Promotional Products: Bridging the Gap Between Traditional Advertising and New Media

Many marketing experts theorize that social media is the way of the future and that traditional advertising mediums- such as television and print ads- are no longer effective ways to reach a target audience. Others in the advertising industry, however, contend that Internet-based campaigns do not give companies enough control over their brand message, as any consumer can post an opinion on a social networking site. Thus, for maximum impact, advertisers should use promotional products to create synergy between their more traditional campaigns and their use of social media.

According to a study conducted for PPAI by researchers at Louisiana State University and University of Texas at San Antonio, "Adding custom merchandise to the media mix generate[s] favorable attitudes" toward both print and television ads. In fact, companies that integrated branded items with television and print campaigns during the study found an increase in referral value as well as the credibility of their message.

Giveaways do not need to be expensive in order to have the desired impact. In fact, distributing calendars and stickers that feature images similar to those found in a print ad is a great way to enforce a campaign. These functional and fun items keep your campaign top of mind with the desired demographic and even increase the likelihood that recipients will use your service or buy your product.

In addition to incorporating giveaways with traditional advertisements, marketers should use promotional products to drive consumers online. After imprinting items with a company name and logo, it is important to make sure that a corporate website, YouTube channel or Facebook page appear as well. Furthermore, the messages on all of these sites needs to align with the overall marketing strategy, whether the goal is to drive sales, increase brand awareness, or build customer loyalty. For example, consider re-posting a television ad on your YouTube Channel and a "behind the scenes making of" photo album on Facebook.

In conclusion, having an online presence will become increasingly important as more and more people turn to the Internet as their primary source of information. However, print and television ads are still effective, especially when logoed items are added to the marketing mix. In addition to having a higher return on investment and a lower cost per impression than other forms of advertising, they are more tangible and longer lasting than online media.