Building an effective digital offer is no easy task, with many different aspects going into it. Of course, there is the finance side: figuring out budgets and the best discount for your marketing dollar. But what if you understood your customer just a little bit better?
At RevTrax, when we enable our clients through our OfferArchitect™ product, we put both monetary and non-monetary insights to work. We consider non-monetary insights comprised of psychological, social, cognitive and emotional factors on purchase decisions, and utilize the most advanced research techniques, including data science, and multivariate testing. Here’s a glimpse into the process we take at RevTrax to provide our clients with creative digital offers that increase in-store traffic:
Real Business Challenges
Consider the busy holiday season. Both Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) manufacturers and retailers face enormous pressure to deliver against sales objectives. They must ask themselves, “Have the digital incentives put forward been optimized via proven testing methodologies? Or are they simply someone’s ‘best guess?’” In today’s stiffly competitive market, someone’s best guess simply is not good enough. And in the age of data, if CPGs and retailers have access to more consumer data than ever before, why not use it to their advantage when building an offer?
Master the Art & Science of Promotion Optimization
Trade Promotion Management and Trade Promotion Optimization software are mainstays for companies who recognize the importance of effective promotion management. However, these data-driven platforms often fall short in overall accuracy, as they ignore the often irrational and unpredictable behavior of the shopper.
“The data never lies” is a well-known axiom amongst data scientists. But in fact, the data will shift based on consumer actions, and dramatic behavioral changes can be triggered (as per RevTrax’s research) by variables that may have once been thought of as inconsequential – including, but not limited to, modifications on the below in the context of a coupon:
- Photo – RevTrax research indicates that expectant mothers are more likely to respond to a banner ad featuring a mother holding an infant than to a simple product shot.
- Keyword – RevTrax research indicates that “free” is an extremely compelling call-to-action.
- Color – Consider both the creative impact of the banner in conjunction with the coupon itself to drive redemption.
Applying Principles of Behavioral Economics
Behavioral Economics studies the effects of psychological, social, cognitive and emotional factors on the economic decisions of individuals. The core premise is that shoppers are more compelled to make purchase decisions based upon subconscious – and often irrational – biases, not only upon price.
Heuristics are integral to Behavioral Economics-based testing platforms. A heuristic technique is an approach to problem solving, learning, or discovery that is based on experimentation, evaluation or trial-and-error methodologies. They are typically the mental shortcuts that ease the cognitive load of making a decision – the rules of thumb, the intuitive judgments and the common sense.
Smart Hedonic Bundling
Bundling is an innovative, proven method for merchandising multiple products. A bundled promotion includes a second or third offer with the purchase of the first item, and the discount is only provided if all items are purchased together. The featured item is always more hedonically oriented, personally satisfying or self-gratifying, versus the more utilitarian nature of the secondary offers. The underlying premise has profound shopper implications as it mitigates post-purchase uncertainties with immediate term satisfaction.
Offer Framing Principles
Consumers exhibit dramatically different responses to an offer proposition depending on the stimuli. Shopper meaning is predicated on the entire context of the offer, not only the price discount – the main topic. By changing or modifying the surrounding elements, the meaning of the main topic or context is also changed. For example, a “salad kit” promotion can be messaged as “$2.00 Off” or alternatively “A healthy meal alternative for only $3.50,” reflecting the final price after the discount. Each has a different meaning and will result in different purchase patterns amongst consumers.
The Importance of Live Environmental Testing
Imagine a CPG company building a digital offer for dog food in the form of a banner ad. Say the banner ad has four distinct variables: photography, color, copy, and call to action, and each variable has four distinct values. Using simple combinations, there are 4x4x4x4 possibilities for how this banner ad will ultimately look, or 256 combinations. Needless to say, most companies and retailers do not have the time or resources to conduct adequate testing for all possible combinations. This is where marketers must consult experts in order to conduct highly efficient testing to find the needle in the haystack.
RevTrax uses our proprietary technology and data science techniques to offer our clients real-time testing in a live production environment with a national audience. And we do it fast.
Of 256 possible combinations in the above example, the CPG company will only have to create one barcode, and RevTrax will iteratively test all 256 combinations using both multivariate testing and AB testing techniques. With each round of testing and refining, we get closer to and ultimately reach the most effective offer.
- OfferArchitect™ methodology is ecosystem-inclusive, ingesting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative input from target consumers to key stakeholders.
Only OfferArchitect™ Can…
- Test against national shopper audiences, across retailer types and formats, and across digital channels in a live production environment.
- Deliver hard-attribution metrics, link offline purchase transaction to online shopper engagement, separating those “intending to buy” from those who “actually bought.”
- Provide enterprise-wide insights for all national and field marketing teams.
- Incorporate banner advertisement and coupon offer combinations; no interest in the banner ad often means a shopper will never click through to view the coupon.
Interested in a new paradigm in offer testing?
Contact RevTrax at 1-866-996-TRAX (8729) for more information.
About the Author
James Xing, PhD
James is our resident expert on digital promotions datasets. He advocates, evangelizes and builds data-fueled products that help RevTrax deliver improved business outcomes for our customers. Prior to RevTrax, James was the senior eBusiness analyst at Taylor Corporation where he dramatically improved digital advertising efficiencies while managing a multimillion dollar portfolio of client online advertising investments. James holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biotechnology from Peking University, China, a Master of Applied Statistics degree and a Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry degree from the Ohio State University.