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It is no secret that businesses are analysing their budgets and thinking about how they can revise down their marketing budgets for the year ahead. Given the impact of the recession, this is entirely understandable. But many firms also want to make sure that their marketing efforts are a top priority. Branded pens present a cost-effective marketing solution – 100 promotional pens can be easily bought for £99, for example. They’re a great way to reach out to consumers – and needn’t break the bank.
Branded pens are a cornerstone of integrated marketing and have been doing the rounds for some time. Marketing experts shouldn’t overlook the huge impact that promotional items have had on consumers during their long and illustrious history – they were even used by the first US president George Washington. But they should also be aware that modern marketing campaigns that use printed pens are just as effective as they once were – if not more so. Again, leading direct marketing research group IPC has found that promotional pens and other branded gifts are still being used to engage audiences, strengthen companies’ brands and create a lasting impression. Whether being sent to new or existing clients, personalised pens will elicit a strong response from recipients and make them a whopping 500 per cent – yes, five hundred per cent – more likely to follow up on a marketing mail-shot than those who just receive a letter.
The popularity of branded promotional pens sees no sign of abating. While there has undoubtedly been a shift toward digital marketing, personalised pens have remained ever popular. Companies still rightly recognise the value in using promotional pens – and not just at Christmas. Recent research by the US-based Advertising Specialty Institute found that the most popular promotional products among UK respondents are promotional pens (63 per cent), followed by clothing and calendars. The research also found that 94 per cent of people in the UK surveyed could identify the advertiser on a promotional item, with nearly two-thirds of UK respondents saying they had received and, importantly, kept a promotional pen in a 12-month period. By their very physicality, printed pens remain a successful way to ensure your brand is remembered for a long time. While a marketing email can be quickly sent to the trash or marked as spam, and a TV ad flashes for the briefest of moments, promotional pens are in it for the long-term. Promotional pens aren’t just stuffed in an office drawer – they are used on a daily basis throughout workplaces across the UK – offering plenty of opportunity for your company logo to be seen and remembered.
We’ve discussed the effective role promotional pens have to play in external marketing. But think also about how you could incorporate printed pens into your corporate and executive reward schemes. Cash is clearly one way to reward employees – but promotional pens have a role to play, too – especially when it comes to saying thank you to important and long-standing employees. Employees feel more valued if their employer provides them with a company rewards programme, they also feel more motivated and loyal to their employer. This means that including promotional pens in your employee reward scheme should be an effective way to drive productivity and keep staff on board. Company reward programs needn’t always be financial – incentivising staff with personalised pens can also be useful. Promotional pens can be incorporated into long-service awards, for example. Why not buy a luxurious retail brand like Sheaffer or Parker, for example, and presenting one of your top earners with a high-quality promotional pen?