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Luggage Cart, Shopping Trolley Bag, Aluminum Hand Cart

What's That in The Shopping Cart? [2012-02-17]

On a number of the luggage carts was a local realtor; on others was an insurance agent. You have probably seen this yourself in your local grocery store. Anyway, because Brad owns a successful local business, they regularly finish up speaking about promotion, and even this trip to the supermarket was no exception.

One of the largest mistakes I see people make in their promotion is that they have absolutely no idea whether it is working or not. Oh, possibly they have a general idea - sales are increasing, returns are dropping, or something like that, but ask them for the return on investment of a specific campaign and they will look at you like you are speaking Swahili.

Do those shopping cart ads work? They asked. This is normally how our promotion conversations start. I thought about it for a few seconds and then answered, decisively, no. No. And probably not.

Judging by the puzzled look on his face, I figured I ought to probably report what I meant.

Answer #2: No
The second "No" was answering the query, does the advertisement itself work? Again, that was an simple, because it was fundamentally a business card, blown up and rendered in color. It is probably the same thing they use in their Yellow Pages advertisement, their post cards, and their newspaper ads.

Answer #1: No
The first "No" was addressing whether the exact advertisement in the cart worked. That was simple.
There was no way to tell if that worked because there was no tracking knowledge on the add and even if there was, they didn't see a compelling reason to keep in mind it ourselves. So was the advertisement in our cart effective? Most likely not, but clearly there was no way to track it, so it is a moot query.

Possibly there would be some response if the advertisement offered a free document on how to economize on insurance or get top dollar for your house. But it didn't. And if I called up the owners of these local businesses and asked them exactly how much revenue they generated from the ads in that particular store - or from all ads on all carts in all stores - they probably would not have a clue.

Why a "No" on this? Because the advertisement was missing 11 of the 12 Critical Parts necessary for a great add most notably, there was no offer. So the basic premise is that I go shopping, throw an item in to the basket, glance down, see the advertisement, and pick to call the number.

More importantly, they would not even understand the query. They would probably blindly repeat the words of their advertisement agency or media sales rep: This gives more 'impressions' and helps 'build the brand. And that takes us to...

Answer #3: Probably Not
Is there some benefit to having market presence and brand awareness? Possibly, but not likely. When business owners figure out how to measure those terms in actual dollars I will be all ears. Because that is the only way you know what is working and what is not so you can invest your promotion money wisely.

Are you guilty of this type of promotion? Ask yourself these same questions and see in the event you can refocus your promotion in to a tractable comprehensive system.