These days, companies of all sizes are incorporating branded promotional merchandise into their marketing campaigns. That’s a smart tactic. Advertising specialties, or promotional products, are items branded with a corporate logo or message that are used as an incentive, a gift, or as part of an advertising campaign. The companies using these items recognize the role promotional merchandise can play in a strong marketing campaign.
Promotional merchandise can boost brand visibility and often extends a marketing campaign beyond the flight of the media campaign. However, there’s another aspect to promotional merchandise that doesn’t always immediately come to mind: its built-in value when compared to other forms of advertising.
A comprehensive survey by the Advertising Specialty Institute, the largest media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry, shows that advertising specialties outperform all forms of TV, radio, and print advertising as the most cost-effective advertising medium. The survey included 600 respondents, the majority of whom were business people over the age of 21. They were first asked if they had received any branded advertising specialties in the year prior to the survey. The survey’s findings then revealed:
Nice numbers, but here’s the critical part: it was also found that the average cost-per-impression (CPI) of an advertising specialty item is $0.004, making it less expensive per impression than nearly any other media form. 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. Surprising statistics? Maybe. However, when you put aside the preconceptions about the lasting value of advertising specialties and look at all the numbers, the efficiency of promotional merchandising is impressive.
What conclusions, then, can be drawn from these statistics? Here are some thoughts for consideration: with a low CPI, high recall among those who receive branded specialty items, and increased intent among recipients to make purchases from the advertiser, marketers apparently get a more favorable ROI from advertising specialties than almost any other popular media. And aren’t those exactly the results a savvy marketer would want from any advertising campaign?
Long after the TV commercials, radio spots, and print ads have run, that bag, shirt, hat, pen, or any other branded item has a very good chance of still being around, being very visible, and making ongoing impressions. That’s real value.
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