Tag Archives: media planning

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

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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.

 

Industry Transformation & A Time To Pivot

As an advocate and evangelist for our industry, I’ve spent the better part of my career traveling the US (and the world) to tell anyone who would listen that the promotional products business is about so much more than selling products at the lowest price.

This year at The PPAI Expo it was more evident than ever that the overwhelming influence of technology and access is making industry stakeholders reconsider and reposition how they go to market now and in the future.

With this, it is my pleasure to feature a guest blog I stumbled upon from Boundless Marketing Manager, Stephanie Freyer, who along with her team is responsible for delivering ‘Brand Love’ moments—everyday. Steph’s observations are on the mark and sum up, quite well, what so many in the industry are experiencing today.

Enjoy the read.

Paul


2016’s Guiding Trend in Promotional Products

Has Nothing to do With Products

Coming to you live from Las Vegas at the Promotional Products International Association’s (PPAI’s) largest event of the year and the biggest trade show in our industry, I’m excited to reveal some of the insightful marketing trends we’ve seen at this year’s Expo. In case you aren’t familiar with Expo, PPAI hosts over 1,300 exhibiting suppliers and 11,000 distributors from across the globe – all clamoring into the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on the heels of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to find out what the hottest new products for 2016 will be.

After closing out day two of the Expo, I sat in my hotel room trying to digest everything I had been absorbing over the past couple of days. I could have easily started writing about the cool life-hack products that are perfect for, say, people who are taking photos all day (like me), or just want their phone readily available to make sure they can check email without digging through their bag (see below for “slingback” and “pop socket” to name a few). But while these little life hacks are cool, catchy, and buzz-worthy, they aren’t the real takeaway of the event.

PopSocketSlingback2

Products for Mobile: Pop Socket & Slingback

Even more impressive than capitalizing on the mobile trend is how deeply our suppliers are invested in their products. From specialized trend research teams, to full-fledged development departments, to entire facilities dedicated to quality assurance, our suppliers are investing in resources that will ensure their products are not only on-trend and meeting consumer needs, but also following compliance laws and making sure they are safe, and risk-free for our clients and end users.

I initially predicted that come time to write this blog post, I’d be sitting here compiling the brand-new items hitting the market. In a recent Facebook post, I remarked on being curious about which trends from last week’s CES show would carry over to PPAI—I joked about seeing branded holograms and mused about new wearables. And while I did see plenty of wearables (and even virtual-reality products…and drones!) what I found is that most of the products at PPAI are not, in actuality, “new.” At first, I was surprised to see that most of what I looked at was the same as last year, with a slight enhancement—a 2.0 version. But this is, in fact, the crux of one of 2016’s guiding trends.

BoundlessFacebook

LogoIncludedApp

Source: @LogoIncluded Twitter Account

On Wednesday, I spoke with a supplier partner of ours about their fitness tracker device, and in discussing a proprietary app they built for it, he actually said the words “to us, the app was the most important part.” Hold the phone. That is quite a strong (and telling) statement. We are in a PRODUCTS industry, people! Promotional products. But as it turns out, the most important thing about promotional advertising moving forward won’t be the product alone, and this show wasn’t about the next groundbreaking item on the market that no one had ever seen before. It was about driving the next level of engagement…it was about the enhancements that can be made to products to make them even more useful, even more necessary, even more relevant to a consumer.

The seeds of this trend were planted in my head at the first session I attended on Tuesday morning with marketing guru and renowned author Seth Godin. Godin speaks in an almost lyrical way—gliding through pretty words and impactful phrases. He is ever-inspiring, and seemingly easy-to-follow—yet he spends most of his time illustrating abstract concepts that are eventually boiled down into a simple idea. His style, his writing, and his whole point is to get marketers to think differently. As Godin said, “one of the biggest marketing challenges is that most of the people you are trying to sell to don’t think they have a problem that only you can solve.” In essence, brands are challenged to put products into the world that play a critical role in consumers’ lives—and do it better than the next guy.

Seth Godin Session

Seth Godin’s Opening Keynote at The PPAI Expo

In case you haven’t been following Boundless on Twitter, we’ve been tweeting out soundbites heard throughout the Expo from our top suppliers. Reading them back to myself gave me the opportunity to clearly identify the theme that had already been manifesting in my mind.

TweetsPPAI

Tweets from PPAI 2016

All the suppliers I spoke with told a similar story in a different way: the product is only a part of the equation. The critical ingredient is finding a way to create a marketing tool (a promotional product) that builds a relationship. How do we enhance a product so that it actually becomes a necessity, or occupies a permanent spot on your desk or in your bag? Something you couldn’t imagine living without?

We need to pay attention to how people interact with products. In what situations and contexts do people have challenges that need to be solved? How can a product be enhanced to meet those needs?

For some suppliers like the one mentioned above, that means building a client-branded app that not only connects to a fitness tracker like a FitBit, but lets users interact with each other—from engaging in fitness competitions to arranging meetups. For others, it means designing a special pocket in a bag that addresses a unique need for a certain demographic or interest group. And yet for others, it means leveraging a digital rewards code to connect on the platform we use most: the internet. Some suppliers embrace the age of digital connectivity by creating products that continue to make it easier for us to stay connected with one another—from chargers, to tablet stands, to storage devices—they’ve developed a product that once you have, you cannot live without. Or at least, you think you can’t. Addressing a unique need, driving people to a connected platform, serving up a branded web experience—all of these methods produce a more engaging interaction with a consumer.

All this to say: the pen, the water bottle, and the grocery tote aren’t going anywhere. Value can be found in any product that is suited for the audience and is “sticky” because of utility or novelty. But the future of our industry lies in the type of functionality that goes deeper than the bag that sits in your trunk. It taps into our basic human need to connect. It gives us avenues to build relationships over an extended period of time, and it makes us feel like we can trust in brands. From what I can tell, 2016 is going to be a great year for promotional marketing.

StephBio