The effectiveness of promotions is measured in percent and numbers, showing an increase in loyalty of regular customers and the emergence of new ones. Expert SR Anya Pabst, head of the Russian branch of BEITRAINING, tells how to plan and when to carry out various actions so that they are effective and not turned into an unjustified budget line item.
How to identify your customer
According to surveys, over 40% of retailers rate advertising campaigns and promotions as an important aspect of commercial success. In order for the action to lead to the desired result, it is important to avoid common mistakes, among which are an inaccurate definition of the target group, an incorrectly selected time, an erroneous presentation strategy.
When planning another campaign, store owners puzzle over how and what to stand out against the general background. It is interesting that creativity in this matter plays an important, but not crucial. Success will be enjoyed by the principle true at all times, based on the love of customers for savings - real or apparent. The most common idea of promotions is a discount on a product or a second pair of shoes, free related products, a coupon for your next purchase or gift.
Planning for a successful campaign begins by highlighting “your” customer. It is advisable to obtain as much information as possible about the target group: age, education, income level and place of residence, social and marital status, presence of children, loyalty, average check. A successful businessman is, first of all, someone who knows his client almost better than himself.
Even if the outlet has been in the same place for many years, and you know regular customers by name, updating the information will not be superfluous. It is not necessary to spend money on attracting specialists - you can simply conduct a survey among customers. There are usually few who want to fill out a questionnaire, but a symbolic gift or sweets will be a pleasant incentive to spend a few minutes. The questionnaire will provide an idea of customers and facilitate budget planning based on the needs of a specific target group, and will also be useful not only when planning promotions, but also updating the trading range.
Internet for help
The success of the action begins with how and when you inform people - as many potential customers as possible should know about it. Depending on your target group, an online campaign may be a good solution. Young people and buyers of 30-45 have been actively using the World Wide Web for years, an older group is unlikely to be able to find and appreciate your advertisement on the city portal or video on your website. The base of email addresses of regular customers who are subscribed to the news about new collections and sales is the best solution for disseminating information about the promotion using information technology.
The Internet advertising market is growing, leaving behind print, radio and competing on equal terms with television. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to approach banners and paid advertisements that are offered everywhere, soberly and soberly, choosing those offers that make it possible to track not just the number of clicks and transitions, but the number of clients whom the banner “brought” to the basket. The main thing that will help you choose the right Internet platform for the promotion of the upcoming campaign is a clear understanding of what your target group is and what Internet resources are in demand.
Article or gift?
Advertising companies and promotions have many types and forms. Which of them to prefer: an article in a newspaper or a commercial, a banner at a busy intersection, or address mailing? According to statistics, 76% of customers are more likely to read an advertising article than watch a video or open an advertising letter in a mailbox. Advertising, which is perceived without irritation, is more effective. Advertising articles are one of the most sustainable marketing methods, because they are fixed in the minds of readers and achieve a long-term effect. At the same time, advertising articles are inferior to such marketing tools as personal gifts. Despite the low cost and, sometimes, doubtful for the buyer the need for such gifts, they are appreciated by customers as a fact.
Gifts from the company to attract customers - an area where creativity has to be driven into the budget. Firms that have recently entered the market rarely have a sufficient advertising budget. They can help out inexpensive, but, nevertheless, increasing customer loyalty, promotions. Among the justifying and positively proven low-cost gift ideas, for example, pens with the symbols of a store or a brand are in the lead, in a slightly more expensive segment - flash drives, which are a nice gift in the era of information technology.
These two examples show that gifts themselves do not have to reflect the store’s assortment. When choosing them, recognition, cheapness, convenience, and practicality for the client are the leaders. So, new and regular customers respond positively to calendars, cotton bags, where you can place your logo, card holders or smartphone covers.
Some methods of attracting customers that were previously considered effective lose points due to recent market research. So, more and more customers perceive discount coupons as coercion to purchase. The gift should not be completely useless either, because then it will cause more irritation than appreciation. In addition, a prerequisite is the presence of your logo and symbolism, otherwise the promotion loses its value and meaning.
The principle of "white crow"
Advertising articles, like other marketing and advertising moves, are especially effective in conjunction with certain promotions and news items. But the problem of seasonal promotions - from the New Year to summer receipts - is that all holiday dates are important not only for you, but also for your competitors, which means that promotions can be lost among similar ones held by players located on the same market field with you . The consumer gets tired of the same type of discount offers and stops responding to them. Therefore, modern strategies focus on promotions that bring success beyond the framework of the traditional “hot” seasons, the “white crow” principle that sets you apart from your competitors is designed to contribute more to success - increasing sales, brand awareness or brands whose products you sell, increasing the number of customers and other goals that the launched advertising campaign is designed to solve.
Promotions and articles that do not follow traditional cycles are more likely to benefit. Such marketing tools are used in connection with external (increased competition) and internal (growth in the number of returns) factors. The surprise effect also works with regular customers who do not expect a gift, increased attention to themselves, and this makes them more loyal. In this case, the action is carried out purposefully, without getting lost on the background of events carried out by competitors, as is the case with seasonal events.
In the right focus
An obligatory stage of preparation for the upcoming action is the definition of focus management, that is, the angle of view that underlies the advertising strategy. It is formed in four directions. The first and most common is price. A good example is the discount stores, which assure that their shoes are the cheapest. The weakness of this strategy lies in the inconsistency of customers: they leave faster than they appear, in search of an even cheaper offer. The price focus is divided into two types - focus on costs (low prices) and on sales (the most popular product of the season). It is focused on increasing sales at all costs, pushing back quality.
Price focus is opposed by focus on the product. The store convinces the customer that he pays for quality, which means he should be ready to spend more. This is a strategy of high-end stores. With customer loyalty, things are better in this case, but they also change their preferences if they doubt the quality of the goods or find someone who offers the best solution in terms of price-quality ratio. Focus on the product is characterized by high costs and the need to update the range, constantly monitoring fashion trends and industry updates.
There is a third strategy, the focus of which is the buyer. His needs are put at the forefront: he does not choose from what is offered, but the manufacturer creates what the client needs. One example is ShoesofPrey's online German shoe store www.shoesofprey.de, where you can “create” your own shoes by composing a layout from the proposed nose shapes, heel height and shape, material, color, jewelry, and then pay for the order and wait for the parcel with an exclusive hand-made.
Discounts - the most common marketing event to attract customers. They can be simple (from the price list), bonus (for regular customers), quantitative (when buying two or more goods from the assortment), special (for privileged customers). As a rule, they are not provided for the whole assortment (For example, there is no sense in making a discount on a bestseller or a season that is already perfectly disassembled. It is simply displayed in a window or in a conspicuous place on the trading floor, and the buyer is informed that this particular model best sold.)
Promotions directed “to the future”, for example, a discount or other preferences for repeated purchases, increase customer loyalty. The promotion should be beneficial to the client, and this benefit, by definition, should be striking - therefore, it is important to convey this information to the buyer. One of the incentives to take part in the action is various restrictions, the most common ones are in time and in quantity. In the first case, a discount is offered only in certain time frames (say, 50% for all models until the New Year) or quantitative (for example, the first 100 customers receive the latest shoe care product upon purchase for free) within the framework.
Having spread advertising networks wider and having agreed on mutually beneficial cooperation with an enterprise from another segment, one can make the action memorable and unusual. Offer your customers coupons for a swimming pool or a beauty salon, a discount or a free dinner for two at a restaurant, and partners of the promotion - equivalent discount coupons, an advertising banner or banner, distribution of booklets or flyers on your trading floor. The success of the joint action will be ensured by informing via outdoor or online advertising, articles in the media, focus on a specific target group, the correct focus and the right moment to contact the client. The originality and benefits that the client will receive will make such a promotion successful.
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