Who’s Your Target? Promos That Don’t Make Sense

There are such things as bad ideas.

I have challenges with promotional efforts that don’t resound with the clarity of message or intended outcome that I think the marketer and their agents intend. Every so often, as an interested observer of the current marketing climate, I feel moved to write about an idea doesn’t seem to quite add up.

Clearly, I have no connection to the Domino’s Pizza organization – and I may have misunderstood or lost the intent of their current promotional campaign, but I lift it up as an example of not connecting directly with the end-user.

In this particular campaign, the promotion focuses on the opportunity to enter to win $10,000 of a store’s profit, Domino’s stock and some other prizes. While I’m not one to walk away from winning cash and stock (and lord knows, I’ve never met a promotion I didn’t like) this campaign just doesn’t seem to connect and feels awkward.

The promotion doesn’t feel authentic to the end-user of the product (the pizza-eater), which in turn feels like it diminishes the brand or relinquishes it to the pile of promotions that never realized their potential. Whether this was devised by a different department, or was meant to appease some other internal directive, it feels a little too “inside pizza” to actually work.

I ask myself, why is a pizza company talking about store profits and stock? Should you not be focused on the product?

As arts and events marketers, we see and hear ideas like this all the time when an individual (or board member) with good intentions believes they have a great idea, but isn’t thought through the different layers of what it means to not only attract attention, but get the end customer, donor or guest to do anything about it.

Most marketers have an internal checklist that they run through their mind when in the ideation process.

What are we really trying to say?

Who is this intended for?

Will it make the intended move to action?

The takeaway from this post is that sometimes just because you have an idea, doesn’t mean it will be successful. At the very least, the idea or promotion you are proposing needs to make an impact with the audience in a way that communicates your message in terms they understand. Mixing items and messages that people do not have familiarity with, nor connection to, does nothing to move you forward and in a way, sets you behind with the exhausting of human and financial resources.

Send me any examples you see that just don’t make sense to sking.aspire@gmail.com.

About

Sean King has been consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations for 25 years. Currently, Sean is a principal in the Aspire Consulting Group providing solutions and training for arts, events and non-profit marketing professionals and their organizations. Clients include Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) and a growing list of satisfied organizations. Sean speaks regularly throughout the U.S. including at the IFEA Annual Conference, Arts Reach Conference, AFP, 92Y, CiviCRM User Summit, PA Council on the Arts, Michigan Festivals & Event Annual Conference. Sean serves as the Marketing Chairperson for the Hamilton District Main Street, a program of the Allentown Chamber of Commerce in Allentown and is a Co-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee for the Upside Allentown initiative. You can follow Sean on Twitter @skingaspire or email him anytime at sking.aspire@gmail.com

Posted in Accountability, Arts, Brand, Content Marketing, Creativity, Failure, Marketing, Social Media

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About Sean King
Sean King has been consulting with small businesses and non-profit organizations for 25 years.  Currently, Sean is a principle in the Aspire Consulting Group providing solutions and training for arts, events and non-profit marketing professionals and their organizations. Clients include Youth Education in the Arts (YEA!) and a growing list of satisfied organizations. Sean speaks regularly throughout the United States including at the IFEA Annual Conference, Arts Reach Conference, AFP, 92Y, CiviCRM User Summit, PA Council on the Arts, Michigan Festivals & Event Annual Conference.  Sean serves as the Marketing Chairperson for the Hamilton District Main Street program in Allentown and is a Co-Chair of the Arts & Culture Committee for the Upside Allentown initiative. He also blogs a artsmarketingblog.org.  You can follow Sean on Twitter @skingaspire. Sean resides with his wife Natalie and son Haydn in the global crossroads of Fogelsville, Pa.