Debra Templar

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Debra Templar

Tuesday, 01 May 2012 13:56

Sales Promotions, Deploying a Multi-Channel Marketing Campaign: Deb Templar, Start-up Mentor

My last promotion didn’t increase sales. What did I do wrong?

I’ve just had an Easter-related sales push that didn’t really go to plan.


We sell camping equipment and had several external ads on how Easter was a good time to get outdoors, point of sale stuff, etc. Sales didn’t jump as I’d expected. How can I analyse what went wrong and ensure I do better next time?


I realise I don’t know your business but I’m hoping that what you didn’t do was have a couple of external ads and point of sale stuff and think that would do the trick.


If this was my promotion, here’s what I would have done:


External ads


I would have ensured that this was a platform where my customers hang out and made sure the ad stood out with a strong message.


If the ad was placed in a newspaper or magazine I’d have blown up copies of the ad, laminated them and dotted them around my store. If it was a radio ad, I’d be playing it through my store.


If the ad was TV, I’d have the ad running on TV sets in the store. I’d have also emailed copies of the ad (whether video or print) to my customer database alerting them to the sale and inviting them for a VIP Customer Only preview, before the ads went live.


Social Media


I’d have made sure that my ad was promoted over my Facebook page and I’d have had a couple of Facebook-only specials running.


I’d ensure my website had strong graphics and the first thing you saw was the sale.


I’d have catalogued the products onto an online catalogue using Pinterest and promoted this throughout my email blasts and social media sites.




My staff would have worn special shirts emblazoned with the sale graphics. We’d ensure the atmosphere in the store was alive and enthusiastic and that all staff were turned on to the sale and talked it up every chance they got.


We might have even done something very old-fashioned like hit the street with coupons and flyers inviting people into our store to check out our sale.


My point of sale stuff would have included bounce-back coupons to be given to customers who bought during the sale period, rewarding them for their purchase and enticing them back into the store in the future.




I’d have run a competition in conjunction with the sale asking my customers to send in photos or videos of their time away, which I’d publish on my social media sites and website.


I would have considered running a competition for the best video, best photo, biggest fish caught, best meal cooked in a camp oven (get my drift?), with the winner getting a decent gift voucher, for example, $300 — something big enough to make them want to enter the competition.


Or if you have a product that is wildly popular and you know everyone wants one, I’d offer that as the prize.


We’re in a multi-channel world now. We can’t just do what we’ve always done. It doesn’t work that way anymore.


That’s what I would have done. Perhaps there are some ideas in here that you could try for your next promotion.

One of Australia’s leading small business coaches and mentors, Debra Templar from The Templar Group just hates stupid business practices. So she’s on a mission to change them. 


Ask Debra or any other StartupSmart mentor a question here.

Comments (4)

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Great post as usual Deb.

I agree with you about the social angle of a promotion. Using Pinterest, or even Flickr now that it has today included 'pins' in their sharing mechanism can greatly enhance a retailer's offering - particularly if they are really visual or have 'pretty' products.

I'd also look towards even newer technology like Augmented Reality in point-of-sale or promotional flyers to really get the word-of-mouth aspect of the promotion ticking along.

Great points, thanks!

nickbowditch , May 02, 2012
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Man alive, this poor bloke is probably running his local store almost single handedly.

IMO, bottom line, people need a reason to buy. Do whatever you can to promote with the time you have spare, and some of the points mentioned above are good ideas.

BUT - if you don't have a good reason for people to buy now over any other time, then why would they?
Tom K , May 02, 2012
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I really think Tom's on the money here. There are great suggestions in there, Debra, but without knowing anything about the business, it's a bit rich to suggest this shotgun approach.

For any small business that I know, what you've suggested is likely outside the realms of what they could afford. The social media & competition strategy is sound, but requires significant time investment. The ad costs would be substantial, and even getting promo shirts made could be expensive for a small business.

Granted, this camping equipment seller could be a huge company, but given that I'm reading this on startup smart, I would have thought there'd be some consideration of the time and money people have to invest in their marketing, rather than the dismissive "we're in a multi-channel world now".

Xavier , May 02, 2012
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I agree that Debra's suggestions would mean a lot of work for a startup business, and some costs in advertising. But, the overall points she makes about needing to spread the promotion across a number of platforms and using social media are great points - mandatory in today's promotional space in fact. As well, if social media is used creatively and in conjunction with in store/point of sale tactics it is a very cost effective way to promote a new business.
I would add that it is also important to realise that you need to 'play the long game', keep getting the message about your business out there: then as long as you have a quality product that people want or need, your business will probably fly.
Karen Churchill , May 02, 2012
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