Face-to-face marketing is one of the most effective ways to increase your brand awareness and sales. Throughout the years, we have discovered several ways to keep the costs down to make our clients’ marketing dollars go further.
Do you want to control costs on your experiential marketing programs? Try these tips!
1. Instead of a branded tablecloth, use an unbranded cloth tablecloth and a branded table runner.
This is much more affordable, but still adds that large branding you’re looking for. You can find cloth tablecloths in a variety of colors. Choose one in your brand’s color to stand out!
2. Consider buying in bulk.
Purchase items you use consistently, like sampling cups, spoons, etc. in bulk. Depending on the retailer, you can save from 10-50%! Be sure to take into account the cost of storage to determine if buying in bulk is right for you.
3. Break open boxes.
Instead of sending a whole box of gloves, cups, or napkins, break them open and send only what’s needed for that demo or event. Not only does this save money, but it’s also green! Double win!
4. Ship for the month.
If you have an ongoing program, ship all products needed for the month to save on shipment costs. Quick caveat here – we don’t recommend sending supplies for more than a month, as budgets and schedules may change, which would change the quantities you need to send.
5. Confirm what your brand ambassadors already have.
This seems so obvious, right? But we can’t tell you how many times our brand ambassadors have leftover supplies from events they’ve worked in the past. They don’t need or want to store an extra 6 boxes of gloves. So, if they have supplies they’d like to use up, we will hold off on sending them those items until they need them.
6. Use an acrylic stand for brand info.
Rather than printing stand-alone signs for each new product or promotion, use an acrylic stand and then you only have to insert a new sheet to have fresh signage. Be sure to pack these carefully, as they can break in transit.
7. Reuse supplies when possible.
There are some things that are not appropriate to reuse – sample cups for instance. But things like shipping boxes, packing paper, ice buckets, etc., are definitely reusable. This can help you cut costs and lower your carbon footprint.
8. Consider partnering with a like-minded brand.
Do you have ingredients you will need for product sampling? See if a supplier will provide those to you in exchange for signage at your event. Or ask your experiential marketing agency if they offer collaborative demos and events, which would allow you to split the cost of your activation.
9. See what you can get for in- kind donations.
Some events will count in-kind donations as part of your sponsorship fee. If you include a sample of your product in the race packets at a marathon, they may give you a discount on your booth rental. This is usually dependent on the size of your sponsorship package and how directly your product connects with the event attendees.
10. Have a plan for returning (or not returning) supplies.
Many brand ambassadors don’t have the room to store supplies for programs that have ended. So, they will often toss your supplies a week or two after the end of the program. If you plan on reusing the items from the event, be sure to communicate that ahead of time and send a return shipping label to them as soon as possible after the program has come to a close. Sometimes you will find it doesn’t make sense to have the brand ambassadors ship back supplies. That’s ok too. Just let them know what’s expected.
We hope you have found some ideas that will help you save on your experiential marketing program. Do you have any cost-saving tips we didn’t mention above? Share them in the comments!