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According to the Specialty Advertising Association International, the ad specialty, or giveaway, industry is a $4.48-billion-a-year business. If your marketing plan has room and money for it, and you decide to use an ad specialty, here are some guidelines for spending your money wisely. Your giveaway item should fit into your overall marketing strategy, and fulfill a specific objective. Decide how and when to distribute the item. Base your distribution decisions on your objective for the ad specialty and on its cost and perceived value. Make sure your giveaway item integrates well with the service you provide and your other marketing campaigns. When planning your budget for the giveaway campaign, make sure you choose an item that is not too expensive, but at the same time, not a piece of junk. Consider how much the giveaway campaign costs compared to other campaigns and whether other activities could accomplish more. The best solution is to budget separately for the ad specialty. Then you'll be quick to notice if its cost is out of line with other marketing activities. When choosing your ad specialty, look for one that has the following attributes: class (or at least good taste); consistency with company image; relationship to the company business; utility; retention; visibility; and continuity. These attributes should remain with the ad specialty item even after the initial giveaway, to serve as a reminder of the quality associated with your company.