We’re Talkin’ Trash About Your Promo Products (And Why You Will, Too!)

May 22, 2017

We’re Talkin’ Trash About Your Promo Products (And Why You Will, Too!)

Now you did it! You've got 'em talking trash about your promo...and we're so proud of you!

Sustainable giveaways and eco-friendly promotional items are hot!

Today we want to say thank you for buying responsibly by helping you develop a sizzling marketing strategy around going green.

Yep, we're talking trash—more specifically, how to run a promotional campaign with a focus on recycling and sustainability.

It takes some chops to stand up and be different, but the rewards, both personally and professionally, are worth it.

But before we get started...


Why Base a Marketing Strategy on a Trend?

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has gone from being a nice company perk, to "a fundamental strategic priority for businesses large and small," according to Forbes Magazine contributor, Susan McPherson.

In short, sustainability is no longer a trend. It's a qualifier for whether other businesses choose to partner with you or not.

Any good marketing strategy is based on research. So let's go over the numbers.


  • Fortune 500 firms spend more than $15 billion a year on CSR.
  • That number is rising as businesses see CSR investments improve company performance, talent recruitment and retention.
  • 33% of consumers are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good according to a Unilever Consumer Study.
  • 81% of Americans believe corporations should take action to address important issues facing society; and 88% believe corporations have the power to influence.

Clearly, whether you're a one-man startup or a multinational, understanding the importance of CSR in any marketing campaign has serious financial and branding implications.

Recycling and strategic sustainable promotions are a cornerstone of CSR. 

  • On average, it costs $30 per ton to recycle trash, $50 to send it to the landfill, and $65 to $75 to incinerate it.
  • There are 4 pounds of trash generated daily, on average, by every American...the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
  • The US population discards each year 1,600,000,000 pens, 2,000,000,000 razor blades, 220,000,000 car tires, and enough aluminum to rebuild the US commercial air fleet four times over.

But here's the statistic you're going to love...

An estimated $1.2 trillion opportunity exists for brands that make their sustainability credentials clear.

That number makes quite a case for finding out how to incorporate eco-friendly promotional items into your next corporate event.

So how do you get started?


Know Your Market

As I said, all good marketing strategy is based on research. It's absolutely essential to know your target in as much detail as possible.

To do that, borrow a trick from marketing analysts and sales copywriters. Learn to develop a strong buyer persona.

According to industry leader, Hubspot, "The strongest buyer personas are based on market research as well as insights you gather from your actual customer base (through surveys, interviews, etc.)."

You may have more than one, so start small and concentrate on details and accuracy. You can add to your persona library as you grow.

A buyer persona will help you provide promotional products that will have true value to your customers.

If you design a green marketing campaign, it's important to choose items that fit your customers' lifestyle. If they're into tech, for example, they're more likely to appreciate a 100% Recycled USB Drive, than a plastic paper weight.

Developing a marketing persona may seem like an unnecessary step, but it's the details that will make or break your campaign. Hubspot offers a free template to help make the process easy.


Develop a Company Policy

Speaking of personas...what is your company persona?

It matters!

Back in the 1970's a phenomenon known as greenwashing rocked the corporate world. Greenwashing is a conscious act of presenting a product or organization as environmentally responsible to enhance public image.

It still happens. In 2015 Volkswagen promoted their diesel as a low-emissions alternative to gasoline and spent $77 million to promote their green campaign. At the same time, they altered 11 million of the clean diesel engines with software to trick emissions tests, allowing those cars to spew far more than the legal limit of pollutants.

Most companies wouldn't consider doing something as outrageous, but what happens when you run a promo based on sustainability and your company is chucking out plastic bottles of water at the next trade show.

Did you know that we throw away 35 billion plastic bottles a year? That's enough to circle the earth four times!

Authenticity is a word you'll hear a lot in both sustainability and marketing. And unfortunately, your reputation can take a hit even when you don't intend to be insensitive. 

Make sure you know your company policy and make sure your sustainable promotion remains authentic.


When to Embrace a Trend

Now. Now is the time to start looking at what's trending.

After you've laid a strong foundation for your campaign by fully understanding the importance and making sure you know your target market as well as you know your own company, it's time to have a little fun!

About time, right?

There are four trending buzzwords in the branding and promotional industry right now. Use them as a buying guide and have some fun with it!


  1. Quality

Always begin by choosing a quality logo'd product. A promotional giveaway may seem like a small thing—a gift really—and who criticizes a gift? But the truth is, a giveaway is an early indicator of the way you perceive your company, your employees, and your future customers.

So if you provide a quality branded product, you've indicated your standard to the receiver. And you've let them know this is how much they will be valued as you move forward together.


  1. Tech

That's a trend worth watching closely. If it makes life easier, fits into your buyers' lifestyle, and if it's high quality, you have a winner.

And yes, there are eco-friendly and sustainable tech promotional products to choose from. Ask us.


  1. Retail

If it's trending online and in the stores, it deserves a second look.

Two easy to replicate trends right now are bags and cups.

Instead of plastic bags that many cities are beginning to outlaw, try reusable grocery totes. Tired of throwing away foam cups and plastic straws? How about a stainless insulated cup and straw?


And the fourth...Sustainability.

Eco-friendly promotional items are an essential part of any green marketing campaign. It's easy to be different and stand up for what you believe in. And don't forget, PROMOrx is always here to help you choose if you have questions.

It's what we do. Who we are. And what we believe in.

Give us a call...we love talkin' trash!