3Building Your Brand | 2013
Introduction: It’s All about Visibility
Power Promotion Best Practices
It’s a familiar conundrum in business: everyone needs to sell, and no one wants to be sold to.Companies are most successful at closing the divide between those perspectives—and closing moresales in the process—when they master the art of customer-focused promotion.The rules of engagement are simple. They begin with listening to the information customers offer—inconversation, in response to requests for input, and through their buying habits. This creates a basefor an ongoing conversation that conveys value to customers on their terms. Sell the benefits, ratherthan the features, of your products or services, and focus promotions on customers’ needs. In that way,you’ll establish relationships built on loyalty to the company (as opposed to discounts, sales, and pricepromotions), so you can deliver the value that leads to recurring business.It’s also essential to remember that successful promotion is bigger than any of its individualcomponents. “You need to look at promotion as a totally integrated practice,” says John Jantsch,founder of Duct Tape Marketing. Promotion is not just store signage, direct mail, interaction on socialmedia, and other marketing vehicles. It’s expressed in every point of contact.“The key here is thinking about what drives people to talk and share,” says Jonah Berger, professorof marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and author of
Contagious: WhyThings Catch On
(Simon & Schuster, 2013). Promotion can be something as simple as packagingrestaurant deliveries in a distinctive, colorful bag that grabs people’s attention and serves as a kind ofvisual word-of-mouth. Stores that place merchandise in reusable bags achieve similar promotion whencustomers are seen toting the store’s logo long after they’ve brought their purchases home. “The easierit is for people to see that others are doing something, the more likely they’ll be to do it themselves.”Visibility comes into play in other ways, too. Any small business with a storefront must make sureits signage is easy to see and understand. It should also incorporate graphic elements that directcustomers to the company’s website and social media pages. Place print promotions where they’llbe most useful to customers: weekly circulars, sale and discount offers, and new product/serviceinformation at the entrance; mailing list sign-ups, social media invitations, and customer satisfactionsurveys at the point of purchase. Make sure every employee understands your promotion objectivesand keeps the focus on serving the customer when collecting data.
For the best response to your messages, promote value and relationships,not sales