Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Importance of a "Sales Point" - Bragging about Economy Class Tickets in a Promotion is Not a Sales Point - it is a Minus Point!

Today I want to give you an example of extremely amateurish marketing campaign that's going on right now in Tokyo and a taste of some quality marketing that will start next month... These both have to do with understanding (or not understanding) what a "Sales Point" is supposed to be.

What's a "Sales Point?" A "Sales Point" is something that should make your audience think, "Wow! That sounds great!" 

A sales point" is supposed to be something extra or special or, as the vernacular goes, "Value Added." Words used to describe sales points are adjectives like, "Deluxe," "Giant," "Extra," "Premium"....  

Whenever you make an ad or sales pitch for your business, service, event or campaign and you add sales points they should be things that make the prospective customer sit up and take notice. They should be something that makes them think, "Special!"

Yesterday, I heard a radio commercial on a Tokyo radio station that just made me slap my forehead. It was a contest to win a vacation for two to Hawaii!

The commercial went like this;

"Something-or-other FM radio station in Tokyo is offering you a chance to win a vacation on Japan Airlines, economy class, for two to Waikiki, Hawaii..." 

Read that sentence again....

"Something-or-other FM radio station in Tokyo is offering you a chance to win a vacation on Japan Airlines, economy class, for two to Waikiki, Hawaii..."???

Economy class!? They're kidding, right? They didn't actually say that in their on air commercial, did they?... Well, yes. They did. 

In the case of airlines tickets, a good sales point would be saying something like, "Business Class" or "First Class" for two. Business class and First class are "premium" and "up-grade." Saying "economy class" is not a sales point. In fact it is a demerit. It cheapens the experience and the lessens the excitement. There was no good reason at all to add that.

Saying "Economy class" could be a sales point if this were an event run by some small organization, but when you are a major broadcasting station in the most crowded city in the entire world with over 35 million homes in your broadcasting area, saying "Economy class" is not a plus in any sense of the meaning....

For the accommodations, did they say, "The cheapest dump motel we could find?" Nope. They didn't. If it's not going to be at least a 5-star hotel, then there's no reason to say anything. Free accommodation sounds nice enough as it is. No reason to add, "Cockroaches no extra charge!"  

Which is better? "Free accommodations" or "The worst dump we could find"?

They should have left out the "economy class" part of the commercial and just stuck with;

"Something-or-other FM radio station in Tokyo is offering you a chance to win a vacation on Japan Airlines for two to Waikiki, Hawaii..."

Like I said, adding the words "economy class" just cheapens the experience and the excitement for the listeners... If economy class weren't the cheapest seats available, I can imagine saying it, but the last time I heard, the airlines don't normally allow people to ride in the tire wells or in the luggage area. 

I doubt that the purpose of the campaign was to create for the listeners an image that this radio station does everything second-rate, but I suspect that is probably the ultimate result.

In June I will be running a campaign with Delta airlines for a lucky couple to win a vacation to the USA for seven nights and nine days - to a destination of their choice - on Delta Airline's Top Quality Premium Business Class... Now THAT'S a sales point. You'll be able to find information about that here this very blog. 

Stay tuned.


boo said...

Mike, I don't think anyone thought Economy was a sales point. Probably some lawyer or someone insisted on it.
You have a similar situation with your promotion: you are forced, for various reasons, to mention that your winners will have to fly Delta, a Skytrax 3-star airline, which puts it in the same category as Aeroflot and Pakistan International. But still, you will mention Delta, I'm sure.

mikeintokyorogers said...

Thanks Boo,
No. Not true. No lawyers, nothing. Just incompetence. You have to mention the airlines, of course, because they trade the tickets for promotion as barter. I know, I run a marketing company. I've run 5 dozens of this kind of campaign before - sometimes economy class, sometimes business... When it is economy, we don't mention it.

mikeintokyorogers said...

Oh... And I'm sure about it... I produce a show at that station and brought it up to the staff...

Zanchito said...

Well, I appretiate their honesty!