Companies operating in the business services industry were the top buyers of promotional products in 2017. The findings come from PPAI’s Sales Volume Study, which along with registering 2017 distributor promotional products sales—a record $23.3 billion—identified the top industries that are buying promotional products. This is the first time the survey explored promotional products purchases by industry since 2007.

The business services category accounted for 9.4 percent of promotional products purchases in 2017. The category includes HR and recruiting services, advertising and PR services, consulting services, market research services, translation services and similar businesses. In the 2007 survey, the education sector held the No. 1 spot, and industries were defined in data collection, so the examples were pre-set. For the 2017 survey, respondents provided examples of the types of businesses their customers represented. This allowed a greater scope, as opposed to limiting the industries to the pre-determined examples, and relative to industry standards of classifications.

Rounding out the Top 10 buyers of promotional products in 2017 are education (9.3 percent), financial (8.1 percent), manufacturing (8 percent), health care (7.1 percent), construction (6.1 percent), insurance (4.5 percent), technology (4.2 percent), nonprofit/not-for-profit (4.1 percent) and agriculture (3.8 percent).

PPAI’s 2017 Sales Volume Study was conducted this spring by Relevant Insights, a third-party, independent market research firm, on behalf of the Association and its members, and involved 23,564 participating distributor companies. In its ranking of industries buying promotional products, industry categories were classified by distributor sales and weighted 58 percent for large companies (over $2.5 million) and 42 percent for small companies (under $2.5 million).

PPAI has collected and released industry sales data since 1965 and maintains an extensive industry sales information library. Its annual distributor sales survey reflects actual sales data reported by U.S. distributor companies and is considered the most definitive and comprehensive survey of its kind in the industry.

For a more detailed breakdown of the industry categories buying promotional products and the businesses within them, click here.