1. Stayed focused on two or three core promotional messages. Consumers do not have the time or interest to absorb a long list of messages from any one company. Some folks who execute well on “less is more” — Apple, Geico, WalMart, and makers of luxury goods like Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Johnny Walker. Also two hospitals — Cleveland Clinic and Lenox Hill in New York City.
See also: 5 Great Home-Based Businesses
2. Humor has never been needed more than in fragile financial times like now. Life is tough enough for most people without advertisers piling on with warnings about the future — medical, financial, or otherwise. Capital One understands the power of humor. So does VW with their highly popular Darth Vader ads. We need to make consumers smile and feel good. Now more than ever.
3. Get the family involved. Offers for the whole family will get more attention in 2012 and beyond. Wanting to spend more time with one’s family has been an upward trend Researchers have been tracking ever since 911. Car manufacturers pay attention to this trend as do resorts and certain restaurants. Having an offer the family can enjoy will help grow your business for sure.
4. Outsource your web management. 2012 is the year to finally stop trying to manage your website yourself. Firms that specialize in web design, management, and content creation can manage your site faster, better, and cheaper than you.
5. Track your customers surfing. What other sites are they visiting? There are software programs now that can tell you. One firm out in front with this capability is Infogroup based in Omaha, Nebraska. See, Warren Buffet has some high tech neighbors out there in the middle of nowhere.
6. Contemplate addressable advertising. Several major TV CABLE providers now allow you to personalize ads to different households and even announce in advance the ads will be geared toward the specific family unit. This relatively new capability has huge potential for building a whole new “channel” of distribution and overcoming the TIVO enabled skipping over of your precious ads.
7. Loyalty programs. There are so many today they have overwhelmed consumers and many just sign up and never do much more than that. Make no mistake — the only loyalty program that really works is a stated discount for every purchase that is visible at the point of sale. Barnes & Noble figured this out a long time ago which is one reason they are still around and Borders is history. Smart supermarkets have similar programs which often vary the discount by item in conjunction with the food distributor. Programs that don’t work anymore are those that require a buildup of purchases before your first discount comes available.