Introduction: BPMA Research
- The survey was commissioned by the BPMA and individual in depth interviews were carried out by an independent research agency in April and May 2012.
- Sectors represented in the survey included finance and IT, retail, services, insurance, charity and education.
- 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 `targets 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 highly 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.
Merchandise is used because it targets customers effectively, ensures brand messages last longer and creates loyalty.
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 within the marketing budget is also increasing 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.