Advertising Promotional GiftsThe promotional items industry, also known as promotional merchandise, promotional gifts or advertising gifts industry, is a booming one. Each of the promotional items has a logo with a company’s name on it used as part of the business’ marketing scheme.  Businesses order promotional items and give them out to customers. They may also be distributed at other events, like trade shows or meetings, in hopes that these items will help to advertise the business and its services and/or products.

In the late 1700s, presidents used promotional items when they were trying to get elected. Those items were called commemorative buttons. In the 1800s, other promotional items started to be created. Those items were rulers, calendars and other items made from wood made and distributed by just a few people, often relatives to the person needing the marketing assistance. By the time the 19th Century came about, there were companies that had begun to make promotional items and distribute them. The actual marketing of promotional products began with a man named Jasper Meeks. He convinced a shoe store located near him to distribute book bags that had the shoe store name on each bag as a way to market the shoes.

In the early 1900s, there were already 12 places manufacturing and distributing promotional items. The numbers have changed drastically since that time. Companies tried many things to use for promotional items along the way. They tried catalogs, business cards and other materials such as magazines and brochures, but these items were not as popular. Businesses began to realize that the most popular promotional merchandise is pens, posters, bumper stickers, T-shirts, key chains, hats and caps, pencils, pins and buttons, magnets and calendars. Nowadays, promotional items are not just a business. There are many people that have the hobby of collecting these items. These items are used to promote all sorts of businesses, political candidates and fundraising events. In the year 2009, this industry was well over the million dollar mark for industry sales revenue for combined companies and individuals that sell these items. Stickers and decals held 2.06% of the market in the year 2008. Writing instruments held 9.04% of this market. Online sales for promotional items were at $1,500,877,922.

Marketing Promotional Merchandise
Promotional items advertising has definitely changed with the times and is mostly done with computers now. Promotional items can assist businesses with marketing, but how does a person use marketing to get the word out about their promotional items? A good way is to think about where the business is located and what is available for marketing. Locally, there are newspapers, business cards and flyers. On the Internet, there is marketing with articles, blogs, social networks, videos, images, PowerPoint presentations, conference calls and classes, e-mails and websites.

Ultimately, there are many other forms of marketing methods on the Internet.

The targeted customers for this industry are more than likely businesses and non-profit organizations. This is a great place to start building a marketing plan for. Keep in mind, too, that most businesses do not depend solely on promotional items to get the word out but use them as gifts and supplemental advertising.