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Why brands should revisit promotional marketing & create a bankable buzz ‘the old way’

What happened to traditional promotional marketing, where a customer would clip offer tokens off the packaging and claim a gift through the post? Are customers happy with digital rewards? Brands are certainly assuming they are.

Two decades ago, 95% of Granby’s work was promotional marketing. Today, across our industry, it’s a fraction of this. Digital redemption is the way brands encourage purchases and reward loyalty in 2020.

In fact, data shows that digital incentives like discounts and loyalty points achieve lower response rates and a substandard ROI compared to traditional promotional marketing campaigns.

Brands are missing a trick. How can you get back on board? Our case study insight and tips will help you pitch and manage an old skool promotional marketing campaign.

Insights from puppies & meerkats

One of the most famous gift redemption campaigns is still being talked about today. The Andrex bean puppy marketing campaign, launched in 2000, is earmarked for an Institute of Promotional Marketing (IPM) celebratory heritage award, ‘Twenty Over 20’, which highlights and celebrates lost skills in our sector.

(We delivered the third-party logistics and fulfilment side of things for the Andrex Puppy Points Rewards and won the Institute of Sales Promotion (which is now the Insitute of Promotional Marketing – IPM) Making It Happen Award, recognising us, the service partner, for our behind the scenes work to deliver the mechanics of the campaign.

More important than acclaim from IPM and industry – customers loved it. Andrex had estimated they would receive around 300,000 orders for the beanie puppy. In fact, we fulfilled around 1.2 million – four times that. As customers bought more product emblazoned with the offer, one of the country’s favourite loo roll brands briefly became a major manufacturer of soft toys.

But Andrex puppies was 20 years ago!

Point noted! But remember the meerkat campaign by VCCP for Launched in 2011, the free toy offer (also fulfilled by Granby) ran until 2018.

It shows us that customers still like to receive a loyalty gift they can touch. It reveals that, in a digital age, a physical gift is very special and provokes a positive emotional response that a digital reward just can’t compete with.

How to create a promotional marketing buzz

1. Use digital for redemption and data capture

Swift Receipt is a mobile app that your customers can upload a photo of their proof of purchase to. A gift can be dispatched within 24 hours (digital rewards are instant). The data you get back will help you nurture ongoing relationships with your customers. Swift Receipt is a market-leading tool developed by Granby.

2. Maximise the impact of your packaging

Packaging is brand real estate that can persuade a shopper at POS that their product has added value by way of a gift. Brands that don’t run promotional marketing campaigns on their packaging are definitely missing a trick.

3. Add resources to overcome inexperience

The Andrex puppy’s runaway success highlights how the mechanics of fulfilment must be efficient and flexible enough to cope with unexpected popularity. A perception that these mechanics are too complex might well be putting modern marketing teams off. This type of promotional marketing fell out of fashion, so today’s executives might not feel they have the skills. An experienced promotional marketing partner will easily fill this gap (Granby has been doing this for more than 60 years).

4. Create a campaign that pays for itself

There’s often a perception that traditional promotional marketing is too expensive for marketing budgets. In fact, it can fund itself. Anecdotally, we know our clients have experienced spikes in sales through this type of promotional marketing. Add to this the mechanics of self-liquidating promotions, where your customer makes multiple purchases and also pays for postage and packing, and your campaign is a budget-winner.

5. Integrate your campaign across all channels

The meerkat campaign was simply everywhere – on TV, on the internet, in people’s homes. While Granby fulfilled the toys that built an emotional rapport with the nation, SEO built market dominance within search engines.

In a retail environment where it’s hard to stand out, wouldn’t you like to create a campaign that will be talked about in 20 years? Ask us how we can help with IPM award-winning promotional marketing – and prepare to be amazed at the possibilities.

Photo by Chevanon Photography from Pexels

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