It’s no secret that promotional products can be a highly effective addition to your existing marketing strategy. When used correctly, promotional products have the ability to increase brand awareness and keep you in front of your prospects for when they plan to use your products or service. Unlike more expensive forms of marketing and advertising, promotional products are extremely versatile and can be personalized in many different ways. This versatility is a double-edged sword because although you have more choices, there’s also more room to make mistakes. It’s easy to think that choosing promotional products means buying a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but in reality, you need to put thought and effort into the promotional products you choose. Here are four common mistakes to avoid when buying promotional products:

The items aren’t tailored to your audience

One of the most common mistakes businesses make when buying promotional products is selecting a product that you like rather than one your audience will like. Rather than choosing items that appeal to you, try to pick items that your audience will enjoy and appreciate.

A common promotional item is koozies, and while they’re great for many businesses, they’re not right for everyone. If you’re an office supply store, a healthcare provider or a company that’s geared towards children, koozies may not be the right promotional item to throw into your marketing mix. On the other hand, if you’re a craft brewery, koozies would be more appropriate. Before buying promotional products, think about the demographics of your audience as well as their personal interest and hobbies. This will help you find a product that your customers and prospects will enjoy.

Too much or too little information

When was the last time you saw a pen that tried to cram too much information on it or a white mouse pad with only a logo? A common mistake that businesses make is putting too much or too little information on their promotional items. It’s fairly common for businesses to pass out promotional products with nothing more than a logo. While this may seem like an easy solution, playing it safe can be problematic because people are less likely to respond to a design that’s not interesting to them. You want your product to be recognized as part of your brand, and you want it to inspire someone to take action. At the very least, give people a way to reach you – whether that’s a phone number, email address or website URL. On the flip side, trying to cram too much information onto a pen or key ring isn’t pleasing to the eye, and people don’t want to keep items that aren’t visually appealing.

Waiting until the last minute

There are many promotional product companies that can handle rush orders with little to no problem, but waiting until the last minute costs more and it will give you less time to fix mistakes, should they arise. If you know that you’re going to need promotional products for an event, make sure you give yourself enough lead time between your purchase and the event. If you can, try to order your promotional products several months before an event. This will give you time to effectively implement a distribution plan, correct any mistakes and order extras if needed.

You buy the items solely based on price

If you’re on a tight budget, it’s easy to just buy the cheapest items you can find. However, when you have less money to spend, you should focus on quality instead of quantity. Don’t compromise your brand’s image with a cheaper version of a more expensive item. For example, if you have $1.00 to spend on each promotional item, you should buy the highest quality item you can buy for $1.00 rather than buying a cheaper version of the item so you can save money.

When ordering promotional items, don’t rush through the planning stages. Take time to find the right items for your audience, order far enough in advance and don’t dismiss an item simply because it’s more expensive. Finding the perfect promotional product can go a long way in helping your marketing and advertising strategy.