Showing the world you're desperateYears ago marketing tactics like this were quite unusual. Now they're the norm. There's a place for them, but more often than not, price promotions are lazy marketing, a not very imaginative way to show the world that your business isn't doing so well and you're desperate for trade.
Some people think they raise awareness of particular products but how can they do that when the market is saturated with them? When the 2-1 offer says nothing about the product itself. Price led promotions don't really help build a longer term market.
Leaving money on the table...
Are 2-1 promotions ever good?
Sometimes. When they're properly thought through and not simply a knee-jerk reaction. When you want to open up new markets e.g. bring a friend who's never been before (doesn't always work though!) and when you've worked out how you'll follow through and build that new market. Attractions were there are opportunities to generate secondary spend through catering and retail may also benefit from getting more people in through the door.
What are the alternatives?
2-1 offers may work some of the time, but they are unimaginative and it's hard to make an impact now there are so many. Far better, to do something quirky, unusual, fun, interesting that helps demonstrate the emotional appeal of what you offer, that shows what you can do and why it's good. If you rely on price promotions, it focuses visitors' minds on the price not the strength of the product. It encourages them to shop around instead of valuing what you do. And once you've reduced your price once, what happens next time? How low can you go?
Copyright Susan Briggs 2016