As Euro 2012 kicks off and the Olympics is walking to the starting blocks, the one thing we can all be sure about – aside from a summer of hope and heartbreak – is that companies and brands of all sizes will be looking to harness the hype and excitement around this year’s events by running their own special sports-themed promotional campaigns.
Big sporting events are brilliant for retailers, brands and marketers alike. They bring people together, generate untold excitement and create unique optimism. The Olympics in particular has the potential to the give the UK extra economic boost.
There’s no doubt that well-timed sales promotion activity can be a brilliant mechanism for delivering increased sales and influencing customers to try new products. But when the fuss dies down and the events are forgotten how we can actually make sure that our clients can use such marketing activity towards long-term brand loyalty?
Small vs Big
Depending on the size of the business different mechanisms may need to be employed. Small business will probably use pre-fabricated off-the-shelf packages, which thankfully require little effort for both sides!
Regardless of how big or small a business is, whether a promotion is targeting all of England’s Euro 2012 fans or just a select Olympic audience, a part of sales promotion activity that’s often forgotten or misused is its ability to gather customer data.
Data, data, data?
Customer data is gold dust to many of us. It helps us to understand our customers better and most importantly, it can be the starting point for developing meaningful, long-term relationships. Data captured from promotional campaigns can be used as a basis for building customer and prospect databases, which can then be used to drive personalised and follow-up comms.
If combined with multi-channel lifestyle data from other sources, then you have the foundations for a highly effective CRM programme.
One easy way to really use the web to capture customer data is through online redemption forms. The benefits are great and with the right analytic tools in place collecting online browsing data which, when combined with personal contact information, can be used to trigger tailored communications and offers.
We’ve all got to be aware though of the ever stricter data messages being brought in. This means that any company that deals with customers’ credit card information will need to comply with higher standards to ensure the protection of the customers’ details. For brands to be sure promotions will not backfire through non-compliance they need to make sure the fulfilment companies involved are fully regulated with accreditations such as PCIDSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).
Sporting events offer a great opportunity for brands to make initial contact with customers, learn more about those buying their products and begin to form a more engaged meaningful relationship. But in order to be able to make the most of this opportunity, sales promotion activity must be well thought through and set up with clear objectives in mind, otherwise you might score an own goal!