Why promote

Introduction: BPMA Research

  1. The survey was commissioned by the BPMA and individual in depth interviews were carried out by an independant research agency in April and May 2012.
  2. Sectors represented in the survey included finance and IT, retail, services, insurance, charity and education.
  3. 92% of respondents where aged 25-44.

About the BPMA

Established in 1965, the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) is one of the UK's leading industry bodies dedicated to promoting best practice around the sourcing, manufacturing and distribution of promotional products. With more than 600 members, the BPMA is a creative and vibrant organisation setting the benchmark for expertise, quality and professionalism across the promotional marketing industry.


Why Promotional Merchandise is used

When asked about the main reasons why merchandise is used in sales and marketing campaigns as opposed to other incentives, 69% stated that it is because it `argets customers effectively`, 52% because the `brand message lasts longer` and 46% said because of its `ability to create loyalty`. Among the comments from respondents were "It's and excellent way of getting the clients attention. We can demonstrate the brand attributes we want to get across" and "For a cascade promotion if we send items to X they pass them out to their customers who might also sign up. It builds relationships and goodwill."

The survey also asked about the purpose for which promotional merchandise is bought. Nearly three-quarters (73%) stated that it is for use at conferences and events, and 63% for `brand awareness and rebranding`. Merchandise is also used for `cause awareness` and `product launches and roll-outs` because `promotional merchandise is often hightly effective for getting attention and driving sales.`

The ways in which promotional merchandise is used is also highlighted by the fact that 69% of respondents stated that items are usually used in product giveaways, while 13% use it as a call to action with nearly one-fifth (19%) always using a strapline on the product.




49% of senior marketers have increased spend on promotional merchandise since the last financial year




83% of senior plan to increase or maintain spend on promotional from this year to next


Merchandise is used because it targets customers effectively, ensutes brand messages last longer and creates loyalty.




66% of senior marketers purchase promotional products at least every three months




73% of buyers use merchandise at promotional events, and over three-fifths (63%) of buyers use it for brand awareness and re-branding


One of the most significant findings of the survey is that spend on promotional merchandise in 2012 is increasing or remaining stable in comparison to 2011 with 49% of respondents stating that their spend on promotional products has increased since the last financial year while, in addition 30% have maintained their budget. This positive intent is set to continue next year with 33% planning to increase spend from this year to next while a further 50% expect it to stay the same next year. The percentage spent on promotional items iwthin the marketing budget is also increasting overall or remaining stable, with 43% of respondents stating that it has increased and 36% that it has stayed the same.



The survey also showed that promotional merchandise is a frequent and regular purchase. With 33% stating that they made a purchase every month plus 33% buying every three months and 13% purchase it twice a year.

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