Friday, 27 February 2015

Get totally behind your promotions to make them successful

Retailers of all shapes and sizes run promotions at different stages. For the likes of Tesco and Boots it's a massive part of their to have a 3 for 2 or Half Price promotion. So why, as I make my way around retail outlets, are the so many half-hearted promotions out there? Why do retailers think up what they must believe is a good offer and then not make it look full? Interesting? Appealing? Worthy of a second look?

Customers can spot these half-hearted promotions from a mile off, so why do we do it? What are we trying to achieve by it? Where do we go from here?

Lots of questions asked, so I suppose now it's time to back this up with some answers. There are several trains why retailers have these half-hearted promotions. One is a disjointed structure where, in large retailers, the store staff dong perhaps understand or buy in to what promotion the head office marketing department are trying to push. I've looked at involving each side in decision making in an earlier blog-

And the relationship between stores and head office here-

And in addition to this, communication is absolutely key. If a marketing campaign is sent out to stores with a cover sheet explaining what the promotion is about, why it is being run and what is expected from the stores then it will undoubtedly get a better response than the one that doesn't have this. And, if resources permit, a telephone call to discuss this would turn the success level up even further.

Another reason is just laziness. Again, I've experienced this in large national retailers where the team filling a promotional section know that they will also be the team taking it off when it ends. So they don't fill it right up, it doesn't look appealing, it doesn't sell as well as expected and the team feel less inclined to get behind the next promotion. It's down to the team leaders to monitor this and police it. Once you've set the standards with your team then they will follow and get behind these promotions. Being in control of this and enthusing your team will aid the success of all promotions and team spirit.

To add to this, I'd say that if you are a single outlet or other small retailer that your promotions need to be considered. Just putting on a promotion because "we always have one now" or because "it fits into our promotions planner" isn't a very good reason. Having a promotion because "it's launching a great new product" or because "we have a great offer that out customers will buy into" are really good reasons. Thinking about Boots again, their promotions on skincare and shampoos are great but they seem to follow a schedule where they regularly have promotions on their healthcare department. I don't think that offers on eye drops or fungal nail treatments is going to create queues at their front door. The promotion needs to create excitement, even anticipation to get customers through your door and repeatedly coming back.

If you take a of these factors into account and put them together to create promotions that are well-stocked, look great, and well-thought-out and have a buy in from both staff and customers then this will give your business a real boost.

Not everything can be bought on the High Street

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