Paying It Forward

yellow stripesThe cost of distributing a branded giveaway can only be justified if there is a measurable ROI.  Questions that should be asked and answered range from the cost-per-impression of the item to the length of time a recipient keeps the product, and even what happens to the gift once the customer discards it.  Fortunately, the Advertising Specialty Institute performs a lengthy study every year to give us the answers to these types of questions.

Branded merchandise remains less expensive per impression than most other forms of advertising.  In fact, the only form of advertising with a lower CPI (cost-per-impression) is internet advertising. But with advertising specialties, the investment is modest, more targeted and allows for much greater level of interaction with consumers than other forms of advertising, like TV, magazine and newspaper ads.

Another benefit of using promotional merchandise to market your brand is the staying power of those products.  Some items, such as calendars, can stay around for the entire year.  Other types of merchandise, especially health and safety products, last for 4 to 6 months.  Outerwear and USB drives hang around for over 8 months, and drinkware, bags, caps, office accessories and shirts last over 6 months. And if the recipient chooses not to keep the item, 63% give it to someone else.  So you get double-duty impressions from one item.  Compared to a 30-second commercial, that’s a lot of bang for your buck!

Finally, and I believe most importantly, promotional items sway consumer opinions.  The study shows half of the people who received a branded giveaway had a more favorable opinion of the advertiser who gave it to them.  And, even more impressive, 63% of the people who received a piece of outerwear with a logo had a more favorable opinion of the company.  If we can agree that consumers who have a positive opinion of a company will be more likely to buy that firm’s products or services, then promotional items have proven to be a good investment.

As always, the exact product selected for a marketing promotion or an incentive gift definitely matters and will affect the outcome of the program.  But with careful consideration of the audience, the right promotional item at the right price will provide a solid return on the corporate investment.

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