Category Archives: Marketing

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The “Delight and Surprise” Social Media Strategy

By | Generating More Referrals, Improving Social Media Engagement, Marketing | No Comments

Are your reviews not where they should be? You probably know what you need to do but just can’t get it quite right.

Let’s face it, it’s human nature to leave bad reviews. When people are upset they will more than happily take to social media and roast your company.

But when customers are happy, they generally don’t say anything. You need to give them a reason to step up, and exert some effort to leave you a review that is going to be of big benefit to you.

We have some tips, some tried and true methods, to not only increase the quantity of reviews on Google, Facebook and other websites; but to also up your average score.

Our program will increase your average score, surprise and delight your customers, get you more reviews, and motivate your sales people.

There are two different strategies you can use simultaneously to really amp up your reviews; or you can use them one at a time to address particular issues.

Number one: contest

This is the easiest strategy and involves running a contest inside your company.

Let all your customers know that, every week, you’ll be giving away a complimentary five-day cruise for two people and all they have to do to be eligible is to leave a review on your Facebook page, Google, or whatever other sites you would like.

You can deliver this message through a post on your Facebook page, via an email to your customer base, through newsletters, or on point-of-sale material directly in your store.

In order to get your sales team behind the program, we recommend using our tickets and entertainment program or a gift card to Amazon or Starbucks for whoever collects the most reviews by month’s end.

Make the contest fun, use some balloons, or table talkers to promote the contest inside the organization and put some oomph behind it.

NOTE: Word of advice from our own experiences.

If you run this program for longer than a month make sure you change up the gift. Although your customers will not really notice any difference, your internal staff and your sales team will get bored. We have a variety of different trips and different gifts you can use to keep it fresh.

Number two: point-of-sale review

point-of-sale

This strategy is designed to capture the reviews at the very moment your customer is thrilled with your service. It requires the full participation of your sales team, as well as some reminders and push from you or sales management.

After every sale, when the customer is thrilled about their purchase, tell the customer you have a surprise for them. Thank them for their business and reinforce the fact that customer satisfaction is paramount to your business. Ensure this is achieved by giving them a complimentary trip to Las Vegas.

Then, while they are still surprised and delighted, ask them:

“Reviews are really important to our business. Would you mind if we took a picture of you holding the Las Vegas voucher; and then could you please post it on your favorite social media site and use #OurCompany?”

Now, remember not to use your own phone. Your sales people must use the phone of the customer to take the photograph.

Once the photograph has been taken it is immediately uploaded to the customer’s social media by pressing just a couple of buttons. While they are doing this, they can also post the great review using the same photo. You must give your sales team a few hints that they can pass along to the customer, such as:

• “Look at my new car from ABC motors, and best of all my sales rep Tom surprised me and Jerry with a trip to Las Vegas! Thank you so much, five stars.”

• “Here we were buying furniture at ABC furniture store and our sales rep NG surprised us with a complimentary vacation – you’re the best! Five stars.”

You may have found in the past that customers are tentative to open their social media to such a request; but when they are in the middle of being delighted with a complimentary gift you just gave them, they will be thrilled to do it for you.

Word of advice: Find out which social media platform is their favorite before you give them the surprise.

If they don’t have a Facebook account, or a Yelp account, or have never posted anything on Google before and have no idea what it is they’re meant to do, then you’re probably going to have a hard time getting them to do anything.

You have to work at reviews, because your competition is also working. They don’t come quickly and they don’t come easily, but if you implement these simple few steps you will start to see improvement in both the quantity and your score.

Research tells us that a half-point increase in an average review can mean a 25% lift to some businesses. It’s simply something you cannot ignore. Good luck.

Get in touch

If you want to learn more about travel incentives or what we do here at Odenza, you can reach out to us by calling 1-866-883-2968 or by simply filling out the form at the bottom of this page.

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How to Run a Brilliant Travel Contest

By | Increasing Sales / Gross Margins, Marketing, Outstanding Marketing | No Comments

Travel is such an effective contest prize. Whether it’s a cruise, a theme park visit, a trip to Vegas or a relaxing 7-day resort stay, everyone loves to have a little R and R.

Throughout this article, I’ll be providing you with fundamental tips and advice on coming up with engaging travel contest ideas and how you can run your contests effectively.

What’s the Appeal?

If any contest is to work, you need to determine the appeal of the prize. This appeal can be broken down into various pieces, but what matters most are the following two questions:

1. Does it possess a universal appeal among your audience?

2. What is the perceived value?

Universal Appeal

Universal appeal is important, so unless your business already specializes in a very niche field that attracts a specific audience, then you’ll probably want to go with a prize that almost anyone would appreciate.

Travel-themed prizes possess consistent relevance for most people. It doesn’t matter if your customer is still saving for a trip or they have all the money in the world to go on one, a vacation is a chance to get away, experience new things, and feel like a true explorer. It’s an appealing pull that is felt by almost everyone.

Even if someone hates flying or would get sea sick on a cruise, there are plenty of local vacation options, as well as opportunities to see other parts of their country – or those of bordering countries.

Perceived Value

What do people love about the grand prizes offered during a contest? Well, along with the actual prizes, the perceived value they have is important. Needless to say, if a customer scores a cruise worth thousands of dollars as a contest prize, they’ll be stoked.

Whether or not you choose to explicitly state what a travel prize’s dollar value is up to you. For the most part, however, travel prizes tend to hold a high perceived value in most consumers’ minds.

Running a Brilliant Travel Contest

Let’s cut to the chase. Contests should be simple or fun; ideally, they should be both. In the end, a contest is your way of getting your company in front of more people – which includes both current customers/clients and prospects.

If part of your objective with the contest is to have more people come into your actual store, then you can organize it so they must enter while in-store. The one caveat with this approach is that it will reduce the reach of your contest unless your store is located in a high-traffic area.

This approach can be good if you’re a smaller, local business. After all, there isn’t much need for you to advertise your contest to people in other states, let alone two towns over. And if all the contest requires is for them to fill out a form in-store, then you’re still keeping the whole thing simple.

When you’re a bigger business with more locations throughout a city, state, or multiple states/provinces, then offering more ways for consumers to enter a contest is going to be a logical step. Again, you want the ways of entering to be simple, even if the contest steps are a little more involved.

Entry forms can be made available online via your website, through email, and on social media. If your contest is less about a form and more about social actions (e.g. like this video, comment, tag a friend, etc.) then you’ll need to ensure you can track each entry efficiently and fairly.

Let’s Have Fun

If your plan is to run a more involved contest, one that goes beyond a simple listing of contact information or tagging a friend in the comments of social posts, then it is imperative to make sure the involved steps are actually enjoyable.

You may run a contest that is a classic “In 25 words or less” or one that encourages contestants to include a photo from the best vacation they’ve been on thus far.

Video contests can be effective, and the same can be said of Instagram contests that require a photo and a caption that utilizes a set hashtag and tag of your company profile. Even though these specific contests require more of the entrant, they’re still easy (and enjoyable) to fulfill.

An Example of Contests Aimed at Current Customers

If one of your travel prize ideas is to reward and maintain loyal customers, then you can look to the approaches used by companies such as Microsoft.

For anyone who has a Microsoft account, they can accumulate what are known as Reward Points any time they purchase a product from Microsoft’s online store (including Xbox game purchases), as well as when they perform Bing searches on mobile and desktop or view news stories linked on Bing’s main page.

Over time, these points can be redeemed to earn online store credit, donate to charities, or to even enter contests such as Microsoft’s Flip and Win.

microsoft-flip-and-win

Now, obviously not every business has the resources to run such a comprehensive points-based reward and contest system like Microsoft, but it does shine a light on how contests can help businesses keep people engaged and actively using their products and/or services.

For example, if you have loyalty cards that note the amount of money customers have spent at your store over time, you could implement a system whereby once they have spent $1,000 you inform they’re eligible to enter a contest comprising three prizes: a gift certificate at your store, event tickets for two, or a trip to Vegas.

Final Points

As I have reiterated throughout this article, simplicity and fun are key to a good contest – no matter the prize.

Given that travel prizes already offer plenty of appeal in and of themselves, what matters is executing a contest that is going to make people want to get involved. Take the following into consideration when crafting your contest:

Elaborate is fine, arduous is not: it’s perfectly fine to run a contest that may be a bit more involved than filling out a form or commenting on a social post, but make sure all of the steps involved remain simple – people don’t want to endure a contest.

Your prize needs to be deserving of the steps required: a contest prize worth $20,000 can require extra effort from entrants, but don’t assume people will be willing to put in the same kind of effort for a prize only worth $1,000.

Don’t be a snoop: when filling out a form, people don’t want to be providing an excess of personal information – you don’t need to know their home address, nor every single phone number imaginable for you to reach them on. The more you snoop, the less willing they will be to enter.

Use the right voice: again, have fun – it’s a contest, so you want to express the event in a way that will get people excited and invested in it. Also, be mindful of your demographic – are they young, elderly, married, single, young family? What can you say that will get them involved?

Promote it: it doesn’t matter how good a contest or how great its prize on offer is, you need to promote it. Promote it on social; via email; in-store; by investing in some search engine advertising; and, if you have the money to do so, through traditional channels such as print, radio, and TV. But, as always, determine a budget and stick to it – never go beyond it.

Employ the services of a reputable travel prize agency: working with a travel incentive agency will help simplify the process of your contest efforts, but make sure that you engage with the right agency. Odenza is an award-winning travel incentives agency that has been in business for 20 years and is BBB accredited with an A+ rating.

Get in touch

Have you run travel-themed contests in the past? How do you feel they stacked up against other contests you’ve tried? Be sure to share your experiences in the comments below.

If you want to learn more about travel incentives and how they can be used in contests, you can reach out to us by calling 1-866-883-2968 or by simply filling out the form at the bottom of this page.

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Jewelry Store Promotions: What You Need to Consider

By | Increasing Sales / Gross Margins, Jewelry Stores, Marketing | No Comments

A promotion is a good way to generate some fresh buzz for your jewelry store; but as is the case with any sales or marketing-driven endeavor, the execution is paramount. Half-measures and missteps can cost you valuable sales and undermine the entire promotion.

In this article, along with giving you some quick ideas on potential promotions you could run, I will outline some common pitfalls so that you can navigate your promotional efforts around them.

• Ideas

◦ Engagement promotions

◦ Valentine’s Day and anniversaries

◦ Promotions to help move higher-priced items

◦ Contests

• Pitfalls / what to be mindful of

◦ Budget

◦ Your audience

◦ Tone

Ideas

When it comes to jewelry store promotions, there are plenty of great ideas out there worth considering.

As we specialize in travel incentives here at Odenza, these will be the primary giveaway examples we’ll use; but remember that no matter what you’re offering, you can work many offers into a range of promotional themes.

Engagement promotions

Engagements and jewelry go hand-in-hand, and as a huge milestone in anyone’s life it’s the perfect opportunity to give customers a reason to buy their engagement ring from your store.

As I touched on in a previous article about marketing your jewelry store, an engagement-themed offer is a great way to close sales – especially if the offer is something that will help your customers with their wedding, honeymoon, or future lives together.

engagement-honeymoon-cruise-offer

That’s why previous and current jewelry clients of ours have utilized travel incentives such as a cruise for two or trip to Vegas as a way of saying, “Buy your engagement ring from us, and we’ll give you the perfect getaway for your Honeymoon.”

Valentine’s Day and/or anniversaries

In a similar vein, you can theme promotions around other romantic occasions such as Valentine’s Day or customers’ anniversaries. These could be “buy and receive” promotions or “buy and be entered into the draw to win a romantic trip for two” promotions.

Promotions to help you move higher-priced items

Have specific, more expensive jewelry you need to move? Promotions can really help. When you run a promotion and put these items in front of more eyes, you have a better chance of finding that customer (or customers) who is interested and has the necessary finances to spend.

valentine-offer-upsell-jewelry

A promotion, such as a trip or major event ticket, can help you upsell more effectively. A customer with the money to do so may still be hesitant to make a $3,000 purchase at your store without some extra push. After all, they’re spending big on you – so you should want to offer something to them as a thank you.

Contests

Remember that not every promotion has to outright require a purchase. Why not run a contest instead, be it online or in-store?

For example, every person who comes into your store can fill out an entry form to win cash, in-store credit, a fine piece of jewelry, a cruise, etc. All they have to do is provide their name, email, and phone number.

By doing so, you capture leads and prospective future customers. As long as the contest is fun to partake in and the prize(s) is worth it, then you’re going to have a wealth of people who build a positive association between your store and themselves.

Just remember, as I’ve noted in the past, the more required of the customer to enter the contest, the higher value the prize should be.

Pitfalls

Whenever you run a promotion for your store, there are always going to be potential pitfalls. Whether it’s the budgeting, getting the tone of the promotion wrong, or targeting the wrong audience, the best strategy is to ensure you put the right amount of time into research.

Budget

You should always overbudget rather than underbudget. Under-budgeting, for clear reasons, can be problematic to how effectively (and for how long) you run your promotion and can put you in financial strife.

When talking about overbudgeting, I DO NOT mean investing more money than you can afford. Rather, if you have $6,000 to spend on marketing and advertising for a promotion, then create a framework for a budget of $5,000 and have $1,000 in reserve for contingencies.

If you simply used the entire $6,000 and had no additional buffer, then that would be underbudgeting.

When determining where the money will go, you likely have some clear numbers for the costs of physical collateral such as posters, flyers, and shop displays; but digital can vary across platforms.

These variations are minimal, but keep in mind that if you set a limit of $50 on Facebook ads, for example, the final cost could end up being a few cents or dollars over that amount (based on the costs per click or impressions).

If you’ve already spent $49 but another click may cost $1.59, then chances are Facebook will let that click occur before the ad is then paused according to your budgetary limits.

It’s a minor discrepancy in and of itself, but if you have multiple ads and boosted posts running on several social platforms, as well as search ads, this could tally to amounts that are a few dollars or more over your set digital limits.

Your audience

If the main platform of exposure for your promotion is digital, then you have a little more freedom to experiment with the audience you want to reach. After all, social networks and search engines offer a plethora of targeting options; all of which can be customized at any time if you feel your ads aren’t garnering the results you desired.

However, if you will also be implementing traditional channels into your promotion – print ads, mailouts, radio, TV, etc. – then you need to know the exact audience you want to reach. Because pulling and editing radio, TV, or print ads is a lot more involved and cumbersome than with digital ads.

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Research, research, and research some more!

Who is your current demographic? Who make up the demographics you want to reach? How will you best craft your ads and promos to appeal to these demographics, and which platforms are the best for reaching them? These questions matter because you need to invest wisely.

Want to reach millennials? Then go online. Consider Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat over Twitter and LinkedIn.

What about older users such as baby boomers and even earlier generation X’s? Radio, TV, and print can be better platforms for them; but social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook also command a respectable chunk of older users.

Tone

Tone is important in promotions. Depending on your audience, your tone (voice) could and should vary.

For example, if you’re running a promotion focused on couples who are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversaries (a silver jubilee), then your wording and tone would be different than a promotion aimed at couples who could be close to an engagement.

People at different stages of their lives – personally, professionally, romantically – view the world differently, and the tone of your promotion needs to reflect that. Other factors, such as age, location, profession, and income can all play a role in determining the tone you should use.

Get in touch

I hope the information provided in this article has helped you think up some new ideas for how you can promote your jewelry store and its products. If there are any promotions you’ve run in the past that you have found to be particularly effective, we’d love to know about them in the comments below.

Want to learn more about travel incentives and how they can be used in jewelry promotions and contests? You can reach out to us by calling 1-866-883-2968 or by filling out the form at the bottom of this page.

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Boosting Facebook Posts: The Fundamentals for Success

By | Airfare Package / Vegas, Improving Social Media Engagement, Marketing, Outstanding Marketing | No Comments

There is a tough reality when it comes to Facebook: in spite of its 2 billion+ user base, it can be hard for businesses to stand out on the platform. No matter how big your audience is (100 fans or 100,000 fans), a lot of your organic posts are probably reaching somewhere between 2 to 10% of them. Not that many, right?

So what on earth can you do to increase your social media engagement on the platform and, as a result, get more people invested in your business and the products or services you offer? While it may not always be the most desired answer, it often comes down to paying via ads or boosted posts.

In this blog, I’ll be focusing on boosting Facebook posts, and will cover the following:

• Why you have to pay on social media;

• How much boosting a post costs;

• How to boost a Facebook post; and

• Examples of success

“Why Do I Have to Pay?”

No one wants to have to pay to reach their target audience on social media – it’s a pretty common opinion. But keep this in mind: Facebook isn’t the only social network that chooses what it does and doesn’t show in users’ main feeds.

A similar algorithm that determines a post’s visibility is used by LinkedIn, Instagram, and even Twitter nowadays. If your business is on social media, you are bound to their algorithms, whether you like it or not.

Social networks are like free-to-air TV. They’re free to use and enjoy for the average person, but they are funded by companies advertising on them. Facebook is not alone in wanting your company to invest money in them to achieve greater reach and increase your profits made through the social network.

Cost

One of the best things about boosting a Facebook post is how cheap it can be. You could spend no more than $25 to boost a post for a week, and that could result in thousands of people being reached and social engagement that numbers in the hundreds.

Just take a look at the numbers we hit for a boosted post before we had even used up half the budget. Over 5,000 people were reached, and we had almost 500 social engagements on the post.

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Boosting Facebook Posts

When it comes to paying on Facebook, one of the most affordable options is boosting a post. A boosted post is when you take any everyday post you made on your business’s Facebook page and put some money behind it so it reaches more people. There are no specific objectives to a boosted post beyond the fact that it will reach more Facebook users.

That said, you can still be strategic and opt to boost posts that could foster specific results: contest entries, visits to your site, promoting sales events, encouraging people to Like your page, etc.

You can boost the post at the time of creating it, or come back to it later down the line and boost it retroactively.

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Once you have chosen to boost your post, you’re presented with a few key options to define your audience. Your main options include boosting your post among your current fans, fans and their Facebook friends, and a custom audience (so you choose exactly who you want to reach). If you choose to create a custom audience, you will be presented with the following:

boosting-post-audience-selector

Options include selecting gender; age range; the location/s of your ideal audience; and additional detailed targeting such as job title, interests, their behavior on Facebook, etc.

With this information on hand, Facebook will give an estimate of how many users you could potentially reach. When you choose how much you’re open to paying in total, that audience estimate will adjust accordingly. As you’d expect, the less you spend, the less people you’ll reach.

Along with the price, you will also select how long you want the boosted post to run for. There are default options of 1, 7, and 14 days, or you can choose a custom end date. Your total budget will then be taken and distributed across those number of days (e.g. $40 over 7 days equates to $5.71 per day). Facebook has further information in their help center here.

An Example of Success

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Above are the results of a boosted post we ran on our Odenza Sports Vacations page. With an investment of $40, the post reached 10,499 people and garnered 313 acts of social engagement, which included 79 clicks through to our offer page.

But what about the kind of results that most businesses are going to want the most? Do boosted posts actually lead to a profit?

The Financial Success of Boosting Facebook Posts

For Odenza’s B2C side (in this case, the Odenza Sports Vacations Facebook page), boosting posts have led to phenomenal results. To give you an indication of just how effective boosting your Facebook posts can be for overall ROI, here are some key results:

• Over the course of one month, we spent $120 on 4 boosted posts through our Odenza Sports Vacations page
• We generated 226 leads, and 16 of these leads became closed bookings
• Our cost per lead was only 53 cents

But how much money did we actually make? Well, on average each booking amounted to around $109. Within two bookings, we had already made our money back. In total, our revenue was $1,747 – that’s a whopping 1355.83% return on investment.

Now we’re not making any promises that you’re going to hit the same kind of ROI, because the success of boosting Facebook posts does depend on a wide range of factors. It goes without saying that if you want to make money off your boosted posts, you’ll want to ensure you’re boosting a post that is about an appealing limited time offer or something like a contest.

Another point worth remembering is that, in general, Facebook is a platform better suited to B2C. Most people don’t jump on Facebook to talk business, but if you’re boosting a post that is offering your average customer something really enticing and exciting, then you’ll have a far greater chance of success. Keep in mind that younger Facebook users tend to be more receptive to contests and/or promotions than older users.

Also ensure that whatever posts you boost have good design – an eye-catching image or video, for example. You’ll want this solid design to be accompanied by copy that breaks down your offer or special in a succinct, understandable manner, and comes with a link to exactly where the customer can redeem the offer.

There is power in boosting Facebook posts when approached correctly. Whether you handle this on your own or have an agency handle it for you, it’s an avenue of social media advertising that is certainly worth pursuing.

If you are looking for easy-to-use and effective prizes for a campaign on Facebook, consider the following:

• Tickets to an event
• Giveaway or cruise promotion
• A trip to Las Vegas

You can see lots of other options here: www.odenzaproducts.com; or you can fill out the below form to learn more about what we offer.

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Incentive Packages: What They Are & How to Use Them

By | Automotive, Eye-Catching Showrooms, General Retail, Jewelry Stores, Marketing, Outstanding Marketing, Powerful Closing Tools | No Comments

When it comes to advertising and marketing, there are so many products and services out there nowadays that it can be hard to fully understand what they do. As Odenza has specialized in the incentive travel market for 20 years, we know that explaining what our packages do is fundamental to clients knowing how they should use them and why they’re so valuable.

In this article, I want to provide you with an overview of what incentive packages are, how they can be used, and provide you with a couple of success stories along the way.

What are Incentive Packages?

As the name suggests, an incentive package – particularly travel incentives, in our case – is a product you can utilize to incentivize prospective customers toward a sale, inspire customer loyalty, and to motivate your team to strive for better results.

Say, for example, you run an auto dealership. You want to up your sales for the month, but you know that more run-of-the-mill offers such as cashback or free fuel for a year don’t bring in as much business as you’d like – and that’s because your local competitors are doing the exact same thing. If you were to throw in a unique incentive such as a 2-night trip to Vegas for two or a 7-day cruise with a vehicle purchase, this can command more people’s attention.

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This is the basic premise of travel incentives and, by extension, incentive packages. They’re a value-added perk for those customers who buy something from you. If you’re looking to motivate your sales team to reach higher benchmarks, then you could use a trip to Vegas as the incentive for the highest achieving team member.

How You Should Use Them

To give you an idea of how these types of incentives should be used, it’s worth talking about one of our myriad success stories: Sutherlin Nissan in Florida, which is headed by GM Lance Lopez. They have been using our travel incentives for years, and this is thanks to the notable success they have had with them. Along with a random prize wheel that allows customers to win a cruise, the same cruise incentive has been used as an effective closing tool.

When one of Sutherlin Nissan’s customers is not 100% sure about buying a vehicle, Lance Lopez notes, “We’ll say, ‘What if we throw in a cruise for two?’ 90 per cent of the time, they say yes.” Hitting such a high closing rate is significant, and a fundamental aspect of this success depends on how you sell these incentives to your customers. So a lazy, half-hearted approach is obviously going to fail. If you don’t care about the incentive, why would your customers?

Be sure to keep these other tips in mind:

Promote your incentive across the board: Whatever marketing or ad channels you make use of on a regular basis, ensure you’re promoting your latest incentive on those channels.

Use collateral in-store: if your business has a brick-and-mortar location, make sure marketing collateral about the incentive is there – table talkers, posters, balloons; Odenza can provide this collateral for you. If your business is purely operated online, then make sure you have banners, CTAs, and other digital collateral/graphics that promote the incentive

Social media: don’t be afraid to regularly remind your customers about your latest incentive promotions across all social platforms you use – and remember that they are powerful marketing channels nowadays

Train staff: Make sure your team is well-versed on the ins and outs of the incentives you’re offering so that they can confidently and enthusiastically explain to customers what the exact perks and parameters of the incentives are.

Is There a Magical Formula to Success?

No, of course not. The best approach will always depend on your business, where you’re located, how many local competitors you have, who your target market is, and much more. But one constant is those tips I mentioned above. If you fail to embrace any of them, it can have a notable impact on the ultimate ROI you get. While it may come off as a cliché, being 100% behind any incentive promotion is the best way of moving toward success.

For example, another Nissan dealership we worked with in Toronto (PDF download), Ontario, hit numbers that were 176% over their sales targets. And part of the reason why this happened is because they had something unique to offer (the incentive itself – a trip for two to Las Vegas), marketing collateral about the incentive was everywhere throughout the dealership, and every salesperson enthusiastically brought the offer to customers’ attention. It was such a success that they extended the promotion for another month and a half. And, similarly to Sutherlin Nissan in Florida, they found the incentives to be a fantastic closing tool for sales.

So while you may need to take time to consider the best approach for your business, whether you run an auto dealership or have your own jewelry store, ensuring this promotion is kept front-of-mind for customers and your staff is one guaranteed, integral constant.

If you want to utilize an incentive to inspire your own staff or sales team (e.g. you’ll be giving a trip or cruise away as a reward), then chances are that value proposition is going to be easier to sell to them. A travel incentive has a longer-lasting, positive effect on morale and productivity. It is certainly going to command more attention and happiness than a small cash bonus, which has a comparatively limited sense of worth – once it’s spent its perceived value vanishes. But with a trip, your staff has the excitement of the trip’s impending occurrence, the joy of the trip itself, the memories and photos and stories to share after the fact… There is a profound longevity to the reward and the experience it offers.

Getting Started

No matter what your business specializes in or whether you want to incentivize customers or motivate your team, travel incentives and other incentive packages are great solutions. To find out more, fill out the form below, contact us online, or call us on 1-866-883-2968.

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This is How Travel Incentives Boost Digital Marketing

By | Airfare Package / Vegas, Improving Social Media Engagement, Marketing, Outstanding Marketing, Standing Out from Your Competitors | No Comments

Travel Incentives Boost Digital Marketing

With digital marketing becoming wider spread and more powerful all the time, chances are your business may have be suffering from the same problem that many others are: having your marketing stand out against the competition. As with any aspect of marketing or advertising, remember that there are no magic tricks when it comes to succeeding. Digital marketing, whether it’s on Facebook or via an email, requires patience, trial and error, refinement, and constant effort.

In more ways than one, digital is the slow-burn approach to marketing. You will often have to spend hours at a time every day just crafting the content that will go out in your emails, social media, on your blog, and much more. However, the good news is there are ways for you to achieve temporary marketing boosts. These boosts have an immediacy to them that help complement the more slow-burn aspects of marketing and, for lack of a better phrase, pick up the slack in the meantime.

So without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

Travel Incentives and Digital Marketing: Perfect Companions

No doubt if you’re on our site, chances are you have an interest in travel incentives or, at the very least, want to learn a bit more about them. In the digital space, travel incentives can be utilized in a wide range of ways, from being a contest prize to simply being the incentive you’re offering in-store for anyone who purchases a certain product or spends X amount of money.

I’ll be showing you a couple of examples in the next section, but it’s always worth accounting for why something like a travel incentive or travel offer can work so well in the digital space. On a fundamental level, it’s really like any other special, limited time offer. Think of Amazon’s Prime Day deals or the Cyber Monday sales that happen the Monday after Black Friday.

The platform doesn’t matter – people want deals, they want great things for less money, and they want things that can better their lives. While you could argue the retail stampedes of Black Friday aren’t exactly bettering our lives, it’s also part of the reason why digital sales and digital shopping has become appealing by comparison. No lines, less likelihood of a sudden inventory shortage. So when you capitalize on the power of digital over traditional brick-and-mortar, it can have tremendous results.

Part of this is due to Millennials. Remember that Millennials are the largest generation in the US, so a company’s success can now lean quite heavily on them. Even industries that were concerned about Millennials not being in a position to buy their products, such as the auto industry, trends and supporting statistics tell a very different story. So with such a large portion of the population falling within the Millennial bracket, you’re looking at a demographic that grew up with and has gone on to fully embrace platforms where digital almost always reigns supreme.

Integrating Incentives with Digital

There are plenty of ways in which you can integrate incentives with your digital marketing efforts (or just your digital presence in general). One such example is how Fasada Home Remodeling, Co. promoted their free trip offers on their website via a “special offers” page.

As owner Ivica Jukica said: “We had a ‘special offers’ page, with details of the offer and images of the possible destinations that the customer could go to with this promotional program.” It helped craft a picture for prospective customers on what they could expect from the experience. And while Fasada’s mean of converting these customers was still ultimately at their brick-and-mortar location, their drive to fully embrace the power of the digital space boosted the campaign even further.

Another example is Visdom Mortgage Solutions, who we helped create and build their Facebook page. In the initial stages of building their social presence online, we focused on a combined effort of organic and sponsored content.

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On the sponsored front, Visdom utilized one of our Las Vegas travel incentives and we incorporated it into a focused and purpose-driven campaign of using that incentive to significantly build their page views, engagement, and overall follower numbers on Facebook.

Our efforts were executed over a period of 76 days and yielded Visdom phenomenal results, taking their page from 0 likes and views to 764 likes and thousands of views and engagement among Facebook users.

Measuring Digital Performance

What’s great about marketing on digital platforms is that almost everything you do is measurable. Whether you’re posting organic content or sponsored content, there are a host of metrics and analytics you can refer to. If you watched the above YouTube video about Visdom, you would’ve seen some real-world examples of the metrics you can have access to on Facebook.

These metrics give you an instant glimpse into how your efforts are working. Is that digital ad really hitting the numbers you wanted? What about sponsored post on LinkedIn or the most recent tweet you threw up on Twitter. The fact that most online metrics are also real time means you can identify your successes and shortcomings in the digital space and make alterations and refinements as needed.

This type of immediate insight and analysis is perfect when it comes to promoting travel incentives through digital channels. A value-added product such as an incentive will command plenty of attention, so being able to track how your promotional efforts for it perform online is invaluable.

If you want to learn more about how travel incentives can help your digital marketing efforts, be sure to get in contact with us online or fill out the form at the bottom of this page. Want to talk right now? Then give us a call us on 1-866-883-2968.

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Hundred-Year Retailer Closes its Doors – What are the Lessons?

By | General Retail, Inspiring Customer Loyalty, Marketing | No Comments

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

When I first heard that Ingledew’s was closing its doors after 100 years in business my first reaction was, Humph – oh well, there goes another one.

After all, the media has been filled with the news of retailer bankruptcies rising and rising for the past few years. One of the most popular recent TED talks is of Dan Bell, who filmed the urban decay of dead shopping malls. Apparently, nobody goes to the mall anymore or malls have been totally over built, again the message is the same: retail is dying.

RETAIL IS ALIVE AND WELL… thank you very much!

Here in Vancouver where I live, and quite literally across the street from where our offices are, there’s a mall called Brentwood Mall. Brentwood Mall is going through a multimillion-dollar revitalization. The parking lots, which are massive and common in most malls, are being replaced with residential towers. There is a new train station that opened a few years ago right across the street, and the entire neighborhood is being rebuilt. In the center of this all is a mall!

The same is going on 15 miles away at another mall called Oak Ridge. And another 15 miles away in another direction is Designer Outlets, the high-end outlet mall close to the airport and linked with the subway station. Last year a massive shopping center with a Cabela’s opened up across the river.

WHY DO PEOPLE SHOP?

Just this weekend my wife and two daughters, along with their aunts, all jumped in their cars and drove 30 miles to get together with all the sisters and spend the day shopping for new summer clothes.

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Retail’s future is not in its utility, but in the experience. People have not lost their desire for an experience, entertainment, or the bonding with friends and family. What people are looking for is proximity, a vibrant atmosphere, a connection with people, experiences that add value to their lives. Seems to me that Ingledew’s failed to offer all of these things.

6 STEPS THAT COULD HAVE SAVED INGLEDEW’S

1. Move away from the common lines sold at Nordstrom’s, the Bay, etc., and move towards premium brands at lower volume and higher prices.

2. Calculate the cost of the promotional discounting going on, 30% off, 50% off, 70% off these traditional products as mentioned above. The savings from the discounting can be pushed into a larger marketing budget.

3. Move more money towards female influencers and fashion forward influencers on social media.

4. Utilize more events, more giveaways, more prizes. Think more towards experiential rewards.

5. Customers are active on social media, so look for creative ways to place your product inside their lives. Think about tickets to a show and a customer snapping herself on a date with her new heels at a concert or show, or even a vacation incentive with her new sandals on a beach.

6. Don’t forget about your staff: training on the new products, involving them in social media, involving them in how your product is used. Leverage your staff to also be your brand ambassadors.

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YOU’RE NOT DEAD… THINK EXPERIENCE VS PRODUCT!

Life is not over for retailers but I fear, in the short term, it is going to be a lot tougher. But retail is not dead; it’s just changing. Think about how you can be more deeply involved in the experience with your product and your consumers. Your involvement in their lives is not over at the cash register, it’s just beginning – but you’ve got to bring some imagination to your marketing.

This is a 100-year-old company selling shoes and I, as a resident of the city, arguably their target market, had never heard of them. I buy shoes – I have a lot of shoes. And yet I had never heard of this company.

Only after hearing about their bankruptcy did I go and look at their website, and you know what I found? Really nice shoes. Those were my exact comments to my wife: “These are really nice shoes.”

When you’re in retail, your only job is to move product. In most cases, you don’t make the product, so you don’t have to worry about sourcing materials, manufacturing – maybe a little distribution if you have a warehouse, but really it’s just about pushing product.

And pushing product out the door is all about sales and marketing. Given the pressures on both of these fronts, the singular solution is creativity.

A LITTLE HUMILITY GOES A LONG WAY

I’m sorry, but thinking outside the box, coming up with innovative ways to market and sell… well that’s your only job. No, of course not everything’s going to work, but that’s part of the gig. You must not only be smart enough, but also a little humble. Good retail marketers know they must stay on top of technology and trends; but they have to experiment. You should try new things.

I talk to retailers every day and it’s the most common trait that I have found: this general unwillingness to be creative. You find your comfort zone, you have a good month, a good quarter, maybe even a good year, and that’s it. Maybe you think you have found the holy grail of marketing and retail because you’ve stitched together a few back to back periods with sales and profit growth.

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WHERE’S THE INNOVATION?

70% of our customers are retailers, so I have a vested interest in trying to get a message out to anybody who’s in retail that will listen. Open your eyes, open your ears, and let ideas flow. Try things, experiment – not everything is going to work, but that’s okay. Your job is to push product, and your job is to market and sell it, and you’ve got to continually find new, innovative, and creative ways to do it.

I don’t believe retail is dead; I believe retailers will succeed. So let fresh ideas through, and try some things that you may not have thought of – your very survival depends on it.

If you’d like to find out how Odenza can help, be sure to contact us online, fill out the form below, or call us on 1-866-883-2968.