When talking to colleagues, I often hear the comment that corporate buyers aren’t looking for for ‘technology-based’ Promotional Gifts, that there is no need for ‘high end / niche’ products such as these. As you can imagine, I have an opinion on that statement. Having heard it said a few times now, I feel this misconception often arises through lack of data. Some good old fashioned market stats might help, and specifically I’d like to see:
What the opportunity is?
How technology-based promotional gifts could work for all manner of businesses?
And, How fast this sector is growing.
Technology-Based Corporate Gifts
Recent studies (Deloitte) show that the number of smart phone users in the UK is now upwards of 72 per cent of the total population. The key buyers / influencers of promotional products are often considered to be between the ages of 20-35 and in this category the ownership of a smart phone is likely to be 85-89 % of the population.
When you then add into the mix that some 29% of the population now also own a tablet computer, which is upwards of 20 million users in UK homes alone and is expected to grow around 26% each year for the foreseeable future! This clearly shows a huge and lucrative opportunity for promotional marketing to provide branded accessories and useful gadgets / tools to both business users and consumers.
It’s these sorts of stats which should/could be shown to corporate buyers to argue that its not just software companies or technology firms that should embrace this sector but all businesses can / should see the benefit in using technology in their marketing mix. The demand for technology-based products is growing fast and is moving towards 10% of the total spend on promotional products globally.
Research conducted in the USA in late 2012-3 also shows very interesting findings from consumers about their perception to promotional products. Based on approx. 700 consumers passing through an airport, some interesting findings (PPAI, 2013) were these:
• Eight in ten consumers own between one and ten promotional products, six in ten keep them for up to 2 years and about 53% use a promo item at least once a week or more often.
• The main reason for keeping a promotional product is usefulness. The highest ranking products based on their usefulness are computer products, health and safety items and writing instruments.
• Sporting / leisure and wearable’s tend to be kept because of their “attractiveness”.
• Top items kept for their contact information are badges, buttons, stickers and electronic devices & computer products.
• Products used most frequently / recently were viewed to be calendars, then computer products and electronic devices & accessories.
The key finding of this research was that:
“promotional products are often used in consumer’s daily life, by providing useful promotional products (not only as references for contact info) that can be integrated in consumers life in an organic way, advertisers can increase their reach and potential for creating and maintain brand awareness… “
This consumer research and the huge consumer demand for all things “smart” be they tablets or phones truly does show that promotional marketing / businesses ignore the opportunities thrown up by this area at its peril….