Why Make an Offer?
Holiday shopping isn’t far behind us. If your local newspaper is anything like the one I subscribe to, on most days leading up to December 25, the ad circulars made up more than half the volume of the daily delivery.
We all know why retailers print those circulars — so the special offers entice shoppers to come to their stores instead of visiting the competition. They all want the biggest share of the consumers’ wallets.
Does the same idea apply to banking? Yes, in a way.
Obviously, a shopper plans to make multiple purchases, even long after the year-end holidays. That’s why you see sales circulars and ads throughout the year.
A consumer likely opens only one banking account at a time and there might be a good stretch between openings.
Yet when you promote your products, a “sale” offer is the best way to attract customers. It works much the same as it does for retail sales.
For decades, the free gift offer helped promote checking accounts. Today, offers vary, but that’s because the competition has heated up. Like competing department stores try to promote the most attractive sale to catch shoppers’ attention, financial institutions make a variety of offers so they can be noticed in their markets.
Near the end of 2009, Walmart and Amazon websites staged a price war using new-release books and DVDs as the bait. They continued undercutting each other’s prices and finally added free shipping as the final hook.
A gift or other incentive with your account offer is supposed to do the same. After all, just like Walmart and Amazon offered exactly the same books and DVDs, most financial institutions have free checking accounts, similar savings accounts, comparative CD rates, and so on. What’s the differentiating factor that draws new customers to your lobbies instead of allowing them to wander through the doors of your competitors? Often, it’s your offer.
Never think your financial product or banking service constitutes your offer. No, the offer is the added incentive. That incentive can sometimes be a special rate or something else you “manufacture,” but it’s always something that differentiates your offer.
Not the product. Not the service. Your offer is the added incentive.
If you want to draw more consumers into your offices than your competitors do, you need an offer that appeals to the individual consumer.
Here’s something you don’t want to include as part of your offer.
One type of offer, the delayed reward, is discussed here.