Most entrepreneurs will one day reach a point where they realize that their focus should’ve been more on ‘why they are selling’ rather than ‘what they are selling.’
What you are selling does matter. And a business must focus on getting their products some attention. That’s where promotion strategies come in. But suppose the company focuses only on promoting what they are selling. In that case, they will run out of gas eventually because someone else who can do promotions better is likely just around the corner. For your upgrades spotlight to make an impact, spotlight your values as a brand while giving the audience an idea of what you are selling.
Easier said than done, you say? That’s where this blog can help.
Remember when Robbie Maddison made the insane Arc De Triomphe jump in Las Vegas in 2008, New Year’s Eve? That was a unique stunt sponsored by Red Bull. A promotion strategy that hit the ball out of the park. With a distinctive promotion, Red Bull asserted why they are more than just an energy drink manufacturer. They positioned themselves as a brand that’s edgy and inspiring.
The outcome of the promotion? More people realized Red Bull is committed to something bigger than just giving a jolt of energy.
They sold the ‘why’.
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So, what do you think your promotion strategy needs to be improved?
The end goal of a promotion strategy is to create brand awareness, subsequently increasing the demand for what you are offering. The system mustn’t be confined to only getting your target audience interested. Because this is the internet, we are talking about. They’ll lose that interest sooner than you can say, “Look at what we’ve got for you.”
The idea is to encourage them to proceed deeper into your sales funnel. And promoting your product alone won’t cut it…unless the product is uniquely innovative in addressing something precious to your audience.
So ask yourself if:
- Your customers realize their NEED for what you offer?
- Your customers can consider YOUR product as a solution for that specific need?
- Your customers understand your BRAND well enough to check out what you are offering?
- Your customers are aware of your core VALUES as a brand?
See what we did there?
NEED – YOUR – BRAND – VALUES
Alright, so here’s the gist of it.
Your customers need to understand your brand’s values – the ‘whys’ because those values convince them that you are the right source for the right solution to their specific needs; you might be wondering why all of this sounds like a marketing strategy rather than a promotion strategy.
Now, you might be wondering why this sounds like a marketing strategy rather than a promotion strategy.
It is, and it isn’t.
To Promote & To Market
In a nutshell, a promotion strategy is technically a marketing strategy but more extensive. While an end-to-end marketing strategy covers everything from the promotion of products, tactics, and techniques to the time and place of upgrade, a promotion strategy should be at its core to create a demand for development and tell the audience why they need this product.
Your promotion strategy should guide your prospects more deeply into the marketing funnel.
So, we give them tickets to the funnel?
Kind of. Picture this. The marketing funnel is an ice cream cone with three layers: TOFU, MOFU & BOFU.
TOFU – Top of the Funnel
MOFU – Middle of the Funnel
BOFU – Bottom of the Funnel
TOFU, or the top layer of the cone, will have your potential customers who are aware of the problem that needs to be addressed and are actively looking for a decent solution, like a solution to control hair fall or even a sauce to make a special barbeque. Assume that the people at the top layer don’t know your product exists. You tell them, “Here. This exists”, but in a unique manner in which they’ll recall your brand and its offering.
To do this, you can take the conventional route – TV Ads, Giveaways, Sponsoring events, etc.
MOFU or the middle layer will have prospects who went through your TOFU promotions. So they know your product exists but also believe there could be better alternatives. This is where you start selling the why. What makes your product different? Why is your brand offering such a product? What do they get when they use your product? Could you address these creatively to be in the right direction? Ultimately, addressing these questions should also generate an emotional connection. Brands often use case studies or reviews from existing customers at this point. Your customers won’t mind getting free samples, either.
BOFU is where you seal the deal. This is where your customers are ready to pop open their wallets. This means the promotional strategy you employ for this layer should encourage them to take action – buy from you, sign up for an event, subscribe to your service, place a pre-order, etc. We recommend strategies that sweeten the pot. A special discount, cashback, or free shipping. Up to you.
Now that you know enough to figure out which promotion strategies you should employ at each layer, let’s get down to understanding a couple of tried & tested promotion strategies that could work for you.
Promotion Strategies To Get You Started
“Do or Do Not. There’s No Try.” – Yoda
Marketing was not included in the Jedi syllabus.
OF COURSE YOU MUST TRY.
Marketing is all about trying, adapting, and then scoring. That means it’s best to do it to see how it goes and learn from it to achieve better results.
Hang on… Yoda was right all along. Wow.
Anyhoo, here are a few promotion strategies you can try.
Paid Ads – Pretty straightforward. You pay an ads platform to show your ads to your target audience at a specific time in a particular place. Ads can make your brand visible in the target market faster and more effectively. It can be anything from brief television or radio ads to billboards and online display ads.
Social Responsibility – This promotion strategy is a great way to position growing brands in the best possible way. You can collaborate with other brands to support a cause or one. Either way, your customers must feel like they’re part of something extraordinary when they purchase your products. Some brands that offer organic products often promote how their practices help farmers. So customers will feel like they are doing their part in supporting farmers by choosing said products.
Email Marketing – According to Salecycle’s research in 2022, around 50% of people make purchases from marketing emails at least once per month. You know why passionate marketers go crazy when someone says “email marketing.” Email marketing is statistically among the most rewarding marketing techniques with a high conversion potential. It’s also how you directly connect with your target audience on their devices. You can send personalized offers, newsletters, exclusive content, event invitations, coupons, and more through emails. Collecting emails and building an email database is the hard part.
Content Marketing – Arguably the most common digital promotion strategy, content marketing is about enticing your target audience with valuable content. The content is meant to build the brand’s credibility while helping prospects solve their issues with the product. The right content type must be strategically leveraged on the right platform for this to work.
Retargeting – Want to target prospects more likely to purchase than the rest? Retargeting is the way to go. You can target both existing and potential customers, ideally the segments at the bottom of the funnel. Did a customer abandon his cart on your online store? Could you drop a reminder? Target existing customers with sweeter deals so they will come by and shop again. Send emails to customers who haven’t come back in a long while. These are all retargeting.
Event Marketing – Nothing can get your brand or product noticed like a great event. This is a great strategy to connect and engage with customers in person. Additionally, events can be leveraged to increase brand presence drastically in the target market and generate leads. The trick is to be a part of the right kind of event with the right message type. Not just a product display.
For example, an apparel store can sponsor or host a Halloween-themed community event during the Fall. The store can hand out giveaways to make it even more valuable to customers; get a few blank jackets wholesale from a decent source, customize them for the event, and give them away to engage customers. This way, there will be higher brand recall and likely more word-of-mouth.
If you don’t have the budget to organize a real-world event, you can do a live-streaming event instead, with valuable content and incredible gifts to viewers for participating.
Giveaways – You don’t always need an event to do giveaways. A giveaway itself can be the main event. The key is to give something that’s of value.
You don’t want to hand over a box of chocolates to promote your brand.
What would you do if you got a free box of chocolates from a brand you didn’t know existed?
Eat the chocolates, discard the box it came with, and move on. The brand is soon forgotten.
This is where promo products work their magic.
Promo products like hats, apparel, and accessories offer more benefits than something immediately perishable. These items are retained for longer, are mobile, and provide higher recall value while giving the recipients something they’ll find helpful, especially those customers in the middle of the funnel. For instance, sweatshirts and hoodies are among the most sought-after wardrobe essentials in colder seasons and, hence, more valuable.
All you need to do is invest in a few blank heavyweight hoodies, customize them with your logo or a message, and give them away to prospects who will love them during Fall or Winter. Or you can sell the merchandise for extra revenue. Both will do the job and carry your logo or message wherever the recipient goes.
Remember, everyone loves giveaways, but a successful giveaway that strikes the right chord is when the items given away are of reasonable value to most recipients. Think about it. Is it a good idea to hand out custom wholesale puffer jackets that have your brand’s logo in summer? Trendy cotton T-shirts would be more appreciated.
Coupons – If they’re just a click away from purchasing your products, coupons will seal the deal. Coupons and special deals create a sense of urgency while offering more savings to customers. Bundles, freebies, free shipping, seasonal deals, etc., are great offers. If you play it right, you can generate more revenue through launch campaigns featuring special coupons.
Loyalty Programs – Who knew this one counted as a promotion strategy? It’s a great customer retention technique as well. Loyalty programs reward loyal customers who get perks every time they transact with your brand. It also sends a positive message that the brand cares about its customers, encouraging more people to become customers. This also counts as one reason why they should buy from you.
You are pretty good to go ahead with promotions now. But keep these super essential things in mind.
- Never make your promotions too complicated
- Never fail to measure results in all stages of your promotion
- Never be too pushy
- Never underestimate customer journey and experience
- Never spend too much on a single promotion strategy
A promotion strategy isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach and shouldn’t be seen as one. If you’re targeting teens, position your brand accordingly and promote it across the right platforms with the right message. If you are targeting working professionals, place your brand in a way that appeals to them.
You can combine promotion tactics creatively to guide your customers along the funnel.
Now, give it a shot.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does understanding the ‘why' behind a product enhance promotion strategies?
Understanding the ‘why' creates a deeper connection with the audience, making the product more than just an item to purchase but a solution to their needs and a match to their values.
What makes the marketing funnel a practical framework for promotion?
The marketing funnel effectively segments the customer journey into distinct stages, allowing for targeted strategies that cater to different levels of customer awareness and readiness to purchase.
Can emotional connection truly impact the effectiveness of a promotion strategy?
Yes, emotional connection can significantly enhance the effectiveness of a promotion strategy by creating a sense of relatability and trust between the brand and the consumer.
Why are innovative promotion tactics important in today's market?
Innovative tactics are crucial in standing out in a crowded market, capturing the audience's attention in new and unexpected ways, and keeping the brand relevant.
How does measuring the success of promotion strategies contribute to overall marketing effectiveness?
Measuring success allows for the refinement and optimization of strategies, ensuring resources are effectively used and plans are aligned with audience response and market trends.