Product Offers stimulate market activity by creating an incentive to buy your product. The offer is the terms under which a specific product or service is promoted. It answers the customer’s question: “What’s in it for me?” There are many marketing uses for Product Offers. They are essential and are to be considered a core part of a customer acquisition or expansion campaign.
Product offers are an essential component of a customer acquisition strategy. Remember that revenue is the result of solving a problem for a customer for a price. At its root, revenue is about activity. You need to have the market interact with your company and product. Anything we can do to stimulate activity is a benefit.
An offer is an incentive to do business with you. You are communicating a message of the incentive to the market in the form of a marketing offer. The offer is stated in many different ways:
?Buy today and get the second item free!?
?Call us today and receive your free gift!?
?Act now and you?ll get 90 days added to your membership!?
Marketing offers are based on a stimulus ? response format. The offer is the stimulus and the response of the prospect is the response. The goal is to condition the market to respond to your offers.
Where To Use an Offer
At the most, there are five opportunities to use a Product Offer. The Product Offers will differ in their type based on where you use them. It depends on your product, market and length of sales cycle as to what type of offer you will use.
Whenever you have a selling opportunity in your marketing, use an offer. Here are the most common situations.
- When you want to facilitate a Lead to Prequalified Prospect
- When you want to facilitate a Prequalified Prospect to Qualified Prospect
- When you want to facilitate a Qualified Prospect to Preparing Buyer
- When you want to facilitate a Preparing Buyer to 1st Time Buyer
- When you want to facilitate a 1st Time Buyer to a Customer
It may be possible to simplify the offers just like you may be able to simplify your Customer Profiles. For example, you may have an offer that takes goes from a Lead to a Customer because the offer qualifies the prospect on its own. There may be no selling mechanism involved. This would occur in a highly competitive product with an automatic sales mechanism such as an e-commerce web site.
Influence Within the Boundary
There is one fundamental reason every business should learn and use product offers. It is a known fact that a person will generally take the longest amount of time possible to complete a task. Specifically stated, Parkinson?s Law says, ?Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.?
If we define purchasing your product as a task, we can assume a prospect will generally take the longest time possible to purchase your product. Of course, this depends on your type of product but, generally, it?s true. If you don?t put an incentive in front of a prospect and give that incentive a boundary, you won?t get the number of customers you need to survive.
For example, I know I should upgrade my accounting system. My business has grown beyond the capability of my startup accounting software package. But I have a sense of how much effort is actually required to make the change. I want to avoid this effort for as long as I can because it?s painful. I am going to contemplate and create more important things to do.
This contemplation cycle can last for weeks or months until an incentive arrives that motivates me to make a decision. Underestimating the power of contemplation has ruined many marketing plans. Humans have an immense ability to contemplate change even in the face of life-threatening situations. Just ask any cigarette smoker.
To stimulate market activity, create product offers that have a stated participation guideline with a clear beginning and an end. This will help to move people through the stages of change and reduce contemplation.