In addition to promoting themselves in traditional and digital media, advertisers also spend their marketing budgets on special events and bling, also known as promotional products. The Advertising Specialty Institute reports that the promotional products industry has recovered since the recession. Marketers are once again buying products to give away and analysts contend that the spending on memorable items can often yield a better cost-per-impression return than media formats like radio and TV.
The 2013 State of the Industry report on promotional products indicates that marketers spend about $19.4 billion every year on items they plan to give away. Some industries have more of a tendency to purchase promotional products. The hospitals/health/medical services sector has long been the top spender, accounting for about 13.8% of the industry’s sales. Other leading industries include education (11%), manufacturing (8.1%), and construction (5.8%). Businesses typically favor specific promotional product categories. T‑shirts, bags and writing instruments are stalwarts with spending on t‑shirts averaging about $2.7 billion each year or about 13.9% of total sales. Marketers pay about $1.69 billion to have bags customized. However, spending on bags is down as electronic items, especially USB drives, have become more popular. Last year, marketers shelled out $1.94 billion on electronic giveaways. Political parties also spend heavily on pins during election years.
Marketers are often seeking to use these items as employee or client gifts, especially around the holidays. However, businesses also spend on promotional goodies in order to celebrate special events or new product lines.
Have you found that distributing promotional products gives your bottom line a boost?
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.
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