7 Trends For 2023 : Promotional Products & Marketing Materials

Number 2023 protrudes from a yellow, orange, and pink background.As we leave 2022 behind and enter 2023, we welcome new trends for promotional products and marketing materials. Although the start of a new year brings to mind the start of a new chapter, we still carry with us our experiences from the past year and a crave for improvement.

Emerging Trends For Promotional Products

It’s been a few years of hybrid and remote work. It’s become the new normal and we have learned how to function. In 2023, it’s all about how to improve. Here are seven trends that will help jump start your marketing this year.

Ride the Increase in Direct Mail

Direct mail resonates with millennials and for businesses that target this demographic, they will continue to win these consumers over. Based on data from the USPS, “Compared with the Gen X and baby boomer generations, millennials are the most likely to take action on marketing mail.”(1) The data collected that illustrates this finding recorded that direct mail is so successful with this group because it drives action no matter the purchase behavior, in-store or online: 62% “frequently and occasionally bring marketing mail into retail stores” and 66% “frequently and occasionally use marketing mail as a prompt to go online.” Continuing your current direct mail strategy is a must; however, expanding it would be a wise choice for 2023.

Marketing Decisions will be Driven by ROX

Move over ROI, your counterpart ROX or return on experience is earning a seat at the table in 2023. As digital technology becomes more immersive, generations that have grown up with technology expect how they interact with businesses to reflect that. What a buyer experiences when engaging a business impacts purchase behavior. Marketing must be seamless across all channels, digital, social, in-store, in-app, and at home. Buyers’ expectations are to be immersed in the messaging and branding. Branded gear, promotional items, posters, flyers, banners, direct mail, in-app notifications, online banners and social posts all are expected to sing the same song, use the same imagery and have the same feel.

It will not be enough to just combine print and digital in 2023. Businesses that curate a seamless experience from the first interaction to days later when the consumer searches for that direct mail piece or branded swag item will enjoy true success in 2023.

Prioritization on the Long Game

Analytics from 2018 reported that “on average, it takes approximately five to seven touchpoints to close a sale,” and that quantity has not diminished since. With an ever-growing motley of purchase options, consumers have less pressure to purchase immediately, as there’s no doubt many businesses can meet their needs. Instead of struggling to find what they need, they instantly find their solution and make purchase decisions based on nuances: social impact, environmental responsibility, delivery time, brand appeal and recommendations from friends. All of that takes time and multiple touchpoints. Winning the consumer over is not as quick as solving their problem. What they experience, a nod here at our second trend is what impacts purchase behavior. Knowing this, cultivate promotional campaigns, materials and products that showcase all sides of your business. Where do you fit among these considerations? Illustrate what you stand for and answer these bigger impact questions along the customer journey.

Having Seamless Marketing Messaging and Creative

Social media icons swirl around a city demonstrating the many messages a company puts out.

Customer experience is integral to the success of marketing initiatives. What a consumer engages with online MUST correlate with what they experience in-store or in-person. This means your in-person interactions should present the same marketing messaging and design as displayed on your website and across social media. In store-banners, pop-ups, posters, ads near checkout and signage throughout your store should all communicate the same messaging as what’s presented digitally to your customers and showcase the same design theme. Whether a customer walks into your store for their first interaction or explores your offerings online as their first interaction, they must come away with the same experience.

Offering Exclusive Promotional Products

Promotional product selection should be further scrutinized. Aligning the right products with your business must go beyond pairing your industry with your product selection. If you are a bank, for instance, look to go deeper than a stress ball-shaped like a piggy bank. The obvious association is there, but how does that represent your institutional ethics, standards and promises to your clients? Use your promotional offerings wisely to demonstrate what you stand for. Not all products need to be held to this scrutiny; branded materials like pens, note cards, keychains and the like are all excellent offerings that get your brand into the consumer’s hand effortlessly, but more strategic promotional product choices push your messaging and brand identity further.

Promotional Product Kits

Promotional product kits were on the rise in 2022 and will continue to gain traction in 2023. These are collections of promotional products given to consumers all at once. Think notebook, pen and sticky notes or lotion, candle and headphones. These promotional kits took off in 2020 when business dealings were happening virtually, and companies used collections like these to provide a tangible connection. They feel extra special from the consumers’ standpoint because they feel curated just for them. Consider adding a promotional kit to your strategy for a big impact.

Interactive Content

A house sitting ontop of coins with phrase "interactive content" in white lettering to the left of it.

Tailoring messaging to the individual has been and will continue to develop further as this year progresses. Digital marketing has allowed marketers to dive down and hyper-target subsets of their audience. This can also be done in person with interactive marketing materials. Quizzes, polls, flowcharts and games serve well to engage customers and make them feel like the materials they’re consuming are tailored specifically to them.

Get Guided on All the Latest Trends

Velocity Print Solutions stays up to date on all the latest marketing trends as they emerge. With custom promotional products, online storefront solutions, and print and mail services, we can help launch your next campaign. Contact us today to get started!


  1. How Millennials Respond to Direct Mail


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