Small Business Best Practices for Packages and Promotions
Create packages and promotions all year - just make sure they are for the right reasons and they work!
As marketing types and business owners, we love a prompt for a good promotion. You know, a holiday, a season, an event, nation doughnut day, etc. And, these occasions do often set the stage for fantastic promotions and packages.
But, please, please make sure that they make sense for your business and your brand.
Let’s admit it - you are doing this for marketing reasons, not because you’re bored. You either want to increase awareness, sell more, bring new people in, etc. So decide this first. Here is another post that goes into more detail on this, especially events.
So, think about your why - why are you doing this?
Because it is a national holiday and I need something to Instagram - (bad why)
Because it is a national holiday and my boss expects me to do SOMETHING - (also a bad why)
Because this holiday is spot on with your brand and is a great anchor to a) bring in new customers b) thank our current customers c) have a sale d) entice people to come stay or dine with us during a slow period, e) . . . . . etc., etc., etc.
Once you know your why, make sure it:
1 | Has customer value
2 | Has brand value
3 | Has operational value
Let’s break these down a bit and look at some examples.
Very simply, will your customer care about it? Does it align with their values and what they want? Thinking through this can help guide you on making more creative or quirky or elegant, etc.
I really think this is where you need to spend the most time. Ask your self questions such as,
does it make sense for my brand?
does it strengthen my brand?
does it help connect the brand dots in my customers’ heads?
This could also be termed ease of operations and typically is an easy one unless it is a complicated event or package. For instance, if you are a hotel and doing a package that requires an elaborate in-room f&b amenity for each guest, can room service handle it? If you say you will wash ever car that uses valet on Sunday, can they get it done and done well?
Now, these three things that fall under the marketing umbrella do not always have to carry the same weight. You could create a package that is 100% on-brand and that your guests would love even if they don’t buy, but that you need three additional employees to pull off. Just build that into the price of the package. You may not sell as many, but it may be worth the PR value.
Here’s an example with a boutique home store
A home design retail shop wants to do a month-long promotion of a new floral fabric line starting on March 20, the first day of spring. Makes all the sense in the world. But, to get anyone to notice, it’s got to be more interesting than, “Come in and see the new [fabric company name] spring florals!” So, assuming they could get some fabric from the company, they could do several things:
partner with a florist on March 20 and give away flowers that match those in the fabric
partner with a florist on March 20 to teach floral arranging and use some of the fabrics in the demonstration (the tablecloth)
host a luncheon for your best customers (or for a community garden as a fundraiser) and play off of the fabric names and the fabric itself (make napkins or coasters)
set up a large piece of fabric and make it the backdrop for IG photos
do something every Saturday
invite Flower Magazine to do an event with speakers
on and on and on!
So, create packages all year long, just make sure they are not only are interesting enough to be marketed, but also have customer value, brand value and operational value.