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How can promotional marketing be used to generate greater returns for the business?

For all businesses, no matter what their sector or service offering, seeking opportunities to generate a greater ROI should always be a core focus if they want to achieve significant growth.

Technological developments have provided new and interesting ways for brands to make a greater impact on the customer, targeting them with relevant offers through the rights channels, based on the data being generated. This multi-channel evolution has put the focus on promotional marketing in particular, which is able to offer huge benefits to brands to bring the much sought after ROI uplift.

If businesses can leverage their sales promotion activity effectively, they will have the capability to make the business far more commercially efficient. So how can brands ensure they are making the best use of these opportunities to generate better results?

A significant uplift can only truly be achieved if the brand gains a deeper understanding into what their customer wants. If they know which channels and what type of interaction is going to generate the greatest value and engagement with the customer, they can implement the right marketing strategies that ensures their investment isn’t going to be wasted. The impact this type of knowledge has on the business can be transformational, and promotional marketing is the vehicle through which to get there.

Promotional marketing now offers vital opportunities to undertake data capture – no matter what channel is being used. Whether it’s a traditional on pack promotion or a mobile voucher offer, brands must ensure they have the capabilities to collect the customer information to create future value. Having this understanding of what motivates the customer, will then ensure much tighter marketing communications can be delivered in future. Implementing strategies without the insight that can be provided from promotional activity, without this knowledge of your customer, is a scatter gun approach that’s likely to waste budgets upfront and fail to yield much in return.

Multi-channel has given the opportunity to drive promotions to a much broader-customer base, leading to more data collection opportunities, so care must be taken to not exclude any potential customer segment, which could provide valuable insights on how to drive more returns. Mobile, in particular, is a channel that organisations are yet to leverage fully, but as it becomes increasingly central to consumers’ lives, it’s hugely valuable channel through which brands can achieve an instant connection with consumers at pivotal moments. Establishing how to build mobile into marketing activity and should be a core focus for any future facing business.

It may seem obvious, but keeping promotional activity simple should remain front of mind. Whilst technology has driven new opportunities to keep the customer interested and connected to the brand, it also presents a risk of businesses attempting to overcomplicate marketing activity, which distracts customers from the key messages, impacts negatively on the journey and ultimately fails to carry them through to make a final purchase. Implementing something just because it seems everyone else is isn’t going to produce the returns for the business if it’s not right for the audience. Additionally, brands should also be cautious about appearing too intrusive and ‘over-collecting’ customer data. Consumers are becoming savvier about how and where their data is being used, so the business needs to ensure they maintain the trust of the customer and continue to create value with the data they do have.

Innovative and attractive promotions are great in practice, but they must also be functional and, above all, relevant to the customer and brand values. Looking back at traditional promotions should provide insight around what works and work doesn’t, which brands should use to guide them in future decision making. By all means, don’t disregard new customer channels, but ensure they complement the overall customer experience and enhance the journey.

Promotional marketing has always been a valuable channel for brands to connect with consumers, and the growth of customer channels has enhanced this further. What’s key is successfully creating a compelling promotion that enhances the customer’s brand experience and takes them seamlessly through the purchase journey. If brands can harness this effectively and pull out the insights this creates, they will be able to deliver interactions that are far more targeted and deliver greater returns for the business.