Standing out from the crowd with risk-free promotions


The internet and mobile devices are powerful weapons in consumers’ armoury, enabling them to seek out the lowest prices.

For retail, the knockon financial impact has contributed to the demise of high street shops, as well as fuelling intense competition on price among manufacturers and chains. The danger is that, by continually defaulting to price drops, firms will end up squeezing their margins so hard they have nowhere else to go.

The secret to a successful sales promotion lies in a more scientific, data-driven approach, escalating promotions from short-term, low-value deals to bold campaigns that deliver real returns. It’s also about using longer term promotional mechanisms to keep shoppers coming back. In short, to gain real ground and get ahead of the competition, compelling risk-managed sales promotion is where the smart money is going. Using a risk-managed promotion,brands, retailers and promotions agencies can gain access to new types of promotional mechanisms, opening the door to the scale of offers that their P&L couldn’t normally handle. Rather than risk facing a hefty bill at the end of the campaign, combining predictive analytics with specialist underwriting can guarantee that the promotion won’t back fire or – worse still – leave the business out of pocket.

Regardless of the deal on offer, it is essential to make any new campaign both client- and customer-centric. From a business point of view, it has to achieve a predetermined objective. For the target consumer, it has to deliver sufficient extra value to make them want to buy. When coming up with the strategy, it is also important to factor in consumer buying trends and attitudes. Likewise, good customer service is key: no matter how good the deal, consumerswill expect organisations to deliver on their promises. They will only buy again from a brand or retailer they trust and from whom they get a great experience. From a fulfilment perspective, this means investing time and money in high-quality systems and customer engagement, ISO 9001 quality processes, staff training, quality assurance and ISO 27001 information security certification. This ensures that everything runs smoothly, and consumers and clients both benefit from the outcome. Many of today’s most strategic brands are working to build future value by persuading consumers not to defer highvalue purchases. The client pays a small fee for each product sold and, in return, the customer gets a guaranteed rebate on the purchase price when they buy a replacement within a set time.

This is all about building loyalty and securing repeat business: customers are guaranteed future trade-in value when they replace and/or upgrade their purchase, bringing in future revenue and maintaining customer loyalty. The bottom line is that, even in markets where competition on price is fierce, a strategic approach to sales promotions can be a lifeline to firms that are treading water or drowning in competition.

Andrew Marwick, Managing Director, Opia

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