If you look around your desk, right now, how many advertisements do you have sitting at your fingertips? They can be found on mouse pads, pens, mugs, notepads, letter openers, and the like. You probably have quite a few ads; you just do not think of them as advertising.
"Specialty advertising" or "promotional products" are usually the most affordable and often overlooked form of marketing. Since most small businesses have a limited amount of money to spend on advertising, they need to make their ad dollar work as hard as possible. Using this form of advertising can put your name, logo and phone number in front of potential customers every day. Studies show that it takes multiple exposures to an ad before a person notices it.
Is your audience young or old, male or female? Do they spend most of their time in the office, home or car? Choose items your customers will use and see repeatedly.
Choose items that are useful, different or interesting. A lot of people get the same product promotion over and over again. Try something related to your business and appropriate for your customers. A key chain and calendar may work for a mechanic; a software company might want to give a mouse pad.
Simple messages are better, so keep your design uncluttered. Remember that customers often will keep higher quality, more thoughtful items longer, thus increasing the effectiveness of your ad.
This is a primary rule of advertising. Since this group is relatively easy to identify, your advertising money can go directly where it produces the most results.
Offering a free gift for new customers when you advertise in the newspaper or sending a small item in your direct mail piece can make customers pay more attention and make your ads more effective.
Many companies give wearables (t-shirts, hats, windbreakers, etc.) to their employees to promote an internal company campaign or message, or to reinforce the company's image and logo.