Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The greening of giveaways

As a marketing professional, sometimes my clients are more interested in the immediately tangible than the long-term payoffs.

I'm talking giveaways.

It's amazing the amount of crap I've had to purchase over the last six years. Pens with pom-poms on top. More water bottles and lunch bags than I can count. Pill boxes of every shape and size, all branded - and likely thrown away at some point.

I've tried to shy my clients away from the "must have" giveaway item, particularly when size, storage or budget are issues. I truly don't believe you can measure ROI on a 10-cent pen, for instance. Instead, I encourage spending that money on a gift basket for a door prize or something truly useful for a few people. It's easier, provides more benefit and less junk, and frankly gives you qualified leads.

Why am I discussing giveaways and marketing on a green blog? Because giveaways are going green.

Yesterday, in my inbox I was for the first time asked what kind of plastic would be used in a water bottle. I'm heartened that people are taking their impact on the environment into consideration when making choices about what to give to customers.

I'll admit that none of the giveaway sites or catalogs I've investigated in the past have included this information. It will be interesting to see whether, in the future, organizations take this information into consideration in the marketing of these products.

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