Specials, Discounts and Promotions

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Offering a special, discount, or some type of a promotion is a great tool, no matter what industry you’re in.  If you are worried about the cost of a promotion, there are some creative ways to design a promotion so it doesn’t break the bank, but is still compelling to consumers.  You could offer something as simple as free training, a discount on the first month, or maybe even a tangible item, like an ink pen.

After years of marketing properties, restaurants, bars, and loyalty programs, I have seen just about everything.

  • Million Dollar Giveaways
  • Sweepstakes
  • Invite only promotions
  • Opt in promotions
  • Offer code promotions
  • Buy-one-get-one
  • Percentage discounts
  • Special prices
  • Free gifts from Tupperware to one thousand dollar watches
  • $1 food specials
  • 25¢ Bottled Beers
  • Loss credit

So, which ones are the most successful?  That depends on your product, target audience, and if the promotion is measurable.  Most often you have to test different promotions to understand if the promotion resonates with your audience.  You may have a good idea of what will work, but you still have to test it to understand the impact and influence.

When deciding on a promotion be sure to select a promotion or special that you think will resonate with your target audience.  Additionally, the medium or channel you select to use to communicate to that target audience is just as important.  For instance, if your target audience is in a specific geographic location, an SEM campaign might be the most effective channel to reach that audience.

In the gaming industry, the most common channel or primary channel that is used is direct mail.  Direct mail is very effective, is measurable and tangible giving you a great chance that a consumer will interact with your message.  Direct mail can be costly though as well depending on how many pieces of mail you are sending.

A business should chose a medium or channel that you know will reach your desired audience. Testing the channel is just as important as testing the offers.  Once again, make sure that you constantly test and measure your efforts.  Your results should dictate what direction and changes you will want to make with future efforts.

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Test and Measure Success

3D white people. The measure of success

If there is one thing that I have learned throughout my marketing career is that there is no one “thing” that always works.  There is no magic bullet.  Successful campaigns have multiple components and use multiple channels to make them successful.  This is one of the reasons why a marketer, or business, should always be testing.  And, believe me, there is a lot to test.

There is an exhaustive list, but some items that a marketer, or business, should be constantly testing include:

  • Key words and phrases
  • Ad messages and images
  • Landing pages and content
  • Web pages and content
  • Mediums
  • Digital platforms
  • Specials/promotions
  • SMS
  • Email subject lines

Make sure you are constantly testing and take the time to analyze your results.  Your results should drive future marketing strategies and campaigns.

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Create Your “Digital Marketing Plan” Now!

The race is on.  Companies have realized that digital marketing is going to be a key driving source for their marketing efforts.  It is growing rapidly and businesses are creating more digital teams.  Marketers and executives are starting to become more savvy in testing, targeting, collecting and analyzing data than ever before.  If you don’t have a comprehensive digital marketing plan by now, you’re way behind. 

There is an enormous amount of tools available to any business to communicate with consumers about their brand and products.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and Tumblr are just a few.  This number is sure to grow rapidly within the next few years.  There are estimated to be hundreds of thousands of unique visitors on these sites a month.     

One key aspect about digital marketing platforms is how cost effective they are, especially when you consider the cost of traditional advertising like TV, radio, and outdoor.  I am not necessarily saying that a company should replace all of its traditional advertising with digital, but it is cost effective.  Depending on the size of your business, a 100% digital marketing plan may make the most sense.  Other companies may look at balancing their marketing dollars across multiple platforms. 

Another key aspect of utilizing digital marketing is that you can get data like the demographics of your customers and conversion data from your digital campaigns.  An agency, Google Analytics or other web analytic providers are needed to analyze data from your website.  There is obviously some work involved in setting this up, but it is something that is a necessity if you want to truly understand the makeup of your customer base, like devices your customers are using, age, geo, interests, and much more.  This information should be used to make decisions when creating your campaigns.

One of the things that I love about digital marketing campaigns is that they are measurable when setup properly.  When you design your campaign, there should be a way to track the number of leads or orders you receive in order to understand if a campaign has been successful.  This can be accomplished in several ways.  A webpage can be set for ordering, a number can be in your advertisement to call with an offer code, a digital offer code could be in your advertisement to enter on your web order page, and so on.  There must be a way to measure the campaigns or you will not know if the given campaign was successful or not.  So, put a lot of thought into your plan and make sure it is measurable.

Businesses and marketers are missing a huge opportunity right now if they do not already have a sound and comprehensive digital marketing plan.  More and more consumers are utilizing digital devices to research products and make purchases.  It is one of the most cost effective ways at reaching consumers and it is measurable.  Additionally, you can argue that it is one of the more effective ways at gathering customer data to help businesses and marketers market more effective.