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Promotional Industry FAQs

What are promotional products?
Promotional products are items used to promote a product, service or company program including advertising specialties, premiums, incentives, business gifts, awards, prizes, commemoratives and other imprinted or decorated items.

How is promotional products marketing used? Since promotional products can be used alone or integrated with other media, there are virtually limitless ways to use them. Popular programs cited most often by industry consultants are business gifts, employee relations, orientation programs, corporate communications and at tradeshows to generate booth traffic.

They’re also effective for dealer/distribution programs, co-op programs, company stores, generating new customers or new accounts, nonprofit fundraising, public awareness campaigns and for promotion of brand awareness and brand loyalty. Other uses include employee incentive programs, new product or service introductions and marketing research for survey and focus group participants.

What kinds of promotional products are available? There are literally tens of thousands of different types and styles of promotional products. In many cases, it’s even possible to obtain custom items that aren’t found in any catalog. Examples of common items include: apparel, pens, calendars, coffee mugs, calculators, key chains, desk accessories and memory sticks.

What products are the most popular? Advertisers spent more than $19.4 billion in 2007 on products purchased through professional promotional product consultants. For a breakdown of the top product categories and the market percentage they claim, click the above link.

Research Shows ... According to a 2005 study conducted by Georgia Southern University, recipients of promotional products have a significantly more positive opinion of a business through: more positive overall image, more positive perception of the business, higher likelihood of recommending the business as well as a higher likelihood of patronizing the business.

A 2004 study of business travelers at DFW Airport revealed that 71 percent of business people reported having received a promotional product in the last 12 months. Of that group, 33.7 percent had the item on their person and 76.1 percent could recall the advertiser’s name! 52 percent of that group did business with the advertiser after receiving the promotional product and 52.1 percent reported their impression of the advertiser was more favorable after receiving the item.

Recipients of promotional products remember the advertiser’s name. A study by Schreiber & Associates (Peoria, IL) showed that 39 percent of the people receiving a promotional product could recall the name of the advertiser as long as six months after they received it.

Promotional products are ideal for creating awareness among a selected audience. Southern Methodist University conducted a study to measure attendee awareness of product demonstrations in three university communities. They found that selective distribution of promotional products outpulled school newspaper advertising by a ratio of two-to-one.
Promotional products, used as dimensionals in direct mail solicitations, can boost response rates by up to 75 percent, according to a study by Baylor University.

Customers reorder faster and more often when promotional products are used instead of coupons. In a study by Southern Methodist University, customers receiving promotional products reordered up to 18 percent sooner than those who received coupons and up to 13 percent sooner than those who received no promotion.

Promotional products effectively reinforce employee sales contests, too. A Baylor University study of month-long sales contests in retail establishments indicates that contests reinforced by periodic distribution of promotional products were cost-effective and outperformed non-stimulated contests by up to 50 percent.

How is the industry structured? A promotional consultant develops solutions to marketing challenges through the innovative use of promotional products and is a resource to corporate buyers, marketing professionals and others wanting to increase brand awareness, tradeshow traffic, employee retention and more. There are more than 21,000 promotional consultant firms in the industry.

PPAI consultants meet the highest qualification standards in the industry and display “The Mark of a Professional.” The MAS (Master Advertising Specialist) or CAS (Certified Advertising Specialist) designation after a consultant’s name means he or she has earned the industry’s only official certification. There’s no need to spend all your time on the internet or searching through catalogs. Your promotional products consultant will come to you—like a doctor who makes house calls!

To find a consultant in your area, simply enter your zip code in the search engine on the left-hand toolbar.
Suppliers manufacture, import, convert, imprint or otherwise produce or process products offered for sale through promotional consultants. There are more than 3,500 supplier companies in the promotional products industry.
 

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