Despite it being a slightly low-key celebratory day, it has gained enough popularity on the social media at least. And hence, capturing a huge section of audience becomes quite easy on different social media platforms. Here are a few ways, you could cater to your employees/audience and market the idea of Father’s day to them:
Promote on Email
Irrespective of your company being the type that celebrates such days or not, or if you don’t specifically cater to the type of audience that does, promoting in-house events related to the day or events that are in correspondence to the same can be promoted within your target audience. Building up on catchy headlines/subjects for such promotional emails are highly likely to attract greater audience.
It can be a significantly healthy and fruitful idea to have your company approach local restaurants, eateries, bars and even fitness centers and partner with them and host vents or promote deals and offers that cater to the audience who are likely to be attracted by the same. Some offers such as ‘Bring your dad & the beer’s on us’ or ‘Like father-like son fitness challenge’, etc can prove to quiet a hit amongst younger generations.
Rule on Social Media
Having set up a contest specifically promoting the bond between fathers & children can be a great idea too. Running a contest that encourages people to post selfies of themselves with their father or having to write the funniest incident they shared with their children/father can also turn out to be a successful strategy to grab attention. Having the winners announced & distributing a promotional voucher or even a freebie of your own brand can do the company a whole world of good.
Spoilt for choice
Making your audience/customers part-take in events organised by you that celebrates father’s day & having fun games and rules set up for the same could be quite interesting. Partnering with fashion brands or clothing lines can also be an off-beat option but still quite impressive, though mothers are more likely to be interested in the shopping part, but that’s where it gets better. Your sale/event can have all the members of the family invited and participate in a game that requires them to select pieces of clothing each & the father gets to pick his favorite which can be given to him as a prize or at a discounted rate, etc.
These are some of the fun, interesting and practical ways to market Father’s Day to people in a more economical, interactive and impressive way for a wide range of audience.
Give your brand the edge it needs with RewardPort. Get end to end solutions for all your sales promotion needs! Team up with the best in the business to to make your most loyal customers feel rewarded with innovative loyalty programs that truly make a mark.
Retailers appeal to customers’ buying habits with incentives in order to outsell their competition. This trend has been in practice since the beginning of time. Over years, retail has continued to evolve, and following the birth of ecommerce in the early 1990s, loyalty strategies have made a migration to the digital platforms with definite motives. With all of the online and offline rewards programs emerging every passing moment, one might begin to wonder where exactly the differences lay between them. A detailed study of both the platforms leads to a clearer opinion about the debate that has raised quite a few opinions.
Offline Loyalty Programs:
Location has always held significant consideration on its part, for customers who choose to purchase products in-store, rather than an online purchase. However, additional expenses may be associated with visiting a particular store to purchase a certain product. Although, customers tend to come back on their own simply due to the close proximity to a specific store, retailers must still be aiming to appeal to their customers’ best interests with their loyalty programs. Following are some of the strategies tailored to benefit the offline sales environment:
- Social Sharing: High chances prevail that customers will browse through physical stores through social networks before the purchase. The current generation of customers, in particular, spend a considerable amount of time on mobile devices, checking into social media accounts and with such exposure, harnessing social sharing power is a genius way to entice customers to shop with you. Rewarding customers for sharing their experiences with the products on platforms like Twitter and Instagram gives retailers the opportunity to create brand influencers while incorporating their brand into the everyday social fabric of their customer base.
- VIP Tiers: VIP tiers allow retailers to acknowledge and evaluate their best customer base with exclusive benefits and rewards. Simply effective at increasing customer engagement, VIP tiered programs give the the customers an opportunity to earn more, which in turn encourages them to spend more. VIP programs have emerged as an excellent solution for brick-and-mortar retailers, because once a customer is committed, they are more likely to engage themselves with a specific store. It’s the perfect example of how exclusive benefits, as opposed to discounts, set a brand apart from the herd.
Online Loyalty Programs: One of the most significant reasons people prefer to shop online is discount prices, which doesn’t come as a surprise given the fact that many such people don’t even have a savings account. Online shopping has taken the commercial merchants by storm, and is soon to dominate, which raises a need for loyalty programs to ensure a customer base. With the facility to shop around and buy at the lowest price in a matter of seconds, there are many ways ecommerce merchants can work to keep their customers hooked.
- VIP Tiers: VIP Tiers is a perfect example of some of the strategies which can be incorporated in both online and offline platforms. Tiers are especially known to industries like supplements and cosmetics because they have intense levels of competition. Brands that reward customer loyalty with benefits and transactional rewards are more appealing in a more obvious sense. Offering customers access to exclusive events or product launches are some of the many ways that retailers can give recognition to their VIP customers, considering that these loyal customers are responsible for a majority of their business.
- Engagement Touch Points: One must provide the customers with ways to engage outside of the shopping cart if one wishes to make his online brand stand out. With a rising trend of using smartphones for all manner of online activity, people are searching for experiences that complement their lifestyle. Referral programs are an excellent way to encourage customers to engage with one’s brand throughout their everyday necessities, and can be seen as the evolution of the old school reward systems.
No matter what you’re selling, where’re you’re selling; whether it’s online or offline, a loyalty program is a proven way to acquire a huge customer base. Through exclusive rewards, beneficiary initiatives, and social awareness, one can treat customers to a lifestyle and loyalty experience unlike anywhere else, making one’s brand a priority for them, every time they go shopping.
Brands have been utilizing loyalty and rewards program within their customer community to keep their customers happy and well away from competition. From loyalty cards, discount coupons to scratch & win offers, brands have been using rewards as an incentive to create a customer base and also keep them loyal to the brand.
In the new digital age, such rewards have been upgraded. Digital rewards are the new ‘in’ thing that bring many advantages to both the customer and the brand. From making it easier for the customers to get their rewards to spreading the word about a brand, digital rewards have given the marketplace a new tool to expand brand reach and loyalty.
Digital rewards are both diverse and abundant. These are a few up-and-coming rewards that are catching the eye of the marketers:
According to a study by Mercator Advisory Group, it was found that in 2015 most of the money spent on gift cards was redeemed as eGifts. With the heavy increase in digital buying, it makes more sense for brands to motivate customers through eGifts.
Moreover, brands can also use eGifts to rewards employees to acknowledge their hard work on projects or commemorate special occasions. This builds the confidence in the employees and helps with brand loyalty.
Coupons and codes
With greater numbers opting for online buying, it makes sense for brands to give their offers and discounts in the virtual world. Coupons and codes that are sent exclusively to loyal customers makes them feel special and helps retain them.
Incentives like cash backs and discounts, mobile wallets have taken online marketing by storm. Creating a niche where customers are incentivised for their buying behaviour has only increased the appeal of mobile wallets.
Benefits of digital rewards program
Increases the brand’s value
The power of digital rewards is that it gives the customer a sense of empowerment. With every amount they save or a prize they win, it helps build an image of a brand that it is not in business for the profits. It builds the image of a brand that genuinely cares about its customers.
Provides the customers with more choices
The brand gives the customers the option of choosing the kind of rewards they want. Either it would be as loyalty points that can be redeemed for discounts or gifts or in the form of promotional codes that are given to an exclusive customer community.
Each reward program is made around the customer, their preferences, previous encounters with the brand and their redemption history. This makes the program more relevant and useful to the customer.
Unlike the days when one had to send a letter to a brand with a token to get a gift, the digital rewards program helps both brands and customers get instant rewards. As soon as a customer provides a preferred action (like, tweet), the customer is provided with their reward. It needs less effort from the customer too.
Get rewarded anytime, anywhere
There is no limit to the application of digital rewards. People can be rewarded just by signing up for a newsletter and this can be done from anywhere. Because of the high mobility of the digital market, people can redeem their rewards just about anywhere.
Brings positive interaction between brand and customer
Everybody likes free gifts. Digital rewards help people collect more rewards doing what they do the most nowadays – being a part of the social media sphere. Reward programs also help in spreading the news about a brand since people share the newest offers with their friends and family.
Incentive to be a loyal customer
With the reward point application, people tend to stay loyal customers to get greater rewards over time. But the rewards need to be good enough to keep the customers interested.
Helps engage on the social media
Facebook and Twitter are where most of a brand’s customer base is situated. Potential customers also reside in the digital sphere. Having current customers talk about a brand on their social media helps in increasing exposure and value. Digital rewards do just that by giving customers freebies when they engage with the brand on social media.
The cost of setting up a digital rewards platform takes less money than the traditional card-based loyalty programs. It is also easier for customers to check-up on their points and look for other offers that are available.
As can be seen, ‘digital rewards’ is the new mantra to creating a brand identity that is more personal and effective.
With RewardPort programs, your brand gets higher visibility among its customers.
Available statistic shows that about 20 to 40% of most business’ capital is tied up in inventory. This portends that any business that mismanages its inventory levels even to a small degree can have a huge challenge on their hands. It can affect their capacity to operate effectively and it can place a huge burden on the Company’s finances. The more inventory any business holds the higher the likelihood of running into costly issues such as tampering, theft, damage and stock excesses, obsolescence and so much more. Also, excess inventory on retail shelves can keep you at the mercy of market fluctuations in commodity value.
Here are things you can do to get rid of excess inventory from retail shelves:
Flow with the Market: When the market value of a good dips significantly below what you paid when you were acquiring them, keeping hold of a sizeable quantity of those goods can affect your business. As any effective inventory manager will admit, there is no way to completely insulate yourself from overstock. However, you can run with a plan that helps you reduce your inventory to optimum levels. This would also aid the financial state of your business and position you for other great prospects.
The major goal of controlling your inventory level is to ensure you have enough to match the fluctuations in customer demand. You do not need to tie your cash in maintaining unnecessary stock. You can reduce inventory by communicating effectively down the supply chain. The engagements at each stage must be in sync and data driven. This will ensure that goods reach your customers without interruption while the safety stock requirements will be kept to a minimum. Some organizations use inventory management software to fulfill this role. Every process manager across the distribution channel is can be properly positioned to work with up to date data which creates effectiveness.
Get rid of surplus or obsolete inventory: Inventory management software can help a business to identify obsolete or surplus inventory. It is important to earmark the most effective way of taking out obsolete inventory. The long term damage of holding in unnecessary stock outweighs the damage of holding on to it in the short term. There are a number of channels which businesses can use to dispose unwanted inventory. The first thing to do is to categorize the stock that needs to be scrapped or thrown away, those that can be sold off and the stock that can be used within the organization.
You can also negotiate the option of returning surplus stock to the supplier. Closeout and special discount offers is a good avenue to increase customer demand and move excess inventory. Goods which are sold at a discount in an International market allow the retailer to get back part of his investment while moving the stock. As a last resort, it may be vital to give the goods to a cause or charity which will create some goodwill in the community or you can simply scrap them.
It is important for a business to invest in running with a good inventory management system. This would help to reduce the challenges in your supply chain while improving your profit margins.
Every sales promotion begins with a business or brand making the right offer. This is true of one-time
marketing concepts that help in boosting your short-term revenue or expanding your business.
The ideal sales promotion offer needs to have the following components:
- Align with your competitive edge
- Creates real value for your clients or customers
- It is relevant
The usual strategy is to go for conventional offers like Discounts , extra of the same product, a related product by the same company or a freebie of excess inventory. Lets look at each aspect
- Discounts – these work always, but to a extent. A brand cannot forever be giving discounts and get identified as “discount” brand.
- Extra of the same product – this is a slightly better strategy than giving discount as it gives a better perceived value to the customer.
- Get a related product – Good if want to sample your new offering that does not conflict with the existing product category
- Give a free from your excess inventory – This may save you some monies but could give the customer a wrong impression if not communicated right.
The new approach to sales promotions is to catch the fancy (and the spend) of your customers by giving them something which is aspirational and has a much higher perceived value. Two things stand out:
- Offer a service – Run a promotion that rewards the customer with something exciting that matches the target profile like Movies, a spa experience or mobile recharge .Something that gives instant gratification and has a high perceived value and is relevant
- Sweepstakes with assured gift – Everybody loves to win. An assured prize giveaway with a chance to win a grand prize appeals to all. A sure win gives instant gratification and gets the brand love and a chance to win big like a car / mobile phone / dream holiday keeps them engaged .
When you have decided on the sales promotion plan that you want to implement, it is important to prop up its message and communicate effectively. This is the point where many businesses miss it in their campaigns and marketing efforts. This failure usually happens in two ways:
- They do not effectively promote their program to their clients and potential customers
- They use the wrong message or marketing tools to reach their audience
- The rewards are not exciting enough
- It’s not easy to get the free gift
A close look at the first point shows that the default sales promotion drive of most businesses is to advertise. However, advertising adds to the expense that an organization incurs. The cost of running a media campaign is high and the returns may not justify the investment made. Research shows that price-sensitive shoppers may be attracted by an advert but may not return to consummate the purchase or transaction.
There are effective ways to drive sales promotion and some of them would be discussed below.
Use your Store effectively: It is ideal to make full use of your store signage to woo buyers to the products you have on offer. The employees can strengthen the stakes by mentioning the promotion to your customers. Employee stickers/tags/buttons can talk about the promotion while promotional flyers can also do a good job. Reminders on receipts or the use of an inexpensive sticker or rubber stamp can help to drive the best returns for your business.
Embrace the Internet: You can give a strong voice to your Sales promotion by highlighting it on the main page of your website. You can create a page that talks about your promotion and draw in a strong following by offering freebies which can help you build lists for future marketing efforts.
The Telephone: Your employees can harp on the promotion to anyone that calls your business or you can change your answering machine message to let customers know about what you are doing.
Email – You are sending out hundreds of emails everyday. Add the promotion to the footer. Its zero cost free media.
There are other powerful media which you can harness to generate the right results for your sales promotion. They include Flyer distribution, use of conventional media and word of mouth. It is important to get the word to as many people as you can through these channels. It is vital to mention that you can have a great sales promotion plan but without a strong marketing base to drive it; no one will know about it and this can lead to failure.
The best sales promotion is simply anchored on understanding your market and driving your plan to bring the returns you desire. There is a thin line between success and failure in this range but following some of the rules listed above would get the job done for you.
Coupon campaigns have been around since the launch of the first paper coupon by Coca Cola in 1887. The first lot of coupons were distributed on the streets and in magazines and newspaper. Wow! that is a good century old marketing tool. Since then it has grown in popularity, with it being almost a give in American retail and now a part of the marketing mix of Indian marketing ecosystem. Since then however the coupon has evolved and in the new digital times it’s become a more effective tool.
Why you should use coupons ?
Coupons are an inexpensive form of marketing, nearly half of all retailers and brands reported offering consumers some form of bonus coupon program or gift with purchase. This means your competitors are probably utilizing coupons in their marketing plan and maybe should you too. With advent of digital it has now become easier for products in the FMCG category to use on pack /in pack digital codes. You should use Coupons – digital or print to
– acquire new customers
– increase sales of specific products
– Increase brand awareness
– move out unsold inventories
– reward existing customers
– retain former customers
– up sell a higher margin product
– Increase social media engagement
……..add to it that this is highly measurable activity
How to use coupons in your sales promotions
Coupons should be used in a way that they not only motivate the consumer to purchase the product but creates good brand memories. This way there will be good social media stories about your brand. That’s free marketing for you! This can be done by by creating a cyclic format where customers just don’t get price offs or discount all the time ( this will ensure that your brand is not perceived to be a “discount” brand.
– Run programs with coupons that deliver rewards instead of discounts always.
Eg: A free Rs.200 voucher for online shopping on purchase of a toothpaste See Link
– The reward should be relevant and experiential.
Eg: Free Movie tickets on purchase of a shampoo. Everybody loves the movies! See Link
– The perceived value of the reward should be high, even equal to the value of the product purchased (not too high if you are an upcoming brand, else it will seem too good to be true).
A known food company gave a minimum gift of Rs.150 on purchase of a Rs.100 See Link
– Add a sweepstakes. Everyone loves to win the lottery. Add a contest with chance to win big. It always works. A large personal products brand gave assured gifts and a chance to win Ipads and it worked! See Link
Applications of Coupons
Coupons can be used in multiple ways for multiple marketing goals
1. Gift with Purchase
2. In pack /On-Pack promotions
3. Contests and Sweepstakes
4. App Download
5. Online registration
6. Product trial
7. Referral marketing
Coupon Distribution Methods
You can distribute coupons on multiple formats in different ways
1. e-coupons delivered online , in app ,sms ,email
2. Paper Coupons
3. M-Coupons – sms based coupons for the segment that is not online
Making Coupon Programs effective
So we have a great coupon idea with fantastic offers which are bound to attract the customer ,but that is not all for it to work. There are certain hygiene elements of the campaign that you must keep in mind before launching the campaign
- Clear, Concise Text Detailing Offer and Terms
- Ease of use along with a clear explanation
- Product Image and packaging
- Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQ )
- Any Necessary Legal Copy
- Expiration Date
- Complaint redressal – Company Name, Address & email
Conclusively, coupons are a very effective marketing tool with a proven model of success. If you have not used it earlier try it with a small budget, you will see instant result. If you already use coupons try out the above to get a better ROI.
A Garter Survey says that 98% marketers say online and offline marketing are merging. What does it mean for offline businesses who are feeling that they are losing out to online businesses? Simply put they have to embrace a O2O – Online to Offline business strategy.
What is O2O or online to offline Marketing?
The best & simplest definition is “A business strategy that draws potential customers from online channels to physical stores.” Online-to-offline commerce, or O2O, identifies customers in the online space, such as through emails and internet advertising, and then uses a variety of tools and approaches to entice the customer to leave the online space. This type of strategy incorporates techniques used in online marketing with those used in brick-and-mortar marketing.” as defined on investopedia.com
Marketers of large companies have moved beyond digital marketing techniques and are expanding marketing’s role to create new digitally led business models. The sweet spot of the physical and digital worlds represents opportunities for marketers to apply customer insights to create and test new digitally led experiences and business models. Baidu and Alibaba are doing this in a big way in China while on demand services companies like AirBnb and Uber have made these into unique business models.
But what does this all mean for the small and medium size business. How do they adjust to this with limited resources?
Here are 10 things sme/msme can do to embrace this change and increase their revenue without too much investment.
- Customer Data
Start collecting data of visitors and buyers. This is the starting point and perhaps the key driver of your O2O strategy. The fancy e commerce valuations you see are mostly driven by data. Merchants need to put in place a system where you collect information such as name, email, mobile number and as you move ahead you can add transaction history and other data points. Reward customers with offers and freebies to share data via website, sms or on paper. A simple tool to start with is www.zoho.com to manage the data.
2. Email and SMS
You have now data of visitors and customers. Segment it. The more data points the better segmentation. This is not very scientific. Just segment it by gender, area, age & transaction initially and then evolve to by birth date, preference, days of visit etc. Reach out to them by email or sms. Update them on offers, invite them to events, and wish them on their birthdays. A good DIY tool for email is MailChimp , ConstantContact. SMS is a very cost effective direct to customer tool .There are local vendors who will provide this service for prices as low as Rs.0.10 per sms
Most likely your customer is on Facebook. Set up your page and get people to like your page. Keep the page active with 4 or more posts a week. Always use images and if possible videos. Unfortunately, now it doesn’t mean that if you post all your fans see your post. So you will need to “boost” you post for a little fee. Use the Audience feature to add your data on Facebook to get people who already know you. This is another effective way to reach out to your prospects and customers. Based on the size of your business it would be a good idea to manage the page yourself for a while and probably engage an agency when your ROI is up. There are many other tools on Facebook to help push your business. Create offers that can be redeemed in-store.
A recent study by Small Business Customer website shows that nearly 60% of Twitter followers buy from an SMB. One way to initiate more traffic to your Twitter business page is by integrating a “follow” button on your website. Once your profile becomes familiar with existing customers, you can tweet to your followers about your upcoming product launches or trade shows and encourage them to retweet about your event. You can consider offering special discounts or freebies to your Twitter followers when they and their friends attend the offline event.
Instagram will soon join the 100 million users club and if you haven’t yet used this innovative visual storytelling platform to meet your business goals, it’s high time you considered it. You can build anticipation among your Instagram community about your upcoming offline event by taking instant photos of your event’s stage being set and so on and post it on the website. Another way is to send exclusive invites to your instagram fans and encourage them to meet up at your store or on the streets and post photos of them using your products or services. It would be a cool idea to host such real life meet-ups among your online community to build your brand offline.
6. Google – Places and Maps
More than 70% of online Google search activity is related to finding local stuff. And nearly 80% of online local searches on Google Places can end up visiting your offline store. It’s time you considered it carefully to build your business. Here’s a way to initiate it. Make sure you have a 100% score on the Google Places listing by filling all details. Optimize your listing description with product/service keywords. Encourage your existing customers to give good reviews on the Google Places & Maps to stand out among your competitors.
7. Strategic Partnerships
Strategic partnership can jointly benefit you and your partner as you can offer value added services to your existing customers. It spreads the marketing load to each partner while promoting their respective products/services. More importantly, your relationship with customers gets strengthened. For example, if you are an offline music training center you can partner with an online music instruments selling website to attract new students. You can distribute to your existing customers a free e-book or an online demo of your product/service that features you and your strategic partner(s). Make use of exclusive online discounts as a way of promoting your partnership among new and existing customers.
With the onset of the Internet of Things, offline businesses can harness it to offer customers a virtual like shopping experience. Take for instance, a fashion clothing store that makes use of iPad or tablets in changing rooms to help customers request various colors and sizes. IOT isn’t just about increasing sales, but leverage it effectively to boost overall shopping experience for your customers. As an offline business, you can access the same level of information just like an online store to improve your new or existing customer’s experience. One way is to follow up data on your customer’s recent online shopping journey and offer special discount on products they looked online. Your message can be something like, “Hello Jenny, the trousers you looked online two days ago is now available at our store at 10 percent off and its available in three additional colors.” The IOT technology can be harnessed to build better relationships with your customers like never before.
Digital/online wallets can now be used not only for online shopping payments, but even for offline businesses. You can make use of this trend, whether you have a food store or a cab services company. Give your customers the freedom to pay through online wallets anytime, anywhere. This can result in increased revenue, as your customers will be long satisfied since they aren’t required to carry cash or plastic cards to make payments when they avail your services or products. So whether you are a small start-up or a growing offline business, you have the option of choosing an extensive range of digital wallet services.
Simply put, there’s no shopper who doesn’t like to get rewarded. A loyalty program should aim at encouraging the loyal engagement of your customers, in other words get buyers to patronize your business. It can’t get any easier than using the digital platform to promote your loyalty program for increased offline revenue with repeat customers. You can reward loyalty points to your existing customers when they subscribe to your online newsletter. You can also reward them when they refer their social network friends to visit your offline store. Another way is to conduct special online loyalty surveys to know more about your customers’ shopping activities both online and offline to gather valuable data. Just ensure the redeem limit is not too steep to reward your customers.
Following all these strategies require time and planning, get a team to work on these and plan accordingly. Similar to online revenue, offline store can gain more profit and revenues by being up to date. All the best!