COUPSMART BLOG

Your resource for digital and social couponing news

Posts Tagged ‘promotions’

Promotions Can’t Stand on Their Own

September 2nd, 2015 4:09pm

With digital and social channels taking over marketing, the days of running successful, stand-alone promotions and coupons are rapidly disappearing. When consumers look at the promotions your brand runs, they’re also looking at everything else that your brand is doing across a multitude of traditional and digital channels. There is no void that promotions can exist in anymore – it’s all one big interconnected experience for consumers.

So what’s the key metric for promotions in this new environment? In a word, Traffic.

This can come from a variety of sources, but the most cost-efficient traffic comes from a brand’s own website(s), social pages and email lists. After all, it’s a lot cheaper to get a promotion in front of a consumer who’s already visiting your website, signed up for an email list or engaged with your social channels (or who even just has a friend who’s engaged with your social channels) than constantly purchasing digital or (especially) traditional media advertising.

It takes commitment to build up traffic from these sources, however, and it takes more than just offering coupons from time to time. Consumers now expect to have a variety of high quality content create for them by brands, content that is truly interesting and well-produced.

We always find the broad term “high-quality content” frustrating though. What does that really mean when applied to what consumers are looking for from your brand? Promotions themselves always rank high on the list, but that’s just the tip of the content iceberg. To make it easy, here are a few key areas for you and your agency to focus on (and you can find out more in this fantastic article on Social Media Strategies Summit).

  • Exclusive experiences for consumers on a particular channel
  • Getting new information on your products and brand activities first
  • Opportunities for customers to offer direct feedback on your products and services

Beyond all of this, our personal favorite option for high-quality content is also the easiest: reposting content from others that is relevant to your key customers and is timely. For example, if you are selling primarily to mothers of young, school-age children, occasional helpful articles on back-to-school items or tasks during the months of July and August would be a great choice. Just be sure that there is a credible tie-in between the articles that you repost and your brand, and ALWAYS be sure to properly credit the source of your content if you’re not providing a direct link to it.

Want to learn more about capturing psychographic and demographic information on your customers that can be used to create fantastic content? Request a demo of the CoupSmart platform with one of our team members.

Couponing On The Brink Of A Digital Revolution

August 5th, 2014 10:56am

For over a century, coupons have been an effective tool for influencing and motivating consumers.  In general, the concept of couponing hasn’t changed much. However, methodologies for distributing them have changed drastically… and for good reason.

You are exposed to coupons and other promotions every day. They’re in the stores you shop at, in the paper you read, and can be found online or on your phone. The reason they are seemingly everywhere is because almost everyone uses them. In fact, the Inmar 2014 Coupon Trends Report shows that, in a three-month duration, 96% of shoppers will have used a coupon at least once.  Consumers use coupons to save money, and will look for deals that pertain to goods that they would buy normally. However, as coupons continue to evolve, we are finding that what they are capable of offering is much more than a simple discount.

Traditionally Speaking
For years, the primary methodology for distributing coupons has been through Free Standing Inserts (deals that can be found in the paper, magazines, etc.). They are used to push offers on a large scale by casting a wide net. They aim to incentivize repeat purchases, or perhaps prompt customers to buy a newly introduced product. The downside to this approach is that the targeting is very generalized.  Another limitation, and possibly the most significant, is that it is nearly impossible to gather analytical data/ information that could supply valuable consumer insights.

Coupons That Keep Up
Our world is changing, and consequently, so are consumers’ behaviors and habits. Therefore, you will need the tools that will allow you to better accommodate their expectations.  The introduction of digitally distributed offers has revamped the marketplace.  Whether you are printing an internet-delivered coupon or receiving codes straight to your mobile device, the benefits (to both the company and the consumer) are setting the bar for all distributed promotions.

Some of the key benefits include:

  • Data gathering – collect, analyze, and gain valuable insights on your consumers.
  • Strategic agility – easily fine-tune or modify offers (appearance, value, etc.) on the fly.
  • Superior retargeting – efficiently and effectively manage your promotional strategy.
  • Distribution control – retailers and manufacturers can regulate exactly how many offers will be claimed and redeemed.
  • Personalized offers – use collected data to push individualized promotions.
  • Cost savings – digital provides a cheaper alternative to print.
  • Security – combat coupon fraud by tracking your customers using tools such as embedded codes.

Digital offers work great if your goal is to:

  • Target a specific consumer population
  • Encourage a shopper to switch brands
  • Incentivize customers to repurchase goods
  • Introduce a new product or service
  • Save money while establishing a healthy consumer database

Promotions That Show Promise
Although traditionally distributed offers are still the conventional approach, digital promotions are quickly gaining momentum and are responsible for ever-increasing redemptions. In fact, the Inmar 2014 Coupon Trends Report stated that, “Overall, digital coupons are attracting more new buyers than print coupons by a margin of 35%.” In five years, it is projected that the population of mobile coupon users alone will nearly double from the current 560 million to 1.05 billion users (Mobile Coupons: Consumer Engagement, Loyalty & Redemption Strategies 2014-2019).

 

The Importance of A/B Testing with Social Coupons

July 9th, 2014 7:00am

Coupons are an inexpensive advertising option for packaged goods, retailers, and other businesses that are highly desirable by consumers. While the product or service can vary greatly, so does its consumer. It’s easy to simply place a free-standing insert into the Sunday paper, but do we really know if the offer is reaching the appropriate audience? With digital and social coupons, we have the advantage of finding ways to grab the attention of our targeted consumers. And while this may take extra effort, the payoff is significant. In 2013 alone, we saw consumers used over 2 billion digital and print-at-home coupons (Inmar 2014 Coupon Trends Report).

Companies that combined coupons with data capture opportunities gained better insight into the purchase behaviors of their customers. Once companies have captured data, they can make more informed marketing decisions. The one constant we see in digital and social coupon use however, is that based on the promotion or offer, no two audiences are the same. Even within our own client base, we’ve seen similar offers by similar businesses that produce drastically different results, and this is why A/B testing has become a necessity to ensure success in marketing online.

Some key factors to A/B test in your coupons and other promotions are:

Offer Value
Should you offer a percentage off or a flat amount? What’s the minimum value you can provide that will enable you to hit your print and redemption goals?

Expiration Date
What’s the ideal amount of time to give consumers to redeem a deal that will ensure they don’t forget it?

Promotional Strategy
What are the best channels to let consumers know about your offer, and where should you run ads driving traffic to the offer?

Creative
Is the design and copy appropriate? Are you drawing the attention of your audience and driving them to claim your offer?

At CoupSmart, we run A/B testing to discover solutions to questions like the ones above. So, if you’re having trouble determining whether your coupon should be “20% off” for six months, or “50% off” for two weeks, give us a call and we’ll be glad to help you out.