The Importance of a Promotional Hook in an Inflationary Economy

Consumers have never been quite as hard to reach effectively as they are today. 

After several years of a damaging pandemic that upended many areas of society, buyers must now also contend with one of the most aggressive inflationary runs the economy has seen in decades. According to research, as many as three-quarters of households are concerned with inflation—and for 88% of shoppers, inflation means changing their buying habits.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also impacted those habits, with an NIH study indicating that the stress of the event had caused an increase in impulse buying among certain groups. For CPG brands, this is not an environment that comfortably fosters success—and that’s before we consider today’s crowded store shelves. To gain traction nowadays, your brand needs a solid promotional hook. 

Let’s consider why a good promotional hook is so vital and how you can build a strategy that uses incentives for success.

Taking Buyers From Awareness to Consideration Stage

Many shoppers are aware of products, especially those they can reach for in a grocery store aisle. They’ve seen the products before and know of the option—but they may never consider buying them. Perhaps they have loyalty to another brand. However, more often than not, the consumer merely hasn’t encountered a good enough reason to take a closer look and contemplate buying. 

That’s why brands need an incentive to kickstart the buyer journey.

You can grab attention and trigger that consideration stage by offering a promotional hook or incentive for shoppers to make a purchase. Make your offer compelling enough, and you’re more likely to attract new sales from buyers who now consider your CPG products more regularly. Especially in an inflationary environment, incentives can be powerful motivators.

But keep in mind, it’s not just buyers you should try to incentivize. Simultaneously, you must consider sweetening the pot for your retail partners. Why should they buy into your program? You have several options to make your case, from aligning your campaign with initiatives that retailers have already invested in to finding opportunities to achieve mutual benefits.

Building Campaigns With the Shopper Marketing Matrix

No single campaign works in every instance, for every market and every retailer. 

Zeroing in on what will work best for your brand and your partners requires identifying what type of shopper marketing will yield the best results for everyone involved—including consumers. 

To do that, we refer to our “shopper marketing matrix.” These are the four marketing areas that set the foundation of your next campaign. Choosing the right one for your needs opens the door to smarter planning and better execution. What makes up the shopper marketing matrix?

  • Campaigns that focus on improving brand knowledge through better content, clearer branding, and/or experiential marketing that engages consumers to educate and entertain.
  • Cause marketing involves linking your brand to charitable events and other cause-based campaigns that can attract consumers motivated by those causes.
  • Co-marketing partnerships, such as connections with local sports teams, arts and entertainment providers, and community events.
  • Sweepstakes and contesting opportunities to draw in consumers excited by the opportunity to win a special prize or experience.

Finding Your Promotional Hook for the Next Campaign

Which approach is the best tentpole for your next shopper marketing campaign? At Cliffedge Marketing, we’re always looking for opportunities to help CPG brands refine their approach and smooth over the stumbling blocks on the path to purchase. 

With inflationary and post-pandemic pressures remaining, now is the best time to learn how to improve your customer engagement strategy. It’s time to level up your consumer retail experiences and take advantage of fresh strategies to drive better sales. 


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