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Have you launched marketing initiatives in the past with limited success? Or are you trying to promote your recently opened restaurant, salon or cafe. There are many in-store and online marketing options, to choose from these days. You could combine reward programs, Instagram and Facebook marketing and local promotion activities. Yet, this does not guarantee your business, the desired returns on marketing investment.

To find out what makes marketing initiatives effective, we analysed the most successful programs from around the world. Based on our research, we found 8 common traits. These apply to both online and offline marketing channels. They work for Small Medium Businesses (SMBs) as well as larger corporations.

Below are the 8 ingredients to that “secret sauce”. We recommend that your business incorporates these guidelines in future marketing initiatives.

  1. Regularity
  2. Variability
  3. Scarcity
  4. Personalised
  5. Localised
  6. Visually appealing
  7. Consistent brand identity
  8. Metric driven

Let us go through each one of these guidelines with examples 

1. Regularity and being disciplined

This is by far the most important guideline. Anyone who signs up to your community or reward program, expects regular updates or offers. Depending on your business, decide the right communication frequency before launching your initiative. It could be hourly, daily, weekly or fortnightly. Mark your calendar and ensure that you never miss out on a communication. This is crucial for social media channels like Instagram and Twitter and also email and mobile app channels.

Thankfully, most social media management tools like SocialPilot and Buffer, let you schedule posts. Email campaign tools like MailChimp also provide scheduling capability. So plan and schedule for days when you are busy with other tasks.

Below is an example of how you can schedule your posts using SocialPilot

2. Variability to keep the customers guessing

The next two guidelines are inspired from the world of video games, also known as Gamification techniques. Your target audience, is super intelligent and they are always looking to spot patterns. So do not send the same type of offer every week and do not make your community feel like they are engaging with a bot. Predictability is boring and your community will lose interest soon.

If you are using a reward program, keep the free gifts a surprise and keep changing them every few weeks. A famous example is woot.com and their “bag of crap” mystery box, which now has a dedicated fan following.

3. Scarcity to create a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)

Another well known concept from the gamification, is that humans hate missing out. Especially if we see a great deal or offer. An entire industry of deals websites run on this principle of flash sales that last from few hours to few days. Try to restrict your promotional activity to short durations and increase the number of such offers. This way you spend the same or less on promotions, but the returns would be much higher. Below is an example of Grab.com, the Singapore based cab hailing app, combining both elements of surprise and limited validity offers




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4. Personalised communication

We have already written about the importance of personalisation in our previous article.

The best marketing initiatives are the ones that are personal. Starbucks is the best example of a business that personalises all communication. When you walk into the coffee shop, their Barista writes down your name on the cup and calls you by name. Their Starbucks rewards app, provides free drinks on birthdays and sends personalised notifications. The Starbucks Gold card membership provides exclusivity and personalised offers to their members.

5. Localised in content and execution

As a small or medium business (SMB) it is important to create communications that resonate well with local audience. Neighbourhood marketing is a great way to build your brand where it matters the most. You could piggyback on a local event, promote at local communities or find a local influencer to promote your brand. If you are sending offers, ensure that you use customers geo-position to send offers only when they are in the locality, near a store. Most of the digital ad tools, allow geo targeted advertisements. Ensure you use them to save money and to see greater conversion rates on your ad campaigns.

6. Visually appealing with high quality images

An estimated 84 percent of communications will be visual by 2018. This alone explains why most marketing initiatives today rely on high quality visuals. A good smartphone these days, can take good enough pictures for Instagram, Pinterest and other social platforms. To design marketing communication, you no longer need to be an expert in Photoshop. With free web tools like DesignBold or Canva, you can create professional quality banners in few minutes. It is always recommended to use self clicked pictures. If you do not have time, you can use high quality free photo sites like Unsplash(Our favourite)

Below is a screenshot from Designbold, that we used to create a visually appealing Instagram post in less than 5 mins

7. Preserving your brand identity

As you use various marketing channels to promote your business, remember to be consistent. Refer to your brand guidelines for color palettes and fonts. Use your logo and keep the messaging in line with your brand communication style.

8. Measure and improve using metrics

It is important to define success for your campaign using metrics or KPIs. Ensure that you have the process or systems in place to track and measure these metrics, once you launch your campaigns. Avoid vanity metrics like total visitors or total impressions. Instead measure ratio based metrics that relate to your marketing goal. Some examples are ROI (Total sales due to marketing initiatives/ Total cost of marketing initiatives) and Customer conversion rates across channels

Most modern CRM tools or social engagement tools include dashboards that provide these metrics

To summarise, you may refer to the infographic below. It captures the 8 simple guidelines you must follow to succeed in your marketing execution.


CarrotBox is a customer engagement platform that provides you marketing capabilities with these guidelines out-of box. So that your business can get the maximum returns from every marketing investment. To know more about our products and services, visit business.carrotbox.app or email us at info@carrotbox.app


Categories: Marketing

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