A full house and ringing tills – that’s what all retailers want when they plan a point-of-sale promotion or activity. It’s hard to beat the buzz you get from seeing all of your extra hard work pay off. Retailers can themselves adjust three levers to help guide the success of any event: advertising, PR and social media. After all, regular and potential customers can only show up if they have first heard about what is planned and know when and where it is due to take place. Timing is crucial in this regard.
You have to make yourself heard above the crowd when publicising in-store promotions. Retailers generate great attention when they succeed in coordinating their advertising and PR work while harnessing the power of the bush telegraph via social media. If there is an ad motif available, it feeds all other channels at the same time. After all, it can be included as a PDF file with a press release, used as an advertisement or distributed via social media.
You need to leave enough time for the design work and printing when using conventional advertising with printed materials such as postcards and flyers. Retailers have to decide in advance what catchy name they will give their campaign and the message and motif they wish to use to advertise their POS promotion. It is sufficient to have flyers in store around three weeks before the event and signs hanging two weeks in advance. Postal mailings should reach homes one week before the event at the most. People generally do not hang on to flyers for longer than that.
Retailers also hope to hook new customers with exciting promotions. These can be reached via regional media. For editors to run a press release, however, the activity must be really special, bring an artist to the city or offer readers something spectacular. It is often easier to announce the date in event magazines or take out an ad in local media to appear one week in advance at the most. If the activity might also appeal to families with children, regional family magazines are another interesting means of getting the word out. But editors often want details of events to be sent to them by the start of the previous month already.
That is why advance media planning is so important. You have to really consider the media in which the event should be promoted in order to research the various editorial deadlines and get the information out on time.
A promotion is welcome content if you are running a social media channel or website. Don’t go in all guns blazing, however – it is worth thinking about how to build anticipation. You might start with a “save the date”, followed by a summary of the event, perhaps an invitation to take part in a social media activity and then a reminder on the eve of the event.
If you do not have your own social media channels or website, watch out for channels that might suit your event. Is there a retailers’ association which lists all retail promotions in the city? Or does your city have an events calendar covering cultural and other events? The more unusual the planned event, the more likely it is to be picked up on by others and also promoted by customers on social media. At the end of the day, you have to get word of your promotion out there and beat your own drum to succeed.
What is my message? A catchy phrase is essential to the effectiveness of a PR and advertising campaign.
A media plan shows precisely when each channel has to be activated to achieve maximum attention.