Although it is not a marketing tactic we often recommend at BBG&G, there's no denying that coupons can successfully increase business during tough economic times. Considered 'responsive tactics', coupons are designed to trigger consumers to choose your brand. Coupons and similar cost-saving promotions are also a way to let your customers know that you care about saving them money - and consumers are responding well.
A customer who walks into a store with a coupon has the full intention of purchasing at least one item. Once they're there, it is up to you to entice them to make multiple purchases. This can be done through strategically displaying your merchandise, through in-store point-of-purchase displays, through excellent customer service, and by simply knowing what is important to your customers -- what do they want? what do they need?
Dining out is often one of the first luxuries to be cut from the budget when people's pockets are hurting. Ruby Tuesday's, the national restaurant chain, experienced a drop in sales in fiscal 2008. Using newspaper inserts with coupons, coupled with television commercials and in-store promotions, they are successfully attracting diners to their "two for one" promotions and other cost-saving specials. It's still too early to say for sure, but it seems to be working.
Your small business may not be able to afford full-page newspaper inserts, but there are plenty of local newspapers that offer very affordable advertising rates for small businesses. And, this is a perfect opportunity to integrate the internet into your marketing plan, if you're not already doing so. If you have a company web site, you can offer downloadable printable coupons there. If you don't, or if you want something a bit easier to manage, BusinessCardContacts.com provides paid members a platform to upload coupons and other marketing material for a low annual rate -- and you don't have to be a programmer to use it.
Do you know of any other web sites where businesses can upload coupons, and consumers can download? I know there are a lot out there. What's your favorite?
Partner, BBG&G Advertising & PR