Future-proofing promotions to guarantee future success

Marketing
May 16, 2022
Reza Javanian
Editorial Content Writer
7
Min to read

One of the obvious but most fundamental facts about the age of digital transformation is that technology never stops transforming. You can take up the most cutting-edge software solutions available today, fine tuning your tech stack to stay ahead of the competition. However, your competitive edge won’t last long unless you future-proof your tech solutions.

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Future-proofing is by definition “the process of anticipating the future and developing methods of minimizing the effects of shocks and stresses of future events.” Within the technological context, future-proofing is mainly concerned with building an integrated toolkit of third-party solutions, which gives a business its desired capacity to:

  • Maximize its operational agility
  • Minimize its time-to-market product launches
  • Boost its flexibility
  • Run at scale 

Why do promotions need future-proofing?

Promotions have a direct relationship with consumer behavior because their major purpose is to serve the needs of customers in the most efficient way. Consumer beliefs and behaviors are evolving rapidly and promotions should too

A recent study by McKinsey refers to customer expectations as ‘Great Expectations,’ inviting brands to take the concerns of millennials and Gen Z into serious consideration. The study showed, for example, that 76% of millennials and Gen Z consumers expect brands to take action on societal issues. 

Companies have recognized the change in consumer expectations, vying to create outstanding customer experiences because they know customers today show little hesitation to sever their relationship with a brand if their expectations fall short. They know they’ll lose out if their promotions aren’t cutting edge. 

Quality promotions are able to move the needle by attracting your ideal customers and holding their attention long term. They serve your present needs and, more importantly, offer solutions for your future requirements. Your in-house solution might serve your most pressing needs but will fail to respond to continuous updates and constant fine-tuning that quality promotions require. That’s why companies are increasingly trying to create a reliable ecosystem of microservices to get access to their required promotion solutions. 

How can you determine if you need to future-proof your promotions by buying an agile and scalable solution? The following questions help you make an informed decision:

What is the opportunity cost of developing an in-house promotion solution?

Opportunity cost is the profit lost when one alternative is selected over another. It’s particularly important when internal resources are limited and you have to make a decision which brings value to your organization and its stakeholders. 

The first step toward future-proofing your promotions is to measure the opportunity cost of software development by relying on your own developers. You should think about the time that your development team can spend on your core products shouldn’t they have to work hard to meet deadlines for a promotion solution.

Do you have a hard time understanding your promotion priorities?

Your promotions strategy will bring a host of benefits only if you have a vivid picture of your top priorities. Based on these priorities, you can build/buy a solution that leads to your optimal outcome. The following features can be among your top priorities:

  • Flexibility: If your business operates across different channels, you may wish to have a promotion solution that works well regardless of the channel your customers interact with your brand.
  • Personalization: Your promotion solution will maximize customer engagement only if it’s able to personalize your offers. Coupons, vouchers, gift cards, referrals, etc. are effective when you send your customers targeted messages.
  • Cost: This is a defining factor in your capacity to create outstanding customer journeys and drive sales through promotions. Cheap solutions may work for a specific campaign with limited outreach, but they can’t future-proof your promotions.
  • Ease of integration: If you decide to future-proof your promotions, a powerful promotion engine can guarantee your success in the long term. You should look for a vendor that has already established partnerships with other microservices and clients. This way you can ensure that you buy a solution that integrates easily and seamlessly with your tech stack, strengthening your core competency. 

Do your customers get loyalty points but the redemption rate is low?

A key element that is often overlooked in promotions discussion is the redemption rate of the points that customers gain as a result of their interaction with a brand. These loyalty points can be a tool to measure your ROI only if they’re redeemed online and/or at the physical stores. Ideally, you want your customers to redeem their points for more experiences with your brand rather than direct cashbacks. If your promotions have a low redemption rate or result in high cash withdrawal, you need to reconsider your promotions solution.

Does your in-house promotion solution fail to respond to your scalability needs?

As your business grows, you need a scalable promotions solution that is capable of supporting your customer base across the globe. You also begin to form many partnerships and run a lot of joint campaigns with your partners, which means your promotions solution should integrate not only with your tech stack, but with theirs too. 

Does your R&D have enough time to spend on future-proofing your promotions?

It’s quite acceptable that your R&D team wants to spend their time primarily on providing insights into the market and developing new products. As a result, they may have less time to specifically think about future-proofing your promotions. When considering the pros and cons of buy vs. build approaches, you should bear in mind that your reliable vendor can 

  • support your existing needs
  • Do the research and development that you need to future-proof your solution

Case study: How Share Now future-proofed its promotions

Share Now is a joint venture of BMW and Daimler offering point-to-point car rentals in cities across Europe. They needed a promotions solution that not only supported their multiple tiers with behavior-based point allocation, but gave them the reassurance that they can run promotional campaigns without any restrictions in the future. That’s why they chose Talon.One as their reliable promotion engine. 

According to Share Now’s CMSO, Raphael Stange, “when we searched for a loyalty partner, we looked for a company that was able to continuously develop itself because we wanted to be assured that they will be there for us tomorrow as well.” Talon.One enabled Share Now to save up months of development work. As Raphael says, “Talon.One is our loyalty brain. Working with Talon.One allowed our software developers to save up months of work because we could completely rely on Talon.One’s product.”

The experience of Share Now indicates Talon.One’s differentiation from competitors. Talon.One’s promotion solution integrates seamlessly with CRMs and other third party APIs, allowing you to get up and running quickly with a scalable, versatile and future-proof promotion solution. You can benefit from in-depth product and developer docs that guide you in every step of the way. 

If you’re interested in knowing more about how using the best third-party tools can ensure you’re not left behind, check out our latest white paper: The Importance Of Low Latency in eCommerce.

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White Paper: Retail & ecommerce promotion strategy 2022
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