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Opinion 108 What do they know about us? PSI Journal 11/2016 www.psi-network.de W hat h do d the h marketing k i g people, agencies and buyers know about us? What do they really rea know about promotional products and our o iindustry? d st ? That there th are give-aways which are needed at trade shows? Aren’t they those ‘gifts’ which always cause a hassle? The ones that require record keeping and cause tax problems in Germany and other countries? The ones with compliance problems because they are often unlawfully placed on the market? Do marketeers know that they are promotional products? How they work and what promotional impact they have? The larger question behind this: How are they supposed to know? I have looked at numerous international distributor websites. With a sobering conclusion: Almost nowhere is something written about the power of the promotional product, the motives for their use and their effect. Products are more or less monotonously listed on the websites, page after page. There is a similar situation with suppliers. And this despite the fact that we have the relevant information, we have studies and clever people who write about promotional products. We know that a variety of promotional products can be found in almost every household, and they are often used for several years. We know that a long-term promotional impact is better than other advertising media such as print, TV or radio. Promotional products have a positive effect on customer relations, and customer loyalty increases whenever promotional products are involved. The brand image is positively enhanced and it can be proven that promotional products increase response rates when used in mailings or other campaigns. We have the information and we are part of marketing. But we do not do generic marketing – that is marketing for the promotional product. We do not put forward our case and we do not communicate. Why is that? We keep talking about the fact that we have to speak louder, but we don’t. There are approximately 12,000 promotional product distributors throughout Europe. Let us assume that each of these distributors would only publish information on the use and impact of promotional products on their own website and make it clear that a competent, efficient company is behind them. And let us also assume that an average of 1,000 users visit these websites each month. Then we would have 144 million contacts per year from people interested in promotional products, i.e. marketing people. In my opinion, an impressive number, which could be further increased in combination with other media. It is necessary to address this issue and communicate on all channels what impact the promotional product has. It is necessary to be visible on the marketer’s desk. michael.freter@psi-network.de

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