In praise of simplicity

19 Aug

The impulse can be irresistible.

You’re planning a customer promotion. You build a microsite that will collect their email, demographic and (why not) even psychographic information plus their permission to send them future offers. But – you want to make sure people going there have purchased your product. No problem, in comes the promo code, found on the bottom of the store receipt. Now people probably need some incentive to do all this, so how about a content draw? Each microsite visit gets you an entry. Better yet, double the entries for each additional visit! And how about getting them to spread the word – a ‘tell a friend’ option with a referral code so that we can track and reward people who bring in other microsite visitors.

From a marketing perspective, this is a thing of beauty.

I can think of three types of people who probably feel otherwise:

IT Guy: Definitely time-stressed, probably hard to work with, maybe using technology made around the time bunchy socks were popular. Can he implement the database you’re dreaming of?

Front-end staff: The high-school student making two dollars over minimum wage working part-time between drum lessons and keggers. Is he really incentivized to guide the customer through the process you’ve crafted, or will he continue to linger behind the till flirting with co-workers?

Customers: Why on earth are they going to rush home and enter private information into some website and tell other their friends to do the same, all for the one in a million chance of winning a branded blender?

When planning promotions, contests, or any customer-facing program, KISS is a great rule to follow. And don’t forget to pay attention to the people who have to implement it along the way.


2 Responses to “In praise of simplicity”

  1. dougbrowncreative August 19, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    I can think of another type of person who will feel otherwise: the ad agency when this promotion doesn’t provide the redemption numbers that propel the client back for more ideas! Good post Shaner.

  2. sgoth August 23, 2010 at 11:32 am #

    I think ad agencies can be as guilty as marketing depts when it comes to developing overcomplicated promotions.

    Thanks for your comment Doug!

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