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A summer sales promotion offers value beyond brief revenue lift. Align with objectives to support your brand, build customer loyalty, grow long-term profits.


Summer sales promotions can be a trifecta win for retailers looking to improve visibility, lift revenue and attract new customers.  But how many times have you ticked all those boxes? There’s nothing cheap or easy about pulling off a winning sales promotion. But sometimes a small adjustment can make a big difference to effectiveness. And in unexpected ways, at that.

Define your objectives

What are you trying to achieve with your summer promotion? The short-term sales spike is a given, so how will it support your long-term objectives, whatever they may be? Do you want to improve customer retention or open better customer dialogue? Maybe your goals are purely short-term and you just want to clear old stock? That’s specific.

But if you’re running a summer promotion because that’s just what the market does in summer, that’s not an objective, that’s a tradition. To illustrate the point, analysts at Bain & Company have found that the annual spend of new customers acquired in December is less than customers acquired at other times of the year. So if customer acquisition is a main focus of your summer promotion, perhaps forego tradition and align your promotional marketing plan to long-term objectives.

Set measurable goals

Specific objectives are specifically measurable. And again, think beyond the summer sales spike and fat quarterly sales results based on price cuts. The price game is unsustainable and doesn’t promote the customer loyalty that leads to real growth. Sure, set your sales targets, but look at your broader objectives and put a number to customer satisfaction over the period, or referrals or voucher redemptions. How can your promotion support your customer loyalty objectives? What’s your target? What’s the cost benefit? Work it out.

Know your audience

Assuming you already capture basic customer data, now’s the time to get down to finer segmentation and analysis. The information is critical to effective promotional design, reward selection, marketing, communications and everything else that goes into maximising your program investment and creating a memorable customer experience.

While fine data segmentation can help you get closer to understanding individual preferences (gogos and teenagers prefer text messages to email communications, thank you), don’t neglect to apply good, old-fashioned sales psychology. How well do you understand customer behaviour? Take this Holiday Shopping Behaviour Quiz to find out.           

Set a creative rewards strategy

Shrinking budgets are a fact of business life for the foreseeable future, which doesn’t mean you have to run a half-baked promotion, you just need a smart, creative strategy. Set program cost parameters up front. What kind of rewards will your customers value (by segment, don’t forget) and what can you afford? What’s the cost to benefit? Your calculation needs to include sourcing, delivery and any additional program support costs. With hard numbers established, get creative with your rewards strategy.

What kind of promotion will meet your objectives? From ‘limited time’ offers to product bundles and vouchers, you’ve got options, so segment accordingly.

And remember, rewards need to reflect your brand character and standards. Are you about on-trend fashion or mass market affordability? Those are very different brand messages, and come with different customer expectations. Choose your rewards accordingly.

Presentation matters – a lot. Show care with personalised communications, surprise and delight with instant digital rewards, impress with fast, friendly door-to-door delivery. Add a spark of pleasant emotion to the whole rewards experience and bond that feel-good to your brand. Easy redemption is all part of delivering personal, purposeful and meaningful rewards.

Promote the promotion

It’s a noisy, crowded market out there and everybody is screaming for a share of customer wallet. You can out shout them with advertising (at great expense), or you can stand out to the customers who matter most to you with finely targeted, personalised communications. And hit all the right channels – web, social media, email, mobile, print, wherever your customer insights lead you.

And maximise your message. You want to dazzle your audience with a tremendous value proposition, of course, but don’t leave out the practical nuts and bolts of how your promotion works, when it starts and ends, contact details and any other information that makes it easy for people to engage with your offer.

Find the right rewards partner

Summer promotions are not cheap or easy, but they don’t have to be your worst nightmare either. You just need to find the right partner. Someone with serious experience sourcing and procuring bulk rewards (digital and merchandise), competitive prices, expert advice, detailed reporting and great client service.

Successful summer promotions just got a lot easier. Get in touch with us!


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