How to optimise your promotions

Running a promotion can be an intimidating experience. Get it right and you will be rewarded in a number of ways – more customer engagement, increased sales, new customers, and deeper insights on who your customers are. Get it wrong, and you risk damaging your brand, incur unexpected costs, and potentially face penalties due to non-compliance.

When running your next promotion, keep the following in mind:

1. Create transparency and collaboration amongst your resources and stakeholders.

Promotions often involve multiple resources and stakeholders, whether you outsource work to an external agency or you do everything in-house. Therefore, it is essential that you ensure there is transparency and collaboration for everyone involved. During the campaign planning stage, list all the people who you believe will be involved in the promotion, either as a resource or a stakeholder. Get them involved in your ideation process so that you can understand your resource limitations, establish your goals and metrics, map out your customer journey, assign roles and responsibilities, and determine timelines. Create a campaign plan and set up regular meetings to ensure everyone follows what has been agreed.

2. Ensure you have adequate budget.

Promotions often involve multiple resources and stakeholders, whether you outsource work to an external agency or you do everything in-house. Therefore, it is essential that you ensure there is transparency and collaboration for everyone involved. During the campaign planning stage, list all the people who you believe will be involved in the promotion, either as a resource or a stakeholder. Get them involved in your ideation process so that you can understand your resource limitations, establish your goals and metrics, map out your customer journey, assign roles and responsibilities, and determine timelines. Create a campaign plan and set up regular meetings to ensure everyone follows what has been agreed.

3. Understand your target market.

Not all customers react the same way to a promotion. Therefore it is important to understand your customers so that you can properly incentivize them to engage with your brand the way you want them to. I have often seen big prize promotions get outperformed by promotions with a much smaller prize because the smaller prize was more appealing to the customers connecting to the brand. Check out my article to see how some of the world’s biggest brands have run successful promotions because they spoke directly to their customers.

4. Plan out the customer journey.

Every interaction you have with your customer will have a moment of truth where the customer will form an impression of your brand. Therefore it is important to ensure your promotion provides a great customer experience so that you win brand advocates. A good way to do this is to build a customer journey map. Identify every possible customer interaction points and ask yourself whether it may lead to a positive or negative experience. For example, how easy is it to join the promotion? How does the prize redemption process work? Is it easy for your customers to understand the promotion mechanic? What is your process if something goes wrong with your promotion? Any potential negative interaction will need to be reviewed to see if there are ways to minimise or remove the pain point.

5. Review your Terms and Conditions.

The Terms and Conditions act as a contract between yourself and the customer. Therefore it is important that your promotion fulfils the obligations set out by the Terms and Conditions, because it is the place your customers will look to if something goes wrong. It is highly recommended you get your legal team to review this at the start of your campaign planning process, so that you can build your promotion based on this.

6. Determine what data you will be collecting.

Oftentimes, I see marketers adopt a short term view of promotions. They run a promotion to increase sales during the promotion period and only collect the data they need to fulfil a prize. This is a wasted opportunity. A promotion is arguably the most opportune time for you to collect valuable customer data because it is when your customer is the most engaged with your brand. However, it is a mistake to collect too much data as you run the risk of scaring off your customers or worse, run afoul of privacy laws and regulations like GDPR. Ask yourself what core data you need to run your eCRM programme effectively. For instance, address information is key if you plan to do geo-marketing, mobile number is essential if you plan to do SMS marketing, while requesting for product preferences would be useful if you offer different product categories. I have a client who asks for their customer’s skin type because they use that data to recommend a specified product in their welcome emails. Normally customers are willing to supply up to ten pieces of data points, afterwards submission rates start to go down.

7. Ensure your data is processed correctly.

It is important to ensure you are collecting, storing, handling and accessing your data correctly. Otherwise you run the risk of a data breach which can result in significant brand damage, a loss in customer trust, and large financial penalties (for example, with GDPR you can be fined up to 4% of your annual global revenue). When collecting data, ask for your customer’s consent before putting them into your marketing database. Create a data archiving and deletion policy so that you are not storing data longer than necessary. A promotion can involve multiple parties and agencies, so always encrypt your data if you plan to transfer data (you will also need to let your customers know if their data is being transferred to third parties in your privacy policy). Ensure your data is stored in a database which meets compliance regulations and laws. TractionNext, for example, is a GDPR compliant promotions platform with encryption capabilities and custom security access levels, so that different users can only access the relevant data they need to fulfil their role in the campaign.

8. Do a campaign audit after the promotion has ended.

You should conduct a review of your promotion once it has ended. Calculate the ROI and benchmark this against other promotions you have run to determine whether it should be re-used. Review the customer journey map you established prior to the campaign go-live and see if it matched with the final outcome – were there unexpected customer touch points or areas of negative interaction that you will need to consider in the future? Identify areas that did well and areas that need to be improved.

Next steps:

  • Ovato can help your brand be successful with your promotion strategy – from concept, design and execution to fulfilment and insights reporting.  To check out some of the other campaigns we have managed or to sign up to our newsletters please click here – https://tractionnext.com/promotions/. You can also follow Ovato and TractionNext to get the latest news and insights around integrated marketing.

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