The temptation to make deals for the holidays is obvious, but just before to run and cut prices it is important to stop and plan the entire process. Setting goals for selecting benefits – three things to think about.
Summer holidays is at the middle, but the ads announcing back to school campaigns that have been for long perched on shop windows in a variety of businesses. At the height of summer, but with a sharp sense of smell, can detect the scent of the holidays approaching heralding both the autumn and the coming operations that have become associated with the High Holidays, almost like apples and honey.
The temptation to make special offers for back to school, holidays, World Cup or any other big seasonal event is enormous at a time when the market is strong. The temptation grows even more when the market is weak. A survey conducted by the Consumer Council and published in June gave the final review about business owners and customers alike – the skyrocketing cost of living triggered a fundamental change in consumers purchasing habits in Israel. 70% of respondents said they bought less because prices were high. It can be assumed that the survey was conducted recently, after the turmoil caused in the economy, the numbers were even higher.
The need to face new and existing customers through clear operations. But just before to run, cut prices and offer benefits you may want to stop and plan well the operation in order to ensure that you will bring it to the maximum. So what are the three basic steps to building a successful campaign? In short: setting goals, target audience segmentation (strategy) and selecting appropriate incentive or promotion. Now let’s go down further.
Setting goals or what you want to accomplish
Mark those goals you want to achieve well with the operations before moving. The ultimate goal is of course the bottom line – economically try to set a target you want to reach through the operation. This target will be derived from the budget, time and employee training, all planned for investment in the promotion.
If you have information collected from similar operations carried out in the past, you should try to rely on it when you try to mark the economic objective you want to reach. In addition to the basic goal of increasing earnings must be placed a secondary goal, such as: exposing existing customers to new products, collecting vital information of customers (e-mail addresses), Like’s on business Facebook page and more.
Target your effort
Promotions can spur purchases by established customers, reel in new customers, draw customers from competitors, get current customers to buy differently, and stimulate business during slow periods. But rarely can one promotion accomplish all of those objectives at once. As a result, you must decide which of the following is most important so that you can target your effort:
- Do you want customers to purchase more frequently, buy in greater volume, or be attracted to new or different offerings?
- Do you want to lure new customers into your business?
- Do you want lapsed customers to give your business another try?
- Do you want to boost business during slow hours, weekdays or particular seasons?
After carefully and thoughtfully defining the audience and the change you want your promotion to inspire, ask yourself this question: If you offer a time-limited incentive, is it likely that the customers you’ve targeted will respond? If so, continue to the next step.
Plan your incentive
A well-thought-out, properly targeted promotion prompts customers to take action by offering one of these incentives:
- Price savings, including discounts, coupons or added value offers
- Samples or trial offers to provide a low-risk way to try new products or services
- Events or experiences to generate crowds, enthusiasm, sales, publicity
As you decide on your incentive, keep these facts in mind:
Price offers must be strong enough to compel, but reasonable enough to keep your business out of red ink. Avoid uninspiring 10 to 20 percent discounts, but also avoid very deep discounts unless they promote a loss leader to generate other higher-margin sales, or unless they’ll attract valuable new customers into your business.
Coupons always make a comeback in penny-pincher markets, which means they’re hugely popular these days. Even young consumers and affluent shoppers–groups that traditionally shun coupons–are using them, boosting the typical 1 to 2 percent redemption rate by nearly 20 percent. Printed coupons are still the most widely circulated, but printable coupons, distributed on web sites and via e-mail, provide a terrific way to test price offers with business friends and fans before incurring costs to promote the offer more widely via other media.
Samples work in all lines of business to let customers try before buying. The key is to sample products that are so great they’ll win raves and repeat business.
- Online-based businesses need to promote free samples prominently in an effort to attract links, visitors, site registrations and publicity. They can be the start of a prosperous relationship with new customers.
- Retailers can turn sampling into promotional events. Think of Costco on weekends. Another great example: Estée Lauder works with retailers to offer women free mini-makeovers that end with customer photos (against an Estée Lauder backdrop). These are then e-mailed to participants for use on their social networking pages.
- Service businesses would do well to give away mini versions of their offerings. For example, five-minute shoulder massages or one-hour home decorating consultations. Or, for higher-ticket service businesses, samples can take the form of affordable introductory packages that allow prospective customers to wade into the business relationship, gaining trust for the business while also receiving a valuable service.
Events and experiences draw customers for celebrations, product launches, special appearances or presentations, and other activities that combine entertainment with brand and product presentations. When hosting an event, make sure to go all out. A half-hearted, poorly attended event is worse than no event at all, so plan, decorate, train your staff and publicize accordingly.
In conclusion, as every different aspect of running your business, both in operational planning return to school or in general campaigns, you must act to formulate an action plan that takes into account both the big picture (objectives and strategies) as well as the details of everyday life, and not by the whims of moment.
The article is based on this article taken from Entrepreneur.