London, United Kingdom (PressExposure) July 19, 2009 -- Making your most valuable customers feel valued with a carefully-selected gift could deliver the same return as a direct mail to 1000 people or an advert in the local newspaper, says a new expert article on free small business marketing resource Marketing Donut [http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/marketing/marketing-strategy/market-segmentation-and-your-target-market/marketing-through-merchandise].
âMerchandising might seem like an unnecessary cost during the recession, but if you set clear objectives and select the right merchandise for your target audience, it can generate a valuable return on investment,â says the article on Marketing Donut.
The article says merchandising delivers benefits such as: connecting with customers, raising awareness of the business, and driving sales.
Marketing Donut expert Andy Preston says that with merchandising itâs important to be clear about what you want to achieve. "For example, do you want customers to sign up to your newsletter and communicate with you more, or to drive new customers to your website and increase online sales?"
Itâs also important to choose an item of merchandise thatâs appropriate for your business.
"So if you're in financial services you could portray your reliability with something practical, and if you're in the leisure sector, you should create something fun. For example, a go-kart business could distribute wind-up mini racers."
The article also has advice about choosing suppliers and methods of distribution.
Marketing Donut is a free marketing resource thatâs backed by Google and Royal Mail. Itâs got thousands of expert tools and information covering all aspects of small business sales and marketing.
* The Marketing Donut is at www.marketingdonut.co.uk
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