Adding value through promotional activity
We get it, we really do. Your business is under a lot of pressure to stand out in an ever-changing competitive landscape. You’re up against challenges such as expanding competition and lagging customer loyalty. What you want to do is maintain your competitive edge by competing on value instead of price. This is where promotional activity can help. But instead of short-term tactics such as discounting to attract more sales, how can you add value without having to cut prices (and profits?)
One of promotional marketing’s primary roles is to add value to your customers’ purchase, to give them that one additional reason (the ‘hook’) to buy your brand over your rivals. As a customer yourself, just think about the fun you experience in trying to win a prize in a competition, the anticipation of winning that free gift, or that warm n’ fuzzy feeling you get, knowing that your purchase is helping a charity. These are great examples of brands using different techniques to encourage you to purchase from them.
Alas – whilst these are all great ways to ‘hook’ people in to buying your brand, they are by no means a guarantee people will buy from you. Promotions should never act as the primary reason to purchase, they’re simply the ‘icing on the cake’ to persuade and encourage someone to buy. Really, your target audience will only buy from you if your messaging and overall proposition is compelling enough. But don’t let that dishearten you – yes it means you’ve got a bit of work to do to ensure your overall offer to your customers is attractive enough; but the fun part is coming up with ideas to add value to the purchase – to give them that little nudge they need, to seal the deal.
Being the generous type, we’ve brainstormed some handy ideas and ways you can add value through your promotional activity:
- Offer a free gift with purchase
Promotional products are commonly used as a strategy to add value to customer purchases, by providing an incentive to buy your products or services, such as ‘buy X and get a free gift’. The free gift, in order to be effective, needs to be useful and desirable for your target audience.
Instead of taking something from the cost, the promotional gift adds more to the purchase, increasing the overall perceived value of the product while maintaining the same product price, thus providing a perception that the customer is getting ‘more for their money’ and delivers a more positive experience that exceeds their initial expectations. Your customers will appreciate these as an authentic effort to establish a connection, often becoming repeat purchasers and sharing their experiences with their colleagues, friends and family.
- Surprise, Surprise!
A bit like adding a gift with purchase, but with the element of surprise (who doesn’t love a good surprise?!) Instead of explicitly communicating it, your customers are instead ‘surprised’ with a free sample or gift when they make a purchase. This is a great opportunity to exceed their expectations, because the experience actively engages your customers with the product and your brand, to develop a potentially long-term relationship and future loyalty.
- Get social!
Instead of ‘pushing out’ lots of one-way sales messages, use social to create an ongoing dialogue with your target audiences to encourage customers to share their positive experiences with your business with their friends/family and colleagues. This is a great way to boost brand awareness and increase your reach to a much larger social audience. What’s more, customers who are given rewards in exchange for their loyalty are likely to keep on engaging with your brand.
Social media rewards involve engaging consumers in an online social environment by creating a ‘community’ of loyal fans and followers – and rewarding them for being a fan. With social media, you can gain or attract new fans, whilst also engaging and giving back to existing fans.
- Loyalty Programmes
This is the most long-term approach of all our suggestions. Loyalty programmes offer customers a range of perks and benefits to ensure their satisfaction and retention. It often involves an ongoing process of collecting and earning rewards or prizes, exclusive sales or advanced access to new products. This way, you’re developing a regular dialogue with your customers and fostering a longer-term relationship with them to encourage retention and ongoing sales.
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