It takes a lot to stand out in the business world. Marketing is a competitive space. Businesses are often focused on the latest and greatest marketing trends. Social media and digital marketing, it's supposedly the only way to win the game.
Or is it? Do you really have to spend thousands of dollars on digital advertising to get attention? Have the old school tricks of the trade become obsolete?
Never. The fact is traditional forms of marketing still work, especially when done correctly. One of the oldest tricks in the book is using custom pens.
You may think that the pen is dead but think again. Many people continue to put pen to paper on a daily basis. More importantly, even if they don't use the writing utensil, a custom pen still leaves an impression.
Let's look at the true power of custom pens for your advertising needs. We'll also cover how you can effectively implement pens into your existing market strategy.
So why is the pen mightier than the sword?
Why Custom Pens Are Still Relevant
Let's start with the basics: pens haven't died out yet. While technology has continued to replace the traditional pen and paper, many people still use them.
The pen and paper combination is also useful since it doesn't rely on any power. Pens are cheaper and easy to replace. In a pinch, people are more likely to reach for a pen over their smartphone to take a note.
Some manufacturers have even tried to replicate the pen in the form of a stylus. The precision and tactile sensation of a pen are hard to replace with physical touch. For artists, for example, there is no substitute for a true pen.
In many ways, pens have become useful in the moments we least realize. This is where the power of custom pens comes in for marketing. They offer a way to inject your business into a customer's daily life without them realizing it.
What is the marketing power of a custom pen? It has to do with reminding people about your business.
The Purpose of Marketing
Why do you spend money on marketing and advertising? Big or small, how useful is it?
Marketing is one of those things that's frustrating but necessary. We know it's necessary even if we can't point to the numbers as proof. It's a sensation we feel: a business can't survive without it.
Marketing is all about communication. Most importantly, it should inform potential customers about your business. It lets them know that it actually exists.
It's also about persuasion. Advertising is the special form of communication that tries to convince people to depart with their money. Successful advertising sells a business, brand, product, or service. Sometimes, it does this without much effort.
Finally, marketing is also meant to remind people about a business. Most people will eventually forget about a business. If promotional materials aren't there to remind them when they need a product or service, they'll likely move onto someone else.
Custom pens have the power to accomplish all of these things in a subtle way. Subtlety can be important. If potential customers resist obvious attempts at persuasion, subtlety can circumnavigate their defenses.
Not All Marketing Methods Are Equal
These days, there are plenty of options for small and large businesses to market themselves. The internet has opened a whole new world of possibilities. Despite a number of choices, however, some options are better than others.
Many people put a lot of stock in digital marketing. They become mesmerized with the potential reach and viral effect it can have. Most businesses even spend thousands of dollars a month to make it all work.
Unfortunately, digital marketing alone usually isn't enough. Most digital methods of marketing have a small chance of success. For example:
- Email marketing averages around a .12% success rate.
- Search engine marketing is 3.88%.
- Direct display marketing can be a little as .024% successful.
- Success through social media depends on the platform, content, and frequency of the marketing.
Most people know marketing can be hit or miss, but usually, it comes down to the type of marketing. How a business implements the marketing method is also an important consideration. Success or failure can hinge on the abilities of the business or marketing manager.
Conventional wisdom may suggest that traditional forms of marketing will be even worse. After all, if digital marketing is the latest and greatest, surely it should be better?
The Success Rate of Custom Pens
Custom pens are simple. They lack the engagement and viral potential of digital marketing. At best, they will display a business's name and logo. How effective can all this be?
It turns out that custom pens are very effective at getting the job done. Their simplicity is one of the main reasons for their effectiveness. Everyone knows how to use a pen. A surprising number of people still use a pen.
Consider the fact that almost 70% of people still carry a pen with them at all times. This doesn't mean they prefer pens over typing. It means they have one out of habit or because they know that it might be useful.
Social media can't compare to that usage rate. If you want a marketing method that is likely to reach the intended audience, pens are hard to beat. Their success rate is also higher compared to other forms of marketing:
- 83% of people are likely to keep ballpoint custom pens.
- 50% of people will always pick up a promotion pen if offered.
- 50% of people consider a promotional pen to be a practical product.
Custom pens will never go viral like a story or meme on social media, but they don't have to. Promotional pens are most effective because they are still useful. They fulfill a practical need that almost everyone has at one point or another.
Convinced yet? If so, then it's time to start thinking about how to use custom pens in your existing marketing strategy.
Updating the Marketing Strategy
Thankfully, you don't need to change a lot in order to incorporate promotional pens. Most marketing strategies are diverse enough to use multiple marketing methods. A good strategy should be diverse. If it isn't, it's missing out on potential audiences.
Promotional pens represent another marketing channel you can use. Any marketing channel should try to reach a certain type of audience other channels can't. As long as the channels don't conflict, you can have as many as you need in your strategy.
The great thing about custom pens is that they can reach people who aren't active online. Whether it's due to age or preference, some people don't like social media as much as others. If your marketing strategy can't reach these people, your business is missing out.
In most cases, adding custom pens into the mix won't require any changes to your existing strategy. Promotional pens play well with other printed promotional items. This means you can leave the digital strategies and channels alone.
The most important thing to incorporate pens into your printed marketing is consistency. These marketing materials present your business in a certain way. Colors, text, font, logos, all create a consistent look. Your custom pens should incorporate this look.
What to Include
Keep in mind the purpose of any promotional product. Marketing materials should inform, persuade, and remind potential customers of your business. To do this, some basic information will be necessary.
Unfortunately, pens limit the amount of text you can comfortably include. Since space is at a premium, you should focus on the basics: name, logo, and other relevant information. This information will be short and sweet, but still effective.
The benefit of limited space is simplicity. A simple, persuasive message can be just as effective as long marketing copy. Sometimes, the business's name or logo is enough to get the job done.
If space allows, you might also think about additional information to include. Many custom pens will include physical address info or important names. A business's tagline can also make for a good addition.
If you are ever confused about what to include, review your marketing strategy. Each marketing channel should include the same basic set of important information. Include whatever information you communicate through your other marketing channels.
Custom pens don't leave a lot of options for fancy graphic designs. That doesn't mean you have to settle for a basic design, however. A promotional pen can include different colors, fonts, and visuals if the design is good. Since promotional pens are often more affordable, you usually have more options available.
Whether you design the pen yourself or hire a graphic artist, the design goal is the same. Custom pens should be consistent with your marketing material and be attractive. If the design isn't good, the important information on the pen might not be obvious.
Try to keep the design simple and clutter free. It's easy to try to add too many things to a pen. When space is limited, try to avoid cramming text and images together. There should be enough space between each element so people don't struggle to read the pen's text.
A good print shop will be able to guide you through this design process.
How to Use Custom Pens
The basic goal of this type of marketing is to get the pen into the hands of potential customers. There are many ways to you try to do this. Best of all, some of these methods will easily fit into your existing marketing strategy.
Since pens are physical objects, the best way to hand them out is in a physical location. This makes promotional pens great for brick and mortar stores. If your business uses salespeople to meet and convert new clients, they can also hand out these pens.
Promotional giveaways are a typical way to use custom pens. These types of giveaways offer an incentive for clients to participate. Whether it's signing up, buying a product, or just getting information, clients will have more motivation to act.
The key is to make promotional pens subtlely obvious. You shouldn't try to force the pens on people since this will likely fail. Instead, keep the pens in a public space where people are likely to see them. Desks, counters, and other surfaces are great locations to keep pens.
You can also include the pens in your social media marketing efforts. These pens work great in digital promotions and giveaways. Offer them to people who subscribe, like, tweet, or otherwise engage in your social activities. The only challenge may be getting an address to send the pen.
Finally, if you have a content marketing strategy, include the pens here as well. Many businesses use blogs and social media to tell the story of their daily activities. Taking pictures or mentioning the pens can spice up content without being too obvious.
Making It All Work
Custom pens can be a powerful addition to any marketing platform. When used correctly, they can reach additional audiences digital marketing simply can't. For most businesses, they are a simple and effective way to enhance the marketing efforts.
To make it work, you need to do your research and plan accordingly before hand. Make sure you know how to incorporate them into your existing marketing platform.
You should also take the time to make the design consistent and effective. Don't let the design differ from your other digital and printed material. Consistency is where brands are built.
If you do all this, you can rest assured that you're adding something unique to the marketing strategy. If you'd like additional help or information on buying promotional pens, check out the rest of the blog.
You can also contact us to learn more about our printing services. We'd be happy to help you.