Inside PPAI: Top Markets, Sales Efforts And More Examined In The Latest PromoPolls


In March, PPAI’s PromoPolls transitioned from a twice-weekly frequency to weekly, giving industry members more time to participate in the series’ questions, which gauge opinions on a wide variety of promotional products and business subjects. The poll, included in every issue of PPB Newslink and on the PPAI Media website, provides an anecdotal snapshot of insights on key issues.

Several PromoPolls questions sought to paint a picture of where industry businesses were devoting their focus as 2021 ramped up. A question directed toward distributors asked, “Which market are you expecting to be your top performer in Q1?” Thirty-one percent said health care, 19 percent said education, 12 percent said construction, six percent said real estate and six percent said nonprofits. Another question asked, “If you are now selling PPE, do you anticipate making it a permanent part of the products you sell, even if face masks are no longer required at some point?” Fifty-eight percent of respondents said yes. A question posed to suppliers asked, “What have you done so far in Q1 to boost sales?” Thirty-five percent said they had launched a new marketing campaign, 12 percent introduced a new product category and six percent expanded their sales team, while 40 percent of respondents pursued two or more of these options.

PromoPolls also looked at product trends in early 2021. In response to the question “Distributors, what category of products are you selling the most of so far this year?,” 29 percent said apparel, 24 percent said technology, 12 percent said writing instruments and 12 percent said drinkware. When PromoPolls asked “Distributors, how important are brand-name items when selling apparel?,” 56 percent said it depends on the type of apparel or client, 30 percent said it was usually important but not a deal breaker, 11 percent said very important and four percent said it wasn’t important at all. Another question asked, “Does your company have a showroom where potential customers can browse for products and ideas?,” 65 percent said yes, while six percent said they either had one in the works or were considering it.

The question, “Would you be willing to give your employees an incentive to get the COVID-19 vaccine?” came as the pace of vaccine distribution accelerated in the U.S. in first quarter 2021. Thirty-six percent said they would give their employees a paid time-off incentive while 12 percent would provide a monetary incentive. Thirty percent said no to any incentive and 20 percent weren’t sure. 

To learn more about the polls’ findings, participate in the latest polls and see how industry peers have responded to other topical questions, visit Suggest questions to be considered for future polls by emailing   


James Khattak is news editor of PPB.

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