Get a promotional marketing campaign right and
it has the potential to take your brand to the next level; driving awareness,
reaching new audiences, generating sales, creating appeal and building loyalty
across your customer base.
But there are lots of moving parts to a
campaign, and to deliver on time and on budget whilst hitting your objective
takes real skill. And the risks involved when things don’t go to plan reach
further than just missed sales or lower revenue figures; think dissatisfied
customers and the potential damage this may cause to the brand.
The Q2 2018 IPA Bellwether Report shows that in
a market of slow increase in overall marketing spend, promotional marketing is showing
a 4 point upward revision in spend; meaning that it’s more important than ever
for brand owners and Shopper marketing teams to give due consideration to their
promotional marketing strategy above & beyond price cuts.
Here we’ve distilled the key considerations to
help you plan and perfectly execute your next promotional marketing campaign.
are we here for?
Starting at the top - ask yourself what are we
trying to achieve and what does success look like?
If you don’t understand this from the get-go,
it’s likely to be only heading one way.
On a macro level there can be a range of
different objectives; are we looking to drive trial, encourage repeat purchase,
gather consumer data or reward customer loyalty.
However, promotions needn’t just be about
volume generation. Whilst this is a common goal the positive impact on brand
equity can sometimes be overlooked. Understand all of the goals or the real
challenge that we’re trying to solve, and then what are the potential limitations
that may hinder success.
can be used cleverly to work for you in amplifying your promotional campaign.
Rather than ticking the box for every retailer where you have listings, give
consideration to whether you want to run the campaign in grocery multiples, or
target independent retailers – but be aware that each of these has its own
intricacies of operation and limitations in terms of what promotional support
can be planned.
Once you’ve got a clear perspective on
objectives, then comes a mission critical step; briefing your partner.
the briefing right
The success of any campaign hinges on getting the
brief right; being clear on what you want to achieve, how it will be measured,
timings, volume requirements and budgets. Provide as much detail as possible in the
brief and share this with your chosen fulfilment partner as soon as possible,
not as an afterthought when the campaign is about to launch (yes, it does
This is the first
opportunity for your fulfilment partner to be able to understand the plans
you’ve been working on for weeks/months and to come up ways to add value and to
deliver a joined up consumer experience so give them an opportunity to ask
Listen to the recommendations given by your fulfilment
partner because whilst you are the expert on your brand, they really understand
how to engage consumers in a cost effective, measurable way. Speak to your
creative agency; they will be able to help develop a strong call to action and
visuals to support.
Ensure you have a
clear and well thought through budget with contingency factored in – consider
fixed fee insurance to ring fence your budget. MRM can support in this regard
and has an established relationship with a fixed fee provider so we know what
information is required to analyse the risk.
It’s worth remembering that promotions don’t
just have to be about volume generation; get them right and they can have a
significant impact in building a brand.
Consider your target audience; make sure you
understand who they are and what makes them tick. Where are they likely to be
found and when? How do they behave? How do they like to be addressed? And then
work out which channels they like to be reached across; in store, on pack, digital,
Which brings us
to retailers. Grocery retail in particular is a cluttered environment with
retailers conducting regular reviews of listings and asking for budget to
support their category management plans, and not specifically working to your
own promotional plans. So how do you create stand out of your campaign?
There are some
obvious routes to consider from an on pack flash, in store POS, on pack codes –
through to creating a retailer-specific campaign that can be supported with
greater in-store marketing collateral.
Then create the message – what is your offer
to them? Ask yourself, will it resonate with the target audience? And how best
is it to convey your message across your chosen channels? An important point to
consider here is your competitors. If everyone else is offering a
coupon, why not try a taste guarantee or prize draw as these are perfect
opportunities to gain insight into who’s buying your product and to create a
marketing database whilst standing out from your competitors.
Another area to consider is your brand’s
context in the wider world; is there anything topical that you can align to or
a hot new trend that your target demographic is going nuts for? There could be
a seasonal event or new craze that fits perfectly with your brand and audience
– obvious but think what the World Cup generates for a beer brand. Or a certain
baking themed TV programme generates for an ingredients brand.
Depending on your
budget, message and objectives you may also be able to dial in to other media
channels to market your campaign – VOD, social media, TV, radio, digital, CRM.
These should be carefully selected, because the correct combination can deliver
the multiplier effect of amplifying the impact of your promotion way beyond
nuts and bolts
The mechanics of your campaign are important
to ensure it incentivises the right behaviours and drives the right actions. If
the offer is too convoluted to redeem, takes too much effort on the consumers’
part, or sets itself up for difficulties in the fulfilment phase it’s unlikely
your campaign will be a success.
Amplification will be key to the success of
your campaign. Going back to the previous point on where your target audience
spends their time will influence which media channels you consider to promote
your campaign but it’s likely that it will involve an integrated approach.
Ultimately the key question is “Is the
campaign engaging, easy to understand and relevant to your audience?”
Time to dot the
‘I’s and cross the Ts’ - seek expert advice and make sure your promotional
campaign is compliant with the CAP Code and that your Terms & Conditions
are sufficiently detailed and clear. The IPM offers a legal
service designed to do exactly that – and you can even use their IPM
Seal to demonstrate compliance.
Don’t forget to
use positive opt ins for any capture of consumer data – and be specific in how
you will be using their data i.e. email, post, telephone. If you’re using a
digital channel i.e. a promotional microsite, you must also show a privacy notice
to this effect as well as providing a link to the promotion’s T&Cs.
On a final point
re data – consider how long you will retain the data and how this will be used
post-campaign. Why not create a customer database for marketing purposes (as
long as you’ve got positive opt ins) as a way to engage? You may also get
requests from consumers wanting to know what data you’re holding on them, so
make sure you’ve got a defined process with your digital and/or fulfilment
partner on how to handle such request as GDPR legislation means these must be
responded to within one calendar month (see Subject
Access Requests on the ICO website).
campaign starts, it’s vital to make sure there is a Data Processing Agreement
in place with any partner who will be processing customer data. This should
define what data is to be processed, its purpose and classes of data and will
also cover the agreed data retention period. More importantly, it will place
responsibility on each Data Processor (remember, you as the client are the Data
Controller) in terms of their liability to hold that data securely.
clearly defined objectives, monitor the campaign performance and ROI throughout
the campaign as there’s nothing worse than getting to the final week and
looking at the redemptions, as there’s little that can be done at that stage!
Agree reporting frequency with your fulfilment partner and give them access to
as much data as possible; Google Analytics can be shared with agencies to help
them understand customer engagement, as well as actual redemptions.
If you have any
concerns that the campaign isn’t performing as expected, speak up as quickly as
possible. If you’re running a digital campaign, it’s easy to make tweaks to the
customer journey or to use social media to drive your target market to the
website. It’s better to do it sooner, rather than later though!
So, your campaign has gone without a hitch,
thousands of your target audience have engaged, responded and bought into your
brand. Job done right? Wrong. Now is the time to measure, review and evaluate.
Place your results against the original objectives and measure ROI. On a more
practical level, talk to your fulfilment partner and your creative agency
together to discuss what worked, what didn’t and importantly, what have you
learned for next time?