BPMA Promotional Research 2012

If you have ever questioned the validity or usefulness of promotional products, or have previously thought that promotional items were a waste of time and money, then give me a moment of your time and I'll show you how you couldn't be more wrong.

The British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) is one of the UK's leading industry bodies dedicated to promoting best practice around the sourcing, manufacturing and distribution of promotional products. They have conducted an in-depth study into how valuable promotional products are to companies.

Lets jump straight to the facts shall we?

  • 83% of senior marketers plan to increase or maintain spend on promotional products from this year to next.

This is a very positive step because it shows the demand for promotional items is not in decline, it is actually increasing. The trend is set to stay the same next year with 33% planning to increase spend from this year while a further 50% expect their spend to stay the same.

  • 66% of senior marketers purchase promotional products at lease every three months.

Despite the economy being in a slump, marketers are increasing not only their spend on promotional products but they are also increasing the frequency of their purchases. This is a clear indication as to the effectiveness and the importance of branded merchandise for companies wanting to compete.

  • 73% of buyers use merchandise at promotional events/trade shows
  • 63% use it for brand awareness and re-branding

Why use promotional products?

When asked for the main reasons why promotional products were used in their sales and marketing campaigns rather than other forms of advertising or incentives, the answers were:

  • 69% said 'it targets customers effectively'
  • 52% said 'the brand message lasts much longer'
  • 46% said 'its ability to create loyalty'

There are many more reasons to use promotional items of course, they can be as simple as, they are a great way of getting your clients attention. Branded merchandise is also an ideal way of using 'cascade promotion'. This is when promotional items are given out which are then passed onto their customers who may then also decide to sign up. This is another excellent way of building relationships with future customers.

So what are the most popular promotional products?

According to the BPMA research the top three promotional items are:

  • Pens - 35%
  • Notebooks, Pads and Post-it notes - 13%
  • Eco bags and canvas shopping bags - 10%

One of the key factors here is the emphasis on practicality. Giving something that is useful and used on a daily basis is not only the most popular choice by marketers, but it is also appreciated more by the recipients as they are getting something they can actually use on a daily basis and serves a particular purpose. This again will build familiarity loyalty with your customer, and seeing your logo or brand on a daily basis will further emphasise this.

What are the mail influences when purchasing promotional items?

  • 50% use tried and tested products
  • 33% use a combination of new and tested products
  • 79% said that price was one of the main factors in the choice
  • 59% said that usefulness was the next important factor

So what can we take from this research?

Well promotional items are as popular as ever, in fact they are becoming even more popular as more and more companies realise that they are a cheap and affordable way of promoting your business and getting into the minds of your clients. A well thought promotional product given to your customers will not only build trust and loyalty, but it is more cost effective than virtually any other form of advertising.

Having your brand on display for months, or even years is an ideal way of advertising yourself. Plus they are an excellent way of helping re-brand yourself, the possibilities are endless.

Highly effective and highly affordable, promotional items are the kings of promotion.