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The True Cost of Low Cost

Dec 29, 2016 6:18:55 PM

promotional_products_-adform.pngEveryone likes to save a few bucks. Right? We’re always looking for deals on everything from gas to groceries. Yet, in the promotional marketing world, saving money is often of a case of “you get what you pay for.”

Sometimes customers only look at the unit cost of promotional items. “But, there are other costs and opportunity costs associated with a campaign that should be considered,” notes Jeff Forbes, Client Partner at adform creative.  

One adform client placed an order online with a large promotional products company that offered a low price for an item. When the product arrived, it was not what the client expected. “They turned to us after this had happened,” explains Forbes. “We processed their order and the items were exactly what they wanted.” Unfortunately, the client lost time and money going a cheaper route initially.

Over the years, Carroll Hospital has used promotional items for associate gifts, event giveaways and more.  This means there are often last-minute projects and tight deadlines. “We depend on partners to get the order right the first time, every time,” says Meghan Gonzalez, Marketing Specialist at Carroll Hospital. It’s a classic case of the Unattainable Triangle and maximizing price, speed and quality. “Price is just one variable and does not always win,” notes Gonzalez. “If our order does not arrive on time or if the items are sub-standard, it doesn’t matter how much money we save.”

Working with partners that can provide consistency helps Carroll Hospital meet deadlines on short notice. “We tend to rely most on partners who know our account history, no matter who the point of contact is,” explains Gonzalez. This helps to minimize the amount of back-and-forth during urgent projects. “Working with partners that understand your account history and brand standards is efficient and can save time and money in the long run,” advises Gonzalez.

Some clients rely on adform for help with logistics. “We stock their items in our warehouse,” said Forbes. “We drop-ship orders in batches whenever they need items.” The process is easy for the customer. It saves them time and allows them to focus on their business. It also saves them storage costs and the headache of managing logistics. “With a couple of clicks, the customer gets the products they need.”

Budgets are tight. But… buying decisions based on unit price can end up costing you more, in the end. Instead, make sure you consider the total cost of your next campaign. This may include soft- and hard-costs such as on-time delivery, ease of doing business, quality of product, proactive creativity, logistics, and more.


Written by Julie