Shifting – shifting budgets toward promotional items

Shifting – shifting budgets toward promotional items – Brief Article

Byline: Jeff rundles

I have heard tales and stories and kvetches a lot lately about how tough business is, and while this has come from a wide variety of people, I hear an awful lot from promotional products people. The emphasis here should be on “awful lot.”

I’m not buying it. And I don’t think the public is buying it either. What they are buying, or at the very least having bought for them, are promotional products, and especially wearables.

One of the big national software companies recently held a user conference in Denver, bringing some 7,000 people here to discuss whatever it is software users discuss (“Hey, baby, what’s your sign…on”), and one of the local daily newspapers plugged a story on the inside about the conference with a front-page photo featuring attendees getting a logoed T-shirt. They’ll learn much at the conference, no doubt, but if it’s anything like the trade shows I’ve seen, what they’ll immediately appreciate are the promotional mementos they’ll take home.

And just the other day I was in an annual charity golf tournament that raised more than $20,000 for a worthy cause, and I was pretty sure from the participants’ reactions that what they liked most about being involved was the many logoed items they took home. Working with a local PPD and Denver-based industry supplier Snowcap USA, I helped bring everyone there an event-logoed cap that they seemed to love. A few people even asked me where they could get such hats for their companies.

In preparation for this edition of the magazine, we placed a press release in the “Wearables Wire” section from the PPD franchise company ProForma that detailed a very positive sales outlook for promotional products this year. ProForma conducted a survey of 116 business executives and managers and found an overwhelming majority that were planning to spend at least as much, and many more, for promotional items in 2002 as they did in 2001. We were heartened to see wearables first on the list of desired promotional products, but it shows how important our industry is to business at large, our end-users.

Indeed, in its annual survey measuring promotional products sales (also see “Wearables Wire”), ASI claimed our industry was the only one of the major advertising media to post a spending gain last year. Further, ASI indicated that many companies which last year cut traditional media spending, like television or print advertising, may have shifted some of those dollars into promotional products.

I like the idea of shifting, especially if the shifting rises toward our industry. I see example after example where promotional wearables and other promotional products create such good will with customers and potential customers alike, and this is a message we need to get out to our end-users as much as, and as often as possible. If they don’t have the ability to create a promotional budget or make it grow, suggest the idea of shifting budgets where your customers will get more bang for the buck: promotional products.

You, of course, will get more buck for the bang.

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