust (and hearts) by thanking them for staying with you.

Customers who know they're valued stick around longer, and are generous when it comes to referring others to your business.

6. Keep your business name front of mind

Specialty product giveaways are a potent lead generator. When a client comes to think about who they'll go to with their business, your business will be the first one they think of.

Even something as 'everyday' as a branded pen or T-shirt with your logo on it can help keep your business from being forgotten at buying time.

7. Recognise hardworking employees

Hard-working staff who consistently meet goals ought to be rewarded. This is important, because feeling recognised and appreciated will do wonders to motivate them and help them achieve even more.

8. Motivate your staff with incentives

Perhaps it's time your sales team reached new heights and milestones, or maybe you need your production guys to reduce waste by a certain margin. Offer a promotional incentive to reward them, and drive desirable behaviours.

Follow this advice, and you'll be well on your way to a bigger, better and more successful brand.

Copyright 2018. Featured post made possible by Paul Ashworth, marketing director of We Brand 4 You

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