Back in 1992, the UK division of Hoover wanted to increase sales of their vacuum cleaners.
So, they did the right thing and decided to run a promotion. A great idea!
But then, they had a terrible idea.
They decided to offer two free flights to Europe or America with the purchase of their vacuum cleaners over £100. Not one free flight. But two free flights.
The objective was, of course, to drive sales and they did achieve that goal. Through this promotion, Hoover gained £30 million in sales. But… They also had to pay out £50 million in flights.
They even had to make changes to the production of their Turbopower Total System, increasing the days their factory was open from 5 out of 7 to 7 out of 7. And why the Turbopower Total System? Well, it was the cheapest (yet still over £100), vacuum cleaner. It was a resounding failure – from increased production costs to court cases that lasted almost into the next millennium.
What’s the moral of this story, here? Why would we start an article on promotions (that we want to encourage) with a cautionary tale?
Because if Hoover had done a few simple things before they sent their campaign to market, none of this would have happened. Without further ado, we present to you the 5 most common promotions problems and how to overcome them.
Rise to the challenge… With a little help, of course.
Problem 1: Concept Development
Ever had an idea and thought, “wait, is that even possible?”. Or, alternatively, thought, “how can I actually get outside of the box with my campaign ideas?”.
Whichever end of the spectrum you sit on, injecting reality into the ideas process often sits as the counter to creativity. We all know the damaging impact that this can all have on morale — what if you have to say ‘no’ to your staff’s dream campaign?
We’ve all heard this: “Well, that would be nice. But really, we don’t have the internal capacity for that.”
At the other end of the stick, there are those ideas that sound great but are, in fact, too risky. Like Hoover’s, for instance.
Solution: As an extension of your team, you don’t have to worry that nobody in your office is an expert at distribution or app development. So, you can dream outside of your team. You can even consult us in the early stages of your planning to help find the best way to express that.
At the idea-generation stage of the process, you should be empowering your workers, not shutting them down. We talk about this a lot: we want to empower creativity, not undermine it! We know you do, too.
Consulting a provider in those early stages can also help pick up the ideas that aren’t viable and mould them into something that could be more successful.
Problem 2: Bad user experience (UX)
Going from idea to execution isn’t always a smooth journey, but your customer journey throughout your promotion needs to be. You’ll have to be mindful of the journey from all angles, especially in those early stages. You’ll no doubt come up against the unfortunate obstacle on internal capabilities: what you can do, what you’ll need to outsource, all rubbing uncomfortably alongside the initial dream for your promotion. So, who’s going to take on the role of bridging between what your audience wants and what your team can deliver?
If your consumer has to work hard to redeem their reward or enter your competition, the outcome is, of course, going to be impacted. Whether it’s fewer entrants or disgruntled users, you’re going to see the effects on the return you’re hoping to achieve.
Using a dedicated promotions platform is your best bet for avoiding this headache. Briefing in an external team that can manage the program and technology for you means that you don’t waste your own time learning the ropes. Using what the consumer expects as the benchmark for success, our technology is specifically designed to provide a superior user experience for promotions. We deliver the gold standard in engaging promotions without the development and design headaches.
Problem 3: Delivery Timeframes
Patience is a myth. Or, at the very least, it’s an outdated concept — for both you and the consumers of your promotion.
You spend forever planning and then you spend forever building, and then you spend your budget. When managing the distribution of promotional materials, you’re sure to encounter some degree of impatience from your recipients. We saw the sluggishness of the promotions industry — especially in regards to technological development. It was taking far too long to get campaigns off the ground.
So, we found a solution. Our promotions platform brings promotions to life within days, not weeks. We use a game-changing promotions-building platform that can produce fully compliant promotions in no time at all. And, to deal with that distribution issue, we have an in-house mail-house that’s ideally equipped to deal with these kinds of campaigns.
Problem 4: Risk
Putting a campaign in market is always a little nerve-wracking. Even with the most comprehensive modelling, there’s always the chance that things won’t go as planned: people won’t respond to the campaign in a predictable fashion. Running a campaign with a prize or with a redeemable token, you need to be sure that your budget can stretch to cover those costs, regardless of how it runs. What happens if the number of people who want to redeem your offer skyrockets? Or in the event that all of your top prizes get taken out?
Whatever the promotion is, there’s always the risk that it’s going to blow the bank. If it flies too high or flops too hard, you must have a plan. We offer promotional insurance that can actually enable you to offer a more attractive top prize and to make sure you can control your costs.
You pay a fixed fee as a premium to an insurer, based on the value of your prize pool and the likelihood of it being awarded. In the case that the prize/s are taken out, the insurer pays out the prize to the winner. Read more about how promotional insurance can help you run better promotions here.
Problem 5: Not understanding your campaign results
Every campaign is an opportunity to learn more about your audience. But reporting back on a campaign seems to many people like little more than an obligation to be completed in the days and weeks following a campaign. Most people don’t have the time or capacity to make it anything more than that.
Access to data isn’t a problem for most marketers, but making that data meaningful is. Many providers will present you with a post-campaign report, but what we do is vastly different. If you want to understand your consumers better, and in a way that informs your campaign and your future brand positioning, this is the kind of insight you’ll want to get your hands on. We overlay your demographics and results with decades of consumer discretionary spend data to allow you a completely unique perspective into your audience and brand.
But for us, it’s not enough to bring data into the conversation at the start and end of a promotion — it’s something that needs to be a consideration at all stages. RUnning a campaign with us, you’ll have access to real-time analytics delivered through a slick dashboard platform. This means that you can continuously improve your campaign throughout its duration, making tweaks wherever they’re needed. Before, during, and after — we couldn’t call ourselves data-driven if we didn’t deliver insights at every stage.
From designing your initial promotion, to delivery, to evaluation, promotions are full of moving parts — moving parts that can easily fracture. Keeping your whole promotions ecosystem healthy and running smoothly is a challenge. The team you put behind your promotion makes all the difference. Working with a specialised promotions team ensures that you’re well equipped for success. Regardless of what your success measures are, they’re within reach with us. To make sure your next promotion is a gamechanger, get in touch — we’re all ears!