Six ways to boost consumer engagement with your sales promotions

By Becky Munday | Chief executive officer

Cherry London


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March 10, 2015 | 5 min read

Why do consumers choose to engage with some sales promotions over others? Is it the reward on offer? The mechanic used? Speaking at a recent event hosted by Cherry London, following the analysis of thousands of promotions, I outlined some of the most consistently successful techniques for delivering high levels of consumer engagement:

Mando chief executive officer Becky Munday.

Show me the money!

Stone cold cash. What’s better than having the ability to turn your reward into anything you want? Cash incentives are the most desirable and effective reward across all mechanics, markets and types of customer. Brands offering cash can see redemptions six times higher than offering other premiums.

Birds Eye’s ‘Be Mortgage Free for Year’ was one of the most successful prize draw promotions of all time – a prime instance of a brand tapping into a typical consumer’s everyday struggle and offering a monetary solution.

Tap into what people care about

What do people care about most? In most cases, children, pets, friends and hobbies rank highly. Muller’s ‘Little Stars’ book collector promotion saw redemption rates excel. And Whiskas is a brand consistently that sees high redemptions with animal related prizes.

Coke famously employed personalisation to tap into people’s friendships with its revolutionary ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. Expect to see more innovation in this area. The combination of sales promotion and personalisation has seen brands redemption rates double. Engagement is not the sole benefit of the technique: there are also benefits in terms of rich data, retention and advocacy. Children in Germany responded well to a recent ‘Nutella – Personalised Label’ promotion, triggering a social media frenzy.

Hobbies and passions can be pivotal to success, providing they are high profile, topical and trending. We’ve seen brands such as Ribena and Coke partner popular films such as Skyfall and Shrek to tap into the audience’s love of movies. Billingtons’ ‘Baking Mad’ campaign successfully tapped into the UK craze for home baking sparked by TV’s ‘The Great British Bake Off’. Walkers’ ‘Pedometer’ campaign, offering consumers a device to count their footsteps, tapped into a national health-kick trend with record breaking redemptions as a result!

Be relevant to your customers

Brands who achieve the highest results stick to their DNA, with highly relevant promotions targeted at their core consumer. All top performing ‘Gift with Purchase’ promotions remained aligned to the brand’s values, such as The Stella Glass Promotion and Billingtons’ Bake Tins. A particular success was the Olympics 2012 Powerade Bottles which achieved redemptions three times higher than usual.

The Horlicks Magazine promotion offered consumers the chance to relax with a cuppa and a free magazine. Do not just consider relevance in terms of the reward itself, consider the relevant ways to reach your target audience; younger generations may be more inclined to use email and social media, whilst older consumers may prefer more traditional channels.

Make it easy

The easier it is to redeem the more likely your promotion will succeed. Simplicity can be dependent on a variation of factors such as accessibility, efficiency and route of entry. The amount of effort required is often dictated by the mechanic…

Also, why have a competition-based promotion with only one winner? Our promotional database shows it is much more effective to have many rewards, for many consumers, as it greatly increases the chances of winning! Coke’s ‘World Cup’ promotion had a one-in-ten chance of winning a reward, leading to greater engagement.

Women are worth it

Women redeem more: fact. Previous promotions show that women can redeem up to seven times more than their counterparts. Billington’s Bake Tins recipe for success was to target the female market with a female gift, which outperformed a typical men’s whisky promotion. Even when the promotion is aimed towards men, it is often women who redeem, which was the case for Coke ‘Football Shirts’. It’s typical to see Premiership football shirt giveaways to generate low redemptions, while women’s Nivea face cream redemptions are naturally higher.

Be culturally sensitive

Every nation has its preferences, creating a need to analyse a culture before launching a sales promotion overseas. For example, in the case of a collector scheme, Germans and French are avid collectors, the British will redeem an average amount and the Spanish and Italians won’t be interested.

Becky Munday is chief executive officer of Mando.

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Cherry London

Cherry London is a new breed of marketing agency with a story about the power of collaboration. Independently owned, it is based in London and works globally. As a multi-award winning company, Cherry London is always looking towards the next challenge or brilliant idea.

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