A marketing campaign is a strategically approached game plan. Whenever a game is involved, there are certain rules for playing the game. These rules  have been laid down by experts and veterans of the game and have been in practice since the very inception of the game. The rules change from time to time but no game takes place without rules. In marketing, the rules were written by the marketing gurus who tried, tested and even failed a number of times to finally come up with some winning strategies. Out of their invaluable experience, they have articulated a few important factors which have to be taken into consideration when devising a marketing promotional strategy.The new rule is that there are no rules. You can give away promotional gifts to your customers anytime. No need to play by the rules. But always consider the wisdom of the experienced. The first and foremost thing to be taken into consideration is the objective of giving out promotional products to your clients and business associates. The objective of your campaign can be determined using the SMART rule. Your objective is going to be either specific, measurable, achievable, realistic or time-related. The product life-cycle of the brand is another aspect you have to consider while giving out promotional items to your customers. Your objectives will be different for each stage of the cycle. If you are giving out promotional products in the initial stage, the giveaway should be something very innovative and attractive. The promotional products have to catch the attention of the market right away. Your entry into the market must be announced with pomp and show. Promotional gifts given out during the growth stage should be aimed at both creating awareness about the brand and also popularizing it. During the maturity stage, the sole aim should be to build loyalty in customers.The next thing to be taken into consideration should be the target audience. Who should the campaign be aimed at? Who should receive promotional items? What should be their demographic, socio-cultural and psychographic profile? The next most important thing to remember is – what should be the message that goes out with the promotional products?The message is what pulls the customer to your brand. Your communication should be short, crisp and smart. The budget for giving out promotional gifts is another factor which should be decided after carefully examining the market and the brand performance so far. The time frame is another factor which forms an important part of the whole process. You should decide whether you want to give out promotional products to customers for a one time purchase only or more. Do you want to continue the campaign for a few days, weeks, months or a whole year? When all the above facts have been considered, its time to implement the planned strategy. After the campaign goes on air, its very important to evaluate the whole process whether everything is going according to plan. Are they any problems? If so, how can they be solved? The above listed factors sum up all the rules of the game to be kept in mind while planning a promotional campaign.