A study released last week by research firm PQ Media, titled Alternative Media Forecast: 2008-2012, reports that marketing spending on online, digital and other forms of out-of-the-box advertising topped $73.43 billion in 2007, an increase of 22% compared to 2006. Furthermore, the trend is only expected to continue, with spending on nontraditional media eventually comprising 26.6% of all U.S. advertising and marketing dollars by 2012, the firm concludes.
The trend is good news for the ad specialty market, as promotional products will increasingly be used for such promotional efforts as brand marketing, sales conferences and giveaway packages. In fact, one industry member, Jo-an Lantz of Geiger (asi/202900), says she's already noticed a surge in clients' demands for promotional products beginning in 2006. "We are seeing a shift, essentially an increase in spending from media buyers and agencies," the Geiger executive VP says. "These buyers who were making significant purchasing decisions with tradition forms of advertising – TV, radio and print publications – are pouring dollars into web, video and mobile advertising and they are using promotional products to drive viewers to their sites."
At JB of Florida (asi/232281), an Adventures in Advertising (asi/109480) affiliate, owner Wayne Greenberg says his company has experienced the same effect and he offers two reasons why.
The first, Greenberg says, has to do with the current state of the economy. During hard times, consumers are more likely to focus on marketing channels that promise more bang for the buck. Add to that the education component, as distributors nowadays are becoming more savvy at helping their customers create informed buying decisions, and the result is a growth in ad specialty revenue, he says.
As an example, Greenberg recounts a campaign his company recently undertook. Instead of opting for a TV or paper ad, a large credit union in the Sunshine State approached the distributorship looking for a more creative item to give away at their seafood festival. "They decided to go with crab hats with their name on it," Greenberg says. "It's nontraditional for a credit union to go out and do something a little bit crazy, but it sure put their name on the lips of not only those who wore the hats, but those who saw it as well." And, Greenberg adds, the order only cost the client about the same amount as one 30-second TV spot would have.