Marketing Madness

Why is it that businesses gear up for events such as Christmas, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Stocktake Sales and then accept that there are quieter periods in the rest of the year? Clearly, this is not the plan of big multinationals who market all-year round. They give us the impression that everything is for sale all the time and that it is at a discount, when in reality it is not.

It gets hard to compete when you are reacting all the time to the promotions of the big players and you feel you have to follow. Unfortunately, most businesses react by putting on sales which may actually reduce your profits due to the size of the discounts offered to get a response from the price conscious customers.

Frequently, we come across businesses that stop promoting and advertising because of the cost and supposed lack of results. When you examine most of their promotions, they are only doing brand advertising and not calling customers to action. Some are calling customers to action but their offers are the same as their competitors or they are unattractive.

So, how do multinationals run a successful all-year round marketing promotion? Here are 3 steps to follow.

1. Determine the purpose for the promotion

Knowing the purpose sets the stage for the rest of the promotional plan because it lets everyone involved understand what it is for and why the outcome should be successful. Also, tell all your staff about the promotion and ask for their ideas.

2. Set specific targets

Setting specific targets allows you to focus your marketing dollars and your message on a specific area that is more likely to act on your promotion i.e. your loyal customers. Plan your advertising to match the customer – this is a much efficient way to increase sales, target margins and sell specific products or services.
Make sure you’re running and interesting promotion and not just discount sales. Why not try to package your products to see how your customers react to this kind of offer?

3. Evaluate the success of your promotion

If it clicks, identify how you can measure if it was a successful promotion. Identify a specific increase in sales needed to compensate for any decrease in the price. And in the end, make sure you evaluate the overall success of the promotion.

Rate yourself on these 8 questions by scoring 0 to 10, with 0 – lowest; 5 – average, with some ideas in writing; 10 – strongly planned, well organized:

QUESTIONRATING
1. Did you determine the purpose for the promotion?
2. Did you set specific targeted increases in sales, target margins and specific product or services?
3. Did you identify a specific increase in sales needed to compensate for any decrease in the price?
4. Did you define a target customer group inviting your loyal customers, or is it for everyone?
5. Are your promotions interesting and not just discounts sales? Do you package your products?
6. Did you plan your advertising to match the customer, and have you identified how you can measure if it was successful?
7. Did you tell all your staff about the promotion and ask for their ideas?
8. Did you evaluate the success of the promotion?

If your score is below 48 then this means that you are not getting value for money for your advertising, and the result from your marketing efforts will be mixed.

Successful marketing is the backbone of a business and will determine your financial future. And failing to ensure you have these steps in place will result in not getting value for money for your advertising and other marketing efforts, as well as getting mixed reactions from your customers.

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