We're halfway through the "slow season," although for most of you it should only be slow for incoming revenue, NOT the amount of work you should be doing on ideas to make 2018 your best year ever!
Over the years I've seen some incredible efforts put into promotional offers, with a few being complete flops. Almost every time, the challenge was in the complexity of the program itself. Just because the idea sounds good in your head doesn't mean you can convey the message to your target audience. It's important to keep it simple with minimal qualifiers and text to quickly explain the offer.
Here are some reliable questions to ask as you plan your 2018 promotions:
I've been involved in a lot of great promotional programs over the years along with plenty of bad ones. I remember one situation where the program was too simple and too rich. It was in my Polaroid days, and we offered a free companion ticket on Delta Airlines with the purchase of a Polaroid camera. It was under $40 to purchase/invest and qualify. The market went crazy because all you needed to provide was your receipt and the UPC barcode off the box. As an example, there was a classic story about a kid getting a dozen Polaroid's for his Bar Mitzvah, all with the UPC code cut off the box!
The problem with the program? From the consumer perspective it was incredible, but from the corporate side, it was a logistical nightmare. The marketing team never anticipated the overwhelming response. They didn't spend enough time before the program thinking through every aspect of the offer. That's number seven in this post and the last step in putting together a good promotion.
You've got to analyze the cost and the level of work involved to implement and make a promotional offer a success. This is where your network plays a serious role. You can't plan effective promotions by yourself - you need a couple of people to be your sounding board. You need feedback and a team approach to analyzing any special offer.
Even when you've done everything right, things can change, and a program can be less effective than you had hoped. Don't be discouraged. It takes time to build up the momentum for promotions in any business.
"Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes.
It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations."
NOTE: There is one last ingredient, but it goes a lot deeper than just designing an effective promotion. Everything I write about in building a stronger business is always dependent on your skill set. Never compromise on the quality of your images, providing outstanding service and building a good reputation in the community. The greatest promotion in the world won't help sell mediocrity.
Photo Credit: © ra2 studio
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