Monthly Archives: December 2013

Variable Data Printing – Now It ‘s Personal

Promotional Product CustomisationWe all love to see our own name in lights.  Not to suggest that we all suffer from extreme vanity, but it is an indication that we all want to feel like an individual not a number. This is where Variable Data Printing (VPI) comes in, it allows elements like text and images to be changed from one printed item to the next while keeping the main body of advertising copy and images the same.

In the past this has been available for printed mediums like brochures and flyers and has been used for years by direct marketers. in fact we have got that used to it that any letter/email we receive addressed to “To Whom it May concern”, or the “To the Householder”) we tend ditch immediately.

The returns for variable printing vary from double the normal return at the basic level to 10-15 times the return for fully variable jobs.

Now this technology is available to many promotional products. VPI offers us the chance to personalise each promotional product to an individual client’s name, nickname or project teams. What better way to resonate with a client then by putting their name on each item that show that the product given was selected just for them.

What’s more, by personalising the client now has a sense of ownership with the promotional product increasing the likelihood the item will be kept.

Promotional Products Customisation

Promotional products that can be personalised include – Aluminium Drink Bottles, Mugs, Vitamin Water, Bottled Water, Metal Pens, Tape Measures, Bar Runners, Travel Mugs, Notepads, Keyrings, Mouse Mats, Magnets, Badge Holders, Lip Balm, Hand Sanitiser Gel, Calculators and Coasters.

All you have to do is send through a list of names in spreadsheet and your promotional products consultant can do the rest.


Matthew Bywater
Marketing Strategist

For more marketing insight from Matthew check out his blog –

The Right Questions Equals Success In Promotions

Asking the right questions is the start for a successful promotional campaign. Often we jump straight into the tactical side of promotional products (the products themselves)then try to marry the promotion back to the product we are promoting. The missed opportunity here is our advertising medium is often not congruent with the story we wish to tell. With literally have tens of thousands of promotional products to choose from, we need to filter down the options in order to choose the most effective medium. The questions below are just 5 of the 16 I usually go through with a client, but they are a good place to start.

Promotional ideas

Promotional Questions

  1. When do you need it?
  2. Who is your target?
  3. How many of your target do you wish to hit?
  4. What is the dollar amount you wish to spend per target?
  5. How long of a tail to the promotion do you require?
1. When do you need it?

The “Just In Time” management might work well in many forms of procurement, but generally doesn’t work well for promotional products. You can save anywhere between 30-50% by extending the lead time on items like Headwear, Stubby Coolers and Bags. You also get greater choice with more time and the ability to custom produce an item for a truly unique effect. By organising well ahead of time you also allow your promotional supplier time to cultivate better ideas.

2. Who is your target audience?

The more specific your target the more effective the promotion can be. The promo also needs to be AUDIENCE APPROPRIATE – a travel wallet may be good for an executive who travels a lot but not much use for a local concreter. By using a particular product or industry centred message, the promo will be more valued by your client – this creates an emotional tie-in with the client.

3. Quantity – How many people would you want to reach and what is the frequency of exposure to your product?

Tied in with your total budget, the quantity will affect how wide spread the promotion is. This also helps in selecting a product, some products are not cost effective in low quantities. If unsure, give a range, at least then the promotional products consultant then has somewhere to start.

4. $ per unit/customer

Knowing the dollar amount per customer/target is important as this helps frame the promotion. In a niche market, or with a high value client, a higher dollar value product like Callaway golf clubs might be applicable. Alternatively at a trade show where you’re prospecting, you would use low cost promotional items like pens, stress items etc, where you expect a lower rate of return. This differs from a sales bait where the cost of the promotion is generally a percentage of the item you are selling.

5. How long of a tail do you want on the promotion?

The term tail is used for the length of effectiveness of the promotion. Sometimes for cost effectiveness it is better to go for a short term tail, the strategy here is to get your message out as cheaply and quickly as possible (a low-end plastic pen is a typical example). Longer tail promotions will last for months or years (e.g. coffee mugs), this is where you will get better value on your Cost Per Impression (see previous blog) but the initial outlay is higher.


Matthew Bywater
Marketing Strategist

For more marketing insight from Matthew check out his blog –

Maximising Your Promotions Budget

When choosing how to allocate your promotional budget it is critical to understand the Cost-Per -Impression (CPI). CPI’s are used to measure the effetiveness of advertising, it calculates how much it costs to make an impression on a target client.

For example, if a $3,000 magazine advertisment gets viewed once by 100,000 potential clients the CPI is 3 cents. However if you gave out 1,500 branded bags at a total cost of $3,000 which has an average veiwing of 9.33 times per month for the year, than this works out to a CPI of 1.8 cents (also this does not include the number of views by potential cleints passing by).

A study conducted by the Advertising Specialty Institute and published in Promotion (March-April 09) revealed the following findings. Compare the numbers below and you will see the value promotional products can have in your campaign

Medium / CPI

Cost-Per-Impression of Promo Products

Caps $0.002, Bags $0.002, Writing Instruments $0.002, Shirts $0.005, Other Wearables $0.016, National Magazine $0.033, Newspaper Ad $0.019, Prime Time TV $0.019

This data illustrates that an ad in a national magazine can cost you over 15 times more and a newspaper ad almost 10 times more than adveritising on a pen, cap or bag for the same result. You can work out from this which is giving you more bang for your buck.

Another way to use the CPI measurment is when comparing costs of the same goods. A good exmaple here is with promotional pens, 2 pens can look, feel and write the same but one can be priced cheaper than the other. One way manufacturers keep their costs down is by putting less ink in the pen. It is not uncommon for some pens to have as little as 500m of ink compared to some more reputable brands that have over 1.9km of ink. By using the CPI you can work out that the 2nd pen will last almost 4 times longer, and usualy only costs about 15-20% more. In this case the cheaper pen is far more expensive per impression.


Matthew Bywater
Marketing Strategist

For more marketing insight from Matthew check out his blog –