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Marketing Matters


Digital + Sales Promotion Want to know how you can open the oxygen valve to your new integrated and digital advertising engine to gain better levels of ROI? Keith Lee explains how to achieve it.


ulti-channel digital sales promotion can be a very powerful combination, if the plan and execution is right.

These channels and platforms that use new, and also existing technologies, will deliver a higher return on investment when you add promotional marketing or sales promotion to the mix. This is a fact, period and irrefutable. What is the optimum digital, advertising and sales promotion mix to get benchmark ROI? Think of it as opening up the oxygen valve to the petrol engine for return on investment (ROI) acceleration. In this instance, the petrol engine is the raft of integrated digital and advertising channels/ technology platforms and the oxygen valve is the response/mechanic accelerating ROI. By adding in the correct response technique/mechanic you will see a higher return on investment. By response technique/mechanic we mean engagement tools like vouchers, instant wins, competitions, free draws, loyalty schemes, free trials etc. Going back to the mix again, one would not have the oxygen valve always open as one is trying to get the mix between brand and response optimised. So what? The ‘so what’ here is that multichannel digital sales promotion will become the unique marketing discipline blend that will deliver the highest return on investment going into the future.

undergraduate educational institutions that do not have web assets optimized for tablets, mobile, social etc you will get the picture. A tidal wave of behavioural adoption is now. And is it a tidal wave of behavioural catch up, as shown by some of the usage growth rates especially on mobile. In a sense we have gone past the critical mass tipping point already. This is very exciting. According to How the Internet can save the High Street report 2012, 87% of respondents in the UK sometimes, or always, see the ability to purchase from a retailer from different channels as important. That is, channels in addition to instore! The number of consumers making a purchase on mobile has increased 100% in the UK since 2011. One quarter of all UK consumers have made a purchase using their mobile.

Mobile commerce driving impulse buying in UK Another recent survey shows that mobile is helping to drive and increase impulse buying. Clothes are one of the most popular impulse buys (41% of mobile shoppers), followed by books (35%) and music (32%). Research from Netsuite Inc. has found that one in every £10 spent with UK high street retailers comes from mobile channels with £45bn turnover in 2011 across all retail m-commerce accounts for 12% of sales.

“A revolution happens when society adopts new behaviour, not on the arrival of new technologies. The behaviour lags behind the technology. It looks like the reverse graph of head terms and long tail in search”

Social-m-commerce Our behaviour in the mobile channel over the last decade has moved through SMS, Bluetooth, feature phones, mobile website, mobile search and display, mobile applications and social media to m-commerce to social-m-commerce.

The multiplier affect We can now better apply technologies and incentives (sales promotion) e.g. competitions, free trials, instant-win vouchers, across the multiple new channels and platforms with a multiplying social factor/share factor. Our lifestyles and technology usage have radically changed but our response to engaging incentivisation techniques is broadly similar, we still, for instance, love retail or FMCG manufacturers coupons but now we love getting them from online to print platforms or mobile scanable vouchers in retail or social coupons from our favourite social digital asset.

Online and mobile are the fastest form of coupon distribution in the UK Seventy two percent of consumers chose online as their preferred channel for receiving moneyoff coupons. In the UK the FMCG digital to print coupon market grew 50% year on year. (source The growth statistics showing the behaviour change in using sales promotion activities in digital channels for even the humble voucher is a prime example. Brands and businesses can, and now must, engage and harness these techniques. For instance let’s look at one mainly retention digital marketing channel Email. Let’s assume we have an average return on advertising spend (ROAS) of 1.2 for an eRM email brand loyalty

ROI is the holy grail Showcasing benchmark return on investment is the absolute holy grail for specialist marketing practitioners who have the digital advertising and the promotional marketing capabilities. So why is digital sales promotion so important now and into the future? A revolution happens when society adopts new behaviour, not on the arrival of new technologies. The behaviour lags behind the technology. It looks like the reverse graph of head terms and long tail in search. These multichannel digital technologies have been with us a while, especially in the mobile channel. The predicted behavioural change with some of these technologies is only catching up now. The opportunities for increasing ROI are all around us now. Yet our marketing assets are not in place. On a basic level, if you look at how many

18 | IMJ NOVEMBER 2012

= Success programme over a year. Assume lots of real time

for best ROI, between, for

signed up to be an early adopter

personalised relevant engagement and content

instance, these three paid FB

to distribute mobile vouchers

(which is not part of the discussion). Then if we add an appropriate digital third-party reward

channels. Facebook Market Place Ads. Facebook Promoted

using Apple Passbook (see image left).

coupon as a guaranteed reward for purchasing the

Posts and Facebook Sponsored

brand online, we can bring the ROAS up to 3.0 on an individual communication which can feed into

Stories. Add in digital sales promotion and the response

baby food brand has taken a classic face-to-face, ‘Spin And

the one year average ROAS bringing it up 20% to

will increase the average ROAS

Win’ free draw/mechanic and

1.4. Like opening the valve on the petrol engine analogy incentivisation is not necessarily “always

over a given period. Similarly if you are looking

applied it to Facebook using secure digital coupons to engage

on” and so it is the classic ratchet peak affect in

at driving traffic online, say

and incentivise purchase.

growth and returns (see graph). These returns can

for an e-commerce site, if

be increased by integrating where appropriate across multiple channels. The graph relates to a

you apply integrated digital sales promotion to your SEO,

singular channel. Open it up to multiple channels

search, display, GDN, mobile

and ROI increases. A similar story can be seen, for instance, across

search, one will see higher brand attributions and also

FB paid media, earned media eg social posting and

conversions. Build your integrated

an offer. Harnessing a relevant sales promotion can have the same affect in response numbers and hence return on advertising spend. Integration is important and timing can be down to minutes

digital, advertising social, search and display channel, media spend layer upon layer with your sales promotion offer testing ROAS for the optimum mix. In the UK, the restaurant chain ‘Harvestor’ has

– – – –

‘Ella’s Kitchen’, a UK organic

Add multichannel digital sales promotion to the mix like these examples and build your business ROI. Keith Lee is MD of Strategem iLabs an award winning integrated digital and advertising agency. Strategem iLabs is a member of the APMC. This article is published in association with the APMC.


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Nov 2012 digital sales promotion success keith lee  
Nov 2012 digital sales promotion success keith lee