Arnaud Laugier, EMEA Marketing Director marking and coding specialist, Markem-Imaje, considers the effects of promotional codes on long-term sales
In today’s competitive confectionery market, any promotional tool that adds value beyond a short-term sales increase has to be worth consideration. While traditional tools such as discounting remain a staple in the retailer’s armouy, more sophisticated methods are rapidly gaining traction. Promotional coding for instance, which involves the use of ‘unique intelligent numbers’ has become increasingly popular with confectionery brands, and could see the demise of alternatives such as price cuts.
Unique numbers used for on-pack promotions are helping brand owners to get better value from the consumer data these numbers allow them to capture. Indeed, many brand owners currently include a unique number, even if they are not running a promotion.
Key to the success of promotional coding is the customer’s interaction with the brand. It is something that on-pack promotions, which have no link to purchase, cannot replicate. By providing every customer with a unique code, brands can obtain detailed marketing data that price cutting promotions never can. In addition, promotional codes provide a more effective method of rewarding consumer loyalty, allowing a more strategic marketing approach, leading to longer-term sales growth.
Not just a number
Promotional codes are not simply random numbers. These intelligent codes are not sequential, there is no logic to their sequence and they are completely separate from date batch, best before or Julian codes.
These are 8, 10, 12 or more alphanumerical digits and with every purchase, consumers can claim a reward, entering their codes via smart phones, social media platforms or brand websites to claim points, cash, coupons, or enter prize draws.
Knowledge is power
The data that unique codes help brands to gather, enable a strategic and more powerful approach, providing more information about consumer behaviour than any other form of promotion. This knowledge can be used to produce smarter, more targeted communications, getting the right message, to the right person, at the right time.
Not only does the use of intelligent unique codes provide brands with the key information they need – who bought their product, what exactly they bought and when they bought it – it instantly removes the need to buy in data from third parties.
Path to purchase
Driving sales is the bottom line for any promotional activity but as brands simultaneously seek long term loyalty and growth, the importance of using promotional activity more strategically grows.
Collecting valid proof-of-purchase data helps to track consumer behaviour, providing insight to the ‘path to purchase’ and enabling personalised communications to build brand engagement.
Having the right coding hardware means this can be done with minimal impact on the production line and the reality is that return on investment is such that any brand, large or small, can justify their use.
Working in partnership
The potential return on investment is plain to see and it is clear that the combination of a simple-to-execute coding platform, with an easy to use coding process that can interface seamlessly with code creation and redemption systems, will see a continued increase in the use of unique promotional codes.
The X60/128 thermal transfer printer is capable of printing up to 128mm maximum width to accommodate large messages and has been designed to deliver consistently high-quality printing of labels, ingredients or multi-pack applications in the food industry. The C350 is capable of coding over 100,000 products-per-hour with an industry leading print quality and code legibility and features a print capacity of 30 to 120 characters. The modular design of the SmartLase coder also allows for easy maintenance as the laser head can be changed in minutes and built-in sensors provide diagnostic information.