The decision to utilize promotional products as part of your corporate marketing and branding efforts should not be taken lightly. The incorporation of branded products into your traditional marketing mix is often regarded as more of a commitment based relationship rather than a one time distribution. In order to maximize the results of your promotional marketing, it is important to develop a strategic marketing plan outlining your planned events, marketing campaigns and the role in which you intend to integrate the usage and distribution of custom branded promotional products. The key to developing an effective marketing plan, and therefore successfully executing your plan incorporating promotional products, is to evaluate, prepare and analyze all aspects of your promotional marketing efforts. Traditionally this is done as the end of the year winds down in preparation for the start of the New Year. While you can prepare for the annual events that you traditionally participate in year after year, you should always allow a little wiggle room for events and opportunities that may unexpectedly present themselves. While the idea of creating a useful and organized marketing strategy can be overwhelming, by following a few simple steps you can develop an effective plan encompassing your distribution of promotional products and overall promotional marketing for the upcoming year.Step 1: Establish your corporate goalsThis step is incredibly important for determining your plan of action over the course of the year. You need to evaluate what the overall goal is for each occurrence of the distribution of promotional products. Are you attempting to build brand loyalty? Drive immediate sales? Or simply thank your clients and employees for their support? When you evaluate the purpose of distributing promotional products, you can directly target your audience with the appropriate gifts and events. Determining what outcome you would like to see at year’s end can help you strategically prepare and plan your marketing incorporating the usage of promotional products for the year. Step 2: Find and ask for help when you need it Asking for help can be challenging for many business professionals. But it is imperative that you seek out the appropriate sources when you run into a challenge. Successfully incorporating promotional products into your branding efforts can be a challenging process for those new to this form of marketing. Seek out information-rich sources of information and industry experts to help you develop your plan. Finding a reliable promotional products distributor can be helpful in this circumstance. They can help you realistically set a budget for purchasing customized promotional products and can help you determine what products will work best for your upcoming events. Step 3: Develop a strategic plan of attack After setting your company’s goals and educating yourself on the process of buying and distributing promotional products, it is time to create your promotional marketing strategy for the year. This is a time consuming and information-heavy process. Not only will you need to evaluate your goals, but you will also need to take into account your budgetary restrictions, your staff and your corporate branding guidelines. Enlist the help of your marketing department, your executive team and representatives from all departments. This will help you see the viewpoints of other members of your organization. By working closely with the others in your company, you can realistically plan for the purchasing of promotional products for the events and holidays of the upcoming year.  Step 4: Follow through on your commitments One of the most important things to remember when you decide to use promotional products to brand your business is that you are developing relationships with your client base and employees. To reach your overall goal at the end of the year, try to stick to the plan you set in motion. The end goal relies heavily on all the benchmark results you achieve throughout the course of the year. By adhering to your marketing strategy, you can better manage and maintain you budget and evaluate what tactics work best for your company. Keep your goals in site and your target audience at the forefront of your mind. With calculated planning, careful evaluation and the dedication to follow through with your carefully developed strategy, you can effectively incorporate promotional products into your marketing efforts.