Is the Promotional Products Industry Coming to an End?
The other day, I was doing my daily reading and came across this article on the Wall Street Journal called “The Web’s New Gold Mine: Your Secrets,” authored by Julia Angwin. When I saw the title, I thought it was just an article with shock value similar to a tabloid headline that says: “Aliens Took over Washington!” (who knows with the way the economy is being “fixed” but that’s another issue altogether). I almost just skipped over it, but good thing I didn’t!
When I read:
“One of the fastest-growing businesses on the Internet, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found, is the business of spying on Internet users.”
I freaked out! I started wondering if all promotion and advertising industries used this type of information gathering.
Then, after reading:
“…The Journal conducted a comprehensive study that assesses and analyzes the broad array of cookies and other surveillance technology that companies are deploying on Internet users. It reveals that the tracking of consumers has grown both far more pervasive and far more intrusive than I realized by all but a handful of people in the vanguard of the industry….”
Given, I understand that EVERYONE and their mother has a different way of getting the info they need to know, and many companies that I have seen tend to pull information straight from their customers by using trackers that are capable of figuring out customers’ personal details (like age, location, and favorite films). But be advised that this is NOT the standard! One of my friends asked me how the promotional products industry gathers information on their customers. No, it’s not by attaching trackers to their computers, but by simply asking them to fill out a survey or asking them throughout normal communications.
After reading Angwin’s article, I was also wondering if the online marketing industry would see a loss of business now that they are calling these “spying” companies out. Then, like the online marketing industry, would the promotional products industry be affected due to this whistle-blowing on tracking technology? No, I do not believe that it will be affected by this controversy. The promotional products industry is a stable industry; yes, it has its ups and downs like anything else, but promotional products are still relevant no matter which television show or movie your clients like (and no matter how bad the economy). What do you do if the economy is bad? You promote to obtain more business! What do you do if the economy is booming? You promote to obtain more business! No matter how the economy is doing, promotional products are a reliable and unobtrusive way to advertise.
I have found that there are many ways to jump ahead in the marketing game through trends and tricks that pop up along the way, but there is nothing like a good sustainable promotional products campaign. The promotional products industry is a freight train that cannot be stopped. Sure, there are other forms of transportation, but when cars get stuck in traffic jams and a little bit of ice lands a plane, you’re left with the powerful, reliable locomotive that you can always count on. So, all aboard the Promotional Products Express!
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