SOI Promotional Products: Running the Good Race
While there was much in the economic downturn that did not follow historical economic cycles, the fact that strong businesses continued to market and gain better position and market share while weaker businesses cut back on advertising and marketing to preserve capital, ran true to form. As this slow and sometimes weak recovery continues, thousands of businesses will need to "catch up" on the marketing they abandoned when things were at the worst. This also will contribute to a strong sales year for promotional advertising specialties.
Keep in mind that the promotional advertising specialties industry, at times, runs contrary to the general economy. Promotional advertising is more affordable and targeted than other forms of advertising, so a slow recovery is not necessarily a bad thing for us. Small and medium-sized businesses—which make up the majority of businesses using promotional marketing items—are able to use promotional products to ease their way back into their marketing programs.
With many economic forecasts including both good and bad news, the promotional advertising specialty industry can benefit from the "good" and not be affected by the "bad." For example, in January, Kiplinger projected about a 10 percent increase in overall business spending and The CMO Survey (www.cmosurvey.org) found nearly 69 percent of CMOs (chief marketing officers) are optimistic about the domestic economy for 2011.
At the same time, just about every forecast mentioned that new jobs are not being produced—keeping unemployment above 9 percent.
The positive impact on the promotional advertising specialty industry of a 10 percent spending increase and 69 percent of marketing executives having positive attitudes has a much greater impact than 4 percent or 5 percent fewer employees at companies (than five years ago).
EconomyWatch.com, using all the economic indicators worldwide and its own calculations, predicts the U.S. economy will grow 2.31 percent this year and 3.039 percent in 2012. I feel the promotional advertising specialty industry is positioned to realize three to five times that growth. Individual business performance always depends on individual decisions, investments, work ethics and motivation.
Gregg Emmer is chief marketing officer and vice president for Kaeser & Blair Inc. (K&B). He has more than 40 years of experience in marketing and the promotional specialty advertising industry. His outside consultancy provides marketing, public relations and business planning consulting to a wide range of other businesses and has been a useful knowledge base for K&B dealers. Contact Emmer at firstname.lastname@example.org.