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this out.’” Of course he is referring to the fliers that are handed out on busy street corners or papered on parked cars, as opposed to strategic direct mailing. However, the end result is still the same. Whether it’s one second or one week, fliers have limited staying power with the aver- age consumer. However, there are other things you can give to clients that are much less likely to see the bottom of a garbage can. Branded promotional items can be an extremely


effective tool for keeping your company on the minds of clients and potential clients. The Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) conducted a study in 2009 to gather information regarding Americans’ views on promotional items and other forms of advertising.

According to this study, of the 1,000 people surveyed: ■ 94 percent could successfully recall a promotional product they had received in the past two years

he late comedian, Mitch Hedburg once made the observational joke, “When someone hands you a flier, it’s like they’re saying ‘Here, you throw


■ 89 percent could recall the advertiser of the promotional product.

■ 83 percent reported that they liked receiving promotional products

■ 48 percent would like to receive promotional products more often

■ 69 percent typically keep the promotional product ■ Compared to TV, print and online advertising,

promotional products delivered higher recall rates of the company/brand, and/or the product/service With this in mind, it is easy to see why so many

companies use these items as a key part of their marketing plan. Promotional items serve a different purpose than TV, radio or print advertising, which can be effective as an immediate call to action or to deliver very specific messages. Promotional items help your company to stay “top of mind” throughout the year for a lasting affect. They are also a nice way to say “thank you” to existing customers and make a good impression on potential customers.

What to Get We’ve established that, when done well, promotional items can be a worthwhile marketing tool; but what are these items? How do you choose what is best for your purposes? One of the most important things to remember when choosing these items is to think like a consumer. Imagine your home or office for example. What do you hold onto and what do you throw away? What is useful and what is just clutter? The more practical and useful (or really cool) an item is, the more likely it is that it’s going to stick around. There are several categories of items and almost innumerable choices within those categories.

Some of the most popular are as follows: ■ Office/Workspace:


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