How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Promotional Products

So you've decided to incorporate promotional products into your marketing mix. But crucial to any marketing initiative is the ability to prove its level of effectiveness with hard data. So how will you measure their success?

With an email blast it's fairly easy to track the number of opens, clicks, and leads generated. But with branded products there is no electronic tracker that allows you to follow the next steps of the recipient. Don't worry, though; with a little ingenuity and more data you can put together a solid analysis of the effect of your initiative.

First: Determine exactly what you to accomplish. Let's say you're the founder of an internet start-up company attending a trade show for the second year. You successfully generated some buzz last year, and now you're looking seriously to gain corporate clients. You bought 500 stylish, trendy water bottles imprinted with your logo, which you will offer as an incentive to fill out the contact form at your booth.

Second: Measure, measure, measure. Designate one person at the booth to count all the visitors. That way you can divide the number of people who filled out your contact form by the number of total visitors to your booth to determine how compelling the item was as an incentive.

Third: Shift plans according to your goals. Perhaps next year you'll decide your client list is at capacity, and instead you want to show off your newest technology. You'll need to focus on drawing people to your booth rather than soliciting their information. Opt for a less expensive item like non-woven tote bags and give them away to all visitors, inducing them to come by and watch your video presentation.

This is just one case study for how you can strategically and systematically incorporate promotional products into your marketing plan. By setting a goal at the beginning, taking careful measurements, then analyzing your data and adjusting accordingly, you will be able to determine the best products and budget for your needs and confidently approach your superiors with a rock-solid strategy.