Measuring the ROI of Promotional Products

Have you ever considered measuring the ROI of Promotional Products?

As a modern-day marketer, we are trained to question & measure the return on all marketing activities. I was recently asked by a fellow marketer how would I measure or rate promotional products against other forms of marketing techniques?

It was a fair question but it surprised me nonetheless, so I decided to build an experimental promotional marketing campaign while bringing the focus to ROI.

For the sake of this campaign, let’s say you want to measure the return on promotional materials to be used as giveaways for an event.

ROI of Promotional Giveaways for Events

Let’s assume that the event is expected to receive 1000 participants and out of those you can reasonably estimate that 40% of the participants are your targeted audience.

In other words, you are basically looking at running a promotional marketing campaign for 400 participants at the cost of 1000 participants, since you can’t find out which participant is your targeted audience by simply looking at them.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

A popular event promotional giveaway, such as a custom keychain typically costs under $1 per piece. You will need 1000 keychains for all the participants in this particular campaign. So, your total estimated cost for this campaign would be $1000 (1000 keychains @ roughly $1 each + setup costs).

In other words, your direct cost of promotional marketing campaign would be: $1000 per 400 participants or $2.5 per participant (as you will end up wasting the remaining $600 worth of giveaways to the non-targeted audience)

The MATH behind the ROI of Reach

According to a research done by PPAI, an average promotional item kept over a year is seen by at least 2.5 additional targeted audiences by means of their original recipient. This is called as reach amplification, where your promotional product is exposed to other people intentionally or as a by-product of use.

In other words, if 400 participants used their promotional items for over a year, they will expose your brand name to 1000 more targeted audience. Simple speaking, by spending $1000 you managed to expose your brand name to at least 1400 targeted audience over the course of a year.

Therefore, the Cost per Impression (CPI) is $0.71 per targeted audience.

Now if you can just factor in your company conversion rates, it will give you a good idea on the ROI of this particular campaign.

FEW KEY TAKEAWAYS

Context of Use

The performance of a promotional item can be greatly affected by the context in which it is used. For example, a real estate agent giving away promotional keychains to his prospective clients can see an even better ROI as there will be very little waste.

Brand Resonance or Product Choice

It is vital to choose the right promotional product that connects with your brand & messaging. Just because a promotional product is exciting, it doesn’t mean it will necessarily drive home the intended message. You will need to find promotional products that resonate with your audience and carry your message through brand association.

For example, a moving company would benefit from giving away branded measuring tapes, a repair company may benefit from giving away branded repair tools and so on.