Yesterday’s post admonished marketers for relying on sales promotions instead of finding creative ways to engage their customers. While I stand by that position, there are times to offer discounts and promotions.
You can even be creative in the process. I celebrate my birthday this weekend. (Thank you, thank you.) Five companies have found ways to celebrate with me. I have received discounts and gift cards without minimum purchases, dessert at a favorite restaurant, and a hand written note. I cannot honestly say that I preferred one to the other.
Yes, I know that they are marketing to me. I don’t care. It is my birthday and I like receiving cards. (Let me draw a line, here. I don’t want cards offering burial services, life insurance, or long-term care. Let’s keep it upbeat, shall we? If you offer those services, find another way to market.)
Inventory liquidation is another time to offer sale pricing. Explain that you are overstocked and looking to deal. It doesn’t reek of the desperation found in continuous promotions.
Limited promotions also work without your company looking like a liquidator. Select a category or some items and make a limited time offer.
The bottom line is that sales are okay as long as they are part of a bigger program. Your primary marketing plan should be to sell your product at full price. If you can’t, then the value was never there.
Warning: If you have aggressively discounted, your customers will need retraining. Start weaning them from the discount bottle now.