While it’s important to plan ahead for future promotions, there’s wisdom in reviewing past performance. At R&A, we take a holistic view of when performing an audit. Not only are we looking at the traffic, average sale, and monthly sales, but we take into account the promotion itself. We factor in the creative impact and competitor offers as well as compiling hard data.
Data never lies but it can’t always give us the full picture. Was a competitor running a BOGO offer or some other better deal compared to our 10% off? Was the creative too focused on price and product for our style-conscious customers? These are just a few of the questions we ask when looking at the performance of a promotion.
You need to be looking at the right mix of variables in order to make a valid judgment on the success of a promotion. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
-What promotional themes and offers did we run?
-What did the creative look like?
-What offers did competitors run?
-What media did we leverage?
-What was the monthly sales total?
-What was the advertising spend total?
-What was the total cost of advertising (percentage)?
By looking at the answers to these questions, we are able to better understand the success of promotions and find areas for improvement.
Morgan’s: A Case Study
One of our clients, who we will be referring to as “Morgan’s” had been experiencing a steady decline in sales. We had been giving the creative pieces a higher-end, elegant look with lots of price points but it wasn’t resonating with customers.
1. Removing Price Points
After taking a look at their target customer and the surrounding market, we realized we had been pricing people out of the market. We ended up taking the pricing off of the product because it had more expensive price points. Potential customers falsely believed they couldn’t afford it.
2. High-Impact Creative
The second change was to the look of the creative. We went from a softer, romantic look to something more high-impact. We used bolder colors to create an eye-catching creative.
3. Simplify the Offer
Our final change was to simplify the offer. Instead of a tiered offer or anything too specific, we used a simple percentage off or a general cash discount. The idea was to not overwhelm the customer with too many numbers.
By removing the prices from the product, customers didn’t automatically assume they couldn’t afford the furniture. While there were a few changes made at once, removing the price points and changing the creative look were the only substantial changes Morgan’s made during the month of July.
Why You Should Perform Media Audits
Many furniture retailers are constantly looking ahead, which is the norm in retail. We work months ahead of time to prepare promotions. But in order to create the best future, we still must look at the past.
By tracking sales and the promotions we ran previously, we can learn what works. Even more importantly, we can learn what needs to be improved. Retailers must be flexible enough to change course when the usual techniques and tools just aren’t working.
For changes in media, it can be vital to stay the course in order for the media to take effect. Media does not always bring instant results but is part of playing the long-game.