By Stewart Oxley, Sales & Marketing Director, Granby Marketing Services.
With the countdown to the World Cup well underway, one thing you can be sure of is companies and brands of all sizes will be looking to harness the hype and excitement around this year's event by running their own special football-themed sales promotional campaigns.
There’s no doubt that well timed promotional activity can be a brilliant mechanism for delivering uplift in sales and influencing consumers to try new products, but what are the secrets of running a really effective event-based promotion?
1. Involve your partners as early as possible
Generally speaking, the earlier you involve your partners such as your handling house in promotional campaigns, the more issues can be addressed early on. A good fulfilment partner will be able to advise you on how to maximise the effectiveness and profitability of your promotional campaigns.
For example, something as simple as the shape and weight of the reward can have a significant effect on the bottom line, due to the various postage tariffs the Royal Mail operates.
So simple alterations to the reward and packaging, made early on in the design process, could potentially save you thousands of pounds in postage costs later on.
Likewise, any fulfilment partner worth their salt should be able to offer invaluable advice on all elements of a promotion, from using sustainable packaging to managing risks.
2. Ensure you have sufficient stock
To avoid any potential supply problems ensure that you have adequate stock in place before the campaign goes live. The last thing you want is a back-log of orders early on which causes unnecessary delays that could potentially have a negative impact on the brand in question. This is particularly important for event-based promotions, as they are so time sensitive.
3. Terms & Conditions
Having the right Terms & Conditions is an absolutely crucial aspect of promotions to get right. First of all you need to ensure your T&Cs don’t leave you open to any possible litigation.
There are certain rules and regulations related to things such as the availability of the reward item and access to the promotion through the inclusion of a ‘No purchase necessary’ route.
The legislation may vary depending on the factors such as the market location (Northern Ireland can be different to mainland UK) so always take time to ensure your T&Cs comply and don’t make the promotion illegal.
The ISP actually provides a Legal Advisory Service where marketers can run their promotion, structure and T&Cs pass legal advisors for a fairly nominal charge. So whether you use this service or your own legal team, it always pays to get a qualified and experience individual to advise you before the campaign commences.
4. Be realistic about redemption rates
Redemption levels will vary according to the brand, the reward and the promotional mechanic. Therefore you need to weigh up all these elements to determine firstly, the stock levels required and secondly, whether or not you need to insure the promotion.
If the promotion carries a high value reward then there’s always the risk of over-redemption, which could end up costing the brand more than expected. In such cases it’s always worth considering insuring the promotion to limit one’s financial risk.
On the other side of the coin, there’s also the risk, that for whatever reason, the redemption rates won’t meet anticipated levels, therefore you could end up with surplus stock, which if branded, might be very difficult to get rid of. So liaise with your various suppliers early on to get their advice on stock levels and insurance requirements, in order to minimise the risk of both under and over redemption.
5. Data capture
Customer data is like gold-dust in the marketing industry. It can help businesses to understand their customers better and most importantly, it can be the starting point for developing meaningful, long-term relationships.
Data captured from promotions can be used as a basis for building customer and prospect databases, which in-turn can be used to drive personalised and targeted follow-up communications.
Where customer data is collected from on-pack coupons, the more space you can devote on-pack, the smaller percentage of errors. In other words, having sufficient space makes a huge difference to the accuracy of the data captured.
If want to keep costs down you can drive consumers to a website, however you must provide an alternative route for those consumers without web access. Whichever data collection method you use, you’ll need to suppress, clean and verify it to ensure all the ‘joke’ entries are removed.
6. Remember the legalities
Football themed promotions are a great way to capitalise on the World Cup hype, but as with any big sporting event you need to be careful how you tie in your promotion.
Unless your brand is an official partner/sponsor you won’t be able to use World Cup logos and trademarks, indeed, there are likely to be strict penalties for any brand that breaches these rules. So be warned!
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