Promotional Marketing 101 – An Open Letter To Nestle
Today I had two cravings. The first was for something sweet. And because it was mid-afternoon, I also found myself needing a little jolt of caffeine. So I thought I’d satisfy both needs by getting myself some CHOCOLATE. Mmmmmm. Yeah! Good stuff. Unfortunately I couldn’t find my favorite chocolate bar (sorry!), so I instead settled for the consistently scrumptious Nestle Crunch Bar.
I tore into the wrapper, broke off a nice chunk, and nearly broke the world record for chocolate ingestion.
And as I just about to throw away the wrapper, I noticed there was something written on the inside of the wrapper. I looked closer….
NESTLE Promotion Code:
To learn more about this code,
Hmmmm….looks like you’re trying to engage your consumers through some promotional marketing…nice! Let’s call the phone number and here what you have to say….
“Thank you for calling the Nestle Confections promotion line. We aren’t running any promotions at this time, but keep checking back periodically for updates on new promotions. You can also check for current promotions on our brand websites. Save your wrappers for the next promotions, they don’t expire. Thanks for givng us a call, and good luck with the next promotion.”
Now before I mention all the negatives about this recorded message, let me first say that I think you should be applauded for even trying to engage with your customers like this. Post-sale customer engagement is a key driver to increase the lifetime value of a customer, and it seems like you get that!
Okay, now let’s look at some of the “items for improvement” about this message….
1) Perhaps most obvious, don’t tell me that I have a promotion code and to call a number for more information and then have the gall to tell me that my promotion code is meaningless. If a promotion code is not useful right away, it’s NOT useful at all. Simple as that. And telling me to save my chocolate-stained wrapper is both impractical AND annoying.
2) Why should I have to “keep checking back” myself to find out about new promotions? Why are you putting the responsibility on me (come on… do you *really* want to put the burden of responsibility on consumers to “keep checking back”, especially when the incentive is unknown?!)
3) Even if I *do* want to “keep checking back”, you’re not giving me detailed information on how to do it. I’m supposed to keep calling this 1-800 number? Also, what “brand websites” are you talking about? www.crunchbar.com? Does your target demographic really know all of the domain names for your brands?
4) …And this one pretty much sums it up – You’ve left me feeling worse than I did than before I called. I called excited about the chance of participating in a promotion…excited about the possibility of an incentive… but now you’re telling me you’re not offering any promotion or incentive? Come on Nestle, you’ve taken me from excitement to annoyance in about 5 minutes. Not what you want I think.
Okay, because I really love your Nestle Crunch bars, I’m going to offer up some advice for you. Perhaps it will be helpful to others too as they think about their advertising campaigns….. Most of these tips are ways to address the negatives I mentioned above…
A) First, give me a promotion to participate in. You told me I have a promotion code, and that I should call a 1-800 number for more information. So I’m going into that call thinking about this upcoming promotion I’m about to learn about. So GIVE ME a promotion for goodness sake. And if you truly can’t run a promotion now for whatever reason, here’s an idea…… (and this ties into the second tip):
B) Direct me to a website where I can give you my e-mail address! You’ve already (obviously) got an interested consumer since I’ve taken the time to call the phone number….chances are I’ll also be willing to give you my e-mail address. By getting my e-mail address, you effectively have my permission to let me know about current promotions, future promotions, new products, other products I might be interested in, etc. And of course, you’re taking the burden of responsibility away from me to follow-up with you…now YOU can follow up with me, whenever you so choose!
C) When you direct me to that website to capture my e-mail address, make sure you entice me to opt-in. Whatever you do, don’t send me a page that tells me that there are “no promotions returned from database!” (screenshot taken from the Nestle Special Promotions website:
So in summary, good job Nestle for trying to engage with your consumers through a strategy that can certainly be effective. Promotional marketing is huge, and you’re putting the real estate on your wrappers to good use by engaging your consumers. But please…if you’re going to spend the time and money to implement a strategy like this, please do it effectively.
Either way, I still love your Nestle Crunch bars.
Nestle Fan from New Jersey
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