Editor's Notes: Marketers With Game
As of press time, free shipping was expected to be the most popular promotion run by marketers during the 2008 holiday shopping season. But it certainly wasn’t the only strategy that businesses brainstormed to compete for cash-strapped customers.
Gadgets purveyor Brookstone offered to exchange consumers’ gift cards in any amount from any other retailer for a one-time, 15 percent discount on qualifying in-store purchases. The promotion was reminiscent of its early 2008 campaign that capitalized on the financial woes of The Sharper Image, which was prohibited from honoring gift cards issued after it filed for bankruptcy, opening the door for Brookstone to extend a 25 percent discount in return for some of its rival’s business.
On the customer retention front, one marketer got innovative not only to keep customers from straying in search of greener pastures, but also to bolster spending levels. Deciding it needed to do more than preach to customers about the long-term benefits of maintaining their marketing efforts during a recession, HRmarketer.com is helping clients do so with interest-free, monthly installment payment plans. According to HRmarketer.com, clients pinched by the lack of business credit can use this program to pay for lead-generation campaigns over time, perhaps even with revenue resulting from the campaigns themselves.
Another marketer dug a little deeper for an idea that could benefit customers as well as the surrounding community. The New Jersey Nets basketball franchise developed the Nets Employment Program, an effort that swapped 1,500 free tickets to home games in return for unemployed fans’ résumés. Jobless fans that submitted résumés were eligible to receive up to four tickets to any of five selected home games. More importantly, résumés were shared with Nets corporate season ticket holders and more than 100 business partners, including UPS, TD Bank, Coca-Cola and EmblemHealth. The Nets also held a career fair before one of their home games. At press time, the program had collected more than 1,000 résumés.