Role of Promotion in the Marketing Mix
Promotions are an integral part of the marketing mix. In general, promotions tend to focus on how to attract the attention of consumers and motivate them to take action or make a purchase. There are many ways marketers can go about promoting a product or service, but it requires strategic research into the target audience and where to find them.
The role of promotion in the marketing mix is critical for brands who want to ensure the right consumers are reached and objectives are met. Brands can achieve this by using strategic tactics to connect with consumers to generate a response.
In order to accomplish this, brands must look closely at the many ways to market/promote and decide which methods are most likely to reach the desired consumer demographic. This means taking into account factors such as age, gender, location as well as socio-economic, psychographic and competitive data.
The question then becomes, which type of promotion will deliver the greatest return on investment? While the answer to that question is not always black and white, there are several marketing promotions that have stood the test of time for their effectiveness in attracting customers and growing market share.
With nearly three quarters of Americans claiming to be price sensitive when shopping, rebates have become an increasingly popular way to promote a brand or service. The perceived value of a rebate is what drives consumers down the path of purchase. Strategies such as show-rooming and other price comparison tactics have forced brands to find more creative ways to grab the attention of consumers both online and in store.
Rebates also offer a lower net-price for their marketing spend, which attracts shoppers while preserving margins for retailers and brands – unlike instant discounts. Brands can choose to offer their rebate payments via prepaid gift cards, giving them an additional marketing boost.
Gift cards also help drive consumers back to the store where they made the initial purchase. Typically about 30 percent of rebate dollars are spent back at the original store where the product was purchased.
Brands and their fulfillment partners have also made the rebate redemption process easier for consumers by offering them the choice of mobile, online and mail-in options. In addition, brands can use the rebate-redemption process to collect customer data and opt-ins for future marketing efforts, making rebates an ideal promotion for building long-term loyalty.
Sweepstakes & Contests
Very few promotional tactics can generate more buzz and excitement around a brand than a well-executed sweepstake, game or contest. They can reinforce, extend and enhance brand values, drive customer engagement, foster brand advocates, support in-store and ecommerce sales strategies as well create high impact with a limited budget.
The power of sweepstakes and contests as promotional vehicles lies in their ability to create an emotional connection, drive interest and engagement. While prizes are important, it is only one aspect of developing an effective, engaging campaign. Legal compliance and risk management are critical factors as well as operational logistics.
Today more than ever, brands have more challenges to connect with consumers and to be relevant. The shopper landscape is rapidly changing and it is now critical for brands to be authentic in ways that engage, drive sales and loyalty.
Sweepstakes and contests can be effective standalone tactics or part of a larger strategic marketing initiative to focus attention, promote a conversation and engage an audience. One of the first things to consider when developing a sweepstakes or contest is how will the promotion support the brand’s sales goals and what KPIs should be established to measure success? Knowing your budget constraints will also help define the scope of the project.
Working with a promotion fulfillment provider can help you develop a solid plan of action for both the development of the promotion as well as how to optimize consumer engagement.
A key element to a well-executed sweepstakes or contest in today’s marketplace is understanding if the promotion is relevant and appealing to your target audience.
- Consumer's path to purchase is accelerating. Brands must react and find faster ways to compete such as offering dynamic promotions that motivate consumers toward an action or purchase.
- Bowen Smith, SVP Sales & Marketing
Compliance & Risk Management
While rebates, sweepstakes and contents have proven to be highly effective promotional tactics, careful attention must be paid to the legal aspects to ensure they are in compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
When it comes to rebates, each state has separate guidelines for escheatment reporting (click here to read our escheatment whitepaper). There are also a series of guidelines (per state) regarding proper design of the submission form. The risk of consumer rebate fraud is also prevalent, so it is important to partner with a promotion fulfillment center who can help spot issues such as multiple submissions under fictitious names or counterfeit forms and proofs of purchase.
In addition to risk and compliance, a good rebate, sweepstake or contest should be highly orchestrated in terms of its logistics, quality standards and supporting documentation to ensure the promotion is executed at the highest possible level and offers a solid paper trail in the event of an audit.
When developing your brand marketing plan, consider including a promotion that motivates consumers, creates engagement, enhances brand awareness and grows market share. The key to making it successful is to be authentic, compelling and compliant.
About Promotion Fulfillment Center
At PFC, our clients’ success is our number one priority. Since 1974, PFC has delivered outstanding results, with turnkey solutions in fulfillment, e-commerce, rebates, sweepstakes, coupons and contact center – all backed by leading technology. Brands who partner with PFC have historically achieved considerable cost savings in excess of 35 percent and have significantly improved their turn times. PFC allows clients to focus on their big picture business goals, while skillfully managing all the details. For more information call (800) 493-7063.