Study Shows Promotional Products Most Effective Advertising Medium Next to Internet

Buyers prefer creativity from distributors 2-to-1 versus lower product price

TREVOSE, PA – November 3, 2009 – The Advertising Specialty Institute®, the largest media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry, today announced the results of an exclusive study showing that end-buyers identify promotional products as the most effective medium among all advertising except the Internet.   

Results also show end-buyers prefer that distributors provide “creativity” two-to-one versus low prices on products, indicating that distributors can tap a real opportunity to strengthen business partnerships when they provide out-of-the-box ideas for their clients’ marketing campaigns. 

In addition, the study reveals that nearly one-half, or 48%, of respondents indicated that promotional products are expected to deliver a positive Return on Investment (ROI).  Those who have the highest expectations for promotional products ROI will spend significantly more money on them this year than those who don’t expect a return.

“There’s a lot of good news here for distributors,” said Larry Basinait, executive director of research services at the Advertising Specialty Institute.  “First, buyers clearly see the value of promotional products.  Second, distributors who train their salespeople to be creative partners to their clients are in hot demand right now.  Most buyers are looking for smart ideas, rather than simply the lowest-priced items.”

The study also suggests that if buyers know how to use promotional products to increase their sales, they’re likely to spend more money on them, according to Basinait.  “It clearly pays for distributors to train their salespeople to educate end-buyers about the effectiveness of advertising specialties,” he added.

Another ASI report, the ASI’s Advertising Specialties Impressions Study, available here, serves as a powerful educational tool for distributors and their salespeople to use to prove to clients that promotional products provide a better return on investment than virtually all other forms of advertising media.

The results of the ASI end-buyer study were released at the 2009 ASI Power Summit in San Diego, California, an exclusive event attended by nearly 200 executives and business leaders from around the globe.

Additional resources and studies are available among a comprehensive set of educational and statistical research from ASI, including the annual State of the Industry™ report, quarterly sales reports and the ASI Social Networking Study. 

To read the full end-buyer study, click here, or contact Larry Basinait, executive director of research services, at [email protected].

About ASI
Advertising Specialty Institute is the largest media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry, with a membership of over 26,000 distributor firms (sellers) and supplier firms (manufacturers) of advertising specialties.  Supplier firms use ASI print and electronic resources to market products to over 22,000 ASI distributor firms.  Distributor firms use ASI print and electronic resources, which contain nearly every product in the industry from more than 3,500 reputable suppliers, to locate supplier firms and to market services to buyers.  ASI provides catalogs, information directories, newsletters, magazines, websites and databases, and offers e-commerce, marketing and selling tools. Visit ASI online at and on FacebookTwitterLinkedInYouTube, the CEO’s blog and the ASI Social Network.

Methodology:  On August 14, 2009, an ASI survey was commissioned to quantify end buyer perceptions about their experiences for promotional product spending versus other forms of advertising, the effect of the current economy on marketing spending versus other forms of advertising, the effect of the current economy on marketing spending in general and promotional product spending in particular, types of programs that use promotional products, and promotional products they use for these programs.  Invitations went to 13,220 recipients of the Successful Promotions Trend Report.  A total of 313 responded.  A respondent sample was purchased from Zoomerang, resulting in 111 more responses, for a total of 414 responses.  ASI members are typically small businesses of less than 10 employees, that in addition to selling promotional products, may also include sign shops, printers, trophy stores and advertising agencies.