This post is inspired by a client for whom I am developing a series of aggressive price promotions in order to position their brand. But it is taking the promotion as an action to lower the price of its product, when it is a new product, which is not positioned and which has to swim against negative branding (foreign to my client) because the place where it operates has had the same turn at different stages without any success, the reason?
Sufficient positioning efforts were never made, the market never fully understood what the business was about and the brand was affected by this commercial uncertainty that directly affected the market, it is pure semantic differential: If I do not communicate what I am, the market will not understand me and I will go unnoticed. So by way of therapy and with the desire to share this experience so that if a colleague or company is going through the same situation, this post will serve as a “wake up call” and focus effectively on their promotion strategy.
Promotion is not synonymous with marketing, it is one of its elements; It is not synonymous with advertising or sales, since these are part of the promotion. For a potential customer to buy from you, they first need to know that they exist, once they know they exist, they need to like them (with all that that implies in persuasion, seduction, quality and price); be present and available at the right time where he can buy them; and generate an image and campaign where the impacts they generate in your mind make you remember that they exist (and that you like them) at the time and place of the purchase decision. This is all part of a marketing tool called promotion.
“Promotion consists of transmitting information between the seller and potential buyers or other members of the channel to influence their attitudes and behaviors” -Jerome McCarthy (creator of the 4P’s)-
“The means by which a company tries to inform, convince and remember, directly or indirectly, its products and brands to the general public. In a way, it could be said that marketing communications represent the voice of the brand, and enable dialogue and the creation of relationships with consumers ”–Kotler and Keller-
Promotions are commercial efforts that are aimed at achieving the objectives outlined in the marketing plan of each company. Companies have different channels and promotions can be directed specifically to just one, for example the final consumer, the intermediary or the retailer and also in any imaginable productive sector. Some of them give promotional or corporate gifts as their promotion tool. If you’re interested in the concept, you should read this corporate logo gifts blog.
I also list some examples:
- Government: Discount on property for prompt payment.
- Public Notaries: September the month of the will.
- Department Stores: Night Sales.
- Restaurants: This May 10 Mom eats for free.
- Amusement parks: 2 × 1 to the birthday boy.
- Restaurants with home delivery: Tuesday 2 × 1.
- Cinemas: Discount Memberships or Frequent Customer.
- Banks: Months without interest, pay until January.
- Pharmacies: Savings purses.
- Cars: Free insurance
- Mobile Telephony: Free minutes, internet megabytes, frequent numbers, unlimited messages.
And so we could make an endless list of promotions that we all have at hand and the reason is very simple, today we have an opportunistic market, not very faithful, looking for discounts, looking for benefits. We are all like that, we all want more for less, we are in the disposable world, of programmed obsolescence and that is where brands take hold in order to generate loyalty, since loyalty does not go in the sense of quality, yes not in terms of service, we do not buy a durable iPhone (durable would be quality), we buy an iPhone by design, by fashion, because it offers us many services and novelties, but at 6 months, there is already a new one and we need it! The folks at Mac are geniuses who offer us just what we all “need”:
Is Starbucks the best coffee in the world? Of course not, but it offers us a personalized glass, friendly treatment, a comfortable place, and a pleasant atmosphere.
Does Dominic’s Pizza have the best pizza in the world? No, but they take it to the house and let’s be honest, that little game that they give us for 30 minutes or free is very interesting, have they never set the timer? How many free pizzas have been refined?
Does McDonald’s sell the best hamburgers in the world? No, but it offers a favorable setting for us to go and throw our children into games for two hours, while parents gossip at ease in a McCafé, which they put with us in mind, pure targeting.
Everyone likes promotions!
Everyone likes promotions, especially promotional gifts like those provided by logo.ee. Customers eagerly await their announcement to make a smart and sometimes convenient purchase. For their part, marketers need to know how to run so their efforts don’t turn into one-time hits.
The objective is to capture leads to convert them into those customers who finally found the solutions and value propositions they had always sought. In other words, you have to build loyalty to these customers.
But is there a magic formula to achieve it? Because each business is different (and therefore its audience, channels and market), we cannot speak of a single effective strategy. But there are some helpful steps.
How to make successful promotions in 6 steps
- Research, train and optimize.
- Aim for a target.
- Define your audience.
- Choose the media and the message.
- Create your strategy.
- Evaluate the results.
Let’s see each step in detail:
1. Research, train and optimize
Tracey Wallace, who was editor-in-chief of the Paypal BigCommerce blog, gives us some great advice: planning a promotion starts long before you set your goal. It is important that you take a look at the numbers from the previous period to understand which products or services were most successful and why.
It is also key that you meet with your sales team and know, in addition to their performance, what they need to do a better job: equipment, staff, tools, training. If you want a strategy to work, then everyone involved must be prepared to carry out the process, in every way possible.
Finally, make sure that the conditions exist for the promotion to take place. That is: that your inventory is available, that your website has all the appropriate information and design, and that what you are going to offer can be fulfilled, in order to create an optimized shopping experience. In short, research the sales history, train and equip your employees, and optimize the sales process focused on promotion.
2. Aim at a target
Once you know that you have the essentials to work, and that you have information about your sales in previous periods, it is time to set the objective: what do you want to achieve or solve. From something as simple as running out of stocks of a certain product to something more laborious, such as giving corporate gifts, launching a completely new product or service or directing it to a segment that you had not targeted: you must have clear goals. This step is key, because it is the one that defines those who come.
To illustrate what we say, let’s talk about a promotion that the Domestika site has launched lately. Given the context of working from home, many people realized that they need a little extra to make a presentation or document that stands out. Here we can locate your goal of attracting new subscribers to Domestika, where you don’t need to have prior knowledge to learn: almost all of their courses are for beginners.
3. Define your audience
Who will be more interested in this promotion? Or, maybe, who would you like to be interested in? That is why you must define your buyer personas and the stage of the buyer in which they are, so that your entire team knows what their needs are, how you can help them improve their quality of life with your offer and what can be achieved with the resources available to them.
If you already have your profile (or your profiles) well drawn, then move on to the next step. Thanks to the segmentation provided by Facebook, an advertiser can direct their advertising efforts to people who will appreciate their message.
4. Choose the media and the message
As you already know, a different message is written to each audience and, also, it is transmitted through different channels. In this way, you guarantee that the efforts that are invested reach those who should listen to them and that they will pay due attention to them.
Email marketing, paid ads on social media or Google Ads, sponsored content with influencers in your industry, website promotions, and more cannot be part of a strategy that says the same thing to the same people at the same time. The intention is lost and what you invested does not reflect any profit.
Of course, the media and the message go hand in hand with the strategy and actions. Continuing with the benefits of Facebook, another advantage it offers is that you can create ads for users to buy your products directly. It is as if you had an extension of your online sales site, and with the carousel format, you can see different articles in a single publication:
Coppel, a Mexican department store knows this and promotes their discounts (plus the advantage of free shipping) on Facebook, a platform where you will find from students to retirees, who can take advantage of their articles with their payment terms and affordable brands.
5. Create your strategy
When we talk about strategy, we refer to the way in which you are going to manage the resources that will take your promotion to its destination, but we also refer to how you should measure its effectiveness.
On the one hand, your objectives and target audience guide you to create a message on the ideal channels. And a team of creatives, designers and marketers leverage their skills to create an engaging, attention-grabbing campaign that communicates exactly what you’re looking for.
But it is useless to have a great production to communicate your promotion if you do not know how to check if it is effective or not. Remember that you must establish smart goals, which have tangible and verifiable indicators, which you can follow up on during all stages of your promotion. And, well, if you notice that something is wrong, make the necessary adjustments. A good strategy also allows room for last minute changes, and is just as flexible as those in your charge.
6. Evaluate the results
When the promotion is over, it’s time to analyze the numbers. Of course, you will focus on those that are related to the objective you set from the beginning, although we also recommend that you pay attention to those that turned out as extra, which you may not have planned.
This will also help you understand how your strategy affected your audience. Maybe your actions pushed the sales of a product, as you were looking for it, but a video also went viral as part of the campaign and now more people know your brand for that particular piece. In addition, you already have a precedent for your next endeavor, because everything that happens will be part of a learning process, in the good and, above all, what did not go as planned.
There are tools that can help you, many of them are already included in the platforms where it is possible to target advertising, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Ads.
In the end, no matter what form of promotion you choose, promotion is one of the pillars of supporting the success of your business.