Promos Face a ‘Push’ or ‘Pull’ Future

Discussion
Sep 03, 2013

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Hanifin Loyalty blog.

At the Retailer Roundtable in Portland, ME last month, Alex Rampell, CEO TrialPay, questioned how ‘offers’ should be driven and insisted the model has to change from "push" to "pull" to build sustainable economic models in the future.

Examples of ‘push’ offers are demonstrated by the full frontal approach of Groupon, LivingSocial and Amazon Daily Deals. Offers are also delivered in more ‘mysterious’ ways through card-linked offers from the likes of Cardlytics, Edo and Swipely. Add to this the favorite tool of search networks Google and Yahoo, stalker ads known as re-targeting, and you have the full picture.

TrialPay is an alternative e-commerce payment system in which a consumer gets an item for free from a participating merchant in exchange for buying or trying out another product or service from a TrialPay advertiser. Based on a CrunchBase profile, the company has raised about $55 million in investor funding.

As Mr. Rampell explained, his opinions are influenced by a growing acknowledgement that consumers are aware of the value of their personal data and won’t opt-in as easily for offers unless value is detected.

At the same event, Mark Bonchek, founder of ORBIT, a digital marketing consultancy, advocated for "purposeful data collection." Brands adopting this practice would more intelligently use data to predict "not just what I do like, but what I might like" as a means of organizing and executing promotional offers. The legacy language of "targeting customers," Mr. Bonchek argued, makes the average consumer feel threatened, as if they were a deer wandering the woods during hunting season. That’s not the feeling you want to impart to your customers each time they type in a Google search, or flip on a smartphone while walking the mall.

Mr. Bonchek also talked about how marketers can create a branded currency through the combination of coupons, gift cards and loyalty points to create a valuable asset for consumers. The concept of branded currency combines purchasing power and brand preference in a highly liquid and available means of transacting commerce, and is described more thoroughly in recent article in Harvard Business Review.

Creation of effective offer strategies in the future will leverage latent data to expose assumptions about current understanding. Offer creation will be grounded in predictive models and will acknowledge the personality as well as personal lifestyle of the consumer. The execution journey will reinforce each step of the personalized customer journey in real time, provide (near) instant feedback, and reinforce valuable behaviors for the brand.

Will offers shift successfully from push to pull? Do you think the concept of creating “branded currency” through the combination of coupons, gift cards and loyalty points will take flight as described in Harvard Business Review?

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6 Comments on "Promos Face a ‘Push’ or ‘Pull’ Future"

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David Biernbaum
Guest
4 years 3 months ago

This will vary by product type and brand type. But overall, there will need to be more pull than push in the supermarket, chain drug, and mass market industries for everyday consumer goods and niche brands to drive better results.

Adrian Weidmann
Guest
4 years 3 months ago
Brands need to move their digital shopper marketing initiatives from push to pull strategies in order to establish and maintain a valued communication with their customer. More sophisticated predictive and recommendation modeling needs to complement this ‘pull’ strategy. Shoppers will not provide information or ‘opt-in’ to programs that they know will simply be used against them to stalk their every move online or in life. Brands need to create a ‘currency’ that their shoppers can use across all digital touchpoints with that brand. This will allow the brand to provide and conduct an on-going communication that is valued and trusted… Read more »
Ralph Jacobson
Guest
4 years 3 months ago

This is all about brand value. A brand can only “pull” if there are compelling offers that consistently position the brand to provide the value the shopper seeks. “Branded currency” may take some time to truly emerge as a viable trend, as there must be an adoption by the marketplace and that may not immediately materialize.

Don Delzell
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Don Delzell
4 years 3 months ago
The penetration rate for ShopMyWay rewards at Sears may be an indicator of the potential for the type of outcome the HBR article projects. In some situations, demographics and retail categories, it is clear that not only will consumers accumulate significant branded currency, but that they will use it in a meaningful way to complete purchasing. The real key is whether these purchases represent any incrementality and, if not, whether they act as a buffer against brand abandonment. In the event that the purchasing is not incremental, then the value of the program has to be measured against other forms… Read more »
John Boccuzzi, Jr.
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John Boccuzzi, Jr.
4 years 3 months ago

This approach has been used in grocery for over 30 years. Themed co-op promotions built a successful business around the model. Buy a power brand (Coke or Pepsi for example) and get a lesser known brand for free. The lesser known brand funded the program since they were building trial through the drawing power of the power brand. I could see this model working with other items outside of grocery. Get $10 off Nike sneakers by agreeing to try a new brand of power drink. The $10 off and free item would be funded by the power drink company. 

Lee Kent
Guest
4 years 3 months ago
Let me begin by saying that more targeted offerings is not what turns ‘push’ into ‘pull’. I must be speaking another language today because I had to read this three times to actually get what was being said. I got totally hung up on the use of the words ‘push’ and ‘pull’. When you use the word ‘offer’, you pretty much just switched to ‘push’. A great example of ‘pull’ is when a consumer goes to say, Pinterest, and sees a pair of shoes she thinks are sooo cute. She repins or ‘pulls’ the shoes to herself. Now with Pinterest’s… Read more »
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