The Five Rs of Marketing

Five Rs of Marketing

Marketing using PPAI’s Five Rs of Marketing

Promotional Products Association International recently published a consumer study looking into how promotional products are viewed by the public. The study was created in 2016 and involved over 1,000 people as part of the Get in Touch! campaign, which is a drive to encourage advertising buyers and marketing teams to use promotional products.

As part of the research the Mapping out the Modern Consumer study established five key metrics on how to both measure and enhance the effectiveness of certain advertising channels. The report focuses on promotional products but the metrics are easily applied to broadcast, online, mobile and print advertising too.

There is no cheat-sheet when it comes to grading the potential success of a marketing campaign. The key metrics are called the five Rs of marketing. Although they can give an insight of what a marketing team could focus on before it gets underway and what to look out for during and after the campaign, they are just guidelines. But it’s not a bad place to start.


Reach is probably the best metric to start with. It’s simple to get a general idea of reach but almost impossible to calculate how effective each impression has been. Social media sites each offer statistics of how a certain tweet does, but it’s hard to grasp what the numbers mean.

The reach of TV adverts can be looked at through viewing figures of the programme it’s on during, newspaper reach by circulation numbers and a tweet could go viral but otherwise has a fleeting effect. All these give numbers that offer a best-case scenario for the number of impressions, but can’t give the whole view of how the advert has performed.


The next point in the five Rs of marketing is recall. Recall is a hard to measure and hard to achieve metric of marketing. It’s all about how often and how successfully someone will remember your brand. Promotional products have the ability to integrate themselves into our everyday lives like no other form of advertising. Promotional pens and branded mugs will be found in every office or worksite in the country. This is where promotional products may have an advantage over the other forms of marketing. It’s difficult to recall the adverts on the radio this morning or the tweet you scrolled over just now, but you may remember that brand on the mug at your workplace.

According to the PPAI research nearly nine in 10 people interviewed were able to remember the branding from at least one promotional product they’ve received. If a calendar with a logo on is sat beside a desk for 12 months, then that company is more likely to be remembered than a single advert during a five-minute advert break. That’s not to say promotional products are the only way to achieve this metric. Successful adverts will be remembered and it doesn’t matter the reason. These adverts will be recalled whether it’s a quality advert or not, the Go Compare adverts may be limited in quality, but its success is undeniable.


Creating an emotive connection between the consumer and the advert is the key marketing. 19 of the 20 most watched TV broadcasts in American history are Super Bowls. (Shout-out to M*A*S*H for incredibly holding a top 10 spot since 1989) Is there any wonder that companies go to great lengths and even greater expense to create adverts that elicit feelings? Companies are trying to evoke nostalgia like the Skittles Super Bowl advert, put forward an empowering social commentary like the Audi or Budweiser commercials, or simply have a fun advert featuring a couple of well-known faces like Buick’s advert. Each example is trying to resonate with the viewer through a different feeling.

The issue with this is the same issue with marketing teams attempting to match colours with characteristics. Each person is unique. Every person has had different life experiences and grown up in difference cultures, they react and feel uniquely, so there is no catch-all with this metric.


There is no one reason why advertising is as prominent as it is. Blogs want to increase readership; local councils want to show residents the good work they’re doing in their community and charities want to raise funds. It’s not always about selling a service or a product. Advertising and marketing is the most effective way for a company to create a dialogue between themselves and their customers.

The reaction metric has two aspects to it; the first is touched on in the resonance metric. It’s the desire to attempt to shape the consumer’s reaction to what you would like it to be. This applies to all marketing channels. Videos on social media are published for a reaction, promotional products are given away to be used and print media adverts are to be read. The idea is to encourage the public to consume the campaign in the intended way.

The second aspect of the reaction metric is how the consumer reacts to the company afterwards. If the initial reaction is positive, where does this lead next? A marketing campaign can get an initial positive reaction but it may not convert into the purpose of the campaign. Does it increase brand loyalty? Are they more, or less, likely to donate to the charity? Will the consumer spend time to research the company for more information? The PPAI’s research concludes that promotional products are likely to increase brand loyalty and 79% of people said they have looked up a brand after receiving a promotional product.


The final metric in the Five Rs of Marketing is the need to keep advertising relevant. The gap between the different channels of marketing is shrinking. Social media and mobile are becoming one. Print media is increasingly reliant on their online ventures and the gaps between broadcast and online are closing too. Despite the gaps closing there are endless opportunities to market a brand, but it’s clear that it’s no longer possible to rely on one channel for a marketing campaign. This is especially relevant if the campaign is attempting to market towards a vast range of people.

The most effective advertising channel differs between age. The older the generation is the more likely they are to rely on traditional print media for their information. The younger audience use broadcast and mobile more.

The most effective advertising channel differs between age. The older the generation is the more likely they are to rely on traditional print media for their information. The younger audience use broadcast and mobile more.The idea behind the final point in the five Rs is to stay relevant in that marketing field and achieve the greatest return on investment possible.

Every organisation, whether a multi-national corporation or a local charity, needs to market their services, products and fundraising campaigns. Whether done through promotional products, TV, online or a mixture of all the channels, hopefully keeping an eye on the five Rs of marketing will make the process smoother.