We live in a world where we have multiple brands providing similar solutions. That leaves consumers with too many options for any required product or service they want to consume. When this is the truth of the hour, brands have resorted to running consumer offers to spike the traction of their consumers.
A good consumer offer always helps bring in some trials and/or purchases for brands. When done correctly, consumer offers can transform the performance of a business incredibly. What started off as small discounts or small giveaways, today, like the rest, has evolved to provide so many more options for brands to choose from. For example, coupon codes, cashback, limited free access to product or service, free trials etc.
For brands, consumer offers are almost a must to survive, and on the other hand, the consumers are so used to it that they spend some extra efforts looking for these consumer offers. Take digital coupons for example: According to a survey by Mobile Commerce Daily, approximately 96% of mobile-device users will use smart devices to search for digital coupons in 2015.
Another study showed that the top reason most people follow brands on Facebook or Twitter is to get special offers online.
While consumers seem to be the ones benefiting most from these consumer offers, it is also true that brands are also heavily benefited because of their consumer offer promotions. For brands, it is furthermore important because when a customer is convinced to take the first leap of faith and try your product or service, your brand gets its closest chance to impressing the customer and retaining them in the long run. With this, we can say that consumer offers are something consumers want and brands must include in their marketing strategies to mutually benefit.
The success of a consumer offer lies in the benefits achieved by both you and your consumer. Many a time, brands get carried away and do not think through their consumer offer strategies, and this causes them to incur significant losses. This happens mostly when businesses are blindly chasing the increase in sales without proper planning and understanding of CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), campaign budget, type of consumer offers, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to be mindful from the beginning to plan for discrepancies and make the most out of these consumer offers.
Here’s the entire process you need to know and be mindful of when you’re planning to launch a consumer offer campaign for your brand to reap maximum benefits.
Defining the objective
The first and foremost thing you need to be very clear about is your expectations for the campaign. You need to know exactly what you want the campaign to achieve for your brand. This goes beyond increasing sales. It CANNOT be as vague as that. You need to be more specific in your objective. A few examples of good objectives are –
- I need to increase the traffic on my website by an additional 20% through the campaign
- I want to increase this month’s sale by 20% through the campaign
- I want to achieve 20000 additional app installs
Having a very clear understanding of the objective at all times lets you analyze the performance of your campaign and make necessary tweaks to meet the desired objective.
As important as it is to have a clear objective, it is equally important to keep it real by backing it with some rationale. For example, let’s say you intend to increase your sales by x%, you need to justify it with some facts and evidence. In this case, you can arrive at the x% by calculating the cost per acquisition of a customer and allow a similar or slightly higher rate to your consumer offer campaign budget and derive the percentage increase of sales. You can hype it a little to push your team towards optimizing the campaign and delivering better results.
Defining your target audience
‘Who do you want to talk to?’ is the next most important question you need to know while planning your consumer offer campaign. You need to know the exact TG you want to reach out to. Drawing out consumer personas by conducting consumer surveys will help you design just the perfect consumer offer campaign in terms of communication, giveaways, campaign design, etc. to grab their attention towards your campaign. Consider factors such as age, gender, lifestyle, location, behavior, interests, etc. while charting your consumer persona.
Depending on the behavior, you can also categorize your target audience to run targeted campaigns. For example, if you know that your product or service can be catered to people in the age group of 15 to 45, it doesn’t make sense to talk to everyone with the same messaging.
In such cases, designing different communication for people belonging to different age groups lets you reach the consumers more effectively and indeed get you the desired results. A little research on previous campaigns and responses received from the different sets of people helps heaps and bound in arriving at the different consumer buckets for the consumer offer promotion.
For all the above-mentioned reasons, defining your target audience becomes extremely critical to designing your consumer offer promotion plan and arriving at the intended results.
Designing the consumer offer
Before you get to this, make sure you have the complete idea of the target audience you are addressing. This information will help you design a better and more relevant offer. Only once you have that in place, would you be able to do a great job at designing the consumer offer.
Designing your consumer offer includes the following –
Deciding on the type of offer you want to extend to him/her – this depends primarily on the nature of your business. For example, a price discount may not be the best option when you’re selling subscriptions. A free trial may lead to better results in such cases. You need to understand what your business can offer and what is necessary for a consumer to buy into your product or service and arrive at the perfect consumer offer.
If you’re looking at discounted price offers, make sure you’ve done your calculations and they are reasonable enough to keep your business costs intact. Use samples and free trials if your consumer needs to or prefers to experience your product or service before buying it. Again here, focus on arriving at just the right amount of sample required for him to switch from trying your product or service to wanting to purchase it.
- Campaign duration – Depending on the objective of your campaign, previous data trends and budget available for campaign spends, you’ll be able to arrive at a rough estimate of how long to run the campaign for.
- Budget allocation – Be sure to allocate enough budget to give the consumer offer campaign a good opportunity to let you understand its worth., Make sure it’s not too less that you cannot understand the impact of the campaign and also, not too much that hits your other marketing strategies.
Once you have the overall campaign budget, depending on the media channels you plan to include in your campaign, allocate sufficient budgets for every channel to perform best.
- Communication plan - draw your entire communication plan keeping in mind 2 things, the consumer you are talking to and your brand personality. Make sure your communication is a point on, doesn’t deviate too much from the rest of your communications, is simple and not too witty that it bounces off your consumer’s head. Set a tone of voice for the consumer offer campaign and stick to it from the start till the end. Being consistent helps create better recognition and retention.
Have in place all bits of communication right at the start of the campaign and ensure all communication conveys one style, tone, and theme.
In your communication efforts, you must make sure to be very clear about the consumer offer, terms and conditions, and every other detail the consumer needs to know.
- Media plan – Once you have the communication and duration in place, chart out your media plan. If you’re not running a 360-degree campaign, make sure you include at least all the relevant touch points for your consumers and again, remain consistent across all media touch points. Talking the same thing at the same time across multiple platforms also leads to better retention.
- Timelines for execution - Plan a well-spread distribution with some buffer in mind to stay prepared for all the last minute errors and delays in execution. Always have a plan B for every wrong situation you can anticipate. Be realistic and mindful of the budget allocated.
- Tracking and reporting – this is yet another important factor to consider while planning the execution of a consumer offer. A study performed by the Harvard MBA program, those who made and recorded clear goals went on to earn on average 10 times the amount of those who didn’t. When running a consumer offer or any other promotion, your goals must be specific, and you must design the program in such a way that every action is trackable.
You can ensure the same by setting unique UTM links for online campaigns, making use of unique coupon codes, creating a dedicated landing page, embedding Google Analytics, creating exclusive codes for each channel, etc. Putting in efforts to set trackers, helps you understand which channel is performing better. With this information, you can concentrate your promotions on channels that perform best to achieve your desired goals and objectives.
All the above-mentioned factors add logical reasoning to enable you to take control of your consumer offer campaign and make necessary changes to let you derive the best results. As long as your core offering is world class and something your consumer really needs, selling it is only a matter of rationales and application of logic.
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