Considering ‘Specialty’ Advertising? Here’s What You Should Know

When you think of the last time you were exposed to an advertisement…

Did you see a billboard on your morning commute?  Did you click the little “x” at the top of a pop-up ad? (Or, perhaps you opted-into the popup ad?)  Did you see an ad in your Facebook feed?  What about that commercial that came on when you were watching TV or listening to Spotify? Or, something else?

There are many ways you can choose to advertise your company’s products and services. Even promotional products can serve as advertisements – this is called Specialty Advertising.

In a nutshell, “traditional” advertising is the vehicle that drives your message to your target audience with a specific action they need to take so you can generate more leads and sales for your company.

“Specialty” advertising takes that definition up a notch because it requires you to deliver a tangible item to your target audience (in this instance, the “vehicle” is the tangible item).

Plus, Specialty Advertising is typically less expensive than other forms of advertising such as TV commercials, Newspaper/Magazine Ads and Mobile Ads (we will get to that later).

The key is knowing how to use the advertising medium so you can see results and get a return (plus some!) for the money you spent on advertising.  Start with the following questions:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is your messaging and call to action?
  • What is the vehicle you plan to deliver your message to your target audience?
  • How are you going to measure results?

Then, when you decide on these key factors, you can map out your plan to deliver your advertising medium to your audience.

Still not sure if Specialty Advertising is for you?  Consider this:

  • We are in the age of experience.  Promotional items are the definition of “giving your audience an experience to remember”.  Think of the last time you went to a conference – did you get a bag of free goodies that supported the reason you were there?  What about the last time you received a “free gift” with a purchase? You either still have them or at least have a memory of them.  This is because mementos and souvenirs create experiences. Here are a few things to think about:  How do you want to leave a lasting impression with clients?  How do you want them to remember their experience with you?  Something tangible, no doubt!
  • Specialty Advertising items are more effective than other forms of advertising. According to a Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) a study that was performed to see how consumers act, react and respond when they receive a promotional item, promotional items have greater recall and message retention than other forms of advertising.
  • Specialty Advertising is less expensive than traditional advertising mediums. The Advertising Specialties Institute (ASI) also performed a Global Impressions Study to determine the effectiveness of promotional items.  The study found that promotional items have a lower cost per impression than Newspaper Ads (3.2 cents), Prime Time TV (2.5 cents), National Magazines (2.4 cents), Mobile Ads (1.0 cents) and tied Spot Radio and Internet ads at 0.7 cents.

The next time you are trying to decide which advertising medium to use, do not discount the effect promotional items can have on your audience.  Instead, keep in mind that promotional items are actually regarded higher than other forms of media.  This means your audience would rather get free stuff than fast forward through another TV commercial.

How does your company advertise its products and services?  Tell us in the comments below.

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