The Expense of Discounting (Digital Marketing)

Topic – The Expense of Discounting (Digital Marketing)
Topic From – Digital Marketing In Computer Science
Book Name – Big Book Of Digital Marketing

The Expense of Discounting (Digital Marketing)

Sales are down. While it’s tempting to develop promotions with discounts to invigorate online conversions, you need to step back and see what your data is really telling you.
The fact is that a discount campaign may cause the numbers to jump up in the short term, but it also has the potential to cause more harm than good – especially when you might not even need it to trigger the response. While it can be an effective way to drive sales, it is better for the marketer to understand what actually makes a person tick. More often than not, other things will help solicit favourable response from customers. In fact, sometimes leading with or regularly providing offers to customers can create an expectation for future offers and even a devaluation of the brand.

When you think about this from the customer perspective, what they really want is for the marketer to put the right product in front of them at the right time at a “fair” price. If you consider your own buying habits, even the greatest of discounts cannot move you to buy a product for which you have little or no use. In the same fashion you are always willing to pay full retail price for that product that you love or must have. The successful use of offers must find a balance between those two scenarios.

Offers are best used to entice a customer to try a new product, a substitute product or a product that’s closely related to one that they are already using. They can also be used to successfully cross-sell products or service to the customers already showing loyalty to your brand. This cross-sell product or service does not have to be related to the current products your customers are buying but usually data can suggest to the marketer which products might be a good option.

Strategically placing the right “fringe” product in front of your customers may be enough to elicit response. If not, a discount or special offer can be tested to determine whether or not it is price or something else that’s causing reluctance on the part of the customer.

Interestingly enough, my experience has taught me that discounts and promotions tend to be one of the weaker tools a marketer can use to drive long term, sustained response. I have seen successful campaigns drive sales with the use of no offers whatsoever. The best formula for success seems to be fairly simple: Understand who the customers are and then consistently put relevant products and messages in front of them. And don’t forget that almost all brands have several segments of customers so they need to talk to each of them differently.

There are some really cool things we can do with data that will help to indicate which customers (segments) are likely to buy certain products. Through testing we can learn how to present marketing messages (and yes, some may have offers) in front of them to move them through the customer lifecycle to a purchase. Data management for that clear view of the customer is at the hub of that understanding.

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