3 Ways to Rethink your Promotional Marketing

Walk into most marketing conferences and you’ll see a sea of branded goods. Entire stands, pens, USBs, customer feedback surveys, all jostling for space and attention. When placed into the hands of the conventional, promotional marketing loses its mojo.

The sad thing is that these brands have lost the ability to effectively promote because they dilute themselves among a sea of sameness. After all, why should someone care if your company can help them more than another? People want to see why you’re different and that comes through with innovative ideas and sheer creativity. Promotional marketing should be a long game, inviting consumers to engage in a deeper way. However, as many become wise to the tried and tested promotional marketing methods, they are more reluctant to interact, let alone give their personal details away. So, how can marketers entice customers with promotions that are compelling?

1. Plug in tech and digital

With ever-proliferating tech and digital devices springing up, it can be a daunting task to consider where you’ll fit in among this. Promotional marketers need to overcome technophobia and think strategically about how to smarten up their practices. Old methods can be jolted to life with a lightning bolt of digital. However, before going headlong down this path ensure your ideas are up to scratch first.

Virtual reality (VR), for example, is the perfect device for a promotion. Consider that it’s fully immersive and allows customers to connect with the brand on a deeper level. Coca-Cola harnessed the benefits with an Oculus Rift VR sleigh ride to promote the drink over the Christmas period. The experience took viewers on a tour of the world via a tiny headset. The BBC similarly operated VR to a great end result; cardboard cut-out headsets meant its VR promotion for Children in Need was accessible from anywhere. Purchasable for £4 from the promotion website and in ASDA stores, children could transport themselves to behind the scenes of the channel’s top shows right from their sofas. Both experiences allowed customers to engage with the brand in a wholly engaging way, while being mindful of promoting the product.

2. Make it fun

Brand engagement should either be informative, interesting or fun, or hopefully all three. Take charity donation boxes as an example. These are often lifeless, plastic tubs that can be easily overlooked or ignored by passers-by. What if you could place them in convenient places where a customer is making a monetary exchange? Prototypes for smart charity donation boxes to be used in local London retailers, would be an example. The thinking behind this was that people are drawn to screens much more than they are collection pots, therefore might be more engaged with donating money towards a worthy cause at convenient moments. Traditional collection boxes can be mundane, passive and are suffering in a cashless society. Smart collection boxes build the layers of interactivity, allowing people to choose their charity of choice and even having the option to click through and hear more (or less). A small tweak to the design of the charity boxes could drive the number of donations in a big way.

3. Create a longer-term connection

The issue with traditional promotional marketing is a lack of trackability. Giving away a branded USB or a pen to a customer could be the last time you see them. A multi-channel promotional marketing campaign allows for the tracking of customer behaviour, in turn informing improvements to product marketing. Coca-Cola does this well, able to keep tabs on engagement, aggregate the data and use it to tailor the service.

Google’s Cupcake Ambush is a shining example of the art of customer engagement as Google took to the streets of Austin, Texas in the US, with a truck full of cupcakes. People were asked to swap photos taken with Google’s photo app – instead of cash – in exchange for cupcakes. The promotion was strategically “ambushed” by online clothing and shoe shop, Zappos, who sent a cardboard box that would dispense freebies in exchange for a Google cupcake. The two campaigns created a long line of digital interactions, even if shared among two brands. This deepened the connection with old and new customers.

With the likes of Google, Coca Cola and Children in Need leading the way, businesses should look to them for guidance on how to promote without being overtly promotional. Consumers receive a barrage of marketing messages every minute of every day, so let’s ensure that we stand out as an industry by being truly creative with the contact we do make. After all the payoff is big – people will be loyal to brand’s that respect their need for more meaningful brand engagement.

source – http://bit.ly/2tckrkm

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