Being Smart With Coupons

- July 12, 2012

Recon Thursday/Price

Hello, I’m Jim Glover, That Branding Guy for Once a Day Marketing.  Today is Recon Thursday and I am going to share my thoughts on trends in coupons, which seem to be everywhere these days.

Numerous types of coupons are available in newspapers, online, directly from merchants, etc.  There are also daily deal websites such as Groupon offering discounted gift certificates for local and national companies.  I received two e-mails just today of Groupon offers.  Groupon enables businesses to market discounts to broad audience.  The question is, should they?

There seems to be a coupon battle going on, but more importantly there seems to be a coupon culture being created.  This is a pitfall for small businesses when they rely on coupons as a means to drive traffic.  However, there is a right place for coupons in your strategy.

Part of what we do at Once a Day Marketing is encourage you to think about your brand and market what makes your product unique in the minds of your customers.  A coupon is a pricing strategy under the 7Ps of marketing.  Through extensive use of coupons, you may create an expectation with your customers for a discounted price.  You are then moving your product on price rather than the value proposition that you offer, which is the reason you are in business.

There are good reasons to add a coupon program to your marketing plan.  One is introduction of a new product that you want customers to try.  Another is to clear out a product that is slow moving.  Lastly, coupons can be leveraged to increase sales when business is slow.

I want to point out that you shouldn’t be using coupons all the time to drive traffic.  You will create a perception in the minds of your customers that your product is a discounted commodity and you do not want that.

My recommend is to tread lightly when using coupons.  Spend more time creating the perception in the minds of your customers of what really makes your product unique and number one and focus your resources on marketing that message.

If you feel there is a need to engage in a coupon campaign, then go ahead and do it.  Be sure to track the results.  Again, don’t do it a lot because you’ll create that expectation of a discounted price and you don’t want that happening in the minds of your customer.

That concludes Recon Thursday.  Be sure to stop by tomorrow for Digital Friday.  To discuss an online or face-to-face service engagement and enhance the marketing and branding for your organization, contact James Glover: (505) 501-1330 or  I’m Jim Glover, That Branding Guy, for Once a Day Marketing and we’ll see you next time.