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Winning Promos

Savvy marketing managers have been drilled to always apply the “Four Ps of Marketing” mix to every campaign they launch. But coming up with the right mix isn’t child’s play. One of the most difficult decisions made by a marketing manager relates to drafting promotions that generate significant revenue, bring in new customers, and have minimal negative impact as it relates to overall profitability.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for marketers to launch promos that generate traffic but are not necessarily good for business. Left in the hands of inexperienced marketers, many companies have experienced tremendous duress resulting from a promo gone wrong. The stories of a business suffering irreparable damage as a result of a highly successful Groupon (orsimilar situations) have become part of the landscape when it comes to business trends. In fact, more than 70 percent of small businesses have a negative perception of Groupon, as revealed by this survey conducted by Icontact.

Utilizing big data in tandem with customer feedback (in the form of online reviews) and social trends can help all corporate organizations – particularly small and medium-size brick-and-mortar businesses – draft a promo that generates both buzz and bucks. In the early stages of drafting a promotion, a marketing manager can glean a great deal of data from analyzing and tracking business reviews.

Learn from the mistakes of others

CS Lewis is often quoted for saying, “Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God, do you learn.” But savvy marketers know that experience does not necessary need to happen in the context of their own organizations. To best track the effectiveness of promos for the same segment or niche, smart marketers keep a calendar documenting the duration and expiration of promos launched by the competition.

This data, combined with online reviews collected for the same period, provides unique insights that equip marketers with knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. It also provides context to understand possible business vulnerabilities, such as ability to manage customer volume and the potential of a campaign that generates a high percentage of fly-by or one-time customers that do nothing toward increased repeat business and improved loyalty trends.

Become a master when it comes to knowing your own customer

Rather than introducing new people to your business by providing incentives and promotions, savvier marketers seek to increase customer loyalty and drive word-of-mouth buzz. By reviewing the preferences of customers who have gifted a company with a highly rated online review, a marketer can gain a better understanding of the aspects of their business that their customer perceives as valuable or unique.

By focusing on these aspects and providing deals aimed at already existing customers with a high degree of loyalty to the brand, a company can minimize the risk of a promotion going wrong. For example, in the case of restaurants, a marketing manager would do well to review what the favorite customer dishes are, by analyzing sales and parsing sales results against online reviews. If a promo revolves around a menu item that is already popular with a customer base, the campaign stands a great chance of success.

Making the promo feedback-friendly

In addition to providing value, a promo should have experiential undertones or unique aspects that might trigger a desire for a social sharing. A great example of this type of strategy is when restaurants include personalized desserts for birthdays and special occasions. The temptation to take a photo and share socially is too great for most people to resist. By adding the small touch of personalization, you significantly increase the chance of the customer becoming your advocate both online and offline.

Tried and true

When reviewing your seasonal trends, it is important that you identify campaigns that work. If something has generated profit and positive customer feedback, it would be smart to do a rerun and establish traditions, giving your customers something to look forward to. While innovation is great, there is something to be said about duplicating what works, while seeking to always make enhancements based on feedback from prior campaigns.

Keeping online review data can provide a marketing manager with invaluable insights that will ultimately result in increased profit and optimized campaigns. If your company is not yet tracking your reviews, you should consider it a high priority and make it a core element of your business strategy.

Kevin Kent

Kevin is the Director of Finance and Operations at ReviewTrackers. Every day he finds creative ways to solve business owners' problems and identifies key issues to help them achieve top results.

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