Part IV: Offer Management
Not normally considered in traditional marketing mix, offer management is one of the most critical aspects. If you want to change your sales, you need to make an offer. An offer is a pre-negotiated (and temporary) change to your value proposition so you can increase your level of business. The reason it’s not a full change to the price/feature mix is that an offer allows a company to stimulate conversion decisions based on “limited time” benefits, and not make a permanent sacrifice to process and margins.
As a pre-negotiated “package” or promotion, an offer has the following characteristics:
- Benefits: which are seen as a change from the standard value proposition (like a discount or a freebie).
- Benefits are the creative and costly part of an offer. They are intentionally provocative and gratifying. The benefits should have a special appeal to the audience
- Benefits Deliverable: (how someone receives the benefits of your offer –.via a coupon, link to order site, document/file download, points, cash, merchandise delivery… you name it)
- Delivery sometimes involves supply chain considerations and costs
- Terms and Conditions: (one per customer, you must apply or redeem, proof of eligibility, etc.)
- Conditions sometimes involve reciprocity: if you give me information, I’ll give you a benefit. These may involve supply chain considerations as well.
- Limited duration
- A tag line
- A description
- A theme (generally coordinated with the campaign and target audience)
The better your offer, the more likely you are to get initial conversions/responses. The more responses, the higher your costs but the more likely you will receive revenue. Sometimes your offer is limited to the first X responses because of a resource constraint. Again, I recommend that you do some modeling to determine the likely response based on the list characteristics and campaign timing.
The offer is not part of any out-of-the-box CRM offering. A customized plug-in can provide a build-time configurator for the campaign entity so you can reuse offer archetypes. It can also give you run-time BI for dashboard and reporting that lets you track campaign success against them and costs, etc. Emtec’s Offer Plugin has a definition package that even lets edge systems comprehend the nature of the offer so business rules can jump to other systems like billing and credit, fulfillment, loyalty, POS, and ecommerce.
Next we will discuss outbound and inbound channels and the media and creative work needed to get the message across. Stay tuned, we’re nearly finished building our campaign in Microsoft CRM.