More often than not, It is difficult to ascertain the exact success of your marketing campaign and how, or even if, you have reached your target sector. In publishing, for instance, the estimation of circulation figures allows for a magazine to be read by more than just the actual person who purchased it.
If you apply this logic to say to advertising pens, it would be interesting to know how many people will actually use and see the message printed on your choice of promotional writing instrument. After all, pens are items that are picked up and put down just about anywhere. They are also borrowed and in a lot of cases, not returned. If they are better quality logo pens, say for example, printed metal pens, they are far more likely to be picked up again and again. If it is a branded pen with an eye catching or popular logo on it, again it is more likely to pass from person to person. Ending up with an array of promotional pens that were not intended for our specific use in the first place is commonplace and the journey of promotional items seems to be far reaching.
I have two examples of promotional items that I acquired which fall into the above categories. The first one being a printed plastic pen which I have no idea how or where it came from, somehow it just landed on my desk. However, when I first saw it and read the message I thought it may be something our activities committee may be interested in so I passed it on to them. Our company decided to respond to the advertiser as we had been looking for a possible activity for the staff and it was for a new Go-Karting company which was fairly close to our offices but we had no idea of its’ existence. We had a great evening of fun and excitement and I know that the company details were passed on to many people through our staff who attended the evening.
The second one was a printed pencil sharpener, which I saw in an airport toilet of all places. I am not in the habit of picking up other peoples rubbish and neither did I need a printed pencil sharpener but I was interested in the marketing message. It was advertising a currency exchange company and as I am a frequent traveller, I thought I would give them a call. On contacting them I found their exchange rates far more competitive than the company I had previously always used so I switched and have been using them ever since (that was 3 years ago!) I also told other people about this company and they too are now using the company for their exchange deals.
I would imagine that the two advertising companies in these examples never thought that their promotional pens and pencil sharpeners would bear fruit just by simply falling into someone else’s hands or perhaps they did. Who knows, perhaps the branded pencil sharpener was deliberately planted in the airport toilets; if it was, it certainly worked!