ASI Promotional Products Organization or the Advertising Specialty Institute is a marketing organization that brings together distributors and suppliers of promotional products. We have been a supplier member for at least 25 years. I have been with the company 20 years and we were members many years before I joined the company. When we first joined, we participated in a mailing where they would take your catalog and mail it out to all of the distributors. We tried ASI trade shows. We have advertised in Counselor Magazine.
We have advertised in Advantages Magazine. We have been in their giant yearly register. We have done the ASI tradeshow circuit. Here are the opinions of ASI by an industry supplier. ASI is really well run. I am a current advertiser. My sales rep is fantastic and gets back to me with accurate information whenever it is needed. If there is something I want to change, she will get back to me right away and make it happen. My service level from my ASI reps has been pretty consistent for over 2 decades.
We are a smaller company when it comes to the ASI Promotional Products Organization. We also don't have as many competitors. We found that it was hard for us to see the value in advertising in print media and ASI catalogs. We tried for 10 years off and on. I am sure it led to sales and brand recognition, it didn't feel like it was always the best spend for out type of sales. We still do a little bit of print advertising and we continue to try various ASI products as they come out.
Right now we are trying a new product where distributors will get 3 emails based on whether they open or not. The email leads the to an advertorial written by ASI. It is nice that I don't have to write the article or worry about sending emails. All of ASI's supplier solutions include the creative which is genius. It makes it so much easier to advertise with ASI knowing that you don't have to take on the project of creating an ad.
ASI puts out some of industry's largest promotional products tradeshows of the various organizations. ASI has 4 big shows which are somewhat regional but people still travel. We did the ASI show circuit for about 3 years. The trade shows were run as well as its other advertising and suppliers were treated very well. Distributors were treated like gold. Some distributors got free flights and free hotel rooms. ASI knows it is important to pack the show with good distributors or the suppliers won't buy booths. ASI setup a pricing structure where it made sense to do all 4 shows if you considered 3. They would transport your booth from show to show saving thousands of dollars.
The last product and probably the most important product that ASI licenses is their ESP product. ESP is know to be the best search engine in the promotional products world. It is the most expensive as well. I am sure if it was free, every distributor would use it. We have advertised on ESP for the last 10 years. Our thought is that if a distributor is looking for a bar stool on ESP, we probably want them to see us.
I think we get the most new distributor calls and leads from ESP. We will often hear I saw you on ESP and I need to get a quote. ESP isn't used by all the biggest distributors but it is used by many of them. From what I have heard, bigger distributors with more licenses get better pricing on the software.