Cheesy Promotions: Be Part Of The Solution, Not The Problem

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by Aryeh Powers

You know those cheesy promotional signs that you see in front of stores? You know those messages you hear on the radio for some promotion that your bound to hear again in another coupe of weeks. It’s the same promotions that you, I and everyone else associates with cheesy promotions?

The cheesiest promotions that I can recall were the ones that I remember hearing on the radio, for mattress companies going out of business, when I was a kid. There was this guy on the radio that had the same voice of the monster truck rally guy and the WWF announcer, telling me that I had to take advantage of the special deals that were going on “right now”.

What made that promotion cheesy was the fact that I had heard it so many times before, coming from the same company; therefore I knew it was just a ploy to get me in the door. It was not a real going out of business sale or something to take seriously.

In contrast, when I hear or read about a Grand Opening promotion or Black Thursday sale, I get excited. That’s because there is precedent for excitement. Grand Opening promotions and Black Thursday sales are NOT a dime a dozen. Those promotions are REALLY only for a limited time only.

So what is it that separates the good promotions from the cheesy ones?

I believe that as a consumer, you can distinguish good promotions from bad ones by looking for 2 key factors which make up the majority of good promotions.

1.   Do the promotions you are hearing about, promote a product or service whose sale or availability will REALLY offer you a special discount or offer you something that is not readily available and is TRULY limited in either time or supply. If you can EASILY confirm the limited availability of the promotion you hear about, then it is a good promotion. If the promotion your listening to sounds like a lot of other promotions that have canned tag lines and no other details to follow up the ad, to give you some sense of security in this particular offering, than it is probably a waste of time for you to entertain.

2.   Is the promotion a sweepstakes? Is it easy to sign up for? Do you have to enter way to much personal information for the prize? Sweepstakes that don’t require a lot of your information are great for consumers. The reason is you don’t have to risk too much, so why wouldn’t you try and win something for free. If you have to spend hours of your time for a chance to win an ipod or something really generic, chances are, you’re probably being taken for a ride, and the “prize” is just a way to get your information or a way to get you to sign up for some other product or service that wasn’t advertised with your promotion. When it comes to sweepstakes, always be aware of something that looks either way to easy or way to difficult to win something. The more information that is available for the sweepstakes from the outset, then better, because then at least you know that there is a method to the sweepstakes that you can quantify.

Now if you’re a business owner thinking about promoting your business then you take careful note of the following:

The first type of promotion (offering something that is limited in availability) is the best kind for building your brand and for building trust in your clients and customers, especially when used frequently and when delivered with a consistent message.

Think about it. If you offer your customers a sale once every couple of months, a sale that actually provides a discount or a product that is limited in time or availability, then if and when your customers follow up with your promotion, they will see that you’re for real about what your promotions say they are offering. This means that after every subsequent promotion you offer, you will have a higher percentage of potential customers willing to spend time and effort to take advantage of your sale or promotion.

As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, customer retention is directly related to the level of trust and reliability that your customers have in your products or services. If you offer your customers a consistent product or service offering, than they WILL come to appreciate your businesses’ value and the difference that your business offers that your competitors don’t. The same is true of your promotions. The more your promotions offer a sense of reliability and genuine value to your customers, the more long term value your promotions will have, by instilling your brand message and your brand’s value in your customers.

To build trust in your brand or value through your promotions, think about implementing the following characteristics in ALL of your promotions.

1.   Be consistent: All of your promotions should have a similar tone and have some part of it that reflects your brand’s unique characteristic or tag line (e.g. family owned business since ____) and/ or your businesses’ value proposition (e.g. rated best customer support by ______).

2.   Make sure to be as direct and as transparent with your promotion as possible. Don’t leave any guess work to people that are listening to or reading your promotion. Incorporate the old maxim “our best customer is an educated one”, for your business. If a disproportionate amount of people are calling you or your office to understand the specifics of your promotion, than your promotion is not clear and it will create confusion and a lack of reliability if your product or service.

To summarize, it is important to spend a little extra time when developing a good promotion and it is essential that you always strive to build reliability and trust through your company’s promotional offerings.

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