Corporate identity using promotional products

Promotional Products and Managed Services: How to Optimize Your Marketing Return

by Rachel Roberson on April 16, 2021

Business success requires a willingness to change and explore new ideas.

You need to roll out new programs, implement new initiatives, and experiment with new services and new marketing strategies. You need constant improvement. Your business is either growing or growing stagnant, because you know the market competition is always adapting and changing their tactics.

Promotional Products and Business

One area where companies are diving into new programs and new opportunities is with promotional products.

With COVID-19 presenting a challenge for in-person events and meetings, smart companies are looking at new ways to connect with customers. How do you provide a physical connection with a customer, or even your employees and partner companies, if we’re all stuck at home? How do you fulfill the needs of business and stay safe?

Promotional and branded products are one way to make that connection. You can get your brand in front of customers and prospects and respect safety needs and health concerns. The right promo campaign can boost the brand and make a positive impact on the customer and prospect.

Sales and marketing aren’t the only areas where companies are leveraging promotional products. Employee engagement and company rewards have been a critical part of business strategy throughout COVID. How do you support, motivate and reward employees when they are stuck at home with kids, dogs and other distractions while a pandemic is raging? Again, promo products can fill that role.

The Challenge with Business and Promotional Products

While new programs and initiatives are a critical component to company success, there is a resource cost.

That price isn’t just a monetary cost, but a human resource one. Someone needs to manage the program. If you aren’t providing enough oversight or the right workforce, you won’t see the anticipated results.

Especially with promotional products, where seasonal changes and market shifts are constantly putting pressure on your team to stay a step ahead, keeping up with demands can be stressful. Without the right team and enough resources, you’ll see higher costs and limited results.

A promotional products program can be a massive benefit for business, but without the right expertise and enough resources, you may not see those benefits.

This is where managed services can help.

What Are Managed Services for Promotional Product Programs?

With managed services, a business will use an outside resource (known as a Managed Services Provider) to manage the operations of a business application or segment.

Most companies connect managed services with IT applications. Information Technology (IT) expertise can be expensive and risky, and there may not be steady demand for it. That said, if technology applications go down, the business may be dead in the water. This is where a Managed Services Provider (MSP) can help. The provider offers on-demand IT resources. The business has the flexibility to use more IT resources when they need them, but aren’t paying for those resources when there isn’t a need.

The business will clearly define the expectations and requirements for the service. The MSP will provide the resources and expertise to meet those expectations and requirements. This is a clear win for the business — they get all the benefits they need from their promotional products program at a lower cost, without impacting existing programs or putting undue pressure on already overworked employees.

The Benefits of Managed Services for Promo

Managed services for promotional products is a clear win for the business. Rather than pulling highly paid employees from other work to handle promo research, ordering, delivering and managing the program, you can use an MSP. The business gets industry-leading promo service and a deep bench of expertise and resources for the program.

By turning to an expert provider for their promotional program, the business sees rapid benefits:

1.     Stay Ahead of the Promo Trends

For many companies, the promo “expert” is an office manager or a marketing intern. They just don’t have the background or connections in the promo product industry to stay ahead of the trends. Research may just be a quick internet search or a catalog, leading to missed opportunities. With an MSP, you have a resource that knows the industry and can capitalize on trends. Rather than missing opportunities, you are making them.

2.     Work with Market Leaders

Quality shows when it comes to promo products. The products represent your brand, and will leave a lasting impression on a prospect, customer or employee. You want the best products for your investment. The right provider, with knowledge of the industry and relationships with suppliers, can help ensure you’re working with the best. The MSP operates as your advocate with the supplier. They know the market, and can help you find higher-quality products, ones that better match your brand.

3.     Budget-Friendly Business Benefits

Many companies are quick to recognize the business benefits of a promotional program. Over time, problems crop up as the promo team starts to rely on the same provider or the same product. Prices creep up and costs escalate, and little thought is given to analyzing market prices or ROI. An MSP can leverage buying power and market connections to keep costs low. The right provider will supply your team with a breakdown of costs to identify opportunities to reduce or manage costs, while still delivering the quality products and branding you’ve come to expect.

4.     Flexible Resources to Capitalize on Opportunity

Need that branded shirt for an event, or that promo kit for an opening? Rather than pull critical resources from another project to find and order the products you need, let the managed services team handle it. There’s no trade-off between getting the products you need and delivering your other priorities. You can get it all done in less time and with less frustration.

5.     Operate as an Extension of your Marketing Team

Rather than scrambling to find a knowledgeable freelance resource or a new provider for every project, you have a dedicated team and dedicated resources for your business. They know you, and can quickly deliver results with minimal oversight. They operate like an extension of your team, providing additional resources and expertise when you need them.

6.     Improved Brand Control

Your business relies on your brand, and yet with many promotional products you are relying on low-cost vendors and suppliers with minimal knowledge of your brand. Mistakes are bound to happen. They are simply providing a product, not supporting or growing your brand, and it shows. An MSP is an advocate for your company, providing another layer of brand control, ensuring every product successfully conveys the messaging you need.

7.     Business Efficiency

By analyzing your business processes, the MSP can identify opportunities to increase efficiency. This could involve using an ecommerce system for ordering, or changing the ordering process, or updating the inventory in stock. For many companies, the greatest value offered by the provider is in the efficiency programs they implement.

Managed Services for Promotional Product Programs

Businesses today need to constantly look at improvements. Often, this means stretching your resources thin. By using managed services for your promotional product program, you get best-in-class services without sacrificing other initiatives or putting additional pressure on already overtaxed employees.

If you’d like to learn more, or explore your options with managed services, then contact GO2 Partners today. We’re here to help.



Topics: Promotional Products, Managed Services