It is indeed a season of promotional campaigns. Several years back, you could never think of a bank promoting its products and services. The current trend is now for banks to champion such promos to deepen brand equity. Banks are not the only ones in this as telecom companies also strive to win consumers heart with series of promotional campaigns. The MTN ultimate wonder promo is now on yahoo and I imagine the cost of the promotional campaign.
I do not have any issues with companies leveraging on promotional campaigns to deepen brand equity and build loyalty amongst consumers. The kernel of my viewpoint is the overall impact on the average consumers. Most companies commence promotional campaign without taking cognizance of the needs of consumers. I have always stated it that some of our communication campaigns are not research driven to identify the exact needs of consumers.
Promotional campaigns should have influence on consumer behavior. It is the insights generated that will drive the success of the promo in the minds of the consumers. There is the basic imperative to establish consumers’ buying behavior that will lead to strong promotional campaigns. The truth is that the promo that is not hinged on consumers’ behavioral pattern only meets the short term needs of consumers.
Today consumers are becoming sophisticated and very discerning. They know the brands that meet their expectations and they do all they can to maintain the attachment to such brands. Regardless of any promotional activity, the consumers will remain loyal to their preferred brands. Promotional activity will come and go. But what should brands do to remain etched on the minds of consumers’.
Some of the brands do not even understand the personal characteristics of the targeted consumer target consumer market segment. Consumers form attachments to specific products as a result of companies effort to create personal link between their brands and consumers.
The probability that a consumer chooses a brand depends largely on the capacity of satisfaction they derive from such brands.
Consumers also perceive the promotion based on their own actions and not necessarily that the promotional activity have any tangible effect on them. Consumer sales promotion cannot change the perception of consumers but qualitative service deliver that leaves an enduring impact.
Companies should endeavor to build sustainable forms of loyalty between their brands and consumers. Rather than focus solely on a promotional activity, a reward scheme should be instituted to create touch points for the consumers. A consumer reward done when Airtel was still Zain network. The promo was based on accumulated points scored by subscribers for a specific period of time. The points accumulated came as a result of the regular recharge by consumers. Subscribers were given identification codes to collect their prizes from zain outlets. I was a beneficiary of that promo and I was pleasantly surprised at the unique method of building brand loyalty. I refer to it as a yardstick because that is a concrete way to leave impact on consumers and not necessarily through some fraudulent means to exploit consumers.
The impact of any promo should translate to customer satisfaction and quality service delivery. MTN is doing ultimate wonder promo while the network offers poor service delivery. Several people have used the social media to condemn the poor service they obtain. What impact will the ultimate wonder achieve for consumers?
Brands should maintain loyal consumers and focus on incentives to drive brand loyalty. Brand promos should also not be skewed towards short term goals only but enduring touch points for the consumers.
Ayopo, a communication strategist and public relations specialist, is the CEO of Shortlist Ltd. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org