A study has recently found that promotional items are much more effective than advertising. You can find the story here, thanks to Adweek. Highlights from the study include pretty amazing findings, like the finding that 62 percent of respondents have done business with an advertiser after receiving a promotional product, and that 84 percent of consumers remembered an advertiser based on a product they received. If these numbers seem too good to be true, it's probably because the study was conducted by the Advertising Specialty Institute. The Advertising Specialty Institute is an organization dedicated to promoting the interests of promotional item vendors. Is it any wonder then that the study they conducted concluded that the thing they're trying to sell FAR better and cheaper than the thing they're competing against?
They're not the only ones who have done this recently though. I just can't conceive of how a company misses the importance of source credibility and at least the appearance of impartial study results. Even if these unbelieveable positive results are true, how can anyone put any faith in the results of a study done by a group that has such a vested interest in the study's results? If they were really confident in their product, they would commission a third party study from a reputable research firm. Once again, it seems that executive orders may have overridden the well-meaning advice of a PR person left to pull his or her hair out in frustration over one of the most basic marketing principles violated.