Out of sync and not knowing it…

There is an old saying – “don’t put a square peg in a round hole” and it’s obvious why it is true – the square peg does not fit in a round hole!!!!

Of course, nobody will try to use a square peg in a round hole. Not literally. Even if they do, they will fix that very quickly as there is an instant visual feedback.

But businesses are different. There is no feedback for most of the things that don’t work. It becomes part of statistics.

When they do a campaign and get a 5% success rate, they don’t look at it as a 95% failure rate. They just compare it to the industry average (which may be 10%) and think that they are half way there.

Some things that are obvious when they are out of sync and some things are not.

Let’s take a few obvious ones:

1. Sending discount coupons for steak to a vegetarian.

2. Sending information on how to deal with menopause to men.

3. Sending weight loss information to skinny fellows.

4. Sending hair care information to bald people.

5. Sending information about wigs to people who are not bald.

The not-so-obvious ones are tricky.

1. Selling a home to someone who can’t afford it.

2. Adding someone to your mailing list just because they gave you their card.

3. Selling insurance coverage for things that are already covered

I can go on but best is to explain with an example. I am using a recent promotion from Redbox to make a point. Please note that I like Redbox service and I use this only an example of an “out of sync” promotion.

First, the email subject line.

It says “Get your June Freebie” – which is questionable as there is no “real” Freebie in there. But we will give them the benefit of doubt. Zero marks for creative headlines though as people won’t open promotion emails once they realize that it’s a bait-and-switch game.

Now, let us look at the promotion itself.

The promotion says:

Rent two movies at the same time from any redbox kiosk and get a promo code for free night’s rental.

Some background information before the analysis – Redbox simple value proposition is that you can rent a movie for a night for a buck. So if you are sure of watching a movie that night, why spend five bucks at blockbuster?

Now let us look at the promotion in a bit more detail. For someone to take advantage of the promotion, they have to rent two movies on the same day – meaning they have to watch two movies on the same day. If they keep a movie for the next day, they pay an extra dollar for that movie and the free rental does not make sense anymore (as you have paid an extra dollar for an earlier movie)

So the promotion really works for people that will match the following criteria
* people who love movies
* people who love watching movies on DVD
* people who are NOT subscribers of Netflix or some other service
* people who are cost conscious
* people who are willing to watch two movies in a day to save a dollar

The sad part is that there will be some people ( a small percentage, though ) who will fit the bill and will use the promotion – creating a “perceived win” for the marketing department who created that promotion. This, unfortunately, will lead to more “out of sync” promotions.

And the point is???

Simply to urge you to revisit your own offers and see if they are “in sync.” Otherwise, it will be worth your time to review them again.

PS: Would love to help Redbox but after this blog post I doubt they will contact me 🙂