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How effective are your promotional objectives?

Pink Key Consulting’s Richard Pink on why it’s more important than ever to know what you want to achieve with a marketing campaign.

Ah the good old days – toys in cereal packets, advertising things full and sugar and artificial stuff before the watershed – those were the days, before we all had to start taking statins as a result. Back then it was relatively easy to launch and promote products; you just got a shedload full of cash and threw it at a media planner and watched the product fly out of the factory and off the shelves.

Okay, perhaps I’m oversimplifying a little, the point is that these days it’s not so simple to promote and advertise your brand or product anywhere. Television as an advertising medium has lost its dominance and become unfeasibly complicated; promotional channels have changed dramatically; shopper marketing and experiential marketing are on the rise; online advertising, social media and user generated content are the new gold mines being dug out by marketers.

In this environment it is so much more important for a brand or product to know what it wants to achieve, understand how to achieve it, and how that success (or lack of) is going to be measured.

If a licence owner (or their agent) wants to approach a brand to collaborate with their licence, they would do well to know what that target brand wants to achieve. This information is like gold dust, especially if you can tailor your approach so that the brand genuinely believes you can help them achieve their objectives.

Objectives can be any one of a number of things – distribution, awareness, trial, penetration… the list goes on – all adding up to additional sales. All of these objectives will have (or at least should have) some sort of target against them that will tell the brand whether the success was a campaign was a success after it has been run.

However, the measure of success for any of these objectives can vary wildly from brand to brand. To illustrate: selling Coca Cola to an additional one thousand people in a month is probably a modest ask; however selling a brand new product to one thousand people in a month could be classed as a huge success for a brand new product with a very small marketing budget.

The important thing is to know what success looks like, and not to kid yourself that the money you’ve spent on a marketing campaign was an effective use of funds when it clearly wasn’t. Taking any other view is going to condemn you to self-delusion and more worryingly to make the same mistake again.

So what’s the message? Well there are two:

  • If you are running any kind of marketing campaign, before you set out, ensure that you know what your objectives are and your measures of success are based on the budget you have available.
  • Secondly, make sure you have the facility in place to be able to actually measure your performance against these objectives.


Sounds simple doesn’t it, but I’ve sat through enough award entries to be able to spot the campaigns that either retro fit their objectives, or worse still didn’t have any to start off with and, therefore, didn’t know why they were spending their marketing money.

However, if you do take the time to plan the campaign and how you are going to measure the effectiveness, then you are looking at long-term success. It will also help you to understand the objectives of brands that you would like to work with so that you can tailor your pitch and make your licence a more attractive prospective partner for them.

Richard Pink is md of Pink Key Consulting – an agency specialising in licensing and promotions. He can be contacted on

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