Creating Lasting Impressions

Problems with promotional products – Number 7. Lack of Measurability/Testability

Measurable marketing is a relatively new phenomenon.  Until recently, most companies would spend their marketing budgets and do relatively little to measure the effect of the programs.  A lot of money would be spent and all that could be said was “I think it went well”.  

Measuring our marketing efforts has a two-fold benefit, not only does it tell us how well our program performed, but it also shows us where improvements can be made.  This means that, next time, the marketing program will be better – and you can measure it and improve it again.  Properly applied, measurable marketing will set off an upward cycle of ever increasing results and revenues.

Should your promotional products campaign be any different?  You need to know whether or not your campaign worked to meet your objectives.  This can only be done by measuring and analyzing your campaign, which can be done in a number of ways.

Campaigns involving direct response calls to action are the easiest to measure.  A retailer’s “gift with purchase” promotion can be measured by the improvement in sales during the campaign.  Trade show exhibitors who distributed keys that might open a treasure chest can measure the program’s success by the number of people who showed up at the booth to try their luck.

The success of a program involving the direct mail/delivery of an item is also fairly easy to measure.  Indeed, a direct mail piece provides an excellent reason for your sales department to contact recipients and inquire about the gift.  Did they receive it?  What do they think?  Do they have any orders today?  The direct mailing of promotional gifts to potential clients works equally as well as a reason to call, inquire about the gift and discuss possible business.

You can even track promotional products that were distributed randomly, like at a product launch or during a public awareness campaign – but only if they had a call to action, such as a web site or telephone number, imprinted upon them.  Web traffic and calls to the number can be counted to find out how well the product worked.  Once there is a consistent program in place for checking the traffic,  the numbers for each new campaign can be compared to previous campaigns to determine how well the new program worked.  If numbers for the new program are weaker, you need to determine why – wrong product; ill defined objective; bad timing; etc.. If the numbers are better, then it would also be helpful to know why so that you can continue to improve next time.

Measuring an institutional campaign, where there is no call to action, is possible in some cases.  If an item was distributed at a trade show, a post-show call to all attendees to make sure they got a gift can also be used to determine how well the program was received.

Hire a telephone survey company if not enough staff are available to execute a calling program in a timely manner following a show.  Waiting too long will make it more difficult to get the information you need.

Analyzing the data from any campaign will give you a good idea of what works, what doesn’t work and what you need to do next time – and that’s the hidden beauty of taking the time to measure your campaign.  Not only is it the final step in your most recent program, it’s the first step in your next one.


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7 Problems Ebook cover