How flash drives can boost business in tough times

In tough economic times, the marketing budget is one of the first to be cut. However, companies that strategically promote in an adverse environment can grow business performance. USB flash drives are among the tools that you can use to achieve great results.

Research undertaken by the Institute for the Study of Business Markets indicates that proactive marketing during an economic downturn improves both market and business performance.

Whether you are constantly working on a shoestring or want to get a step up on the competition in slower business conditions, here are some tips on how to stretch your marketing bucks.
Consistency is key

Branded USB flash drives and packaging

Remain true to your brand values and reliable with your messages. Your customers need to be reassured and will be confused if you suddenly change your value proposition.

A branded or fully customised flash drive enables complete alignment with your corporate identity and communicates your message using a desirable item that prompts action. A recent study by the Advertising Specialty Institute showed that recipients of USB drives were 43% more likely to do business with an advertiser from whom they had not previously purchased. That same study revealed that 55% of USB flash drive recipients had a favourable view of the advertiser after receiving the item.

Get value for money

Allocate your limited budget to campaigns or activities that are value-driven and offer multiple benefits, both for you and for your customers.

A branded memory stick covers three bases with one item, offering you and your customer exceptional value. With pre-loaded content, it serves as a gift, a marketing tool and a communication medium. The same item, with different content, can be used for numerous applications, further enhancing value through bulk purchasing. In addition, the cost per impression of USB flash drives has been shown to be less than that of mass media without being invasive or interruptive.
Build relationships

Build brand relationships with effective communication

Focus on measurable, relationship-based strategies, including direct communication with customers, offline and online.

Studies have shown that USB flash drives are consistently among the top ten most popular promotional items because they are functional. Respondents to a recent British Promotional Merchandise Association survey cited flash drives as the number one item they like to receive. Recipients use them more and keep them for longer than most other branded items, making memory sticks the ideal communication tool for all points in the marketing process, from awareness to action.

USB-based products also provide online solutions with measurability. For example, Webkeys can direct recipients to a particular site or page. Digital USB books, which are electronic versions of your documents, can be implemented online, as well as on your drives. These offer campaign trackability, including integration with your existing web analytics, as well as social media sharing.


However, not all flash drives are created equal. While the least expensive option featuring only your logo may be an available option, the presence of additional elements like pre-loaded content can help you in connecting with your audience and delivering optimal return on investment.

Related reading: How to maximise your flash drive investment