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In the world of marketing, there’s an ever-expanding box of promotional tools that, if used effectively, can deliver exceptional results. The tools of the trade are well known, but selecting the correct mechanic for the job takes a great deal of consideration, planning and expertise.

Whilst shopping at the weekend, I spotted a BOGOF deal in the frozen aisle. The offer was running on a very large tub of ice cream and whilst it represented great value, I think the nature and size of the product may prevent some consumers benefiting from the offer.

The objective of the promotion was clearly delivering volume sales of the largest product in the range. However, the physical size of the tub and the fact it had to be kept frozen, presented the consumer with potential difficulties storing two large products in their freezer at the same time. The excess of promotional product in-store would indicate that I’m not the only shopper with freezer storage issues.

A more effective approach would use a different promotional mechanic – cash-back or coupon-back. This still offers the consumer the same benefit, but allows them to decide when they want to redeem the offer thus removing the storage issue that the BOGOF presented.

For the brand/retailer, this alternative approach would lead to an increase in sales; and for the customer, it would provide a very attractive benefit in return for purchasing the product. In fact, the coupon-back option could offer the brand the opportunity to encourage purchase across the range if appropriate, thus providing the consumer with even more value and incentivising trial.

This highlights the importance of using the correct mechanic for the product type as well as your marketing objectives. Whilst the BOGOF offer would have worked perfectly well for a smaller ice cream SKU, it was perhaps not the best mechanic for the largest.

I had a similar experience recently in a health food shop. Buy-one-get-one-half-price – great deal, but not an attractive offer when the product has a limited shelf life and the offer is only available on the largest pack size. The recommended dosage resulted in it taking 3 months to move onto the second pack, but by that time it would’ve been out of date. Therefore, a pretty useless deal for the consumer, that could’ve been much improved if an alternative mechanic had been used.

The brand manager/retailer may evaluate these examples and feel that the promotional activity has not been as successful as they’d hoped. They may blame the mechanic they used, when in fact they should look into whether there was a lack of consideration for the nature of the product, the objective of the activity and the consumer.

Promotional mechanics are exceptionally effective when used correctly. They are all suited to achieving different objectives and it’s important to select the right tool for the job. It’s one of our specialisms, so get in touch today to find out how we can help achieve your objectives.