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How Effective Are Promotional Products?

Company branded promotional products are an excellent addition to just about any marketing campaign, but how can you measure just how effective your promotional products are? How do you know if the promotional products you get for your company are making a difference? In an effort to answer this question, here is a brief look at a study that explores the effectiveness of promotional products in marketing.

The study

A research group called PPAI Research designed and conducted a study in San Francisco, California, in 2009 in order to better understand the effects that promotional products have on their recipients and other potential consumers. The study was conducted by means of a survey where participants were asked questions about promotional products they’d received in the past, what they did with these promotional products, and what effect these products might have had on them.

Survey respondents were first asked whether they had received a promotional product within the past 24 months, and only those respondents who had indeed received such a product within that time frame could participate in the survey. In total, 1,0005 participants ended up completing the full survey.

The results


Interestingly enough, slightly less than half (44%) of respondents reported having received a promotional product within the last 24 months, meaning that promotional products are reaching only about half of the average American consumer base. But of the 44% (or 1,005) participants who had received a promotional product, 90.4% reported that they still owned that promotional product. About 91% of participants even reported that they had at least one promotional product in their kitchens, and 74% reported having at least one promotional product in their workspaces.


So, then, how do consumers respond when they do receive promotional products? According to the study, 83% of participants said that they like receiving a promotional product with an advertising message. Forty-eight percent stated that they would love to receive promotional products more often, and only about 2% reported that they dislike receiving promotional products.

And what do those who receive promotional products do with them after they receive them? Sixty-nine percent of participants reported that they’ll generally keep the product if they can find a use for it. Meanwhile, 39% reported that they will give the product to a friend or family member if they cannot find a use for it.

Overall, these numbers seem to show that promotional products are, for the most part, a welcome gift—and one that could very well mean increased exposure for the company as the consumer either uses the product or gives it to someone else.

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