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What is Tactile Marketing?
October 21, 2020

Tactile marketing is the use of marketing items, swag, printed pieces, or other promotional material to connect with an audience and help form a positive brand association. Ever get a t-shirt from a convention? That’s tactile marketing. Bring home a fancy case study from a conference? Also, tactile marketing. Tactile marketing offers a unique opportunity to reach people on a basic human level that is often forgotten in the rush to the digital finish line. With tactile marketing, you can turn a physical marketing piece into a unique brand experience.

Tactile marketing can be extremely useful for setting yourself apart from competitors. Let’s take a peek to find out the real benefits and how you can execute a winning strategy.

The Benefits of Tactile Marketing

If you’ve ever known the fun of receiving a personalized care package from a friend or gotten a memorable piece of swag, you know the visceral sense of joy that derives from good ol’ fashioned tactile marketing. But tactile marketing isn’t just a gimmick, it’s a way to truly connect with your customers.

One case study conducted by Millward Brown determined there is an actual connection between our brains and tactile marketing pieces. The research concluded that “Tangible materials leave a deeper footprint on the brain.” Turns out we actually attach more meaning to tactile marketing items over digital marketing pieces because we form an emotional connection: “Physical material involves more emotional processing which is important for memory and brand associations.”

Tactile marketing allows you to connect with your customers on a truly personal and emotional level which offers you the following benefits:

  • Better brand awareness: The old adage still rings true…the best advertising is word of mouth. Yes, you should still engage in digital marketing, but tactile marketing offers you the opportunity to truly differentiate yourself from your competitors. Provide a thoughtful, well-structured marketing piece and you will convert and keep.
  • Brand remembrance: People will remember you. That’s right, this is brand memory in one impactful marketing piece. As mentioned above, when people hold a unique item, they are able to better remember and form an emotional link to your brand.
  • Brand loyalty: When people love the customer experience, they come back. Customer churn means constantly having to drum up new consumer bases which can be exhausting and expensive. Give your loyal customers a reason to say, “been there (maybe), done that (and loved it), got the t-shirt (or other awesome promotional item).” Do it in a way that showcases your originality. The world is your oyster.

Tips For a Strong Tactile Marketing Campaign

The return and opportunity for impact is much greater with tactile marketing when it’s executed correctly. Think about the following best practices when planning and developing your next campaign:

  • Customize for your audience: Audiences definitely do not fall in the one-size-fits-all category. Think about what your audience loves and appeal to their interests. You wouldn’t want to send a customized beer stein to a group calling themselves Wine Lovers United.
  • Think outside the box: Create something unique. Physical marketing items make the most impact when they are memorable and stand out from the crowd. Consider your brand and develop something that fits your culture and your consumer base.
  • Go the extra mile: We understand the need to budget, believe us. However, it’s better to opt for value over cost. Providing an item of lesser value, but with limited impact may actually cost you more in the long run than making a slightly larger initial investment, but with a higher return.
  • Think about sustainability: In the modern age of overconsumption, audiences love a good, solid sustainable product. Plus, you can rest easy knowing you are thinking of the planet. Choose a quality product that offers long-term value and Earth-friendly products.
  • Make it a presentation: You’re not just giving away swag—you’re creating a brand experience. Consider the entire package (Not to worry, we’re great at that part and happy to help!), from the cardstock you select to the packaging material you choose.
  • Consider the season: There’s usually a reason for whatever’s in season! Seasonal items are usually a hit, but take care not to fall into the realm of cliché. An item that matches the atmosphere can be immediately relevant, and thus, memorable.

Want to learn more about tactile marketing? Contact us to chat with one of our customer success managers and find out how you can use physical marketing to boost your business.