Monday, June 30, 2008

Cookin' With Gas

Who knew chochkes would have such cachet?

Ad specialties are apparently – if not bigger and better than ever before – more popular than ever before.

Welcome to the pre-fireworks edition of Not Your Usual Marketing Tips from JDK Marketing Communications Management
According to The Detroit News:

“The Advertising Specialty Institute, the largest media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry, announced…results of its annual advertising specialties sales analysis indicating that industry revenues reached $19.6 billion in 2007 - up 5.4 percent from 2006 and a new record.”

Now check this out:

“Spending on advertising specialties, or promotional products - items and incentives branded with a company logo or marketing message - was 83% greater than radio advertising, 73% greater than Internet display ads and nearly five times larger than outdoor advertising for the same period. Industry increases also outpaced the 2.2% growth rate for the United States GDP.
"In today's climate of increasing economic uncertainty, purchasing decisions for advertising and marketing are being scrutinized closely," said (a company spokesperson). "Advertising specialties are a relatively safe advertising investment and are nearly recession-proof, because they provide a proven high return-on-investment at a low cost and have a lasting impact on target audiences.

"Promotional products offer an opportunity to creatively advertise a company or product," said Carol Constantino, president of Noteworthy Company. "Since the life span of a promotional product extends beyond a conventional ad, savvy marketers recognize value and ultimately extend their advertising dollars to reinforce an ad campaign with the diverse product lines that our industry offers."

Then comes this additional news item from the paper:

“A café…is doing it. So is a (local) hotel, a carmaker, an awning seller and a national golf club company. Even the American Red Cross is getting in on today's hottest giveaway gig -- free gasoline.

“With the price of gas shooting up more than 30 percent in the past year and now stuck above $4 a gallon, businesses are turning to the gas card as a way to get consumers' attention and increase sales. Business owners say they know free gas isn't necessarily the deciding factor for patrons looking to buy their wares or services, but they believe it makes people more inclined to stop and take a look.

"It's pushing our hot button activators," said Dave Regan, an advertising instructor at Michigan State University. "We're still looking for that deal -- for that break -- on gas."
Other types of money-saving promotions, such as discounts and rebates, have lost their luster because their novelty has worn off, he said.

"You've seen it, done it and used it. It's old." Gas cards, on the other hand, "stand out as something new," Regan said.

"On top of that, "people hate to spend their money on gas," said Richard Divine, instructor of marketing and hospitality services at Central Michigan University. "Gas cards may be more effective than saying 'I'm going to give you $4 off.' Businesses are putting a value on the savings they're giving you."

Hmmm…ad specialties humming along, and gas cards helping to “drive” them. A “not your usual marketing tip”…or something that may be more mainstream than we all realize? Either way, something to think about putting in your “tank” the next time you consider ways of promoting your services.

See you again the first Tuesday of next month for another sizzling-hot-for-summer “Not Your Usual Marketing Tips.”

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