As our economy continues to “recover”, marketing budgets have remained under nearly constant scrutiny. When money’s tight, the temptation to cut advertising spending is almost irresistible for many businesses. This makes the need for marketing programs that truly deliver even greater — in fact, it might surprise you to learn that quality promotional products have proven themselves a valuable, measurable way to generate interest in your business.
In fact, a two part study finished in late 2009 designed by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) and run by independent research firm MarketTools, Inc. surveyed a cross section of the U.S. consumer population regarding advertising on TV, print and online, as well as using promotional products. The first part of the study looked at promotional products themselves, the second part compared promotional products to other media including their reach, recall and reaction.
The study found that promotional products consistently delivered higher recall rates than other types of advertising. Of the 1,000 consumers surveyed…
- 83 percent could recall the brand/company advertised
- 75 percent remembered the product/service
- 80 percent clearly identified the type of promotional product
- 74 percent could recall the company/brand and the product/service/message advertised
- 69 percent could remember all three aspects
When the respondents were asked what action they took after getting a promotional item, making a purchase happened 20.9% of the time, while the numbers were 13.4% after viewing a print ad, 7.1% after seeing a TV commercial and 4.6% because of an online ad. Clearly those promotional products, far from being merely “toys and trinkets” are in fact, very powerful marketing tools.
The thing about promotional products is… they’re tangible. You can hold them, see them and they evoke an emotion that gets linked to your business. Some of the most popular items according to the PPAI survey were food baskets and MP3 players, followed by clocks/watches, digital picture frames and luggage. Mugs and pens were less popular, followed by calendars, notebooks, water bottles, mouse pads, magnets, trophies and stickers.
Besides being a lasting reminder of your business, promotional products take your message beyond a traditional ad that can be ignored or forgotten. Just think about all the advertising messages out there… TV commercials, radio spots, print ads, direct mail pieces you see each day. Ads have even established themselves on the internet, and not surprisingly they’ve crept into our growing collections of apps. All this has us feeling overwhelmed and turning out according to experts like Scott Testa, Ed.D., visiting professor of marketing for Saint Joseph’s University and owner of a Blue Bell, Pennsylvania-based consulting firm.
Of course to get the most out of your investment in promotional products it’s important to work with a professional who can help you choose the right product — there’s something for every need and budget. You’ll also want to put time and effort into choice of color and style so that you get a look that’s right for your business and creates the impression you expect. Once you’re selected the product and gotten the look just right, you’ll need to turn your attention to who will receive it and how the item will be delivered.
So, before you chop the life out of that marketing budget, or squander what resources you do have on advertising (TV, radio or online) that ends up being tuned out or forgotten, consider investing some of your budget in promotional items that have shown themselves to be an affordable, effective way to get your business noticed, and remembered.