How Technology is Changing the Way the Promo Industry Does Business

The promo industry is changing the way it does business, thanks to technology. No longer just a supporting business to local printers, it has grown to be a billion-dollar industry in Australia and New Zealand. How is the industry evolving to catch up with the demands of the region? Read more to find out.

1. Place of Business: Brick & Mortar Office vs. the Digital Space

Before, a business needs to have a brick and mortar place where they can do business. In the promo industry, it needs a huge space for its physical office, showroom, and warehouse. With the advent of dropshipping, cloud software, internet telephony, APIs (supplier data access), and specialised APs (e.g. Xero), a promo business can be run from anywhere.

2. Workplace: Office vs  Digital and Shared Workspaces

A physical office used to be needed for staff, customer visits, and storage of files, samples, and other tangible property. However, the downside is that office space is expensive to buy or commit to a lease—either way, you’re tied down and have an overhead. Since the office is in a fixed location, it is only accessible to customers and staff in that geographical area.

On the other hand, going digital allows a countrywide reach. Thanks to technology, customers don’t have to visit as the products can be viewed and samples can be ordered online. Expensive showrooms are no longer needed with the wider range and fast turnaround of products. Employees now prefer working from home or remotely (as it requires no travel) and already have all the tools to connect with colleagues and customers just as much as they do in the office. Shared office spaces (such as WeWork, Regus, Spacecubed, etc.) allow flexibility to have meetings as and only when needed. No long-term leases and no commitment to infrastructure. It also allows companies to generally have offices Australia-wide.

3. Marketing materials: Printed Catalogues vs Digital Catalogues and Websites

Printed catalogues are expensive to mail and only cover a finite amount of products (one supplier’s products).

Meanwhile, websites linked to supplier databases via API allow custom web catalogues featuring tens of thousands of products from different suppliers. As they can be customised, you can curate the items that will be included to target specific customers or product themes, such as an eco-friendly collection or holiday gifts. It can then be shared with hundreds if not thousands of customers through a link where they can view, personally create mock-ups, and order a sample.  It’s quicker, more targeted, and cheaper.

4. Work Setup: Employees and Freelancers

Finding the right talent has always been a problem for employers. Not anymore. Now, promotional companies can outsource specific skills for specific needs. With cloud-based employee recruitment sites such as Freelancer, Upwork and Fiverr, you can hire people with specific skills only when you need them, e.g. Graphic Design, Accounting, Customer Service, and Social Media.

With today’s technology, the world is now your talent pool. You now have access to global talent that will bring in a fresh perspective to your business. You no longer need to be limited to what’s available locally. Virtual employees also fit in seamlessly in your business and function just as well, if not better, than full-time employees, thanks to online collaboration and project management tools.

Has your promo company caught up to the new normal yet?

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Brandengine is only for Promotional Product Distributors of Promotional Products in Australia and New Zealand. A demo will not be available if you are not a business to business promotional product distributor.