There are sales to be had – you just have to know where to look.
Here are the top 10 markets that promotional products distributors should be focusing on generating business with this year:
1. Healthcare: Continued need for PPE, along with an ongoing desire to thank front-line workers with tangible gifts, will be factors to keep this traditionally strong end-market riding high in 2021.
2. Health Insurance Companies: “They’re flush with cash,” says Joshua White, SVP of strategic partnerships at BAMKO. “They collected the same premiums in 2020 but paid out far less due to substantially decreased doctor and hospital visits. Target health insurers and other industries for which quirks in the marketplace in 2020 have decreased their costs without impacting their revenue.”
3. Event Planners/Trade Show Organizers: In the early part of the year at least, they’ll be looking for kitting/drop-shipment solutions for events that have gone virtual or hybrid. By the second half of 2021, depending on how the pandemic goes, they could be ready to invest more for the return of in-person events. Talk to clients across industries about virtual shows they’ll be participating in and find ways to work promo products into their efforts and help increase ROI.
4. “WFH” Workforces: “Our fulfillment and kitting projects to WFH audiences is booming, and we think that’s a long-term trend,” says Danny Rosin, co-president of BrandFuel.
5. Shipping & Logistics Providers: The surge in e-commerce has driven increases in the number of packages and amount of freight being shipped daily. Companies will need everything from branded apparel for workers to welcome merch for new hires to thank-you gifts for employees. Target providers in your locale.
6. Nonprofits: Sure, the budgets can be tight. However, these organizations need to market and offer rewards to generate donations and related support in the post-COVID era. Promo can help with that.
7. Liquor Brands: “They’re mostly recession-proof and are still producing point-of-purchase and retail marketing materials at significant levels,” says Ed Levy, president of Edventure Promotions.
8. Technology: Companies that are innovating and advancing the digital marketplace and leading the way in the digital entertainment sphere will continue to have cash on hand. Promo pros will be pursuing business with prospects that range from fintech firms to gaming companies and everything in between. Some will also be creating merch for online influencers.
9. Education/School Spirit: In terms of promo sales, the market will still probably be off pre-COVID highs during the first part of 2021, but some distributors are banking on a big bounce-back in the second half of the year. “With schools and sports opening back up in earnest in 2021, we see this as a time to re-educate these consumers and show them what’s current,” says Mike Brugger, president of Fully Promoted.
10. Hospitality: Yes, really. There are opportunities with restaurants that have adapted to curbside service and to-go models, as well as food delivery providers. Certain distributors are laying the groundwork now with clients in the resorts/hotel/travel sector, which some believe could explode with marketing initiatives if a successful COVID vaccine is widely deployed.