Plan B Releases First Annual Industry Report
Jupiter, Florida-based Plan B Associates, a group of executives formed from leadership positions within the promotional products industry, released its first annual Industry Observer report. The report presents a business outlook for 2009 and is available to everyone involved in the promotional products field.
Senior partner Stuart Putnam stated, “While this is a rather gloomy look, it is nevertheless a realistic look at what is happening in the world. By looking at the economic situation in an objective way, industry practitioners can make informed choices about how they approach business in 2009.”
Observations in the report are based upon interviews with industry suppliers and distributors as well as committed news tracking by each Plan B senior executive. “The trend analysis of the Top 30 Markets, as reported by PPAI, is truly the foundation for the report,” said senior partner Keith Annison. “When you read our Industry Observer, you will understand that there are going to be fewer dollars for promotional product purchasing in 2009. We are advising our clients to make three key adjustments to ensure they are properly positioned for the year ahead.” Recommendations for suppliers include adjusting their go-to-market strategy, spending money in growth markets and avoid spending in severely depressed markets.”
Putnam added, “While what we present is common sense, it often takes a well-constructed wake-up call to put things into perspective and make them real. Hopefully, this wake-up call will jolt all of us into change.” In Plan B’s review, six of the top 10 buying markets have a downward forecast for 2009. Within the top 30 markets, 13 forecast down in 2009, and 12 of the top 30 are being forecast flat. Only five of the top 30 buying markets show an upward trend, some of which are questionable.
According to Putnam, “Sales will be down, but there are orders to be had in 2009. In the promotional products market, suppliers must focus on existing buying volume by practicing exactly what they say they are selling: creative incentives and better targeted marketing programs to get more sales that would otherwise go to more aggressive suppliers.” The report also covers product safety, risk management, travel, trade shows/exhibitions and sales representation.