Marketing is a hard beast to crack, regardless of which industry you work in, and especially for small businesses. Recent research has suggested that unless brands are willing and able to invest their money in more memorable means of communicating their message, they could be completely wasting their marketing budgets as their message is not being received.
It has been widely regarded for years that TV advertising was key in making any branding message memorable because of its ability to be seen by so many people on a regular basis. However this did come at a cost and was always price prohibitive for the small to medium size business. More than 25 million UK households bought a TV licence in 2011 and the average UK home now has around four different viewing devices for watching TV; which includes TVs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Where TV viewing numbers within the UK are still quite healthy there is a growing switch to time-shift viewing via catch-up services which are growing significantly, which is reflected in the 20% year-on-year growth of BBC iPlayer. Although the BBC is a non-advertising platform it highlights the switch to non-traditional TV viewing, whereas the rise of recording live TV for later viewing is also beginning to see a seismic shift. This means that only a small percentage of all adverts will actually break through to the audiences they are trying to reach as people have the ability to fast-forward a program through the advertising breaks.
Did you know that…
“90% of television viewers always skip through the adverts on their digital video recorder”
“86% of people skip TV commercials, brands still spent $19.8 billion last year on TV advertising spots”
The shift to digital is not the panacea it was originally thought. Whilst many marketing professionals heralded the digital age as the welcome reform for small to medium size businesses who could not afford the television airwaves to promote their message, it would seem that consumer consciousness were shrewder than first expected and knew when they were being sold to. Recent research has found that online ads are often ineffective, it identified that marketers should carefully evaluate when to use new online advertising techniques. This was a revelation as there has been a lot of excitement about the new techniques available in online advertising where marketers could reach consumers with targeted messages based on their known interests. It found that almost three quarters of respondents found banner advertising to be the most annoying marketing medium and was more detrimental to the brand than had been envisaged.
So what we have learned so far is that people are switching off to TV advertising and digital advertising online is doing more bad than good to your branded message, so how do SMEs advertise and promote their brand message? If you want your brand to succeed in these challenging times, you need to reach your audience in a more effective way. You need to get your message in their hands, on their desks and in their personal space. Wise marketers have realised that the most cost effective ways to get repeated exposure to their branded message can be achieved by means of promotional products.
The British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) commissioned research and found that promotional merchandise can deliver a higher or equal ROI than most forms of advertising. By using branded promotional merchandise, brands are capable of getting in people’s cars, offices and in their homes. Whether it’s a calendar, pen, umbrella or a calculator, promotional products will remain within the audiences consciousness.
“66% of respondents said they could remember the brand on the promotional product they received during the last year.”
Getting your brand in peoples hands, using promotional products is one of the most cost-effective means of advertising for brands, big and small alike. However what is essential to ensure that your brand is remembered and your campaign is memorable is to select the right product for your branded message. Especially when it has been found that on average the right promotional products are kept on average between six months to a year. Therefore careful planning and consideration needs to be taken in selecting the appropriate promotional product, which is unique, relevant and useful to your targeted audience and conveys the right perception of your brand. When time is taken to get all these elements correct the return on the investment is worth the effort. Of those interviewed who had received a promotional product, 79% said they were likely to do business with the company in the future.
Promotional Products Work.