It's the Offer Silly: Optimizing the Most Important Part of the Sale

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If the consumer never gets past the offer, they never even see the product
If the consumer never gets past the offer, they never even see the product

In today's world, consumers are bombarded with choices and advertisements intended to influence their decisions. Despite all the advances in technology, advertisements tend to be “one size fits all” in major channels. You would think by now marketers and targeting would have evolved past the days of offering vegetarians ninety-nine cent cheeseburgers.

The sad news is we aren't seeing that kind of relevant targeting yet; the good news is that there are capabilities and processes available to resolve this issue while still staying clear of any privacy concerns.

So why are marketing messages so easily ignored and rarely relevant? The answer is, at least in part, because marketers are so focused on what product to market, they're overlooking how to optimize the marketing message that goes with the product.

For large retailers, hitting the perfect product to market, especially with a larger number of SKUs, can be a real needle in the haystack challenge. Yet you see it every day. Take the Sunday papers as example, when the price of new bicycles for boys is jammed between offers on honey hams and used cars. It's a spam and a volume and percentage game, not smart or particularly effective marketing—because it's still focused on a one-to-many message.

For marketers that use data and intelligence about consumer behaviors and factors such as weather and location, the offer itself stands out as the least utilized, least quantified and least analyzed area of consumer-brand engagement. And yet, it is by far the most fertile ground for moving the sales needle. Enticement, or moving someone from the passive receiver of a message to a willing participant in the sales funnel, is influenced by the product, the message, and the channel chosen, not just the product itself.

Consumers all have different triggers, from discounting/savings messaging and free shipping to return policies and the tone of the offer. With the data and processing powers now in the hands of marketers and a bank of creative content that can be aligned with each consumer profile, the creative around an offer can now be tailored to the audience to get them to open the email, the app notification, click on an area of the website, or engage in whatever the desired action may be.

With all the emphasis on getting consumers and brands into a dialogue and the explosion of places and ways a consumer can now come into contact with a brand, optimizing the message isn't just a good idea—it's crucial to moving the bottom line and edging the competition.

After all, if the consumer never gets past the offer, they never even see the product.

Mike Caccavale is CEO of Pluris Marketing and an expert in cross-channel offer optimization.

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