Marketing schemes, in the initial stage of the business, could mean giving a lot of discounts and offers to attract customers.

Big Bazaar issues cards which can be used for exclusive payments in Big Bazaar stores only. It’s an investment that the customer makes prior to purchase in the card. For an investment of Rs. 10,000, the customer gets Rs. 1,000 free. In this manner, the customer gets hooked to the Big Bazaar. Every time they need to shop, they go back to the same store and purchase stuff worth the money on the card. As long as they keep refilling the card, Big Bazaar has reserved a family of customers. 

This example combines all that marketing is about: reserving a place for yourself as a business in the mind of a customer.

Marketing schemes, in the initial stage of the business, could mean giving a lot of discounts and offers to attract customers. The best instance of this kind of marketing is Reliance Jio. When Jio was launched, it kept its promise of making 4G internet reach every household. Eventually, it is offering data packs and charging the value of money. But to create a rapport and direct relation with its customers, Reliance too needed to offer some promotional discounts. 

Organising huge sales also can help. We have seen what a festival it is when Amazon and Flipkart or Myntra announce their BIG SALE for 3-4 days. 

A great deal of marketing happens through packaging as well. Many consumers assess the quality of the product looking at the packaging. A lot of mill spices are tastier and add real flavours to the food but the MDH and Everest packaging makes people rely on the latter more. When Amazon sends books, they send bookmarks too, which makes people buy books from nowhere else but Amazon. 

How does the customer choose one company over the other? Marketing schemes should be able to hook the customer to the particular brand or company. It is about how the scheme cultivates interest in the customer, how the business plants the idea of choosing them into the minds of consumers. 

Showing rather than telling, using the perks of creative content, maintaining a direct emotional connect with the customer, and providing the value of money, it all counts. 

One can go about it in different ways like Urban Marketing, Digital Marketing or Content Marketing.  

To utilise urban marketing schemes, one needs to make bold and clear public statements and some pretty creative concepts can be used for that. Stepping out on the streets with flyers and posters, putting them up in local cafes, or decorating the walls of a building with a large Graffiti art or mural. Advertising on public transports is the ideal capitalising on the opportunities that urban sponsorships can offer. In cities where boating and tourism is common, one even finds advertisements on boats.

Digital marketing plays a very essential role in the current era. One needs to handle their social media accounts and update them regularly. The handles need to be boosted and refurbished. The handler is to ensure that they are following trends, the hashtags, and with Instagram promotion even the memes.

Digital marketing should not be made only about product marketing. It should focus on the idea through newer approaches. Swiggy, Zomato, and Netflix India have set examples in creating such content which appeals to all audience. If a viewer follows a page, it is not only for basic product features but also because as they scroll down the feed, they find their entertainment in every post they come across, and in a matter of seconds. 

Story highlights are important too, the user should be able to find all the discount offers, popular products, restaurant menus if applicable, or the customer reviews in one place, that is, in the story highlights. 

Some small tips to be utilised while advertising on social media are to keep tabs on competitors, see what they post, and how they get shares and likes, who all follow them, and use hashtags. 

Notifying through email is a good option too. However, it needs to be innovative. One needs to ensure that the email does not go into the promotional inbox and people treat it as primary email. A way to stand out compared to other promotional offers/emails is to insert a voucher inside the email or an offer that can be unlocked only through opening the email. Then, it makes the user read it and subscribe to more such offers.

Contests and sweepstakes promotions on social media make excellent schemes because to participate in a contest one needs to tag one or more people, share the giveaway alert on their stories and whoever gets the most likes for the page, wins the prize. It increases reach and in a fun way. Other than giveaway contests (or sweepstakes) one can have video contest caption contest voting contest too. The contest should be shareable and simple to enter.

Content marketing would include writing for the audience, targeting them by addressing the needs and concerns.

Visual content is like a cherry on the cake. Instead of long text paragraphs, one should use visuals and infographics. The importance of visuals can never be stressed enough and neither can infographics be replaced. Infographics do not always require high-end technology. It can be made using PowerPoint too.

It will be an understatement to say that ‘marketing is important’ in a business. Well, it is a huge percentage of the business plan. To sustain a venture, if customers are central, then so is reaching out to the customer. 

Marketing schemes can be innovated and can be an endless list, and though they are of universal importance, they do not have universal rules. 

Marketing can be as new and fresh as it can. The most successful ones are newer and fresher than others, without any exceptions. 

Edited by Shraddha Jha

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