The Key Ingredient to Integrated Marketing

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Advertising is a highly competitive business, and career-minded individuals must stay abreast of its many vicissitudes as technological advances alter the landscape of what was once a much simpler profession. In order to sustain and advance their careers, advertisers must adapt to the changes and find ways to promote their products among the myriad of entertainment venues available to consumers. Advertisers need to be savvy about getting their messages out there, as there are now many ways to block advertising from mainstream mediums. In the following article, Stan Breckenridge, chairman of the board at PPAI, puts forth some of his own insightful solutions for these new challenges.

Traditional forms of advertising are changing. People are no longer simply reading the newspaper, listening to the radio, and watching TV. Instead, through such vehicles as online news outlets, satellite radio, and DVR, people are controlling the amount of advertising that enters their homes, and now more than ever, marketers are challenged to create new ways to engage consumers.

A 2007 study conducted by Microsoft and Starcom found that 10-15% of adults between 17 and 35 years of age are identified as ''ad avoiders.'' This means that an entire chunk of the target age demographic is going out of their way to evade conventional advertising media, and with tools such as Pandora and TiVo, they are able to do just that.

There is, however, a solution: promotional products.

In a quest to cut through the clutter, many marketers are turning to the power of promotional products because of their unique ability to engage consumers. Viral, mobile, highly targeted, and inexpensive, promotional products are a reliable marketing tool, and have proven effective when used alone or in conjunction with mainstream media.

To find out just how effective promotional items are, Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), along with Louisiana State University and the University of Texas at San Antonio, conducted a study utilizing the same critical-age demographic as the Microsoft/Starcom study. This study measured the effectiveness of promotional products in comparison to television and print advertising, as well as the synergistic effects of promotional products when used along with those media.

Participants in the study were exposed to television, print, and promotional advertising. They were then asked to complete a 60-item questionnaire measuring their perceptions of the advertising. Seven different groups of students were recruited for the study, and each group was exposed to a different condition:
  • Print only
  • TV only
  • Promotional product only
  • TV and print
  • TV and promotional product
  • Print and promotional product
  • TV and print and promotional product
Results showed that adding a promotional product to the media mix generated favorable attitudes towards the ad in all cases (up to 44%), increased brand interest (69%), and created a good impression of the brand (84%). The results also showed that integrating a promotional product with television and print increased referral value (52%) and message credibility (60%).

So, the next time you and your peers sit down to construct an amazing marketing campaign, consider this: promotional products, when used in synergy with other media, enhance impressions about the brand and the product. And really…isn’t that what we’re all after?

For more details about this study, contact Anne Lardner at 972-258-3041 or

About PPAI

Promotional products are an essential element in the marketing mix. Adding your message to a tangible product turns an ordinary message into a marketing experience your audience can see, touch, hear, smell, and even taste. Promotional products are the only way to make a sensible — and memorable — impression. For more information about Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) or to find a promotional consultant in your area, visit
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