[lead]”The coupon doesn’t SAY this product is discounted, but it’s implied ALL pastries are 20% off!” -Miss Understood[/lead]
Hot Pastries, Hot Tempers
The line grew long while the conversation at the register heated up. “But the coupon says pastries are 20% off.” “I’m sorry, but our system doesn’t show that particular product listed as eligible for the discount.” Grumbles and heavy sighs from the 8-or-so customers lining up for their morning fix of caffeine.
The issue stemmed from a promotional advertisement went out to the chain retailer’s mailing list, part of their customer loyalty program offering a discount on pastries. You know the material I’m talking about; it’s in your mailbox right now. Maybe you even have sent some out to your audience as well. Was the message clear? In this instance it most certainly was not. The emphasis was on the visual design, the emotional response to the giant “20% OFF,” leaving no room for exceptions or terms and conditions.
The 5 W’s of Selling
If you’re a marketer or salesperson, I’m sure you’re familiar with the 5 W’s (and 1 “H”) of Selling:
It’s easy to get wrapped up in just a few facets during a big or exciting campaign, but I can assure you, those details won’t be missed by your target customer.
In the above-mentioned scenario, the campaign team jumped straight from WHO to WHEN, leaving WHAT to the internal controls to determine exactly WHAT was covered in the promotion. This message was heard loud and clear by the terminals ringing up orders, but customer loyalty may have been lost had the customer had a different interpretation of the WHAT.
A Concert Of Communication
We live in a world beyond the single-medium campaign; where that radio ad or a flyer distributed to 10,000 prospects will close the deal on it’s own. Your message needs to be clear, complete, and coordinated across multiple channels for biggest impact and greatest ROI.
Print. Despite the “digital first” mentality of many organizations, I have it on good authority that print marketing is not going anywhere, anytime soon. If your organization owns or rents a mailing list, maximize print’s benefit by clearly stating the benefits to the customer, define the parameters and then, and I cannot stress this enough, coordinate with your digital counterparts to include relevant links to landing pages, social accounts, and sign-up forms. Short and memorable/human-readable URLs work best, avoid the URL shortener stringing random characters together, that’s for clicking.
Email. So many services have tried to kill the inbox, however none have sealed it’s fate, and I doubt it will happen in the next several years, so keep your investment in email marketing strong. Ensure your graphics and messaging are a reflection of the print mailer. Market studies have shown that shipping the email marketing letter roughly one day from direct mail proves to be highly effective as a second “touch” to that customer.
Social. Get social with it! Don’t just be consistent with the graphics and message, be consistent in reminding your online followers about the campaign. Regular updates, boosting posts, hashtag mania, advertisements— any way you find your customers engaging and responding.
Web. This is commonly the catch point for these programs unless you’re selling locally/in-store. Each of the previous campaign activities should drive to the Website. Ensure your Website has a landing page set up for the campaign, and if appropriate, add a graphic and link on the home page to help direct customers to the new promotion. Also, if you’re unfamiliar with the power of data, this one little step might be instrumental in visualizing your efforts across all mediums. Set goals in your analytics tracking platform.
When you miss an opportunity to drive up customer loyalty through a positive experience, your future marketing activities may end up reactive, attempting to entice new customers not to grow your business, but to replace customers you’ve lost.
If you find yourself in the position I’m describing, I’d love to help evaluate your campaigns and help you craft a truly successful—and measurable—cross-channel marketing campaign. Fill out the contact form on my site or give me a call to discuss your company and business objectives.