Companies are implementing an unprecedented number of campaigns in order to overcome consumers’ fear of spending. It has come to the point that, in some companies, the campaign meetings that were being held once a month are being held every week or every day. Everyone is trying to persuade the consumer. With this goal in mind, there are even those who are making 365 day reductions and those like Turkcell which runs 800 campaigns a year. Even those who never launch campaigns have begun to implement aggressive marketing strategies.
“In a time when the fear of spending has increased, we are trying to boost the economy through promotional campaigns. Last year we organized 800 campaigns.” Turkcell Deputy General Manager Responsible for Marketing Develioğlu says that this is how they are trying to overcome consumers’ fear of spending. It is not just in GSM, the crisis has resulted in campaigning strategies being remade in virtually every sector and company, from automotives to real estate, retail to luxury products. While the greatest interest has been in those which are price-focused and which offer significant advantages in payment terms, experts say that they think the most successful returns come from campaigns which are directed at cross sales. As a result of one example of this type of campaign which was launched by Turkcell last New Year, Boyner gained fully 500,000 new customers.
Experts define a campaign as all activities which are designed to initiate or increase sales. In campaigns, changes are made in factors such as the product’s packaging, distribution, size or price in order to create added value for the customer and, as a result, increase sales. The target market is identified before the campaign starts. Then the most important thing to do is to determine the campaign strategy. Compared with the past, this is where there is the most important difference today. Previously, campaigns used to be product-focused, but as a result of the crisis they are now mostly price-focused. The strategies are based on lowering profits.
Advantage Based Campaigns
Campaign strategies are mostly based on providing the customer with a price advantage and benefits. Experts say that the cut-throat price campaigns are generally designed to try to recover lost market share or achieve annual targets. In price-based campaigns, companies usually prefer applications such as reductions of up to 50 percent, postponed payments and 12 month instalments.
Their Partnerships Come To The Fore
The biggest difference between the campaigns of today and those that were conducted in the past is the partnerships. The partnerships that began between banks and companies have recently broadened to include other brands. This has increased cooperation between brands and cross-sales processes. For example, Turkcell has partnerships with 20 brands. In advantages to the campaigns it runs itself, Turkcell also offers users extra reductions through the agreements it has signed with member workplaces. “Last year, we enabled 6 million of our users to benefit by TL 120 million as a result of our brand partnerships,” says Develioğlu. He adds that the “Those Turkcell subscribers who want a reduction raise their finger” campaign that they launched in the middle of March has provided customers with benefits of TL 25 million within 1.5 months.
Banks’ Success Factor
Almost every brand has a partnership with more than one bank. If it is a national brand, then it can comfortably have partnerships with 8-10 banks a year. For example, Boydak Holding, which owns the İstikbal, Bellona and Regina brands, has partnership agreements with eight banks. Mustafa Boydak says that the campaigns they have run in partnership with banks over the last three years have played an important role in their rising sales graphics. “We run one payment every two months credit card campaigns for all of our brands. In the year as a whole, we have 6 campaigns,” he says.
How Should A Campaign Be Conducted?
The preparations for an ideal campaign should begin one year in advance. In order to be successful it should, as George Whalin, the head of Retailing Consultants and the author of the book “Retail Success” says, be different and innovative.
Marketing guru Don Schultz says that in order for the campaigns to achieve their target it is necessary first of all to inform all the employees and calculate the budget very well.
Ayçe Tarcan Aksakal