When should you place orders for a marketing or gifting campaign?
Our team at SWFL Marketing Group are marketing consultants specializing in branded gifts and apparel. Our items can be used in many ways, and we often say we help our customers “thank, invite, excite, recognize and reward” those important to their organizations using the power of promotional products and apparel.
I want to address the area of planning ahead in this article as we head into summer months where many of our customers will be planning events to appreciate their customers and team members and include useful branded items as part of the event. The bulk of our business is with small organizations where the buyer of promotional items is often someone with many more job responsibilities and often orders items with only a week or two before the actual event. Our success rate in filling last minute orders is good, however the impact of waiting can include limiting options of what we can provide, no ability to see a physical sample before placing an order, inventory issues forcing to go with option 2 or 3 instead of the first choice, possible rush fees to imprint the items and to ship the items. Besides all that the process requires a lot more attention from our staff and our customer from the time of order until delivery and in the rare change of an error or damage to items is noticed on delivery or a few extra pieces are needed there may not be time to replace items prior to an event if it is the same day or the next day.
Planning on what items to buy working on the design to imprint and inspecting samples should be done well in advance of the event date and that is not news to anyone in our industry or our customer’s that are buyers of custom logoed items. What is new is production times on our supplier end are increasing due to staff shortages, inventory delays as demand is increasing. Pricing is also increasing as shipping costs, labor costs, and raw material costs are up and many of our partners have given us notice of increases across the board.
Our team would suggest that a simple reorder of an item that is working and a sample is not needed should start 1-2 months before you need them. On planning an event for the first time we would suggest our customers reach out 3-4 months ahead with and share the objectives, the audience, and the budget for promotional items to allow time for us to research items to use, share our ideas and arrange to get samples of product prior to placing orders.
These time frames are suggested to minimize stress, maximize choices, minimize rush fees and in the slim chance something goes wrong it can still be fixed. We are not afraid of rush orders and will do what we can to provide the best possible options when orders are placed. If we take on an order with a known in hands date, we guarantee that it will be met but this article is to stress the benefits of more time in the planning stages will allow for smoother experiences for all and also to suggest turn times are getting longer in our industry.
Our company is owned by Martin and Karen Pahnke, a husband-and-wife team, with over 30 years small business ownership experience each. We know what it takes to run and grow a small business. We would love to help you or someone you know with the most effective promotional products to thank invite excite recognize and reward those that make a difference to your organization.
Please call on our team for solutions to grow your business through word-of-mouth advertising. Consultations are at no charge or obligation.
We are available to our customers by phone, email, or at our physical location!
We look forward to assisting your organization with any upcoming marketing initiatives or special events!