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What marketers really think about promotional gifts

Rising demand for electronic goods is among findings in bpma research into marketers’ attitudes.

The findings from extensive research by the bpma into what marketers think of promotional merchandise were launched during Promotional Products Week in September. Brand awareness is the main reason for using branded merchandise but increasingly they have more specific uses for seminars and conferences.

Two-thirds are now purchasing electronic goods, notably power banks and all manner of USB options. Marketers also believe the key to a successful promotional product is finding something that is both high in quality and memorable in some way.

While the average price per promotional item sourced is between £1 and £5, there has been a marked increase in those spending over £50,000 per annum. Marketers would spend more if they had larger budgets, suggesting they see the value in using promotional products.

The internet is by far the most important way to source products and suppliers, accounting for 81% of respondents. However, a significant number suggested they would return to an existing supplier or ask for recommendations.

The research also discovered that buyers are keen to work with suppliers that understand their needs and requirements as well as offering excellent customer service. These were seen to be more important than price of the goods.

Buyers constantly want to find something different or unique to interest their customers. Many of the respondents recalled real examples of when they have found really great ideas and the impact they had. They also expressed concerns at the general lack of creativity in the offering.

The biggest concern of all from the research was the lack of knowledge of compliance and what it even means. Organisations were almost walking blind and assuming everything they bought complied. A recent incident involving power chargers used by EE for their customers created media attention as a number of them got overheated in handbags.

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