There is no getting away from the barrage of marketing communications that surround Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. They certainly make a lot of noise this time of year, but should you be jumping on the bandwagon?
Well the answer is – it depends!
There are lots of things to consider. Are you really going to be able to compete against the big brands? They have huge marketing budgets to get their messages out there. If you are a small business are you really going to be able to generate the high levels of communication needed to attract new customers? I suspect not and if you can, why are you not applying this to all year-round marketing? The chances are you will only get through to those that already know your firm, and why give away discounts if they are already interested?
Small businesses don’t have the volume that larger companies have so any squeeze on margins is going to have more of an impact.
There is also some cynicism felt by customers. Some believe that prices are artificially put up just to be reduced for the deals. Another perception can be, if you can afford to offer your product or service at this discounted rate are you just being greedy the rest of the time?
Consider your brand. If you are aspiring to be a premium brand and have spent time on your positioning strategy is any Black Friday deal income worth the risk of cheapening your brand and risking long term income?
However, there are times when these limited promotions can work well. So, what can you do to maximise your chances of success.
Use the promotions to reward your loyal customers. Communicating it in this way will help prevent any negative connotations associated with the promotion and your brand.
Bundle existing services and products to create the offers. This will have the benefit of offering increased value but enables you to limit the impact on margins.
Try and be creative in your promotion, make it work hard to help fulfil more than one objective. Can you use it to help launch new services or products? What about helping support your company’s CSR programme. Offer maybe a 10% discount but have the customer can choose to have the discounted price or for the feelgood factor pay the list price but you will donate the 10% to charity?
I think what we can be sure of ‘flash’ sales are not going to stop anytime soon and as a short-term marketing tactic they can work in the right circumstances, but long-term strategies should make up your primary marketing activities.
If you would like to talk to us about how we can help build you a long-term marketing strategy to help your business grow please do get in touch.