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.