50 Marketing and Sales Promotional Plans – Next Set of 15
Hi, we are back again with more promotional plans. Our ’50 Promotional Plans’ have been compiled to help retail businesses reach out to their target market more effectively. Since there are so many creative promotional models out already, retailers can use the best fit to get the maximum visibility, better cost-effectiveness, improve branding and achieve greater sales.
We had previously discussed promotional ideas such as Happy hours, Free trials, Customer care, Complimentary products, Group discounts, Cross promotion, Motivational offers, Fun offers, Group offers, Free service, Spares with product, Selling attractive packages, Freebies, Free shipping, Referral schemes and Block renewals. These promotional ideas were well received by our readers and now we are back again with the next 15 schemes for you.
1) Senior Citizen Discounts: Special discounts for senior citizens, a gradually increasing segment with specific needs, is a great idea. In fact, there is a site entirely dedicated to this segment – seniordiscounts.com. Through senior citizen specific schemes you can promote any product or service that senior citizens may need and build a whole new market segment. For example Super Religare Wellness had a scheme where it gave 10% off to all senior citizens. Even Ayurcare offered special discounts to senior citizens for its therapies and detoxification programs.
2) Discounts to Niche Customers: Select the target segment you wish to focus on – say, a particular membership card holder that suits your profile – and offer them a discount. For example, a top end restaurant providing discounts to Club Mahindra holders would bring exclusive focus to an attractive, new segment.
3) Tie-ups with Banks: A tie-up with banks to provide special discounts for customers who use their bank cards at your retail outlet provides access to many potential customers at negligible cost. Several banks are ready to do this.
4) Early bird customers: How about early bird schemes where customers get special discounts for buying early? Such schemes prod customers into buying early to avail the discount. From travels to wellness centres and even corporate training programs, early bird incentives are always a great way to promote your products and services. Wild Frontiers, an adventure travel site offered a 5% discount for early bird registrations while VITS Wellness Centre, Andheri offered a limited period special discount for early bird couples.
5) Reward the customer for his efforts: Reward your customer for the efforts they put in for their own good. ‘Fitness First’, a fitness centre, rewarded its customers for losing each kilogram, with a Rs. 500 discount for each kilogram lost.
6) Use short codes effectively: Let your customers participate in an on-the-spot contest, and in the process get their mobile numbers too. Give a freebie or a discount to whoever participates in the contest. Subway used this scheme by asking customers to enter a contest: Subway gets the customers contact details such as mobile number and email id while customer gets discounts or freebies.
7) Special Event promotion: A special event such as an anniversary, festival or a special day like Valentine’s Day is a great time to offer a promotion scheme. Give a special discount to anyone who registers or buys on occasions such as Children’s day, Mother’s day, Father’s day, Teacher’s day etc. For example Gold’s gym offered a special discount for couples who joined the gym on Valentine’s day and Big Cinema gave away free tickets for women patrons on Woman’s Day.
8) Price guarantee: When real estate prices are falling and people do not buy because of uncertainty, a promotional scheme that offers to pass on the price benefit in case of lower prices in the future, drives sales. A limited period offer for those who book during the period, protects those from future price fluctuations. Aparna Constructions in Hyderabad has offered such a promotional scheme in view of the uncertainty in the real estate market to assuage fears of the customers and provide them with a window of opportunity to invest.
9) Surprise gift: Offer a surprise gift along with a service. Getting something free in the most unexpected of times always remains etched as one of the most memorable experiences for customers. It does not matter whether it is a small gift or a big one, what matters is that you have made the customer feel like the lucky one. For example Jaipan sells a combo package of home appliances such as a vacuum cleaner, toaster, blender and roti maker and throws in a a surprise gift!
10) Social causes: If your service has a social element to it, offer a promotional pricing with it. For example, Times Matrimonials, offers a discount for those who wish to advertise in their matrimonial column without a dowry requirement (or without a caste and religion bar). Similarly they offer discounts for senior citizens and widow/widowers and differently abled customers.
11) Environmental cause: A environmental cause like energy efficiency could focus on a specific scheme targeted at its customers. For example the Bureau of Energy Efficiency in India had called for a specific segment, the BPOs, to provide a star rating for BPO buildings for energy efficiency. To promote the scheme, the Bureau has announced a waiver of a hefty registration fee of Rs. 1 lakh for the first 100 applicants!
12) Buy more, get more: Buy 1 item get 10% off, 2 items and get 20% off and 3 items and get 30% off. The more you buy, the greater the discount you get. ‘Allen Solly’ offered this deal in Chennai for its menswear and women’s wear sections. Similarly Bombay Dyeing did this for its bed sheets!
13) Old for New: This is an attractive scheme especially in times when consumers are buying more. Every thought of replacement comes with the problem of what to do with the old. Big bazaar has launched a scheme where the customer can take the old and exchange it for new stuff. It takes care of two problems for the customer – getting a new product and getting rid of the old.
14) Establish a strong relationship with your customer: To find out who is buying your products and to establish a relationship of trust with them is what all retailers wish to do. Ranbaxy offered an innovative promotion scheme of a scratch card + SMS for its medicines. When customers buy medicines, they are provided with a scratch card that has a unique code, which must be SMSed to Ranbaxy. When the customer purchases the same medicine three times and SMSes the unique code each time, he gets a PIN, which he can use to get the fourth medicine free. Ranbaxy also provides the option to the customer of receiving reminders on taking the medicine – a nice way of being in touch with the customer and reinforcing the thought that you care.
15) Attractive add-on charges: A nominal Re. 1 charge for a normal service such as making charges for jewellery attracts customers – even more than a free service campaign. Reliance jewellery recently offered a Re. 1 making charges scheme on jewellery bought at their stores.