B2B International
B2B International

November 18, 2008

Debates always rage in the marketing and advertising world as to the best forms of advertising and promotion.  Online?  Print?  TV?  Promotional items?  Of course the truth is there is no one correct strategy.  Different methods will work for different companies at different times.  Usually the best solution is to combine several different forms of advertising/promotion which complement each other and provide a consistent message.

Yet a new study released by the Advertising Specialty Institute has – perhaps unsurprisingly – underlined the importance of advertising specialty items and promotional products can play in this marketing mix.  According to the ASI report, pens, bags, t-shirts and other such gifts beat TV, radio and print advertising as the most cost-effective advertising medium available.

Some of the key findings of the research, which polled 600 business travellers, include:

  • 84% of respondents recall the advertiser on a product they receive.
  • 42% have a better impression of an advertiser after being given a promotional item.
  • 24% say they are more likely to do business with a company after receiving a promotional product; indeed 62% of respondents claim to have done so.
  • 81% of promotional gift items were kept because they were viewed as useful (with more than three-quarters having kept them for about seven months).
  • The average cost-per-impression of a promotional product is $0.004, making it less expensive per impression than nearly any other media.  (According to Nielsen Media data, the CPI for a national magazine ad is $0.033; a newspaper ad is $0.0129; a prime time TV ad is $0.019; a cable TV ad is $0.007; a syndicated TV ad is $0.006; and a spot radio ad is $0.005).

With a comparatively low CPI, the report concludes that advertising specialties offer marketers a more favorable ROI than many other popular media.  High recall rates and increased intent to make a purchase from the promotional advertiser are also positives.
Advertising specialties, or promotional products, are defined as gift or incentive items branded with a corporate logo or message.  The industry has a 13% share of the advertising marketplace, with US$19.6 billion in sales for 2007.