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3 Ways to Improve Your Coupon Marketing Strategy

Learn how to take the headaches out of coupon marketing in order to engage customers and drive revenue at every touchpoint.

For many companies, giving out coupons is low on the list of favorite marketing activities. Between the decreased margins, production costs, logistics, compliance, redemptions and the management headache, the potential return just doesn’t seem worth the effort.

However, writing off coupons altogether is a short-sighted move for most brands. For one, customers love them. Research shows 37 percent of customers will purchase more items than normal if they have a coupon, 38 percent say they’ll treat themselves to something they don’t need if they have a coupon, and 48 percent say they’ll buy sooner with a special offer. Additionally, many retailers all but require the brands they sell in store to provide coupons alongside prominent displays. In short, if you’re looking to get your products into customers’ shopping carts, whether by appealing to them directly or through top retailers, a coupon is a powerful tool for the marketing toolbelt.

Fortunately, a few key tools and adjustments can make coupon marketing easy and…dare we say it? Fun. Here are three ways companies can improve their coupon marketing strategy.

Take the Headaches Out Coupon Marketing

Let’s start with the biggest obstacle: the logistics. From the expense of production to the headaches of managing distribution and tracking redemption, for some heavily regulated industries, the pressure of staying compliant with state-by-state laws is critical. With the right marketing execution partner, companies can streamline all of these processes to make coupon production and management a breeze.

This might start with shifting to print-on-demand[SMW1] in order to avoid overproduction and the wasted money and materials that come with it. While, traditionally, businesses required large, national-scale orders to justify the cost of production, the right partner can offer low quantities at reasonable costs. This enables businesses to run small-scale or even hyperlocal offers and to select quantities based on predicted redemption rates rather than arbitrary printer minimums.

For highly regulated industries like adult beverage, the next challenge is ensuring coupons meet regulations for every state (and don’t get sent to states that prohibit certain coupons altogether). Print-on-demand allows for smaller batches of differentiated print runs, but there’s also the problem of ensuring the right coupons are distributed to the right areas. Again, a savvy marketing execution partner will not only be able to help brands keep track of these changing regulations but will also be able to both provide expert advice, as well as leverage sophisticated printing, mailing and distribution systems to ensure every coupon gets exactly where it needs to go — whether they’re headed to retailers or distributors.

Finally, it’s important to ensure those coupons aren’t being abused — counterfeited, reused, etc. — as that just cuts into profit. And that very risk often deters businesses from producing coupons at all. But with sophisticated redemption tracking, it’s possible to see right away when something is amiss and, ideally, nip it in the bud. For example, if the typical redemption rate in a particular area is around 5 percent, but it suddenly jumps up to 20 percent, you know it’s time to investigate what might be going on. That visibility allows the business to catch potential fraud quickly and prevent it from siphoning off critical revenue.

Once these frustrating logistics are out of the way, it’s time to have a little fun, making your company’s coupons attractive and exciting to customers in order to drive up ROI enough to more than make up for diminished margins.

Tailor Coupons to Local and Regional Markets

Today’s customers are looking for personalized communications from the brands they support, and coupons are no exception! McKinsey has found that personalization can reduce customer acquisition costs by as much as half, lift revenues by up to 15 percent and increase marketing spend efficiency by up to 30 percent.

Why not take advantage of those capabilities that enable customization based on local opportunities and create coupons that are more personal? For retailers, coupons could be customized based on location, with team colors, local lingo, etc.

Use Coupons to Show Off Your Branding

Make coupons a part of your multichannel marketing strategy. Whether you’re using them as digital lead magnets to grow your customer base, including them with in-store displays, coupons have the potential to be powerful extensions of your brand. As such, marketers would do well to use them as opportunities to leverage those carefully designed visuals and that meticulously crafted brand language, giving customers something that is not only useful, but engaging and delightful, whether they’re finding it on their phones or in a store. With a centralized marketing hub in place, every local marketer can easily access those fabulous templates, personalize them for their unique audiences (within the bounds of brand parameters), and produce high quality coupons that will catch customers’ attention and encourage them to make a purchase.

While coupons may have a bad rap among marketers, the reality is that they’re a critical piece of an effective, omnichannel marketing strategy. And the good news is, they don’t have to be the headache many companies perceive them to be. With the right marketing execution partner, they can integrate easily into every marketing campaign, catching eyes and capturing revenue at every touchpoint.

To learn more about how OneTouchPoint makes coupon marketing a breeze — not to mention powers brand engagement through on-demand marketing execution, supply chain management, and digital marketing support — for our clients, we invite you to contact us to learn more, or request a quote on your next project. Our experts will provide insight and ideas to deliver phenomenal results at a great price.

Why Every Marketing Department Should Embrace On-Demand Production for Print & Promotional Materials

Learn how to save money, become more sustainable, and increase marketing ROI with on-demand production.

Today’s marketing leaders are facing two major sources of pressure that may make them think twice about the wisdom of creating physical marketing collateral — from printed brochures and flyers to displays, signage and other direct-to-consumer or POS/POP materials. The first is cost: with margins tighter than ever, the costs of producing, distributing, and storing inventory start to seem steeper than the returns. The second is environmental sustainability: the materials waste associated with print marketing often gives the more traditional approach a bad rap. Industry studies have shown that up to 30% of marketing collateral is thrown away, or sitting in a warehouse collecting dust and monthly fees.

But savvy marketers know that those tangible materials audiences can touch and feel and keep are critical drivers of brand awareness, reputation, and trust. And if done right, marketing materials production doesn’t have to bust the budget or create an outsized impact on the environment.

This is where on-demand production comes in. With the right marketing execution partner, companies can shift away from overly large print runs and collateral orders and save money, reduce waste, and increase ROI by producing exactly what they need, when they need it.

Reduced Materials Waste

A significant source of materials waste in print marketing comes from overprinting materials. Sometimes that’s because marketers are overestimating their quantity needs in order to provide a little buffer so they don’t have to wait around for a second production round. Often, it’s because printers have high minimums and/or production costs are so high that large, national-scale volumes are required to justify the pricing.

This is the first and most obvious reason to embrace on-demand production. When you work with a marketing execution partner (like OneTouchPoint) that offers flexible print runs and cost-effective on-demand and just-in-time production, you no longer need to deal with sky-high minimums or print extras “just in case.” Whether you need 2,500 pieces a month from now or 50 pieces next week, printing exactly what you need, when you need it means minimizing wasted materials and wasted money.

Storage Savings

At OneTouchPoint, our inventory management services are designed to help our clients minimize waste by providing twenty-four/seven transparency into what’s in the warehouse (no need to print new brochures when you’ve got boxes on the shelf already) and providing detailed reports on what marketing assets are currently going unused. We work with clients to deplete their obsolete materials, but more importantly, we use this information to help guide clients to begin embracing on-demand materials production whenever possible by showing them exactly how much they could reduce both their spending and their environmental impact by eliminating the wasted space and materials.

Personalization

With bulk ordering, it’s almost impossible to customize material based on geography or any other criteria. But when you take advantage of print-on-demand, it’s much more feasible to tailor materials to recipients, both to increase engagement and to stay on top of local regulations and ordinances. For example, in heavily regulated industries like adult beverage, it’s important to tailor coupon content and functionality based on state-by-state promotional laws. Regionalized marketing speaks volumes to a consumer when you tailor your promotion to their lifestyle. Consider a football-themed case sleeves customized with the team colors for each region. While large-scale orders make this kind of customization cost-prohibitive, when you’re working with a marketing execution partner who can produce those materials in low quantities with reasonable per-unit prices — case sleeves in quantities as low as 25 per order, or coupons in batches of 500 — then personalization is an easy choice. (And we’re confident it will pay off: McKinsey reports that personalization can reduce customer acquisition costs by up to 50 percent and increase marketing spend efficiency by up to 30 percent.)

The benefits — cost savings, sustainability, and ROI — of on-demand production are clear. Here at OneTouchPoint, we pride ourselves on supporting our customers as they make that shift. We provide businesses with easy, quality, cost-effective on-demand printing capabilities for mailing materials, signage, kits, and more — and with our recent acquisition of IRG, we’re thrilled to offer even more robust on-demand technology and execution support. If your company is ready to make the shift, we invite you to contact us to learn more, or request a quote on your next project. Our experts will provide insight and ideas to deliver phenomenal results at a great price.

How Point of Sale (POS) Marketing Can Encourage Customers to Return to Stores Post-COVID

As consumers emerge from their pandemic isolation, retailers can use POP marketing to bring online shoppers back into stores.

As COVID-19 abates in the United States, with vaccination rates rising and the CDC easing up its masking guidance, many consumers are eager to return to favorite pre-pandemic activities, including shopping in stores. However, brick-and-mortar retailers have an uphill climb ahead of them as pandemic lockdowns led to a meteoric rise in the (already increasing) popularity of online shopping. Digital Commerce 360 reports that consumers spent $861.12 billion online with US retailers in 2020, a 44 percent increase from the year before. And although shoppers are beginning to venture back inside their favorite stores, many will have changed their consumer behaviors for good. In fact, McKinsey has found that 75 percent of consumers who used digital channels for the first time during the pandemic plan to continue to use them when things return to “normal.”

So, how can franchise and multi-location retailers encourage a return to in-store shopping? The key will be to create an in-store experience that offers value shoppers can’t find online. One of the most powerful tools for creating that value is the point-of-sale (POS) / point-of-purchase (POP) materials such as product displays, shelf-talkers, and in-store signage that creates a vibrant, unique, and sensory customer experience that can’t be replicated on a screen.

Following these three steps, retailers can use POS / POP marketing to create in-store shopping experiences that will drive customers away from their devices and back into stores.

1. Develop Clear Marketing Goals

While the ultimate goal is to persuade customers to make a purchase, one of the unique draws of in-store shopping as opposed to online is that it can become a much broader experience. While online shoppers are often focused on homing in on the products they came for, with tight search parameters and plenty of filters to weed out distractions, in-store shoppers are likely to be open-minded to products they hadn’t considered — all those things they didn’t know they needed. After all, research says six in ten in-store purchases are impulse buys.

So as you develop your in-store marketing goals, consider four potential goals for your marketing materials:

  • Engage shoppers by introducing them to new products, recommending products that go together, and offering surprising experiences that surprise and delight.
  • Inform shoppers about all the ways your products can help them achieve their goals and solve their problems — not to mention the exciting new features that make it possible.
  • Allow shoppers to interact with products in a physical way that’s not possible online. This could be smelling perfume samples, taste-testing food or beverage products, or sitting on furniture to make sure it’s comfortable.
  • Persuade shoppers to make the purchase by offering coupons and incentives or simply showing them the benefits of owning the product.

Each POS / POP marketing piece should be created with one of these goals in mind, and in combination, they should serve to drive customers all the way through the funnel to purchase what they came in for — and maybe something else while they’re at it.

2. Understand the Customer

Any effective marketing campaign is created with the customer’s preferences, needs, and desires in mind, and that goes for the in-store experience, too. From enticing customers to come into the store (ideally through multichannel marketing campaigns that take advantage of all available touchpoints to invite them in) to greeting them with welcoming directional signage and promotional headlines in the parking lot to guiding their shopping experience with in-store displays and closing the deal, the customer’s needs must come first.

So, as you’re crafting the messaging and designing the materials, consider what the customer needs to see, both before and during the shopping trip, to get them excited about an in-store experience. Online shopping is undoubtedly convenient, so how will they benefit from coming into the store? Special in-person discounts or add-ons? Opportunities to try before you buy? And once they’re in the store, how will your products add value to their lives? (Remember, the specifics of the cutting-edge features may not be as enticing to customers as what they can achieve with the product.)

3. Develop Eye-Catching POS Materials for a Unique In-Store Experience

One you’ve established your goals and done a deep dive into what kinds of messaging, experiences, and offers your customers will find most compelling, it’s time to start designing and producing your in-store marketing materials. We wrote extensively about what it takes to create effective POP materials in a recent blog post, but here are the highlights:

  • Create products that are appropriate to your location. Do local ordinances dictate what signage you’re allowed to set up outside? Are you in an industry, such as adult beverages, with state-by-state regulations around advertising? Does your national retail brand have some stores that are large and spacious (and thus perfect for elaborate floor displays) and others with smaller footprints that require more compact advertising? Consider the needs of your location in order to ensure your materials are assets rather than liabilities, and that they can enjoy prime placement right in shoppers’ paths.
  • Balance quality and cost. You’ll want to ensure your materials are created with durability and longevity in mind, so they showcase your offerings in their best light for as long as you need them to. But at the same time, these marketing initiatives can’t cost more than they bring in. Consider material selection, manufacturing techniques, and design complexity to ensure you’re getting the most for your money.
  • Design can’t-miss displays. Follow design best practices for shape, color, and messaging to ensure your materials are eye-catching from the get-go. But beyond that, get creative with placement to engage customers. For example, adding a cash-wrap will encourage those last-minute impulse buys, and suggesting fun and creative pairings (a sprinkles display next to the ice cream freezer; a cocktail recipe posted on the vodka shelf) will inspire buyers to take advantage of cross-sell and upsell opportunities they might not have thought of on their own.

As consumers emerge from their pandemic isolation, they’ll be balancing their desire to resume pre-pandemic activities with the newfound convenience of digital interactions. Savvy retailers will leverage in-store marketing — from product displays to floor stickers to shelf talkers to novelty packaging and beyond — to remind their audiences how powerful the experience of in-store shopping can be.

OneTouchPoint helps companies maximize these experiences by creating effective consumer engagements at every touchpoint, culminating in powerful in-store marketing displays that increase both brand awareness and revenue. With our recent acquisition of Insight Resource Group, a full-service Point of Sale/Display agency headquartered in Lafayette, California, we’re proud to add physical, in-store Point of Sales and experiential solutions to our ability to offer seamless online and offline brand and customer experiences.

We invite you to learn more about these capabilities and the other ways OneTouchPoint helps businesses power brand engagement. Then, when you’re ready, we invite you to request a quote on your next project. Our experts will provide insight and ideas to deliver phenomenal results at a great price.

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