Editor’s Letter - Hot Stuff

I recently saw a commercial for the latest in the hot-doctor, McDreamy/McSteamy-derivative TV shows. The Night Shift, as touted by NBC, “focuses on financially-strained San Antonio Memorial, its heroic and fun-loving staff, and their crazy cases.”

While the fictional San Antonio Memorial is strapped, the health-care market as a whole continues to be the number-one buyer of promotional products. According to recent ASI research, “Health/medical/hospitals” make up 12.4% of the market share. How’s that for a shot in the arm? “Health care is one of those industries that’s going to continue to grow,” says Paula Gossett, senior consultant for Geiger (asi/202900). And as Senior Writer Chris Ruvo notes, a health-care spending surge “will be fueled, in part, by the aging baby boomer population and an anticipated rise in the total number of insured persons in the United States.”

Welcome to our inaugural “Big Markets” issue of Advantages, in which we’ve delved into the five largest purchasers of ad specialties. We’ve included stats, tips for getting to the decision-makers, great case studies to inspire you and related product showcases to give you even more ideas and supplier sources. These four markets round out the list: Education (11.4%; estimated to be a trillion-dollar industry); Financial/insurance (10%; attracting and retaining customers are top initiatives); Manufacturing/distribution (8.4%; 68% of manufacturing supply management executives predict their revenues will be 9.1% greater in 2014 vs. 2013); and Technology (5.9%).

“The fast-paced technology industry, although very cloud-based and software driven, still requires hardware products, and people to function,” Kathy Whitburn at American Solutions for Business (asi/120075) told our writer. As such, promo products are key marketing tools.

Don’t miss any of these five market-focused articles, even if you don’t think your services would be a good fit for one of these sectors. We have packed so much information and actionable strategies into each feature, that you might just find your inspiration.

And Then There’s …

Of course, you don’t want to go after every client. Nor do you want to keep those that are simply dragging you down. Our “Sales Boost” section, which you’ll find at the front of the magazine on p.3, offers a quiz to help you identify the qualities of a great client.

Summer is the perfect time to review your client list. Benefits to keeping only the best include better morale; improved productivity, sales and profitability; and more time to spend on your really great and loyal customers. In fact, also in our “Sales Boost” section, you’ll find ideas for fun outings you can treat them to, self-promotions to boost your business with prospects and clients you now have more time for and another niche you can target.

That niche is microbreweries, because it’s summer and we’ve got frosty beverages on our minds. And while micro is in the market’s name, let me assure you it’s a big business and growing steadily. Craft breweries experienced a 20% dollar growth in 2013 vs. 2012. And they do all kinds of cool promos too. We recently went to the Cape May Brewing Company, where they had just held a yoga class, called Poses and Pints (cute, right?). Of course they had plenty of logoed giveaways on hand!