If you have sat in an marketing class or have attended a marketing seminar, lecture, talk, webinar, etc you will have year the following mantra: CALL TO ACTION.
It may not appear to be uber important to your marketing activities, but without a call to action of some sort, then it is difficult to measure the success of your activities. More importantly, if you have multiple marketing activities concurrently active, then how do you know which one is the most effective: Was it that inexpensive flyer on your countertop or the expensive TV prime time ads that increased your sales in WHAM T-Shirts?
Your call to action is also a broadside to your competitors – I’ll come back to this later. The fact is that we look at what other industry players are doing. We have written about it a number of times and it is an industry fact. Actually, if you are not doing this right now yourself, then you are either super stupid, or super lucky. Either way, nil industry watching on your part is unsustainable and just bad business sense. Your actions, if they are new and innovative and look promising will be noticed by your competitors; and by noticed by your competitors, will be replicated in some fashion. The more time you give your competitors to replicate what you are doing, then the less time that you have to capitalise on the innovation.
A call to action is a way of introducing some urgency into your promotion. You want to make your promotion appealing, and you want your customer to make a decision early – reducing the dwell time your customer has between seeing your promotion and when your promotion ends, also reduces the customers ability to shop around and compare, and also reduces your competitors ability to replicate the promotion and steal your sales.
You will be familiar with common call to action techniques: Offer ends soon, Only whilst stocks last, This weekend only, etc. You have seen these and you are familiar with them and they serve the call to action purpose very well. As with all marketing activities, there has to be a measure of effectiveness; it’s success or not. The measure can be anything; the measure needs to be the same for different promotions, provided that the promotion goals are the same. If the goal is to increase the sales of butter, then different promotional campaigns targeting butter sales, should use the same metric. Note that your campaign might be targeting expensive high end butter, so a volume measure may not be as accurate as a unit sales metric.