Tricks of the marketing trade

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

| posted by

Six things we’ve learned from 36 years of sales promotion

With Mando’s 40th birthday fast approaching, Becky Munday (Mando’s chief executive officer of 19 years) and Clare Daly’s (client services director for 17 years) offer six key pointers based upon their combined 36 years in the sales promotion industry…

 

“Embrace constant change”

Things are forever changing – accept it. Proliferation of the internet has changed the way consumers interact and participate with brands, particularly in sales promotion.

The rapid speed of change has made it a fascinating challenge to identify risk attributed to a campaign. The diversity of the internet and the flexibility of the industry, makes it imperative to constantly evolve promotions, and anticipate their performance. While traction can be easily gained for major brands, an ominous shift in retailer power has become apparent, especially in the UK, creating difficulty when attempting to attain POS space, no matter who you are.

Information proliferation has affected the way in which consumers communicate, resulting in two scenarios: negativity or positivity.  However, brands must remain aware that when consumers compliment, they promote, leading to mounting redemptions and potentially mountainous expenses. 

Another volatile change is social trends. The Walkers ‘Pedometer’ campaign, was a classic example of social trends dictating performance. The promotion, offering consumers a device to count their footsteps, tapped into a national health-kick trend with record breaking redemptions.

 

“Be creative but not at the expense of simplicity”

The industry is challenged with balancing originality and simplicity. Too many brands complicate a promotion which can lead to poor engagement. While the veterans underpin originality and creativity as a recipe to success, they maintain that simplicity is the icing on the cake. A balanced diet is key.

 

 “A good idea in the office, isn’t necessarily a good idea!”

Don’t judge others by one’s self (know your market, not just yourself). It’s important to empathise with how your audience attain data due to differing education, demographic, prosperity and age as key impactors for response rates. To combat this, provide for a simple route to entry and, even more importantly, use the data you have available to you effectively.

 

“Terms and conditions are your bread and butter”

Terms and conditions are your best friend, read them, then read them, then read them again. The document can underpin imperative duties of your supplier and help you deliver your promise to your consumers.  The lifesaving document can help you limit liability and prevent abuses from potential fraudsters looking to redeem more prizes than they are eligible for.

 

“Segments of society are still skeptical about sales promotions”

It is imperative to make prize funds plentiful and realistic. There are still plenty of promotions out there offering improbable prize funds which don’t appeal to the masses.

Another challenge facing marketers is to retain, attain and maintain data. You need data to thrive, you need that data organised in segmented fields but you also need to protect that data for the sake of privacy. You must learn from data to control budgets and sharpen your focus on success.  

 

“No one size fits all, but being easy and relatable always helps”

Communication, route of entry, desirability are all monumental indicators for a successful promotion.  While there is no repetitive formula which can guarantee sales uplift at minimum cost, there is a few things you can ensure:

  • Be relatable- Ensure synergy between your desirable prizes and products;
  • Be personal- Micro-targeting will lead to a more effective campaigns - particularly with the rise in mobile;
  • Be realistic - Reward the many, as one prize isn’t an engaging headline;
  • Be pragmatic - A wide route of entry will ensure accessibility, make it difficult and you’ll deter the masses;
  • Be knowledgeable - People are unpredictable, but data makes them less so.

If in doubt, get the cash out. While an expensive option, Cashbacks are still one of the most engaging offers in terms of redemption, but often lack creativity and any real excitement.

Becky Munday is chief executive officer and Clare Daly is client services director of Mando.

Have your say

Do you have a strong opinion on a topical industry issue? To submit a comment piece, please send a short summary of your idea to opinion@thedrum.com. Views of writers are not necessarily those of The Drum.