Marketing in a Recession With a Scratch and Win

When everything costs more, your overhead, raw materials, gas for work, you name it; it’s tempting to make-up for the cost by pulling money away from your marketing budget. You might think that it’s a safe move to make. If less people have money to purchase products, you can save the money you would spend on marketing to get those customers and weather the financial storm, right? Wrong!

The best move to make when the economy is unstable is to invest more in marketing your business. “It’s been proven that an increase in marketing spend during a recession can gain a long-term advantage for a brand,” says Nigel Hollis, Chief Global Analyst for Millward Brown, in the company’s April 2008 POV. There are two very compelling reasons why this is true: there is less competition for your prospects’ attention and adding value for customers through promotions becomes extremely effective.

There is less competition for your prospects’ attention when the economy is unstable. The fact is, it’s a scary thing to invest money in marketing when sales and income are low. You might feel that way, but the good news is that your competition does too.

Many businesses are falling prey to their fears and reducing their marketing budgets, in effect, reducing the amount of clutter for your prospects’ attention. This is when the playing field opens and you have the opportunity to make a big impression. Fight your fears by investing more in your marketing. You will get much more attention than you would by hiding with your competition.

Your customers’ budgets are low too, and adding value for your customers becomes extremely effective. Businesses and consumers are both paying more attention to the value of their purchases. After all, if you could get the same product or service from two places, but one offers a better value through discounted prices, rewards programs, etc. you’re going to get the better value.

A promotion can be a great way to add value to your business, and no promotional tool is better than Scratch and Win cards. If you’re using coupons to deliver discounts, stop now. Coupons are passive and it’s difficult to get your coupon noticed amongst hundreds of others. Use an interactive approach by utilizing Scratch and Win cards. You can use Scratch and Win cards to deliver discounts, free merchandise, or anything else you choose. Giving people a chance to win something adds potential value to their purchases and will help convince them to choose your business over your competitors’, especially if they win.

Scratch and Win cards are great for more than one time promotions, they make excellent customer loyalty programs that can generate repeat business and increased sales over time. An easy way to institute a customer loyalty program would be to give each customer a Scratch and Win card with their first purchase. Allow them to scratch off their card after they achieve a set amount of purchases or visits to your business.

Scratch Off Systems, a leading Scratch and Win card producer, has a two pages of case studies to show how their clients have used these methods. Foster’s Food Fair IGA used a Scratch and Win customer loyalty program with great success. They received a 44% redemption rate from return customers who purchased at least $290 to scratch off their customer loyalty card! You can read their full Scratch and Win case study on the Scratch Off Systems website.

Promotions and loyalty programs can be the difference that makes a prospect choose you over your competitor. Remember, don’t be afraid to market your business when money is tight. That is how you stand out from your competition and add value for your customers.