Tag Archives: Branding

Promotional Products Do Work – A Modern Approach to Practical, Useful, Thoughtful “Conference Swag”

As a trusted leader in the promotional products industry, it is our responsibility to advocate for our members and to deliver to others the essential knowledge they need to understand the inner workings of our medium. I have been reminded today after reading the Fast Company piece that there still remains an excess of misconceptions and doubts about our industry—ones I would like to take this opportunity to address. I will be responding to Fast Company on behalf of the Association, our members and this amazing industry.

The influence of promotional products cannot be underestimated, with more than 65 percent of advertisers citing promotional products as highly effective in reaching consumers and contributing to brand recall, and 88 percent of marketers recommending promotional products. Unlike the article suggests, promotional products are not toss away items—in fact, more than 80 percent of promotional products are used for more than a year. Eighty-three percent of consumers have a more favorable impression of the advertiser, and that increases to 88 percent for Millennials. Additionally, eight out of 10 consumers pass along promotional products versus carelessly throwing them in the trash. These are only a handful of the statistics we have proving promotional products are a strategic and influential medium that resonate with our audiences. Promotional products are welcome in places and spaces no other advertising medium can touch and deliver pass-along rates that are the envy of the advertising industry.

Our industry has evolved and grown over time, and consumer preferences and behaviors have also changed. We have pioneered many studies as an industry, and at PPAI, to ensure we keep up with our end-users and to understand the role promotional products can play within their current lifestyles. Most modern promotional products are designed to be useful, practical and enjoyable—their shelf life is far more extensive than meets the eye. For example, the “flimsy totes” we receive at conferences have become more and more useful with the adoption of plastic bag bans that are rolling out in states across the U.S. Many consumers have made them an essential part of their everyday lives. Our industry has also connected to consumers’ tech-savvy side by integrating technologies such as AR and Near Field Communication, which will only continue to advance in the future.

We also want to address one of the reporter’s main points: the environmental footprint of promotional products. As the leading voice for the promotional products industry, PPAI is committed to making a positive impact on the global environmental crisis. We have identified environmental responsibility as a core pillar, with mandatory product responsibility education and the ongoing development and sharing of best practices with our members and industry partners so they can recognize and address the impacts of their operations and supply chain on the environment. This is not restricted to emissions reduction or lowering the impact of manufacturing, but also encompasses a larger set of affirmative protocols that promote human rights, and worker health and safety. With the right resources and tools, promotional products organizations have been adopting policies to offer more environmentally-conscious assurances for their customers and employees. From green and compostable products to sustainable textiles, the promotional products industry has taken a proactive stance (including a “green” pavilion at our annual exposition) in bringing to market products that make the consumers’ experience more enjoyable and better for the environment.

As we always say, promotional products are truly the only advertising medium that reaches all five senses, plus a sixth—the sense of ownership for consumers. We do not want to deprive the majority of consumers (83 percent) who enjoy and are inspired to take action upon receiving a promotional product. Rather, we want to grow and evolve along with them so both brands and their audiences can continue to see this as a positive advertising medium in all aspects of their lives.

PPAI Presents ‘THIS IS MARKETING’ With Seth Godin At Advertising Week

Advertising Week New York

Oct. 1-4 | AMC Loews Lincoln Square

I am pleased to announce that PPAI is once again joining together with author, entrepreneur and marketer, Seth Godin to host a master class seminar at Advertising Week in New York.

In the master class interaction, Godin will open attendees’ eyes to how the industry has profoundly changed as brands now have the opportunity to market with people, rather than at them. An exploration into a variety of topics, the seminar will cover subjects from the building blocks of effective marketing to creating work that matters for people who care. Following Godin’s detailed discussion, I will join the author for a deeper dive into the shifting environment of the marketing industry.

I hope you are able to join me for this master class and Q&A with Seth about his new book, This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See.

Reserve complimentary tickets here. Tickets are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

PPAI is proud to celebrate the launch of Godin’s new book and is excited to present the author’s newest insights that will continue to motivate and inspire the industry.

WHEN: Tuesday, October 2 at 10:30 AM EDT; Not going to be in New York? View the live stream here.

WHERE: AMC Loews Lincoln Square, Realtor.com Stage, 1998 Broadway, New York

There’s more.

  • This Is Marketing by author Seth GodinThe first 100 attendees at the session will receive a copy of Godin’s new work, “This Is Marketing”, scheduled for release in November.
  • In addition, PPAI is presenting all attendees with a one-of-a-kind Castelli journal and Riteline pen featuring a bound galley previewing the first chapter.
  • A book signing with Godin will immediately follow the seminar.
  • SPECIAL OFFER FOR PPAI MEMBERS: ‎AttendAdvertising Week, October 1-4 | PPAI Members receive a 20% discount on a ‎Delegate or Super Delegate pass using Promo Code ‎PPAI20OFF.‎

Advertising Week is a long-standing partner in PPAI’s mission to reach buyers in an influential and highly targeted way.  This week-long gathering of the advertising industry’s best and brightest brand marketers, creative visionaries and media leaders and influencers is an ideal setting for us to initiate thoughtful conversations, inform meaningful decisions and inspire consideration and buying of promotional products advertising. This is just one more positive and powerful way the Association engages in buyer outreach to drive the industry’s business forward and position it with strength now and in the future.

We are pleased to partner with Advertising Week to bring this master class experience with Seth Godin to you.

I hope to see you there,

Paul

P.S. A word from Seth

Promotional Products Work! Week To Kick Off In The Pencil City

Promotional Products Work! Week, May 14-18, 2018

I am happy to share some exciting news about Promotional Products Work! Week. PPAI and Promotional Products Association Of The Mid-South, will kick off Promotional Products Work! Week on Friday, May 11, 2018 in Shelbyville, Tennessee, the town also known as “The Pencil City.”

Founded by PPAI, Promotional Products Work! Week will be celebrated by thousands of promotional products businesses around the country with special community programs, a national day of service, legislative outreach and customer appreciation and recognition events.

Shelbyville Tennessee City Seal

Shelbyville, Tennessee, also known as The Pencil City.

PPAI is honored to join with PPAMS to kick off the sixth annual Promotional Products Work! Week in The Pencil City. We applaud Shelbyville’s rich history and salute all the promotional products pioneers and companies in cities all over America.

This will be the official kickoff for our industry’s national awareness event, which will be held May 14-18. The kickoff event is organized by the Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South (PPAMS), Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) and the Shelbyville-Bedford County Chamber of Commerce. Local, state and national leaders will gather in Shelbyville for a factory tour, luncheon and official ribbon cutting to kick off Promotional Products Work! Week.

Musgrave pencil

For almost a century, Shelbyville was the hub of wood-cased pencil manufacturing in the United States.

For almost a century, Shelbyville was the hub of wood-cased pencil manufacturing in the United States. In 1991, the World’s Longest Pencil was produced in Shelbyville. Although only one pencil manufacturer remains, the city of 21,000 people is still home to familiar names in writing instruments: Goldstar, Musgrave, Sanford and Shelbyville Pencil.

Promotional products are proven to be one of the most effective media available to advertisers. Because promotional products are tangible, useful and highly targeted to the audience they reach, 79 percent of consumers retain them for one to more than four years, and 87 percent recall the advertiser/message, proving that they deliver the highest rate of reach, recall and return on investment in the advertising industry.

The $23.3 billion promotional products industry, with its more than 40,500 businesses—96 percent of which are small businesses—and more than 500,000 professionals, will work to create awareness for the value promotional products deliver to advertisers and marketers, as well as the positive impact promotional products businesses have on the U.S. economy, job creation and community enrichment.

Many of you already have the whole week planned out, but if you haven’t yet started, it’s not too late!

Celebrate The Power Of Promo

Download the PPW! Week with a POP! guides and toolkits today.

Oklahoma Governor’s Promotional Products Spending Directive

Recently, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin issued an over-reaching directive that singles out and severely limits state spending on promotional products advertising for an indefinite period of time. While several media outlets, also funded by advertising revenue, reported on the ban, none considered or reported on the effectiveness of promotional products advertising or the wide-ranging ramifications it will have on all Oklahomans.

As the number one most effective advertising medium when it comes to driving consumers to take action, building loyalty and generating interest, promotional products must not be unfairly singled out and indiscriminately limited in scope and reach. In response, below is PPAI’s statement released to the media.


STATEMENT

IRVING, TX – December 11, 2017 – Promotional Products Association International today issued the following statement from PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, in response to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin’s Executive Order 2017-37, which limits spending on promotional products advertising.

“Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) supports balanced budgets and the responsible use of taxpayer dollars; however, the promotional items deemed “nonessential,” according to the Executive Order 2017-37, are anything but. In fact, points raised in the order are exactly why promotional products are one of the most effective, cost-efficient and longest-lasting media used by advertisers, marketers and the State of Oklahoma.

The spending limits set forth by Executive Order 2017-37 unfairly target the promotional products industry and will diminish the ability of the state and its agencies to effectively and efficiently communicate and deliver essential programs and services like education, employment, health care, disaster relief, social services, fire and police protection to the citizens of Oklahoma by eliminating the most useful and tangible form of communication—promotional products.

Senator Kay Floyd of Oklahoma City, said it best:

‘The stress balls save veterans lives. And that stress ball is something that they can carry around with them, but it also has a hotline number or additional information that that veteran needs in order to get benefits or resources from the Department of Veterans Affairs.’

Compared to other media, promotional products advertising is preferred by consumers while other forms of media are often avoided or blocked. Promotional products are one of the fastest-growing and most cost effective advertising media, ranking seventh among traditional and digital media in annual expenditures at $22 billion. On an annual basis, promotional products contribute millions to the Oklahoma economy, with 416 companies providing more than 2700 jobs.

Promotional products are proven to be one of the most effective media available to advertisers. Because promotional products are tangible, useful and highly targeted to the audience they reach, 79 percent of consumers retain them for one to more than five years, and 88 percent recall the advertiser/message, delivering the highest rate of reach, recall and return on investment in the advertising industry.

Promotional products educate, recruit, highlight safety awareness, urge organ donations and encourage healthy living and lifestyle choices. Promotional products recognize and reward employee achievements and inspire action. Promotional products are used to celebrate milestones, sign legislation and reinforce life-saving messages. Promotional products are the most cost-effective method to communicate important messages to Oklahomans.

PPAI and the Oklahoma promotional products industry look forward to working with Oklahoma administration officials to better inform the state’s procurement processes and use of promotional products.”


CALL TO ACTION

The success of our industry depends on us making a strong, collective stand for promotional products as the best marketing tool and advertising medium for communicators. It is our shared responsibility to stand up for the industry because it’s good for consumers, advertisers and marketers and yes, governments. The promotional products industry facilitates communication, prosperity and relationships by helping connect organizations and businesses with their audiences in a tangible and meaningful way.

I ask you to take action to protect the interests of the promotional products industry. Included below are steps you can take now and in the future when these types of reports occur:

  1. Write the Governor and State Representatives today.
  2. Immediately share the news with PPAI by emailing stories/reports to PR@ppai.org
  3. Keep an eye out for rumors and threats to the industry’s credibility–if you hear of something, let us know.
  4. Advocate! Stand up for the industry that has been so good to you and to all of us—defend its good name.
  5. And finally, know the facts. They are strongly in our favor.

Tipping The Scale | Guest Post by PPAI Research Coordinator, Moumita Das

Tipping The Scales | PPB June 2017

Tipping The Scale ► PPAI PPB Article, June 2017

Whether you are a supplier, distributor or somewhere in-between, there is one thing that brings us together: we all believe in the power of promotional products as an advertising medium. I joined the PPAI team during the fall of 2015 as your research coordinator and quickly became a believer as well. Why? Because we had solid research to back our beliefs.

Our 2017 Consumer Study, released earlier this year, revealed that 83 percent of consumers said they are more likely to do business with a brand after receiving a promotional product. Yet the promotional products industry represents only seven percent of the world’s advertising spend. So, are companies getting a solid return on the 93 percent of advertising dollars spent outside the promotional products industry? The short answer is…no, not really.

The results, featured in this month’s PPB article, “Tipping The Scale: How Promotional Products Compete In A New Era Of Advertising,” might surprise you. When compared with traditional and emerging forms of advertising, promotional products clearly lead the field in terms of reach, recall and reaction.

Advertising is a science and we have the numbers to back the winning formula for our industry. I encourage each of you to take a few minutes to read this article, post it your blogs, forward it to your colleagues and share it with your clients. This data will help your clients prioritize their spending and help secure your place in their budget. Read an excerpt below and #GetInTouch today.

Moumita Das

~~~~~~

Tipping The Scale: How Promotional Products Compete In A New Era Of Advertising

PPB Feature | PPAI Exclusive Research

Brands spend billions of dollars each year on efforts aimed at influencing consumers by following a traditional marketing model. The U.S. alone accounts for an estimated $298 billion in ad expenditures annually and was recently named the world’s largest advertising market.

Developed in 1898 by one of advertising’s founding fathers, Elias St. Elmo Lewis, the traditional marketing model narrows the consumer decision-making process into four key stages: awareness, interest, desire and action (AIDA). This model helps marketing strategies steer the consumer through each stage of the decision-making process.

Historically, advertising has been considered the most creative influencer for brands—a belief that is protected and nurtured by many of the world’s leading ad agencies. Yet the world we live in today looks much different than it did in 1898. Now consumers have access to information to form their own opinions of brands.

They are constantly connected to a free flow of information and ideas. They have become a more informed group of consumers who are learning more, engaging faster and expecting convenience and speed in every aspect of life. And marketers who were once following a linear and much more predictable progression to deliver their messages are now placed in an oversaturated, erratic maze they must learn to navigate. The shifting consumer purchasing path is shaking up the competitive dynamics in nearly all industries, including advertising.

Marketers today must adjust to the new consumer expectations or they will be left behind. The end of the linear consumer journey can be pinpointed back to 2015 when Google introduced micro-moments, which give brands exactly one minute to be where the consumer is looking to meet their need. This drastically alters the way you approach consumers, but most importantly the way you understand them. Advertising strategies were once based on a gut feeling or on the person who made the most convincing argument; today, advertisers need to adopt consumer insights. There is no argument that this new era of advertising has created a headache for buyers and sellers of advertising, and for those responsible for measuring it.

Twenty years ago, the world was a far simpler place for brand advertisers: broadcast was king and online was an emerging fad. Since the turn of the century, there has been an explosion in the availability of data. From CRM systems to big data, companies have become increasingly data driven. Mobile advertising is the fastest growing medium, although broadcast still holds the greatest market share in ad spend (Figure 1). This is largely due to mobile’s integration of data and marketing strategy. Seismic shifts in technology during the past decade have created a cookie-crumb trail following consumers as they navigate their path to purchase.

They are on tablets while watching television. They use smartphones to price compare while they shop. Crumbs are dropped at every stop. This produces a granular, nearly infinite record of what consumers see and do, which in turn enables marketers to gain access to an unprecedented level of precision—a strategy many have turned to. This streamlined approach, however, treats advertising touchpoints as if each works in isolation, causing many marketers to get lost in an unlimited flow of unfiltered data.

Mapping The Modern Consumer | PPAI 2017 Consumer Study

PPAI 2017 Consumer Study: 83% Are More Likely To Do Business With A Brand After Receiving A Promotional Product

We live in a data-rich world, but it’s not necessarily information-rich. Customer demographics and buying patterns tell us the ‘what,’ but not the ‘why.’ To get ahead, marketers must dig deeper to capture a clearer understanding of consumers, their needs and desires. Understanding consumer insights and using numbers that truly quantify impact across platforms will be irresistible to advertisers who want the full story—and might just tip the scale as we know it.

Read the full article here.

 

Promotional Products Targeted By Proposed Oklahoma Tax Plan

Take Action To Protect The
Promotional Products Industry

OklahomaPromotional products are under fire in Oklahoma. To solve a budget crisis, a group of Oklahoma state representatives are proposing a host of spending cuts and unfortunately spending on promotional products is a target.

Make no mistake, the Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) is in favor of balanced budgets and the responsible use of tax payer dollars, but it would be a shame for Oklahoma to pass a bill that would eliminate any opportunity for the state to use promotional products in a powerful and effective manner.

Promotional products educate, recruit, highlight safety awareness, urge organ donations and encourage healthy living and lifestyle choices. Promotional products recognize and reward employee achievements and inspire action. Promotional products are used to celebrate milestones, sign legislation and reinforce critical messages.

Promotional products are the most cost-effective method to communicate critical messages. On an annual basis, promotional products contribute more than $175 million to the Oklahoma economy, with 416 companies and providing more than 2500 jobs.

Promotional products provide tangible value for their cost and an efficient means of conveying a message and producing desired behavior than traditional advertising methods.

Please reach out to your state representative and tell them that you support responsible spending and the effective use of promotional products to promote essential government programs and urge them to do the same.

Below you will find the letter sent to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, the Oklahoma state legislators and the media by PPAI on behalf of the promotional products industry.

Dear Governor Fallin:

The Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) is in favor of balanced budgets and the responsible use of tax payer dollars, however, despite budget constraints, the Oklahoma legislature and its agencies must still inform and educate the public by marketing its vital services and programs. We maintain that when an organization needs to cut marketing dollars, the decision should be based on the effectiveness of the marketing media in consideration.

The proposed moratorium on promotional products advertising will diminish the ability of the state and its agencies to effectively and efficiently communicate and deliver essential programs and services like education, employment, health care, disaster relief, social services and fire and police protection to the citizens of Oklahoma by eliminating the most useful and tangible form of communication—promotional products.

In short, promotional products advertising is preferred by consumers while other forms of media are avoided or blocked. In fact, promotional products are kept in places and spaces no other advertising medium can touch and provide greater recall, referral and response rates than other forms of advertising.

For government agencies to be effective, they must first keep the lines of communications open by staying in touch with the citizens they serve. One of the most important things to remember in the success of any government service program is what the benefits are and how to gain access them. Promotional products are an integral part of this process and ensure the state of Oklahoma is in touch with its citizens and that essential information is always close at hand.

Promotional products are proven to be one of the most effective media available to advertisers. Because promotional products are tangible, useful and highly targeted to the audience they reach, 79 percent of consumers retain them for one to more than four years, and 87 percent recall the advertiser/message, delivering the highest rate of reach, recall and return on investment in the advertising industry.

Promotional products educate, recruit, highlight safety awareness, urge organ donations and encourage healthy living and lifestyle choices. Promotional products recognize and reward employee achievements and inspire action. Promotional products are used to celebrate milestones, sign legislation and reinforce life-saving messages.

Promotional products are the most cost-effective method to communicate important messages to Oklahomans. On an annual basis, promotional products contribute more than $175 million to the Oklahoma economy, with 416 companies and providing more than 2500 jobs.

Sincerely,
Paul Bellantone, CAE
President and CEO
Promotional Products Association International

Take action today to support the promotional products industry in the great state of Oklahoma.

Paul

 

Paper Calendars Endure Despite the Digital Age | Guest Post by NYT Reporter, Christopher Mele

Today I am pleased to share with you this feature on printed calendars published by The New York Times. I would like to express my gratitude to the reporter Christopher Mele and to PPAI members Jerome Hoxton, president of Tru Art Advertising Calendars, and Melissa Ralston, marketing director for BIC Graphic, for their contributions.

Paul

~~~~~~~~~~

By Christopher Mele, Reporter, The New York Times

Digitally published in The New York Times on December 29, 2016 and in print on December 30, 2016, on Page B2 of the New York edition.

With the year’s end comes the ritual of many households and offices: getting new appointment books, planners or calendars to hang on walls or put on desks.

In an age of smartphones and the internet, you might think the days of paper calendars are numbered, but data suggest otherwise. Not only have they survived the digital revolution, but sales of some kinds of print calendars have increased.

The sales of appointment books and planners grew 10 percent from 2014-15 to 2015-16 to $342.7 million, and decorative and other calendars increased by 8 percent to $65 million in that time, according to figures from the NPD Group, a consumer research firm.

Personalization has helped make planners and appointment books popular, Leen Nsouli, an analyst of the office supplies industry at NPD, said in an email.

“The consumer can customize a planner to fit his or her style with accessories, colors and even color code events and activities,” she wrote. “That’s not something you can do on the standard phone calendar.”

ta-medforce-calendar

Promotional calendars are a way for businesses to advertise and to connect with customers. | Credit: MedForce

Jerome Hoxton, president of Tru Art Advertising Calendars in Iowa City, Iowa, said traditional calendars remain popular because they combine aesthetics with utility. Paper and digital calendars can readily coexist.

“What we found is it’s a question of and,” he said. “It’s not a question of or.”

Bertel King Jr., in a blog post last year for Make Use Of, a technology and productivity site, made the case for paper calendars, noting that he was “inundated with notifications, beeps, alerts and messages.”

“Having to open another tab, fire up another piece of software, or launch another app to access my calendar amounts to one more onscreen thing vying for my attention,” he wrote. “Suddenly a paper planner starts to make sense.”

It may seem counterintuitive that a print product can thrive in the digital age. But the continued success of some paper calendars mirrors that of printed books, an industry that several years ago was confronting what seemed like the very real possibility that e-books would outsell the printed variety. Instead, a Pew survey this fall found that most readers still preferred their reading material printed on paper.

Still, the popularity of some calendars — desk pads and the ones that hang on your wall — has waned.

The average number of printed calendars in households was 3.12 in 2011 compared with 3.98 in 1981, according to the most recent study sponsored by the Promotional Products Association International and the Calendar Advertising Council. The kitchen remained the prime display location, with 75 percent of respondents saying they had a calendar there. The average number of printed calendars per business was 2.10, down from 2.56 in 1981, according to the study.

A 2008 paper from Virginia Tech, called “An Exploratory Study of Personal Calendar Use,” predicted the march of electronic calendars would be swift and inevitable. “With the increased use of mobile devices, more and more calendaring tasks are performed off the desktop computer,” it said.

A bright spot in the industry remains promotional calendars, like those distributed by real estate agents, medical professionals, car repair shops and other businesses. As a percentage of sales of promotional products, those calendars have held steady or increased slightly from 2012 to 2015, according to industry figures.

chalkboard-calendar-bic-graphic

Paper calendars are an effective advertising vehicle with a mass market appeal. | Credit: Wright County Parks & Recreation

Melissa Ralston, marketing director for BIC Graphic, said in an email that companies have found paper calendars to be an effective advertising vehicle with a mass market appeal.

She said studies have found that 82 percent of recipients enjoy getting a calendar as a complimentary gift and 70 percent plan to do business with the company that provided the calendar.

As for Ms. Ralston, she practices what she preaches. She said she has three calendars: a planner, a wall calendar and one on her refrigerator.